Japanese-Brazilian fashion designer Jum Nakao is fascinated by paper. He sees the material as both “very ephemeral, very fragile” and, with the right words scribbled across it, powerful enough to change the world. So when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences asked Nakao to create a piece celebrating the opening of its upcoming “Hollywood Costume,” the artist naturally went back to the page.
The assignment: Design and construct a dress inspired by the 2006 period drama “Marie Antoinette.” The result: A lavish gown composed entirely of pages from Sofia Coppola's script. In the below video, Nakao slices, curls, frills, and stitches the basic Courier-imbued pages into something worthy of the big screen.
Waxing poetic on the costuming art, Nakao says, “A costume is like a pixel in a picture. All of the pixels are important, not just the costume, the set or the lighting.When you are inside a perfect costume, you are not yourself, you are your character.”
Traditionally, after creating a paper dress and exhibiting it on the runway, Jum Nakao destroys the final product. “It shows people that their values need to be reanalyzed, that materiality doesn”t matter,” he told The Creator Project. “That is why we destroy everything, to show that there is something more important, something much more lasting than what people see and value at first sight.”
“Hollywood Costume” arrives as a combined effort between the Victoria and Albert Museum, London and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The multimedia exhibition's final show will he Academy will display 150 costumes, including Jared Leto's costume from “Dallas Buyers Club” (Kurt and Bart, 2013) – a recent acquisition from the Academy's Collection – as well as costumes from such recent releases including “The Hunger Games” (Judianna Makovsky, 2012), “Django Unchained” (Sharen Davis, 2012), “Lee Daniels' The Butler” (Ruth E. Carter, 2013), “The Wolf of Wall Street” (Sandy Powell, 2013), “American Hustle” (Michael Wilkinson, 2013), and “The Great Gatsby” (Catherine Martin, 2013). In addition, “Hollywood Costume” will showcase the Academy”s pair of the most famous shoes in the world – the original ruby slippers from “The Wizard of Oz” (Adrian, 1939) shown with Dorothy”s blue and white gingham pinafore dress.
“Hollywood Costume” runs Oct. 2, 2014 – March 2, 2015 in the Wilshire May Company building, the future location of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, at Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue in Los Angeles.