Hollywood; In a Glamorous Fashion: The Fabulous Years of Hollywood Costume Design, by W. Robert La Vine. New york: Charles Scribner's Sons. $25.
The first part of this entertaining book is a quick history of Hollywood, as seen from the fashion designer's desk. La Vine allows an ample selectio of photos and drawings to speak for themselves, keeping his own commentary lean, factual, and witty. The second part offers brief lives of Hollywood's greatest fashion creators, from Cecil Beaton to Edith Head. In a field where many observers lapse into frivolous or campy observations, La Vine treats movie fashion as the cultural dynamo it really used to be, before the studios declined and screen couture was relegated to department-store consultants. This is a vivid, colorful, and cheerfully nostalgic book.