Classic Hollywood Style tells the story of some of the most iconic looks from the golden era of Hollywood, covering 34 films from the 1920s to the end of the 1960s. Caroline Young explores how some of cinema's most glamorous costumes were created, describes their enduring influence and offers tips on how to 'get the look' today. While we celebrate the glacial elegance of Grace Kelly and the skin-tight sexiness of Marilyn Monroe, behind every look on screen was the costume designer who shaped the image. In the golden age of Hollywood, designers like Adrian, Edith Head and Travis Banton became stars in their own right. Women queued up to see the latest Joan Crawford and Greta Garbo release simply to lust after the costumes the stars would wear on screen. Department stores shamelessly mass-produced copies of gowns, film magazines previewed the new looks and women ran up their own versions on sewing machines at home. Even today, an article on the little black dress will inevitably make mention of Audrey Hepburn.
Through archived records and memos, costume designer sketches and notes, censorship records and articles from magazines of the time, this is a behind-the-scenes look at the classic costumes of the silver screen. Whether it is Rita Hayworth's strapless dress in Gilda or Garbo in a trenchcoat in A Woman of Affairs, Joan Crawford's shoulder pads in Mildred Pierce or James Dean's red windbreaker in Rebel Without a Cause, Caroline Young shows how each of these looks captures a bright moment of fashion zeitgeist, and has become an indelible image of cinema.
List of films and key styles * Camille (1921) Rudolph Valentino and Alla Nazimova in Art Deco style * Our Dancing Daughters (1928) Joan Crawford and flapper style * A Woman of Affairs (1928) Garbo in a trenchcoat * Morocco (1930) Dietrich in a tuxedo * Queen Christina (1933) Garbo triggers bishop sleeve sensation * Flying Down to Rio (1933) Fred and Ginger's first billing * The Dancing Lady (1933) Joan Crawford - rags to riches * Cleopatra (1934) Claudette Colbert in Art Deco style * Jezebel (1938) Bette Davis in Civil War period costume * Gone with the Wind (1939) Vivien Leigh in Civil War costume * The Philadelphia Story (1940) Katharine Hepburn in slacks and elegant gowns * Kitty Foyle (1940) Ginger Rogers as modern working woman * Casablanca (1942) Bogart in fedora, trenchcoat, white tuxedo * Cover Girl (1944) Rita Hayworth as all-American girl-next-door * To Have and Have Not (1944) Bacall's wave hairdo * Mildred Pierce (1945) Joan Crawford and shoulder pads * Gilda (1946) Rita Hayworth's black strapless gown * The Killers (1946) Ava Gardner as the classic femme fatale * All About Eve (1950) Bette Davis's off-the-shoulder New Look dress * A Place in the Sun (1951) Monty Cliff as a rebel in biker's leathers, Elizabeth Taylor's white prom dress * A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) Brando's t-shirt * Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) Monroe in burlesque pink * From Here to Eternity (1953) Deborah Kerr's halter neck bathing suit * To Catch a Thief (1954) Grace Kelly the Grecian, glacial blonde * Sabrina (1954) Hepburn's first Givenchy film, clean and simple style, boat neck dress * The Seven Year Itch (1955) Monroe's white halter neck dress blowing up * Rebel Without a Cause (1955) Dean in a red windbreaker - teen style * High Society (1956) Grace Kelly and cocktail dresses * Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958) Elizabeth Taylor in the white chiffon 'cat dress' * Imitation of Life (1959) Lana Turner in expensive gowns and jewels * Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961) Hepburn's little black dress (and gloves) * My Fair Lady (1964) Cecil Beaton's Edwardian Ascot * Bonnie and Clyde (1967) Berets, midiskirts, pinstripe and neckties * The Thomas Crown Affair (1968) Faye Dunaway's miniskirts, McQueen's Ivy Style