Hollywood has exerted a profound influence on British style and design. From its earliest days, Hollywood glamour in the form of make-up, hairstyles, and fashion was mimicked by women throughout Britain. But the influence of Hollywood was more than skin-deep. Nearly every form of British material culture in the twentieth century has been influenced to some extent by American style, disseminated through the medium of film to a broad and receptive market.With the erection of the Chrysler Building in New York in the late 20s, representing the city and modern American urban life, the Manhattan skyline became an enduring icon in popular culture on both sides of the Atlantic. Not only Hollywood film, but jazz and American companies all combined to bring the new Moderne style to bear on Britain. The architecture of shops, cinemas, and factories all reflect this influence, as did various forms of transportation and the interiors of homes. Even as late as the consumer boom in the 80s, revivals celebrating the Moderne style were popular in Britain as well as abroad. This influence was naturally not without its critics. The very popularity of American design challenged the aesthetics and elitism of British high arts and remains controversial. Anyone interested in design, material culture, film or architecture will find this book to be a lucid and absorbing exploration of a popular aesthetic.
"In this well-researched book, film scholar Massey looks at the impact of art deco, introduced in 1925 at the Exposition des Arts Decoratif in Paris, on material culture in general and on design in Hollywood films in particular from the 1920s through the 1950s ... Solidly grounded in the history of architectural design and fashion in the US and Britain and informed by recent work on gender and material culture, the book focuses on the impact of style moderne on everyday life within British working-class culture, ranging from the design of factories, cinemas, and seaside resorts to trends in makeup, hairstyles, and fashion." --Choice
"This book gave me a lot to think about, and delighted me in the process." --Dress