Art: Fashion in Film at the Taft Museum of Art

Fashion in Film: Period Costumes for the Screen at the Taft Museum of Art will charm with its decadent designs, but there is more to the exhibit than simple ornament. Costume design has rightfully found a new home in art museums. Though it is easier to d

Patrons of the Taft Museum of Art know it to be a rare kind of historical document: Furniture, artwork and architecture from an earlier era summon an aura of rigid manors, ladies’ teas and regency gowns. In that respect, it is not surprising that the Taft would aim its curatorial eye on the traveling exhibition, Fashion in Film: Period Costumes for the Screen.

Brought together by the Trust for Museum Exhibitions in Washington, D.C., the exhibition makes its debut in Cincinnati. Visitors will doubtlessly be charmed by the decadent designs, but there is more here than simple ornament — namely, there is the merging of the Taft home and the film costumes as artifacts and re-creations of a bygone era.

Costume design has rightfully found a new home in art museums. Though it is easier to dismiss such items as make-believe, seeing them in person reveals an unimaginable skill in design, composition, craftsmanship and technique, as well as a profound understanding of dress as a part of life. Perhaps because of this newfound interest in fashion-as-art we are now interested in learning more about the process of design — just look at the popularity of Project Runway.

Read more about the exhibit here.

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