Stellar Vintage #495: A young lady should keep a mirror finish on her good pair of murder shoes. Patty McCormack in a promo shot for The Bad Seed (1956).
Stellar Vintage #494: Adrienne Ames and Brian Aherne in tweedy ensembles, 1934. Bonus for the fur lapels.
Stellar Vintage #493: Robert Taylor in a three piece tweed suit surrounded by photos of co-stars and leading ladies of the 1930s.
Stellar Vintage #492: Fay Wray appears to be wearing the inspiration for the Galaxy dress, complemented with a flat cap, matching pins, metallic belt, 1934.
Stellar Vintage #491: Paulette Goddard proves that style is ageless, with a gem encrusted heart-shaped brooch.
Stellar Vintage #490: William Powell brings his daschund Schnapps to attention in a linen shirt, cuffed trousers and derby shoes.
Classic Film Guide for How to be a Lady #26: Joan Blondell shows a rival the door in Footlight Parade (1933).
Joan Blondell dispatches Claire Dodd’s lady viper in the middle of the night by the most direct means. Why allow the door to hit her in the ass when you can use your very own foot?
Done and dusted.
Stellar Vintage #488: Farley Granger wears a wool jacket to consult the source for his role in the screen adaptation, Edge of Doom (1950).
Vintage Hollywood Trending #1:
Marlon Brando’s jacket in A Streetcar Named Desire (1951).
Although more famous for damp patch T-shirts in the role, Brando’s Kowalski scrubs up well in a spotless satin bomber jacket. It’s a relaxed fit that gathers shape at the waist and cuffs. A bomber jacket conjures associations of sunshine and a sporty, carefree frolics. And Brando nails it.
There are countless versions on the rails this season, including the one pictured above by Marc by Marc Jacobs (€550 at Net-a-Porter).
Classic Film Fashion #312: Costume builds a lady’s stature in I Live My Life (1935).
By all accounts, Brian Aherne was Crawford’s tallest leading man, clocking in at nearly 6 feet, four inches tall. In an era where hyperbolic towering stilettos were unknown (thank goodness we are spared the view of a zombie lurching gate those heels impose from ladies of the silver screen), there had to be a way to bridge a whole foot difference in height without a dependence on camera tricks or asking Aherne to stand in a ditch.
Adrian brings his design genius to the task in order to frame Crawford, a petite woman just under 5 foot four, into a statuesque lady who need not address a fella’s navel, but rather, can meet a level glance. Perhaps his key insight to the challenge is to take Crawford’s silhouette out as well as up. Adrian had already struck design gold in Letty Lynton (‘32) when he chose to exaggerate Crawford’s broad shoulders with wide organza ruffles. The bold fashion stroke added height to Crawford’s appearance. A hefty shoulder assists in her ability to stand toe-to-toe with a love interest and disguise the fact that she’s really quite tiny. Large collars, lapels, sleeves and a floral garland shrug do similar work in adding presence to Crawford’s physique in the 1935 production. A shimmery column gown further lengthens her body.
Finally, if all else fails, Crawford’s pratfall requires Aherne to crouch down in order to sustain eye contact.
Stellar Vintage #487: Dolores Costello and George O’Brien bare some skin in Noah’s Ark (1928), directed by Michael Curtiz and Darryl F. Zanuck.
Stellar Vintage #486: Peter Falk and Natalie Wood wear matching suits and fedoras in a publicity still for Penelope, 1966.