Thursday, November 18, 2010

1970's by Deborah Nadoolman Landis, Dressed – A century of Hollywood Costume Design by Tanya Ziegler

The 1970’s were a crisis period for Hollywood. Because of an economic devastation and an identity issue, many old directors were retiring and left the management to young graduates who had barely any experience. This traumatic transition destroyed the important hierarchy establish throughout the years.

A new approach to filmmaking was explored. Young filmmakers were breaking down the traditional approach to rebuild them and explore the anti-hero’s perspective with a darker view including drugs, violence and sexual license. Movies about their own ethnic cultures and cinema vérité were also a new trend.

In this unstable environment, the costume designers’ status was threatened and very little was written about it. A new approach to costume design was explored, using the actors and actresses’ personal wardrobes in order to provide a much more realistic aspect to the characters. This modern way of working gave a new dynamic to the costume designer’s job. “The costumes needed to disappear” blend in, to be unnoticed therefore the costume designers needed even more virtuosity to provide the characters with a strong, coherent and reached wardrobe.

Vreeland, goddess of fashion, celebrated with an exhibition called “Romantic and Glamourous Hollywood Design” the earlier eras of art of costume design at the Metropolitan Museum Costume Institute. She wanted to remember what the Hollywood Glamour was and which was for her now dead. But what Vreeland had missed the point, which was that film actors were redirecting themselves to authentic characterization. Glamour was still there and will always be alive in Hollywood.

This new generation of young filmmakers pulled the movie industry to its best. New directors were now producing blockbusters and modern classics, thanks to which the movie business found its equilibrium and took more risks in order to provide the audience with a broad range of movies.

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