"And the Oscar goes to ..."
In just one week, we will know who gets the Academy Award for best costume design.
But now, the public can see the work of all five nominees at the 21st Annual Art of Motion Picture Costume Design at the FIDM Museum & Galleries in downtown Los Angeles.
The Oscar nominees include Colleen Atwood for "Snow White and the Huntsman," Jacqueline Durran for "Anna Karenina," Paco Delgado for "Les Miserables," Joanna Johnston for "Lincoln," and Eiko Ishioka for "Mirror Mirror."
In addition to the nominees, the exhibition also features more than 100 original costumes from dozens of 2012 films.
"Over the last 21 years, we've built up a wonderful relationship with all of the studios and with the different costume designers and we all work together in order to get the costumes here," says the museum's director, Barbara Bundy.
"So we review the movies and also we have a wonderful panel of students, staff and faculty who are great moviegoers and we kind of get together and decide on our hit list."
The exhibit features the police uniforms used in "End of Watch," the dress worn by Jennifer Lawrence when her character volunteers herself for duty in "The Hunger Games," a purple ensemble Whitney Houston wore in her last film, "Sparkle," and men's apparel from "Django Unchained."
Last year's Oscar-winning costumes from "The Artist" are also featured in the exhibit.
While "Anna Karenina" won Britain's BAFTA Award for costume design, Bundy says there's no clear front-runner for the Oscars.
"I think there's so many standouts this year, more so than in the past. Everything has some period involved in it, whereas in the past we've had some that have been contemporary," Bundy says.
"My crystal ball thinks they should all get it.
She says the designers' mannequins in the "Lincoln" exhibit replicated Daniel Day-Lewis' and Sally Field's bodies so that the costumes would lie properly.
Costume design is different than designing street clothes in that the items have to look good on the big screen, not just in person, says Bundy.
Costume designers have to be cognizant of the period in which the movie is set, the movement of each actor, what is going to happen with the color once it's on the screen, how the color of each costume works together and the skin and hair coloring of the actors.
They also have to be attuned to different body shapes and how to work with them, she notes.
Kevin Jones, the FIDM Museum's costume historian, explains that costumes don't just stand alone in film.
"They have to work together with the whole production design," Jones says. "So a designer is limited in what they can do according to what the director and producers want their film to look like in the end. Do they want it hyper-realistic? Do they want it to be fantasy? Do they want it to be authentic or do they want it to be stylized?"
Jones recommends planning to spend at least one hour viewing the exhibit because there is a lot to see. It's interesting, he says, to not only look at the costumes for each film, but to compare them to the other works and film genres.
Costume exhibits such as this can help make movies come alive and can help the public begin to understand how important costume design is in the craft of moviemaking.
"Most people go to see a movie for the story and if it's a story that you like and everyone does their job well, you come out of there and you think `Wow that was really good,"' Bundy says.
"If it doesn't work, sometimes it's because of the story, the editing, but also it could be because the backgrounds don't work with the costumes, the special effects don't work. Sometimes you don't know why, but you know there's a disconnect.
"Everyone has to work in concert together to make it happen and we have some of the greatest costume designers here on exhibition and you can see by looking at what they've done, what perfectionists they are."