Classic Hollywood Style
Classic Hollywood Style explores iconic looks from the golden era of Hollywood, covering 35 films from the 1920s to the end of the 1960s. Caroline Young looks at the history and social context of the costumes through stories from the production, photos, interviews and original costume design sketches, and tips on how to 'get the look' today. While we celebrate the glacial elegance of Grace Kelly and the skin-tight sexiness of Marilyn Monroe, behind every look on screen was the costume designer who shaped the image. In the golden age of Hollywood, designers like Edith Head, Adrian and Travis Banton became stars in their own right. Women queued up to see the latest Joan Crawford and Greta Garbo release to lust after the glamorous costumes the stars would wear on screen. Department stores shamelessly mass-produced copies of gowns, film magazines would preview the new looks and women ran up their own versions on their sewing machines. In the 1960s women lowered their hems and sported berets to look just like Faye Dunaway in Bonnie and Clyde. Even today, an article on the little black dress will inevitably make mention of Audrey Hepburn. Every one of these films has perfectly captured a moment of fashion zeitgeist or has become an indelible image of cinema, whether it is Garbo in a trenchcoat in A Woman of Affairs, Joan Crawford's shoulder pads in Mildred Pierce, Rita Hayworth's strapless dress in Gilda, James Dean's red windbreaker in Rebel Without a Cause or Steve McQueen's ivy league style in The Thomas Crown Affair. Through archived records, studio press releases, behind the scenes memos, costume designer sketches and notes, censorship records and articles from magazines of the time, this is a behind-the-scenes look at the classic costumes of the silver screen.