Whilst on my holidays, I was able to get to the EMP in Seattle and see the Smithsonian-curated exhibit “Star Wars and the Power of Costume” (open until 4th October 2015 , more info go to: http://www.empmuseum.org/at-the-museum/current-exhibits/star-wars%E2%84%A2-and-the-power-of-costume.aspx)
This exhibit of 60 costumes was very interesting – not just because it enabled me to get up close and personal with the force choke of Darth Vader – but also because I was able to learn some of the subtleties of the choice of costumes which might otherwise have been overlooked or not fully realised (a bit like learning that in early cowboy and western films the good guys wore white hats and the bad guys wore black ones). The costumes themselves were presented on faceless mannequins – I thought this was good as it enabled the figures to be posed without the cheesy nature of not getting the face ‘right’ – a far better set up than many costume and fashion exhibitions I have seen in the past. It was also nice that I was able to take pictures (without the flash).
What really made me happy was the one with lightsabers. You see, in order to make the presentation work well, you needed two people pressing small buttons to either side to light up the lights – and luckily for me, there were enough small children running around to make that a possibility!
Interesting article: http://www.theguardian.com/film/gallery/2015/feb/02/star-wars-costume-exhibit-seattle-smithsonian