RETRO FUTURE: PRESENT AND PAST IN THE COSTUMES OF FUTURISTIC FILMS

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8 décembre 2014 – Esther Yance (Assistant Professor of Fashion Design à la Parsons Paris)

Fashion, always silent, intrudes into cinema, without our noticing. It is particularly recognizable and evident in cases where the movie discourse is set in the same time than the film production. For instance, the New Look designed by Dior is unmistakable in many films from the 50 ́s, mini-skirts abound in productions from the 60 ́s, leather in the 80 ́s, and so on. In cases where the historical time of the cinematic discourse, and the real time, external to the fiction, are contemporary, the relationship between fashion and film becomes clearly apparent. In these instances, film becomes a most valuable source of information for studies of fashion that springs from the 20th and 21st centuries.

But what happens when it comes to describe the future, and not the past? Where do the costumes of the futuristic movies spring from? Have they been inspired by today ́s fashion, or that of yesterday? Are they related to fashion designers, or to avant-garde art?

In futuristic cinema, this is, cinema that situates its action in the future time, costumes lack a real reference to emulate, since the fashion that they could copy or transform has not been created yet. Hence, the construction of the appearance will be achieved through a speculative process based in elements from the past and from the present.

We will analyse several examples to confirm the validity of this sentence. We have chosen several futuristic films produced in different periods, in order to examine the changes that happen in their proposal of costumes, and their relationship with contemporary and/or past periods fashion

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