A new exhibition at Russborough House, Co Wicklow, explores the relationship between actors and costumes, and the growth of the Irish film industry …
Cinematic fashion has always been niche, though no less influential than actual fashion design. Costume designers often work closely with actors to create memorable outfits, with exquisite detailing, that remain in our memory long after the film has ended.
Veerle Dehaene, co-founder of the Irish Costume Archive, believes, “Costume plays a vital part in the actor’s characterisation, and very often they do not fully get into character until they get into their costume. It is a collaboration between the actor, director, and costume designer, and it involves a huge amount of historic and social research to establish authenticity and accuracy.”
Now there’s the opportunity to view some spectacular costumes in a collaboration between The Irish Costume Archive Project and Russborough House, Co Wicklow, where a new exhibition “The Art of Costume” opens on Thursday, August 11.
Main featured image: Emma Stone in The Favourite.
The exhibition, in such a magnificent setting, displays costumes from the Emmy award-winning Normal People, as well as the famous Afghan coat worn by Daniel Day Lewis in the film In The Name of the Father, the military uniform worn by Liam Neeson in Michael Collins and Brendan Gleeson’s flamboyant silk dressing gown in The Guard. Also included are costumes from the Oscar-winning The Favourite, as well as The Crying Game, Little Women, Ripper Street and Love and Friendship, which was filmed in part at Russborough House.
Olivia Colman in The Favourite.
The exhibition is also an important part of The Alfred Beit Foundation’s educational programme at Russborough House, created particularly for post primary and transition year students. The programme features a specialised workshop for students interested in pursuing costume design as a career. The workshops will explain the whole design process, how a costume is related to the script, the costume plot needed to visualise the film story, and how visits to museums, archives, and libraries help to get a realistic vision of a period in history.
Normal People – Daisy Edgar-Jones.
Love and Friendship – Chloe Sevigny.
Greta – Isabelle Huppert.
Little Women – Angela Lansbury.
Need to Know: The “Art of Costume” exhibition tickets can be booked via russborough.ie. Ticket prices start from €6 and children under five go free. The exhibition will run until Sunday, October 16.
The Irish Costume Archive was founded three years ago by costume designer Eimer Ní Mhaoldomhnaigh and costume practitioner Veerle Dehaene, because they were concerned about the afterlife of costumes, especially as they believe they are an integral part of Ireland’s film heritage. Ní Mhaoldomhnaigh has worked with directors Neil Jordan, Jim Sheridan and Ken Loach, while Dehaene has utilised her knowledge as a costume practitioner to manage Joan Bergin’s costume collection at The Costume Mill in Dublin. The archive is now home to over three hundred costumes that are permanently stored and preserved at Ardmore Studios in Co Wicklow.
To find out more about Irish costume designers read this post.