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 Period Film Depictions of Costume & Fashion History

Some Famous Costume Based

 Films & Movies 2

By Pauline Weston Thomas for Fashion-Era.com

 

Film Depictions - Fashion and Costume History

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As the years passed I started to look at these films not for the story, but for the costumes in them.  I began to realise that often the costume was well interpreted, but just as often badly interpreted.  Some things began to irritate me in films such as seeing visible zippers or elements from one era mixed with another.  But the fact I hated most of all was when more and more synthetic materials were used in costume productions and suddenly clothes began to drape badly or in a way different than earlier movies like masterpiece films such as the beautiful clothes in for example Citizen Kane. 

In those early black and white films natural materials like silk, wool, linen and cotton were used and they hold moisture more easily than synthetic materials.  Such natural materials have a density to them that makes the clothing appear heavy with weight and when the wearer moves the weight of the fabric makes the character seem important.  Some spectacular films such as My Fair Lady and Gigi become fashion pieces in themselves.

Here are some more costume based films that may interest you.  Many of the dramas are also available in book format.

 
Costume Based Films with the Feel of Ancient Costume

I Claudius

 Cleopatra

The Last Emperor

 

 Gladiator

 

Shakespeare Style Costume Dramas

 

Shakespeare in Love

 

Much Ado About Nothing

 Romeo and Juliet

The Taming of the Shrew  

Late Victorian, Edwardian and 1920s Influenced Costume Films

Anna Karenina

Moulin Rouge

 

 Titanic

 

Films with High Fashion and Costume set in the 1930s and 1940s

The Aviator

 

Mata Hari 1931

 

Rebbecca

 

Now Voyager 

 

Late C20th Dramas Admired for their Links to Costume and Fashion

 

 

   

My Fair Lady

 

Gigi (1958)

 

 Sex and the City

 Annie Hall

By the 1990s I noticed that there was a return to authenticity and production research teams made greater efforts to use natural materials and source vintage garments to assist in giving real atmospheric significance to a film.  One of the production companies that fell into this category was that of Merchant Ivory. 

Merchant Ivory Style Films 

James Ivory in Conversation

 

 Howard's End

 Death in Venice

The fact is that costume in a film drama or re-enactment can never be quite the same as the authentic costume we can study in museums.  However we should never regard films as second best especially now in the 21st century when million of pounds are spent in costuming and dressing movies aiming for some measure of accuracy by doing original research at museums.  I think we should simply embrace all clothing mediums as wonderful in their own right, from museum artefacts to theatrical costumes as just wonders of the human ability to create magnificent art forms to wear from a Roman leather skirt to an operatic gown or a head dress for Aida or an intriguing body hugging stretch suit for sci-fi movies.

Modern day films of 2005 with costume to inspire include The Aviator and the Phantom of the Opera and each is reviewed for their costume on the next pages.

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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.Fashion History

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For superb Victorian or Edwardian
re-enactment costumes in USA, try the reproduction costume range at:
 
Recollections for Victorian and Edwardian costumes recollections.biz

 

 30 June 2005