Costume designers are re-creators of universes. We can recreate the stone age, the renaissance, the crusades, the Roman empire, and even Genghis Khan and the Mongols. In order to do this, however, we need research… loads and loads of research. There are many types of research – primary (meaning photographs from the time period, and the actual antique garments themselves), and secondary (drawings, paintings, descriptions, stories, etc.). It is a beautiful and inspiring thing to find a new resource for primary research. I was introduced to one of those sources today – Russian photographer Sergey Mikhaylovich Prokudin-Gorsky. One hundred years ago, Prokudin-Gorsky took COLOR photographs all over Russia. That’s right: COLOR photographs. He used a system of color plate negatives to do it, and the results are amazing. I can’t think of another source from that time to shoot color photographs (other than color-tinted prints, which don’t really count, as they do not show true color). These photographs are amazing; see for yourself~
And thanks to JD for sharing this with me!