‘Hollywood Sketchbook’ conjures artful world of costume design
From Indiana Jones’ rakish fedora and battered leather jacket to Ben-Hur’s form-fitting togas to the Godfather’s sharp, double-breasted suits, Hollywood costumes usually came to life well before needle-and-thread in the early pen-and-ink concept sketches of designers.
A wealth of those lavish sketches, rarely seen outside the confines of studio production departments, has now been collected in “Hollywood Sketchbook: A Century of Costume Illustration” (Harper Design, $76), a glossy coffee table tome assembled by designer Deborah Nadoolman Landis (who earned a 1989 Oscar nomination for her “Coming to America” costume designs).
Containing more that 500 previously unpublished drawings, the book notes that each sketch provided a blueprint not only for the clothing but also for the film character that wore it.
The volume provides a rare peek into the portfolios of such famed designers and illustrators as Theadora Van Runkle (“Bonnie and Clyde,” “The Godfather: Part II”), Piero Tosi (“The Leopard,” “Death in Venice”), and Travis Banton (“Scarlet Empress,” “Blonde Venus”).
And among the iconic costumes illustrated are Marilyn Monroe’s famously billowing white dress from Billy Wilder’s “The Seven Year Itch,” as well as gowns worn by Diana Ross in 1975’s “Mahogany” and timeless evening clothes worn by stars such as Marlene Dietrich and Fred Astaire.
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