Movie Costumes: Free-to-See LA Exhibit

"Cinderella," "Mad Max: Fury Road," and more films are on display downtown.

EVEN IF WE'VE GOT FLAIR -- and, to be 100% frank, most of us accurately believe that, deep down, we truly do -- we don't always come by our personal style on accident. For sure, if we love puppies, we might incorporate sweaters that have puppies on them with some frequency, and if the color maroon is our jam, you can bet it'll work its way into our wardrobe. But, being human beings, we also cast our gaze onto others, to see how the people around us are rocking their belts, their vests, their hairstyles, their va-voom. And there are few places we tend to cast our gazes more than the movies. Even if we're sitting in a cinema solely to get our weep on, and have a solid cry at the hit sobber of the year, we're still taking note of what the characters are wearing, whether they're fancy, tulle-licious frocks or barely-there pajamas. We can't help but be influenced by this, at least a bit, in how we choose our own sartorial oomph. To see these outfits in person, however, is a whole different ball of wax -- er, closet full of clothes -- because the up-close experience, with real costumes, can clarify a favorite get-up's hue and form. Where to see such costumes, though? Stars don't wear them off the film set, and once they're returned to a warehouse in the San Fernando Valley, well, that's it: They're back on the rental rack. But the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising pauses each year to salute costume designers and display some of their most recent triumphs. It's...

THE 24TH ANNUAL ART OF MOTION PICTURE COSTUME DESIGN: Over 100 costumes from two dozen 2015 flicks are now on view at the downtown institution, from "Cinderella" to "Mad Max: Fury Road" to "The Danish Girl" to "Straight Outta Compton" to "Carol." Free admission is the order of the exhibit, but note that it is not open on Sundays or Mondays. Nifty stuff for those obsessed with fabrics and thread and hems and period pieces, and pretty rare stuff, too. Absolutely, museums do have costume shows now and then, but how unusual it is to see pieces from the very recent past. If you are looking for some spiffying-up inspiration, or you're simply a cinephile with a special sweetness for what people wear on the big screen, make for LA before the close of April, when the 2016 display has its final bow.

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