There is a fascinating book - "Hollywood and History - Costume Design in Film" which looks how costume designers present historical dress. It was published in 1988 to accompany an exhibition mounted at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Part of the foreword says "Contemporary viewers are not aware that the costumes reflect their own standards of style and beauty - that the cave-dwellers' costumes are cut to emphasise the 1940's silhouette, that the antebellum dresses are made with 1930's bias-cut fabrics. It is only with the passage of time that one can see clearly how all-pervasive the designer's contemporary aesthetics have been." It is one of my favourite costume books, it has given me an extra layer of fun when I watch the wonderful old movies.

Viv Watkins.

-----Original Message----- From: R Lloyd Mitchell
Sent: Wednesday, January 06, 2016 3:20 PM
To: Historical Costume
Subject: Re: [h-cost] Costumes in "War and Peace"

Re the styles of dresses, I still have to chuckle at the 18th C interpretions in films of the '20s-30s where the gowns have dropped waists. In an earlier production of W&P the fashion tone is Audrey Hepburn all the way. It seems that one can peg the date of the film release by the tweaked styles that give a nod to contemporary fashion. Other interesting film studies are the costumes for Victoria and Albert and Dr Zhivago.The latter spawned a popular contemporary Fashion..the Maxie dress line.
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