Silver Screen Modes is written by Christian Esquevin. I am a writer, collector, and researcher of classic Hollywood film costume design history. This blog is a continuation of Silver Screen Modiste, which I began in 2009. I am the author of Adrian: Silver Screen to Custom Label, a book about MGM’s famed costume designer Gilbert Adrian, who also began his own fashion line in 1942. I also collect original costume design sketches from classic films and the costume designers that made costume design and fashion history. Many of those illustrations will grace these pages.
All text copyright Christian Esquevin 2009-2014
12 thoughts on “Silver Screen Modes”
I absolutely LOVE your site. I have a decent collection of books related to designers and Hollywood. I do a little magic with the Needle every so often, and have a difficult time shopping because I can’t afford well made garments YET and very capable of doing a better job than most of what I could afford. I have been collecting vintage handbags most of my life and own a few beautiful suits and dresses from the 40s.
Thank you for the compliment Cynthia. I’m glad you found my site and those books about the costume designers are very interesting and informative about the great fashions
in the classic movies. That’s nice that you can make or repair some of your own clothes, and collecting vintage handbags is a great hobby, and vintage garments too.
If one is looking for a certain item that worn by an actress in a movie (or something similar) where would you suggest I look?
Specifically the sweater that was worn by Doris Day in the movie, Young At Heart with Frank Sinatra (cream and beige with ribbons son the front and one on the back shoulder, with crystal buttons and crystals around the collar)
Hi Sherron. I’m afraid I can’t help you there. Most film wardrobe items for the leading ladies were custom designed for them. Some were occasionally purchased at the
big department stores or fashion designers of the day but would not be available today through normal sales channels. You may try the better vintage shops for similar items.
Hi Christian. Hope all is going well with you. I’m just writing to you to let you know that I’m hosting another blogathon. You are cordially invited to participate. The link is below with more details.
Hi Crystal – sounds interesting. I’ll do a post on her working relationship with costume designer Walter Plunkett.
Very interesting article about Edith Head and the “Sabrina” costumes. For the FACTUAL story of what actually happened with the film, take a look at international costume designer Jean-Pierre Dorleac’s full first-hand account in his chronicle of lost Hollywood glamour, THE NAKED TRUTH. He worked for Givenchy and was mentored by Edith Head. Read acclaimed columnist Liz Smith’s rave review: http://www.newyorksocialdiary.com/guest-diary/2015/liz-smith-naked-truth
Thanks for the tip On Mr. Dorleac’s book. I’m reading it now and will respond later – and I hope with an interview with Mr. Dorleac.
Great blog! As an avid collector of movie costumes sketches, discovering your blog was like happening upon the Holy Grail.
Loved reading the backstory on the sketches. I own many original
Travilla costume sketches. In my collection are about 15 from the
film Valley Of The Dolls ( including one of the two sketches that
were done with Candice Bergen as Anne ) and alternate sketches
for the film. My collection dates back to 1935 – 1967. Would love
to discuss my assortment with you.
Thanks for the comment and I’m happy to hear you have so many great Travilla sketches. They are fascinating. Please do get in touch
if you want to talk about sketches, I’m at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for your comment. Both the construction and repair of costumes are technical subjects that need quite a bit of depth to cover, and the repair of vintage costumes more expertise than I possess. But I will try to include posts on these topics in the future.
Gosh, THANKS for starting this blog! If you have an opportunity, I’d like to see something about the construction or repair of some of the costumes.