This is a review of Hollywood and History, Costume Design in Film. This book is an excellent resource made up of a series of essays and photos outlining the comprehensive history of wardrobe design in film.
Book Facts (from the publisher)
Hollywood and History: Costume Design in Film (Hardcover)
by Edward Maeder (Author), Alicia Annas (Author), Satch Lavalley (Author), Elois Jenssen (Author)
# Hardcover: 256 pages
# Publisher: Thames & Hudson (1987, 1990)
# Language: English
# ISBN-10: 0500014221
# ISBN-13: 978-0500014226
Written Content (7/10)
This book is a compilation of essays by Edward Maeder, Alicia Annas, Satch LaValley, and Elios Jenssen, organized by Edward Maeder. This was a companion piece to an exhibition hosted by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, with assistance from the Costume Designers Guild and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, with a grant by the National Endowment of the Arts.
The book is comprised of the following chapters and sections:
The Celluloid Image: Historical Dress in Film
- The Three Faces of Cleopatra (photo essay)
The Photogenic Formula: Hairstyles and Makeup in Historical Films
- Makeup in Historical Films
Hollywood and Seventh Avenue: The Impact of Period Films on Fashion
- Period Films on Fashion
- Visions of the Future: Costume in Science Fiction Films (photo essay)
The essays are well-researched, scholarly, and very interesting.
Visual Collateral (7/10)
Obviously, the visuals are fundamental to the work. There are many stills, screencaptures, photos, costume designs and illustrations. Due to the nature of the films covered, spanning the history of film, many photos are black and white as the source was, and color is used as reflective of the films.
It is more of a reference work than a “coffee table book”, in my opinion, but a great reference for fans of films.
Below are a few sample pages from the book (click each image for full resolution):
The book itself in both hardcover and softcover versions, and of a standard size and I would characterize it as textbook quality. Given that it is a compilation of essays from various authors, it is fairly straightforward in its layout.
Overall Value (10/10)
This book it long out of print, having been published in 1987, but it can be found fairly easily online from various online book resellers, for as low as $6 (which is what I paid). Given the low price, it is an excellent deal.
Conclusion and Overall Rating (8/10)
I am generally a collector of more contemporary films, but even so, I’ve found this to be an interesting book and there is content related to films of the 70s and 80s, including science fiction films. This is the first out of print book that I have reviewed, but I thought it was worth drawing attention to this book in that it is a great resource and can be found online for under $10 shipped.
Jason De Bord