A moment of love, anticipation, self-love, longing and peace. Mark Bridges articulates the dress of Peppy Miller here played by Bérénice Bejo to stand out from the background curtains and wall. He designed/chose the dress with stripes and swirly motifs, of sequins in patterns which all separate her from the surroundings. Because the film was transferred into black and white, Mark Bridges had to be mindful of this phenomena so that depth and the dynamic use of space with figure is maintained visually and carries the story in an exciting way. Mark Bridges does this brilliantly.
Above is a black white collage of some ladies in contemporary 20’s fashion. I created it. The ladies are connected to the abstract trees. In this case I had to separate them away from their environment because the patterning that is in their garments is also in the trees. Close to camouflage. This is the opposite to what Mark Bridges had to resolve. His characters had to stand out in the sets at all times.
To freshen your memory, watch the trailer of THE ARTIST by Director Michel Hazanavicius if you can. You gotta love the 20’s style.
A dream of mine is to costume dress and set design a film narrative or stage that takes place in the 20’s. That dream might be near or far, I don’t know, however in the meantime, I thought I would share some of my favorites from that time period. Now, if this dream doesn’t come true? Well, obviously I will then have to throw a 20’s dress up party. That would mean everyone who attends the ‘partay’ is living in a 20’s fantasy as well. Just for a sec let’s marry and attend a je ne sais quois Great Gatsby-esque kind of decadence.
Great Gatsby theme
It is close to summer, a time for weddings; the ideal party that grooves at every hour, into everlasting forevers.
1920’s wedding flapper dress
The drape, the fall, the span of form with accessory, the heavy with light fabrics and the slight contrapposto take us into the 20’s mood of dress.
vintage wedding dress
The details of pearls and appliqué, beads and feathers, the transparency and opaque, while loose and assembled offer a comfortable possibility and for the ‘partay’.
To indulge you a little bit of vintage silver screen hollywood is here. Yolan Cris is a remarkable fashion house in Barcelona http://www.yolancris.com/yolancris/us/
Her pose feels stiff and contrived, however her gown is more unfixed than those of today and carries a more detached allure. Ballet shoes might also indicate her identity with performance.
Like architectural space, the space of garment as container manipulates our behavior to move around in the world specifically. Garment is contingent upon context. Whether we are in the first photo or the one above sophistication and elegance is declared and has us piping a long cigarette in our satin robes lying languid on the couch in a never-ending daydream. Clearly we can’t wear athletic attire and arrive at the Carnegie smelling of sweat. What is appropriate or inappropriate become the codes of fashion that organizes our lives. If we decide to wear skirts, bodices, short or long hemlines, flared, sheath, slip, statement to gown dresses once again our behavior and the movement of our body will change depending on the occasion, the environment and our level of inner security.
Which time period would you see yourself in? Which cultural force do you identify with? Which figures would you like to have known? For me the allure of the 20’s is significant because women were freer from the constraints of history and the importance of the suffrage movement is radical. I would love to have been friends with the Lost Generation- F.Scott Fitzgerald, Earnest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, lived in an Art Deco house, painted with the Surrealists, and Expressionists. Even though the Great Depression was around the corner, the 20’s zeitgeist explored new extravagant lifestyles and supported the fervor around industrial progress. The appeal of the jazz buzz, the silent movies, the Charleston, the hair, Picasso, the travel all to lift humanity…and of course because of the recycling in fashion history, the fantasies of 20’s dress allows us to attend many more partay’s.