Viewing the Annual Art of Motion Picture Costume Design Exhibit at FIDM

Even though I don’t bother to watch the telecast I somehow still get caught up in Oscar season. Once the nominated films are announced I feel like I need to watch them all and I start going to the movies more frequently.  I review all the nominees and decided which ones are my personal favorites. One category I’m particularly fond of is Best Costume Design. I love looking at all the wardrobes and admiring all the artistry that goes into them. Luckily, I live in an area where I can see them in person and every year I make a pilgrimage to the Annual Art of Motion Picture Costume Design exhibit at FIDM Museum.

FIDM counts numerous costume designers among its alumni and as a result receives access to the wardrobes of several feature films and every spring a number of costumes are put on display to coincide with Oscar season. This year marks the 27th annual exhibition and, as always, admission is completely free.

This year you can find outfits from this year’s top films including Crazy Rich Asians, Solo: A Star Wars Story, Black Panther and Aquaman. I have no interest is seeing that last one but, I have to admit, I loved seeing its costumes up close. Look how shiny they are!

In fact, most of my favorite costumes were from movies I didn’t see. I’m a sucker for period dress so I loved Cate Blanchett’s dresses from The House with a Clock in Its Walls. I also really loved the intricate costumes from The Nutcracker and the Four Realms. Leave it to Disney to get the job done.

I was also happy to see the costumes from my favorite film of the year, If Beale Street Could Talk. They really popped on screen and were just as lovely in person.

Also on display are the works of the 5 nominees for Best Costume Design – Mary Zophres for The Ballad of Buster Scruggs,

Sandy Powell for Mary Poppins Returns,

Alexandra Byrne for Mary Queen of Scots,

Sandy Powell (again!) for The Favourite,

and Ruth Carter for Black Panther.

If I could I would vote for Ruth Carter. The details on the costumes are simply astonishing. Look at that bead-work!

And this collar and headpiece!

The details are so impressive and the costumes so visually appealing that I certainly hope Ms. Carter wins.

The Annual Art of Motion Picture Costume Design exhibit at FIDM is always one of my favorite events and this year’s did not disappoint. With so many iconic looks on display it’s really not to be missed. It runs through April 12, 2019 so there’s plenty of time to check it out.


  1. Brenda Hill February 14, 2019 at 6:49 pm

    Another interesting article, Melanie, about something I would not have known.
    Thank you. Stay warm and dry.
    Brenda in San Diego.

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