Oscar-Nominated Togs Go on View

The Fashion Institute's annual costume show spotlights 20 films.

Like swallows returning to Capistrano, major movie costumes appearing at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising is an annual happening that foretells of things to come.

The swallows' appearance foretell a festival, and more tourists, but the opening of the costume show says the Academy Awards are right around the proverbial corner. And with a Tuesday, Feb. 8 debut, the Art of Motion Picture Costume Design is indeed alighting a few weeks ahead of the Feb. 27 Oscars.

It's a free exhibit, which kind of agogs us every year, and it covers well over a dozen of the big films from the previous year, costume-wise, which kind of agogs every year, too. And the 2011 line-up, which focuses on the sartorial splendor of 20 2010 films, is indeed outsized.

Costumes from "True Grit" and "The King's Speech" and "Shutter Island" will all be on display; and lest you think it is all period stuff, "The Kids Are All Right" will make a showing. Julianne Moore's hip, Westside-y tees felt exactly right in that movie.

FIDM also puts last year's Oscar winner for Best Costume on display as well; that film was "The Young Victoria," but you remember that, of course.

What film among the 20 of this year will go on display next year? Several of them are nominees, no surprise. And standing feet away from the actual outfits, and guessing, is part of the fun. The free fun, we'll say again.

The Art of Motion Picture Costume Design is at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising downtown from Tuesday, Feb. 8 through Saturday, April 30. We'll also add that FIDM touts that this is the "Only Place in the World" to see all these costumes. No doubt.

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