Category Archives: costume design

Steichen, Lawrence Pierrette in Vreeland Allure.

Gertrude Lawrence as Parisian Pierrot, Edward Steichen - 1923.  Diana Vreeland Allure, p.91.

Gertrude Lawrence as Parisian Pierrot, Edward Steichen – 1923. Diana Vreeland Allure, p.91.

Ah, the allure of a pierrette… the eyes, the lips, the cap, the frill.  Beautiful, delicate and strong – androgyny.

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A Chapeau de Bras of One’s Own.

Oh, how I want to create one of my own.  Any suggestions, advice, book recommendations, or chapeau de bras millinery construction diagrams would be appreciated more than anyone could ever imagine!  The collapsible chapeau de bras is foremost in the brain of mine (which I yearn to cover with one of these magnificent hats!)  But learning how to construct a bicorne would be (nearly) equally wonderful.

My goal in constructing a chapeau de bras is simply that I want to learn how (and also want to know how my round head will look beneath such a fantastically grandiose hat!)  Cosplay, Larp, and Reenactment are areas I’ve only recently studied – but I think surely there are milliners and costumers out there who might be able to help me achieve this personal millinery goal.  I love these types of discussion and always believe the comments you leave here may also benefit someone else as well.

Here’s a link to my Toile La La at Art Fashion Creation post about the splendid chapeau de bras, bicorne, and cocked hat.  Enjoy there – at Art Fashion Creation – all the great hat images, and if you too have seen Master and Commander and appreciated the hats – please leave a comment.  If you’ve made your own chapeau de bras or collapsible bicorne (or even a blocked and steamed regular bicorne), I would love to see your comments below this post – do please tell me how you constructed the spectacular thing!

1805 Chapeau de Bras or Bicorne Hat image.

1805 Chapeau de Bras or Bicorne Hat image.

Bicorne and Chapeau de Bras, Stadlinger 1856.

Bicorne and Chapeau de Bras, Stadlinger 1856.

1800 Chapeau de Bras image.  Collapsible Chapeau de Bras carried beneath the arm.

1800 Chapeau de Bras image. Collapsible Chapeau de Bras carried beneath the arm.

1831 Journal des Dames et des Modes image Chapeau de Bras or Bicorne hat.

1831 Journal des Dames et des Modes image Chapeau de Bras or Bicorne hat.

There are many more chapeau de bras, bicorne, collapsible bicorne, and cocked hat images at the Art Fashion Creation above –  third paragraph of this post.

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The Formidably Artistic Chic of Sculptress Princess Pignatelli.

Anna Maria dei principi d’Aragona Pignatelli di Terranova di Cortes – also known as Manana (the future, or tomorrow) – jumped out of the pages of a vintage Life September 19, 1949 magazine – as I was appreciating the magazine’s impressive color-print quality.  When I saw her, I recognized the kindred soul of an artist… and a very flamboyant soul.  Spectacular!

Here she is for you to observe too.

Manana in Life magazine September 19, 1949.

Manana in Life magazine September 19, 1949.

Mysterious, Avant Garde, Bizarre… Anna Maria dei principi d’Aragona Pignatelli di Terranova di Cortes looks as if creativity emanates from her every pore.

There is more information here at this Rocaille link – which leads me to think – perhaps Manana is seated next to one of her own sculptures.

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1937 Life Cover – Veiled Lilly Dache.

Alfred Eisenstadt photo, Lilly Dache hat, Janet MacLeod model - Life magazine cover October 18, 1937.

Alfred Eisenstadt photo, Lilly Dache hat, Janet MacLeod model – Life magazine cover October 18, 1937.

Like one of the gorgeous millinery designs in Joe Wright’s Anna Karenina.  Read more at Art Fashion Creation.

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Tracing the Origin of Fashion Trends.

Analyzing fashion trends, one must wear many hats – so to speak.  Pinpointing the birth of fashion trend phenomena requires the keen observation skills of the anthropologist, the historian, and the detective –  the keen eye of an artist – a finely-honed memory – and an aptitude for research. 

Tracing  fashion trend footprints back to their origin often leads to not just one, but many sources.

Today’s world, with its media archives, museums, vast libraries, and digital sources – presents infinite design inspiration.   Compare this to fashion design of the distant past – which referenced and mimicked dress of the nobility, for instance, or new developments in textiles, or architectural silhouettes.  

Now, we frequently see the reemergence of fashion trends and of style silhouettes – sometimes with no divergence from the original – if it is at all possible to pinpoint “the” original. 

One might be justified in saying the trends resulting from certain social climates and cultural conditions will likely reoccur when similar social climates and cultural condition exist.  However, even keen observation of these conditions may overlook “trend pockets” or fashion subcultures (goth, steampunk, or cosplay enthusiasts for example).

Whether it is possible to accurately forecast fashion trends years ahead of time – is a question that arises.   It is possible to assess social conditions, popular culture, market analyses, textile, technological, and production innovations… (to name a few determinant factors), and then make an informed prediction.  

Ultimately, without literally seeing into the future – without knowing the events, iconic personalities, or innovations of the future – we cannot give a definitive forecast.

However, here are three ways we can view the evolution of fashion trends:

  1. We can view the development of fashion trends of the recent past.
  2. We can see the development of fashion trends in the near future.
  3. We can observe the often prescient view of the future through the eyes of film visionaries, and we can expect to see at least a few trends occur as a direct result of these films.

How Fashion Reflects The TimesThe Origin of Trends – an Art Fashion Creation link to a scholarly paper analyzing  the development of fashion trends in the recent past.  Written in the ’90s –  viewing the development of trends to that point and predicting trends for the year 2000.

Predicting Future Fashion TrendsCostume Design in Futuristic Films, an August 27 2012 article by Katarina Gligorijevic – published at Toronto Film Scene.

Predicting Future Fashion, Doe Deere Blogazine December 15 interview with fashion trend forecaster Glendy Del Cid.

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Moonrise Kingdom: The Suzy Dress

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Clean white collar and cuffs, combined with popping colors and a short sporty skirt added up to something very cool.

Besides the music, the sets, the talent, the wit, the all-around cool and lovely nerdy quirkiness of this movie… this dress (from Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom) absolutely fascinated me.

Moonrise Kingdom costume designer Kasia Walicka Maimone shined here, lending an eye for detail to these clothes of the sixties – and making me want to revisit many of the looks I saw.

Read more about the Suzy dress at Toile La La.

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