Monday, 27 September 2010
We watched two amazing epics this Sunday and the costumes in both films were amazing.
Starting with Visconti's The Leopard, a sweeping Sicilian tale of aristocrats with a wonderfully dubbed Burt Lancaster and the most incredible crinolines on celluloid, designed by Piero Tosi.
Full of dramatic lip biting and sweating men's brows in a gorgeously set Sicily with beautiful palaces that take your breath away on the big screen.
I don't think any film has captured the vast amount of guests invited to a Royal ball in this way, the extras can hardly pass each other with the ginormous skirts, and the dancing is so squeezed together like flowers all squished into a gilded box. I fell in love with the dresses and the tiny pointed waists, I'm just trying to work out how to apply this shape to a dress without all the corsets needed underneath.
The second film, keeping with the Sicilian theme had to be The Godfather with costumes by Anna Hill Johnstone. I hadn't watched it around 5 years ago and forgot that even though it's a 'gangsta' favourite it's a very carefully made masterpiece.
The one thing I didn't notice so much the first time were the costumes. It's my most adored era set in the 40's and 50's and the Connie character has some of the best pieces. The lace wedding dress to begin, with it's puff sleeves and heavy satin skirt. My favourite outfit is this beautiful slipper satin, dressing gown with a finely appliqued bodice and a gathered belt which she wears above her bump. I'm so sorry it's a horrendous scene to choose but the gown is just so gorgeous and is everything I love about the 1940's. I must find myself a satin dressing gown to sweep round my studio in!