This stunning blush-hued gown, worn by Shari Headley in the 1988 cult classic “Coming to America,” is one of the most popular items on display in the Decorative Arts Center of Ohio’s “Creating the Illusion” exhibition. The dress is one of the largest ever created for film, and was originally going to be white. Deborah Nadoolman Landis, the costume designer for the film, decided that pink would be more flattering to Headley’s skin tone. (WOUB Public Media/Emily Votaw)

PHOTOS: DACO’s Creating the Illusion Exhibition

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Costumes within the context of film and theater are more than just pretty to look at. They imply nuances to the characters they cover, and have the potential to create a greater emotional depth without any unnecessary exposition.

Through August 12 the Decorative Arts Center of Ohio will spotlight some particularly cultural relevant costumes in their exhibition “Creating the Illusion,” curated by Paramount Films archivist Randall Thropp. Check out WOUB’s interview with Thropp right here.

The exhibition features 40 costumes from Paramount films such as “The Spiderwick Chronicles,” “The Addams Family,” “Dreamgirls,” “Forrest Gump,” and many more. Take a look at some of the costumes on display below. 

A costume featured in the 2016 film “Allied,” featuring Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard. The film is set in Morocco and London, hence the lightweight fabrics employed in the making of the costumes. (WOUB Public Media/Emily Votaw)
Battle scene helmets from the 2017 film “Transformers: the Last Knight.” (WOUB Public Media/Emily Votaw)
Ben Stiller’s python suit (right) from 2001’s “Zoolander,” and Will Ferrell’s cowboy-influenced vinyl and faux denim outfit that he dons in the movie for the role of bizarre fashion designer Mugatu. (WOUB Public Media/Emily Votaw)
The Motown influenced costumes for 2006’s “Dreamgirls,” a film that was based partially on the story of The Supremes. Beyoncé Knowles plays Deena Jones, a character based on Diana Ross, Jennifer Hudson plays Effie White, based on Supremes member Florence Ballard, and Anika Noni Rose plays Morrell Robinson, based on Mary Wilson of the Supremes. These dresses were worn by Knowles, Sharon Leal, and Rose. The exhibition also features a two piece suit trimmed in black rabbit fur worn by Lawrence. (WOUB Public Media/Emily Votaw)
Costumes from the 1991 film “The Addams Family” and the 1993 film “Addams Family Values.” The films feature Raul Julia as Gomez, Christina Ricci as Wednesday Addams, Jimmy Workman as Pugsly Addams, and Anjelica Huston as Morticia Addams. (WOUB Public Media/Emily Votaw)
Christina Ricci’s Wednesday Addams costume, designed by Ruth Myers. The dress has been used as inspiration for goth and indie fashion alike — and who wouldn’t buy this dress right off the rack if they saw it in real life? (WOUB Public Media/Emily Votaw)
Lemony Snicket’s “A Series of Unfortunate Events” was a truly formative book series for many millennial pessimists with a penchant for obscure vocabulary and dark hued fashion. In 2004 Paramount released a film adaptation based on the books starring Jim Carrey as Count Olaf. Carrey’s costume is the the left and a dress worn by Emily Browning, who played Violet, is to the right. (WOUB Public Media/Emily Votaw)
Part of DACO’s mission is to serve the community through education about the arts. Here a group of young children take in the “Creating the Illusion” exhibition while being guided by DACO’s tried docents. (WOUB Public Media/Emily Votaw)

The Decorative Arts Center of Ohio is open Tuesday through Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday through Sunday 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is always free.