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
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.
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.
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.
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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