Monday, June 7, 2010


I've always been fascinated by Hollywood.  Golden Oldie designers of course have my utmost attention and have inspired my collections extensively.  They include such luminaries as Adrian, the King of Hollywood Design, Travis Banton who worked for Paramount and Edith Head who started out in the twenties and continued designing for cinema till she died in the early eighties.  Some of these gowns and dresses made such a hit, they were copied by manufacturers  and stores for years.  The above dress by Adrian worn by Joan Crawford is just one example of the trend that came out of the 1932 release, Letty Lynton.
Above: The Laura Gown.  Worn by Gene Tierney in the 1944 Film Noir classic, this white jersey is a  tour de Force in simplicity and draping by 20th Century Fox designer Bonnie Cashin.  Cashin was a designer who moved around a lot not only through the movie industry, she switched back and forth from Hollywood, to Broadway to Seventh Avenue.  I can see her sportswear influence here (where she excelled best) in the chosen fabric and draping.  And by the way, this gown may look simple but its not an easy design to create.  The drape is very tricky and would be an ideal 'problem to solve' for some eager design student or seasoned Parisian couturier . . .

A Place in the Sun.  If you haven't caught this 1951 Montgomery Clift and Liz Taylor flick, do so.  Close friends in real life, the actors' screen chemistry was full of heat (even though Clift was gay).  The story was adapted from Theodore Dreiser's, An American Tragedy and boy is it a lollapalooza.  So is the 'Deb' dress.  Cut on the bias, the circular skirt has plenty of volume sans any bulky gathering at the waistline.  Notice how a true bias cut falls onto triangles?  Whenever she walks the dress moves with her . . . Well here's another tidbit: the petticoat underneath this gown is enormous . . .
This silk crepe cut on the bias was worn by Jean Harlow in Dinner at Eight.  Created by MGM's Adrian, he accentuated her hair and breasts by dressing her in clingy, slinky, bias-cut satins that, in those days, resembled sexy nightgowns (a radically new concept in the 30s). Adrian also played up these body-hugging, boudoir chic silhouettes by sometimes adding feathers and fur melding in nicely to what was then known as the Big White Set.

 Fred and Ginger were the icons of romance during the Golden Age of Hollywood. If you've checked out most of the top designer bridal collections the past couple years, the Astaire-Rogersesque glamour is still allover the radar screen.  Ginger's gowns were legendary yet no one designer was synonymous with creating her costumes at RKO.  The famous Feather Dress above by designer Bernard Newman.
hails from Top Hat 1935.  She was also dressed by Irene Sharaff,and Walter Plunkett.
Above is Liz Taylor in the 1958 version of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.  Cast alongside the caustic and oh so pregnant Madeline Sherwood as Sister Woman, Liz (Maggie the Cat) comes off as the very essence of Goddess.  Designer Helen Rose helps this along with the pure white dress with a bias-cut skirt ( I'm guessing silk crepe or chiffon) that moves beautifully whenever Liz does . . .

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Who'da thought this sexy little number would ever be a suitable candidate for bridal wear?  Believe it or not this crepe halter dress with a pleated skirt that blew up and over Marilyn's head in The Seven Year Itch was bought off the rack.  The image above right is a replica of the famous white dress redesigned in 1976 by designer, John Kloss.
Audrey Hepburn's ball gown from My Fair Lady is a touchstone in classic chic regardless of the fact it is a period gown designed by Cecil Beaton circa 1964 to depict the pre-WWI era of Paris fashion.
Another pre WWI costume flick, The Swan inspired this white eyelet gem worn by Grace Kelly and designed by MGM costumer, Helen Rose.  Rose also designed Grace Kelly's real life wedding gown


Emily Heizer Photography said...

That white eyelet dress is beautiful! Of course, anything Grace Kelly wore was marvelous!

Karen said...

Cinema has always been an inspiration for weddings & bridal gowns. The best come together to create beauty & perfection, that we create as well for our most special day.

Stay beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Lovely selection and as always inspirational. I bought my timeless replica of the Maggie dress here:

and couldn't be happier with it! It channels the goddess in me and brings out all the right curves. Plus it's made to measure!