people first discover historical costume through the clothes of female characters
they see in films, plays and TV dramas. Some may discover historical
costume or cutting edge fashion through a museum visit or by seeing a film
such as the one on this page by Artsview film of the V &
A Dress Collection . The Artsview costume film analyses
the work of all those behind the scenes who bring the V&A dress collection to
the public and who also work to preserve and develop it for future
able to see authentic antique/vintage costume in museums is a privilege.
But costumes in films can also be a source of pleasure for many who simply
like looking at nice clothes whether period or contemporary fashion.
Museum costumes have always been regarded as a great resource for
inspiration by fashion designers past and present. Modern contemporary
films and dramas also add an additional resource for the fashion designer of
today and tomorrow. Sometimes you might read in an interview how a
famous designer may have found themselves watching an old movie and were
suddenly seized with creative inspiration to recapture elements of old
design ideas and suddenly were basing a whole collection around a theme.
Films such as the 1950's set How to Marry a Millionaire (contemporary high class fashion in its day),
the 1920's set The Great Gatsby and Dr. Zhivago influenced quite a few
designers in this way.
You reader might recall
something similar in your childhood such as costumes on the back of playing cards or a tray
decorated with a full skirted lady with decorated hair Cinderella type character or a pop up book of princess
characters or dress up paper dolls or even a ceramic lady in dancing dress
18th century clothes. All these things, kindle an
early interest in costume.
Here are some paper doll costumes from
famous movies in this link on costume books
. Such fascination when we are children with seemingly ordinary things can
give us lifelong hobbies and interests. You can read more about
crinolines in the section in the fashion history sections of
Over the years I
have come to love many films with a period costume or a fashion angle.
Some are not always accurate, but I still love them. These shown here
on these two pages are some of my personal favourite period films with costume or fashion elements.
Many of the dramas are also available in book format.
an early age, I loved historical costume productions on TV, especially
serializations of the Dickens and Austen novels, in particular the
early Victorian 'David
Copperfield' and the regency Pride and Prejudice spring to mind. How can anyone forget
Irene's famous black lace dress in the original black and white version of
The Forsyth Saga with eras as diverse as late Victorian,
Twenties fashions or of the
mid Victorian crinoline and
bustle costumes in the
colour productions of the Onedin Line and the Pallisers.
plays and serials caught my attention with time spans as wide as the
C19th set War and Peace, to settings as far back as the decline
of the Roman empire in 'I Claudius'. All costumed and all very
Costume history has been a real passion of mine since I saw The National
Museum of Wales exhibition of costumes made for the BBC production The Six
Wives of Henry VIII which starred Keith Michell. This series made in
1971 was shown in the early 1970s and
close ups of the costumes were a clever simulation of texture and contrast which
implied sumptuous jewellery and ornamentation, that a king and his court
might have displayed on their raiment. That exhibition made me want to
understand how to produce costumes and to understand how they were
constructed from a shape and contouring point of view. What goes on
inside a costume is often as important as what goes on outside and
ultimately helps achieve
the outline silhouette of the day.
Tudor inspired pieces were a 6 part BBC series called Elizabeth R with
Glenda Jackson starring and a movie with Richard Burton called Anne of the
Thousand Days. Each was magnificent in terms of costume and drama.
Did the costume make the drama or the drama improve the costume?
only did I enjoy TV costume dramas, but also movies and film productions.
In particular old black and white movies with lavish sets such as those of
Citizen Kane and Jezebel which showed extravagant dress, all helped make me
more keen to learn more about dress past and present and it's relationship
to society. War often featured as the main reason for a story and War
and Peace and Gone with the Wind are reliant on war to hold the story for
much of the time.
the next web page are some more films with
great costume or fashion.
Fashion-Era.com looks at women's costume and fashion history and analyses the mood of an era. Changes in technology, leisure, work, cultural and moral values. Homelife and politics also
contribute to lifestyle trends, which in turn influence the clothes we wear. These are the changes that make any era of society special in relation to the study of the costume of a period.
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