14 thoughts on “Glamour: Famous Gowns of the Silver Screen Exhibit, Part 2

  1. Thanks so much for these two tremendous posts. I love all the details so perfectly explained. What a treat!

  2. What a heavenly exhibition–thanks so much for these posts. “The Leopard” and “The Age of Innocence” are among my favorite costume dramas: near-perfect scripts, acting, production values (apart from Claudia’s eye shadow). My favorite GWTW frock is the calico house dress Scarlett wears for days, the only outfit that felt somewhat accurate, although its details mysteriously change over the course of several scenes; who knows how many versions were made to get her through running in the dusty streets, trying to help birth a baby, fleeing Atlanta, etc.

  3. Fun fact: you weren’t leaving Visconti when you moved onto opera – he directed Callas in the ’55 Traviata!

  4. The dresses in the 1997 Anna Karenina film are stunning for sure. For some reason this film starts in winter 1880 and ends in spring 1883. In the book however Anna meets Wronskij in winter 1873 and she dies in spring 1876. So all in all she should be dressed in big, ballooning 1st bustle dresses with rather high waisted, rounded corsets and tons of decoration on it. Since contemporary audience don‘t find this style too sexy, directors usually choose the „natural form“ for Anna Karenina. But it‘s not really correct.

  5. I’m no fan of bustles but these are lovely. Hard to walk in,but lovely. And how did they sit?

  6. Another absolutely amazing post!

    These photos are even better than seeing the costumes in person, because I don’t think we’d be able to get that close and examine them so intensely as your camera has!

    I feel like I’ve been able to take each costume in my hands and examine all the construction details up close, and it’s simply mind-blowing how much work went into these.

    The coronation mantle with gold bullion embroidery from LUDWIG is a stunning piece of craftsmanship.

    Even though it’s a combination of bullion wire and regular gold thread embroidery, the amount of bullion is impressive, especially when other means could have been used to cut corners but still give that look on camera.

    I have an old book on ’30s Hollywood costuming that quotes Gwen Wakeling on how the bullion embroidery on one of the costumes in THE AFFAIRS OF CELLINI was so difficult and time-consuming, but the costume in question has only a small amount of simple “leaves and vine” trim around the neckline and cuffs– nothing like the massive amounts of embroidery on that mantle!

    I’m looking forward to the next installment of these posts, but I’m so sad it will be the last!

  7. Thank you so much for these posts–what a luxuriant stroll through the beauty!
    Senso is a visual feast, though the lead character is extremely annoying; shot in Venice, Rome, etc., it was instrumental in the restoration of La Fenice opera house when it burned down in the 1990s, because the first scene takes place there and has so many closeups of the architectural details!

  8. Gorgeous detailing. I never realized the brown gown had a pattern in Anna Karenina. The non-benefit of low-res screen shots and a lousy DVD copy. :P Thanks for sharing

  9. Ludwig II of Bavaria was a total clotheshorse, like his cousin Elisabeth, and like her stuffed with serious psychological issues. At least one of his problems was he was homosexual, which he found morally unacceptable and struggled against. Hence his engagement to Sophie.
    They’d known each other all their lives and were good friends, Ludwig must have felt that if he had to take any woman Sophie would be the one. However Sophie soon realized that Ludwig was playing at courtship and love and became more and more distressed. On Ludwig’s side he was slowly realizing that he just couldn’t but he was trapped. He delayed and delayed until Sophie’s father stepped in and cut the knot to the relief of both parties.
    Sophie recovered quickly and made a good marriage to a French prince. Ludwig sadly spiraled downward into a world of fantasy ending in a mysterious death. Sophie died tragically and rather bravely in a disastrous fire at a charity fair that killed a number of royal and aristocratic ladies. Sophie was credited with insisting the young girls assisting her be saved first.

  10. Thanks to Roxana for an interesting note on Sophie.
    And thanks to Frock Flicks for these ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS guest posts from Maija. I have seen all these movies but the last one, and will now watch it for those costumes! The notes were entertaining and enlightening. More, More!

    PS “The Leopard” was a 1,000 times better as a book, a movie, and an example of period costuming. I coaxed my husband into watching the waltz scene with me after I read this post!

  11. Thank you again for the fabulous feast for the eyes and mind.

    All the commenters here say it so much better than I can, thank you all!

    I have a question, tho’. How the heck did the sopranos sing in those glorious but highly-fitted-corseted costumes? Was there some kind of cheat pleating to allow the torso to expand to support the voice?

  12. I just received my copy of the book, and it is great. It is in 3 languages. These posts are as good as the book and a fantastic companion!

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