Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Where Women Create
One of my very favorite of the 'idea' magazines WHERE WOMEN CREATE has a terrific piece in the May/June/July issue (see cover above) particularly pertinent to a film-lovers like us. The article in WWC features the work space of the very fortunate Bobi Garland who works as a costume researcher, librarian and archivist for the Western Costume Company in California. For me or for anyone, really, who loves movies, design and history, this seems like a dream job.
"...work at this Hollywood institution has been one big adventure, filled with discovery and wonder in the "greatest attic in the world."
Western Costume is coming up on its Centennial and continues to be a very important part of the movie business. Their workrooms and storage units hold costumes which are almost as famous and recognizable as the actors and actresses who wore them on screen. From the ruby red slippers worn by Judy Garland in THE WIZARD OF OZ to Rudolph Valentino's SHEIK robes to gowns from GONE WITH THE WIND, they are all stored at Western Costume. "Research is the first step for a costume designer..." This seems obvious to me, but how often do we stop to think about the process behind the creation of the wonderful costumes we see onscreen?
The multi-page lay-out in the current issue of WWC allows the reader access to Western Costume's work-rooms and historical research library. One of the pages featured shows photos from the archives of turn of the century uniforms worn by city sanitation workers, porters and the like. The sort of thing any designer working on 'period' film would have to pay attention to. But the kind of detail the average movie viewer never stops to think about. I love learning about this sort of thing.
If this is not too esoteric for you, then I recommend picking up a copy of this issue of WHERE WOMEN CREATE. The magazine is beautifully put together (I think of it more as a book with a soft cover really, than just a 'magazine'). WWC is not only creatively inspiring but it is also great fun to read about and see the studio work spaces of the various women entrepreneurs featured.
You can link here to the Where Women Create website.
P.S. No, I don't work for the magazine nor do I get paid for singing their praises.