Carly Eck and Hannah Kauffman discuss the website Screen Search Fashion in Costume. The film and fashion website is an online teaching and learning resource that is freely accessible and presents material that has been underused by fashion and costume historians. The resource is the result of a year-long, CETLD-funded project, carried out at the Royal College of Art and Screen Archive South East, at the University of Brighton.

The article outlines the scope and methods of the project, which concentrates upon the creation of a database, as well as the usual search facilities and a thematic learning resource that focuses on 1920s and 1930s fashion – an era that saw significant changes in fashion.

The resulting online resource includes film clips, stills (some from Worthing Museum and Art Gallery collections), descriptions, contextual information and links to other archival resources.

There is a thematic approach to the material which helps access. The six themes are: 1920s fashion, 1930s fashion, Sport, Leisure, Work and Travel. All the themes have sub-categories to aid further access and exploration; for instance Sport is divided into Health, Winter Sports, Team Sports, Summer Sports and Equestrian Sports. The Leisure – Bathing and the Seaside theme is great fun and evocative of the era.

The Costume article also discusses three films showing how film offers evidence of people’s lives and their clothing – including an ordinary family’s summer wear, a fancy dress parade, and sophisticated millinery. Thanks to this unusual and innovative resource, fashion, costume and social historians can now access a wealth of examples of inter-war clothing that has been captured on film.

Costume, vol. 45, 2011, p. 75-84