This has been a pretty heady year for Hollywood’s costume design community. And they are looking forward to celebrating it big time on Thursday, June 20.
After 60 years of being lumped in the art directors' branch, costume designers are now on their very own at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. AMPAS announced the creation of a separate Costume Designers branch, appointing Jeffrey Kurland to be the first of the three governors, back in January.
To publicly celebrate the new branch and the Oscars Outdoors Amphitheatre that opened last year, AMPAS and the Los Angeles Film Festival joined forces to present a multi-tiered costume design event called "The Iconic Moment: A Celebration of Costume Design."
The event will take place on the Academy’s Hollywood campus, located at 1341 Vine, in Hollywood. Kurland, Academy Governor, Costume Designers Branch and Oscar-nominated costume designer for Bullets over Broadway (also known for Beautiful Creatures, Inception), three-time Oscar winner Colleen Atwood (Alice in Wonderland, Memoirs of a Geisha, Chicago), Mark Bridges (Silver Linings Playbook, The Master), who won the 2011 Oscar for The Artist, and Ellen Mirojnick (Wall Street, Fatal Attraction) will participate in the panel, moderated by actress Laura Dern. Update: Atwood is unable to attend and has been replaced with Michael Kaplan (Star Trek: Into Darkness, Fight Club, Blade Runner).
The designers will discuss their own iconic moments that helped boost their careers, as well as their favorite costumes from other designers. Kurland says Scarlett O’Hara's green curtains dress in Gone with the Wind (also one of our picks) as one of his iconic moments. And it’s certain that Atwood would have chosen Johnny Depp’s costume in Edward Scissorhands as her defining moment. But we can't wait to find out which Blade Runner costume Kaplan will choose. One worn by the Replicant named Pris (Daryl Hannah) perhaps?
According to Stephanie Allain, director of Film Independent, “Maria Bozzi, the head of education at Film Independent, has really turned these events into a high art where we take the best crafts people, and fashion is an event that is available to the public to get a glimpse behind the scenes of the masters working today.”
“The event is designed to do what we do frequently at the Academy,” says AMPAS director of exhibitions and special events Ellen Harrington. “We bring together members of every craft, not just the most prominent famous directors and actors, but people in all of the crafts. A lot of our programming throughout the year is really listening to them about their process, how they go about their work and what their inspirations are. What are the things that they think people ought to know about their craft? This whole topic plays into that so well. Colleen, Mark Bridges and Ellen, all of them are legends in the field, as well as Jeffrey, who has been representing the branch as the sole governor up to this point.”
Prior to the panel, there will be a reception and exhibit of photographer/filmmaker Alex Prager’s stills, reminiscent of Hitchcock and film noir genre. His short film, Despair, will preface the main event, Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo (starring James Stewart, Kim Novak, Barbara Bel Geddes) featuring costumes by the legendary Edith Head at Oscars Outdoors.
“Head was chosen for the inaugural event because she has won the most Oscars and has the most nominations," explains Harrington, adding, “The evening starts with a reception at 6 p.m., a panel at 7 p.m., then we move to the Outdoor Amphitheater and the screening begins at 8:30 p.m. It’s the most elegant place in Los Angeles to see an outdoor movie."
To purchase tickets, click here.