One of my fantasies is working as a restoration costumer for the Smithsonian or for the Kyoto Costume Institute in Japan. I worked in theatre for several years in the costume and wardrobe departments and looking back realize what an awesome job that was. I love the artifice and illusion that theatre work entails even in the area of costumes.
Theatre costumes are usually built to survive long, punishing (and smelly) runs. But, in movies the costume is made to last for the duration of filming and that’s it. (Or as nowadays you might find a costume piece on eBay.) AP recently reported that the dresses and other items from the movie Gone With the Wind are in bad shape and are in desperate need of repair. The museum that houses the collection is asking for donations to repair the items. If I ever get to that area of Texas I would certainly make a stop to see those iconic pieces of costume history. What do you think? Is there value in saving these pieces of cinematic history? Or should we let nature take its course.