I'm having a Theme Week! To celebrate the conclusion of my first Graduate School semester (*phew*), I'm posting fantastic costume images from the new Life Image Database every day. If you don't already know, Life Magazine has put their entire database of images dating back to 17something on the web. Just type in "source:life" and then keywords into the search box on Google. It's a fantastic resource for any and every subject of study.
But of course here we are all about costumes: beautiful, grotesque, bizarre and hopefully very entertaining.
Today is Dresses by Adrian, the amazingly talented Designer who designed hundreds of movies in the early 20th Century, including Dorothy's dress in the Wizard of Oz. These are beautiful images of dresses, although I don't know whom or what they were designed for (probably just GlamorousNess).
This is the first in what will hopefully be many posts illustrating the evolution of trends and design details and silhouettes. This is one of my favorite things to see- when something from the past pops right into the present with a seemingly fresh take.
Below is a sleeve that I could not take my eyes off of. I took about ten still frames of this suit:
This is from the Busby Berkely movie Golddiggers of 1933. This is the lovely Miss Ginger Rogers modeling this lovely suit that I'm going to imagine is a shade of pink. The designer of this movie is credited as being Orry-Kelly but only specifically "gowns." So I'm not quite sure that this goes under that heading. I would imagine this is from the Production Company's costume warehouse where a full-time wardrobe staff member picked this out somewhere one day with the pleasure of going home and saying he or she dressed the world-famous Miss Rogers but getting absolutely no credit for it whatsoever. So I will take this moment to personally thank this person- whoever you are, wherever you are! Your efforts have not gone unnoticed!
...a few months later I came across this great picture of Reese Witherspoon in Australia Harper's Bazaar:
It's so pretty! It's a Valentino Dress and Jacket. I'm sure this sleeve came up at least a few points during the 80s on Dallas on either Alexis or Krystal or both- but I dont have any pictures of those. (I'm looking)
Yay! I'm back! I've been unbelieveably busy the past couple of weeks. I shot a short film and went to Hong Kong and back in a week and a half's time... the two had nothing to do with each other so there was alot of people and schedules and planning and traveling and packing and fixing and pinning and fitting and meetings and food. But it's over now and I'm so glad to have been productive because now I can watch tv and movies for at least a week and not feel at all guilty or lazy.
On my way to Honkas (as it's affectionately referred to in my office) I grabbed Entertainment Magazine because 1. Johnny as Sweeny Todd was on the cover and 2. There was this great article on The Atonement and the costumes and that green dress.
What I wouldn't give to hear more! Why are these snippets inside designers' heads always so small? The process and thought that goes into the purpose of each costume is so fascinating to me. It needs to fulfill so many variables it's a wonder they can land on anything at all... much less the perfect dress which this one clearly is.
Below is a shoot from September British Vogue shot in India. The best part is the Art Direction and the 'extras' in the background.
Most of the turbans I've seen in real life are flat wraped against the head, but these ones below have a twist in them, which makes me wonder how many different techniques there are to wrap a turban and if they have names. Anybody know? How great is the guy's facial hair on the left?
I'm in love with this pink cart with the flowers on it...:
So, I don't just love eye candy...I love eye CAKE. This is a gorgeous spread from this month's Vogue mag... photographed by David Sims with an article by Sally Singer. How's this for a paragraph?:
Karl Lagerfeld offered a full wardrobe-suits, coats, dresses, and evening- united by a slim, dramatically linear silhouette, where volume, instead of being on the front[...] or at the back[...] was subtly on the sides. Encrusted in stones, dotted with pearls, stripped in leather, distrubed by gores and gussets and other dimensional tricks, the side seams most of all drew out those verticals in a woman's body that are so often obscured. There was a slither of black silk with shimmering silver racing stripes; a monastic tweed tunic with matching hood edged in wild avian fronds; a long sequined sheath with a floor length feathered tabard, lined in a splatter of black and white sequins. But the most important and inspiring idea of all was a tiny, corseted jacket shape with a three-quarter sleeve and a stiff peplum. It looked so modern, and, from a house synonymous with the boxy jacket, so fresh. It illuminated Lagerfeld's genius for translating something historical- in this case, a water-resistant early-eighteenth-century riding jacket that he found at auction- into a fully modern idiom. The riding jacket hung in the Chanel atelier on Rue Cambom in the weeks before the show. Too miniature to be worn by anyone- size 0 must have struck Bourbons as positively enormous- it served as an example of exactly what good design can achieve: beauty and utility that retain their relevance for centuries.
the Karl jacket mentioned above; Chanel Haute Couture
This image is from this month's Vogue magazine. Cate Blanchett, pictured as her character Elizabeth from the new movie Elizabeth: The Golden Age. The dress she wears in this picture is an 'inspired' dress by Givenchy. The photo is a nice teaser, but the costumes in the movie by Alexandra Byrne show much more promise.