Saturday, 6 July 2013

Barg of the Week: Costume Design Books

Usually my Barg of the Week finds are second-hand bought, but from time to time I come across new items which are equally cheap-as-chips. This weeks feature is a strange case of the two combined.

So I was at the Victoria and Albert Museum on a college trip, some months after having been to see the Hollywood Costume exhibition (and The Lion King Musical!) with my mum. The costume exhibition (which was mind-blowing, might I add) had closed some weeks before, and hence the V&A shop was trying to clear the exhibition-specific merchandise. Here's what I came home with:

 These chunky, beautiful books retail at £50 (Dressed - A Century of Hollywood Costume Design) and £35 (Hollywood Costume). As I'm going to study Theatre Design at uni in September, and have a specific interest in costume for film, I had wanted these books ever since they hit the shelves...but not with those pricetags.

The one-off copies I purchased were ex display books, handled by thousands of people, creased and bent. This wasn't a problem to me...considering they were £5 and £10! Saving me a total of £70. Don't mind if I do V&A.

Quite frankly the content is invaluable. This double page spread features Liza Elliot (Ginger Rodgers) from Lady in the Dark (1994). The costume designer was Edith Head, a renowned legend in the industry.

Rose's iconic suit from Titanic (1997). Costume designer - Deborah L. Scott.

This is probably one of my favourite pages. This gorgeous dress, worn by Deborah Kerr in The King and I (1956), is undoubtedly a demonstration of the upmost skill.

And whilst we're on the subject of 1800s dress, here is the stunning Vivien Leigh as Scarlett in Gone with the Wind (a film I have a confusing love/hate relationship with). Walter Plunkett designed some incredible pieces for the movie.

And for a final peek inside these facsinating books, a double page spread on the lustrous gowns from The Mystic (1925). These elaborate pieces greatly remind me of how Alphonse Mucha's women are clothed. Aren't they divine?

For a grand total of £15 I really couldn't go wrong with these, and would recommend them to anyone with an interest in costume. Maybe I'll write a proper review someday, but for now, enjoy the eye candy!

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