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.
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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