The V&A has announced that the original white 3-piece suit worn by John Travolta as Tony Manero in Saturday Night Fever (1977) has been found and will be on display in London in the V&A’s upcoming exhibition, Hollywood Costume.
Deborah Nadoolman Landis, Senior Guest Curator of Hollywood Costume, began her search for the suit in 2008 as she gathered some of Hollywood’s most iconic costumes for the exhibition. The piece was originally purchased by and inscribed to US film critic Gene Siskel in 1979. Upon Siskel’s death in 1995, Travolta’s suit was auctioned at Christie’s and the trail went cold. Rediscovered after the media launch for Hollywood Costume in January 2012, the classic white suit has been loaned to the Museum by the current owner, who wishes to remain anonymous.
Originally found by costume designer Patrizia Von Brandenstein, the white suit not only defined the character of Tony Manero, but has come to define the disco era. Hollywood Costume will explore this crucial role of costume design in character development and filmmaking throughout cinematic history. The suit can be seen this autumn alongside more than 100 of the most iconic costumes designed for unforgettable cinema characters over a century of film-making. The show opens in London on October 20, 2012 and will be on view through January 27, 2013.