Tuesday, March 12, 2013

CUT! Costume and the Cinema Exhibit at Bowers Museum

Fanny Campbell, female pirate, 19th century scrimshaw. Perfect for the "By the Sea" HSF challenge, right?

I've been traveling so much for work, and Mr. Cation has been so busy wrapping up his thesis project for school, we haven't had much time for dates. So this past Saturday, we took some time to go check out the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana together. Okay, I'll admit that it was really my idea, since a costume exhibit isn't really Mr. Cation's idea of fun, but it was still nice to have some downtime together. Plus, we both really liked the scrimshaw exhibit. Anyway, I thought I'd share some of the photos I took of the lovely, lovely costumes. I'm going to split this into two posts, though, since there are quite a few photos! 

I'm so glad they emphasized the importance of underpinnings! 
The conical torso and panniers. 
Panniers are definitely required for this 17th century dress from The Last King.
The back of the Baroness Rodmilla de Ghent's dress, from Ever After. Dubiously set in the Renaissance era.  Check out those gorgeous pleats, though, and the little tassel hanging down from the storm flap collar. 
Captain John Smith's costume from The New World, possibly the worst film ever recommended by Mick LaSalle. 
Slightly more exciting captain: Jack Sparrow, from Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
And now for some prettiness: this light blue Georgian gown, complete with screenprinting and embroidery, from The Duchess. 
Absolutely enormous poofy bustle. 
Love the detailing on the sleeves!
And of course, we can't forget Lady G's iconic dress.
This is enough to make me want to sew bound buttonholes. 
The guys got to wear pretty things in The Duchess too. 
...and in Casanova, too. 
Check out the fantastically huge cuffs! Swoon.
More loveliness from that era, but from Goya's Ghosts.  
From the same movie.
Moving forward several decades, here's the Regency era gown that Marianne Dashwood wore in Sense and Sensibility
Jane Eyre's Romantic era wedding gown from the 1996 version. Look at that smocking!
Moving along to the 1850s and Little Dorrit. 

Whew! That's a lot of pictures! And that's only the costumes up to the Victorian era; I'll post the later era stuff tomorrow. My only gripe is that it was so dark in the exhibit hall, it was difficult to get good pictures. That, and the weird spotlighting washed out a lot of my detail shots. Still, you get an idea of how amazing these outfits are, and how much work went into making them. It makes me want to sew up costumes from every era; thankfully, my stashbusting commitment reins me in a bit, since I don't have appropriate fabrics or patterns for most of it. That's probably a good thing, though, as the sewing room closet is already full enough of costumes as it is.


  1. Thanks for sharing the great pictures with those of us who can't go see them in person! Displays never light well for detail photos, but yours turned out decently. =)

    I'm working at the Dallas Opera for the week, and I've been ooo-ing and ahh-ing over some of the period costumes that are currently being built for one of the shows - they are 1850s. (Today, I made a hump for a hunchback emperor.)

    ~ Brooke

  2. Swipe, swipe, wiping all the drool off my keyboard! Lovely details and some of my favorite movies in there. Can't wait to see the rest!

  3. Ooh, jealousy is seeping through my pores! ;) so cool!

  4. Gosh there are some lovely outfits! You lucky thing!


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