April 21, 1957: First BBC programme filmed in colour

TV-UK-04-21-1957Men, Women and Clothes was the first TV programme filmed in colour by the BBC.  In the first programme of this fascinating series, “How Fashions Come and Go”, the marvellous Doris Langley Moore looked at fashion evolution and sources of inspiration. Using authentic period costumes modelled by some familiar faces (including Ron Moody and Vanessa Redgrave), she addressed issues such as why cloaks resembled lampshades in the 19th century and how bustles evolved from crinolines.

Although the series was filmed in colour, the ability to actually transmit programmes in colour was slower to develop and didn’t start on the BBC until 1967. As the Queen Mother had opened the Museum of Costume at Eridge Castle in 1955, and to enable her to appreciate the full colour spectacle, she was invited to a private film viewing at the BBC a few days before the programme aired in 1957. The collection was eventually moved to Bath and Doris Langley Moore made sure that every 12 months a new addition was made to represent that year’s fashion. Mary Quant designed the dress that was chosen for 1963.

Watch Men, Women and Clothes at www.bbc.co.uk.

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