While on a tour of the Museum of Fine Arts with Pamela Parmal and Michelle Finamore (who work in the department of fashion and textile arts) and Claudia Iannuccilli (of the conservation lab) I learned that a new exhibit called Hollywood Glamour would open on September 10. I got to see some of the outfits being conserved and the floor plans and exhibit space under construction. I can’t wait for this exhibit to open.
Here’s why: when you first step into the room, you will be momentarily blinded by the gold and silver paint and silks and sparkles! But when your vision returns, you will see all glitz and glamour Hollywood had in the 1920s and 1930s. With a grand sweeping staircase on which mannequins display the dresses, all of which have met the bar, being either beaded, shimmery, sparkly, or all of the above. On the other side of the room, there will be jewelry cases and descriptions of the fashions. All of this is filling the glass to the brim.
But then, adding the screen playing clips of old Hollywood movies, and big prints of film icons puts the glass over the top (in a good way)!
Here’s a fun fact: These dresses that will be displayed were created custom for the actress who would wear them, and these actresses were short. So, in the lab where they are conserving the dresses, you see pieces of traditional sized mannequins scattered on the floor in an effort to make them shorter. For some of them, like Mae West — I learned the word curvaceous — they had to add pads!