The Savvy Sage of Sewing Stimulation

More on Movies and fashion

Movies like all art forms, really do reflect the styles and trends of the times in which they are made.  I learned in art classes – both music and fine arts, that art movements usually precede the actual historical events, such as Romantic Period brought about an immense feeling of individuality and therefore revolution  – not the arts don’t cause the events, they just reflect the tendency toward the change that will bring about the events.  So it’s always fun and interesting (and educational) to watch the movies, and particularly the fashion.

It’s also fun to look at the difference of period movies that were made in the last decade as opposed to those made 30 years or more ago – even though they are representing the same period of history.  Westerns made in the 40’s have different costumes than those made in the 90’s.

Compare Dana Delany in Tombstone (1993) to

Maureen O’Hara and Yvonne DeCarlo in McLintock (1963)

For one thing the costume flavor is completely different – no puffed sleeves in 1993, but lots in 1963.  Also Ms. O’Hara’s and Ms. DeCarlo’s costumes actually fit and fit well, while Ms. Delany’s fits completely differently.

So what brings all this up is that the FIDM in LA is having a wonderful exhibit of costumes from current  movies – some up for Oscars. (click the pic below for the link to a gallery off great photos of the exhibit)

Why is this so important?  Well, these clothes are actually sewn and sewn well.  They are really worth our attention cause many of them have been constructed the way we would construct and assemble our garments.  I thought “The Help” costumes were a lot of fun, cause this was sort of my “coming of age” and when I first started sewing for myself, so these fashions were where I began.

Although these are reflective of the styles of the 60’s, these are trending toward what’s hot today – the waist is a little higher and belts are very chic as well as the more feminine silhouette.

Here are some of my favorites:

The one above I loved, simple cause it brings back fond memories of doing dresses like the flowered dress and at the time my challenge was learning about zippers.  I finally got it, but I have a few dresses with some “mishapened” zippers!

Here’s the costume from Jane Eyre – love the detail on the collar/shoulder area.  For some reference here’s some other Jane Eyres through time:

This is a completely different look – from 2006

And something completely different, Joan Fontaine in 1943 – this fit to the skin….notice how all three Jane Eyres are different depending upon the styles at the time, but all three are probably pretty authentic to the time of Jane Eyre.

I simply love this for all the detail in the collar (from “The Artist”), and the way it was so beautifully pleated….see that’s the kind of detail I’m talking about here that we do in our sewing but you would NEVER see this in RTW – but you would in couture.  This lace trim would make a beautiful trim to a gorgeous shell today – it looks dated here, but a nice shell with a FBA and in a darling light linen for summer,would be absolutely elegant and very fashionable.

Finally from “My Week With Marilyn”

Aren’t these pleated ruffly trims beautiful with the pleated sleeves?  I’m not sure this looks like “My Week With Marilyn” but that’s what the caption says….this looks more Victorian to me – I just love the beautiful detailing – in style and trimming.  These pleated ruffles are very elegant and very sophisticated for those who think that ruffles are too young for a sophisticated style, I see this around a very demure neckline (like a great blouse) under a suit and very, VERY appropriate for the office.

I’m sorry I can’t be there in person to look at these garments, but having these pictures is the next best thing.

The other wonderful part about studying these costumes is to note the change in fashion trends….these dresses and garments here are all “pretty”….I know, you’re sick of hearing it…pretty is coming back, but what can I say – I’m still excited about it!


1 Comment
  1. Not only are they pretty, they’re also elegant!

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