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Old October 30th, 2008, 02:31 PM   #1
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Challenges with period clothing.

Looking for ideas on how to find out what reasonably authentic wardrobe would be for a given time period/region, and also where would you then find these items.
I'm thinking that w/o a deep pocket producer, I suppose second hand stores and charity turn-around clothing places would be good. We're talking just a few actors here, hobby type film "shorts" projects.
But the hard part would be to know what they wore "then".
What do the pros do when a director says "I need costumes for pre WW2 Paris...", for example. Is there a book of "World fashion in history" I could consult?
Thanks for any suggestions.
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Old October 30th, 2008, 03:04 PM   #2
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Talk to your nearest university with a good

theatre department - that's where you start. The costume department will probably have good costumes for rent, or you can find an appropriate student costumer to hire for your shoot. She'll know how to research what you need, and yes, thrift shops are gold mines for costumers. Shirley Russell, Ken Russell's ex-wife, costumed many of his films brilliantly with largely thrift shop finds. This is a good gig for a costume major though. With a little finessing, they might be able to get some credit for it as well.

And yes, there are lots of books that show images of clothing from whatever time period you're looking for. If Boise has a good art book store, you might be able to find a lot of 'em there. If you're heading into a city with Samuel French, you can find dozens and dozens of such books.
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Old October 30th, 2008, 03:17 PM   #3
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Excellent Leads

I may be only at the level of "blue and white horizontal strip shirt and a black beret = French", but to take it a step further would be nice.
Thanks.
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Old October 30th, 2008, 05:25 PM   #4
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Pre-WWII Paris will make some costumer's heart go pitty-pat - believe you me. I"m sitting at here at my desk thinking, "oh, and I could have this made, and I could do this" and I"m not a costumer.

Stay away from the fashion girls though they'll want in. this is a job for someone with a costuming background who knows how to do historical research and knows how clothes were made at the time. The fashion girls will give you an modern interpretation that will look good to the contemporary eye but fail as a costume.

Have fun. Boy, do I want to hear more about this.
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Old October 30th, 2008, 06:14 PM   #5
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For a start, go to amazon.com and do a search on "historical fashion." There are lots of books on clothing fashion, and this will give you a few titles to work with. Libraries are a good place as well. Go to the nice librarian (he or she won't bite) and ask if they have books on clothing for the period you're looking.

If nothing else, you'll at least get an idea of the look you want, and then can start hunting for similar items in thrift stores that either are what you want or can be modified slightly to pass. The nice thing about second-hand clothing is that it looks lived-in, NOT like a costume.

Martin
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Old March 9th, 2009, 01:47 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Bates View Post
Looking for ideas on how to find out what reasonably authentic wardrobe would be for a given time period/region, and also where would you then find these items.
I'm thinking that w/o a deep pocket producer, I suppose second hand stores and charity turn-around clothing places would be good. We're talking just a few actors here, hobby type film "shorts" projects.
But the hard part would be to know what they wore "then".
What do the pros do when a director says "I need costumes for pre WW2 Paris...", for example. Is there a book of "World fashion in history" I could consult?
Thanks for any suggestions.
If you haven't already solved this issue, contact the Shakespeare Festival and ask to talk to their costume dept. The BSU theater dept would be another good place to look. You might also try to get a hold of Mrs. Hitchcock who might not work for the Shapespeare Festival any more, but was with their wardrobe dept for many years. Hope that helps.
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