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Showing posts from November, 2015

Marie Antoinette: Telling a story through costume

A good costume design should be able to tell the story solely through dress, creating an interdependence between the costume and the character, both becoming two inseparable parts of a same whole.
And on that note, the best costume design I've seen in the last years is, undoubtedly the one from Marie Antoinette. The 2006 movie was directed by, at the time, third time director, Sophia Coppola, and the costume design was done by Milena Canonero.
Canonero is one of the heavyweights in the business, having been nominated 9 times for best costume at the Academy Awards, and having won 4 of those. Barry Lindon (1975) was her first win, which was followed by the Oscar for Chariots of Fire (1981). Marie Antoinette was the movie that gave her the awaited third Oscar. And this past year, she took home another with The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014).
Among her body of work we also find A clockwork Orange (1971), The shining (1980), Cotton Club (1984), Out of Africa (1985)and The Life Aquatic wi…

A look into Star Wars: Padme's dresses. Part VII

Our little journey through Padme's many dresses will continue with the "Purple Senate" Gown from Episode II.

Amidala wears this dress in Chancellor Palpatine's officer in the scene after there's been the attempt on her life. And again in a session of the Senate later in the movie.
The gown consists of a dark indigo bodice with a low-cut neck and skirt under a dark purple overcoat. The bodice is studded with beads and pearls along the neckline, and the front panel of the skirt and the sleeves are decorated with dark, beaded, scrollwork. The overcoat is decorated with intricate swirls and its shoulders are flared and decorated with beads.

The sleeves of the overcoat are long and have a slit through which the sleeves of the bodice show. The long ends of the sleeves are joined at the back with a metal circle decorated with pearls.
This design takes much from the same sources that the "packing gown" did. It's very western oriented, but it spices things …

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Historic Accuracy in Costume Design: The 16th century

I've never been a purist with historical accuracy as long as the changes made have a real reasoning behind (generally a narrative or symbolic one). I will always think that La reine Margot (1994) costume design is one of the most gorgeous and smart designs ever, even if said designs main premise is to purposely bend the period in regards to costume.
But there are certain things that bother me in regards to historical accuracy in costume which I realized when I found myself constantly irritated while watching The other Boleyn Girl (2008). This led me to post a question: when is it right to bend history? why is it interesting sometimes? whilst other times it's simply horrendous?
To me, when these changes are made for the narrative's sake, I'm usually on board (like the 2012's "Anna Karenina" designs, which mixed 1870's fashion with 1950's fashion in order to enhance the sense of theatricality and falsehood in Imperial Russia). But when these change…