Showing posts with label Travis Banton. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Travis Banton. Show all posts

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Show you my wardrobe - Part two

I keep mentioning Hollywood glamour and staying in bed so I thought it only fitting that the next section of 'Show you my wardrobe' should be vintage nightgowns.  

These were all bought from estate sales in Hollywood or New York.  A couple were from Ebay in America.  I bought them from a lovely dealer I made friends with, a retired French horn player with the Metropolitan opera called Richard who was in is now in his early eighties.  Richard is now involved with a website called Silver Screen Loungerie.  He had (and still has) lots of amazing stuff and I bought quite a few pieces from him.  

I tend to go mental on buying one type of thing so I ended up with a bit of a collection.  All my girlfriends loved them so much I used to choose one for each of them as a Birthday present.  They've all worn them out as dresses and they looked fabulous.

I also had a selection of Thirties silk and satin pyjamas and palazzo lounge pants which have all been given away too.  I always preferred the nightgowns and kept the ones I'd wear.

All the pieces below are from the Thirties.  There's nothing better than lounging around or sleeping in a silk nightgown, they are so soft and comfortable.  I started buying them in the early Nineties and they cost the equivalent of between £25 and £75 today.  It wasn't fashionable to buy vintage then, so they were quite reasonable.

Once again I shall make excuses for my photography...  As usual I was fiddling around with camera settings as it was hard to get enough light.  I was up and down like a yoyo, I had all the lights on and off, shutters open and closed and finally wheeled out the decorators light.  I will find my camera manual and actually read it, I promise!

The fabulous Carole Lombard wearing a satin gown by Travis Banton

Tallulah Bankhead - I loved her dry humour and her clothes

Jean Harlow - The original Blonde Bombshell.  The legendary Hollywood costume designer Adrian made her fabulous creations

Cream silk satin dressing gown with lace trim with vintage cream marabou stole

I'm trying to go for the Jean Harlow thing here

Cream silk satin dressing gown with lace trim and bow

It looks much shinier than it actually is in this picture

Pale peach bias cut charmeuse silk satin nightgown with pale blue applique

And a scalloped necline

Powder pink bias cut silk nightgown with lace details

With lace angel sleeves

And a low lace V back

Peach bias cut silk satin nighgown with pale coffee and cream coloured lace flower details

And a little pocket

Powder pink bias cut silk nightgown with embroidery

And cap sleeves

Lightest pink bias cut silk nightgown with embroidery

And silk tie shoulders

Black bias cut silk chiffon nightgown with lace

The flash has made it look a bit more see through 

It has some lovely applique on the front

I wore this out to a party in the early Nineties with a backless body underneath.  I must have thought I was Cher or something!!  I think I'd put a slip under it now...

Have a wonderful Sunday xxx

For part three of 'Show you my wardrobe' CLICK HERE

Monday, 25 January 2010

Hollywood Icons - Carole Lombard

"I've lived by a man's code, designed to fit a man's world, yet at the same time I never forget that a woman's first job is to choose the right shade of lipstick"

Carole Lombard

Carole Lombard was born Jane Alice Peters in Fort Wayne, Indiana in 1908. One of three children, her parents separated when she was young and she moved to California with her Mother.

Her career spanned from silent movies to the talkies, getting her first break in 1921. She possessed a unique blend of sophisticated glamour, intelligence, wit and great talent as an actress. Off screen she drank and smoked and was "one of the boys." Director Mitchell Liesen said of her "We called her the Profane Angel, because she looked like an angel but she swore like a sailor. She was the only woman I knew who could tell a dirty story without losing her feminity."

In 1937 she was so in demand from the studios she became the highest paid star (male or female) in Hollywood, earning around $500,000 a year - five times the salary of the American President.

The film studios must have spent millions on photography in those days. The lighting cameramen, make up artists and hairdressers did an amazing job creating some flawless, stunning pictures. Here is Carole Lombard's life, mostly in pictures.

Carole Lombard Gallery




Photographed by Cecil Beaton

With Cary Grant and the Marx Brothers

With Shirley Temple

With Cary Grant and Noel Coward

With Robert Montgomery

With Cary Grant and Kay Francis

The clothes

Most of Carole's clothes were made by Travis Banton (1894-1958), one of the most powerful and famous costume designers in Hollywood. Travis Banton dressed all the big stars; Marlene Dietrich, Mae West, Claudette Colbert, Clara Bow, Betty Grable, Rita Hayworth, Joan Fontaine and Merle Oberon.

He was responsible for streamlining Carole's look by designing her fabulous bias cut dresses and created great silhouettes using fur, feathers, silk, satin and lace.

Carole's house on Hollywood Boulevard in the 1930's

The Lovers

George Raft

Carole and George Raft dated between 1930-32. George Raft was a huge Hollywood hearthrob at the time. They also starred in two movies together.

With Gloria Swanson and George Raft

George Raft visits Carol on set

Carole and Russ Colombo

Russ Columbo

American singer Russ Columbo and Carole met at one of her legendary Hollywood parties in 1932, had a major love affair and he proposed. Unfortunately while he was visiting a friend who collected antique pistols one went of and a bullet ricocheted and landed in Colombo's skull, killing him instantly. Lombard told reporters that Columbo was the love of her life.

Following Columbo's death, Lombard hosted one last party which was supposed to be her final party as one of Hollywood's most extravagant hostesses. She rented an amusement park and invited almost everyone she'd ever come into contact with.

Gary Cooper

Drop-dead gorgeous Gary Cooper was as famous for his film career as he was for his many romances with the leading actresses of the day. He also famously turned down the part of Rhett Butler in Gone WiAlign Leftth the Wind saying it would be the biggest flop Hollywood has ever seen.

With Gary Cooper and Shirley Temple

With Gary Cooper


William Powell

Lombard and sophisticated actor Powell were married for two years between 1931 and 1933. They continued to work in films together after they divorced and remained very good friends.

With William Powell

"Bill Powell was the only intelligent actor I ever met"
Carole Lombard

Clark Gable

Clark Gable was known as "The King of Hollywood." In his long film career he starred opposite the most popular actresses of the time; Joan Crawford was his favourite actress to work with and they starred together in eight films, Myrna Loy seven times, Jean Harlow six times, Lana Turner four times and Norma Shearer two. He was the biggest male star of the thirties and was second only to the top box office draw of all, Shirley Temple.

Filming with Clark Gable, 1932

Lombard and Gable first met in 1932 while making the picture No Man of Her Own. Both were married. Gable's wife was a well-to-do Texas widow ten yearrs his senior who he had married the year before after divorcing a drama coach. Lombard was married to William Powell. They showed no interest in each other at the time.

Their next meeting of importance was at a party given by the Countess di Frasso and John Hay Whitney in 1935. By this time Carole was divorced and Gable was no longer living with his wife. The guests had been asked to come in something white. Lombard arrived in a white ambulance wearing a white nightdress, lying on stretcher. She was carried into the Whitney mansion by three men dressed in white!

Gable and Lombard were inseparable all evening. Later she had the ambulance decorated with a red heart and sent it to Gable. He had the motor supercharged and drove around in in for two years. He reciprocated with a gift of a fire engine!

Their Beverley Hills house

As soon as Gables divorce was granted on 7th March 1939 they immediately married. They lived in a house in Beverley Hills until moving to their perfect home, a ranch in Encino, California.

The entrance to their ranch in Encino

At the premiere of Gone With the Wind 1939

Lombard was far the richer, her income much more than his studio salary and he had just been through an expensive divorce. They lived an unpretentious life at their ranch keeping horses and chickens. It was the happiest time for both of them.

Carole Lombard addressing a war bonds rally in 1941

Carole had just finished her 57th movie To Be Or Not To Be and had been on a tour where she sold $2m dollars in war bonds ending in her home town of Indiana. Keen to get back to Gable as quickly as possible she took a plane instead of the planned train with her mother and press agent Otto Winkler. Both Otto and Carole's mother Bessie were terrified of flying so it was decided on the flip of a coin whether they took a plane or train. On 16th January 1942 after refuelling the plane tragically crashed just outside Las Vegas killing all nineteen passengers and three crew. Gable was devasted and inconsolable, blaming himself for her death. He began to drink heavily which continued throughout his life. To try to distract himself from her death he joined the air force but never recovered from the shock of losing her.

Although Gable remarried he continued to live on the ranch in Encino for the rest f his life and when he died he was interred in the crypt next to Lombard in the cemetary in Glendale California.

Many believed that had she lived she would have been more famous than Marilyn Monroe such was her star at the time.

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