ISSN: 20500726
First published in 2014
3 issues per volume
Volume 2 Issue 1
Cover Date: October 2014
Make it big. Do it right. Give it class: The curatorial legacy of Diana Vreeland’s exhibition of ‘Romantic and Glamorous Hollywood Design’
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Authors:  Sara Idacavage 
DOI: 10.1386/fspc.2.1.29_1

film,costume,Hollywood,museology,curatorial practice,fashion exhibitions

Both admired and criticized, Diana Vreeland’s approaches to exhibiting fashion have left a profound impact on how curators choose to display fashion worldwide. Her ‘Romantic and Glamorous Hollywood Design’ exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art is emblematic of what makes her work so notable in the field of museology. Running from 1974 to 1975, the record-breaking show exuded her idiosyncratic way of staging fashion exhibitions that blurred the lines between traditional gallery displays and fashion magazine editorials, and continues to raise interesting questions about what is appropriate in the display of historic dress. The cultural impact of the exhibit is not based solely on its curatorial work or public reception; its true legacy is also founded on how it brought Hollywood costume into the museum setting, elevating it to the status of high art while appealing to the interests and fantasies of a diverse group of visitors. A detailed analysis of Vreeland’s curatorial idioms, including abstract mannequins, dramatic lighting and sound, helps us to conceptualize the practice of exhibiting fashion as a meaningful yet theatrical discipline that dovetails with cinematic production.
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