Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising shows off Emmy-worthy costumes

HBO's TremeBy Lynn Herman — 08/28/10
Next time you’re watching your favorite television show you might want to pay attention to what the actors are wearing. It might seem like a simple pair of jeans, but in reality these jeans have been altered to fit the star to perfection.
Kevin Jones is a curator and a costume historian. Jones is well versed not only in fashion but also art history with an expertise in eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth century fashion.
Costume designers are responsible for making each actor unique and wardrobe is the easiest way to do so. The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising currently has an exhibit showcasing thirteen current television shows called “The Outstanding Art of Television Costume Design.” In 1970, the Television Academy began recognizing outstanding costume design by adding that category to the Emmys. The past five years FIDM has used this category to showcase an exhibit focused solely on costume design.
The costumes are on loan to the museum for this exhibit and will be returned to each show once the exhibit is finished. Alonzo V. Wilson is the costume designer for HBO’s “Treme.” He personally drove his costumes from New Orleans to Los Angeles because he wanted to make sure his Mardi Gras Indian Chief costumes were in perfect condition. Wilson will be making the trip again to ensure his costumes make it home safely.
The authenticity of the costumes is the exhibit’s main priority. Mannequins are shortened, cropped, and manufactured to the precise measurements of the actors who wore them to make sure the costumes look as realistic as possible.
The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising does not only tackle the television industry. Just in time for the Oscars, FIDM will have an exhibit displaying costumes from this year’s famous motion pictures.