June 01, 2011

Three-Time Academy Award® Winning Costume Designer James Acheson Discusses 18th-Century Fashion and Costume in Film at the Getty Museum


Other Panelists include costume designer and UCLA professor Deborah Landis and fashion historian Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell


At the J. Paul Getty Museum, Getty Center
Sunday, June 5, 2011, 3:00 p.m

A Still from Dangerous Liaisons. Costume design by James Acheson. Photo: Photofest

LOS ANGELES—This Sunday, June 5, three-time Academy Award® winning costume designer James Acheson (Dangerous Liaisons) along with costume designer and UCLA professor Deborah Landis, and fashion historian Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell discuss fashion history and its representation in movies in Dressing the Part: Historical Costume in Film, a panel discussion at the Getty Center. The program is related to the exhibitions Paris: Life and Luxury, which evokes the rich material ambiance of Paris during the mid-18th century, and Fashion in the Middle Ages, which reveals how manuscript illuminators depicted the dress of figures ranging from kings and popes to tradesmen and peasants.

Dressing the Part begins with an introduction to medieval and 18th-century fashion history by Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell. Against this historical backdrop, designers James Acheson and Deborah Landis discuss how they create costumes for various historical periods in films. The designers describe the research and constraints involved in creating historical costume for the screen, and explain how the demands of film are frequently driven more by a sense of visual authenticity than historical accuracy.

James Acheson is one of the most creative and respected costume designers working in film today. He has won three Academy Awards® for Restoration (1995), Dangerous Liaisons (1988), and The Last Emperor (1987). Acheson also designed costumes for Spider-Man (2002, and its sequels), The Man in the Iron Mask (1998), Brazil (1985), and Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life (1983).

Deborah Nadoolman Landis is the David C. Copley Chair and the Founding Director of the David C. Copley Center for Costume Design at UCLA. Her costume-design credits include Animal House (1978), Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), Coming to America (1988), and the music video for Michael Jackson’s Thriller (1983). Landis received her Master of Fine Arts in costume design from UCLA and her doctorate in the history of design from the Royal College of Art in London. Landis is the author of several books on the history of costume design.

Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell is an art historian specializing in fashion and textiles. She is co-author of the Los Angeles County Museum’s exhibition catalogue Fashioning Fashion: European Dress in Detail, 1700-1915 and contributing author to Getty Publications’ book Paris: Life & Luxury in the Eighteenth Century. Chrisman-Campbell has published widely and frequently consulted for museums on European dress and textiles of the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries.

Dressing the Part: Historical Costume in Film takes place on Sunday, June 5 at 3:00 p.m. at the Harold Williams Auditorium at the Getty Center. The event is free, but reservations are required. For reservations, visit or call (310) 440-7300.

RELATED EVENTS: Film Series: Vive la Magnifique!

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Desiree Zenowich
Getty Communications
(310) 440-7304

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