Benaki Museum in collaboration with Searchlight Pictures present for the summer of 2024 the exhibition “Poor Things: the costumes“.

Holly Waddington and George Manginis

The exhibition was inaugurated on 11 June 2024 at the Benaki Museum of Hellenic Culture by the President of the Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou, preceded by a press conference moderated by George Manginis and a guided tour of the 12 handmade dresses that make up this exhibition of unparalleled beauty by Holly Waddington, the creator of the costumes of the Yorgos Lanthimos film.

During the press conference, the costume designer emphasized the great artistic freedom she felt at the side of the Greek director. For her, as for the rest of the film’s crew, the process was playful and improvisational, while Yorgos Lanthimos encouraged every element that moved the project from the realm of realism to the realm of dream or even science fiction. Her previous experience in the field of theatrical costume design proved extremely useful as she was working on the costumes of Emma Stone and the rest of the cast of Poor Things, since among the other requirements, a layer of theatricality had to be added to the costumes of the characters of the film.

As Holly Waddington guided the journalists through the exhibition designed to showcase her work by set designer and costume designer Pavlos Thanopoulos, she was in a pleasant mood and the attendees felt as if they were participating in a priceless masterclass. The costume designer paid special attention to the six costumes she designed for Emma Stone to wear as Bella Baxter. These costumes essentially reflect the stages that the film’s heroine goes through, from grief and being trapped in an abusive marriage, through childhood, the journey to Lisbon and the final stage of her maturity. Alongside the creative process, the costume designer discussed her analysis of Bella Baxter’s character and the inspiration she draws from both film costume designers such as Jenny Beavan, and Piero Tosi, and directors such as Jane Campion and Tim Burton.

The public will have the opportunity to visit the exhibition from 12 June to 29 September 2024 at the Benaki Museum of Hellenic Culture (1 Koumbari Street).

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