East Meets West Meets History: Vogue Korea

One of my absolute favourite places to look at fashion – and by extension, costume – inspiration is Vogue Korea. I absolutely cannot read a single character of the Korean language, but the images truly speak for themselves.  So many gorgeous photo-shoots, and so many heavily influenced by both Eastern and Western historical fashion.

Obviously Vogue Korea’s website can be a little difficult to navigate for the Korean illiterate, but it’s worth the exploration to find some seriously gorgeous gems.

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Images via http://www.vogue.co.kr/

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A Conversation with Edith Head

In the past couple weeks I have developed an obsession with Old Hollywood. In all honesty it started way back in August, when my husband and I were sitting in the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, sipping cocktails and discussing Raymond Chandler, James Ellroy and Hollywood Babylon.

In the interim months I read “The Long Goodbye” and “The Big Nowhere,” trying to capture some sense of L.A. of the past. (By the way, if anyone in L.A. wants to hire me, I’m ready to move there any time!) I’ve watched any movie I can get my hands on that depicts Hollywood of the ’30s, ’40s and ’50s. Some movies include: L.A. Confidential, Girl 27, Mommie Dearest, Hitchcock, Sunset Strip… oh and episodes of Mysteries and Scandals on youtube. Did I mention I was obsessed?

Anyway, imagine my luck when I saw a production titled “A Conversation with Edith Head” would be playing nearby for one weekend. I jumped at the opportunity to see yet another point of view of the Classic Hollywood era, and from the costuming perspective too? What a treat!

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The play is a one woman show, i.e. Edith Head, circa 1981 at her bungalow on the Universal lot. Based on the book “Edith Head’s Hollywood” by Edith Head and Paddy Calistro, actress Susan Claassen truly seemed to embody the prolific costume design in both appearance and word. The play did not skimp on behind the scenes stories, but Mrs. Head tactfully refused to get into any gossip. It was a very enjoyable evening. As the youngest person in the front row, I also had the pleasure of making Mrs. Head feel old… yay? “I was working with Olivia de Havilland thirty years ago. Were you even born yet?” Er… no sorry, I wasn’t even born before 1981!

Anyway, how can I call myself a costume blog without a few words about Edith Head?

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Edith Head worked in show business for almost 60 years (44 years at Paramount). She received 35 Academy Award nominations and won 8 Oscars in costume design. She holds the record for the most nominated woman and the woman who has won the most Academy Awards (Walt Disney holds the record for both distinctions on the male side with 59 noms and 26 wins).

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Head claimed to have worked on 1,131 films and the extensive filmography in Calistro’s book confirms at least 781 titles.

Trivia:

She is the inspiration for Edna Mode in “The Incredibles.”

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“Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid” is dedicated to Edith Head, her last film.

She was honoured with a Google Doodle in October 2013, for her 116th Birthday.

More information:

The Play: A Conversation with Edith Head
The Book: Edith Head’s Hollywood

2013: Costuming in Review

I think I’ve been a very bad blogger. It’s a new year and I haven’t made an update since October. I don’t normally make new year’s resolutions, but maybe this year I should start by to making more time for my blog.

I’ll start with a brief year in review.

2013 was an absolutely fantastic year for me, not necessarily for my costuming though…

The first whole half of the year was dedicated to moving out and getting married in Disney World. I DIY’ed absolutely every aspect of our wedding that I possibly could manage, but before anyone asks not the dress.

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In August I pulled out my Merida costume to attend FanExpo. And met my favourite actor Karl Urban (big Lord of the Rings fan here). My husband and I spent the last week of August fashioning a bow from PVC pipe.

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In October I was busy with a bunch of Halloween related projects.

A historical night out as a pioneer from the past. The bonnet I put together to make my Chemise a la Reine look a little more 1813 appropriate. In the dark, I’d say it passed off quite well.

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My Snow White costume out for a night of dancing. Thinking of the last minute crunch to finish the costume still gives me stress and I forgot to bring the right ribbon to lace up the front of the bodice. I made it in time, but there are some definite improvements I hope to make to it.

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Mary Poppins too made it in time for Halloween!

Dinner and the Opera on Halloween night. We dressed up circa 1912, me in a gown made for the 100th anniversary of the Titanic and my husband in the long overdue tailcoat tuxedo.

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And in November a stack of hats for a local museum.

For Christmas I got three lovely new costume/history books I can’t wait to dive into (already well into The Beau Monde by Hannah Greig), and my Husband bought me a pair of Pompadours and stockings from American Duchess. Looks like I finally have the excuse I need to move an 18th century dress to the top of my to-do list!

Well, that’s all for 2013! Here’s to a more productive 2014! Cheers!