Costume

The Roaring Twenties, age of jazz and flappers, Model T Fords and Hollywood movie stars, was also a time when for millions the bulky catalogs of Montgomery Ward or Sears, Roebuck were a substitute for the window displays of Paris or New York fashion shops. Buying clothing through the mails had become an American institution, and entire families were often dressed via the U.S. Post Office. More conservative than the up-to-the-minute fashion shops, mail-order catalogs nevertheless offered surprisingly much of the haute couture. But, above all, they accurately record what men, women, and children were actually wearing in the 1920s.
Now Stella Blum (Curator of the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York) has distilled into this volume the essence of the fashion pages of the Sears, Roebuck and other mail-order catalogs of the Twenties. Her informative text and selection of over 150 representative catalog pages — comprising over 750 illustrations with original captions — gradually trace the evolution of dress modes from the vogue of stodgy postwar fashions to the impact on costume of the crash of '29. In a year-by-year survey, Mrs. Blum's introductory texts relate the trends in fashion to the social changes of the dynamic and restless era, assessing the influence of war and technological developments on the high hemlines, flattened busts and hips, geometric patterns and "bobbed" hairstyles of the boyish flapper look. And as she notes, it was through the Sears catalogs that Parisian designers like Coco Chanel, Jeanne Lanvin, and Madeleine Vionnet made their influence felt on Midwestern farms and in urban ghettos.
You'll find here a marvelous panorama of "smart," "modish," "chic," "stylish," and "ultra fashionable" apparel, as well as more traditional garments: for women and "misses" there are Middy blouses, Russian boots modeled by Gloria Swanson, "Bob" hats modeled by Clara Bow and Joan Crawford; coats, suits, dresses (including the first maternity dresses), sweaters, capes; silk and rayon stockings, corsets, chemises, camisoles, negligees; and accessories like necklaces, belts, combs, headbands, umbrellas, gloves, compacts, hand bags, wristwatches, and powderpuff cases. You'll see slower-to-change men's fashions — shirts, ties, suits, sweaters, and sports clothes — become trimmer, brighter, smarter. And you can follow the trends in children's fashions as well.
For historians of costume, nostalgia buffs, and casual browsers, these pages afford a rare picture — unspoiled by recent myths about the Roaring Twenties — of how average people really dressed in the jazz age.

"An attractive and informed guide. It includes an extensively cross-referenced list of films on which leading couturiers worked, a superb collection of stills, and a brief history of costume on the screen." — George L. George, Millimeter

This handsome book, the first comprehensive reference work on costume design in films, is a remarkable tribute to the men and women who "dress" a film. Substantially revised and updated, it not only presents a splendid record of costume designers' contributions to cinema but also those of some of the world's great couturiers.
The heart of the book is an illustrated listing, arranged alphabetically by designer, providing biographical and career data (screen credits, major awards and nominations) for every major American, British, and French designer who worked on American and British films between 1909 and 1987. Among the designers are such luminaries as Adrian, Travis Banton, Edith Head, Christian Dior, Orry-Kelly, Givenchy, Jean Louis, Howard Greer, Helen Rose, Norman Hartnell, Irene Sharaff, Walter Plunkett, Charles LeMaire, Tony Walton, and Ann Roth. Their creations are featured in over 170 photographs and design renderings reproduced on high-quality coated stock. Also included is an invaluable index containing titles of 6,000 films, cross-indexed by designer, along with over 400 new film credits covering the period 1976 – 1987. In addition, an Appendix lists Academy Award nominations from 1948 (when the design award was first established), as well as the names of those honored by the British Academy for Film and Television Arts.
Essential reading for fashion and costume industry professionals, historians, and students, this superb sourcebook will be valued by countless moviegoers and the legions of film aficionados studying and working in motion pictures.
"The author's stills are excellent, clearly identified, and often very enlightening." — Polly Platt, American Film
After the Civil War the upper middle class in America expanded and became increasingly style-conscious. Visiting European royalty as well as American women returning from the International Exhibition in Paris in 1867 stimulated fashion awareness—and it was in this climate that the magazine Harper's Bazar flowered. Dedicated to being "A repository of Fashion, Pleasure, and Instruction," it brought to American women inside glimpses of the very latest European and American fashions, all in carefully detailed engravings. It was much the finest source for high fashion for this period.
This book consists of the finest illustrations from Harper's Bazar between the years 1867 and 1898, the period of its peak importance. These illustrations not only show you what apparel appealed to our Victorian ancestors, but give you an idea of the evolutionary nature of fashion as well. You will see bustles come and go, natural forms become the vogue only to be superseded by the constricting hourglass figure. Each look is illustrated with a number of different garments. There are gowns for the morning hours, dinner dresses, sporting costumes, traveling clothes and apparel for special occasions: weddings, communions, funerals, etc. Since no costume was complete without accessories, a full line of hats, fans, parasols, muffs, gloves, handkerchiefs, jewelry, shoes and hair styles is shown as well. A selection of children's attire is also included. An introduction by Stella Blum covers the history of Harper's Bazar and examines the various phases fashion went through between 1867 and 1898
From 1861 to 1890 the Munich publishing firm of Braun & Schneider published plates of historic and contemporary costume in their magazine Münchener Bilderbogen. These plates were eventually collected in book form and published at the turn of the century in Germany and England. This volume presents all 125 double-spread plates from the third English edition. For the first time, the plates appear in chronological order and with English captions.
Over 1,450 costumed figures are shown, from antiquity to the end of the nineteenth century, covering a wide variety of social classes, and professions: Egyptian and Assyrian kings, Byzantine emperors, Frankish and Norman nobles, priests, servants, soldiers of many lands and eras, crusaders, German knights, pages, Italian scholars, German townspeople, peasants, merchants, Dutch burghers, popes, nuns, bishops, monks, English Puritans and Cavaliers, English and French kings, Swiss citizens, French courtiers and republicans, and many more. In addition, there is excellent coverage of late-nineteenth-century folk and their costumes, captured just before the beginning of standard Western dress — Italian, Spanish, Dutch, French, German, Russian, Eastern European, Chinese, Japanese, Asian, and others. To avoid the variable and somewhat fanciful depictions of color in the early editions, all costumes are rendered in black-and-white.
A comprehensive source of historic costume in pictures, this remarkable book will be invaluable to costume designers, students of fashion design, commercial artists, and anyone interested in the history of dress. The illustrations are uniformly excellent, and the exceptionally low price makes this book even more attractive.
From headdresses to sandals, from warrior's armor to priestess's robes, the authentic costumes of people from all walks of life in the Roman and Greek civilizations are here pictured comprehensively and clearly. Three hundred finely drawn, detailed engravings (containing over 700 illustrations) show just what was worn by the poets, philosophers, priests and priestesses, peasants, Bacchanalians, emperors, generals, Amazons, and virgins of a bygone age.
Carefully copied from ancient vases and statuary by Thomas Hope (1770–1831), a British collector and designer, these engravings combine an unusual clarity of style with unquestioned authenticity. Their range, too, is unusually great, for besides the many plates on the costumes of the Greeks and Romans, there are representative illustrations of the typical dress of such other civilizations as the Phrygian, Egyptian, Parthian, Etruscan, and Persian.
In addition, scores of engravings are devoted to such now-forgotten objects as ancient musical instruments (the lyre, double flute, pipes of Pan, etc.), Bacchanalian implements, articles of furniture, women's trinkets and jewelry, sarcophagi, altars, and other adjuncts to ancient life.
Such comprehensiveness makes this book indispensable to costume designers, stage fitters, and producers of classic plays, students of fashion design, and others interested in ancient costumes. The material included here is covered in no ordinary history, and only here can the interested reader discover just how the draping of the Greek robe was achieved, or what was worn at festivals and funerals by the various classes.
Art directors, advertising managers, and others on the lookout for unusual and eye-catching illustrations will also treasure this collection. All of the engravings are royalty free and may be used in any way, whether as striking contrasts to modern styles in dress, jewelry, or furniture; for historical perspective; for mood pieces; or simply as unusual attention-getters.
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