Star Wars & the Power of Costume


The Denver Art Museum is known for its rich cultural, social, and abstract art showcases and it certainly did not disappoint with its newest addition. Located on the second floor of the museum and available through April 2, 2017, Star Wars and The Power of Costume is a truly fascinating and beautiful look into the fashion and design of the movie series. The exhibit offers a first look into the inspiration behind the costumes of so many of the characters that are cherished in our culture today; from luke skywalker to queen amidala. The showcase combines interactive features and stunning displays of star wars artifacts, including 70 of the original costumes that were worn in production, to form an art exhibit that is truly of out this galaxy.

The flow of the exhibit offers a quality of movement, as though you are venturing through the many epic adventures of star wars that we alpaper-materialsl know and love today. Quotes from several actors, concept artistics, directors, designers, and more are presented throughout the exhibit, providing an even more in depth look into the star wars production and into the minds of those who made it happen. The layout of the exhibit is configured of a series of smaller segments in which costumes from different concepts or areas of Star Wars are displayed. The lighting and
music present in the exhibit is consiste
nt with the mood o
f each showcase, allowing the viewer to feel the emotions and excitement of each subunit of the exhibit as the maneuver through. With a surprise around each corner, the exhibit keeps you on your toes and excited for what is ahead in the exploration.

Displayed in the exhib
it is a first hand look into the process that goes intoyoda creating a single costume for a single character. Viewers see original sketches, along with the trial and error that is carried about before finding the perfect costume. Throughout, you are exposed to the steps that an idea must go through- the sketch, the theme, the power, the mobility for the actor, the creation of, the many hands and brains that influence the final product- until it breaks through to become the iconic costume that we cherish on screen.

Especially impressive is the presence of original costumes worn by the original actors themselves. This will be a true source of enthusiasm for the star wars mega fan, but even for me, a somewhat of a Star Wars newby, the costumes fueled a source of total star-stuck amazement. When up close and personal, it becomes clear as to why these costumes are featured at an art museum; they are ART. Costumes take inspipadme-face-and-accessoriesration from many cultural influences around the world and throughout time, as well from everyday occupations. For example, who knew Han Solo’s outfit was inspired by that of a western sheriff? The costumes feature intricate beading, stitching, embellishments, and more, and their range in color, material, and complexity really channel a unique artistic aesthetic.

Throughout the exhibit is an incredible display of some of the many costumes of Padmé Amidala. The display features many of her most memorable looks, from her emperor-on-duty sort of costumes with huge head dresses and full bodied skirts to the delicate, nieve looks consisting of delicate floral separates and long flowing gowns. Her outfits speak for her character and each look provokes a different emotional reaction, serving to further back up her complex character. Along the way, viewers  can watch a video of Natalie Portman, in which she explains just how she felt about the costumes and how they helped her to play the role of such a powerful character, adding yet another connection to the film and its production. Amidala’s costumes contrast royal and strong pieces with soft, vulnerable ones to create a truly emotional and beautiful artistic statement.

The Power of Costume is for everyone. Star Wars has been embedded into human culture, evolving into a substantial movie series and franchise, and is known by nearly everyone. With both intellectual and lea-bikiniinteractive aspects to the exhibit, viewers of all ages can appreciate the display. Although the entire show is specific to Star Wars, a great deal opens eyes to the overall idea of what costumes do for a production, making the exhibit beneficial and enjoyable for both die-hard Star Wars fans and movie enthusiasts, or anyone who has ever appreciated a film. Above all, any art lover will be in awe of this showcase, for the staging of the exhibit and the pieces are undeniably artistically relevant.

From the original sketches of Darth Maul, the stunning wedding dress of Amidala, Star Wars and the Power of Costume offers a beautifully balanced display of so many pieces from a film series that has grown so closely to the hearts and imaginations of many. The exhibit is both an educational and artistic journey, with the combination of thorough information about the Star Wars pieces and the beauty of each and every one featured. The layout of the exhibit carries the viewer through a galactic and personal journey into the costumes and ideas that made Star Wars the empire it is today, finding a new character or theme beyond each twist and turn of the display. Overall the exhibit is incredibly intriguing, spectacularly up close and personal, and truly beautiful. It’s safe to say the force is definitely with the Denver Art Museum’s exhibit of Star Wars & the Power of Costume.