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Designs on display

Exhibit showcases costumes from 18 pics

Talk about the pressure: At the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising’s annual exhib that opened Sunday, Ngila Dickson, Oscar-nommed costume designer for “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring,” spoke of trying to bring J.R.R. Tolkien’s characters to life for the New Line pic.

“You never want a jarring moment for the people,” Dickson said. Instead, she was going for a look that would have viewers saying to themselves, ‘Of course that’s how Gandalf or Saruman would dress.’

For the 10th year, the Fashion Institute’s Art of Motion Picture Costume Design displayed in downtown Los Angeles costumes from 18 pics that were released in 2001, including those up for costume design Oscars — “Rings,” “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” “Moulin Rouge” and “Gosford Park.”

“The Affair of the Necklace” however, became a victim of the war on terrorism as the crates holding the costumes were held up by U.S. Customs, according to exhib curator Robert Nelson.

“Harry Potter’s” Judianna Makovsky said it was “terrifying knowing you can’t please every child and every adult out there” with her costumes. She worked closely with pic’s helmer Chris Columbus but had only one meeting with author J.K. Rowling.

Fashion Institute grad Marlene Stewart understands how they feel. The only person who didn’t offer input into the costume design for “Ali” was the Greatest himself, she said.

Free to the public, the exhibit is open six days a week and closes May 3.

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