Photographer Mimi Haddon’s Palace Costume project is an epic documentation of years of the enormous clothing collection housed in the Hollywood costume rental archive of the same name. The artist works with dancers and performers to create characters and archetypes from this magical world, showing how the garments have a life and voice of their own.
If you look at Haddon’s photographs, few faces are uncovered, either with cloth or with abstract masked headdresses of people or animals. As for the outfits themselves, the photographer uses vintage clothing like a painter uses paint, looking at them in terms of colour and form, and creating compositions that are more akin to fine art than fashion photography.
Based in Santa Monica, California, Haddon describes herself as a “visual storyteller” whose work encompasses sculpture, photography, costume, dance and, yes, masks. Her project Palace Costume, an epic, years-long documentation of the enormous clothing collection housed in the Hollywood costume rental archive of the same name.
The Palace Costume project is a celebration of this extraordinary place, but also a testament to the idea of finding the extraordinary in the ordinary: in clothing and the potential it has for limitless creativity. “I’m interested in this connection between reality and fantasy and how close we come to achieving fantasy in our everyday lives,” says Haddon.
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