LOS ANGELES - The burgundy velour suit Christian Bale finished with an ascot stands next to the slinky, leopard-print gown worn by Jennifer Lawrence in "American Hustle." Five of the flashy dresses worn by Amy Adams occupy extra-small mannequins beside them.
These Oscar-nominated costumes are among the stars of Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising Museum's 22nd annual Art of Motion Picture Costume Design exhibit, which features outfits from all five Oscar contenders this year: "American Hustle," "12 Years a Slave," "The Great Gatsby," "The Invisible Woman" and "The Grandmaster." The free exhibit, on view until April 26, also features dozens of designs from other popular films, including "Man of Steel" and "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire."
Curator Kevin Jones and his team inadvertently predicted the nominees when they requested the costumes months ago.
"I'd like to say that we have all this insider information and it's totally top secret and there's this underground bunker where we all meet," he said, "but actually, it's really educated luck."
As they watch movies throughout the year, they note the costumes that "make those characters leap off the screen," Jones said.
This year's nominees are particularly diverse, costumes from 1850s England to 1930s China to New York in 1978, which Jones said reflects an appreciation of designers' increasing sophistication in creating realistic or stylized looks for any era or atmosphere.
"It's not so much just (that) it's an old movie set in the 18th or 19th century so therefore it's worthy of being nominated," he said, adding that some of the costumes for "American Hustle" are original pieces from the 1970s.
"I love it because it's (recognizing) a broader range of what costume design represents."
Also included in the exhibit: the supersuit from "Man of Steel," a Michael Wilkinson design; a dress embellished with embroidery and appliques worn by Lawrence in the most recent "Hunger Games" movie; and a pair of gowns from last year's costume design Oscar winner, "Anna Karenina."