Hollywood Costume Design, Signed by Walter Plunkett
[Inscribed by Walter Plunkett] Chierichetti, David. Hollywood Costume Design. First Edition. 1976. Book and dust jacket are both in very good condition. Book is inscribed on the flyleaf by Walter Plunkett, one of the costume designers featured in the book, “Thank you, Steve—It’s a pleasure to know you—Walter Plunkett.” Foreword by Edith Head.
This image-filled survey of the great Hollywood costume designers excels at explaining how wardrobe design for the movies diverged from designing fashion for Paris and New York. There were both technical and narrative constraints, particularly in the early days, when the rustle of certain fabrics overamplified on soundtracks, and particular colors didn’t fare well when translated to black-and-white or technicolor. The book also explains how the costumes for period dramas were neither exactly of the past or the present but of some ethereal world in between. The book is divided by studio costume department, then under the aegis of costume designers who became nearly as famous as the stars they dressed, including Edith Head, Orry-Kelly, Adrian, Irne Sharaff, Helen Rose, and Walter Plunkett (the designer of Gone with the Wind and Singing in the Rain).
“[Walter] Plunkett emphasized the poverty in Little Women in several ways. He made the sisters exchange clothes, and used cheap calicos and rough knitted shawls and mittens. Another problem for him was to make the twenty-two year old Joan Bennett into a convincing ten year old, which was made more difficult when he learned that Bennett was pregnant.”