Tuesday, February 6, 2007


Movie marathon last night. Suspicion (1941) with Cary Grant and Joan Fontaine. He is perfect and can do no wrong~ she had the best cheekbones in Hollywood! This is another Alfred Hitchcock classic with a great ending. I wasn't impressed with her wardrobe until the scene where they come back from a dinner party at Isobel's and Joan is wearing the most beautiful full length fitted coat with two sequin appliqu├ęs; one on the shoulder and the other around her waist. Gorgeous! Cary Grant looked amazingly dapper in his pin stripe suits and it was a nice change to see him play a dramatic role, he can pull it off. Mel Berns, makeup & Edward Stevenson, costumes.

Mr. & Mrs. Smith (1941) with Carole Lombard and Robert Taylor. I don't particularly care for Carole Lombard, but I was curious to see how Alfred Hitchcock does light comedy and she fit right in. Robert Taylor and the supporting cast were delightful! It was cute and every now and then you could sense a Hitchcock type moment with direction and dialogue. Her wardrobe was fantastic and elegant, all of her boudoir ensembles were luxurious satin creations like slips and gentlemen's style pajamas. Sidenote- Carole could have benefited from some bangs. Irene, costumes.

Laura, (1944) with Gene Tierney was directed by Otto Preminger and is a fantastic murder mystery~ a real who done it. A very good ensemble cast including a pre-villainous Vincent Price. Gene's face is flawless and she had some eyelashes, alright! No wonder she had her share of suitors in this movie. Who could blame them? So striking is Laura that the detective called in to solve her murder falls in love with her after seeing her portrait. The gowns were lovely of course as they usually are in film noir. Guy Pearce, makeup & Bonnie Cashin, costumes.

I love watching classic movies and try to see ones I have always heard about, especially the dramas and film noirs. I normally like romances and comedies. I was raised on black & white movies and the Three Stooges (I love Curly) and an appreciation for that time period. Last month I saw many movies such as the Thin Man series~ how could I have gone this long without having seen them I will never know. Hilarious!! Who doesn't want to be Nick or Nora Charles?

I will tell you that the one movie that started the ball rolling was Top Hat with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. I remember being very very young and going to The Palace Theatre to see Top Hat on the big screen and I was hooked. All I have to say is Ginger Roger's ostrich feather dress! I read in her biography that it was light blue and she begged to wear it, and said it would look amazing on film while dancing and she was right. Fred was against it at first because feathers flew everywhere while they where dancing, but pleased with the results. I have seen so many old movies and could never tire of them. I couldn't begin to list my favorites! Even the bad ones seem good just for the sake of looking at the costumes, hair & makeup and performances.

I love to read the credits and research who people were. There were so many talented costume designers, makeup and hair people. Along with Irene, some other amazing designers were Adrian, Edith Head, Travis Banton and Orry-Kelly. Edith Head trained under Travis Banton and her biography is amazing! Interesting to note that Adrian created the shoulder pad look for Joan Crawford out of necessity for her to be comfortable in her gowns, as she had large shoulders. These designers were masters at concealing flaws and creating and accentuating features. During the Golden Era, Hollywood was the fashion trendsetter. What ever the studio designers were creating on screen was what the public emulated. It wasn't until later on during Dior's New Look phase and the breakdown of the studio system that independant designers created trendsetting fashions. It takes a lot of work to produce the most beautiful and talented people of the classic era!


Sunday, February 4, 2007


I love Old Hollywood glamour! Being a makeup artist I often find inspiration from the 20's-50's, especially the Golden Era. My favorite photographer George Hurrell, captured a moment in time where everyone and everything was beautiful and striking. One of his regular subjects was Joan Crawford, whom he used on his business card in the early 30's. There was a Hurrell photography exhibit at The Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA and it was amazing~ so many images I have never seen before. Some photographers come close to recreating his style but there will only be one Hurrell, a true legend.

I am fortunate to currently live in the Hollywood area and try to notice and appreciate all the details, architecture and history it has to offer. Art Deco is the best! While Los Angeles is small in terms of high fashion (the kind of makeup I usually do) compared to NYC, it does have a large retro revival scene. There are so many people, places and things dedicated to the love of this period. Vintage, Burlesque, Jazz, Pinups, etc. I'll try to post some links and info.

Makeup from the 1920's- 1950's is so great~ I am a little tired of the nude/bronzy and smokey eye looks. Give me arched brows and red lips anyday. (Although, I must admit that the natural brows on most of these fashion models are great.) I have done some retro & vintage inspired makeup from time to time, would like to do more. If only I was a Westmore! For those who don't know, Max Factor and the Westmore family were the leaders in modern makeup as we know it today. Max Factor started out as a wigmaker and inventor of modern cosmetics in the early 1900's and by 1914 was revolutionizing Hollywood movie makeup with false eyelashes, lipgloss and pancake makeup. George Westmore started the first movie studio makeup department in 1917, and his 6 sons followed suit. During the Golden Era, every major movie studio had a Westmore heading the Makeup/Hair Department. The Westmores were also leaders in the prosthetics and special FX makeup and are currently on the 4th generation of makeup artists.

If you are a makeup artist or hair stylist I highly recommend getting their books- I couldn't be without them! Max Factor's Hollywood Glamour, Movies, Make-Up by Fred E. Basten, Robert Salvatore, and Paul A. Kaufman & The Westmores of Hollywood by Frank Westmore. It's important to know the history of our craft and appreciate what they did for the industry.

I adore Dita Von Teese~ she is the perfect combination of Old Hollywood Glamour and a bit of modern fashion; she just walked in the Gaultier Spring Couture show. This is one of my favorite pictures of her as it has a 30's feel, which is my favorite decade. She normaly goes for the 40's look and usually does her own hair and makeup for all of her performances, shoots and events. She is an amazing performer and the leader in the Old Hollywood Glamour revival. She grew up like a lot of us, loving black & white movies, vintage fashions, movie stars and the glamour surrounding them. Wanting to live her life in that fashion, she created the life she desired and made it happen!

I will post about things I love: makeup and fashion, vintage, Old Hollywood stars and movies and favorite people, places and things.