I know, I’m running dreadfully behind with this challenge! I’ve already posted my finished project, and I haven’t even done an inspiration post yet!
I’ve already mentioned that screen costumes don’t really inspire me, but there is one big exception to that: I LOVE screen costumes from pre-1945-ish.
I love the ones that were meant to represent historically periods (which they usually do with fabulous flair and utter disregard to accuracy), and I love the ones in contemporary costume. And most of all, I love the costumes where the designer just went mad and created something entirely random.
For inspiration, here are my 10 favourite period film costumes:
1. Greta Garbo in Mata Hari. As a designer, Adrian is definitely my favourite. He knew how to dress his actresses, and excelled at creating totally iconic costumes. When it comes to shear mad fabulosity, nobody can beat Adrian! I mean, look at this:
2. Marlene Dietrich’s tuxedo from Morocco. ADORE!
3. Madge Bellamy in 1920s does 1670s – for Lorna Doon, and then White Zombie (because there is nothing like a good bit of costume re-use.
5. Claudette Colbert in Cleopatra. How can you not love every single costume from this film! Hyper-sexy 1930s with Egyptian accessories – they may not be remotely accurate, but they fit the film’s Cleopatra perfectly. Literally and figuratively.
6. Greta Garbo in Adrian (again) for A Woman of Affairs. Adrian’s decision to put Garbo in a trench coat (previously an exclusively male garment) only made her look even more gorgeous, and made trench coats fashionable for women (YAY!). Plus, the plaid lining? Tres chic!
7. Joan Crawford in the famous revolving door dress from 1932’s Grand Hotel, because…well…this pretty much answers it all:
8. 1930s Riding Outfits. Cheating every so slightly, because I can’t find the actual image I want. Fay Wray wears a gorgeous riding ensemble in Mills of the Gods, but this is the best image I can find. So here is Madge Belamy in an equally cute riding outfit, but I don’t think she ever wore it onscreen:
9. Joan Crawford in the legendary white Letty Lynton gown by Adrian. This was the original film dress that launched a thousand copycats, but due to a copyright battle, the film was banned and the completely, fabulously, utterly, wonderfully ridiculous dress can only be seen in stills.
10. And finally, while I have serious problems with the book and film, I still can’t help loving Vivien Leigh in the famous green picnic dress from Gone with the Wind: