The Mediterranean climate and relaxing atmosphere brought my thoughts into the Dream Factory. Therefore I have a desire to share few words about fashion in connection with the film history in Hollywood.
Between 1905 and 1915 film actors were required to supply their own garments for film. However, it didn’t directly mean lack of interest in fashion from film producers. The filmmaking process involved a number of decisions concerning the costumes by actors, casting directors, directors, art directors and also uncredited designers, who were working in far greater numbers than has officially been recognised.
From the mid-1910s commercial “tie-ups” were established between the film and fashion industries. Dress was a bit of channel for sending social messages and reflect on broader cultural issues.
Furthermore, a film studio was as a rule in control of a film star’s public image, which was carefully stipulated in the clauses of agreement between them. The clothes were inevitably linked to the starlet’s on-screen image.
What is even more intriguing is that there could be a meticulous distinction made between “costumes” and gowns. “Costumes” referred to clothing of historical dramas or “character” parts, while “gowns” would describe contemporary, which would often be purchased from fashion designers, custom salons, or department stores for, or by the actress as such.
It was not earlier than in the late 1920s, when the first in-house designers started to be awarded regular on-screen credits.
However, it doesn’t mean designers were not engaged into the process of creating a film wardrobe till then. Many wardrobe heads and designers worked “behind the scenes” in the 1910s, what made them play an important role in the film industry and in the bridging between fashion and film. A clear evidence on that is those numerous post-modern fashion photos which are well recognisable homage to different film scenes.