Inglourious costumes

basterds2 We went to see the new movie Inglourious Basterds on Saturday. It’s a good thing Mr. Fashion-Incubator keeps up on current events because I would have passed on this movie without a second thought for the duplicate sins of gratuitous profanity and for misspelling both words in the title. My stick in the mud credentials intact, I enjoyed it. That Quentin guy is just weird/quirky enough for me to think he’s funny.

QT fan or no, the costumes in this film were great. I am in love with this suit worn by actress Diane Kruger. Everything about it is great; I really miss yokes on women’s suits and blouses. How come we don’t do that anymore? Have we forgotten how to sew them? There’s no denying it can be tricky to sew a yoked style with a collar like this if the pattern isn’t made just so but it’s not insurmountable. It’s hard to beat the fit of a jacket that has yokes. Thus spake she who made western style suits forever.

zipper3The red dress worn by Shosanna, while not typical of the period (red? in war torn Paris?) was interesting from a construction standpoint. If you see the film, tell me, do you think the skirt was unattached except at the back where it met the zipper? Do tell, it seemed to be free flowing in the front. Maybe it was attached with a lining? Do note the close up of the sleeve finish, invisible coil zippers weren’t used at the time. It was a bit disconcerting to see another invisible zip at center back, more egregious in that the zipper pull was off the rack -as it were. Zipper pulls used to be closer to works of art. Speaking of, the vintage zipper at right looks more like a piece of jewelery (courtesy). Amazing.

basterdsThe piece I liked best in the whole film though, was the blouse worn under the suit. You really can’t see it very well (scene in the vet’s office) but there’s a dart-like cut under the bust with shirring along the cut line. I don’t think this blouse was designed to be midriff skimming as was typical of the period but it is similar to this rendition I found in Erwin’s book (right).

I may make up this blouse as part of my series (pt.2) that I’ve yet to get around to, if I could figure out what to do with the neckline. I’m not fond of the neckline of the film blouse nor of the sketched version I’ve posted. In the case of the film blouse, it would annoy me to have doo-dah wadded up at the base of my neck. Erwin’s design…well, I’ve never been fond of shaped necklines riding up so high because they really need a heavier weight interfacing, maybe even a lightweight hair canvas to keep the edges from flipping or becoming misshapen and crispness like that around my neck would be bothersome. Also, call me crazy but I’ve always felt that high shaped necklines needed to be framed somehow, either as a band or treatment unto themselves but they just look odd at the top of a broad expanse of bodice unless there’s something else going on, like a ribbon or something to set them off.

Get New Posts by Email


  1. Jess says:

    LOVED the movie as well, I’m a great QT fan but I thought this film was just tops. I was also very keen on Ms. Kruger’s suit – I have an undying love for 40s fashion in general, and I thought her suit was a gorgeous example of fit and patternwork. I doubt anyone else in the theatre was paying such close attention to the yoke as I was – but it’s so great that you did a post about this! One of the main reasons I love period films so much is the costume design… I figure that most people reading this site would agree.

  2. Heather says:

    I would have passed it by also! I haven’t seen it, and I love period pieces. I find myself getting so caught up in the clothing that I forget what is happening in the movie! My favorite is Pride and Prejudice with Keira Knightley.

  3. Russell says:

    I too subscribe to the “dress-up” fashion of yesteryear.
    I disagree on one notion: the notion that we have forgotten how to sew….

    We have forgotten how to take care of ourselves, and therefore yield our sewing to the designs that hide our delinquency to self preserve and repose!


  4. Johanna Lu says:

    I saw this movie last weekend, and I was also really impressed with the clothes. I actually liked the “casual” wear of Shosanna and Inglourious Basterds a lot too. They really nailed that slightly oversized dumpy look, it looked very credible.

  5. Eric H says:

    A word of warning to people thinking about going to this movie just for the costumes: there is a lot of graphic violence. If you can remember that it’s all fake, you can get through it.

  6. Eric,

    Yeah, my beloved is dubious. He says I won’t like it, but we can go if I really want to. In the past I’ve been ok with Tarantino’s comic-book violence, but if he’s become less superficial it might be a problem.

  7. Sandra B says:

    Hmm, not sure about the movie, I find Tarantino a bit heavy going, but I expect my husband will rent it as soon as he can, so I might peek at the costumes. However, I have recently become fascinated by zippers. I thought that a zip was a zip was a zip, but huge bag of vintage ones showed me just how much design we’ve lost. My favourite is the one where the tape appears to be intended as a binding of some sort, and the teeth are a heavy copper coil. I can’t for the life of me work out how to sew it on to best advantage, so I’m thinking of framing it instead.

  8. Mari-Anne says:

    …as for yokes on clothing, I simply add it — assuming it will ‘fit in’ with the style the designer intended. Besides, with the pattern alterations I need to do, it improves the fit and makes
    life so much easier. And I like easy!

  9. Thomas Cunningham says:

    The movie was horrible.

    From the men’s side, I didn’t think that Brad Pitt’s white dinner jacket fit very well. The lapels were ‘bowing’ out. Short strap? Or possibly just too tight in the chest?

  10. Eva Guerrero says:

    Movie was Great! about not wearing these suits anymore, I think it’s because we have become too casual with separates pieces. Suits are limiting in this sense and they are expensive. A well done suit in a good fabric is expensive and time consuming. I love suits too! they are so elegant.

  11. Kathy says:

    I am waiting until this comes out on NetFlix so that I can look at the clothing without being distracted by the violence. The previews of the clothing has been such eye candy for me though. I also liked the clothing in “Julie and Julia”. Julia Childs had some stylish garments post-WW11.

  12. JustGail says:

    quote from your post –
    “I really miss yokes on women’s suits and blouses. How come we don’t do that anymore? Have we forgotten how to sew them? There’s no denying it can be tricky to sew a yoked style with a collar like this if the pattern isn’t made just so but it’s not insurmountable.”

    Perhaps it’s not that we’ve forgotten how to sew them, more like pattern companies have forgotten how to draft them properly? At least with the “big 4” it seems that even the simpler patterns have drafting issues. It seems to me that yokes went out of style about the time knits became more prevelant, along with the 60’s “hippy” fashions?

    I will most likely wait until this is out on DVD to view, so I can look at the clothing more closely….

  13. Paul says:

    I will see if I can get a picture of the blouse for you from the DVD.
    As for “war-torn Paris”; it is such only in our imaginations and in the history written by the victors. Paris was taken by the Germans without firing a shot. There was no bombardment or anything like that. The Germans just drove into to Paris and took over. Southern France was relatively unoccupied by Germany over the course of the war.

Leave a Reply

You have to agree to the comment policy.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.