As Seen In – Period film Costume appropriation…

I just came across this image of Judy Garland in this peculiar looking costume from the 1948 film The Pirate. Although strange, there was something about the tartan tam that seemed familiar. Sure enough the design was borrowed from this c. 1830 French illustration by Charles Philipon of a Parisian ‘modiste’ (stylist) trimming a bonnet (an original copy of this illustration is in the archives of the Fashion History Museum.) Although the bodice is not sitting quite right on Judy Garland’s shoulders and the print is too bold (and fights with the tartan tam for attention), it is otherwise quite a faithful reproduction of the original image.

Looking up the film on IMDB I discovered the costumes were done by the American born fashion illustrator Tom Keogh (1922 – 1980). His illustrations of Paris couture frequently appeared on the covers of French Vogue magazine in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Around that same time Keogh was also designing the annual Christmas windows for Galeries Lafayette in Paris. He designed costumes for the ballet in Paris, but The Pirate is the only film for which he is solely credited with designing the costumes…

I found a clip that shows her singing in the outfit (it looks a lot better than in the black and white image):

About Jonathan

Jonathan Walford is a fashion historian and co-founder of the Fashion History Museum in Cambridge, Ontario. The FHM maintains a collection of nearly 12,000 artifacts dating from the mid 17th century to the present. Jonathan has authored various books and museum catalogues, including The Seductive Shoe, Shoes A-Z, Forties Fashion, 1950s American Fashion, and Sixties Fashion.
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