Classic Hollywood Style is a fascinating history of costume design from the golden era of Hollywood. Author Caroline Young places the designs from 34 classic films ranging from Camille in 1921 to The Thomas Crown Affair in 1968 within their social context including prevailing attitudes and influences from each decade.
Young explores the work of classic Hollywood costume designers, including Travis Banton, Orry-Kelly, Walter Plunkett, Irene, Adrian, Edith Head, Jean-Louis, Paul Poiret and Natacha Rambova.
The costume design of each decade reflected the social climate of the time. The restrictive Hays Code, introduced in 1934, put an end to the revealing outfits of the 1920s. World War II resulted in a shortage in silk, now used for parachutes. Cotton became the preferred material and costume designer Adrian introduced shoulder pads.
In the 1950s the teenager was represented by actors including James Dean, Montgomery Clift, Elizabeth Taylor and Natalie Wood. Jeans made the move from westerns to contemporary dramas and were worn by both male and female. The glamour of earlier decades was being replaced by a new realism that was finally allowed to flourish with the end of the restrictive Hays Code in 1968.
Classic Hollywood Style is lavishly illustrated throughout its 224 pages with 180 beautiful photographs of an era that has long gone. An era of glamour and style. Caroline Young’s book is highly recommended to all who love classic Hollywood.
About the author: Caroline Young is an Edinburgh based writer and journalist who has written for national newspapers and women’s magazines, including Closer and The Daily Mail. Caroline studied English Literature and Film and TV Studies at Glasgow University, and in 2007 she gained a Masters in Journalism and Mass Communication from Griffith University, Brisbane. She has a great passion and knowledge for film and fashion, with Screenwriting and the Business of Film included as part of her Masters degree. Classic Hollywood Style is her first book.
Review copyright Paul Green 2012. Classic Hollywood Style published by Frances Lincoln Ltd. October 2012.