Hollywood Costume at the Phoenix Art Museum

Going to the museum just got a lot more interesting! “Hollywood Costume is a spectacular temporary exhibition at the Phoenix Art Museum. As you enter, a large screen plays scenes from cinema’s past and present. “Backstage” is where the show really begins! You are gently led through a series of “acts”, wonderfully enhanced by digital technology. The first act describes how the designers start the process of designing costumes for the movies, from reading the scripts to sketching ideas.

Marie Antoinette

The second act is about the collaboration between the director and the designer. You can watch a lot of great interviews with fascinating digital effects. Director Martin Scorsese talks about the impact that costumes have on bringing characters to life. Designer Edith Head, one of the most prolific costume designers in Hollywood history, talks about how she was inspired to create the costumes for Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds”.


The finale is a display of costumes from some of the most iconic movies in Hollywood history. The mannequins are designed to disappear, so your focus is only on the costume and the digital image of the actor. 

       Marilyn Monroe - The Seven Year Itch        Marlene Dietrich - Morocco

This is not simply an exhibition of “award-winning costumes”, it actually tells the intriguing story of costume design. I went through twice, there was so much to absorb! I won’t watch movies the same way again. Don’t forget to see the “Red Carpet” exhibition on the mezzanine level, a display of a dozen stunning gowns worn to the Oscars. But hurry, the show closes on July 6th!

– Ace {Concierge}
Ace Bailey

Images of exhibition courtesy of Phoenix Art Museum.

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