We're almost to Friday! I am sure you guys are getting sick-and-tired, sick-and-tired of hearing about the late forties', but once I hit on something I like, brother, I am sticking to it. Leafing through the bound version of 1947 House Beautiful, I came across a series of gorgeous Lipton Tea ads featuring various movie stars of the day. Didn't my eyes pop right out of my head as I recognized some of my favorite actresses in dresses just about to die for. If you're a fellow movie fan (or heck, even if you're not), come look at some of the great half-page ads in that year's issues!
I will have to tell you sometime next week about the biography I just finished on Barbara Stanwyck-- in spite of her being a household name for lo, these eighty years, a comprehensive, top-notch book about her life and career only came out this year. But, take my word for it, this book was worth the wait! Here, La Stanwyck is dressed in a smart-looking hostess-y ensemble. I love how the green, high waisted skirt of the gown gives way to a red underskirt, and that the boxy, shoulder-padded blouse has little stars for buttons at the cuff and front. While she wasn't much for makeup and fancy clothes, Barbara Stanwyck was very particular about her hair, and doesn't it look sensibly chic rolled and pinned a little off her forehead. Did you know she did her first celebrity endorsement almost before she was celebrity? She was one of the faces of Lux Soap in the early thirties' at a time when her vaudeville comic first husband, Frank Fay, was a bigger name draw than the former Ruby Stevens's recently revised moniker. 1947 saw her in the movie listed here, The Other Love, opposite David Niven-- that's three years after her head-turning role as femme fatale Phyllis Dietrichson in Double Indemnity, and three years before appearing as tough-as-nails Vance Jeffords in Anthony Mann's The Furies. Forget the tea, I want to go watch some Stanwyck movies now!
2) Dorothy Lamour
Sarong-enthusiast Dorothy Lamour is less formally dressed in her Lipton ad-- while I am just CRAZY about her wave set, the ensemble has me puzzled-- is that a corsage-type deal at her waist? Does she have a bouquet of flowers in her pocket? Who can say? You might recognize Lamour from her several turns with madcap Bob Hope and sensibly suave Bing Crosby in the Road To movie series-- did you know the exotic, dark-eyed beauty started her path to fame and fortune as Miss New Orleans 1931 and clocked her last screen appearance in one of my favorite schlocky horror movies of the 80's, Creepshow 2? Both facts are true! I've noticed on this ad that the theme of the text portions has to do with turn of the century actress who were into tea paired with modern (1947) actresses who also feel an affinity to Lipton's...the one in this panel is Fay Davis, whose Wikipedia entry boasts this gorgeous, bare shouldered portrait of the dame du drame.
3) June Haver
June Haver has one of the cutest outfits and is also one of the actresses I knew the least about before googling her...first, let's talk about the clothes. How cute is her midriff baring summer dress, bracelet with single charm (I think Joanie wore one just like it in Torch Song-- is there a name for single-charm bracelets like this from the forties'/fifties'?), and wedge espadrilles? Reason I don't know much about her? She only made eighteen movies between 1941-1953, among them The Dolly Sisters with Betty Grable. Reason I recognize her name? She married cute-i-tude Fred MacMurray (the main character from the aforementioned Double Indemnity, just one entry in his extensive career in movies, tv, and music), get this, just a couple months after she publicly announced her intention to take vows as a nun! I want to know more about this switcheroo-- will have to get back to you after I hit the stacks and biography section.
4) Paulette Goddard
Paulette Goddard in a knockout one shouldered gown-- I told you these clothes were killing it! Check her perfect forties' hair and how her shoes are more to match the color of said hair than anything in the dress. Knocking it out of the ballpark on this one, PG. I like the bold, black floral appliques and how cupcake-like she looks in the overall ensemble, with a sprinkling of moxie that reminds me of a slightly prettier but just as game Jinx Falkenberg. Did you know Goddard was married to Charlie Chaplin, who discovered her as a chorine on the MGM lot and put her in a starring role in his last (and one of THE last, of-the-period) silent films, Modern Times, and was the second choice to Vivien Leigh for the role of Scarlett O'Hara in Gone With the Wind? You can see her screen test here; while casting Leigh was a flawless decision in my book, it's interesting to think of what that movie would have been like with Goddard as the heroine.
5) Teresa Wright
Ok, best ensemble award, bar none, goes to Teresa Wright. Are you seeing her novelty print dress? THE DESIGN IS ARCHITECTURAL BLUE PRINTS. I tried like heck to find something similar to this online, but kept coming up with "blue" prints, as in print-dresses that also happened to be blue. What I would give for Miss Wright's square necked, shoulder padded piece of MARVELOUS to wear as my very own! I like the red belt and black shoes, too, but can't get over the actual fabric of the dress, it's killing me. How cute!!! I might like Wright best as the daughter against Bette Davis's witchy, regal, and eventually diabolical Regina in The Little Foxes.
So! What are your thoughts? Which dress is your favorite? Are any of these actresses particularly familiar to you from a beloved movie or a haphazard afternoon big show airing of one of their films? Are you a Lipton tea fan or a dyed-in-the-grounds coffee fanatic like myself? Let's talk!
I have to get back to work, but have a great Thursday and I'll see you tomorrow for Photo Friday. Til then!