Welcome to another week of Film Fashion Friday. As I am with just about every week of this series, I am so excited to share my film choices for this week. This semester I had an opportunity to create a nine to twelve week screening series with the theme of my choice. We had to have theories and research to back up our themes and I thought it would be interesting to see what I could come up with related to costuming and how it affects the viewer. As I assumed before I began my search, there isn't really a lot out there on costuming. Film costumes are really overlooked and taken for granted. I really feel the vintage community is one of the costuming department's biggest fans and advocates.
The primary film for this week is Changeling from 2008. Even though I am not normally a huge Clint Eastwood fan, I couldn't wait for this film to come out. The costume designer, Deborah Hopper, had worked on two of Eastwood's other period films which were set in the forties (Letter from Iwo Jima and Flags of Our Fathers). I knew she was going to do a really good job with Changeling and thus my excitement for the film's release grew! What I didn't know until I had watched the DVD's extras and read interviews for my project was that most of the costumes for the main characters in the film are in fact period pieces. Hopper said that she flew around the United States in search of vintage garments indicative of the period. In days when most designers are creating their own looks for films, Hopper held true to making the period film look and feel as authentic as possible. She also said that she looked at old Sears catalogs and yearbooks from the time period to get a better grasp on what the average person in the late '20s - early '30s wore. The overall outcome is shear amazement! The film is cinematically very beautiful and tells a great - but heartfelt - story. Changeling is available on DVD and through Netflix.
This week's honorable mention is the HBO made for TV movie Grey Gardens (2009). This period remake of the documentary spans from the mid-1930's to the 1970's. The beginning of the film is full of wonderful period costumes. Costume designer Catherine Marie Thomas did a brilliant job of putting together a well dressed cast. Like Hopper, she used some period pieces, most notably the white dress Little Eddie wears to her coming out party. I couldn't find any for sure remarks about the shoes in this film, but to me, many look like period pieces and if they are not, they are surely crafted extremely well. Drew Barrymore has the most stand out pieces in the film and I would suggest watching it, if only to see her spectacular wardrobe. Grey Gardens is available on DVD and Netflix.
I wanted to end this week's film suggestions with a website recommendation. I recently found the site ClassicFlix.Com which is very much like Netflix but only provides classic movies and television shows. What is so great about this site is that they are the only rental company to offer the Warner Bros. Archive DVDs. I took a quick look at their offerings and I must say they include a lot of older movies that are extremely hard to find on DVD -- even to buy a used copy on half.com or amazon.com. Their plans are a bit on the pricer side; at least compared to Netflix but it is totally worth it if you are a classic film fan. I think I am going to ask for a subscription for Christmas!!
Oh! And don't forget to check back for my review of the 70th Anniversary Edition of Gone with the Wind. If you have any questions about the box set, let me know and I will answer them to the best of my ability in my post.