Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Fashion & Film

Elle Spain, September 2009

Fashion & Film is a combined approach to aesthetics, observing where the two media intersect. While considering the value of costume design, we go further in considering the way in which film influences the fashion industry and vice versa. We also consider how fashion communicates meaning in film, such as characterization and identity representation.

Film can inspire fashion as in the collections above and the editorial below.

There are films about fashion or the fashion industry. There is also an increasing trend to promote films with fashion, not only in red carpet fashion but as in below, The Simpsons which created a Harper's Bazaar editorial and the film The Romantics using the cast as JCrew models.

Deborah Landis' book Dressed: A Century of Hollywood Costume Design provides a comprehensive overview of how costume design works. She emphasizes that costume design is a mystery to most people and the designers vary from actually hand creating clothes to shopping them. The work involves tremendous research and collaboration with the entire crew.

Costume designers must also put context at the forefront of their thinking. Designers are facing 3 main style factors influencing the film such as when and where the script was written, when and where the film is supposed to take place and when and where it will be made. These variables influence how closely the film may look to the era it represents.

With most fiction, there is no precise context so designers work with slightly sliding context that shows the process of time around the date. If you have a film set in 1982 then it should not only be things from 1982. There should be some remaining aspects from the 1970’s as well as the emerging style of the mid 80’s.

Last Days of Disco, 1998, showing the early 1980’s, costumes Sarah Edwards

In order to explore the vision, costume designers originally used sketching though sketches rarely matched the end design.

High Society, 1956, cost. Charles Walters

Some costume designers are so effective with contemporary looks that their looks effect audiences as in 1977's Annie Hall by Ruth Morely.

Master Costume Designer: Edith Head

Head raised the bar for costume design, nominated 35 times and winning 8 awards, more than any other. She‪ dressed the best stars in ultimate glamour: Bette Davis, Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor. She was also a public fashion authority, making television appearances. She has a star on the Hollywood walk of fame‬.

All About Eve, 1950

Roman Holiday, 1953, Oscar win

To Catch a Thief, 1955

The Sting, 1974

Online: “The Role of the Costume Designer”:http://clothesonfilm.com/ellen-mirojnick-explains-the-role-of-costume-designer/10065/

Online: “The Relationship Between Fashion & Costume Design”: http://www.costumedesignersguild.com/articles/default.asp?yrid=2010&artid=mf02&indx=0

Online: “The Costumes that Made Them Stars,” from The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/11/fashion/11iht-ftirelli.html

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