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Category Archives: Film & Television

San Francisco Silent Film Festival: today – July 15, 2012

Starting this evening, the San Francisco Silent Film Festival begins with a showing of Wings (1927) – a film about a lady aviator (or ‘flyer’) starring ‘it girl” Clara Bow. It is one of my favorite silent films, the story AND the costumes are great. Stella Dallas (1925), Mantrap (1926), Spanish Dancer (1923) and Pandora’s [...]

Tuesday Teaser: Actress Lois Wilson (1924)

My Fair Lady (1964): Make-up and Hair

Audrey Hepburn as Eliza Doolittle (My Fair Lady, 1964) Costumes by Cecil Beaton “The makeup people, led by the Westmore brothers, did a fine job de-glamorizing Audrey, with [Cecil] Beaton’s cooperation. Her hair had to be filled with an unpleasant substance known as Fuller’s earth—which was quite toxic—and she had to wear a special kind [...]

Natacha Rambova: Character Development and Costume

Yesterday, the Smithsonian Magazine’s blog, Past Imperfect posted a rather long article on Rudolph Valentino and his impact on sex and seduction in the early silent film era – and of course there is a brief mention of Natacha Rambova (the main subject of my own research). The article spends much of its time focused [...]

“Miss Monroe refused to wear underclothes”

“What cannot be pushed past the censors with words is often tried with costume. Marilyn Monroe was an expert at this—often to the despair of designers. Miss Monroe refused to wear underclothes. She felt they inhibited the rotary motion of her hips, dulled the color of her skin and, in general, reduced her sex appeal. [...]

The Shirtwaist Dress at the Women in Magazines Conference (London) June 22-23

This coming June my paper, “Icon: The Shirtwaist Dress in Good Housekeeping and other media,” will be included in the presentations at the upcoming conference: Women in Magazines: Research, Representation, Production and Consumption. I’ve previously discussed this work, as it relates to Donna Reed and idealized Motherhood on Fashion Historia. Kingston University in London will [...]

Joan Crawford, Costumes and Publicity in ‘Our Dancing Daughters’ (1928)

“David Cox, who had been [Gilbert] Clark’s assistant, stayed on until 1931 and became a fully-fledged designer. He did Joan Crawford’s famous beaded Charleston dress for Our Dancing Daughters and the rest of her films until the arrival of Adrian. Six days before the film had its world premiere in New York on 6 October, [...]

Teaser Tuesday: Pola Negri and Na Glee Nonassa (1932)

Yves Saint Laurent and L’Amour Fou

Those of you who follow me on Twitter know that I’ve been debating watching L’Amour Fou, the 2010 film on Yves Saint Laurent, for the last few weeks. This last weekend, I finally took the plunge. I have read a good deal on Yves Saint Laurent, but somehow seeing the information in a film made [...]

Gaultier at the de Young: Technology, Craft and Art of Fashion

The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk exhibit at the de Young has been getting a fair amount of media attention since it opened to the public on March 24. Much of the coverage focuses on the technology used for the mannequins, and indeed when I first saw them [...]