Memorable movie costumes at the Durham


December 5th, 2011

Omaha, NE – A collection of some of the finest and most memorable costumes from the big screen is currently on display at the Durham Museum in Omaha.

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Cut! Costume and the Cinema includes the pink bouffant dress worn by Emmy Rossum, who played Christine in the 2004 version of The Phantom of the Opera. (Photo courtesy Durham Museum)

“So right when you come in the exhibit, you’ll see the Johnny Depp costume from Pirates of the Caribbean, for his Captain Jack Sparrow.” The Durham’s Shawna Forsberg recently led me on a tour of the museum’s latest exhibit: Cut! Costume and the Cinema. And the first stop: the ragged jacket, scuffed leather boots and signature black pirate’s hat of Captain Jack.

“What I think is kind of neat about this is he had to have several … costumes made that were similar, because of all the action that was involved in that film,” Forsberg said. “He was jumping in the water, and all the different, crazy things he did in that film.”

Johnny Depp was outfitted with several versions of the same costume to allow for wear and tear from the action-packed Pirates of the Caribbean. (Photo courtesy Durham Museum)

The traveling exhibit is a collection of 43 costumes created – and borrowed – by the London costume house Cosprop, one of the most prestigious costume design shops in the industry. Forsberg said the exhibit highlights the intricacy and skilled craftsmanship of the work, as well as the evolution of clothing design.

In fact, it covers five centuries of fashion, and includes actress Keira Knightley’s intricately woven dress from the 2008 film The Duchess, which is set in the 18th century. Forsberg said women during that time period made up for their diminutive public status with eye-catching attire.

“They really tried to expand their form,” she said. “They would have really wide skirting, very tall and opulent hair, and very ornate clothing so that they had quite a presence when they walked into a room.”

Cut! Costume and the Cinema opened Dec. 3rd at the Durham Museum.

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