The duo of designers and directors who once stirred up nominations with the title “La La Land” (2016) – Mary Zophres, and Damien Chazelle is back. Not telling about the romance between Los Angeles, the two creators take the audience back in time to the important “changing” period of cinema and fashion past.
Babylon movie fashion: recreating the transition period of cinema and fashion
The script carries many historical elements when it comes to narrating the tumultuous period of Hollywood. The film begins in the mid-1920s when production studios gradually entered the transition from silent films (no sound or no dialogue) to films “talkies” (with dialogue). The transformation demands and challenges the adaptation of silent movie stars. With a duration of 189 minutes, Damien Chazelle and Mary Zophres skillfully portray the contrast between the beauty and the dark side of the world cinema capital with 250 actors and 7,000 costumes.
A new dawn from the remnants of war and pandemic, the people of the “Roaring Twenties” (the Roaring 20s) immerse themselves in partying and entertainment. Satisfying audience demand as many studios captures the market with silent films in the genre of fiction or comedy. In the field of fashion, the “Flapper Girl” trend revives liberal inspiration. Shedding the fussy layers of the old decade, mini skirts and bobs become the pinnacle of style. Coco Chanel helped design the dress, refusing to cut the waist, giving all the sophistication to the beaded pattern, sequins, and embroidery details.
In less than 5 minutes, Babylon led the audience to immerse themselves in the Kinoscope Studios party – where many acting talents and rookies gathered with the desire to change their lives. That’s when we meet Nellie LaRoy (played by Margot Robbie ) – a “self-proclaimed star” who wants to catch the eyes of big filmmakers.
Featured in a V-neck dress with a daring cutout in an enchanting red, Nellie became the main character of the wild party with bohemian dance moves on the jazz background. It’s not hard to see that flappers’ culture has never seen a dress as sexy as Mary Zophres ‘ design for Nellie. Indeed, when the dress model is just one of the costumes that have been modified to show the ambition of the heroine. While recreating 1920s lifestyle and fashion, Babylon still has just enough variation to appeal to modern audiences.
However, the work is still an exemplary historical film when paying homage to the cult names of the golden age. Producers Irving Thalberg played by Max Minghella, Samara Weaving as Constance Moore, Marion Davies as Chloe Fineman, and more appeared on screen with matching costume inspiration. In it, the character Nellie LaRoy is built on the image of the expensive Hollywood female star – Clara Bow. Not only sharing the story of a difficult childhood, a career that soon bloomed and faded but Bow was also recreated by Margot Robbie through overalls in the moment of struggling with snakes or graphic design at the exciting dance scene.
Built from the image of Hollywood’s first American-Chinese star – Anna May Wong, singer Fay Zhu (played by Li Jun Li) stands out in a cheongsam, a collared shirt on a silk background with a copy of the original. Eye-catching floral print. The unique performance costume of the Chinese-born actress Anna has also been faithfully recreated under the talented hands and prism of costume designer Mary Zophres.
Balancing the sheer quantity of dresses, the quality of the costumes, and the historical authenticity, Mary spends hours poring over old movie posters, following the dancers’ movements during the dances to fine-tune the page. fit the scenario. Whether the victory is in Babylon’s favor or not, the film has also entertained the audience with a flashy scene filled with silk dresses that are in the midst of an ever-changing era of Hollywood and fashion.
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