Orry-Kelly: Dressing Hollywood

By Laura Timberlake

Orry-Kelly is one of Australia’s most successful costume designers. The 21-year-old left Kiama in New South Wales as an aspiring actor and went on to become chief costume designer at Warner Bros.

ACMI (Australian Centre for the Moving Image) is hosting the Orry-Kelly: Dressing Hollywood exhibition until January 17, 2016.
Katrina Sedgwick, ACMI Director and CEO, said: “We are are delighted to be celebrating the professional and personal journey of our prolifically talented artistic export.”

“With Orry-Kelly: Dressing Hollywood we pay homage to Hollywood’s star-maker whose artistry has profoundly influenced costume design across decades and continents.”

Orry-Kelly is the professional name of Orry George Kelly.  He designed for 285 films, including 42nd Street (1933), Jezebel (1938), The Maltese Falcon (1941), Casablanca (1942), Auntie Mame (1958) and Gypsy (1962).  Orry-Kelly was the first Australian to win three Oscars, and worked with stars such as Ginger Rogers, Bette Davis, Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Errol Flynn, Katharine Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe.

Orry-Kelly: Dressing Hollywood is a celebration of Orry-Kelly’s talent. The exhibition also offers an insight into Orry-Kelly’s career and his personal history.

Viewers will be treated to rarely seen costumes, sketches, paintings, production photos, publicity materials and much more. The exhibition contains objects loaned from private collections and archives, and gives an insight into the glamour of mid-century Hollywood.

Of course, the most important part is the costumes. Orry-Kelly’s designs could make a film come alive (even if the storyline wasn’t that great).  ACMI also collaborated with Gillian Armstrong’s team to produce the exhibition, and is screening the documentary Women He’s Undressed (2015).

Orry-Kelly: Dressing Hollywood is a free event. For more information, visit www.acmi.net.au/exhibitions

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