Tag Archive | Old Hollywood glamour

Hollywood Glamour Fashion Exhibit-MOFA Boston- Part 2

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Last week’s blog was Part 1 on my visit to the Hollywood Glamour Exhibit at the  Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, including photos of beautiful movie costumes, info on the famous designers who created them and the actresses who were lucky enough to wear these beautiful outfits. Today is my second installment of photos and facts on these iconic fashions from Hollywood’s Golden Era.

Travis Banton hostess gown worn by Marlene Dietrich

Travis Banton hostess gown worn by Marlene Dietrich

Marlene Dietrich in Desire (1936)

Marlene Dietrich in Desire (1936)

In 1936 Marlene Dietrich played a jewel thief in Paramount Pictures, Desire.  She steals a valuable strand of pearls named “tears of the mermaid.” Love that name!
Travis Banton, whose imagination and designing skills were directly responsible for the mystique of Ms. Dietrich’s character, incorporated chiffon, fur and feathers for probably the most glamorous hostess gown I think I’ve every seen!

Edith Head design for Betty Grable

Edith Head design for Betty Grable

Betty Grable in gold lame gown designed by Edith Head

Betty Grable in gold lame gown designed by Edith Head for This Way Please (1937)

I have to admit, I do love me some shimmer!  And shimmery fabrics, like the gold lamé  used in this fabulous halter gown, were used quite a bit during the early eras of cinema as the fabric translated beautifully on black and white film.  Edith Head designed this for Betty Grable in the movie This Way Please (1937). 

FUN FILM FASHION FACT- Aside from looking beautiful on screen, with the advent of  the  “Talkies” ,  soft, flowing fabrics like chiffon, lamé and satin were often used because they didn’t make any distracting noise that could be picked up by microphones.

Two piece outfit designed by Irene for Greer Garson

Two piece outfit designed by Irene for Greer Garson

Greer Garson in Julia Misbehaves (194*

Greer Garson in Julia Misbehaves (1948)

Above is Greer Garson in a photo from Julia Misbehaves (1948) wearing a blouse and skirt designed by Irene Lentz.  Usually referred to as just  Irene, she was a California fashion designer who ended up working for MGM in the 1940s after Gilbert Adrian left there.  She is known for her evening gowns and exquisite tailoring.  I absolutely love this two piece ensemble. Though it is not as formal as some of the other outfits in the exhibit, this is one I could totally envision myself wearing to a fancy cocktail party or dinner. That is if I were fortunate enough to to find something even remotely as lovely as this!  The embroidered design around the neckline and down front of the blouse along with the shimmery satin overskirt adds just the right amount of interest to take simple separates to a whole new level of glamour.

Schiaparelli gown for Mae West

Schiaparelli gown for Mae West

Mae West in Every Day's a Holiday (1938)

Mae West in Every Day’s a Holiday (1938)

Famous Paris couture designer, Elsa Schiaparelli, created this rich purple silk embroidered wool twill dress for Mae West in Every Day’s a Holiday (1938).  Set in the Gay Nineties the costumes from this movie inspired Ms Schiaparelli’s 1939 clothing line, which was sold in department stores. Even back then women wanted to wear celebrity fashion!

FUN FILM FASHION FACT-  Mae West’s curvaceous figure, which measured 35-25-35, was the inspiration for Elsa Schiaparelli’s “Shocking” perfume bottle.

Mae West's custom platform shoes

Mae West’s custom platform shoes

And last, but not least, these fascinating platform shoes made of wood and leather, were specially designed for Mae West.  Because she was only 5 feet tall, these shoes within a shoe added another 8 1/2″ to her height.  Heck I thought the platform shoes I wore in the 70s were tall!   In all her movies she always had on long dresses, so all you could see were the silver shoes peeking out from beneath. Ingenious, yes?  I wonder if it took much practice for her to get used to walking in them.

Which oufit is your favorite?

Have a glamorous day!

 

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Fabulous Old Hollywood Fashion at Museum of Fine Arts- Boston- Part 1

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Hollywood Glamour exhibit at MOFA Boston

Hollywood Glamour exhibit at MOFA Boston

Back from a recent trip to New England where I was  very fortunate to catch the Hollywood Glamour  exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.  On display were gowns designed by some of the early movie industry’s most famous costumers.  I can’t begin to describe how excited I was to be so close to such amazing creations, outfits that were actually worn by legendary actresses of the 20s, 30s and 40s.   And since cameras were allowed, I was able to take photos to share.   I’ve broken the post up into two parts since I got a little carried away with the picture taking.  So come back to see the rest of these beauties!

Travis Banton gown for Mary Ellis- Paris in Spring 1935

Travis Banton gown for Mary Ellis- Paris in Spring 1935

This lamé gown was front and center of the exhibit and was simply breathtaking in person.
Attributed to Travis Banton, who designed this for actress Mary Ellis in the movie
Paris in Spring (1935).

Mary Ellis-Paris in Spring 1935

Mary Ellis-Paris in Spring 1935

FUN FILM FASHION FACT - In the very early years of film, designers had to experiment with ways to make the costumes really stand out on black and white film.  And some designs were problematic for the camera, such as dresses heavily embellished with jewels. So often they used cold cream to dull the finish on stones so they would not cause camera glare.

Chanel 20s beaded dress

Chanel 20s beaded dress

 

Actress Ina Claire in Chanel dress-1926

Actress Ina Claire in Chanel dress-1926

Chanel designed for stage and screen. And in the early 1930s she created costumes for a few films at  Metro Goldwyn Mayer.  But according to the studio her design aesthetic of simple, elegant silhouettes didn’t translate well on the silver screen. So, though she is one of the most famous fashion designers of all time, her Hollywood costume design career was short lived.

Travis Banton dress for Carole Lombard in No Man of Her Own (1932)

Travis Banton dress for Carole Lombard in No Man of Her Own (1932)

Carole Lombard in No Man of Her Own

Carole Lombard in No Man of Her Own

Another Travis Banton beauty.  This silk chiffon gown is completely embroidered with bugle beads and silver metallic thread.   The tiny beads created a luminous, shimmering effect on film.  Plunging necklines and backs were a hallmark of 1930s fashions, and the figure hugging silhouette could only look its best with no undergarments worn beneath.  Being as it was pre-code, racy dresses like this were still allowed on the screen.

Adrian black velvet gown designed for Greta Garbo in Inspiration  1930

Adrian black velvet gown designed for Greta Garbo in Inspiration 1930

Great Garbo publicity photo for Inspiration 1930

Great Garbo publicity photo for Inspiration 1930

This luxurious black silk velvet gown with bejewelled neckline that Greta Garbo is wearing was designed by the famous Gilbert Adrian for her role in Inspiration (1930). Adrian began dressing Garbo when he came to work for MGM in 1928.  The style of clothing he designed for Ms Garbo helped form her onscreen persona, which was often that of a mysterious, devastatingly alluring, femme fatale.

Gilbert Adrian gown for Jean Harlow in Bombshell (1933)

Gilbert Adrian gown for Jean Harlow in Bombshell (1933)

Jean Harlow in Bombshell

Jean Harlow in Bombshell

In the movie Bombshell Gilbert Adrian was going for a good girl/bad girl look for Jean Harlow.   Sensuous silk satin was used that would caress the actresse’s curves, a low neckline and plunging draped back combined with the flowers and multi tiered peplum is a wonderful contrast of sexy and sweet.

FUN FILM FASHION FACT- This is the gown Jean Harlow wore when she added her hand prints in the wet cement in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theater in 1933.

Robert Kalloch deisgn for Noma Shearer in Her Cardboard Lover (1942)

Robert Kalloch deisgn for Noma Shearer in Her Cardboard Lover (1942)

Close up of evening jacket designed by Robert Kalloch

Close up of evening jacket designed by Robert Kalloch

Norma Shearer and Robert Taylor in Her Cardboard Lover (1942)

Norma Shearer and Robert Taylor in Her Cardboard Lover (1942)

This stunning evening jacket, designed by Robert Kalloch for Norma Shearer to wear for Her Cardboard Lover (1942), is made of a rayon twill with silver metallic threads and embroidered with intricate bugle beads and sequins.   Robert Kalloch was not quite as well known as some of the other Hollywood designers like Adrian, Banton and Orry Kelly, but he did have an impressive career in fashion, which began  with him designing extravagant evening gowns for royalty, the social elite and costumes for stage actresses.  Eventually Columbia Pictures brought him to Hollywood to add some style and class to their films.  He also designed for MGM studios from 1941-43.

That’s all for now! Part 2 coming soon…..

Hope you enjoyed my little show and tell on Hollywood fashion history!

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Midnight Lace- The way to wow at your next special event

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You need an outfit for an upcoming formal affair.

The mission~ Find something classy that exudes sex appeal in an understated, yet tantalizing way. Like something  Marilyn Monroe or Rita Hayworth would wear back in the day.  You want to show off your womanly figure, but not in a Kardashian kind of way, if you know what I mean. And you want to dazzle every male at the event!

Also, has to be easy on the wallet!

The solution~The gown below. Because you can’t go wrong with what I call the “Midnight Lace” classic glamour look.  The combination of black lace and a curve hugging silhouette evokes images of femininity, lingerie, the boudoir, everything that gets a man’s neurons firing at the speed of light.  Yet this evening dress does not  have a high slit that barely covers, nor is it cut too low at the neckline, which leaves plenty to the imagination. And if there is one thing that piques a guy’s interest it’s bit of mystery.

Just think about it, they’re born problem solvers.  After gazing at you in your devastatingly demure dress, they’ll be trying to figure out all night how to make the proper approach, all the while fantasizing about the treasure that lies beneath!  A technique burlesque dancers refer to  as “The Art of the Tease.”  Show just enough to make them want to see more. And it has worked for ions.

Curve hugging midnight lace over teal jersey evening gown

Curve hugging midnight lace over teal jersey evening gown

The gown has flattering ruching down the front, a pretty scalloped lace neckline that dips to a provocative V in back, hugs your curves to the lower thigh, then flares out beautifully below.  It has a seriously sensuous drape because of the jersey fabric beneath. As you saunter across the room (you should practice your sauntering before the party), the fabric undulating hypnotically as you walk is sure to have a mesmerizing effect!

1 Lace gown   $110.00  2. Gloves $28.99  3. Evening Bag $24.99 4. Heels  54.95  5. Earrings $10.99 6.Bracelet 29.99

But to really pull off a seductive classic glamour look, you also need the right accessories,  makeup and hair.  The proper heels,  long satin evening gloves,  glitzy vintage inspired rhinestone jewelry, red lipstick and wavy or curled hair  parted to the side will complete your tantalizing vintage look.

Marilyn in Black lace over red dress

Marilyn in Black lace over red dress

Image source

Rita Hayworth publicity photo

Rita Hayworth publicity photo

 

Have a glamorous day!

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Dressing for 1920s Gatsby Themed Prom Night

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Not only are vintage themed weddings a growing trend, but vintage themed proms are  becoming very popular as well!  How fun for young ladies to dress up in a glamorous Old Hollywood Style for prom night.   It really does my little vintage loving heart good to see this, rather than some of the more “modern” prom fashions that leave so little to the imagination!  And our customer Jenny Pless Houser was kind enough to send us photos of her daughter Katelynn in the vintage inspired evening gown she purchased from us for her Gatsby Themed prom.    Check out how beautiful  and classy she looks!

katelynn houser Gatsby Themed Prom

Katelynn and handsome friend decked out for their Gatsby Themed Prom

When you love old school glamour and have an online vintage style special occasion wear  business, you can’t help but wonder where all the dresses being shipped out are being worn, what special events and celebrations will our dresses make an appearance,  how the customer is going to look in their purchase and how they’ll accessorize it. So it’s such  a special treat when we get to see pictures of our classy customers glamming it up in clothing they purchased from us!

katelynn houser

And the vintage car just completes the look perfectly!

katelynn houser prom

Katelynn chose a gown that is elegant, sophisticated and classic.  A timeless style that would flatter a woman of any age.

katelynn houser gatsby prom night

And Katelynn’s mom actually took these pictures and did a fantastic job of capturing the romance of the Gatsby Era Theme.

Katelynn Houser Gatsby Glamour

Everyone at Blue Velvet Vintage was so thrilled to see Katelynn’s prom photos and we’re all very appreciative that Mrs. Houser and her lovely daughter were kind enough to share them with us.  We hope these pictures inspire other young women to opt for a vintage inspired look like this when prom time rolls around!

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You’re Never Too Old for Your First Pin Up Shoot!

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Have you ever wondered what it would be like to partake in a pin up photo session, but felt too shy and self conscious? Do  you love the sassy look of vintage pin up girl images and the glamorous photo stills of classic actresses, but think you’re too old to give it a whirl yourself?  Well, think again!

Recently I decided to surprise my husband because he always says he doesn’t have any good pictures of me.  He’s a yacht captain and when he is out to sea he always wished he had a nice framed photo of his wife to look at while he’s away. Isn’t that romantic?   Yeah, well, it hasn’t happened in all these years because  I never actually had the nerve to have any “nice”  professional photos done. I feel very awkward in front of a camera and never enjoyed being the center of attention.

Then one day I was down in Miami  at the fabulous Terribly Girly Photo Studio, with  Janette Valentine and her talented crew , watching them do a Gatsby style photo shoot for our 20s style dresses.  That’s when the lightbulb went off!   My husband wants a picture of me?  Then why not give him one that totally represents what I love and also do for a living?

But could I pull it off? The whole idea seemed kind of fun, but scary too. Plus I thought, really, this is for  younger gals.  But Janette talked me into it, explaining to me that many of her clients were  over 40!   She assured me they could make me look glamorous and presentable.  So I decided , why the heck not? I would welcome the personal challenge of overcoming my fear of the camera.  And I really wanted to do an “Old Hollywood Glamour”  themed shoot because I love the pin up photos of  1940s actresses in their elegant gowns.  So I immediately started planning  the look in my head!

First off, let me just say, hair and makeup artist, Marilyn San German is a miracle worker!  Below is a before photo of me sans makeup.  Believe me, I don’t let many people see me like this! But I had to show you what a seriously talented HMUA can achieve.

Before photos of my pinup shoot

Before photos at my first pin up shoot

And here are a couple of the after photos, once Marilyn and Janette worked their magic!

My first Old Hollywood Glamour style pin up shoot.

My first Old Hollywood Glamour style pin up shoot.

Old Hollywood Glamour pin up shoot-Terribly Girly Photography

Lying on a sofa surrounded by red tulle!

I really felt weird and self conscious at first, but Janette and Marilyn were so easy to work with, that they helped relax me.  And I have to say I was very pleased with the results and so was my husband. Though at first he didn’t even believe it was me!  Frankly, I couldn’t believe it was me either!  Those girls did a great job.

It really ended up being a fun day once I got over my nervousness. So, to those ladies who have been hesitant to try it,   I highly recommend a pin up shoot as a special treat to yourself,  no matter what your age.   You get to hang out with funny, super creative girls, talk about hair and makeup, play dress up and get pampered. It’s truly a fantastic way to celebrate being a woman.  Oh did I mention?  I’m already planning my next theme!

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The California Elegance of Irene Lentz

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The legendary fashion and Hollywood costume designer, Irene Lentz-Gibbons, began her career as an actress in the early 1920s and soon moved onto designing and opening a small dress store. Her designs were so popular that Bullocks-Wilshire, a luxury department store catering to the  Los Angeles elite, asked her to open up a boutique and design for them, making her the first designer to open their own salon within a department store.

Suits for Irene’s ready to wear line. Left is from her collection in the 1960s. Right from 1955 collection. Very clean lines and some great button detail!

Irene Lentz suits

Suits for Irene’s ready to wear line. Left from her collection in the 1960s. Right from 1955 collection.

Her day-wear consisted of impeccably well-tailored suits that flattered a woman’s figure, nipping in at the waist. Her evening wear upped the ante and was often lavish and dramatic yet always timeless and elegant. All of her designs were of the utmost quality, made of the finest materials and perfected down to the tiniest detail.  British vogue called her designs “California elegance”.

Sapphire and emerald taffeta gown by Irene. (1955) I would love to see a photo of this gown in color- I’m sure it was absolutely stunning!
Image source: IreneLentz.com

Gowns by Irene Lentz

Sapphire and emerald taffeta gown by Irene. 1955

After gaining many A-list clients from her time at Bullocks-Wilshire, Irene’s designs became in demand on-screen, as well as off. Her first on-screen success came when she designed for Dolores Del Rio in Flying Down to Rio in 1933 at the actress’s request. She went on to dress some of the biggest stars of her time and design for over 50 films.

Below are just a few of my favorite on-screen Irene designs.

 Ginger Rogers in a metallic gown by Irene for Shall We Dance. (1937) The gowns Irene designed for Ginger in this film really put her on the map.

Ginger Rogers wearing an Irene gown.

Ginger Rogers in a metallic gown by Irene for Shall We Dance. 1937

 Constance Bennett in a beautiful Irene gown and overcoat for the film Topper Takes a Trip 1938

Constance Bennet wearing an Irene gown.

Constance Bennett in a beautiful Irene gown and overcoat for the film Topper Takes a Trip 1938

Marlene Dietrich wearing a gown by Irene in The Lady is Willing. (1942)

Shortly after designing for this film, Irene took over as Executive Designer at MGM when Gilbert Adrian left.

Marlene Dietrich in an Irene gown.

Marlene Dietrich wearing a gown by Irene in The Lady is Willing. 1942

 Irene designed Lana Turner’s (in)famous white short shorts for The Postman Always Rings Twice. (1946)

It was the first time an actress wore this style on the big screen and is one of Irene’s most well-known designs.

Famous Movie Outfits - Designs by Irene

Irene designed Lana Turner’s (in)famous white hot pants for The Postman Always Rings Twice. 1946

Irene left the MGM in 1949 to work on her own line. She stayed out of Hollywood until Doris Day requested her services for the 1960 film Midnight Lace. Irene earned her second Oscar nomination for the film. Sadly, Irene took her own life only two years later. But her legacy lives on. Just this year, Greg LaVoi,  a brilliant Hollywood designer in his own right and huge Irene fan, relaunched the House of Irene. His debut show featured original Irene designs with some modern details and only the finest of materials. Lavoi is committed to ‘reviving and preserving Irene’s exacting, couture-standard practices’.

Below are some of the designs from the Irene by Greg LaVoi 2013 Fall runway show.

Irene by Greg LaVoi

Irene by Greg LaVoi Fall 2013 Runway show

I love that purple gown! And I think Irene would be happy to know her vision lives on. To see the full collection – click here. What do you think of these designs?

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How to Dress in “Old Hollywood Glamour Style” this Holiday Season

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The holidays are a perfect time to step out in classic old Hollywood glamour style! Timeless, elegant and sexy, an old Hollywood glamour look will ensure you are the belle of the ball at all your holiday events. In the past year or so we have seen a return to classic beauty with many of  today’s Hollywood stars taking a cue from silver screen sirens like Liz, Marilyn and Rita. With classic silhouettes and a few sparkly accessories you can also recreate the sophisticated and feminine looks of the golden age.  Below are some photos to use for inspiration and some of our favorite gowns that are inspired by the era of silver screen sirens.

Jean Harlow was the epitome of Old Hollywood Glamour in her slinky bias cut evening gowns.

So if you want to show off your curves in a sexy yet elegant way  look no further than, the original blonde bombshell, Jean Harlow, for inspiration.  Her bias-cut, curve-hugging gowns in liquid satin epitomized the style of the 1930s. This slinky, body conscious silhouette is sure to make you the star at any fancy holiday soiree.

Jean Harlow was the epitomy of 1930's glamour in her signature silky bias-cut evening gowns.

Jeans Harlow in signature bias cut gowns.

Beautiful satin draped back gown will have you looking elegant coming or going! Also available in black, red, ivory and silver.

30s Inspired Gold Satin Draped Back Harlow Gown

Champagne/Light Gold Satin Draped Back Prom Gown/Wedding Dress

A slinky, sultry bias cut evening gown  in a rich garnet shade.

Garnet Red Satin Old Hollywood Style Halter Evening Gown

Garnet Red Satin Old Hollywood Style Halter Evening Gown

Silver satin and rhinestones- 30’s inspired evening gown. Also available in ivory, midnight blue, black, champagne and garnet red.

Old Hollywood Glamour Silver Satin Evening Gown w/Rhinestones

Old Hollywood Glamour Silver Satin Evening Gown w/Rhinestones

 And Elizabeth Taylor, Rita Hayworth and Audrey Hepburn prove that classic black evening gowns are anything but boring!

Vintage inspired black evening gowns are a sophisticated way to pull off a classic glamour look!
Pair with long black opera gloves and some glittery chandelier earrings and you will ooze “old Hollywood” style!

Famous Black Evening Gowns

Elizabeth Taylor, Rita Hayworth and Audrey Hepburn prove that classic black evening gowns are not boring!

 

Channel your inner Rita Hayworth in this 1940s inspired black chiffon evening gown with glittery draped shelf bust.

 Strapless Black Chiffon Draped Sweetheart Bodice Evening Gown

Strapless Black Chiffon Draped Sweetheart Bodice Evening Gown

Form-fitting goddess style black jersey evening gown will hug your curves in all the right places!

Black Jersey One Shoulder Goddess Gown

Black Jersey One Shoulder Goddess Gown

This full-skirt jewel neck gown will twirl fabulously across the dance floor! Also available in burgundy and champagne.

Vintage Inspired Black Halter Style Evening Gown

Vintage Inspired Black Halter Style Evening Gown

Rock the shimmer! Below  Jeanette MacDonald, Marilyn Monroe and Kay Francis exemplify iconic Hollywood glamour in these glittery gowns.

One way to make sure all eyes are on you while capturing the Old Hollywood Look is to cover yourself in shimmery beads and sparkly sequins! Many starlets were fans of embellished evening gowns and I can see why! You’ll outshine everyone in the room in these eyecatching styles.

 

Old Hollywood Glmaour Gowns

1930’s star Jeanette MacDonald, Marilyn Monroe and Kay Francis ooze old Hollywood glamour in these beaded and sequined gowns.

This bedazzling vintage style silver evening gown is certainly something Marilyn would have stepped out in!

Old Hollywood Glamour Gown

Curvy Silver Sequin Old Hollywood Glamour Gown

This strapless gown mixes sweet and sexy with lace and sequins!

Beaded gold lace and satin gown

Beaded strapless gold lace and satin gown

This sequined black mermaid style gown has a classic film noir vibe.

Strapless Black Sequin Lace Tulle Classic Glamour Evening Gown

Strapless Black Sequin Lace Tulle Classic Glamour Evening Gown

Add opera length gloves, a faux fur shrug and a handsome date and you are all set for a night on the town  in showstopping old Hollywood glamour style!

Have a glamorous day!

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Don Loper-From Ballroom Dancer To Fashion Designer

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Fashion designer Don Loper with mannequins of his Hollywood clients- including Esther Williams and Ella Fitzgerald.

Fashion designer Don Loper with mannequins of his Hollywood clients- including Esther Williams and Ella Fitzgerald.

Ohio native Don Loper started off in show business as a ballroom dancer- and a darn good one! In the 1930’s he and his partner, Maxine Barrat, started off on Broadway and eventually became one of the most respected dance teams of their time. He designed Barrat’s clothes on and off the stage. Loper was even paired up with his good friend Ginger Rogers for a dance in the 1944 musical “Lady in the Dark”.

Fashion designer Don Loper and his ballroom dance partner Maxine Barrat.

Fashion designer Don Loper and his ballroom dance partner Maxine Barrat.

Dancer, choreographer, producer, director, costume and set designer – why not do it all? But Loper eventually focused his talents on designing clothing. He dressed many of Hollywood’s leading ladies including Claudette Colbert, Marlene Dietrich, and Lana Turner. His lavish gowns oozed old hollywood glamour.

Below is a photo of Marilyn Monroe modelling a blue chiffon evening gown designed by Don Loper in 1951.

Marilyn Monroe in a Don Loper gown . 1951

Marilyn Monroe in a Don Loper gown in 1951.

One of Loper’s most well-known performances is the 1955 “The Fashion Show” episode of I Love Lucy – in which he played himself. The episode involves a very sunburned Lucy in a very scratchy tweed suit along with some beautiful Don Loper originals modeled by real-life wives of famous stars of the 50s including Mrs. Dean  Martin and Mrs. William Holden.

Don Loper and his designs in the 1955 episode 'The Fashion Show' of I Love Lucy.

Don Loper and his designs in the 1955 episode ‘The Fashion Show’ of I Love Lucy.

Loper’s designs were feminine and elegant, but simple. He believed simplicity was key to being well dressed. ” If I go to a dance and scream ‘Gad, what a botch of a dress! Eek! It’s Zsa Zsa.’ Then I have failed. You must notice the woman first, the dress second, ” Loper said in a 1956 interview for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Back in 1956, actress and singer Edie Adams wore a beautiful sequined evening gown designed by Don Loper.  She liked it so much she had him make an exact replica in black! It is also rumored that this gown was the inspiration for the iconic “Barbie” mermaid dress.  One of my all time favorite dresses for my Barbie doll!

Edie Adams in Don Loper 1950s lace Mermaid Gown

Edie Adams in Don Loper 1950s lace mermaid Gown

 

Loper was one designer who sure had range – his creations appealed to Hollywood’s finest and the girl next door. His ready-to-wear line was just as successful (and much more affordable)  and included nurses uniforms and neckties.  Recently we had the good fortune of acquiring  a 1950’s Don Loper winter coat in a beautiful cream wool/angora/silk blend – complete with dolman/batwing sleeves.

Vintage Don Loper 1950s Winter Coat

 

You can also catch some of Loper’s designs on the silver screen in the films Rancho Notorious (1952), Not as a Stranger (1955) and The Big Combo (1955).

Have a Glamorous Day!

alison

 

 

 

 

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Happy Birthday Lauren Bacall-One of Hollywood’s Classiest Dames!

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Lauren Bacall and her perfect pout  c. 1940s

Lauren Bacall and her perfect pout c. 1940s

Today we celebrate the 89th birthday of the sultry Lauren Bacall.  She was born Betty Perske in New York City in 1924 and began modeling at an early age.  Her husky voice and smoldering good looks made her the perfect fit to play film noir femme fatales and she was whisked off to Hollywood in 1944 to start a career that would last decades.

Lauren Bacall's March 1943 Harper's Bazaar cover that launched her into fame.

Lauren Bacall’s March 1943 Harper’s Bazaar cover that launched her into fame.

Hollywood director Howard Hawks was looking for his next “it” girl when his wife spotted Lauren Bacall on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar – she suggested the young model to her husband.  Hawks’ was hooked and decided to take Bacall under his wing,  casting her as the starring female role in the 1944 “To Have and Have Not” opposite heart-throb Humphrey Bogart.  Bacall and Bogart (25 years her senior) fell in love on the set of the film and began an affair that would only end with Bogart’s death.  Their relationship would be considered one of the great Hollywood romances.

Lauren Bacall wearing a fabulous zebra blouse and pencil skirt.

Lauren Bacall wearing a fabulous zebra blouse and pencil skirt.

Bacall was so nervous on her first film that she couldn’t stop shaking. To steady her head – she would tuck her chin low and then cast her eyes up to meet Humphrey’s gaze.  Little did she know that this little trick would become her signature and dubbed “The Look”.  She also styled her own hair for the film and her shoulder-length waves became a popular look in the 1940s.

Lauren Bacall in a floral print summer suit. c. 1945

Lauren Bacall in a floral print summer suit giving “The Look”. c. 1945

Ms. Bacall  is a great example of a strong, confident women who still manages to exude femininity at the same time.  She is one of the last remaining stars from that golden era – what stories she must have!!  I’d love to sit down with her and get the old Hollywood scoop!  If you could ask Lauren one question – what would you ask?

Have a glamorous day!

alison

 

 

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Happy Birthday Claudette Colbert!

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Claudette Colbert 9/13/1903 - 7/30/1996

Claudette Colbert 9/13/1903 – 7/30/1996

Today marks the birthday of one of Hollywood’s most stylish stars – Claudette Colbert.  With her signature bangs and enviable legs, french born Claudette ruled the silver screen in the 1930s and 1940s.  She was known for her sleek and classic style on and off screen and often ended up on best dressed lists.  She played her most famous roles in 1934 alongside Clark Gable in  It Happened One Night  and as the lead in Cecil B. DeMille’s Cleopatra.

Claudette Colbert in a stunning white tulle gown with gold leaf applique.

Claudette Colbert in a stunning white tulle gown with gold leaf applique.

She was well-liked in the business, if a bit of a perfectionist.  Famed gossip columnist Hedda Hopper described Colbert as “the smartest, canniest, smoothest 18-karat lady I’ve ever seen cross the Hollywood pike.”

Claudette Colbert in a collared print dress. c. 1940s

Claudette Colbert in a collared print dress. c. 1940s

Costume designer Travis Banton worked on Cleopatra with Colbert and she hated his original ideas.  She supposedly pricked her finger and bled all over some of his wardrobe sketches so he would be forced to rework them!

Claudette Colbert in a Travis Banton dress designed for Cleopatra. 1934

Claudette Colbert in a Travis Banton dress designed for Cleopatra. 1934

The film’s sleek and sexy costumes ended up being some of the best in movie history!  Colbert worked hard to control her image – whether it be her wardrobe or her ‘flaws’.  She insisted on only being photographed on her left side because she had a ‘bump’ on the right side of her nose and was known for her ‘peter pan’ collars that she wore to elongate her short neck.

 

Claudette Colbert in It Happened One Night. 1934

Claudette Colbert in It Happened One Night. 1934

Today we remember her strong spirit and fabulous style.   Claudette had her ideas of what worked best for her style wise – and she stuck to them.   It certainly paid off!

 

Have a glamorous day!

alison

 

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