Hollywood Costuming


(permanent link) added: 2009-11-13 21:46:13 sponsor: DragonQuestZ (last reply: 2009-11-13 21:46:13)

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The bodice and makeup are more accurate for 1955, not 1255.

Based off this earlier ykttw.

A Sub-Trope of Hollywood History related to period dress. Due to factors ranging from budget, Artistic License, and downright They Just Didn't Care, period costuming in shows and movies is just plain inaccurate half the time (although most of the time there are some minor mistakes).

Sometimes costumes are mostly accurate, but from the wrong time. Sometimes the costumes are based more on the styles of the time the work was made than when they take place. Sometimes the costume designers will just make completely original outfits having almost nothing to do with the historical fashions.

Note this doesn't just included clothing and accessories, but also makeup and hair.

This is actually Older Than Print. Consider a lot of paintings depicting Biblical or mythological scenes in medieval or Renaissance dress, or the fact that many Victorian reprints of Jane Austen's work had new illustrations depicting the characters in modest Victorian clothing rather than the comparatively skimpy light muslin dresses of the regency era.

Note to count, it has to take place in our history, not a neo-historical future or a Fantasy Counterpart Culture.

Gorgeous Period Dress is a Sub-Trope.

Often overlaps with Present Day Past (when the sets, props, and costuming are not historical at all).

Rolling Examples:

  • Quite common during the Golden Age of Hollywood, although still around.
    • Picture comes from The Court Jester.
    • Vivien Leigh's obviously 20th century makeup job as Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind.
    • This picture of Rose Hobart as Anne Neville (with Basil Rathbone as {Richard III})in 1939's Tower of London.
    • The Laurence Olivier version of Pride and Prejudice with all the women in antebellum hoop skirts (although might be justified if it's true that they were reused from Gone With The Wind to save costs).
  • 300 is an extreme example of this.
  • Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman did this, although to a much milder degree than the other historical inaccuracies of the show (in case anybody wants to dispute that, I had a college teacher who's best friend was the historical consultant for that show, and she stopped showing up on the set after she realized they weren't listening to her).
  • In the 1947 film version of Good News (set in The Roaring Twenties), the men's costumes are roughly period-appropriate, but the women's hair and clothes are contemporary.
  • In Auntie Mame (at least the first film adaptation), many outfits don't even try to look like the 20s or 30s.
  • In theater more than a century or so older, there wasn't even an effort to be accurate in the costuming. You would see Cleopatra in petticoats and an ermine cape and Mark Anthony in a doublet and tights.
  • Debatable how accurate most of the costuming in Rome is, but the Egyptian costuming, as well as sets, were totally off. Egypt was a Hellenistic nation at the time, as were many Mediterranean nations after Alexander the Great conquered them.
  • The costuming in "The Tudors" won an Emmy, but if you value your sanity do not claim it's historically accurate on any Internet re-enactment board or discussion list.
  • Christine's frizzy '80s Hair in the original production of The Phantom of the Opera (though, that could be an homage to the 1925 silent film too, which would still be this). Over the years, this has evolved into much tidier ringlets.
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