Fashion at the Oscars, an Interview with Author Bronwyn Cosgrave


Here to talk about the Academy Awards wisher just this past. Sunday right casts. Yes now I get to talk about all things red carpet I mean. This is arguably the Oscars arguably the most highly anticipated of all red carpets throughout the year. So you know we're here to talk about the Academy Awards and the Academy. Awards is the annual event of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences which is an organization established by among others American Phil Magnet Louis. B. Mayer who was co founder of the Metro Goldwyn Mayer Studios and it was founded in nineteen twenty seven and the academy originally had about thirty six members and that included quote unquote. Hollywood royalty like Douglas Fairbanks and his wife at the time. Mary Pickford and the Academy was really focused on promoting the Hollywood film industry at a time when it was not yet. The nationally internationally celebrated epicenter film production that it is today so the Academy Awards. Ceremony was instrumental in helping establish. The Hollywood film industry's reputation by celebrating. Its achievements across five branches so giving awards to producers actors directors writers and technicians and the First Academy Awards was held in Nineteen Twenty nine and unlike today it was not a broadcast event but was rather a ticketed private dinner that was attended by two hundred and seventy invited guests and this was held at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in L. A. Dismay will mark ninety one years since the Academy Awards debuted on May Sixteenth. Nineteen twenty nine and things. Well you could say that they've changed just a tad today. The Academy's membership has blossomed from thirty six members to somewhere close to a thousand and from its original five branches. It now has seventeen. Over twenty million people across the US tune into the Oscars each year and has really become one of the most highly anticipated televised award shows of the season and millions of us tune in just for the pre show. I would argue and we do that because we WanNa see our beloved movie. Stars walk the red carpet and why can only be described as high style? I mean so. Central is celebrity dress to the Oscars that the pre show is televised live so that viewers like April and I am Oliver Address. Listeners can get up close views of their favorite celebrities attires before they even take their seats so talk show hosts interviews stars about what they wear while others give a play by play in studio and you know on various platforms across the Internet. I know I shared all of my favorites on instagram. And the revelry all things Oscars fashion does not end here of course in the days and weeks that follow as in every year a ceremony and special edition magazines will be printed that are dedicated to this red carpet fashion and of course the Internet will be aflame with talk of the best and worst dressed. Cast we've come a long way from that very first private dinner in one thousand nine hundred eighty nine and this has sparked our curiosity about just winded. The Oscars become as much about fashion as film and I started to research this topic and kind of dive right in but it was not long after. I began Researching that I came across. Bronwyn Cost Grace Fabulous book made for each other fashion the Academy Awards and of course I reached out to her and I am pleased to say she is joining us here. Today Bronwyn welcomed addressed Bronwyn. It is such a pleasure to have you here today. Welcome dressed thank you cassidy. I'm a huge fan of dressed. So it's lovely to be with you. Thank you so much and I have to say that we're here today. Because you wrote this fabulous book and I'm sure you've done a lot of interviews about red carpet fashion because of it your made for each other fashion and the Academy Awards. It's such an incredible book. You have this Great Inc. A primary source materials quotes newspaper clippings. And then there use these vivid descriptions to bring these nights and events to light and I just want to read a little bit from what you wrote about for the First Academy Awards which not aired because this is pre television but may thirtieth nineteen twenty nine for instance you write. A corruption erupted on the stretch of Hollywood Boulevard. Outside the Roosevelt Hotel just before eight PM at two hundred and seventy film industry. Silent screen notable slipped from a convoy of luxury automobiles and into its cavernous event. Space the blossom room. The Academy's prominent guests included Mary. Pickford NORMA SHEARER engine starlets Marion Davies and Joan Crawford. Lean and tanned. These actress lovely looked as delicious as their sugars. Spun Party Vapor a Waxed Candy Replica a Cedric Gibbons Golden Academy Award Trophy. So it's really these details that transport the reader back in time to that moment. So thank you. You must have had a wonderful time researching and writing. This book will thank you. I actually did not have a wonderful because I understand that because you know it's really it's really kind of you to notice the intricacy that actually went in to the writing of this book. The book took me three years and every single day of that was almost every single. Damn it was really one solid year of writing to the homestretch but for about two years. I scoured honestly. The world for information about what women wore the Oscars and my book really is about women and what they went through to get dressed and the great thing is that I did discover you. Know the bulk of that material in Los Angeles at the Margaret Herrick Library which is an academy library and a lot of it had never really been looked at and I'm also went to visit the great designers I went to the Dior Archive and John. Galliano actually called the archive and said you know. Help Bronwyn with what she what. She needs whatever she needs. Giorgio Armani also took it really seriously and help me. His team really helped me. I was very very fortunate. There's a great trust. One of my favorite dresses in the book is what we shall. Yo War when she was nominated for Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon and that dress was created from millions of Swarovski Crystal in Hong Kong by a very gifted designer named Barney. Chang and I what I actually noticed in the process of researching this book and why it took so long was that I kind of discovered a paper trail of identifying dresses and actually looking at the designer a designer attached to address in a caption say and looking at that dress in thinking that does not look like the work of say Howard greer who was one of the early costume designers and not all of the names turned up in in indexes for example addresses. So I really had to look hard and not believe what I saw imprint and that is something that I really noticed with fashion. History is that there will be a sort of myth associated with something. Say A design. Then it's not always the case and you really need to read between the lines and and go back to the primary source material and then to contextualized that all you know and put it in right into this story. This really captivating story. Yeah it's not an easy feat but you did it beautifully. Thank you but oh the one thing I will say about. That is that the book does also revolve around a celebration every year. So that really anchored the book the actual ceremony. Where you know. That was Super Fun. I watched every Oscar ceremony. That had been telecast. That was the first thing that I did so every Oscar ceremony that had been televised. Say I think it was like Nineteen Fifty. Four certainly the mid fifties onwards and really got to work with that material. Which was the fun stuff? Actually

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