Old Hollywood Glamour
“Fashion is a language. Some know it, some learn it, some never will – like an instinct.” Edith Head
Edith Head (you can read about her designs here), Adrian and Travilla, are names that, if you have the same passion for old Hollywood glamour films from the 1930-50s that I have, will have see appearing in the credits time and time again. To know that they were involved in a production was to be assured that what would follow would be nothing short of a memorable creation of the illusion of perfection in style and elegance. As Ms Head so aptly put it herself, “What a costume designer does is a cross between magic and camouflage. We create the illusion of changing the actors into what they are not. We ask the public to believe that every time they see a performer on the screen, he’s become a different person.”
While Edith was busy perfecting the camouflage, Adrian promoted the peacock. Those flamboyant gowns, which were promenaded in The Women and worn by my childhood obsession Joan Crawford, were by him. In fact he’s the one responsible for Joan’s trademark huge shoulder pads. His love of extravaganza can also be seen in Marie Antoinette, The Great Ziegfield, The Wizard of Oz and also in designs worn by Greta Garbo in most of her films including Camille and who he’d previously worked with in Romance, reviving a Eugénie hat that theatre-going women went crazy over.
The third of the trio, Travilla, is perhaps less recognisable a name but nevertheless significant in that he is responsible for Marilyn Monroe’s career defining looks in How to Marry a Millionaire, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and most importantly that dress in that famous scene from The Seven Year Itch when Marilyn stands over the subway grate and her dress blows up around her waist.
The keyword of all of these designers is ‘memorable’. One worked with illusion, another flamboyance and the third transformed an Idaho-potato-sack-wearing-blonde into a movie star. They defined an era which is sadly lacking today in films and inspired perhaps my entire wardrobe choice, one piece of which I would like to share with you as an example of how easy it is to get a little bit of old Hollywood glamour into your own look.
For the Old Hollywood Glamour inspired look I’m wearing:
Vintage Prada dress
Vivienne Westwood Mellisa shoes
In the picture below taken by Gregory Michael King I’m wearing a vintage dress found in New York City.
Few years ago my dear friend & a brilliant make-up artist Belinda Muir transformed me into Marlene. Photography;Gregory Michael King