Friday, January 13, 2012

The Costumes of Pan Am


With ABC's period drama, Pan Am, making it's return after the holiday hiatus, I found myself once again drooling over the beautiful costumes on the show. Really, it's only a perk that the show is well written and wonderfully acted, I could watch it just for the costumes alone.

A google search for "Pan Am Costumes" brings up photos of the airline uniform and several dozen 'how-to-make-your-own' tutorials. However the real beauty of the show is the dresses and ensembles the girls wear off duty, so I decided to hunt through the mound of mostly blue pictures to find the very best photos of these gorgeous gals and their dresses.

I also came across some very informative and interesting articles on the making and wearing of the costumes in the show. So if you'd like more detail into the process, I highly recommend checking out the links below.

Glamour's interview with show costume designer, Ane Crabtree.

THR interviews leading lady Christina Ricci on what it's like to wear the Pan Am period appropriate costumes.

ABC's Cynthia McFadden tours the set and gives us the dish on costumes.

RTE's talk with Ane Crabtree.

ABC quotes Ane Crabtree and also features a video on designing Pan Am.

The Telegraph interviews Ane Crabtree on Pan Am costumes.


Now on to the photos!

 (Above, Laura and Maggie stroll through the streets of Berlin. Laura wears a beautiful baby blue dress that is pefectly fitted, while Maggie wears a looser more carefree frock that nonetheless still manages to show off her tiny waist perfectly.)


 Above: even casual clothes show attention to detail, with contrast fabrics (Laura), tiny trim (Collette) and unusual buttons (Kate) make the garments unique and adorable.

 Above: I chose to include this picture because it shows a rare shot of the uniform blouse from behind. We can see that a cinch in the back aids our lovely ladies in keeping their waist neat and tidy, even if they gain or loose a few pounds on a trip.

 Above: Maggie always knows how to make a statement and while her skirt might be a tad tight for the period, it's undeniably bold and flattering, especially tied with a trim belt, a flutter-sleeved top and a jaunty hat.

Above: Another look at Laura and Maggie in their Berlin clothes. Gloves were a must on set, and while Laura wears a demure white, Maggie as always sticks to her defiant black.

 Above: a closer look at the delicate detailing on Laura's blue dress.

 Above: Kate rocks it in a daring combo of two shades of green in a lovely skirt suit set off with a delicate pin and matching handbag. On display is the wide neckline typical of the period, which suits Kate's figure especially well.

 Above: Why don't we wear lovely evening gowns like this anymore? Kate shows an absolute minimum of cleavage here, and her dress otherwise covers and adorns in a very modest ladylike manner. It's set off by a necklace that perfectly fills the neckline.

 Above: Here we really see the benefit of the corset and girdle. Kate's figure is smooth and elegant even in so simple an outfit. Alas for the days when properly fitting undergarments were a matter of course and clothes were tailored and made to fit, rather than relying on elastic and chance.

 Above and below: One of the most stunning pieces so far has been the evening gown Kate wears to fulfill one of her missions. I was unable to find a full length photo (please give me a link if you come across one!)


 Above: Colette and Laura both wear gowns that make use of sheer fabrics in very interesting ways.

 Above: Yet elaborate isn't always better. Above Kate wears a gorgeously simple yet elegant dress that shows its heritage from Dior's New Look. Her gold pin also makes another appearance here, matching well with her beige belt.

 Overall I find Pan Am an excellent inspiration to the kind of attention I should pay to my own wardrobe. Delicate detail, feminine grace, garments that are properly fitted, and use of good accessories.

1 comment:

  1. A small correction :....
    With ABC's period drama, Pan Am, making it's return after the holiday hiatus.....

    should be its return....

    otherwise EXCELLENT photos and well written article.... thanks for the the memories of my former employer the BIG BLUE than will NEVER DIE!!!!!!!

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