Sunday, June 23, 2013

1912-14 Summer Day Dress: Design and Inspiration

So I'm currently stumbling my way through making a ca. 1912-1914 summer day dress from scratch. Because I'm doing this from scratch and because I'm not trained in pattern making I'm finding the whole endeavour rather frustrating!

So to help me feel a bit more inspired, I thought I'd share my Design and Inspiration for the dress.

The main inspiration really comes from Lady Sybil's beautiful purple dress that we see in the first season of Downton Abbey. This is because I had metres of plain purple cotton laying around that I wanted to do something with.

Looking at Sybil's purple dress I think it's made with a cotton sateen, a silk blend or something similar, definitely not the daggy cheap, plain cotton like I have!

However, I also took inspiration from Lady Mary who sports this plain striped cotton dress (made for her character by the costume designer on the show) on a couple of occasions:

And the lower class kitchen maid Daisy, who wears this costume (which by the looks of it could almost be an original garment from the era. I know TV Shows such as Downton tend to use antique clothing that is still in good condition).

Oh course, I can't base an 'historical' garment completely on costumes from a TV series. So I've also looked to fashion prints from the era for inspiration as well:

This print is from Summer 1913.

Whilst these are from 1913-14

And these are from American magazines dating around 1914-15.

There are also some great surviving dresses from the era, such as this one:

This dress is from Steel Magnolias Vintage Clothing here.

I was also inspired by the day dress made by the blogger American Duchess which is pictured below (Click on image to link to her amazing blog and blogpost):

And here is where mine is at now:

Wish me luck!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Speaking of Hollywood Costume...

I'm not a fan of the Superman franchise at all BUT I approve of this costume. And Henry Cavill.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Hollywood Costumes Exhibition comes to the ACMI in Australia!

So over the weekend I flew to Melbourne to see the 'Hollywood Costume' exhibition which is currently being held at the ACMI (Australian Centre of Moving Image). The exhibition was developed at the V&A in London and after having a great run there they brought it to Australia which is awesome!

"Direct from the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, Hollywood Costume explores the central role costume design plays in cinema storytelling. Bringing together the most iconic costumes from a century of filmmaking... Hollywood Costume illuminates the costume designer's creative process from script to screen and reveals the collaborative dialogue that leads to the development of authentic screen characters."

As well as seeing the exhibition, I also purchased the book that accompanies the exhibition and it is brilliant. It chronicles the whole history of costume design in Hollywood film and even has a few interesting academic articles from familiar names like Aileen Ribeiro and my favourite, Valerie Steele.

I wasn't supposed to take photos in the exhibition, but really who follows those rules? I've posted some of the sneaky shots I took below. Enjoy!

There were also some other costumes on display at the ACMI, including those from the recent Great Gatsby!

And 1998's Elizabeth: