“Hollywood Costume”

On a trip to Melbourne last May, I visited the “Hollywood Costume” exhibition as it travelled around the world from The Victoria and Albert Museum in London. I was there for hours and hours and hours! I had not thought about it before but as soon as I started to read the words of the various costume designers in the exhibition, I realised, that I too am a costume designer. I don’t work with movie stars to create amazing characters, but I do help my clients to express their characters by selecting clothing that not only flatters their colouring, shape and proportions but also their personality!

_MG_7871emailThe costume designer’s role is to fix the characters in a film into the audiences’ minds as the director wishes them to be seen. In short the ‘good guy’ needs to look like a good guy, similarly with the bad guy and the heroine. The clothes they wear will create an idea in the audiences’ mind of who that character is and will make the actor totally believable and authentic in the role. Somewhere amidst all of the exhibits I saw that day was a remark made by a costume designer on dressing Meryl Streep for a role. She said (along the lines of) “I design and create the costume for the role, once Meryl Streep puts it on we wait and wait and until a third person joins us, and the character arrives”!

This is so true. We all make decisions about the behaviour and character of a person, based on the clothing they choose to wear and the way that they wear it. Colour, texture, silhouette and then movement and sound fix the character in all of us.

The starting point for getting you clothing right for you is to understand why you dress like you do, what are you trying to say? Have a look at the personality information below and see if you can work out who you are”
TIP you may be a mix of types!

Style Personality


You want clothing, makeup and hair to be easy to deal with and comfortable. You only wear accessories if they are practical; a scarf for you is to keep warm not to enhance your outfit. Fashion is of no real interest to you. You only want new clothes when the existing items you own can’t give you anything else. Key colours are earth tones and neutrals, not often black.
Key words: relaxed, casual, easygoing and unpretentious. Esprit and Country Road will be shops to head to when you do your annual shopping dash!


You like things to go together; you do not wear the jackets to your suit with anything else. Matching is important to you and your clothes are well looked after. You are quite traditional and are not keen to change. Clothing is simple and understated. Dress down Friday is hard for you. Key colours are navy blue, camel, white and black.
Key words: conservative, traditional and elegant You will enjoy shops that offer well made tailored clothing. Try Jane Daniels.


You like to feel feminine and are attracted to bows, lace, frills and jewellery. You probably have long hair and wear it loose. You enjoy heels and pretty clothes; you are not too worried about their practicality. Key colours are soft blue, soft pink and most pastel shades.
Key words: womanly, soft and approachable.
Pretty clothing catches your eye. You may enjoy October Reign or some of the Repertoire ranges, Alannah Hill, Laura Ashley may feature too as will Forever New.


Clothes are important to you, it is important that they are noticed. You tend to buy stand alone items, often in strong colours. Your hair style and make up would be best described as strong too. Key colours are black, white and red.
Key words: bold, striking and powerful
You will find Nicola Waite or Zambezi to your taste!


You find standard office dress restrictive in its styling. You are happy to mix items in your wardrobe by colour and by style in an endlessly fascinating ways. Key colours: any
Key words: creative, independent and non conformist
Often Op Shop shopping appeals here as may Annah Stretton and Taylor depending on your budget.


You know why it is important to be well dressed. Your look is current, but your own. It would fit anywhere; you invest in your grooming. You have a high quality stylish appearance. Key colours are white, cream and black.
Key words: cultured, elegant and opulent
You will find the basic neutrals in most of the above mentioned stores work for you but try offshore for something restrained but individual.

Most of us fall into more than one of these clothing personality types. If you understand your clothing personality you will select clothes that you feel good in rather than the ones you think you ought to wear.
If you want help… get in touch!

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