Huffpost Arts

`Black Swan' tutus twirl inside new art exhibit

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WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — While Natalie Portman is celebrating her best actress nomination at the Academy Awards, the tutus she wore in "Black Swan" will be spinning endlessly just down the street.

Six tutus designed for Portman to wear in the film will be on display as part of "Rodarte: States of Matter," a new exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art.

The tutus – three black, three white – are shown alongside other black and white textured dresses by Kate and Laura Mulleavy, the sister design duo behind Rodarte, a couture brand favored by celebrities and fashionistas. The dresses hang throughout the Pacific Design Center suspended on nearly invisible resin mannequins made just for the exhibit. A tiny hidden motor spins the tutus constantly, one revolution a minute.

Making the tutus was difficult, the sisters said, but it helped them see clothing as sculpture – a theme of the exhibit. And the two are California natives who now live in suburban Pasadena, so they enjoyed getting involved with the movie business that's always been in their backyard.

"It's exciting to be part of a legacy that's not changing every six months, because our (industry) is about a constant renewal of ideas," Laura Mulleavy said. "With a film, the costume, it's not renewing that idea of the costume within that film... It lasts."