Western Costume Research Library
In 1925, a little over 10 years after Western Costume Company first opened, the LA Times proclaimed: “The Western Costume Company already owns what is said to be the finest costuming bibliography in existence.” No less true today, the library currently houses over 30,000 books, catalogs, and periodicals that have been collected over the past century. Holdings include clothing, uniform, and tactical catalogs; books on film, sewing, fashion, military, and photography; fashion, culture, military, and travel magazines; military and police uniform regulations; swatch books dating as far back to the turn-of-the-century; and several dozen filing cabinets with newspaper and magazine clippings, photographs, and notes on countless types of uniforms and dress.
Director of Research
From a 5th grade paper on Civil War uniforms to a college term paper on Elizabethan sumptuary laws, Leighton has been doing costume research as long as she can remember. After graduating from Grinnell College with a BA in History, she went on to earn an MFA in Costume Design from UCLA, during which time she worked as a research assistant to Deborah Nadoolman Landis on her books Dressed: A Century of Hollywood Costume Design and Hollywood Sketchbook. Before coming to Western Costume in 2014 she was as an assistant costume designer on feature films, including Captain America: The First Avenger and Goosebumps.