Book Displays in the Library: Hollywood Costume Design
Although our book display cabinets (situated between libraries one and two) are normally reserved for our most recent acquisitions, we occasionally choose materials according to a particular theme. This month we have selected a number of books dedicated to costume in cinema, specifically Hollywood design, and the piece below which was originally written to accompany the display explains why….
This book display has been created to tie-in with a new exhibition at the V&A, ‘Hollywood Costume.’ Here at WSA library we have a good selection of material dedicated to the study of both fashion in film and costume design, including texts written by the chief curator of the exhibition Deborah Nadoolman Landis. We also have an extensive collection of feature films which have inspired the exhibition, from the contemporary interpretation of costume seen in Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette, the iconic beatnik silhouette of Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face and the fetishistic, futuristic outfits of the Matrix trilogy – all these titles are in our collection along with many more highlighted in the exhibition.
Historically, the study of fashion and costume and its relationship to moving image forms has been largely overlooked, if not ignored altogether, owing to a perception of fashion as ‘frivolous’ and ‘superficial’ and not worthy of academic study. This attitude has become increasingly redundant however with the growing number of academic texts dedicated to the study of clothing on screen (whether in the form of extravagant costume or understated every day wear) including those on display here. This exhibition also examines the costume designer’s creative process and the research from which some of the most memorable outfits in the history of cinema have developed. It will undoubtedly appeal to scholars, designers, and of course, film fans.
This exhibition includes over 100 costumes from films as early as 1912, up to the present day, many of which have never before left studio archives. They are spectacular, glamourous and iconic and the opportunity to see them in the flesh should not be missed. The exhibition runs from 20th October 2012 to the 27th January 2013.
Do come and look at the display and let us know if you would like to see similar displays in the future. We are always keen to hear what our users think! Perhaps you have an idea as to which of our resources you would like to see highlighted. Please leave us feedback in the comments section.