Movies made minimal in this costume collection

When we first caught sight of Frederico Birchal's set of movie posters focusing on costumes rather than the actors, we were big fans, and it seems we weren't the only ones.

Frederico's stylish work also caught the eye of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which signed him up to produce a massive set of images to promote its recent Hollywood Costumes exhibition in Los Angeles. The exhibition featured over 150 costumes from a century of movies, and Birchal, a designer and illustrator from Brazil, was called upon to recreate many of them in his own minimal style.

His complete set of Hollywood costumes runs from Charlie Chaplin's iconic appearance as The Tramp, from 1915, all the way through Leonardo DiCaprio's role in 2013's The Great Gatsby, with a whole range of eye-catching outfits filling the 100-year gap in-between.

As with his original poster series, in these illustrations it's the costumes themselves that take centre stage, with the actors themselves removed. Birchal's minimal illustrations include Indiana Jones' outfit from Raiders of the Lost Ark, John McClane's bloodstained vest from Die Hard, Rocky Balboa's stars and stripes shorts from Rocky III, and Dorothy Gale's gingham frock and ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz.

The Academy mainly used Birchal's illustrations for an online advertising campaign, but also produced a deck of cards featuring all of his striking images. You can see the entire set of pictures over at his Behance site; because there are so many he's thoughtfully spilt them up into four separate collections. Check out 1915-1977, 1977-1992, 1993-2004 and 2006-2013.

We've put together some of our favourites; let us know which ones you like best in the comments.

Words: Jim McCauley

Jim McCauley is a writer, editor and occasional podcaster, and is available for children's parties.

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