Well, the witching hour is upon us. Have you got your jack o lanterns all lit up, on display? Candy ready for your trick or treaters? I am so pumped for the big day to be here! Today I was looking for Old Hollywood costumes on Google images and thought it might be fun to make some styleboards for costumes I either haven't seen enough of or haven't seen any of. If you're looking for a classic Hollywood costume and are out of last minute ideas, profitez from my little haphazard daydreams of "costumes I haven't worn yet".
1) Bette Davis as Baby Jane Hudson in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?
|Wig, shoes, baby doll, dress|
2) Rita Hayworth as Gilda in...well, Gilda
|shoes, dress, gloves, necklace|
If you were thinking something glamorous and sophisticated, but didn't want to go for the more obvious Holly Golightly costume, why not try Rita Hayworth as Gilda in her famous glove-strip-tease scene from the 1946 noir, co-starring Glenn Ford? While a long, strapless satin gown would be prettier, all I could dang find on the internet was pageant dress after pageant dress, and this strap-ful satin hourglass dress-- yet I know your local Goodwill is bound to have something suitably at least 1980's-does-1940's for your bombshell needs. The opera length black satin gloves are crucial, as Rita makes their removal in the musical number "Put the Blame on Mame" somehow more scandalous and suggestive than a full burlesque fan dance in pasties. Another important part is Rita's hair-- you need a serious forties' style wave to get your Rita across in earnest, and auburn red hair wouldn't hurt, either! This pincurl tutorial looks amazing...you can draw inspiration from one of the most famous head-flips in all of movie history. "Me? Decent?" She kills me! Every time!
3) Marlene Dietrich as Lola Lola in The Blue Angel
Deadset on a "sexy" costume, in spite of perilously plummeting late October temperatures? How about Lola Lola from von Sternberg's The Blue Angel? Dietrich drew her costume inspiration from cabaret singers and drag queens she knew from her bohemian social life in Weimar Berlin in the late twenties', the top hat and some of the sequined shifts actually on loan from the real deal people. Even though she would slim down to a wisp of herself for her American film debut in Morocco the next year (you could cut glass on those cheekbones!), she's smoldering in her breakthrough role as the temptress who ruins repressed schoolteacher Emil Jannings one sexily turned ankle at a time. This is similar to a Sally Bowles, Cabaret costume, but more frilly and embellished with sequins and frippery than the sleek Liza Minnelli wardrobe for that film. Like the previous two suggestions, this costume, too, comes with a musical selection! "Falling in Love Again" is Lola Lola's signature song, and Dietrich's deep-voiced, belted, sultry delivery on this made it a recognizable personal anthem in her later personal appearances and concerts for the next thirty-five years (here she is singing it in 1963 in the Netherlands!).
4) Lauren Bacall as Vivian in The Big Sleep
Last but not least, possibly the easiest costume out of the bunch-- if you can find a decent houndstooth suit and a black beret, you've got a perfectly serviceable Lauren Bacall costume from her role in the second of four movies she and Bogart would make together. The former Betty Joan Perske had become the fourth and final Mrs. Bogart by the time this movie was released, and boy, do they crackle together on screen. With her poise and elegant looks, it's hard to believe Bacall was twenty one during production on the film...author's note, I neither looked that poised nor that elegant at the age of twenty one (or at twenty-eight, for that matter!). This checked suit shows up so beautifully on screen, too-- perfect for black and white photography. This cracks me up about the movie, from the Wikipedia page:
The Big Sleep is known for its convoluted plot. During filming, allegedly neither the director nor the screenwriters knew whether chauffeur Owen Taylor was murdered or had killed himself. They sent a cable to Chandler, who told a friend in a later letter: "They sent me a wire ... asking me, and dammit I didn't know either".
That's movie magic though! What does it matter when all you're really concerned about is whether or not the two principals will get together in the end after the murder is more or less solved! Bogart's ruse as a "book collector" in one of the scenes is one of the highlights of the movie. Iconic costume in only two major pieces...what could be easier?
What do you think? Which of these would you like to try for yourself on Halloween this year or next? Have you ever dressed as an old time celebrity? I was Bette Davis as Margot Channing in All About Eve one year, with a big, Margo-esque dress and my hair curled, but I still had to point to my VHS copy of the movie all night so people would get it. It was college! What did I expect? What are your plans this year? Let's chat!
That's all for today, but I'll be back tomorrow for Photo Friday. Have a FRIGHTFUL Halloween night tonight, and I'll see you then! :)