By Lauren Holden
We’ve seen the old films; lusted after their leading men (a moustachioed Clark Gable in Gone with the Wind, anyone?), and scrutinised the frocks. And it’s fair to say we’d be fibbing if, while scoffing our weight in popcorn at the cinema, we hadn’t imagined what it’d be like to step into Holly Golightly’s oh-so-glam shoes. But now we can all experience Hollywood Glamour in an exhibition of the same name, taking place at London’s V&A until January 27.
Everything from Johnny Depp’s Pirates of the Caribbean clobber to Audrey Hepburn’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s gown is on show in a display which brings together over 100 of the most sought-after outfits from a century of film-making. In short, it’s a fashion fan’s sartorial heaven.
Each film genre features, from the silent movies of Charlie Chaplin to the gut-wrenching, heart-breaking love stories like Keira Knightley’s Atonement. Drool over her stunning figure-hugging emerald-coloured satin gown, and be magically transported to Munchkin Land via a sneak peek at Judy Garland’s Wizard of Oz gingham dress.
Anyone who watched Vivien Leigh’s Gone with the Wind with their nan as a nipper will love the nostalgic wonderment of a rare glimpse of Scarlett O' Hara’s, quite frankly, massive green gown, as well.
What’s most exciting for us here at Company.co.uk though, is the fact that many of these costumes haven’t left their private archival collections in California. Until now, that is. And exhibition curator Keith Lodwick tells us that the outfits are so legendry they’ve sparked a thousand copycats from here to Tinseltown.
“The costumes become so iconic or desirable that they inspire fashion trends,” says Keith. It’s hard to believe now but the success of The Matrix saw thousands of men slip on unflattering (and let’s face it, a little bit Matthew McConaughey in Magic Mike) floor length black coats back in the 90s. Audrey Hepburn’s jaw-dropping Breakfast at Tiffany’s gown fuelled a cocktail dress-buying frenzy, and well, you can’t pop into your local Tesco without spying a toddler donning a Spiderman costume.
It’s more unbelievable, though, how 100 outfits have survived so long - Keira’s Atonement dress for one, is displayed on a reclining mannequin owing to its delicate fabric.
Intrigued? This is your Willy Wonka Golden Ticket to a close encounter with some of the silver screen’s most memorable outfits. Save us a seat on the back row. Oh wait…