Cut exhibit 2

Photo Credit: Jackie Calvert

With the success of programs like “Project Runway” and live runway shows every season, the interest and growth of fashion is blooming in San Antonio. Imagine how incomplete and unbelievable many classic films would be without the inspiration for detailed and thoughtful costume design.

“CUT! Costume and the Cinema” is an exhibition in the Stieren Center at the McNay showcasing the elaborate and incredible costumes from more than 27 films. There are over 40 costumes worn by huge Hollywood stars such as Keira Knightley, Nicole Kidman, Heath Ledger and Johnny Depp.

The costumes were provided by Cosprop Ltd., a British costume company that has supplied costumes for 24 nominated films, including The Duchess, which earned an Academy Award for costume design.

The elaborate costumes featured are custom made or selected from a vast inventory of 100,000 costumes. With a staff of 40 experts in design, tailoring, cutting, fitting, millinery, jewelry making and printing, the costumes featured are impeccable and are imperative when completing a character.

One of the more memorable costumes was the pink tulle dress Emmy Rossum wore in “The Phantom of the Opera.” Visitors are able to experience the striking nature and intricate detail that goes into fitting and creating an exquisite costume meant for a masquerade.

Visitors will not only learn the history and importance of costumes, but also what goes into creating these alternative works of art. Every detail matters when considering the time period and authenticity the film wants to portray including underpinnings — a quaint way of referring to women’s undergarments.

Fabrics are also a crucial part in creating an authentic look. Not only do designers have to use modern day fabrics, they have to use them in such a way that still gives the costume authenticity for the time in which the film takes place. Accessories and smaller details all have to be researched and used accurately.

For even more fun, visitors can interact with an iPad mini app called “The Dressing Room” in which they can see how they look in a certain costume. The McNay will post their favorites to their Facebook page.

CUT! is not the only taste of Hollywood glamor at the McNay. “Onstage! Costume Design and the Theatre” in the Tobin Wing highlights the work of five designers from various stage and opera productions. The contrast is obvious between the two exhibits as Onstage! pieces are much more detailed and intricate since they are made to be seen in person.

“Onstage!” will be exhibited through Jan 5 and “Cut!” will be on display through Jan 19. Admission is $10 for students with an I.D.

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