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Image / Living / Culture

The Art of Costume: Costumes from ‘Normal People’, ‘Little Women’, and ‘Michael Collins’ will be on display at Russborough House this Autumn


By Sarah Gill
19th Sep 2022

BBC

The Art of Costume: Costumes from ‘Normal People’, ‘Little Women’, and ‘Michael Collins’ will be on display at Russborough House this Autumn

The Irish Costume Archive Project has brought this exciting exhibition to Russborough House until 16 October.

From a television adaptation that defined a generation to movies that defined an era, The Art of Costume exhibition is bringing items seen in some of the most prestigious film productions shot in Ireland to Russborough House in Blessington, Co Wicklow. Ranging from Normal People and Little Women to The Guard and In The Name of the Father, this is one exhibition you won’t want to miss.

Irish Costume Archive Project (ICAP) have teamed up with Russborough to explore the relationship between actors and costumes, and the growth of the Irish film industry. Displaying costumes from the ICAP collection that have been collected and preserved from some of the most prestigious film productions shot in Ireland, The Art of Costume exhibition features 17 costumes from 12 well-known film and television productions, all revealed up close to highlight their exquisite attention to detail.

costumes

From the four-time Emmy award-winning Sally Rooney adaptation, and that famous Afghan coat worn by Daniel Day Lewis in In The Name of the Father, to the military uniform worn by Liam Neeson in Michael Collins, each one is currently on display, along with Brendan Gleeson’s flamboyant silk dressing gown from The Guard.

The exhibition also includes costumes from the Oscar-winning The Favourite, as well as The Crying Game, Little Women, Ripper Street and Love and Friendship, which was filmed in part at Russborough House.

ICAP was founded three years ago by costume designer Eimer Ni Mhaoldomhnaigh and costume practitioner Veerle Dehaene. Eimer and Veerle both have extensive industry knowledge and experience. On the production side, Eimer has worked with directors Neil Jordan, Jim Sheridan and Ken Loach, providing her expertise in costume design to them.

costumes

Veerle utilised her knowledge as a costume practitioner to manage Joan Bergin’s costume collection at The Costume Mill in Dublin. Together they founded ICAP because they were both concerned about the afterlife of such costumes, which they believe are an integral part of Ireland’s film heritage.

The archive is now home to over three hundred costumes that are permanently stored and preserved at Ardmore Studios in Co. Wicklow.

Speaking about the launch of the exhibition at Russborough House, Veerle said, “Costume plays a vital part in the actor’s characterisation, and very often they do not fully get into character until they get into their costume. It is a collaboration between the actor, director, and costume designer, and it involves a huge amount of historic and social research to establish authenticity and accuracy.”

The exhibition is also an important part of The Alfred Beit Foundation, who operates Russborough House, educational programme, particularly for post-primary and transition year students, as it will feature a specialised workshop for students interested in pursuing costume design as a career.

The Art of Costume Exhibition tickets can be booked via the Russborough website, with prices starting from €6.00. Children under the age of five go free.