Behind the scenes … creating a vision that is captured in time everlasting

A History of Black Costume Design in Film and Television

A HISTORY OF BLACK COSTUME DESIGN IN FILM AND TELEVISION

 

From Gone with the Wind to Insecure, how the black experience has been portrayed through fashion over the years.

 

 

By: Shelby Ivey Christie

 


 

Over the last decade, Hollywood has produced some of the most amazing black TV series and films of our time. From Issa Rae’s Insecure to the beautiful film adaptation of James Baldwin’s If Beale Street Could Talk, the array of black storytelling has allowed millions of black people to see themselves reflected in various stories and characters. And while often overlooked, costume design is central to these depictions. For decades black costume designers have not only authentically portrayed black characters on screen, but they’ve also used costume design as a political tool to convey messages of freedom, triumph, tension, beauty, and pride.

Ahead, a look at how blackness has historically been portrayed on screen, and insights from the black costume designers working behind the scenes.

 

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From IATSE Local 764 Facebook post dated 2/2/21