By Maddie Orton
Arts Correspondent …
There’s a shiny gem of an exhibit at Art House in Jersey City that cuts through the winter fog with a twinkle. All That Glitters allows visitors to zoom in on the bead-work that makes costumes masterpieces.
“I think there’s an old saying: ‘Scenery sells seats,’” says Polly Isham Kinney. “And I think people take binoculars. I know I do.”
Polly Isham Kinney is a beading and embroidery designer currently working on Aladdin on Broadway, and James Crochet is the designer behind Leading Lady Costumes. Between the two Jersey City residents, they have years of Broadway, TV, and fashion campaign experience. So when Crochet took on guest-curating a costume exhibit at Art House, he knew who to call for an inside look at the glitz that makes the gowns.
“We sat on her floor and dug through her samples,” Crochet says of his work with Kinney, “and started to pull things out that she responded to or that I responded to. Things that we could remember where they were from.”
Crochet complemented Kinney’s samples with pieces from his company’s collection–some that he built and some that he bought–like these iconic items from the original Broadway production of A Chorus Line.
“A lot of the other costumes are on loan directly from the designers,” Crochet says.