Yearly Archives - 2015

Don Airey – Master Rock Keyboardist

Don Airey – Master Rock Keyboardist
By Scott Essman

Don Airey has been playing keyboards in notable British-based rock bands for over 40 years. Once a member of Rainbow, Ritchie Blackmore’s band after leaving Deep Purple in 1974, Airey either toured, recorded, or both with Black Sabbath, Ozzy Osbourne’s band, Blizzard of Ozz, and blues-oriented English guitar virtuoso Gary Moore among others. Since 2001, Airey has recorded and toured with Deep Purple, replacing original keyboardist Jon Lord who had retired (Lord unfortunately passed away in 2012). In this exclusive interview, Airey discusses his career and current tenure in Deep Purple, who are still going strong with key members Ian Gillan (vocals) and Roger Glover (bass) from their second early 1970s incarnation, and, arguably, the best version of the band, plus drummer Ian Paice, who has been in every version of the band, and guitarist Steve Morse of the Dixie Dregs, Kansas, and Flying Colors, who has recorded and toured with Purple for the past 20 years. Notably, Purple is now in the midst of an extensive American summer tour.

Do you have to develop a different approach as a musician when you work with such varied guitar players as Ritchie Blackmore, Randy Rhoads, Gary Moore, and now Steve Morse?

master-rock2

Working with Ritchie Blackmore was very much in the mold of doing what Jon Lord did in Deep Purple. With Ritchie, I added more synthesizers than what Lord ever used. Working with Moore, he depended on you coming up with stuff to keep him busy and be a foil for him. With Randy, it was very difficult to know what to do. His playing was so complete, I had to think it out what I was going to do with the band. He was one of the nicest people I ever met. I never did find a word to sum it up [Rhoads died in an avoidable plane accident]. I think about him every day.

Morse is again very different, not only with his unique picking style but the types of layered warm sounds he generates.

Steve is a very individual guy and comes from a different place than Randy or Gary or Ritchie. Not strictly a rock guy and a virtuoso. You have to be on your toes with him. The amount of ideas we had — on the Now What? album we work very well together; Vincent Price is a favorite [song] of mine and Hell to Pay.

Most of the older Purple songs that you play on the current tour are from the 1970-73 heyday – does that make your job challenging since Lord’s sound was so iconic on those albums?

They are such classics. You never really going to come up with something like that again. It’s a different industry now—it’s very much set it in its way. Deep Purple has got a different thing about it than any other band. We came up with something that people didn’t expect.

Did you have conversations with Lord when you replaced him in 2001 about how to integrate yourself with the band?

He got in touch with me when we were going to do Hard Lovin’ Man. He said,
“Turn the organ up as loud as it can be – the tune that opens it.” When I first started – I couldn’t be Jon, I’ve got to be myself. I take great care that Jon isn’t forgotten especially with the Hammond, what it was in the mid-70s: lots of distortion. The organ has come back into its own.

In your estimation, what made Lord’s sound so iconic since it’s critical to the Purple sound?

I think the crucial thing about it was his relationship with Ritchie Blackmore. Ritchie would talk about it to me. I had a similar temperament to Jon — I was always there when he came up with something. You’ve got to make the guitar player happy, comfortable. Jon used to do that for Ritchie: keep the boat on an even keel. I did the same thing with Ritchie when I was in Rainbow. Jon was the leader – he brought keyboards out of the closet.

Did you learn any secrets to how Lord created his dynamic in-concert sound, especially considering Blackmore’s dominance as a guitar player?

I was talking to Paice [about] the gear he used on [the live album] Made in Japan. He had bass bins, Marshall amps, some very primitive sound equipment… a tape echo. They go straight to the monitors; there’s no need to put them through a stack. Direct into the PA and come back to me in the monitors. The Hammond has a 100-watt guitar amp and two suited-up Leslies. I’ve always been very keen on the spinning speakers. When I was with Rainbow, “Do you want to try the organ through the Marshall?” We changed them back to the stock units. It really started to sound good with Rainbow. There’s a certain art to getting that distorted sound that Jon had.

What do you feel is your strongest work in a song out of all of your recorded material?

I think it’s Still Got the Blues [with Gary Moore]. It’s a beautiful song; I was there when he started writing it. I put it down; then next day I’ve forgotten it. I did the string arrangement that we recorded at Abbey Road. When I listened to it, it wasn’t bad. Gary’s playing: at the height of his powers in 1989. The whole album, but that track – a real high. Gary Moore, his success was in Europe. It didn’t quite happen for him in the U.S.

What can you tell longtime fans about seeing a Purple show in 2015?

master-rock1

They are going to get a good helping of the old stuff. It still sounds fresh. We really get into it. There will be some obscure tracks. We do the new material from the new albums with Steve Morse and myself. It’s a bit of a mixture. There’s a great history in the band of improvising. We’re pretty up to date. There’s something for everyone.

Lastly, I’ve wanted to know the answer to this question for 35 years. Even though it’s credited to the late, great guitarist Randy Rhoads and bassist Bob Daisley, did you write the keyboard intro to the song Mr. Crowley that you played on the first Ozzy Osbourne album, Blizzard of Ozz (1980)?

master-rock3

Photo Credit by Jim Rakete.

Mr. Crowley – I wrote the opening keyboard bit. I was helping them out when the band first started. They had the song, and we needed something for the intro. I threw them out of the studio. Ozzy came back in half an hour. “That’s it!” It’s an amazing song, and it’s got the most amazing guitar playing on it.

Dio Memorialized by Music Community in L.A.

Dio Memorialized by Music Community in L.A.
By Scott Essman

(All photos courtesy of macabre theatre and emmreport.com)

 

To the naked eye, Ronnie James Dio (1942-2010) might have been offhandedly slight of stature, but musically and otherwise, he was most assuredly a mountain of a man, both onstage and off. His thundering operatic voice soared across almost 40 years of songs in numerous prominent bands, but his kindness of spirit might be even more highly regarded than his artistic talent by those who knew him.

1

This month, the music community gathered for the fifth anniversary of Dio’s passing, to pay tribute not only to the singer’s massive musical successes, but equally if not more so to his benevolent character. Surely, the man is most known as the lead singer and frontman for seminal bands including Rainbow in the mid-1970s, Black Sabbath in the early-1980s, and his own band Dio in the 1980s and beyond. However, countless music insiders point to Dio’s unswerving devotion to his many bandmates, friends, fans, and those in need with whom he came across.

 

At Forest Lawn Cemetery in the Hollywood Hills, music historian and TV show host Eddie Trunk presided over a ceremony that brought together Dio’s family and extended musical family, in addition to his many admirers and followers, all of whom sang his praises as being a truly considerate person on equal footing with his appreciable vocal and songwriting skills. “I think that it sells Ronnie short when people call him a great metal singer,” Trunk said an hour before the ceremony proper. “I think he was a great singer across the board when you listen to all the range in the music that he made. What’s most amazing about him is his consistency, right up to the very end.”

2

When Dio passed of stomach cancer on May 16, 2010, Trunk was asked to host the first memorial at that time, with efforts since then going towards Dio’s Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund [www.diocancerfund.org]. “Obviously that was tough because we had just lost him,” Trunk said on a cloudy Saturday in front of a sizable Dio museum gallery. “Now, five years later, Wendy [Dio, Ronnie’s widow] said she wants this to be a bit more celebratory, remember him in the stories, and have a little fun with it. Obviously, we’re still mourning him, but I think people that come to this, and the people who are here, will realize the magnitude of the loss but also realize the great memories that we still have.”

 

Legendary drummer Vinny Appice played with Dio in the early 1980s in Black Sabbath and in various incarnations of the Dio solo band in the 1980s and afterwards. “Seeing him every night was so inspiring and amazing,” said Appice. “I’m a lucky guy to be part of this and work with Ronnie in bands that we’d been in together. I was very fortunate.”

 

Just after the main ceremony, which featured speeches by those close to the Dio camp peppered into a unprecedented collection of hard rock and heavy metal musicians who combined to perform classic Dio tunes in makeshift bands, Appice added how it felt to play with Dio onstage. “It was amazing,” he reflected. “After a while you get used to that level, and you just expect it. You go out and play, and there’s this vocalist with this unbelievable powerful voice. He kicked my ass, and I kicked his ass. That’s the way it works.”

3

Also following the ceremony, guitarist Craig Goldy, who had recorded and toured with Dio on and off since 1983, explained his unique affiliation. “I wasn’t in the band Dio [when it formed in 1983], but he sat in on the audition for Rough Cutt and got inspired by my audition when Jake E. Lee left to join Ozzy [Osbourne’s band]. We did “Man on the Silver Mountain” and “Heaven and Hell” together. Then, we worked together in the studio when I was in Rough Cutt. He was the producer and Wendy was the manager. It was then that he said, ‘If Viv [first Dio solo band guitarist Vivian Campbell] ever doesn’t work out, you’d by my first choice.’”

 

Certainly, Goldy’s connection to Dio and recording and touring professionally coalesced in Dio’s bringing Goldy into his network as a nascent talent. “It all began way back with a little kid with a dream and no money, living in a car [in] San Diego,” Goldy stated. “They brought me up there. I came from an abusive family, so I chose to live in a car on the streets. All I had was a guitar. Wendy and Ronnie rented me gear so I can do the audition. He was really good to me.”

4

By 1986, Goldy was the lead guitarist in Dio’s solo band. “It was very surreal,” Goldy revealed. “It was a real dream come true. He was and still is my favorite singer. My dream back then was to try to get a band with guys that sounded like Ronnie. I ended up being in Ronnie’s band. When we would perform songs that we wrote together, it was very surreal. It’s a very interesting feeling when you’re actually living a dream. That’s what it was.”

 

Before Chris Broderick [Megadeth] went onstage to play guitar in one of the tribute songs, “Stand Up and Shout” from Dio’s first solo album, he stated simply his feelings about Dio the artist, echoed by many who converged to pay their respects. “One of the best metal singers we will ever see, for sure, and have seen,” Broderick said, noting that he’s started a new band inspired by music including Dio’s called Act of Defiance.

 

One attendee actually related to Dio had personal memories of the man outside of music: David “Rock” Feinstein, guitarist for the heavy metal band, The Rods. “The one thing that I can really remember about him, and one of the things I really miss about him, is that he was such a funny guy,” Feinstein said. “He had an incredible sense of humor, and he was constantly telling jokes and making me laugh. There were times when I laughed so hard, I’d be crying, tears would be coming out of my eyes, I had a headache. That was a trait that ran in the family. His uncles and part of the family were the same way – funny people. He found humor in a lot of things. When we were together, I knew I was going to have a good time, laugh a lot, and laughing is an important thing in life – people don’t laugh enough. When I was with Ronnie, I was always going to laugh.”

5

Dio’s influence even reached new “millennial” listeners. “I grew up listening to Dio – my parents are big fans of the whole 80s rock genre, so when I was growing up around the house, that was constantly playing – the Dio and the Queensryche,” said Gabbie Rae, a 16-year-old singer. “As I got older, I fell in love with Ronnie myself.”

 

In an unforeseen twist, two years ago, Rae released an acoustically-based cover video of her performing Dio’s signature song, “Rainbow in the Dark.” Wendy Dio, Ronnie’s widow, found the video and posted it on Dio’s Facebook page. Since then, the video has gone viral, and now Wendy has taken Rae under her wing. Of note, Rae was asked to perform the song at the recent ceremony, albeit with electric instruments. “I had been singing “Rainbow in the Dark” for so long that I felt really confident, but it was my first time performing with that lineup. We had one rehearsal, we went over it twice, ‘Okay, good to go!’” Amazingly, though Rae was onstage with veteran musicians who have been performing for decades longer than she has been alive, Rae held her own in one of the event’s most memorable musical performances. Shockingly, Rae turned 17 five days after the Dio tribute.

6

Upon the ceremony’s closing, the aforementioned Wendy Dio simply and succinctly summarized the impact that her late husband has had on an entire industry. “Listen to Ronnie James Dio because he’s the greatest singer and songwriter,” she advised her husband’s many devotees. “If you are a young musician, be true to yourself; do what your heart wants you to do. Don’t listen to other people. Do what’s in your heart.”

 

SUGGESTED SONG PLAYLIST – 10 Triumphant Ronnie James Dio Performances

 

  1. Man on the Silver Mountain – RAINBOW (1975)
  2. Stargazer – RAINBOW (1976)
  3. Neon Knights – BLACK SABBATH (1980)
  4. Heaven and Hell – BLACK SABBATH (1980)
  5. The Sign of the Southern Cross – BLACK SABBATH (1981)
  6. Stand Up and Shout – DIO (1983)
  7. Rainbow in the Dark – DIO (1983)
  8. The Last in Line – DIO (1984)
  9. Mystery – DIO (1984)
  10. Hungry for Heaven – DIO (1985)

Michele Elyzabeth Creates the First Annual HOLLYWOOD BEAUTY AWARDS

Michele Elyzabeth Creates the First Annual HOLLYWOOD BEAUTY AWARDS

By Scott Essman

On February 15, 2015, a nascent organization known as LATF (LA TV – FILM) hosted the very first Hollywood Beauty Awards at the Fonda Theatre in Hollywood, benefiting Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Spearheaded by LATF CEO Michele Elyzabeth who started her career in the magazine industry in France, LATF has engaged in five years of “lifestyle” publishing. This event promises to be the first of many like gatherings to honor beauty and fashion artists in the same stead as other prominent artists’ industry awards shows.

1 btl

LATF Vice President/Executive Producer of Hollywood Beauty Awards, Pamela Price with CEO/President of Hollywood Beauty Awards, Michele Elyzabeth.

After moving to the United States and working in public relations with major firms including Rogers and Cowan, in 1978, Elyzabeth started her own PR firm, Parapluie, Inc. who handled marketing and corporate functions. Analyzing the mid-to-late 1990s internet explosion, she realized that the business was changing. “I wanted to go back to something that would be published online,” she said, pointing to the imminent birth of LATF. “Eventually, I began Michele Elyzabeth Enterprises, and I started my own line of champagne nine years ago. Now, I have the awards part.”

1

It’s a tie! Christian Dior’s makeup artist and winner, Thuy Pham with MAC Cosmetics makeup artist and winner, Gregory Arlt of The Michael Westmore Award for Makeup.

Following considerable pre-planning, the idea of the Hollywood Beauty Awards first came to fruition seven months ago. “In order for us to really have an impact, we needed to create something that didn’t exist,” Elyzabeth conveyed. “You have 50,000 awards shows in film and TV, except there was no show about beauty—beauty is really very important. You can have a fantastic dress, but you need to have what it takes along with it. We reverted to my first love which was beauty and created the Hollywood Beauty Awards.”

2 a Michele, Bernadine, Jane Fonda

LATF CEO/President of Hollywood Beauty Awards, Michele Elyzabeth with Outstanding Achievement In Makeup Award honoree, Bernadine M. Anderson and presenter, Oscar winning actress, Jane Fonda.

Noting how other shows reward artists for film and television makeup and hairstyling achievements, Elyzabeth knew she needed to substantially distinguish her new event. “We are about honoring people who prepare celebrities and VIPs for the red carpet,” she described. “Nobody has ever really taken the time for those makeup artists or hairstylists who do megastars. We thought it would be an occasion to honor them and bring something new to L.A.”

Outstanding Achievement In Makeup honoree, Michael Westmore with presenter, Sir Patrick Stewart (“Star Trek,” “X-Men”)

Outstanding Achievement In Makeup honoree, Michael Westmore with
presenter, Sir Patrick Stewart (“Star Trek,” “X-Men”)

At the outset, especially since the Hollywood Beauty Awards was a first-time effort, few corporations offered significant assistance or sponsorship, though Elyzabeth was able to “sell tables” to a group of firms. “People are always very weary of this kind of thing,” she confessed of her potential collaborators. “Can you deliver? Will you have stars? I paid for it and am still paying.”

3

Hollywood Beauty Awards, New Beauty Award recipients, Constance Wu (“Fresh Off The Boat”), Virginia Gardner (“Project Almanac”), Meagan Tandy (“Teen Wolf”).

Ultimately, Elyzabeth ascribed her success with the innovative event to her well-respected choices of red carpet attendees, including makeup legend Michael Westmore and celebrity actors whose personal artists were sought. “I wanted to go across the board and make sure that everybody was honored,” Elyzabeth. “We did our research and found the first black lady in [makeup union] Local 706, Bernadine M. Anderson. She was very happy to be honored—she spent eight years being the makeup artist for Jane Fonda. It took three months for [Fonda] to say yes and [have us] presented to Bernadine, not us. Michael Westmore did Star Trek for 17 years; Sir Patrick Stewart immediately said, ‘Yes,’ he would present to him. He was very gracious.’”

5

Timeless Beauty Award recipient, Barbara Eden (“I Dream of Jeannie”) and presenter/hit recording artist, Tommy Roe (“Dizzy,” “Sheila”)

Additional names included celebrity photographer Harry Langdon, blonde bombshell, Morgan Fairchild, Jenifer Lewis from TV’s Black-ish and emcee Lisa Stanley from KRTH 101, but Elyzabeth pointed to considerable time and struggle that was spent getting notables to commit. “A lot of people came together to do this,” Elyzabeth related. “Not just my staff – everyone. Seven days a week: 7:30AM at the office, constantly trying to get celebrities. It was yes; it was no.”

6

Presenter, actress Morgan Fairchild with Outstanding Achievement in Photography honoree, Harry Langdon

Despite many obstacles to hurdle, Elyzabeth is pleased with the final results of her first awards show. “In the long run, it came out beautifully,” she said. “I come from the press end, so I wanted the press to be well treated. The people who won were tremendous—we created it for them. They were so happy – cried, laughed. It will become a huge event eventually. We want to make of it: LA Beauty Week.”

8

Outstanding Achievement In Hairstyling honoree, Julia L. Walker with presenter, actress Jenifer Lewis (“Black-ish”)

With the initial event behind her, Elyzabeth is already looking ahead towards an even better 2016 event. “People realize that we were able to deliver,” she expressed. “I hope corporate sponsors will come—I will always do it as a fundraiser. If I can get celebrities, I can get corporations. The skeptics will be not as many next year. We will know what to look out for. All in all, it was a great event.”

11 btl

Presenter, Miss United Nation International Carla Gonzalez with LATF President, Otis Stokes

At the HOLLYWOOD BEAUTY AWARDS, three established nominees competed in the honoree categories of hair, makeup and photography.

15

John Caldwell and KEARTH radio star and HBA master of ceremonies, Lisa Stanley

 

Hollywood Beauty Awards winner Martin Samuel with Bai Ling. SE Scott Essman

Hollywood Beauty Awards winner Martin Samuel with Bai Ling.
SE Scott Essman

 

WINNERS:

BERNADINE M. ANDERSON AWARD FOR MAKEUP

Autumn Moultrie (WINNER)

Carola Gonzalez

Shannon Pezzetta

MICHAEL WESTMORE AWARD FOR MAKEUP

Thuy Pham (WINNER)

Gregory Arlt (WINNER)

Billy B.

JULIA L. WALKER AWARD FOR HAIRSTYLING

Marcia Hamilton (WINNER)

Rhonda O’Neal

Vanessa Heshima Sims

MARTIN SAMUEL AWARD FOR HAIRSTYLING

Lea Journo (WINNER)

Sean James

Stephanie Hobgood

HARRY LANGDON AWARD FOR PHOTOGRAPHY

Emmanuelle Choussy (WINNER)

Alberto Tolot

Lionel Deluy

LATF is a daily news site and monthly online magazine, covering entertainment and lifestyle content worldwide, from beauty to fashion, film, TV, music, and travel. “No gossip, just news.”

 

www.latfusa.com

Hollywood Costume Exhibit

Last Chance to Visit Hollywood Costume Exhibit
By Scott Essman

Costume designers don’t make clothes – they create characters.

So suggested Deborah Nadoolman Landis, curator of the elaborate Hollywood Costume exhibition which is entering the final four days of its stay at the Wilshire May Company building in Los Angeles as part of a costume program that has run since early October in conjunction with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Nadoolman Landis has worked as a costume designer as a professional for 40 years and spent over seven years organizing, collecting, and creating multiple media for the Hollywood Costume Exhibit. “I got my office at the Victorian and Albert Museum in London in 2007,” she said of the London facility. “The show opened on October 20th, 2012. It was the biggest show in the history of the Victorian and Albert Museum, and it was the biggest show in the history of The Australian Centre for the Moving Image.”

Hollywood Costume

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London present “Hollywood Costume” sponsored by Swarovski, on view October 2, 2014 – March 2, 2015 at the Wilshire May Company building. keywords: Hollywood Costume credit: Richard Harbaugh / ©A.M.P.A.S.

After a worldwide tour, the Hollywood Costume exhibition arrived in Los Angeles in 2014, appropriately enough a final location for the show as many of the costumes were designed for the various local studio films, from the early 20th century silents through the most recent of major productions. As is evident in the staggering exhibit, costume designers vitally contribute to the filmmaking world, though this level of presentation of their work has been a long time coming. “The Academy Awards were founded in 1929,” Nadoolman Landis explained, “but there wasn’t an Oscar for costume design until 1948. And there wasn’t a costume design branch until 2013.”

Hollywood Costume

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London present “Hollywood Costume” sponsored by Swarovski, on view October 2, 2014 – March 2, 2015 at the Wilshire May Company building. Pictured here: “American Hustle,” 2013, Michael Wilkinson, courtesy of White Dog Productions LLC, Annapura Pictures and Columbia Pictures. keywords: Hollywood Costume credit: Richard Harbaugh / ©A.M.P.A.S.

Immediately upon entering the meticulously arranged rooms which house Hollywood Costume, one can feel the passion and dedication that its curator has for her chosen field, eventually bringing her to the attention of the Academy. “I became an Academy Governor because I felt it was historic and an important thing to do,” said Nadoolman Landis who is also founding director of UCLA’s David C. Copley Center for the Study of Costume Design. “This exhibition is actually expanded from its original V&A debut in 2013.”

Hollywood Costume

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London present “Hollywood Costume” sponsored by Swarovski, on view October 2, 2014 – March 2, 2015 at the Wilshire May Company building. Pictured here: “Pretty Woman,” 1990, Marilyn Vance, courtesy of the Walt Disney Archives. keywords: Hollywood Costume credit: Richard Harbaugh / ©A.M.P.A.S.

Viewers to the Hollywood Costume exhibit have an unprecedented experience, not only in the close-up perspective of historic screen costumes, but also in the full sensory experience, including dramatic settings, detailed text panels, original costume designers’ sketches, subtle lighting, and even music. “This exhibition has a score by Julian Scott,” explained Nadoolman Landis. ”60 minutes of original music — everything inside the exhibition is synchronized to the score.”

Hollywood Costume

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London present “Hollywood Costume” sponsored by Swarovski, on view October 2, 2014 – March 2, 2015 at the Wilshire May Company building. Pictured here: “Titanic,” 1997, Deborah L. Scott, courtesy of the 20th Century Archive, Los Angeles. keywords: Hollywood Costume credit: Richard Harbaugh / ©A.M.P.A.S.

In her directive to Scott, Nadoolman was specific as to what she wished to accompany her 150+ costumes. “Make it feel like a big picture, have it be emotional, so that it can provide our visitors with a journey,” she said. “A cinematic journey.”

Hollywood Costume

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London present “Hollywood Costume” sponsored by Swarovski, on view October 2, 2014 – March 2, 2015 at the Wilshire May Company building. keywords: Hollywood Costume credit: Richard Harbaugh / ©A.M.P.A.S.

With great respect, one of the first displays one sees in the exhibit is dedicated to Edith Head, an eight-time Oscar winner with 35 nominations spanning a 60-year career; Head amazingly designed 500 feature films. Indeed, one feels as though one is walking into a theater inside the first room before turning a corner to witness, in four separate rooms, a phantasmagoria of movie history. From Charlie Chaplin’s original costume loaned by his family in Switzerland, to Judy Garland’s famous dress and shoes from The Wizard of Oz, to an array of various Queen Elizabeth costumes, to Superman’s full suit, to 10 of Meryl Streep’s costumes, to Rocky’s boxing trunks, Nadoolman Landis, who has a PhD in the History of Design from the Royal College of Art in London, has explored every facet of cinema in collecting the included pieces.

Hollywood Costume

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London present “Hollywood Costume” sponsored by Swarovski, on view October 2, 2014 – March 2, 2015 at the Wilshire May Company building. keywords: Hollywood Costume credit: Richard Harbaugh / ©A.M.P.A.S.

Honoring the visual trajectory a film travels from screenplay descriptions to a costume designer’s conceptions to final film appearance, the displays pay warranted homage to the artists who endeavored to bring these pieces to bear. Even animation is included: Jessica Rabbit was designed by the same woman who designed Mary Todd Lincoln’s costume in Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln—Joanna Johnston.

Hollywood Costume

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London present “Hollywood Costume” sponsored by Swarovski, on view October 2, 2014 – March 2, 2015 at the Wilshire May Company building. Pictured here: “The Great Gatsby,” 2013, Catherine Martin, courtesy of the Warner Bros. Corporate Archive. keywords: Hollywood Costume credit: Richard Harbaugh / ©A.M.P.A.S.

Certainly, with 120 years of film history, one is baffled at the sheer amount of effort it must have taken for Nadoolman Landis to curate this exhibit, and she explained her methodical approach.

“Every single costume in the exhibition has its own story of how it got here,” she described. “I asked my mother, my mother in law, my children, and my friends, my colleagues, my husband, ‘What’s your favorite movie?’ I made the list from favorite movies. Then, I started looking at box office. And then in the end, … it’s hard to find costumes. They are the great recyclables. And there is not a lot around, and what’s around is really in these four galleries.”

Hollywood Costume

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London present “Hollywood Costume” sponsored by Swarovski, on view October 2, 2014 – March 2, 2015 at the Wilshire May Company building. keywords: Hollywood Costume credit: Richard Harbaugh / ©A.M.P.A.S.

Going to contemporary costume designers themselves was a pointless task in creating this exhibit, for a reason which may sound odd to some readers. “Designers own nothing,” said Nadoolman Landis who herself was nominated for an Oscar for designing costumes in her husband John Landis’ 1988 film, Coming to America. “We all work for hire; we don’t even own our sketches. Designers are incredibly generous, but it’s not about designers for this. Really it’s about private collectors… and museums. What this represents is my life’s work.”

Hollywood Costume

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London present “Hollywood Costume” sponsored by Swarovski, on view October 2, 2014 – March 2, 2015 at the Wilshire May Company building. keywords: Hollywood Costume credit: Richard Harbaugh / ©A.M.P.A.S.

Hollywood Costume

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London present “Hollywood Costume” sponsored by Swarovski, on view October 2, 2014 – March 2, 2015 at the Wilshire May Company building. keywords: Hollywood Costume credit: Richard Harbaugh / ©A.M.P.A.S

In retrospect, echoing her aforementioned opinion about the cinematic impact of costume design, Nadoolman Landis had a summative perspective about the craft. “The take-away from this exhibition is that it’s not about the clothes,” she said. “Our job is to help the director bring the people in the movie to life. This is the opportunity to see a once in a generation show—this may never happen again. We are here with gods and goddesses of modern mythology.”

Hollywood Costume

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London present “Hollywood Costume” sponsored by Swarovski, on view October 2, 2014 – March 2, 2015 at the Wilshire May Company building. Pictured here: “The Big Lebowski,” 1998, Mary Zophres, courtesy of Alba and Thomas Tull. keywords: Hollywood Costume credit: Richard Harbaugh / ©A.M.P.A.S.

EXTENDED HOURS FOR FINAL DAYS: 
 Friday, February 27, 11 a.m.–8 p.m.
 Saturday, February 28, 10 a.m.–7 p.m.
 Sunday, March 1, 10 a.m.–7 p.m.
 Monday, March 2, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.