Inside the Museum of Brisbane’s ‘Costumes from the Golden Age of Hollywood’ exhibit

Since opening a month ago, Costumes from the Golden Age of Hollywood has been breaking all kinds of Museum of Brisbane attendance records. Check out our mini-tour below to find out why.

Picture this. It is 1997 and a movie lover in Brisbane discovers costumes up for auction in a Christies catalogue. These are no ordinary items. These are original designs worn on screen by some of the world’s most famous leading men and women, discarded by movie studios in the 70s at a series of “garage sales”.

As lawyer Nicholas Inglis soon discovers, these little pieces of Hollywood history surface from time to time, online and at auction houses, attracting fierce bidding from collectors all over the globe. And from his very first purchase, a pair of pants worn by Ava Gardner in 1953’s Mogambo, he was hooked.

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Over the course of two decades, Nicholas, armed with an eagle eye and a deep reservoir of film knowledge, quietly started to build a collection. Often he would be able to identify hidden gems that had been sitting quietly in someone’s store room or attic and snap them up for a bargain. Spawned by his love of classic films, the garments joined his already expansive collection of autographs, film books and costume illustrations.

Today approximately 80 of those costumes are sitting proudly on display at the Museum of Brisbane, an innovative and fascinating space located on the third floor of the recently-restored Brisbane City Hall.

Walking around the beautiful designed exhibit truly feels like you are taking a glimpse inside the costume department from 1920s to 1960s Hollywood… there’s even an original MGM costume fittings board on display. The whole thing is completely amazing, especially when you think that all these costumes began life in a big Hollywood movie studio and now reside in little old Brisbane. Plus, you will not be-LIEVE how tiny some of the dresses worn by the likes of Grace Kelly and Elizabeth Taylor are in real life… those waists!

Cinemazzi TV visited the exhibit a couple of weeks ago and we’ve put together a little video tour for you below, complete with comments from the Museum of Brisbane deputy director (and exhibit co-curator) Christopher Salter and private collector himself, Nicholas Inglis.

Definitely worth checking out in person, Costumes from the Golden Age of Hollywood is on display at the Museum of Brisbane from now until May 24, 2015. Entry is FREE.

*Video production: Luke Richards.

the author

Marie C

Feature writer by trade, movie maniac by night, Marie-Christine grew up watching films from the projection booth at the local drive-in and now she's lucky enough to write about them.

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