If you’re a regular reader of my humble blog, then it probably comes as no surprise to you that I think a vast majority (read: 99%) of my generation is nothing more than a bunch of shallow, horrendous barbarians. Not only do they behave like barbarians (spitting on the street, fighting in public, smoking in people’s faces, collapsing drunk on the sidewalks, cursing around children, publicly flaunting their complete and utter stupidity like it’s something to be proud of, etc.) but they also DRESS like barbarians. Nowadays, it’s considered okay to walk around with your pants down to your knees while wearing a XXXL t-shirt that has some ugly pattern on it. What happened to the days in which people, you know, actually cared about the way they dressed? I’m a big sucker for men who take pride in their appearance, who meticulously groom themselves until they are so clean and neat you could eat off them. This isn’t bragging, but I do tend to dress elegantly, or even luxuriously, on a daily basis, and it would be an absolute dream to meet a man who can match me in that respect. Too bad they are like a rare and gorgeous species basically on the verge of extinction.
However, there is a side of me that is stupidly hopeful about many things. Maybe, if I write a post about it, some men will take notice of it and make an effort to bring some class and elegance into the mostly abysmal human race. Luckily, I study men’s fashion just as seriously as I study women’s fashion. As you can see, I don’t discriminate. So, here’s my little crash course on how to dress like a grown, mature man. Because boys, you need all the help you can get.
I know it’s silly to have to say this, but CLEANLINESS IS IMPORTANT, GUYS. It’s more important than anything else I will write in this post. Unfortunately, I’ve met quite a few boys who think showering is an option. BUT. IT. ISN’T. Shower every single flippin’ day. Use goddamn deodorant. They don’t have it in stores for decoration. It’s for you to use, embrace, enjoy.
Body hair isn’t really a big problem, because boys are supposed to be hairy, right? However, that doesn’t mean you should look like a gorilla. If you have back hair, get rid of it right now. If you have an unsightly unibrow, tweeze that thing until you get two eyebrows. It’s not unmanly to tweeze. You don’t want to be mistaken as a primate by an a big game hunter one day and locked up in a zoo somewhere.
It’s also not unmanly to take care of your nails. Nothing makes me shudder quite like seeing a man with long nails. It looks filthy. Trim all nail growth and file those nails smooth. And DON’T BITE YOUR NAILS. Do you know how much bacteria you’re putting into your mouth?!
Get a Tailor
Grown men own suits, so when buying suits, make sure they are in…wearable…colors like black, grey, and navy blue. Other colors, like puke green, radioactive yellow, and hot pink are suitable for Halloween only. Every man’s body type is different, so a lot of the time, a ready-to-wear piece can fit well in some places and not so well in others. This leads men to buy suits that are a size or two too big. This is where the tailor comes in. Even though ready-to-wear pieces are cheaper and easier to get, they automatically assume that people come in cookie-cutter sizes. Men who are too tall or too short can find their suits out of proportion: a tall man’s cuffs might not come down to his wrists, a short man’s breast pocket might be too far down the suit jacket, etc. A tailor can fix all that, and help to make the suit fit you as closely as possible without it being too tight.
A suit should fit you closely, but not too close that you feel your buttons straining or your skin pinching underneath the material. A good guide to follow: if you can fit a finger or two between your body and your clothes, it is a good fit. It’s just enough room for you to be comfortable without looking you raided Fatty Arbuckle’s closet.
During the Golden Age of Hollywood, ready-to-wear suits were a rarity. Suits were almost always tailor-made, which is why they fit each man so well, even if his body was not the “average” male body of the time. Clark Gable, who was 6’1 and weighed about 190 pounds, was considered a gigantic man for his time (back then, the average man was about Humphrey Bogart-sized: 5’8-ish) so he had to have literally every piece of clothing custom-made to fit his body. His tailor up until WWII was Eddie Schmidt (he made both Gable’s regular clothes and the costumes for his films) and after the war, all his clothes were tailored by Brooks Brothers. Even though Gable was a big man who probably would’ve had a hard time finding his size in stores, he fit like a dream in everything he wore, and because of the necessary adjustments that had to be made to his clothes so they could fit him, he helped to start new trends like broad shoulders and tapered waists. Let’s take an opposite case: Adolphe Menjou was a shorter, slimmer man, but you couldn’t ever accuse him of “swimming in his clothes.” James Oviatt, who was Menjou’s tailor, turned him into a men’s fashion plate and a renowned symbol of sartorial elegance.
You should always know your measurements to ensure the best fit when buying a ready-to-wear piece. That means specifics, like your neck measurements, the length of your arms, etc. The most important thing to keep in mind when buying ready-to-wear shirts or jackets is the breadth of the shoulders. The seam of the shoulders should end right where your shoulders do. If the piece doesn’t do that, trash it. This is something very difficult for a tailor to adjust, so make sure it’s already right when buying ready-to-wear.
Be Picky About Your Fabrics
This is something that I learned the hard way. When I was young and stupid, I would buy tons of really cheap clothes at places like Forever 21, thinking that I was so cool for having a lot of clothes. But a week later, the clothes would be literally falling apart and the $3 jewelry would be turning my skin green where I wore it. As I grew older and wiser, I learned that it isn’t about how much clothes you have, but how good the quality of your clothing is. Nowadays, I wear a lot of silk, lace, sequins, leather, velvet, glitter, and wool. It sounds opulent, but it’s fun, I feel good, and I don’t have to worry about my clothes disintegrating in public. A few good pieces of high quality always beats tons of pieces of really shitty quality. Make sure your clothes are made of 100% fabrics, like cotton,wool, leather, and silk. Poly-blends like nylon are not as sturdy and they make you perspire more, which in turn can make you smelly really fast, since the sweat just sits there. When I shop, I can quickly tell what’s a good fabric by rubbing it with my thumb and forefinger for a second. It’s faster and easier than digging through the piece before reading the label.
Get Nice Shoes
Every time I see a man in flip flops, my eyes cry tears of blood. Nobody wants to see your big hairy feet, so cover them up. Get a pair of black lace-up shoes that can go with anything. Brown is good too. Slim, pointed lace-ups are good for special occasions. Loafers are always classy. Like your clothes, your shoes should be of good quality and of the best materials, like leather.
Ties can really make or break your suit. The tie should match your suit and your dress shirt, so don’t buy your clothes to match your tie. Buy your ties to match your clothes. So that means no ugly ties in silly colors and stupid patterns, because those look immature and will never match with anything. The width of the tie should be taken into account as well. Bigger men should gravitate towards wider, longer ties. Smaller men should go for shorter, skinnier ties. An average-sized man should wear ties that are around three inches in width.
The colors of your ties should be solid or lightly patterned. Nothing too big, loud, or obnoxious. The color of the tie should also complement your natural coloring. Fair-haired, fair-skinned men can pull off light monochromatic color combinations. Dark-haired, fair-skinned men can pull off bolder color combos that combine darks and lights. Dark-haired, dark-skinned men can pull off both, in addition to low contrast monochromatic color combos. Of course, each man knows better than anyone what colors work best on him.
Always Have at Least One Tux
Tuxes are strictly special occasion wear. They’re timeless and debonair. And even though your prom has come and gone and you’re not planning to get married anytime soon (or you’re already married), you should own at least one tuxedo for formal parties, weddings, and other important events. And tuxes don’t always have to be black. You can change it up with a white tux too.
Keep Casual Dress Clean and Simple
Don’t buy those jeans that are pre-ripped, pre-frayed, and pre-stained. Looking like the hobos I see every day on the subway is not stylish. When it comes to jeans, stick to traditional or dark washes. Jeans in those washes are classic and can go with anything. For jean fit, stick to straight leg. Like your suit, you want your jeans to fit your body well without looking like you:
a) raided Fatty Arbuckle’s closet again
b) raided the closet of a scrawny ten year-old
And by the way, the waistline of your jeans should stay on your waist, not around your thighs. Just a heads-up, in case you weren’t aware.
How to Wear Shorts Without Looking Dumb
Wearing shorts is fuckin hard, for both men and women. I hate the summertime for many reasons, one of which is because it’s time for me to wear shorts and I. Hate. Shorts. The problem with shorts is that they’re pretty difficult to wear without looking like you’ve got thunder thighs. They pockets alone can make your thighs look double their size. And for someone with…shapely…thighs like myself, it can be agonizing torture. But wearing shorts isn’t impossible.
You should wear shorts as casual attire only. Don’t go to work wearing a suit jacket on top and shorts on the bottom, unless you’re hoping to get fired. Shorts should be worn only when the weather calls for it. That means no playing in the snow when wearing shorts, unless you’re hoping to get hypothermia and die.
Shorts should be primarily in lightweight materials such as cotton or linen. Cargo shorts should be worn only when hiking or doing strenuous outdoor activities. Athletic shorts should be worn only when participating in sports or running. The length of your shorts is perhaps the most difficult thing to determine when buying them. They should be long enough so that your knees are just visible or very slightly covered when standing still. Anything that hits right past your knees aren’t shorts. They are a highly unflattering abomination and should be burned.
You also don’t want to get shorts that are way too baggy. The baggier the shorts, the bigger your butt and thighs look. Unless you want to suffer from the Thunder Thighs Syndrome I talked about before, then get shorts that are comfortable yet well-fitting.
Aaaaaaaaaaaand that’s about all I’ve got! If there are any questions or if I missed anything, feel free to leave a comment!
My Very Opinionated, Very Nitpicky, Very Detailed, and Very Long Review of “The Great Gatsby” (2013). Millions of Spoilers Abound…
Hello darlings! Long time, no see. I’ve had a pretty harrowing semester, but by the looks of the grades that I’ve gotten so far, it looks like all that hard work is going to pay off! :) On Sunday, my friends and I celebrated the end of the semester by going to see the new Gatsby film at a fancy theater in Union Square. We were all so pumped, but no one was as pumped as me. I’ve loved the book for many years and I’ve read it over and over and over again. To me, one of the most beautiful things about Fitzgerald’s masterpiece is how, almost a century later, it still resonates so strongly with young people like myself. I can’t fathom people who don’t like this book and don’t like anything Fitzgerald has written. If you are one of those people, you should just get out of here right now. You don’t deserve to read books. Or have opinions on them. Or live.
However, after the two and a half hour film came to an end, I was all torn up. I didn’t really know what to feel about this “Gatsby.” The rest of my friends either really hated it or felt ambivalent like I did. Out of four stars, I’d give this film two. So here’s my review detailing all the good, the bad, and the ugly about this film. It isn’t a classic film, but it is a classic story, so this counts for something, right? If you haven’t seen it yet and plan to soon or if you’re reading the book in preparation for seeing this film, then I advise you to stop right here, because I’m going to be throwing spoilers around like there’s no tomorrow.
Nick Carraway: Let’s begin at the beginning, shall we? Unless you live under a rock, you must know that The Great Gatsby (the book) is told from the point of view of Jay Gatsby’s average Joe neighbor, Nick Carraway. Nick has just moved from the Midwest to my glittery, glitzy city: New York. Nick’s not in Kansas anymore. When the film opens, we see our pal Nick in a sanitarium for alcoholism, depression, and anxiety. His doctor advises him to write, since “writing gives [him] solace,” as Nick himself says in the film. So, whaddaya know, Nick ends up writing the story of “The Great Gatsby.” As this plotline was unfolding in the film, I was like, “WHAT. IS. THIS.” In the book, there is no sanitarium, Nick goes back to the Midwest. In the book, it is very subtly implied that Nick is Fitzgerald’s alter ego, but not in the standpoint from writing the book. Rather, he is his alter ego in that he is a Midwesterner who is exposed to the different world full of glitter and flamboyance and money–the world of 1920s New York. Nick’s observations in the novel corroborate with Fitzgerald’s own opinions on 1920s materialism. This doesn’t mean that the film should’ve went so far as to completely REPLACE Fitzgerald with the Carraway character!
Anyway, let’s move on to Tobey Maguire’s interpretation of Nick Carraway. Maguire has never been a favorite actor of mine. I don’t really know how he made it in Hollywood. The only explanation I can think of is that he really worked that casting couch. For me, Tobey Maguire wins the “Most Painfully Awkward Actor to Ever Grace the Screen” award. Because of this strange plot point of Carraway actually writing the novel, we get a lot of Maguire reading famous lines from the book, including the opening line and the immortal closing line. I don’t know what’s wrong with Maguire, but he, like, couldn’t pronounce ANYTHING. The dude was blundering around with the gorgeous lines and making them sound clunky and awkward. Verdict: Tobey Maguire can’t read. At all. He’s illiterate.
Jay Gatsby: Leonardo DiCaprio’s Gatsby kinda fell in the middle for me. He is suave, debonair, and as fresh as a cool blast of air in a muggy July afternoon. Just look at that face, everyone. He is swoon-worthy, and did a pretty good job of capturing Gatsby’s all-consuming infatuation for Daisy. It shows in literally every facet of his personality. DiCaprio also captures that aura of frantic-ness that permeates Gatsby’s life (since he is obsessed with making up those lost five years with Daisy). However, what I really didn’t enjoy about DiCaprio’s performance was THAT. ACCENT. What was it even? Was Jay Gatsby supposed to have an accent in the novel!? HUH??? DiCaprio spoke in this mix of New York accent and British accent (at least that’s what I THINK it is…) and it made me realize just how disgusting those two accents sound blended together. British people pronounce every letter in their words and speak at a pretty moderate pace, for the most part. But us New Yorkers can’t really be bothered with speaking clearly and slowly. Or with pronouncing 75% of the letters in a word. THEY’RE OPPOSITE ACCENTS. If a mess could speak, it would sound like Leo’s Gatsby. Actually, if a mess could speak, it would sound like Tobey Maguire. If confusion could speak, it would sound like Leo’s Gatsby. It was so bad that my friend kept whispering “old spawt” in my ear the whole train ride home until I yelled at him to shut up. A scene that irritated me was the one in which Gatsby is shot to death in his swimming pool. Of course, I was tearing up and thinking “Noooo don’t die!” The irritating part was that of course he dies saying “Daisy,” while I’m thinking, “DON’T DIE WITH THAT BITCH’S NAME ON YOUR LIPS.” And how about his entrance in the film? I wish I could enter every social function with a come-hither smile on my face and a glass of champagne in my hand, while fireworks explode behind me and “Rhapsody in Blue” swells in the background.
Daisy Buchanan: Carey Mulligan’s Daisy just wasn’t careless enough for me. You get the whole “dumb blonde airhead money-obsessed nasty bitch” personality from her, but not as intense as it should’ve been. You still do hate her, you still get frustrated with her stupidity, but Mulligan made it very hard to make you really feel all those feels for her so much. She was meh. I don’t really know why. I guess I just don’t like Carey Mulligan.
Myrtle Wilson: I LOVED Isla Fisher’s Myrtle Wilson. She was absolutely perfect: a beautiful yet trashy and cheap-looking woman, which is exactly what Fitzgerald was going for in his novel. You can even hear it in her accent. While Daisy has a high-class, hoity-toity, put-on New York accent, Myrtle has a loud, common New York accent. The subtlety with which she did that was great. Her death scene (like everything else in this film) was really over the top and in your face, but that wasn’t her fault. She is one of the delights of this film. And is it just me, or does Fisher’s Myrtle Wilson bear an exact resemblance to Clara Bow?! I was blown away by it when I noticed it while watching the film!
I thought it was really clever that Myrtle seemed to have modeled herself after the most popular and desirable actress of her time. However, I’m not 100% on that feeling, because it might purport the image of Clara Bow as trashy and loose in her ways, an untrue rumor that ruined Bow’s life and reputation and still tarnishes her to this day.
Tom Buchanan: The second really great performance in this film was Joel Edgerton’s as Tom Buchanan. He was exactly how I imagined him when I read the book. Big, strong, brutal, cruel, controlling. and unfeeling. He was a cold bitch of a man. And that’s exactly the way it’s supposed to be. Edgerton makes you scared of him, scared that if one of the characters step just one toe out of line, he would lash out of nowhere and use that giant temper and giant body to destroy someone. By the end of the film, all that fear you have been feeling morphs into absolute disgust–which is perfect. Just. Perfect. Props to Joel Edgerton for his awesome performance.
Jordan Baker: Elizabeth Debicki’s Jordan Baker was another delight to watch on-screen. This long, lean lady didn’t give a crap about anyone but herself. Debicki gives Jordan that wonderfully sinister edge…she can be your best friend one second, but throw you under the bus in the next. Whether someone in the film loved Jordan or hated her, it was all the same to her. That is kinda admirable in a woman, in my opinion. I often found myself wishing that Debicki could’ve been cast as Daisy instead of Mulligan–her personality was on point.
The Music: Going into the film, I was scared shitless over the music. The soundtrack was being supervised by Jay-Z, for fuck’s sake. I knew it was going to stink to high heavens. I knew it was going to make me cry. I was right…to a certain extent. Some selections made me facepalm, such as Jay-Z’s “$100 Bill” and Beyonce’s “Crazy in Love” (shameless plugging of wifey dear’s music, obviously), and overall it was much too modern for my taste. Some selections cracked me up out loud, such as the Dracula-like organ music that played as Nick went to his first Gatsby party. Even though I felt that the music should’ve stuck strictly to 1920s jazz and dance music, some of the modern pieces had a heavy vintage influence, such as Will.I.Am’s “Bang Bang.” The one modern song that I was so in love with and DIDN’T have any vintage influence to it was Lana Del Rey’s “Young and Beautiful.” The song is so relatable and so haunting, clearly resonating with the message of the film perfectly. Of course, the 1920s jazz and swing was perfect and lovely, and save for “Young and Beautiful,” it should’ve been the entire soundtrack. I’m a sucker for old music.
The Visuals: I’m going to post some photos from the film and let them do the talking for a bit:
Needless to say, my jaw dropped about every five minutes over the breathtaking mise-en-scene in this film. It was so Twenties: big, loud, flamboyant, beautiful, colorful, wild, glamorous, vulgar…it was so ME. This is the stuff I love, the stuff I want in life. “The Great Gatsby” is perhaps the most aesthetically beautiful film I’ve ever seen. I’ve been obsessed with this time period for many years now, and seeing these images just intensified my desire to leave this ugly, broken time we live in now and instead go back to this gorgeous, infamous time in history. This is a Baz Luhrmann film, and love him or hate him, his works are immensely pleasing to the eye. The visuals were easily the best thing about this film, along with…
The Costumes: I would chop off my right arm for the clothes in this film. I would kill for the clothes in this film. I would die for the clothes in this film. A lot of these characters had the shittiest personalities ever conceived, but damn, they looked like heavenly angels of perfection. Designer Catherine Martin (who’s also Baz Luhrmann’s wife) did an incredible job of creating costumes that were historically correct yet desirable to the modern woman. And as you all know, I am a head-0ver-heels sucker for historical accuracy. Being a woman who takes pride in her wardrobe and who loves collecting vintage and vintage-style pieces, I applaud Martin’s work here. I’m also just as fascinated by men’s fashion as I am with women’s fashion, and after seeing the men’s costumes in this film, I vowed to myself to marry the first man I see who can wear a suit like Jay Gatsby. There’s NOTHING sexier than a man who takes care of his clothing and appearance. Let’s look at some of my wardrobe favorites:
My favorite costume in the whole film is a black robe and hair scarf that Daisy wears when she commences her affair with Gatsby. I can’t find any full-length shots of this costume, so I’ll post the best that I can find. This costume is so simple yet so glamorous and high fashion.
More gorgeous costumes:
The Symbols: Okay, now this is the thing I hated the most about this film. It automatically assumes that everyone in the audience is a bunch of dumb fucks who don’t read, and every single symbol and theme of The Great Gatsby is explained to you outright. This film was about as subtle as a freight train coming right for you. Fitzgerald’s novel was beautiful because even though it is about a lavish, loud time, it is so subtle and intimate. This wasn’t an intimate night at the movies. There was nothing for the audience to figure out, nothing for them to look for, which is the most fun thing about watching a movie (for me anyways). I love figuring out the little connections, the subliminal messages, the clever links. But here, I didn’t get that satisfaction at all. Even though I already know the meanings of the images in the story, it would’ve been so gratifying to see them play out in the film. But no, instead the audience is TOLD what the eyes of Dr. T.J. Eckleburg mean, why Nick Carraway becomes disgusted with 1920s New York (and in the novel, ultimately returns to the Midwest), why Daisy cried over the shirts, and what the green light means, among other things. We’re not dumb over here! The film could’ve been much better if it just employed some subtlety where it was needed. Some of the effects were kinda cheesy too, especially when seeing the film in 3D (which we did, unfortunately….3D gives me migraines).
WE ALREADY KNOW WHAT THESE SYMBOLS MEAN YOU DON’T NEED TO TELL US, BAZ LUHRMANN THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
So, that’s my review! Feel free to sound off on your opinion of the film, darlings!
Margaret Perry over at http://thegreatkh.blogspot.co.uk/ has given me a Liebster Award! YAY! :D The Liebster is given to up-and-coming blogs of 200 followers or less. If you are reading this, Margaret, thank you so much for the honor! So, if you receive a Liebster Award, you must share eleven facts about yourself, answer eleven questions from the blogger who awarded you, and award eleven bloggers of your choice! Here we go:
Eleven Facts About Moi:
1. All of my fingers are double-jointed. I’m like some sort of weird finger contortionist.
2. I’m a voracious reader. My all-time favorite book is Les Miserables by Victor Hugo.
3. I think peacocks are the most beautiful, fabulous animals in the entire world.
4. My biggest goal is to travel the world. I hope to study abroad for winter intercession next year in either England, France, or Australia!
5. I’ve always loved cartoons, and I still do! My favorites were (and still are) Tom and Jerry, Merrie Melodies, Mickey Mouse, and Looney Tunes. I also love the classic Disney films.
6. I confess I have a strange fascination with the occult and the unknown. I love learning about that stuff.
7. The things I notice first in a guy are his eyes (I love light-colored eyes, blue being my favorite) and his smile.
8. I was originally left-handed, but I was forced to switch to right.
9. My favorite fruit is the clementine, which is quite unfortunate since they’re in season only during the winter :(
10. My favorite band is Queen. Queen has gotten me through a lot of difficulties!
11. All my clothes have to: 1) have a vintage flair 2) have at least a dash of sparkle. My latest purchase was a black velvet dress with a gold glitter star pattern from Topshop. It sparkles more than the sun or the stars. Best shopping decision I’ve ever made!
If you could matchmake two of your favorite stars, who would be your OTP?
Hmmm…so many possibilities come to mind! But I think my OTP (one true pair) would be Myrna Loy and William Powell. Every time I watch them in a film I find myself begging them to get married and have babies already. Or Jean Harlow and Clark Gable, those two make sparks on the screen!
What classic movie would you like to see remade?
None. Modern remakes have a funny way of messing up beloved originals.
What is your favorite film genre, and what are your three favorite films in that genre?
My favorite film genre is the screwball comedy! My favorite screwballs are It Happened One Night, Arsenic and Old Lace, and To Be Or Not To Be.
You have the opportunity to share one classic film with a theatre full of your friends. Which film do you choose?
Gone with the Wind, most definitely!
What one actor/actress do you love so much, you would see a film simply because they are in it?
Clark Gable! I’ve sat through some really shitty films (LIKE THE PAINTED DESERT) just to look at Gabe’s perfect face.
What/who is your favorite animal character from a movie?
I love Asta from The Thin Man series. That dog is such a boss.
What years do you consider to define the era of “classic movies”?
This is a great, hotly disputed question, and as Margaret implies, the answer varies from person to person. I personally consider the classic movie era to be from around 1905-ish to 1960.
Astaire or Kelly? Audrey or Katherine? Bette or Joan? Olivia de Havilland or Joan Fontaine? Buster Keaton or Charlie Chaplin?
Astaire or Kelly: love them both with all my heart and soul, but I think I will go with Kelly here. It was a close shave, though!
Audrey or Katharine: Easy. Kate the Great of course! I might get crucified for this, but I CAN’T STAND Audrey Hepburn. The most overrated actress who ever lived, if you ask me.
Bette or Joan: I love Bette, but Joan wins this. Sorry Bette, but Joan is my homeslice for life.
Olivia de Havilland or Joan Fontaine: Livvy is my fave sister. She’s an amazing talent and a delight to watch on the screen. From what I’ve seen of Joan Fontaine’s work, she seems a lot more…forced…than her sister. Just look at the faces she makes in Rebecca and you’ll see what I mean.
Who is your favorite Barrymore?
My fave Barrymore is definitely Lionel. He’s like an old cuddly teddy bear! Who seriously knows how to act.
What is your favorite silent movie? Who is your favorite silent movie star?
Oh geez, this is a toughie. I’m gonna bend the rules here and give two favorite silent movies: Metropolis and The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari. I’m gonna bend the rules again with my favorite silent stars: Clara Bow and Rudolph Valentino.
If you could spend one day with your favorite star, who would it be and what would you do?
I’d spend the day with the lovely Clark Gable and we would tour Hollywood together and visit all of his favorite places there :)
Now I shall award eleven of my favorite blogs (that meet the qualifications) for a Liebster Award! You guys have to list eleven facts about yourself, answer the eleven questions I give you, and award eleven other blogs with the Award! Congratulations to:
All Good Things http://poohtiger-allgoodthings.blogspot.com/
Classicfilmboy’s Movie Paradise http://www.classicfilmboy.com/
Dear Old Hollywood http://dearoldhollywood.blogspot.com/
Deep Glamour http://deepglamour.net/
Critica Retro http://criticaretro.blogspot.com/
Gone with the Wind Fansite http://gwtwfansite.weebly.com/
Marlene Dietrich Collection http://marlene-dietrichcollection.blogspot.fr/
The Hollywood Revue http://hollywoodrevue.wordpress.com/
Alexander’s Sanctuary http://alexandersanctuary.wordpress.com/
The Kitty Packard Pictorial http://kittypackard.com/
Old Hollywood Glamour http://oldhollywoodglamour.blogspot.com/
1. If you could have a dinner party with seven classic film stars, who would they be?
2. Who is your favorite classic movie director?
3. Who is your favorite most-underrated actor?
4. Have you ever watched a film in which you had NO IDEA what was going on?
5. Who is your favorite Hollywood costume designer?
6. Who is an actor/actress that you would take out of one film and put into a different one?
7. Do you mix up any classic movie actors/actresses.
8. Favorite movie musical?
9. Have you hated an actor/actress whom you now love?
10. What is your favorite performance that was overlooked by an Oscar?
11. What is your most-quoted film?
And if you don’t have a blog and just want to answer the questions, please feel free to do so in the comments! X
I am very proud to say that I’ve got my Halloween all planned out. This year, I’m going to dress up as a glamorous 1930s movie star (last year I was a flapper…see how I’m doing this decade by decade? Next year is Rosie the Riveter). That means I’m busting out my old senior prom gown:
I’m pairing this with peacock feathers in my hair, diamond bracelets, and diamond and emerald earrings. Is it Golden Age enough? I also want to do some creepy stuff…what’s Halloween without it? I’ve always had a fascination with the occult and the unknown, which has only been heightened by the timely book I’ve been reading (Breverton’s Phantasmagoria). The Phantasmagoria detailed an old custom in which if a young girl lights a candle and eats an apple before a mirror on Halloween night, the doppelganger of her future husband will appear before her in the mirror. Of course, this trick can go totally wrong and Bloody Mary can appear in the mirror instead and murder me. If that’s what ends up happening, it was great knowing you all.
But if you are still unsure about what to be for Halloween, I’m here to help…the classic movie way, of course! Why not get some costume inspiration from the stars?
A Very Uncomfortable Indian Chief
Boys, why not take a leaf out of Gary Cooper’s book? Here he is dressed up as an Indian chief, but a very uncomfortable and clumsy-looking one indeed. His fabulous feather headdress is all askew and his face looks like he ripped a fart and is hoping no one heard it. Nevertheless, the Native American people have always fascinated me–they are so proud and majestic!
Here’s William Powell dressed as your favorite gal–your granny! Just look at this badass grandma…cigarette dangling from her lips like a hardboiled detective, flaunting her skinny old birdlike arms, and her hairy calves. You go granny!
First of all, let’s take a moment to think about this picture. Are Lucille Ball and Harpo Marx twins separated at birth?! Forget Zeppo, Lucy is the fourth Marx brother! Just more glamorous of course. Harpo Marx is a very easy costume: oversized clothes, a top hat, and a curly ginger wig. Don’t forget to carry a horn with you and fill your pockets with pictures of horses and other random stuff.
Here’s a costume that’s so easy-peasy lemon-squeezy that anyone can do it! From left to right, we have Gloria Swanson, Lucille Ball, and Cary Grant dressed up as the lovable Little Tramp. A very simple costume to put together, and easily recognizable, too!
A Very Classy Guido
You must be thinking, “did this girl seriously just use those words together in the same sentence!?” Indeed, I have. First and last time, cross my heart. Looking at this picture of Nazimova, you can’t help but think she makes the guido spiky-hair style look almost…like something decent people do to their heads.
Fantabulous Sparkling Ice Skating Men
Here’s one you can do with a friend! Forget Johnny Weir–Jimmy Stewart and Lew Ayres are where it’s at when it comes to shimmering glam ice-skating dudes. Just look at those sequin jackets and metallic leggings! Fab! Looks like something I would wear!
A Gay Nineties Couple
This is a costume idea for you and your significant other. Hollywood lovebirds Norma Shearer and Irving Thalberg look like they belong in the 19th century with her corseted dress, fur boa, and jaunty hat and his colorful striped suit. A cute idea!
A Big Angry Bug
This picture makes me laugh to no end. Katharine Hepburn, famous for her uppity accent and Bryn Mawr education, clearly looks happy to be dressed in this big bug costume, complete with sequins and two wire antennae.
I just came across this photo of Claudette Colbert dressed as a Harlequin and I think I’m gonna change my costume to this one, guys! Sequined bodysuit+perfect high-heeled shoes+giant neck ruff=costume with my name written all over it. I’ve always wanted to be a circus performer, after all.
A Giant Shiny Butterfly
Mae West is so awesome we should all bow to her. No one else, alive or dead, classic Hollywood or otherwise, can wear a giant metallic rubber butterfly complete with wings and antennae the size of a small child and pull it off so well like Miss West.
A Giant Shiny Bat
Dear me, what giant shiny animal with enormous wingspan will Mae West be next? The woman wears latex as flawlessly as Freddie Mercury. Mae West’s collecti0n of latex costumes aside, a bat is one of the most classic Halloween costumes you can go with. Don’t forget to add some Mae West glam to what could end up being a cliche costume.
Hope you had fun celebrating Halloween classic Hollywood style!
As all of you, my lovely readers, know, the name of my blog is called An Elegant Obsession. It’s pretty straightforward why I christened my blog with this name: I am obsessed with all things classic Hollywood and vintage, and unlike most other obsessions, mine is an elegant one, if I do say so myself. After all, I am obsessed with an era of glamour and class. Part of what made classic Hollywood so elegant is the art of glamour photography.
Glamour photography is, sadly, a dying (ore pretty much dead) art. Nowadays, the idea of photographing celebrities is to show that they are “just like us”: they go shopping, they get coffee from Starbucks, they mow their lawns…whatever. The purpose seems to be to capture them at their most UNglamorous. However, in the olden days I so love, the purpose of photography was to depict these stars as gods: too perfect, too beautiful to be living in this world.
George Hurrell was perhaps the greatest and most prolific glamour photographer. With a career that spanned over seventy years, he photographed the faces of every important star from Norma Shearer to Sharon Stone. Hurrell’s photography is so great because it’s so dramatic. His hallmarks were dramatic lighting with strong blacks and whites. But the Hurrell trademark I want to talk about today is “The Hurrell Hair.”
As seen on the beautiful ladies Bette Davis, Veronica Lake, Carole Lombard, and Jean Harlow, George Hurrell loved to spread out the long, luxurious waves that all Hollywood actresses had back in the day. Any picture with the hair like that is a guaranteed Hurrell. Hurrell used a backlight on his subjects when taking a photo like this, as it added a shimmer or “halo” effect to the hair…which goes back to what I said about the whole “goddess” thing.
So, not being a photographer and having NO equipment but an iPhone 5 camera, I set out to do some Hurrell hair pictures of my own.
It isn’t so good, as my hair isn’t long enough, the photos are in color, I don’t have photography equipment, and I am an overall strange-looking person. But achieving a cheap knockoff of Hurrell Hair was not as difficult as I would’ve thought it would be!
If you are interested in doing a Hurrell experiment of your own, or if you just want to have long 1930s-1940s style waves everyday like I do, let me know and I will be more than happy to make a tutorial! :)
Meanwhile, I’ll be growing out my hair to get it as long as Vivien Leigh’s in GWTW:
P.S: does anyone have tips on getting rid of dark under-eye circles? I have them all the time, and no matter how much rest I get, I always seem tired and sick-looking! Thanks in advance for any advice!
One of the wonderful things about classic films is that almost all of the actors were drool-worthy. Tall, dark, and handsome with amazing bodies. Like most girls, I love it when a man has muscle. And thankfully, Hollywood understood my obsession with the brawny and had most of its actors pose for “beefcake pictures”: photography devoted to shirtless men. Women took “cheesecake” photos, which were swimsuit photos. But today is all about the guys as I show you some of my favorite beefcake photos.
Cary Grant and Randolph Scott
Does this count as a “beefcake” photo? Whatevs, Cary and Randolph have nice, lean muscles. If you’ve seen My Favorite Wife, you’ll know that Randolph Scott had a bod to rival Johnny Weissmuller’s. And nice legs, Cary!
Perfection. My copy of A Streetcar Named Desire has this image on the cover.
This is one of the earliest photos of Gabe that I’ve seen. And one of my favorites. And one of the most drool-worthy pics of all time. Gable haters say he was flabby, but this photo proves he was RIPPED. Dear God, those beefy dimpled shoulders…
Coop may have been as thin as a rail, but that didn’t mean he didn’t have muscle! This picture proves that he didn’t have the body of an overgrown child, but had some nice, well-developed arms. He also had a nice smattering of chest hair, an added bonus.
Gorgeous!!! He may have been a womanizer and a hellraiser, but with a body like that, who can blame him? Errol is like some long-lost Greek god. They just don’t come that way anymore. Now excuse me while I put my face in the freezer to cool off my blushing cheeks.
Cags may be an unlikely choice for a post like this, but being an athlete and dancer, he did have a great body. Cags wins the award for Most Underrated Beautiful Bod. You can’t see it in this picture, but he also had these adorable freckles on his shoulders. Which is a big plus in my world.
Last but definitely not least is this perfect specimen of humanity known as Valentino. He was PERFECT. I bet all those rumors about him being effeminate were started by ugly, jealous men. Because let’s face it, he’s gorgeous. And a BIG bonus…his swim trunks leave very little to the imagination. And I’m sure we all like what we see.
Until next time, my loves!
Today I’m going to teach you guys how to do the perfect flapper nails! You know, that elegant vintage nail look often sported in the 1920s-early 1930s and seen on actresses like Jean Harlow and Joan Crawford:
As you can see, only the center of the fingernail was painted. The half-moons and the tips were left bare.
Things didn’t change until (legend has it) Carole Lombard began to paint her full nails, something that was seen as quite shocking in the world of fashion and beauty. However, the trend caught on like wildfire, and women haven’t reverted back to only painting half of our nails ever since!
But if you’re a vintage-obsessed nerd like me, you have a fondness for these old trends and love bringing them back. I’ve taught myself how to recreate the flapper nail look. My lovely, cooperative new boyfriend took pictures of me modeling my nails. They may look a little weird, but hey, the focus is on the fingers, not the face (or in this case, half the face) here! I hope the nails are easy to see in these photos (UPDATE: you can click the pictures if you need to see the nails better!):
It just occurred to me that I probably should’ve taken pictures of each step of this nail look…oy. I’m going to try describing each step as best I can, but if those of you who are trying to achieve this look need a picture for any step, let me know and I can redo this post with pictures! :)
What You’ll Need:
Top Coat and Base Coat (I use OPI Start to Finish Base & Top Coat, two in one, less hassle!)
Red Nail Polish (I use OPI’s “The Thrill of Brazil”)
How to Do It:
1. Start off with clean nails. (duh) Make sure they are long, but not too long. Just a little over your fingertips (like the way my nails look).
2. Give your nails that pointed look those flappers and 1930s dames had. Use the nail clipper to trim off A LITTLE BIT of the sides OF THE GROWTH (the part that is a little over your fingertips) ONLY. If you go any deeper, you will clip off the part of your nail that is attached to your finger, and trust me, it hurts. Like. A. Bitch.
3. After that, file the sides of your nails so they can look clean and pointed.
4. Now, take your base coat and paint one coat on each nail. They will look clear and shiny. Wait for them to dry (this depends on the type of base coat you have. Mine dries almost instantaneously, so I only wait a minute or so.)
5. Now, take your red nail polish and VERY SLOWLY AND CAREFULLY paint a thin arc right over your half-moon and another right under your growth. Now, you should have bare tips, a stripe of red, a bare nail, another red stripe, and a bare half-moon.
6. Now fill in the space between the two red stripes with red nail polish. Do this for all your nails!
7. Wait for your nails to dry. Then repeat steps five and six for a second coat (yes, a second coat is necessary, because it will give you the true color you are hoping to achieve).
8. Wait for your nails to dry again (completely!!! It’s most important at this time).
9. At this point, you might have some mess or stray nail polish around your fingers. My tip to cleaning messy nail polish (and this can go for any look, not just flapper nails) is to dip a cotton swab into a bottle of acetone and use it to clean around your nails. It’s thin enough to clean without removing the nail polish that is actually on your nails. Here, use this technique not only to clean any skin around your fingernails, but to also clean any nail polish that may have gotten onto your half-moons or tips. Many people complain that DYI nails are messy because they can’t paint the nails on their right hand with their left hand or vice versa. But with this tip, you can make as much mess as you need and you can clean it all up, resulting in salon-perfect nails!
10. After your nails have dried and you’ve cleaned any mess, paint on your top coat.
11. Voila! You now have shiny, red, glamorous, authentic-looking flapper nails!
**I’m not going to lie and say that doing this look on your own is easy. It might not come out 100% great the first time you try, but like with anything else, practice makes perfect. You might also find it easier to get someone else to help you or paint your nails for you. Do not be discouraged, since it is a difficult look! Any questions, don’t hesitate to ask!
P.S: Have you guys noticed the ring I’m wearing in my pictures? That’s the ring the incredibly handsome and talented actor Paul Zivkovich gave me in a one-on-one in my favorite play, Sleep No More. Sometimes the ring is on my finger, sometimes around my neck on a necklace, but I’m always wearing it! I’m quite devoted to this guy.
Hiya folks! I’ve been blogging on “An Elegant Obsession” for close to two years now. Starting this blog is easily the best decision I’ve ever made; I’ve met so many wonderful people through it! But one thing always bothered me: I know what some of you guys look like because of your icons and photos on your blogs and whatnot, but you don’t know what I look like! The reason I’ve never put up any pictures of myself is because, believe it or not, I’m actually very shy. Especially camera shy. I’m no beauty: my hair is naturally black and wildly curly, (think Joan Crawford in “Rose Marie”), I dress in vintage-style clothing, and I’m a big loudmouth with a heavy Brooklyn accent. I’m no sweet-looking, soft-spoken thing with golden hair and large blue eyes. But about two weeks ago, my sister took some pictures of me because she wanted to prove to me that I look like a classic movie actress (as if!) and the shots actually came out pretty decent, for me anyways. So I thought to share one of them with you, so you can know exactly who you’re talking to hahaha! So, here’s my face:
Even though my nose looks extremely long and I have bags under my eyes (I’m an insomniac) it has a lot of 1930s-style elements in it that I’ve never really noticed before. That’s all! I hope my face doesn’t turn you guys away from reading this blog :/ P.S: I’m halfway through the next book in George Baxt’s celebrity series. Not only is it boring, but it’s also confusing! Prepare for yet another bad book review coming soon!
As you know, I’ve been quite busy reading and reviewing the (bad) George Baxt Hollywood series. But when I’m done with that, I’ve got a lot of great posts lined up, and I’d like to take an opportunity to tell you what I’ve got in store:
- Hidden Talents of the Stars. This is gonna be really fun! Many of our favorite classic stars weren’t just gifted actors, they had plenty of other talents! So, if they didn’t make it in Hollywood, what would they have been? For starters, Marlene Dietrich probably would’ve been a chef and Joan Fontaine probably would’ve been a pilot!
- Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations. I’ve tried doing this post before, but WordPress so lovingly deleted all my work on it. So I gotta get around to doing this one sometime soon, much to my chagrin.
- Sleep No More. Many of you might not be familiar with this unusual play, but it has taken the New York art scene by storm. Maybe if you’re a Gossip Girl fan, you would’ve seen an episode that featured it (“The Big Sleep No More.” Of course these Gossip Girl brats basically broke every SNM rule!!!). It doesn’t have anything to do with classic movies directly, but it has a lot of classic movie influences. It’s the story of Macbeth taking place in the 1930s, with heavy influences from Hitchcock and Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca. For one thing, the show plays in a building called “The McKittrick Hotel” (sound familiar, Vertigo fans?) and the bar in the hotel is called The Manderley Bar. I went in April on the day after my birthday, and I’m going again July 16th, so after my second trip to the McKittrick, I will review this great play! If you are 18 or over (WARNING: the show is VERY intense and not for the faint of heart) and will be in NYC until July 21st, you MUST see this haunting play! But for those of you who can’t, I will review it, trying my best not to spoil it!
Another post that I’m thinking of doing is a finger wave tutorial. I get asked how to do a wave A LOT, so I think it might be something useful to do. I know I’ve made a post about it before, but I do my hair in a different way that works better now, and I’m thinking of doing it with pictures or in a video so the instructions are easier to follow (I’m gonna apologize in advance for the icky ugliness that is my face). So, if you think it will be useful for me to put up a new and improved finger wave tut, then please tell me in the comments! <3
Sometimes, when scouring the Internet for images related to classic films and actors, you find lots of random, fun things. Here are some of the gems that you can find when looking up images of some classic movie stars:
Here’s Marion Davies using an odd contraption called the Bentograph. It was supposed analyze the human character. Director Monte Bell gives Marion part of her analysis: “Full forehead; benevolent, creative, learned and happiest when in company of the intellectual. Nose; pretentious, ambitious, sensitive, aims high and demands social and artistic recognition”.
Cary Grant, Sally Eilers, Hal Roach, and Elizabeth Jenns English make for an interesting band!
Ida Lupino visits Harry Fink, bottle collector who used to lend out his collection to film studios so they can be used as props!
Is it me, or does Lana Turner slightly resemble Joan Blondell in this photo?
Anne Shirley, Carol Stone, Rosina Lawrence, Lana Turner, Vicki Lester and Natalie Draper drink soda out of a pumpkin.
Another “handie” (Stewart could perform over 300!): China clipper
Why am I loving Laurence Olivier’s mismatched outfit?
That’s all! I made it quite long to make up for all the days I haven’t blogged. Hope this was fun and entertaining!
Yesterday was Carole Lombard’s 103rd birthday. To celebrate, the lovely Vincent at Carole and Co (http://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/) is hosting a blogathon in her honor, Carole-tennial +3.
Carole Lombard was considered one of the most fashionable women of her time. She had a lean, lithe body, perfect for modeling clothes, was always seen wearing the latest trends, and was clothed by America’s most venerated couturiers. Of course, she was considered the best dressed woman not only in Hollywood, but perhaps throughout the whole country. However, Lombard never seemed too enthusiastic about her title as reigning fashionista: “I can’t imagine a duller fate than being the best dressed woman in reality. When I want to do something I don’t pause to contemplate whether I’m exquisitely gowned. I want to live, not pose!”. I think that this is exactly she was considered so fashionable. She was never a show-off about her clothes, and was never afraid to have fun and just be a regular girl, even when wearing an evening gown designed by Irene. She wore the clothes, and didn’t let the clothes wear her. Here are some of Lombard’s most popular fashion trends:
As I mentioned above, Lombard had a perfect model’s body: long, lean, and feminine in all the right places. She was a couturier’s dream. When Lombard sported evening gowns, they were designed by the best: Edith Head, Travis Banton, or her personal favorite, Irene. Lombard usually wore clingy satins in light colors, but she also wore sparkles, feathers, and even fur trim!
Of course Lombard, being a top actress, looked breathtaking in an evening gowns. However, unlike many of her peers, she looked just at home in casual, men’s-style clothing. During her relationship and marriage to Clark Gable, Lombard was seen more and more in casual sporty clothing than in glamorous, liquid couture gowns. She immersed herself in Gable’s favorite sports, and therefore popularized a less-dressy, yet always feminine, look for women.
Turbans were all the rage in Old Hollywood, and if you haven’t noticed, they’re starting to make a comeback! Even though turbans are associated with exoticism, no one wore them better than all-American Carole Lombard! Once she started wearing turbans, others, such as pal Ginger Rogers, copied her too:
Lombard wearing a fancy turban in an early glamour portrait. At this stage of her career she was aiming for a more exotic look, like many of her fellow actresses.
Firstly, Lombard was blonde, a hair color that will always and forever be in vogue. But how Carole styled her h0ney-colored locks is what I’m concerned with here. When platinum was popular in the early 30s, she was platinum. When bangs were in during the mid 30s, she sported a heavy, waved fringe across her forehead. When long hair started to emerge in the late 30s-early 40s, her blonde curls tumbled down her shoulders. Lombard’s hair was always up-to-date:
Carole in heavy, curled bangs
In her last film, To Be Or Not To Be, Lombard’s hair was especially long, perfect for 1940s hairstyles.
Many of you must know that throughout the 20s and 30s, the trend was only to paint the middle of your nails, leaving the tip and half-moon blank. However, Lombard was amongst the first to do the unheard of…paint her full nails! It caused quite a stir at the time, but eventually everyone caught up with Lombard’s fashion-forward ways.
When Lombard was asked about her fashion essentials, one of those she listed was a suit. They’re smart, conservative, clean, and elegant. And Lombard sure knew how to wear them! She had plenty of suits,whether they be sporty, or the famous dove-gray suit she wore when she married Clark Gable.
Once upon a time, wearing furs was actually cool. And if something was cool, Lombard was guaranteed to wear it. She wore furs of all kinds…even monkey fur!
Carole and I have the same shopping weakness: hats. Lombard couldn’t get enough of hats, and she became quite well-known for buying several hats at once during a shopping excursion. She would even buy ugly hats, knowing that her husband Clark Gable would get annoyed. Despite her mischievous ways, she always looked glamorous, no matter how over-the-top her hats were.
In a giant sunhat
Although she humbly tried to deny it, Carole Lombard was a fashion icon. She revolutionized women’s fashion, making it possible for us dames to be both causal and glamorous, simple and extravagant. She allowed us to have with our wardrobes and to be beautiful stylish ladies. Kudos to Carole!
Although Singin’ in the Rain is a film made in the 1950s, the action of the film takes place in the 1920s, making the fashion in this film a unique mix between classic 20s style and the splashy colors of the 1950s.
All the fashion in the film (both men’s and women’s) are defined by the same characteristics: glitz, glamour, and color. The film seems to overdo these characteristics, but hey, no complaints! It’s great fun and is one reason why Singin’ in the Rain is considered the quintessential frothy 50s musical. And ladies, it’s impossible not to want one of Debbie Reynolds’ or Jean Hagen’s dresses in this film!
The Guys (Gene Kelly and Donald O’Connor)
Sporty clothing was all the rage in the 20s (games such as tennis and golf were gaining popularity at the time) and most of the costumes worn by Gene Kelly and Donald O’Connor really reflect that:
For most of the film, the boys wear sweaters and baggy pants, typical 1920s casual clothing. But to make it more fun, the color of their sweaters match the color of their eyes! (O’Connor had blue eyes and Kelly had brown eyes) I’m not sure if that was done deliberately or if that’s just my brain noticing these things…
Again, Kelly wears a sweater vest (quite popular at the time) and high-waisted baggy pants. White was also a popular color for men to wear during the 20s. Debbie Reynolds’ dress has an ultra-low waist and straight silhouette, something that all 20s dresses were to help in getting the boyish look that was so in vogue at the time.
Of course, I couldn’t forget this famous scene! It’s a very basic suit, but it’s made to mirror the rainy, gloomy weather. Kinda to make Kelly blend in with his surroundings.
Again, basic colors such as black and white populated the men’s wardrobes. A matching hat is like the icing on the cake. As for Donald O’Connor’s, I found that many men at the time liked to juxtapose their dark coats with a light-colored scarf. I also love how the older woman is fashion forward too! As for Jean Hagen, she is always the picture of 20s opulence, with metallics, sparkles, and furs. Very much the kind of wardrobe I’d want to raid :)
Gene Kelly takes basic white to a new level with patterns. Plaids were incredibly popular.
I love this one! In the grand dance number of the film, the “Broadway Melody Ballet”, Kelly’s white, muted wardrobe is suddenly replaced by fluorescent colors and fun patterns (usually worn by the women in the film) but since this number is fun and glitzy, he gets in on the fun too. His outfit is charmingly mismatched: bright checkered jacket, striped shirt, and floral kerchief. Pink also seems to be a popular color: the man behind him is wearing it too.
One of my favorite outfits in the film: the green checkered suits worn by Kelly and O’Connor in the “Fit as a Fiddle” number. They’re fun, bright, and happy, reflecting the mood of the entire film. I also love how the shoes match the suits exactly.
This one is very simple: black and white, dark and light convey the emotion in this moment of the film. No attention to fashion trends here; the costumes are quite basic, and very “dance-y” especially Gene Kelly’s (who looks mighty fine in all black).
Of course, every dapper 20s man is able to rock a classic tux!
The Girls (Debbie Reynolds and Jean Hagen)
The girls of Singin’ in the Rain had fun, colorful costumes that all of us ladies wish to have in their closets too!
Everyone loves Debbie Reynolds’ dress in the “Good Morning” number! It’s simple and sweet, yet chic. It has a very clean silhouette and powdery-blue color and also incorporates Art Deco with the zigzag pattern. A drop-waist and pleats were quite popular, and the hemline is typical of many 20s dresses: at the knee or about an inch below it. Her shoes are to die for!
Every 20s dame had a cloche hat to offset her finger wave and frame her face.
A fun, lovely outfit! The colors are whimsical and cotton-candy like, and because it’s a showgirl costume, it’s quite short and scandalous. You still see the 20s element with the tight, head-hugging caps.
Another one of my favorite costumes: Debbie Reynolds’ green dress. Again, the silhouette is clean, straight, and simple, reflective of her character’s personality. The colors of the dress remind me of the suits Gene Kelly and Donald O’Connor wore in the “Fit as a Fiddle” number earlier in the film. This dress’ design is basically an exact replica of the one from “Good Morning” but it has a green leaf Deco pattern and a green sash to highlight the waistline. A beautiful, flattering dress.
My obsession with the villain continues. Although we aren’t supposed to like Jean Hagen’s character in the film, I couldn’t help but love her. She is hilarious, wonderfully nasty, and most importantly for this post, stylish! Check out her cream-colored coat trimmed with monkey fur (something that was quite trendy at that time) Her glasses are also envy-worthy. Overall, a very trendy yet elegant look.
Baggy silhouettes that hid a woman’s curves were all the rage in the 20s. The trend was to look as athletic and boyish in figure as possible. Jean Hagen shows the trend at its best, with colors that are totally on opposite ends of the spectrum that each one stands out on its own. I love how her tights are a sheer purple as well! Her friend is quite trendy too.
A closer look at the gorgeous mint green and silver sparkle dress Hagen wore in the beginning of the film. I own a dress that looks quite similar to this one and I love it with all my heart <3
Others/The ‘Beautiful Girl’ Number
How important was fahsion in Singin’ in the Rain? There is a fashion show within the film! The number ‘Beautiful Girl’ is an exhibition of bright, beautiful 20s fashions:
All the outfits featured in the fashion show: lounge pajamas (if only they still made them that way! I love them), a monkey fur cloak, tennis whites, a dinner party dress, beachwear, a garden party dress, a modern dress with a cloche hat, a tea party gown, a tweed suit with pearls, a dyed fox-fur cloak, a simple black dress, and an Art Deco wedding gown. Each outfit is an overdose and exaggeration on glamour and drama and 20s fashion, but oh what fun! The colors are deep and bright, and guaranteed to make any lady the center of the party. My personal favorites are the lounge pajamas, the swimsuit, the purple and light blue dress, and the fashion-forward, short wedding gown. The fashion show literally presents an outfit for every moment in a woman’s life.
Totally random extra who had one of the best outfits in the film. Sequins, bright green cape, feathers…it’s like my dream dress! Her role should’ve definitely been expanded, in my opinion.
Perhaps one of the most famous dresses in musical history was Cyd Charisse’s emerald-green sequined dress from the Broadway Melody number. The color is incredibly attractive, and the dress has an overall sexy, vampy look to it. I dare you not to wish for this dress! It is very iconic.
I hope you enjoyed this post! As Jimmy Thompson sang in the Beautiful Girl number: “A beautiful girl is like a great work of art. She’s stylish, she’s chic, and she also is smart”.
Happy 101 to Ruby Keeler! This adorable, petite brunette was famous for her performances in the Pre-Code Busby Berkeley musicals, particularly 42nd Street (1933) and Footlight Parade (1933), amongst others. She popularized a different style of tap dancing: one that was heavily influenced by clog dancing and stomping. Here are my favorite photos of this multitalented performer:
Showing off her great gams
A gorgeous photo of Keeler
A more mature look for Keeler
A very fashionable outfit!
A gorgeous photo!
Publicity photo for Dames
Her hair is gorgeous in this photo.
If we all had the body to work that little dress!
Probably my favorite photo of her
A racy one for Footlight Parade
I always love her dance costumes
This girl knew how to work a beret! And her eyes are so pretty
Ruby always had this look of innocence about her
Every actress seemed to have a photo as a blushing bride
Happy Birthday, Ruby Keeler!
Clara Bow’s 106th birthday was a couple of days ago. To celebrate, here are my favorite glamour shots of this iconic little flapper and fellow Brooklyn dame. She was a beauty in her own right:
A shot from one of her rare talkies, “Call Her Savage” (1932). She was unsuccessful in talkies for a few reasons, including false, destructive rumors about her lifestyle and her heavy Brooklyn accent. Unfortunately, her star power just died out.
I’ve just come across a new blogathon, and this one’s right up my alley!
The Hollywood Revue (http://hollywoodrevue.wordpress.com/) is hosting a Fashion in Film Blogathon on September 24th! According to the site, you can focus on a particular costume designer, an actress who became a style icon, costumes in a particular film, or how a character’s costumes convey their personality. The best part? You don’t have to join (although a comment is appreciated). You can just pitch in!
I’ll be writing on the costumes from Singin’ In The Rain, because they are fun, splashy, and over-the-top (it was an MGM Technicolor musical, after all!) I’ll even write on the guys’ costumes :D
Here are some of the banners:
and if you still haven’t joined, Carole & Co’s blogathon is running from October 6-9. Here are some more banners (and Vincent, your work is always good):
I’m going to write about Lombard’s role as a fashion icon (yep, fashion again!) and I chose the date of October 7th. This stuff is a lot of fun, and provides some healthy competition between us bloggers. If you have a blog, please make an effort to join!
I’ve recently realized that I’ve never really written about music. Yet, music was such a major part of the golden age. My taste is quite wide and varied. I have almost every genre of music on my iPod, except country (no offense to those who like it, but NO, just no, to it all) . I love classical music (my fave is Tchaikovsky), show tunes (Les Miserables, The Phantom of the Opera, Wicked…)foreign music (especially French and Italian), pop/dance music (Michael Jackson <3), and last but DEFINITELY not least, vintage music! I have more of this genre than any other on my iPod, and since this is a golden age blog, I will concentrate on the golden age songs that I’m playing at a constant loop nowadays:
Adelaide by Frank Sinatra
Any song that comes out of Frank Sinatra’s mouth is instant gold. From the 1955 film Guys and Dolls, this song has a lilting rhythm and is really fun to sing to. It also makes me wish my name was Adelaide since it sounds so nice when sung. Now can someone help me with the Nathan Detroit/Sky Masterson debate? I’ll never be able to choose one over the other!
All I Do Is Dream Of You by Debbie Reynolds and Chorus
This is the first of many Singin’ In The Rain songs that I’m listening to right now. I got the film on DVD for my birthday in April so I’m always watching it. This song is fast and fun, and very 20s (the decade in which this film takes places, duh).
Anything You Can Do by Bing Crosby, The Andrews Sisters, and Dick Haymes
This song is so much FUN. There are five people singing in it, and they’re all making unusual sounds and voices, so it’s a great exercise in harmonizing. It’s pretty witty to boot. You can totally let out your inner goofball with this one.
Babalu by Desi Arnaz
This song is entirely in Spanish, but who cares? It’s so much fun! Between the sultry beat of the conga drum and screaming “BABALU! BAAAABAAALUUUU!” on the top of your lungs, who needs to understand the language?
Beautiful Girl by Jimmy Thompson
All songs from Singin’ In The Rain are absolutely fantastic. But this romantic number is about fashion (the fashion show in this song is epic). I like fashion. It teaches that beauty is not based on looks alone. As Thompson sings: “A beautiful girl is like a great work of art. She’s stylish. She’s chic. And she also is smart.” If we all had this guy in our lives to serenade us with this song, life would be bliss, wouldn’t it ladies?
Because of You by Gloria DeHaven
This song is so lovely and romantic, and brings out that inner dreamer in me (which I always try to suppress!) “Beautiful Girl” plus “Because of You”, is a formula for a lasting relationship.
Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen by The Andrews Sisters
Everyone loves the Andrews Sisters. In my opinion, this is one of their best. It’s a clever, modern, jazzy love song. The kind of thing that expresses feeling while being fun to dance to.
Blue Moon by the Casa Loma Orchestra
If you’ve seen the film Manhattan Melodrama, you’re probably familiar with the song “The Bad In Every Man”. Unfortunately, I can’t find an mp3 with these lyrics, so I’ve settled with “Blue Moon”, which has the same music and rhythm, but different lyrics. This song is now a great jazz standard, covered by everyone from Ella Fitzgerald to Elvis Presley.
Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy by The Andrews Sisters
Yes, the Andrews strike again. Probably their most famous song, “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” is a gem of the swing/big band era. And everyone loves to sing along and dance to it! If my sister’s airhead Jersey Shore-loving friends know this one, you should too.
By A Waterfall by Ruby Keeler, Dick Powell, and chorus, choreographed by Busby Berkeley
This is the song I’m obsessed with the most. I listen to it on a constant loop! Another lovey-dovey romantic song, it’s so whimsical, dreamlike, and so…1930s, a decade marked by escapism. Busby Berkeley’s over-the-top, delightfully unrealistic stage numbers (with their signature dash of pre-code) were the ultimate in escapism. The song by itself is wonderful, but when you watch the full number in the 1933 film Footlight Parade, it borders on the fantastic.
The Charleston by Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra
It’s the CHARLESTON!!! What’s NOT to love?
Doctor, Lawyer, Indian Chief by Betty Hutton
Not only is this a good, incredibly fun song, but Betty Hutton makes it okay to sing, scream, and screech on the top of your lungs. Because she does too, and she was a famous singer, right? So when you sing “NO, NO, NO, IT COULDN’T BE TRUEEEEE..” you should feel good about yourself.
Egyptian Ella by Fats Waller
The most important event of the 1920s was the discovery of King Tut’s tomb in Egypt. This sparked an Egypt craze in the 1920s (strong lip and eye makeup, jewel tones, beaded, ornately styled clothing). Everyone wanted to look exotic (for example, stars like Theda Bara and Clara Bow), and this song definitely cashed in on the craze, but in the most hilarious way possible. It’s about a dancer named Ella who becomes so fat, she loses her job. So she goes to Egypt to become a bellydancer, because they like their ladies hefty there. I’ve been to Egypt, and it’s 100% true!
El Relicario by Rudolph Valentino
Unfortunately, we will never hear Rudolph Valentino’s voice on-screen. Fortunately, he recorded two (very rare) songs: Pale Hands I Loved (Kashmiri Love Song) and El Relicario. I’ve obsessed over Pale Hands I Loved for so long now, it’s time to rave over this one. I must say, Valentino has a sexy, deep voice. And the way he fumbles a little on the Spanish is simply adorable!
Fit As A Fiddle (And Ready For Love) by Gene Kelly and Donald O’Connor
Another Singin’ in the Rain gem! This one is not as well-known, unfortunately. It’s excellent, and shows great chemistry between Kelly and O’Connor (who is seriously now the love of my life). The song is reminiscent of vaudeville and dance halls, and Kelly and O’Connor make dancing look a lot easier than it is(my sister tried one of the moves from this song for two seconds and almost faceplanted).
How Could Red Riding Hood? by the Hot Rhythm Orchestra
Oh those naughty twenties! Messing around with our childhood! Nothing was innocent in the Jazz Age, not even fairy tales, apparently, since this song actually suspects that Little Red Riding Hood was a prostitute! But seriously, it’s a good, jazzy song.
I’ll Sing You A Thousand Love Songs by Eddy Duchin and his Orchestra
I’m back to the slow, romantic ballads. Along with “Because of You” and “By A Waterfall”, this is one of the tops. Featured in the 1936 musical Cain and Mabel, it’s sappy and sweet, with a lot of heart.
I’m Sitting On Top Of The World by Al Jolson
Al Jolson is amazing. Although this song is short, it’s fun, jazzy, and makes you get up and dance like a crazy person. You’d feel like you were on top of the world after this one!
It’s Winter Again By Hal Kemp and His Orchestra feat. Skinny Ennis
I heard this on a commercial about a cruise line and it was so good I had to desperately search the internet to find it. And I love the winter. Enough said.
It’s A Good Day by Peggy Lee
The ultimate in happy, upbeat, optimistic music. It can make any crap day feel like new. And who doesn’t love the line: “I said to the sun, good morning sun!”
Ja So Bin Ich by Marlene Dietrich
We all know Marlene Dietrich was an accomplished actress, but not many know of her prolific singing career. She had a wonderful, husky voice, and even though half her songs are in German, it really doesn’t matter. They were good!
Je Cherche Apres Titine by Charlie Chaplin
This sweet, funny, wonderfully ridiculous ditty from Modern Times (1936) was the first time Charlie Chaplin spoke on-screen. And WHAT a talkie debut! The song is entirely in gibberish, borrowing and tweaking here and there from various languages such as French, Italian, etc. Although it’s comedy gold, it has a deeper message, the Little Tramp is international, he’s an everyman that represents humanity.
La Mer by Charles Trenet
This song was sent to me by a friend. I loved it. I sent it to another friend, who never got back to me on it, even though I worked hard translating all the lyrics, so I’m supposing he hated it ;) But what does he know? This song, (entirely in French), is beautiful. It’s romantic, summery, and very expressionistic. And what gal in her right mind doesn’t like a sexy French guy crooning in her ear?
The Lady Is A Tramp by Lena Horne
This is my theme song :D every single word in this song describes me perfectly. It’s my personality in a nutshell. Except for the “Hate California” part. Other than that, I’d like to imagine Lena sang this for me!
Ma, She’s Making Eyes At Me by Kay Kyser
This song is fun and hilarious. From Kay Kyser’s opening wail (“MAAAAAAA! SHE’S MAKING EYES AT ME!”) to the jazzy music, I never get tired of this one. And the fact that Kyser comes off as a big baby in this song!
Music, Maestro, Please by Kay Kyser feat. Ginny Simms
With the summer time comes summer love, right? Well, what happens when your summer fling heads for splitsville? You gotta forget about him, that’s what! And that’s the lesson of this song. The music is lilting and romantic, and Simms’ voice is husky and full of emotion. When the going gets tough…music, maestro, please!
My Baby Just Cares For Me by Ted Weems and His Orchestra
This 1930 tune is simply fun and jazzy, and the lyrics are easy to memorize. It’s basically about a guy singing about his dream girl, who wants nothing but him. In some versions, there is a line about Clark Gable’s smile, but alas, it’s not in the version. Gable or no Gable, this is a good song.
My Dancing Lady by Joe Venuti’s Orchestra
This was the theme song to the 1933 film Dancing Lady, a musical that combined the team of Gable, Crawford, and Tone with Ted Healy and his Stooges, and marked Fred Astaire’s film debut. Sounds crazy, huh? This is a cute song that reminds me of all the antics that took place in this film!
Nice Work If You Can Get It by Fred Astaire
All of Fred Astaire’s songs are fun. But this one gets particularly jazzy in the end and it’s fun to dance like a crazy person then! Also, like the rest of Astaire’s work, this can get stuck in your head forever.
Pass That Peace Pipe by Bing Crosby
I first heard this song on I Love Lucy (sung by Desi Arnaz, Vivian Vance, and William Frawley) and I scrambled to find an mp3 version of it. Thankfully, I found an equally good version by Bing Crosby. I can’t stress how fun this song is, from the Native American style music to listing all the tribe names.
Puttin’ On The Ritz by Clark Gable
This song is 56 seconds of pure hilarity. You need to watch the entire clip from Idiot’s Delight to get the full experience. Even though Clark really can’t sing, I adore his deep, manly voice. And even though he can’t really dance, I replay this scene over and over again like someone who’s hypnotized. This song is an experience, let’s leave it at that!
Reckless by Jean Harlow
Jean Harlow is one of those people whose singing voice sounds a heck of a lot like their speaking voice. Since Jean Harlow’s speaking voice is amazing (she may be from Missouri, but her accent sounds distinctly New York), no complaints! The beginning part of the song is all her, but in the second half, when the real singing kicks in, she is dubbed over by someone else. Oh well, at least we get to hear her sing for a little. This song’s first line also gets stuck in your head forever (“I wanna live, love, learn a lot. I’ll light my candle and I’ll burn a lot!”) and also taught me to say “I wanna go places and look life in the face” whenever people ask me what I want to be when I grow up. It’s the ultimate vintage rebellion song.
‘S Wonderful by Gene Kelly
Who could dislike this song, and the hot French guy that sings with Gene Kelly in it? It’s amazing! ‘S wonderful! Okay, that was corny.
Shanghai Lil by James Cagney and Ruby Keeler
One of my favorite Busby Berkeley numbers, from Footlight Parade (1933) when you watch the clip (specifically the opium den scene) you sometimes have to make sure you aren’t seeing things! And James Cagney singing and dancing, and doing it much better than Ruby Keeler? An instant favorite!
Sunday by Jean Goldkette and His Orchestra
Why do I have a photo of a flapper here? In my opinion, Sunday is the ultimate 1920s song. It has jazzy music, Charleston-worthy moments, chorus girls with high-pitched, child-like voices that were favored at the time, and even a couple of de-oop! de-oop’s!
Teacher’s Pet by Doris Day
This song has a fun rhythm and a good beat. but I hope hope HOPE Doris Day was singing about an all-adult situation here…
Verlaine by Charles Trenet
This song sounds SO romantic, from the slow music to the sexy French the guy says in the middle of the song. But actually, it’s really sad. And that’s when I pretend to stop understanding enough French to translate the song and imagine that I’m dancing with some handsome man to it. Doesn’t Trenet look a bit like Franchot Tone on this album cover?
The Waters of the Minnetonka by Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball
This song is from one of my all-time favorite I Love Lucy episodes: The Indian Show (also the episode where I first heard “Pass That Peace Pipe”) This song is hilarious. It’s for the bad singers, the loudmouths, the noisemakers. It’s for people like you and me.
Whatever It Is, I’m Against It by Groucho Marx (and a line sung by Zeppo Marx)
Marx Brothers=hysterical. First of all, Groucho is like, the best dancer ever. He can twist his knees, flap his hands like a bird, dance on tables, and wave his arms like he’s in the middle of a riveting version of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”. He also has an average singing voice that can go a little high-pitched at times. And he (and the rest of his brothers, including Harpo) also had that traditional New York accent. The way this song ends is PRICELESS.
Whatever Lola Wants by Sarah Vaughan
This is the ultimate femme fatale song. A song that is enough to make a man kinda fear for his life. With Vaughan’s smoky, cool voice and that (kinda creepy) male chorus, it’s become a very popular song, and was recently featured in a commercial.
Why Am I So Romantic? by Harpo Marx
It’s no secret that Harpo Marx is my favorite Marx brother. He’s cute, funny, and incredibly talented. He’s my go-to man when I’m feeling angry, sad, sick, or nervous. There’s nothing his beautiful harp music can’t cure!
You Are My Lucky Star by Debbie Reynolds
The last Singin’ in the Rain one, I promise! This song is slow, sweet, sappy, and downright romantic. Favorite line: “You’re my Fairbanks, my Moreno, Rod La Rocque, and Valentino”.
You Brought A New Kind Of Love To Me by Maurice Chevalier
French men are, and always will be, my greatest weakness. This song by Maurice Chevalier (famously spoofed by the Marx Brothers in Monkey Business) does nothing to quell that desire within me. If I were alive then and he serenaded me with that ditty, can someone say, “shotgun wedding”?
42nd Street by Ruby Keeler and Dick Powell
The ultimate Busby Berkeley number from the ultimate Busby Berkeley musical, 42nd street has it all: a colossal, realistic set, daring lyrics, outrageous costumes, fun tap dancing, the lovely Ruby Keeler and goofy Dick Powell, a metropolitan feel, and even a fake rape and a fake murder. They don’t make musicals like this anymore! Although 42nd street has long since been cleaned up of crime and seediness by former mayor Rudy Giuliani, it’s fun to look back at this piece of Old New York (and when you walk the city streets today and look around you, remnants of Old New York are everywhere, mixed in with the ultramodern glass skyscrapers), and honestly, New York is still pretty much the same. It’s loud, restless, noisy, with people milling about doing what they have to do so help you God, the homeless and the fabulously wealthy sharing the same pavement, cars loudly honking their horns, …it’s all very distinctly American, and what an exhilarating place to be!
In a previous post discussing my tour of Paramount Studios in Hollywood, I mentioned that I bought a book called “Hollywood Poolside” by Frans Evenhuis and Robert Landau.
This book is full of fun, beautiful portraits of golden age stars lounging around the pool, and how these waterside images affected American ideas of wealth and status. Need I mention to all my fellow fashionistas, it’s a great way to see the evolution of swimsuit styles? This book has inspired this post, which not only shows stars by the pool, but shows them rocking their stylish swimsuits anywhere, and is in a way a tribute to the pin-up.
Jane Russell models a cute 50s style powder blue one piece on the diving board.
Ginger Rogers models a 1940s style halter bikini
Jean Harlow modeling the popular black Jantzen one-piece of the 1930s. It had a very demure front, but a revealing back, adding a subtle sex appeal. One of the most popular swimsuits amongst Hollywood’s elite in the 1930s.
Joan Crawford spices up her white one-piece with strappy heels, ca. 1930s
Rita Hayworth in a nautical-themed pin-up shot.
Virginia Bruce models a demure skirt ensemble, ca. 1930s
Grace Bradley in a flattering one piece and chic cape-style coverup, 1936
Una Merkel (cheesy pose!) models a black one-piece and some cute sandals, 1934
A very early photo of Rita Hayworth (socks and sneakers with a swimsuit?), 1938
Marilyn Monroe is very famous for her swimsuit pin-up photos. August 3, 1951
A beautiful candid shot of Monroe laughing, July 1, 1952
Merle Oberon models a cute suit on a diving board, 1939
Who else rocked a swimsuit (and synchronized swimming) better than Esther Williams? January 21, 1948
Although strictly for modeling, Ginger Rogers’ coin suit from Gold Diggers of 1933 is the height of swimming couture!
Yay! A man! Maurice Chevalier (my newest crush) sports a popular men’s swimsuit from the 1930s (men wore it without the shirt as well).
Marilyn Monroe in a cheescake pin-up, July 2, 1953
Grace Kelly and her family on vacation, 1954
Marilyn Monroe in a bikini, May 26, 1952
Claudette Colbert looks adorable in this patterned swimsuit! With Gary Cooper in Bluebeard’s Eighth Wife (1938)
Marilyn and a chihuahua, May 17, 1950
The famous shot of Elizabeth Taylor on the set of Suddenly, Last Summer (1959)
Liz in an adorable polka-dot one piece, July 4, 1956
Ellen Drew, Susan Hayward, and Betty Grable, 1939
Ava Gardner in a…straw bikini? Yep! ca. 1950s
Jane Russell’s bikini looks like an optical illusion! 1950s
Elizabeth Taylor (only 17 years old here) and (hairy) fiance William D. Pawley Jr. relax poolside, August 25, 1949
What’s more fashionable: Marilyn’s swimsuit or heels? January 25, 1952
Marilyn having fun on the beach, ca. 1950s
Maurice Chevalier with an unknown actress in Innocents of Paris (1929). Her polka dot suit is tres chic!
Ann Rutherford sunbathing in a cute swimsuit, 1937
Ann Blyth (in a fashionable swimsuit) and Farley Granger in Our Very Own (1950)
Esther Williams teaches Mickey Rooney a thing or two in Andy Hardy’s Double Life (1942)
William Holden rocks patterned trunks in a scene from the greatest Hollywood-themed film, Sunset Boulevard (1950)
Esther Williams in a sequined swimsuit in Million Dollar Mermaid, 1952
Marilyn Monroe in Some Like It Hot (1959)
In a barely there swimsuit in Something’s Got To Give
Rita Hayworth playing cards on the beach (with herself?) ca. 1940s
Cary Grant and Grace Kelly lounge on the beach in To Catch A Thief (1955)
Cary Grant relaxes in some sporty summer clothing poolside
One of the famous Cary Grant and Randolph Scott portraits, ca. 1930s
Cary Grant checks out Marilyn Monroe, ca. 1950s
Clark Gable and Joan Crawford in the pool in Chained (1934)
Ida Lupino lounges around in a bikini and wedges
A lovely one-piece worn by Virginia Grey
Yvonne deCarlo wears a bikini in this pin-up photo
Evelyn Keyes in a sporty black one-piece
Very stylish, Johnny Mack Brown!
Ann Rutherford in a fashionable one-piece
(Blonde) Evelyn Keyes hangs out on the diving board
I must say, my favorite swimsuit pictures are Bette Davis’. There is something so effortless about the way she wears them!
Dorothy Lamour in a cute skirt ensemble
Paulette Goddard models a darling white one-piece!
Here’s a cute style, modeled by Rita Hayworth
Loving Ann Baxter’s suit!
The always-cute Joan Blondell in an adorable swimsuit
Betty Grable in a striped bikini
Sonja Henie, not on ice!
Ann Francis’ swimsuit is CUTE!
Scratch that. THIS is the cutest swimsuit ever created! Modeled by Dorothy Sebastian
Una Merkel in a conventional 1930s one-piece
Paulette Goddard in a wraparound swimsuit
Lookin’ good, Alan Ladd!
Joan Crawford is goddess-like in this white one-piece
Thank goodness Cyd Charisse is modeling a simple black suit here!
Cyd Charisse in a cute halter bikini
A very young Lana Turner in a diving board pin-up
Elizabeth Taylor’s swimsuit is to die for!
Jane Russell in a ruffly one-piece
Ann Blyth modeling an interesting one-strap suit
Ann Harding is 30s chic!
An early Ida Lupino in a patterned one-piece
Another classy Ida Lupino photo
Ava Gardner is gorgeous in this beachfront photo
Ramon Novarro is mighty, mighty fine…
An early Ronald Reagan in a lifeguard suit!
Mamie Van Doren in a pastel pink one-piece
Here she is again in a patterned one piece
LOVE Ann Sheridan’s bikini here!
Betty Hutton in a swimsuit, carrying an umbrella (?)
Jean Harlow in a low-cut swimsuit? Every man’s dream!
Jean Harlow working on her swimsuit body
This I LOVE. It’s glittery!
This one is adorable too!
Jean always looked fashionable
Fooling around in a standard 30s swimsuit
Joan Crawford and Dorothy Sebastian accessorize their swimsuits with cool headscarves, 1925
Joan looks gorgeous in this publicity shot, 1926
Famous photo of Joan with husband Douglas Fairbanks Jr, August 22, 1929
I simply adore this swimsuit!
Joan and Doug im 1931. The men’s swimsuits make me laugh
Joan with Franchot Tone in Dancing Lady (1933). The black fringe is so chic!
Multitasking sunbathing with answering fan mail
I love Joan’s 1940s swimsuits. Here’s my favorite
This one is HILARIOUS. Gloria Swanson in the 1920s
Jane Powell in an itty bitty bikini
Debbie Reynolds goes for a demure look here
But vamps it up here!
Pulling off a classic pin-up pose
A young Doris Day. Love the bikini, not digging the sandals
Bette Davis is so cute here!
Bette Davis in a swimsuit, and Joan Blondell modeling the beach pajama, a 1930s casual beachwear trend
Mary Astor and Manuel de Campo in Hawaii
Tyrone Power always looked good in those tiny swimsuits!
Tony Curtis brings in some much-needed hairy man leg
Oh my God. Rudolph Valentino is SEXY.
Gary Cooper in one of those things…
A (not so good) photo of Johnny Weissmuller and George O’Brein
LMAO who can guess what’s wrong with the above photo of Philip Reed?
Larry checks out Vivien
Larry and Viv at the beach
Johnny Weissmuller and his brother in identical swimsuits
Paulette Goddard in a black one-piece. Nice background!
Jeanette MacDonald is cool in a white one-piece, sunglasses, and a headscarf
Jeanette MacDonald enjoying the beach
Errol Flynn…what a hottie
Susan Hayward, a beautiful, popular pin-up
Susan Hayward flirts with the camera
A fun bikini modeled by Susan Hayward
Olivia de Havilland looking lovely, as usual (LOVE her shoes!)
Olivia de Havilland goes for more natural scenery
Rocking a patterned bikini
Ginger Rogers caught off-guard at the beach
Loving Ginger Rogers’ swimsuit!
Loving this one, too!
Fellow Brooklyn dame Barbara Stanwyck rocks a bikini!
Gene Tierney in an amazing leopard print suit
Myrna Loy lounging poolside in that backless swimsuit I spoke about earlier
Dolores Del Rio in a one-strap bikini
A pin-up era Lucille Ball modeling a gorgeous strapless one-piece
A very young (and still brunette) Lucille Ball in a cute patterned swimsuit and a killer hat!
Esther Williams in a simple black one-piece. She has her own (ADORABLE!) swimsuit line today.
Wearing a tie-front bikini
The always gorgeous Norma Shearer lounging poolside
The lovely and talented Ruby Keeler
Al Jolson with his wife, Ruby Keeler. Nice rubber swim cap!
Claudette Colbert looks glamorous in this one-piece
And even more glamorous in this vintage bathing costume! With actor John Payne
Joan Blondell models an early version of those cutout swimsuits so popular today
Claudette getting some sun, sand, and surf
Here’s a rare one: Greta Garbo!
Greer Garson looking statuesque in a metallic swimsuit
Deborah Kerr and Burt Lancaster, either before or after that famous scene from “From Here To Eternity”
A colorized photo of Carole Lombard in a glamorous swimsuit and heels
Leggy Lombard was a great pin-up
In a shiny one-piece
Joan Fontaine and Joseph Cotten in September Affair (1950)
Kirk Douglas and Brigitte Bardot on the beach
Color photo of Betty Grable in a yellow bikini (with a polka dot pillow)
Ava Gardner in a pinstripe one-piece
In a black tie-up bikini
And in a polka dot bandeau bikini
Humphrey Bogart looking cool in swim trunks and flippers
Hedy Lamarr in a gorgeous one-piece
Veronica Lake in a black tie-front bikini
Maureen O’Sullivan in a knit one-piece and cute sandals
Maureen O’Hara in one of my favorite designs: the skirt ensemble
Grace Kelly in an elegant black one-piece
That thing on Gene Tierney’s swimsuit is a cover-up…I hope
I love this swimsuit that Grace Kelly wore in High Society!
Kelly looking great in a white ensemble
Yep, Dick Powell was the Jantzen guy at some point
Why, Rock Hudson? Whyyyy???
The most famous, greatest swimsuit photo of all: Betty Grable’s leggy 1940s pin-up shot, quite popular with American World War II soldiers.
Everyone has one of those days in which everything goes wrong from the moment they get out of bed. For me, today is one of those days. To make myself feel better, I think about a gal that had weathered a lot in her life: Joan Crawford. Not only do we have similar sharp physical features (large eyes, long lashes, black eyebrows that slash across the face, strong square jawlines, and thick hair) but we both deal with problems the same way: grab them by the horns and attack with full force. Obviously, we are both women of high tempers, strong passions, and an unflappable determination. If she were alive today or if I was alive then we probably would’ve been the best of friends. But Joan has something I don’t. She is just so…cool. Everything she does just becomes awesome, and she lived such a colorful life. She is definitely someone I look up to. So, to put a smile on my face and yours, here’s the awesomeness of Joan Crawford. If you ever have one of those blue days, it’s the post for you!
Joan preparing dinner, July 1940
Joan takes in some sun, ca. 1940s
Relaxing with then-husband Douglas Fairbanks Jr, ca. 1932
One of my favorites: Joan at the soda fountain with editor Alice Thompson, 1939.
You don’t mess with this dame!
Jewelry shopping, 1955
So effortlessly glamorous
Getting the projector ready (and wearing the most adorable bikini!), ca. 1940
How amazing is this golfing look?
Showing some leg in Our Modern Maidens, 1929
Relaxing on the beach, ca. 1925
Joan with a…windsheild? Ca. 1920s
Looking like a frontier explorer, ca. 1920s
What a narcissist! 1940.
Checking out the National Horse show at Madison Square Garden in New York City, November 7, 1940
Visiting WWII veterans, January 30, 1944
Joan with costar Norman Kerry in The Unknown, 1926
LOVE this glamour portrait!
Joan and a furry friend jazz it up in Torch Song, 1953
Joan partying in Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1960
Never has a film title been more true: Joan and Robert Montgomery in Untamed (1929)
Aaah, those cheesy portraits we all love! Joan and Dorothy Sebastian on a beach in Santa Monica, ca. 1925
Crazy stuff! Joan surrounded by her fans, all who happen to have the same photo of her, 1952.
Flirting with Ed Wynn, April 29, 1951
I kinda liked her in the blonde phase, ca. 1931
Hamming for the cameras on vacation in Capri, June 21, 1950
You can be too sick to receive your Oscar at the ceremony, but not to sick to wear makeup in bed! March 9, 1946
Getting instructions from the director, July 7, 1946
Strolling with Fred Astaire on the MGM lot, 1933
Double-daring Robert Montgomery, ca. 1930
Giving a new meaning to the term “bad Santa”, 1925
Joan plays with some Russian Wolfhounds, January 22, 1959
Ice skating with Jimmy Stewart and Lew Ayres in Ice Follies of 1939
The many moods of Ms Crawford, July 19, 1956
A sequence of Joan dancing, ca. 1920s
A fearsome ping-pong opponent! ca. 1930s
This picture is hysterical. ca. 1920s
Reading to her children, 1950
Sporting a healthy tan with husband Franchot Tone, ca. 1936
Helping her son cut the cake, 1945
No, this is not a still from some cheesy 80s or 90s film. It’s Joan holding a surfboard! Late 1940s.
Did you know that Joan played boxing to keep in shape? Neither did I! Here she’s sparring with her trainer, Gene Alsace. Joan keeps this rough sport glamorous by wear high heels. March 1927
Joan gets acquainted with the other side of the camera, 1957
Remember Joan’s leg makeup that I saw in the Hollywood museum? It’s being put to use here, while she gets ready to film a scene in The Way We Are.
With her…frenemy…Bette Davis. July 16, 1962
Hanging out with Barbara Stanwyck and husband Franchot Tone, June 23, 1936. I really want a pair of sunglasses like that!
One of my faves: eating a cookie with the creepiest clown that ever walked the earth, ca. 1939
I adore her romper! Posing in her backyard, 1941.
Joan and Douglas Fairbanks Jr playing darts, and judging by her blonde hair (I have the best way of dating photos, don’t I?) ca. 1930-31
Hahaha! A shot from the Hollywood Revue of 1929. From left to right: Charles King, Joan, Conrad Nagel, and Cliff Edwards
Gossiping with gorgeous British socialite Brenda Mazier (who, by the way, has awesome hair) ca. 1930s
I can’t tell you how much I LOVE this one! Being “blown into the air” by a firecracker, 1927
A LOT of work went into movie-making! Filming a scene for Possessed (1947)
I’ve always wanted to curl my hair that way!
Her facial expression (and rolled socks) are pure GOLD.
Receiving her new name! September 1925
The funny part of the picture is that poor boxing dummy!
And now, for those cute cheesy holiday/fake background portraits:
I am DYING for those shoes with fuzzy socks!
This guy freaks me out. From the film Tramp, Tramp, Tramp (1926)
Joan sports the boy look in a 1926 issue of Photoplay
A successful woman always multitasks! 1926
Promoting her trade. 1926
Her eyes in this photo are gorgeous! From The Unknown (1926)
I like the outfit. Men like the garter.
Staring contest! 1927
His buttons are THAT shiny?! ca. 1928
Revenge!!! From the 1928 film Rose Marie. Her hair in this film, more than any other, resembles my own. Thanks for making me feel good about it, Joan!
Mugging while reading the sheet music from Rose Marie (1928)
Attempting to hide from the cameras with Ramon Novarro. From the 1928 film Across to Singapore
Creepiest old guy ever. From Across to Singapore (1928)
With Charlie Chaplin on the set of Four Walls (1928) the case says something about Gross Gags.
This picture is so weird it’s funny.
A publicity shot from Our Dancing Daughters (1928) with costar Eddie Nugent. When I saw this photo in my sister’s old history textbook, I nearly had a heart attack and died out of joy lol
Oh. My. God. The cuteness!!!
You know why this is here!
Playing the coquette.
I. Love. This. Not only does she look GREAT, but it’s fun to scare my sister with it!
Wearing glasses and studying French? A woman after my own heart!
Picking up her fan mail on the MGM lot, 1928
I tend to find beauty in scary pictures, don’t I?
Tough-gal Joan! From Untamed (1929)
When I was younger, I went through an odd phase in which I wanted to become a pirate when I grew up. Now that I see this picture, maybe the idea wasn’t so bad!
Partying hard! 1929
If I could freak people out like this, the world would be a better place.
A rare cheesy holiday from 1929
Haha my sister and I work the same face when we want something!
This is too funny! August 1929
Look at the cute little birdie! August 1929
Getting her block done at Grauman’s Chinese, September 14, 1929. Her hands were only slightly bigger when I measured mine against them there :)
I want this sweater so badly. More than any other item I’ve coveted from the wardrobes of these movie stars (yes, even more than Rosalind Russell’s eye shirt from The Women).
Tea with Douglas Fairbanks Jr, 1929
Looking every bit like the perfect housewife, 1929
We all have our creepy hobbies. Joan’s was collecting dolls, and devoting a room to them.
You only get this with Pre-Codes, folks! From the film Montana Moon (1930) with Johnny Mack Brown.
That’s what I call service!
Joan’s version of the final scene of The Great Train Robbery? Actually, it was publicity for Montana Moon (1930)
Chilean artist Jorge Delano’s caricature of Crawford, 1930
Posing as Lady Liberty, 1930
Love that kitty! 1930
Haha, well the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach after all! With Clark Gable in the film Laughing Sinners (1931). This is one of my favorite Gable/Crawford pairings.
Uhhhh…after visiting the Hollywood Museum in Hollywood and seeing all the odd beauty devices used by Max Factor, I know better than to ask.
With Doug at a costume party, 1931
The Letty Lynton dress. When copies of this dress hit Macy’s they sold out within minutes. 1932
Simply gorgeous publicity shot for Rain (1932)
I want to be this picture
Hanging out with Claudette Colbert, 1932
Signing autographs in London, 1932
Partying in class with Clark Gable, Norma Shearer, and her husband Doug
Leslie Howard!!! 1932
With Marie Dressler, 1932
Looking cute at a costume party with Constance Bennett, 1932
Signing autographs for extras on the set of Dancing Lady (1933) considering the cast and the antics that must have happened, this was probably a really fun set!
Laurence Olivier (?????????????????) visiting the set of Dancing Lady (1933)
Showoff! Fred Astaire dances on the MGM lot during the filming of Dancing Lady (1933)
With Ted Healy and the Three Stooges on the set of Dancing Lady (1933)
This is for the boys! Joan uses lighting to her advantage in a publicity shot for Dancing Lady (1933)
Joan and her bro Hal LeSueur, who worked as an extra in Fox
I. WANT. THIS. DRESS.
The world’s first disco ball debuted in the 1934 film Sadie McKee!
Studying the script of Forsaking All Others (1934)
If you’ve seen Forsaking All Others, you definitely know what this is! It has confused and confounded the bejesus out of probably every viewer of the film since 1934. It’s the infamous “kids” picture!!!
Joan is glamorous, Robert is dapper, and Clark is sexy. Forsaking All Others had some really good publicity!
A cute shot from Forsaking All Others (1934)
One of the perks of this wonderful film is seeing a gentleman like Robert Montgomery make a total fool out of himself.
I like to think that Clark is giving me that face, even though he’s totally pawing Joan. A girl can dream, right?
Once again, here’s some of that girl multitasking power!
Most glamorous sneaky pit sniff ever
Playing with her adorable niece, Joan. 1935
Getting a piggyback ride on the set of I Live My Life, 1935
Clark Gable, in costume for Mutiny on the Bounty, visits Joan on the set of I Live My Life, 1935
With an unknown couple at Ginger Rogers’ roller-skating party, 1935
The definition of cool. Leaving her dressing room in 1935
In her dressing room, 1935
With her niece, Joan on the set of The Gorgeous Hussy (1936)
Anna Boettiger (FDR’s daughter) visiting the set of The Gorgeous Hussy (1936)
Amusing Robert Taylor on the set of The Gorgeous Hussy (1936)
Getting a hand from Clark Gable on the set of Love on the Run (1936)
Yay for the hat, rocking chair, and clogs!
This picture gets me every time!
Is there something in my teeth?
Tea party! With Italian singer Tito Schipa, 1936
Grabbing a bite at the MGM Commissary, 1936
Double dates are always fun! Franchot Tone, Joan, Barbara tanwyck, and Robert Taylor at the Trocadero in 1936
I am obsessed with photos of Joan knitting! And I’m obsessed with her falsies :)
Joan plays with two adorable puppies, while Robert Young plays backgammon
She looks like she’s ready to kill someone
Looking glam on the set of The Bride Wore Red
With niece Joan in 1937
On a badminton break with husband Franchot Tone, 1937
Joan in action!
I LOVE this outfit!
Relaxing…or trying to figure out how to recline in that chair
Feeding her puppy at home in 1937. The hat is to die for
Hanging out poolside with hubby Franchot Tone in 1937
I love Franchot Tone.
Is Franchot Tone jealous of Jack Oakie?
An art-deco inspired caricature
With James Cagney YAY!!
Spencer Tracy being a total creep on the set of Mannequin (1938)
What a diva!
Joan stares at herself on the set of The Shining Hour (1938)
Joan plows through the fans in New York City, 1938
Joan Crawford…inspiration for the Polo Ralph Lauren logo
Is Gary Cooper really having a conversation with Joan?
No doubt about it, the woman knows how to accessorize!
LOL at Fanny Brice!
This does not look safe. At all.
It’s rare to see colored pics of the stars in the 1930s! From The Ice Follies of 1939
Four color screenshots of Joan and Jimmy Stewart in The Ice Follies of 1939
With her puppy on the set of The Women (1939)
This is why vintage dames like me get frustrated styling our hair. We don’t have THESE anymore!
Joan and Tone celebrate…their divorce. March 1939
With Lana Turner and Ann Rutherford in 1939. Every time I see Joan with a turban, I want one too!
Lighting up Cesar Romero’s cigarette, 1939
Looking great in color!
Knitting on the set of Strange Cargo, 1940
In costume for Strange Cargo, 1940
Awww! With baby Christina, before things went downhill
With a bust of herself, 1941
At Judy Garland’s bridal shower in 1941, but you wouldn’t know it from Joan!
<3 the mini sailboat!
Lovely men’s pajamas! On the set of They All Kissed the Bride (1942) with Glenn Ford.
Melvyn Douglas is funny…for onece
Best sequence of photos ever:
Sporting a blonde look for the film Above Suspicion in 1943
Working for the American Women’s Volunteer Services in 1943
With daughter Christina in 1943
Giving the kids a bath, 1944
On the set of Mildred Pierce (1945) with Jack Benny
This post is loooong and I’m getting quite tired, so I’ll stop it here. Hope you enjoyed this taste of Crawford coolness!
June is wedding month, right? To celebrate, here’s a group of photos of actresses posed in bridal glamour shots and of some on their big day (or days, that would be a more accurate term!) A couple of week ago, the wonderful site Carole and Co http://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/ had a post featuring Carole Lombard dressed as a bride for a glamour shot. Thank you for the inspiration, Vincent!
Marion Davies in a replica of Princess Mary’s wedding gown, ca. 1922
John Wayne married his wife, Josephine, on June 23, 1933 (78 years ago today!) at the home of Loretta Young (standing behind the bride)
Vilma Banky rocks a flapper-style wedding gown in the film The Dark Angel.
Jean Harlow’s wedding to Paul Bern in 1932. To her left is her stepfather Marino Bello. To her right is Bern, and on the far right is best man, John Gilbert.
Joan Crawford and Douglas Fairbanks in the film Our Modern Maidens
Joan Crawford publicity shot for Dancing Lady
Joan Crawford and Clark Gable in Forsaking All Others (notice the slip-on sleeves of her dress!)
Joan sports a more demure gown in Love on the Run
One of my all-time favorites…Joan in The Bride Wore Red! (this is real color)
Now here’s something modern! Joan and Douglas Fairbanks Jr’s wedding on June 4, 1929. How much do you love her without makeup, her freckles showing?
Gloria Swanson’s wedding dress in Her Love Story (1924) has one epic train!
Gloria Swanson in Bluebeard’s Eighth Wife (1923)
Jane Powell and Geary Steffen’s wedding on November 11, 1949
Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher on their wedding day, September 26, 1955
Debbie Reynolds marries again, this time to Harry Karl in 1960
Doris day posing in a wedding dress
But she opted for a simple suit on her wedding to Marty Melcher in 1951
Bette Davis cuts the cake with husband William Grant Sherry on December 3, 1945
Mary Pickford poses in a wedding dress, ca. 1925
Mary Pickford (she’s second from left) in quintessential 20s wedding wear on her wedding to Douglas Fairbanks Sr on August 3, 1922
Mary Pickford opts for a suit on her wedding to Buddy Rogers in 1937
Katharine Hepburn’s wedding dress in Woman of the Year is nice and simple
Marilyn Monroe chooses a demure black suit with a white fur collar for her wedding to Joe DiMaggio on January 14, 1954
A young Marilyn Monroe with her first husband, James Dougherty, in 1942
Newlyweds Arthur Miller and Marilyn Monroe on July 16, 1956
Judy Garland and Vincente Minelli’s wedding, June 17, 1945
Judy Garland and Mickey Dean cut the cake on March 15, 1969 (no effense to anyone, but he gives me the creeps)
Judy Garland and Mark Herron getting married on November 30, 1965
Jeanette MacDonald and her wedding attendants on her marriage to Gene Raymond on June 19, 1937. From left to right: Mrs. Johnny Mack Brown, Mrs. Warren Rock, MacDonald’s sister, MacDonald, Fay Wray, and Ginger Rogers
Ginger Rogers getting married to Lew Ayres on June 23, 1944 (67 years ago today!)
Barbara Stanwyck and Joel McCrea in Banjo on My Knee
Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz kiss on their wedding day, June 22, 1949. Love those gloves!
Lucille Ball and Gary Morton on their wedding day, November 19, 1961
Norma Shearer and Irving Thalberg’s wedding, October 3, 1927
Another favorite: Claudette Colbert’s elegant wedding dress from It Happened One Night (1934)
The bridal photo of Lombard featured in Carole and Co
Orson Welles and Rita Hayworth on their wedding day: September 7, 1943
Ava Gardner and Frank Sinatra on their wedding day: November 8, 1951
And on her marriage to Mickey Rooney in 1942
Vivien Leigh on her marriage to Leigh Holman, February 1932
The most famous classic movie wedding gown: Grace Kelly’s. She married Prince Rainier of Monaco on April 19, 1956.
All classic film fans are well-aware of the Debbie Reynolds auction, which took place on June 18th. Debbie Reynolds had been collecting Hollywood memorabilia for manydecades, in hopes of building a museum. Unfortunately, her dream never came true and the bills hiked up, and she soon found it necessary to sell her treasures. Many of the 587 costumes and props unfortunately went to Saudi Arabia and Japan (I apologize in advance for any offense this may cause, but I found that shameful. I’m a firm believer in countries keeping their own history. Things that are purely American should remain in America). If I had money, I would’ve bought at least one of the priceless pieces! Of course, Marilyn Monroe items were the highest-selling (the white subway dress was sold for the most money in the auction) and Audrey Hepburn’s Ascot dress from “My Fair Lady” took second. Here’s some of the highlights of the auction and what they were sold for (I know I’m reporting about this a little late, but it took me awhile to find the photos and figures):
Rudolph Valentino’s costume from “Blood and Sand”: $210,000 + $48,300 buyer’s premium
Harold Lloyd’s personal suit and hat: $4000+$920 buyer’s premium
A lock of Mary Pickford’s hair: $3500+$850 buyer’s premium
Charlie Chaplin’s “Tramp” bowler hat: $110,000+$25,300 buyer’s premium
Laurel and Hardy’s suits: $16000+$3680 buyer’s premium
Carole Lombard’s gown from “No Man of Her Own”: $11000+$2530 buyer’s premium
Claudette Colbert’s gown from “Cleopatra” (the most beautiful costume in the auction, in my opinion): $40,000+$9200 buyer’s premium
Harpo Marx’s hat and wig: $45,000+$10,350 buyer’s premium
Charles Laughton’s uniform from “Mutiny on the Bounty”: $42,500+$9775 buyer’s premium
Clark Gable’s vest and breeches from “Mutiny on the Bounty”: $30,000+$6900 buyer’s premium
Leslie Howard’s costume from “Romeo and Juliet”: $$20,000+$4600 buyer’s premium
Katharine Hepburn’s costume from “Mary of Scotland”: $35000+$8050 buyer’s premium
Norma Shearer’s costume from “Marie Antoinette”: $8000+$1840 buyer’s premium
Judy Garland’s blue test dress from “The Wizard of Oz”: $910,000+$209,300 buyer’s premium
Judy Garland’s Arabian-style test ruby slippers (never used in the film) from “The Wizard of Oz”: $510,000+$117,300 buyer’s premium
Clark Gable’s personal robe worn while filming “Gone with the Wind”: $10,000+$2300 buyer’s premium
Olivia de Havilland’s costume from “The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex”: $5000+$1,150 buyer’s premium
Gary Cooper’s uniform from “Sergeant York”: $55,000+$12,650 buyer’s premium
James Cagney’s jockey shirt from “Yankee Doodle Dandy”: $27500+$6325 buyer’s premium
Claude Rains’ uniform from “Casablanca”: $$55,000+$12,650 buyer’s premium
Elizabeth Taylor’s riding costume from “National Velvet”: $60,000+$13,800 buyer’s premium
Judy Garland’s gown from “Meet Me In St. Louis”: $16,000+$3680 buyer’s premium
Vivien Leigh’s headpiece from “Caesar and Cleopatra”: $250+$977.50 buyer’s premium
Joan Crawford’s waitress uniform from “Mildred Pierce”: $22,500+$5175 buyer’s premium
Ingrid Bergman’s suit of armor from “Joan of Arc”: $50,000+$11,500 buyer’s premium
Hedy Lamarr’s gorgeous costume from “Samson and Delilah”: $12000+$2760 buyer’s premium
William Powell’s suit from “Dancing in the Dark”: $2250+$517.50 buyer’s premium
Errol Flynn’s costume from “The Adventures of Don Juan”: $13000+2990 buyer’s premium
Vivien Leigh’s robe from “A Streetcar Named Desire”: $18000+$4140 buyer’s premium
Leslie Caron’s peacock dress from “An American in Paris”: $15,000+$3450 buyer’s premium
Debbie Reynolds’ dress from “Singin’ In The Rain”: $15,000+$3450 buyer’s premium
Debbie Reynolds’ ‘Good Mornin’ flapper dress from “Singin’ In the Rain”: $27,5000+$6325 buyer’s premium
Gene Kelly’s uniform from “Anchors Aweigh”: $27,500+$6325 buyer’s premium
Marilyn Monroe’s red sequin gown from “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”: $1,200,000+$276,000 buyer’s premium
Red MG TD used by Marilyn Monroe and Cary Grant in “Monkey Business”: $210,000+$48,300 buyer’s premium
Lucille Ball’s shirt, blouse, and coat from “The Long, Long Trailer”: $16,000+$3680 buyer’s premium
Marilyn Monroe’s costume from “River of No Return”: $510,000+$117,300 buyer’s premium
Marilyn Monroe’s costume from “There’s No Business Like Show Business”: $500,000+$115,000 buyer’s premium
Marlon Brando’s costume from “Desiree”: $60,000+$13,800 buyer’s premium
Perhaps the most-recognized costume in film history…Marilyn Monroe’s white “subway” dress from “The Seven Year Itch”: $4,600,000+$1,058,000 buyer’s premium
Grace Kelly’s dress from “To Catch a Thief”: $450,000+$103,500 buyer’s premium
Elizabeth Taylor’s gown from “Raintree County”: $16,000+$3680 buyer’s premium
Leslie Caron’s schoolgirl costume from “Gigi”: $65000+$14950 buyer’s premium
Charlton Heston’s tunic from “Ben-Hur”: $320,000+$73,600 buyer’s premium
Elizabeth Taylor’s headdress from “Cleopatra”: $100,000+$23,000 buyer’s premium
Richard Burton’s tunic from “Cleopatra”: $85,000+$19,550 buyer’s premium
Bette Davis’ bloodstained dress from “Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte”: $11,000+$2530 buyer’s premium
Audrey Hepburn’s Ascot dress from “My Fair Lady”: $3,700,000+$851,000 buyer’s premium.
That’s all, folks! If you want to see the rest of the items featured in the auction, you can still download the catalogue for free in the Profiles In History website.
Since I love history and Hollywood, I was excited beyond belief to visit the Hollywood Museum, located at the former Max Factor building. I’ve heard beforehand that the museum is chock-full of rare artifacts and collectibles…and boy was that an understatement! If you ever visit this museum (which you totally SHOULD!) I recommend you take two or three days to see it, so you can fully view and appreciate everything it contains. Obviously, this was one of my favorite parts of the vacation.
The entrance to the museum, which has the scariest Marilyn Monroe statue of all time waiting there. “Hooray for Hollywood” from the film Hollywood Hotel was playing on a constant loop there, which meant that I was whistling along on a constant loop as well!
The people who work there are very nice. They complimented me endlessly on my hair and makeup (yay!) A lot of people complimented my style in Hollywood in general. Hollywood people are a lot nicer than New York people for sure! Anyway, The entire first floor is intact from the Max Factor days, and is now a tribute to the master behind our favorite faces and hairstyles. So, they still got the pink lobby (which has a ton of stuff to look at as well), and you know that Max Factor’s makeup was created based on hair color, right? (he would create a line for redheads, another for brunettes, blondes, etc) Well, he actually had rooms for the hair colors as well, where he would treat the actresses. Today, each room features a famous actress well-known for having that hair color. The room “For Redheads Only” features Lucille Ball and Rita Hayworth, and even some Joan Crawford. “For Blondes Only” features mostly Marilyn Monroe. “For Brunettes Only” features mostly Judy Garland.
In the pink lobby:
Another pair of Joan’s eyelashes, and what I suppose is the stuff she would use to apply them. I think the black thing is mascara, which was dry at that time and quite different from what we have today.
In the Redhead Room:
In the Brunette Room:
In the Blonde Room:
Randomness inside the museum (second and third floors):
Then there was a “portrait room”, full of nothing but glamour photos and shots of vintage Hollywood. That room on its own would take hours! Here’s some highlights:
More bits of vintage Hollywood awesomeness:
I’ve mentioned in a previous post that I saw the Harlow at 100 exhibit at this museum. Here are the photos from it:
A souvenir program from the premiere
A menu from the MGM commissary signed by all the major stars of the time: Jean, Robert Taylor, Franchot Tone, William Powell, Joan Crawford, Clark Gable, Jeanette MacDonald, Robert Montgomery, and Myrna Loy, among others
Beyond the Harlow exhibit:
More vintage film equipment:
The entire basement of the museum was replicated to look like the prison from Silence of the Lambs. Since my family and I were the only people in the museum that day, it was 364237623 times creepier than it should’ve been:
The Dames Hit Hollywood! Day Two: More Grauman’s Chinese, The Egyptian, The El Capitan,The Pig N’ Whistle, and Madame Tussaud’s
As you can tell by the title, my second day in Hollywood was full to bursting! It was hella lot of fun, of course. We went back to Hollywood Boulevard nice and early in the morning. Here’s a better picture of the Hollywood Roosevelt to start us off:
Isn’t it just amazing? Anyway, we arrived a bit late to Grauman’s the other day, and all the interior tours were over. While waiting for the tour this day, we took more pictures of hand and foot prints we missed out on the first day:
After the Egyptian, we had lunch at the Pig N’ Whistle, where everyone who was anyone wined and dined. It was very 1920s, with its extensive bar and dim colored lighting (hence the lack of interior photos. They all pretty much sucked). The food was pretty…well…mediocre, but the point of going here is to breathe the same air as our favorite film stars, so who cares about the food!
The ceiling of the lobby
More of the ceiling of the lobby.
A mural painted along the inside wall.
The carpet in the lobby.
The bar, which is a little way into the theatre.
On the wall across from the bar, there were photos of stars that frequented Grauman’s. Here’s Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell. Our tour guide told us a highly entertaining story of an Australian girl who absolutely could NOT identify anyone in the photos (if I remember correctly she thought Jane Russell was Amy Winehouse!) The gals are doing their hand and foot prints in the forecourt.
A photo of Clark Gable and his last wife Kay Williams attending a premiere at the theatre. The tour guide then said that Gable was cold to his fans, which was SO NOT TRUE. AT ALL.
Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford doing their prints. They were the first to do so. Sid Grauman is crouching on the floor, helping them out.
The side wall and seats of the screen room. It is decorated with columns, red lights, and paintings of nature in the ancient Chinese style (duh). The seats are red plush, and are quite comfortable, as you can lean back quite far in them!
“Cathay Circle”, the boxes where all important figures and luminaries would watch films. Sid Grauman’s own personal box is the one on the far right. The film projector is directly above the two blue lights.
After the tour, we headed onward to Madame Tussaud’s. You’d think we’d be tired, right? Nope! Especially your hyper-active blogger with her boundless energy!
Two more blocks (you know you love these):
The Madame Tussaud’s in Hollywood, although a lot smaller than the one in New York, is a hell of a lot more fun. The figures are built around little sets, where you can join in and feel as though you are part of the scene. Yes, you do get costumes with some of the figures!
Lady Gaga, who’s here purely to give this post more traffic. I know, shrewd business tactics.
She is accompanied by Clark Gable as Rhett Butler. I don’t know why, but I felt that the statue didn’t do him justice, and really doesn’t look like him too much. What do you think? (and by the way, his hair is HAAARRRD)
Hope you enjoyed day 2! Day 3, with my visit to the Hollywood Museum, will be coming soon!
I know I’ve been a terrible blogger lately. I’ve had a lot of crazy homework (my english teacher made us write two essays a night for three nights, read poems, finish a play, and do a multiple choice examination in preparation for the advanced-placement examination next month. It’s “boot camp”, and trust me, I think I’d rather do the military’s boot camp), and my mood has been nothing short of horrendous because of that, combined with other things (people driving me insane, annoying family members, etc.) But today has shown me that yes, there is a silver lining on those clouds! I only have one essay to write tonight, I’m going to a party tomorrow, and best of all, I had a lesson about the Golden Age in history class today! This prompted my teacher to pronounce Marlene Dietrich Mar-LEEN Dee-yuh-TRITCH, which in turn prompted raucous laughter from Yours Truly. But then there was this little photo underneath Marlene’s:
I think the words “squeal” and “hyperventilate” are understatements in describing my reaction.
And of course, I wrote his name in big letters in my notebook, and drew hearts and balloons around it. Guess I’m a romantic, deep deep deep DEEP down inside.
But best of all, I finally, FINALLY ordered my prom dress! I’m so happy and ecstatic!!! I’m finally not the “girl who would probably end up wearing slacks to prom because she had no choice”! It’s a beaut! Here’s a photo of it:
I had a change of heart and felt that with black hair and a classic red lip, an emerald green dress would look so much better on me than a red one. Do you like it? Is it Golden Age enough? I can’t wait to get it!
Jean Harlow was famous for her bold, distinctive makeup style. I absolutely love it, but I’m way too afraid to try it completely (I like doing the mouth, and sometimes the eyes, but I’m too chicken to shave off my eyebrows or dye my hair platinum). It’s extreme, beautiful, and mixes twenties makeup trends with the more feminine style of the thirties. For you courageous dames out there, here’s how to achieve the full Harlow look:
Harlow, like many women of the 1930s, wore a lot of foundation. Pancake makeup, which was quite heavy and creamy, was what was used back then. Now that pancake makeup no longer exists (unless your grandmother still has some!) you would have to make do with matte foundation. Finish off with a rosy blush on the fleshiest part of your cheeks to emphasize that “baby” look. Don’t forget to powder your nose!
I adore Jean’s eyebrows, and I hate myself for not being brave enough to style my own that way! But ladies, the hard truth is that yes, if you want those brows, you will need to wax or shave off your natural ones. There’s no way you can keep them that thin or in that shape naturally. You need to draw on your new brows with a black pencil, above the natural brow bone, and in a circular (not too circular!) shape. They are elongated, down to the corner of the eye.
Jean gave her baby blues an exotic twist by using dark, smouldering makeup (to the delight of many men). In order to get a similar look, take a small amount of a dark eyeshadow and smudge it up to the eye socket, giving it a smoky, less harsh look. Apply a thick line of black eyeliner to your top lid (make it a very tiny wing-tip), and a thin line to the bottom lid. You can even apply a light line to your socket line (see photo above). For the lashes, use mascara or falsies. For the bottom lashes, you can do the same, but sometimes Jean would trick the system and actually draw on bottom lashes:
Here’s my favorite part! The first step to achieving Jean’s trademark pout is the cover your entire mouth with foundation or concealer. Then draw on your new mouth with a deep red lipstick (you might want to use lip liner to help with this), emphasizing only the two tips of the upper lip and the lowest curve of your lower lip. Extend gradually thinner for the perfect Cupid’s Bow. If you, like me, are lucky enough to have a mouth that already kind of looks like a Cupid’s Bow, you can cheat a little by applying lipstick only to the emphasized areas, and covering up the very corners with concealer.
Pretty simple: a platinum blonde 1930s bob (which goes a bit past your chin). There’s no escaping that…unless you go auburn and say you’re channeling Jean in Red Headed Woman.
A Finishing Touch…
Don’t forget to draw on a beauty mark! Use black pencil, and draw it on the chin, or by one of the corners of your lips!
Voila! A Harlow look!