You've got to go, you just have to. The Oscar nominated costumes are once again being shown at the museum at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles. I make sure and go almost every year - because the chance to see the materials and innovative use of materials by the nominated costume designers will just take your breath away.
And if you're taking others, there is a movie poster exhibit on the walls of the museum that will keep your non-sewing companions enthralled while you do your self-guided tour.
I'm not able to post pictures (no cameras allowed), but I did find a great website that will let you look at pictures taken by the press allowed to do so: Costume Exhibit.
The most captivating costume, in my opinion, was the "Volcano coat" designed by Sandy Powell (which is picture #3 on the link above). Made from wire and plastic pieces, it was pure sculpture, made to look like pieces of lava and rock. She also designed the men's jacket costumes and a dress from the same movie, "The Tempest". They were made using zippers - many zippers, which added a unique decorative element: zipper men jackets. Sure, you might see a zipper showing on a dress in a mall, or a pin-on flower made from a zipper, but these garments were made almost entirely from zippers!
Another designer, Michael Kaplan, did the costumes for "Burlesque". The dancers costumes on display were, surprisingly, all decorated from a base of undergarments - bras, girdles, tights, etc., which were easily visible close up. But the undergarments had tons of pearls, beads, chains, crystals, painting and other adornments. From far away they would look quite nude - because the designer dyed the undergarments the same flesh color as the actresses wearing the costume.
Another interesting thing is the size of the costumes. The costumes you are looking at in the exhibit were actually worn by the actors; so the Mad Hatter costume was worn by Johnny Depp, Chistina Aguillera wore the burlesque costume, etc. That's one tiny woman! It was amazing to see how small many of the costumes were. Perhaps I expect them to be bigger because the actors are famous, (bigger in the viewers eyes).
The exhibit lasts thru April 30, 2011 and is free! Believe me, it is worth the drive if you live in California. Here's more info: FIDM Museum