Families / Kids
Dorothy’s ruby red slippers. Indiana Jones’ hat. Harry Potter’s cloak. All conjure images of characters deeply ingrained in movie culture. These accessories not only define individual characters, they immediately transport us back to the fantasy movie worlds they inhabited: the Emerald City, the Temple of Doom, or Hogwarts.
When looking back on other movies, the clothing is less easily identifiable to a character, as might be the case with Heath Ledger’s character Ennis Del Mar and Jake Gyllenhaal’s Jack Twist, the cowboys in Brokeback Mountain. Upon first glance, the plaid and denim they wore are simply cowboy uniforms, but, as any good costume designer knows, it is that imperceptible skill—of finding the exact wash and cut of denim, the proper tailoring of the shirt—that makes an outfit look natural and not like a “costume,” that is the true craft behind costume design. The shirts provided a thread throughout the film, and came to embody the whole arc of the characters’ lives.
It is this creation of character, of individuals and their stories that defines a costume designer to Dr. Deborah Nadoolman Landis, curator of the Phoenix Art Museum’s Hollywood Costume exhibit, which opens on Wednesday, March 26th. “We’re storytellers,” she says of her fellow designers. While “we start with the words,” she says, giving credence to film writers, “we create the people in the movies.”
For anyone who questions the validity of an exhibit titled Hollywood Costume being shown in an art museum, Phoenix Art Museum Director Jim Ballinger believes that over the past several decades, “film has become one of the great art forms, and continues to be so,” thus linking the movies with the myriad of other art forms represented throughout the museum. Additionally, there is a “great tradition of ongoing fashion design” represented at the museum, deftly portrayed through shows by Curator of Fashion Design, Denita Sewell, making this exhibit right at home here at PAM.
In what Ballinger calls “one of the most important shows we’ve brought here,” over 100 costumes from movies spanning the history of film fill the exhibit. Hollywood Costume was on view last year at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum. Its only other U.S. stop was at the Virginia Museum of Fine Art. Here at PAM, there are two notable additions to the show—the shimmering white dress worn by Jennifer Lawrence’s character Rosalyn Rosenfield in American Hustle, and Christian Bale’s Irving Rosenfield’s blue velvet suit. Neither outfit have been seen outside of the movie set.
To Landis, costume design has both a narrative and visual importance. While the obvious connotation of the word costume conjures flamboyant, outlandish getups, “the superficial,” as she refers to them, Landis says that “the best costumes are the ones you never notice.”
All movies require costumes, clothing to create the character. That is where the costume designer steps in. “The director is asking us to believe that everyone in the movie has a life before the movie begins. We [as viewers] are joining the people in the movie. Who are they? And that’s the question that every costume designer must ask,” according to Landis.
Landis, who was nominated for an Academy Award for 1988’s Coming to America, designed the costumes for Michael Jackson’s iconic music video for Thriller, and served as costume designer for Animal House and Raiders of the Lost Ark, among others.
Her costumes for Indiana Jones serve as a focal point within the exhibition. Director Steven Spielberg, film star Harrison Ford and Landis worked together in crafting the look that would become the trademark for scholarly adventure heroes. A digital screen above the costume dissects each element of Indiana Jones’ outfit, from the pockets on his shirt, to the leather used in his boots and jacket, to the detailing of the whip, and of course, his hat.
Other notable displays include a montage of Elizabethean couture, from outfits worn by actresses playing the venerable Queen to those worn in Shakespeare in Love. While the the exhibit spans eras, with costumes from The Wizard of Oz through the recent American Hustle, the majority of the clothing is from the past few decades. Standouts include outfits from Vertigo, The Birds, The Seven Year Itch, and Funny Girl, while more recent creations from The Big Lebowski, Oceans Eleven, Fight Club, and even Twilight all have their place.
While bejeweled gowns abound, the show equally represents men’s and women’s fashions, just as movies do not simply represent one gender’s perspective. Who would James Bond be without his signature tux, or The Dude be without his fuzzy gray robe? These looks are just as significant as Eliza Doolittle’s in My Fair Lady or Satine’s in Moulin Rouge.
Accompanying Hollywood Costume is a small exhibit of 12 gowns, called Hollywood Red Carpet. These are the dresses that one identifies with the actresses who play the movie characters. These dresses represent their glamorous versions of themselves, dolled up to attend the Academy Awards. Landis described that it is this differentiation that separates costume and fashion designers. After often looking unattractive or downplaying their looks in costume, on camera, the fashion the actresses choose to wear on the red carpet enhances their best self.
Landis believes that her exhibition “is not about the clothes. It’s an exhibition that has the wrong name.” While one will certainly leave Hollywood Costume having viewed more outfits than on an average shopping trip, she is right. It is both a celebration of and tribute to the movies, as with each dress, hat and jacket, the memories that item worn on the big screen comes rushing back. Seeing Rose’s (Kate Winslett’s) structured suit and large hat instantly bring back not only her first moment onscreen in Titanic, but the entire three-hour opus and the love affair between Jack and Rose.
The splendor of the clothing, the artistry of the design and the juxtaposition between fashion and cinema provide a fantastical tour through the history of movies.
Special Exhibition Hours:
The museum has extended its hours for Hollywood Costume. Timed tickets can be purchased in advance of your visit here.
March 26, 2014 through July 6, 2014
- Tuesday, Noon to 5 p.m.
- Wednesday, Noon to 8:30 p.m.
- Thursday, Noon to 5 p.m.
- Friday, 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
- Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- First Fridays, 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
DPJ’s Wire series delivers news and information straight from the source without translation.
CO-OP Phoenix produces first community Book Swap and launches five Free Little Libraries
With five clothing swaps under their belt, 700 swappers, and over 2500 lbs of items donated, Kelsey Wong and Karla Rasmusson, co-founders of CO-OP Phoenix have planned their next big community event, Book Swap PHX. On Saturday, March 22, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Civic Space Park will be filled with once-enjoyed and ready to be enjoyed again books of every genre. Not only will these once-loved books be swapped, but also heartwarming stories from one reader to another will be shared.
“It’s really rewarding to see Phoenix coming together. Locals are really craving new ways to connect and be a part of something,” said Kelsey Wong, executive director of CO-OP Phoenix. “Our events are different than your typical guest and entertainer, they are interactive. Every attendee gets to engage.”
CO-OP Phoenix isn’t stopping at the swap, they are launching five new Little Free Libraries downtown in partnership with Downtown Phoenix Partnership and the Little Free Library program. Starting at Civic Space Park, Heritage and Science Park, Downtown Info Center and Phoenix Public Market, the Book Swap will live on as donated books will be stored in the these libraries. In it’s most basic form, a Free Little Library is a box full of books where anyone may stop by and pick up a book–or two–and bring back one to share.
“We love what CO-OP Phoenix is doing to bring fresh faces to the area and show locals that not only is downtown Phoenix community a cool place to be, but that we are a thriving city in the making,” states Sara Anderson, events manager for the Downtown Phoenix Partnership.
After a full day of community and book swapping, leftover items will be donated to Little Free Libraries.
“Little Free Library is excited to participate in the Book Swap because all items donated will continue to be shared and enjoyed to any reader,” says Samantha Jackson, founder of Little Free Library in Phoenix.
Tickets are free with a $5 suggested donation online or at the door. To pre-register for tickets, swappers can visit http://bookswapphx.splashthat.
Super Bowl XLIX will be played in Glendale on February 1, 2015, but Super Bowl Central will be right here in downtown Phoenix. In the week preceding the big game, downtown Phoenix will host major events and initiatives centered in 12 city blocks, including the NFL Experience, the NFL Media Center and more. The activities were announced this morning by Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee representatives and Phoenix city officials.
Everyone will be working together to pull out all the stops, showcasing downtown Phoenix’s urban center within the warmth of the desert. “We know how to collaborate, and we know how to do it better than anyone else,” said CEO of the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee Jay Parry of the relationship between the city and the NFL.
Vowing to be a great Super Bowl partner, Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton spoke to the unique collaboration of a whole range of partners who are working together, including a city departments, Downtown Phoenix Inc., local businesses, restaurants, community groups and arts organizations.
“Super Bowl Central, along with the NFL Experience and NFL House, will turn Downtown Phoenix into the Super Bowl epicenter. It will provide both local and visiting fans an amazing opportunity to be part of this global event,” said Mayor Stanton.
The festivities will spread from CityScape to the Phoenix Convention Center, and Monroe Street to the US Airways Center, anchored by the iconic Super Bowl roman numeral numbers that will tower 30 feet high. Anticipating more than 1 million visitors, David Rousseau, Chairman, Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee, says, “We are thrilled to be providing extensive and engaging events and activities that will showcase the energetic and vibrant culture of Arizona to fans, sponsors and media alike.”
- NFL Experience—Phoenix Convention Center. The world’s largest interactive football theme park will feature attractions that simulate the elements that are found in the NFL, including free autograph sessions, kids’ football clinics, entertainment attractions, football memorabilia, interactive football games and more.
- NFL Media Center—Phoenix Convention Center. Anticipate 5,000+ media members. More than 30 countries will be represented.
- NFL Headquarters—Hyatt Regency Phoenix. A major hub of activity and meetings for the NFL and its key partners.
- NFL House—CityScape. A high-end, drop-in facility for business partners and Super Bowl VIPs that will operate from Thursday through Sunday of Super Bowl week.
- Outdoor Fan Campus—Spanning 12 city blocks throughout downtown Phoenix, from 3rd Street to Central Avenue and Jefferson Street to Monroe Street.
Activities throughout the Outdoor Fan Campus:
- Two entertainment stages featuring performances from local bands during the day to national recording artists at night.
- Beer and wine gardens
- Cultural and outdoor activities unique to Arizona
- Football themed activities
- Home of NBC and NFL Network studios
- Showcase Arizona community groups and schools
“Today’s announcement is a testament to the incredible work our downtown community has done to broaden and deepen our urban culture,” said David Krietor, CEO of Downtown Phoenix Inc. “Whether it’s the arts, music or sports, downtown Phoenix is fast becoming our region’s gathering place. I am 100% confident the NFL and the Host Committee will be pleased by the vitality and diversity they will experience in downtown Phoenix.”
Watch the Host Committee’s video depicting Super Bowl Central, and get a sneak peak of downtown as a backdrop to the week-long festivities.
Photography by Stephen G. Dreiseszun/Viewpoint Photographers
DPJ writers Hillary Brody and Jill Bernstein contributed to this story.
DPJ’s Wire series delivers news and information straight from the source without translation.
Ripley’s Believe It or Not! National Tour to Discover Strange, Weird, & Unbelievable Items Comes to Arizona Science Center
Ripley’s is looking to buy items from the public at its ”Bizarre Buying Bazaar” in Phoenix, March 21 & 22
Not sure what to do with that shrunken head that’s been taking up space in the closet? Ripley’s Believe It or Not! has a solution for you.
Ripley’s Bizarre Buying Bazaar is coming to Arizona Science Center on Friday, March 21 and Saturday, March 22. It’s the fifth stop on a road trip to several cities in the U.S. and Canada to find and acquire items worthy of being part of the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! collection.
Edward Meyer, Ripley’s VP of Exhibits and Archives, will review all items that come in and will make on-the-spot offers for items worthy of being a part of the world famous Ripley’s Believe It or Not! collection. For more than 35 years, Meyer has traveled the world collecting unusual stories and unbelievable items for the company. He has acquired over 20,000 different museum artifacts, as well as countless stories for its cartoon and books.
What is Ripley’s looking for at the Bizarre Buying Bazaar?
“We’re hoping to find oddities, artifacts, relics, strange things from science and nature, unusual artwork – the weirder the better,” says Meyer.
Meyer has purchased more than 100 items from the public at Bizarre Buying Bazaar events – everything from a rare New Guinea widow’s finger chopper to a motorcycle created from cow, alligator and other animal bones to a lamp made from a taxidermy chicken. Items offered but not purchased included a $400,000 Lamborghini!
Even if Ripley’s doesn’t acquire an item, its owner may still get an oddpraisal - that means Meyer won’t necessarily tell people what an item is worth, but will give them an idea of how unusual it is.
“This is our first Bizarre Buying Bazaar held in the southwestern U.S., so I’m hoping we see some Native American items and natural wonders from the desert,” said Meyer.
Oddity owners planning to attend the Bizarre Buying Bazaar are encouraged to RSVP to Angela Johnson at Johnson@ripleys.com in advance and provide some details on the item they want to bring in. That will allow Ripley’s research team to see what they can find out about the particular items of interest in advance.
The Bizarre Buying Bazaar will be held on Friday, March 21 and Saturday, March 22 at Arizona Science Center, located at 600 E. Washington Street in downtown Phoenix. The event will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.
Image Courtesy of Ripley’s Believe It or Not!
Don’t miss the once-a-year opportunity to peer into the studios of working artists and wander through galleries during Artlink’s Art Detour 26 this weekend. Along with the top art venues of downtown Phoenix and countless pop-up exhibits, dozens of painters, sculptors, photographers, glassblowers, and other creative minds open the doors of their private space to curious visitors.
With the event map in hand, art lovers can explore more than 100 stops on a two-day self-guided tour, many within convenient walking distance of the free Art Detour shuttle route. Docents ride along on two London-style double-decker buses circulating continuously at 20-minute intervals between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, while four information hubs at Phoenix Art Museum, Oasis on Grand, CityScape, and the Arizona Center provide volunteers ready to answer questions.
The adventure begins this evening with a greater-than-usual array of First Friday opportunities, including an open rehearsal by the Phoenix Chorale at Trinity Cathedral. While you’re there, check out Olney Gallery’s Color Color Color! exhibition, featuring work by Kaori Takamura, Sarah Kriehn, and Christopher Jagmin.
Elsewhere, the weekend is filled with live music — along with a multitude of casual performances like Bones of Folk’s Danyul Kostin at Oasis on Grand and the Moonlight Howlers at The Lost Leaf, tonight’s ambitious Viva Phx festival brings 70 groups — including Sir Mix-A-Lot, The Neighbourhood, Black Carl, Tobie Milford, and Pinback — to 14 venues ranging from Crescent Ballroom to the Hotel San Carlos to the Arizona Latino Arts and Cultural Center. The next day, Phoenix Blues Society’s Blues Blast ’14 fills Saturday with tunes from Hans Olson, Leon J’s JukeJoint, the Mike Eldred Trio, and other Rhythm Room stars at Margaret T. Hance Park — show an Art Detour map for a ticket discount.
Once your ears are satiated, fill your eyes with images from Artlink board member Hugo Medina, curator of the Phoenix Phabulous History Mural showing at Walter Studios. “I think it’s important that artists keep creating, pulling forward, which I try to do with my own work as well,” he says. “Phoenix is a phenomenal destination…. We’ve just got to start getting the collectors to start coming out, and that’s the challenge.”
For the month of March, R. Pela Contemporary Art will display Banned at the Herberger, including part of a controversial canceled show originally scheduled last fall at the Herberger Theater Center Art Gallery. The exhibit includes work by Mike Ford, Ronnie Ray Mendez, and Lisa Albinger. “Mike Ford’s photographs, about his relationship with his mother who has Alzheimer’s disease, have such depth,” says curator Robrt Pela. “There’s sadness, and camp, and real emotion. I had to share them.”
He continues, “I think that the art that I’m showing…I want there to be craftsmanship and beauty, but there has to be another element too…some commentary, some politics, some pain. It can’t just be something that’s lovely to look at because that isn’t quite enough.”
Other popular, highly-regarded mainstays anchoring First Friday and Art Detour include Practical Art and monOrchid. Great Arizona Puppet Theater offers edgy, quirky, adults-only Puppet Slams both Friday and Saturday nights.
All weekend, kids can find plenty of fun with finger-paint murals, demonstrations, workshops, and other family-friendly activities at Kids’ Detour, various galleries and studios, and the Blues Blast. Retailers and restaurateurs also add to the experience with extended weekend hours and specials.
If you go:
- Artlink First Friday on March 7
- Viva Phx music festival on March 7
- Phoenix Blues Society’s Blues Blast ’14 on March 8
- Artlink’s Art Detour 26 on March 8-9