Designed for Drama

Fashion from the Classics

February 10 - July 4, 2017

The artistry of great literary works, costume design, and movie making comes together in Designed for Drama: Fashion from the Classics, a new exhibition premiering in Biltmore House. Inspired by George Vanderbilt’s love of literature, Designed for Drama showcases more than 40 award-winning movie costumes from films based on favorite books in his collection.

Vanderbilt amassed a personal library of more than 22,000 volumes at his North Carolina home alone. He also counted leading authors of the era as personal friends, including Henry James, Paul Leicester Ford, and Edith Wharton—all of whom stayed at Biltmore House as guests. That literary connection is brought home in the exhibition with the costumes accompanied by the original books from Vanderbilt’s library that inspired the films.

The exhibition features elaborate costumes from recent films that bring literary characters to life, including Sherlock Holmes, Finding Neverland, Anna Karenina, and Pride and Prejudice. Costumes from 13 movies are dramatically staged in the magnificent rooms of Biltmore House. The fashions on display reveal the attention to detail involved in period costume design, and represent the work of costume designers at the highest level of their profession.

Entry to this exhibition is included in Biltmore admission. Save $10 per admission ticket when you buy 7 or more days in advance.

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Exclusively Presented by  Belk logo

Portrait of a Lady screen still of Nicole Kidman in formal period costume
Photo credit: THE PORTRAIT OF A LADY ©1996 Universal Pictures Limited.

Here's a preview of some of the costumes you can expect to see on display at the exhibit.


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