A glimpse into an extraordinary cinematographic legacy
The costume collection
The collection of costumes has been assembled at Mosfilm since the 1920s. During the first years following the revolution of 1917, the foundation of what is now a unique antique collection was laid — specifically the array of costumers dating from the 19th century, which the studio either bought from citizens or accepted as gifts. The studio is capable of choosing or producing a costume of any epoch — from muslin dresses worn by damsels of bygone days to massive armor suits. If suits of armor from the History Museum and the Mosfilm collection were placed side by side, the only difference would be their weight — the thing is that for film sets, even chain mails are made from special light alloys that enable actors to work a few takes in a row.
A mirror to our times
Each epoch has its own face. When following the intricacies of a story on the screen, a viewer may not pay special attention to details of garments or interiors; however, they will immediately sense fakeness as soon as a serious mistake is made in the reconstruction of a certain period. Therefore, during the preparatory stage that precedes the production of any movie, close attention is given to specific historical features that an epoch imposes on a human, primarily its costumes.
Fashion and film
The mode of dress and nature of clothes provide evidence of the social affinity of a person and their special individual characteristics. However, a costume is also an element of the artistic entirety of a film; therefore, it should always be addressed in the context of the figurative concept developed for a movie.
Courier, a motion picture
In Karen Shakhnazarov’s Courier, the protagonists are two young persons from different social strata. Katia is a pampered professor’s daughter. Ivan comes from a low-income family.
To convey this difference more precisely, the director wanted to find something special in Katia’s and Ivan’s clothes. “They made me wear a panama hat,” recalls Fedor Dostoyevsky, who starred as Ivan.
“I was struggling. They also stuck me with a hideous jacket that I would never have worn in real life. However, the director had a concept in mind: Ivan was supposed to look weird. I had to comply.”
Director Andrei Tarkovsky
Andrei Tarkovsky was a Soviet filmmaker, writer, film editor, film theorist, theatre and opera director. Tarkovsky's works Andrei Rublev, Mirror, and Stalker are regularly listed among the greatest films of all time. His contribution to cinema was so influential that works done in a similar way are described as Tarkovskian. Ingmar Bergman said of him: "Tarkovsky for me is the greatest (director), the one who invented a new language, true to the nature of film, as it captures life as a reflection, life as a dream."
Solaris, a motion picture
"The costume is a very important portion of the general artistic concept of the film. The essential thing is to have a very subtle sense of texture. The entire work should be a product of utmost reason. Utmost discipline must be applied to even a small button. A torn sleeve in a painting by Vermeer is an immortal value, a spiritual world. A newly made costume worn by an actor is always a disaster."
Mirror, a motion picture
"A costume, as any thing on camera, must have its biography associated with a specific man, an actor. This is always visible, because it is the same part of reality that changes over time, as everything else."
Admiral Nakhimov, a motion picture
The meticulous work enables viewers to perceive Admiral Nakhimov by director Vsevolod Pudovkin as a sufficiently credible visual encyclopedia of the epoch.
The Mosfilm Cinema Concern