Friday, July 30, 2010

Ladies Prefer Beautiful Clothes

I popped in one of my favorite movies the other day, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (Twentieth Century Fox, 1953), and decided to pick out my top three favorite outfits from the film (I won't include Marilyn Monroe's pink satin number, since I already covered it in a previous post, although this time around I noticed she is wearing beautiful black rhinestone heels that I adore). 

My first favorite outfit is the black pant suit and jacket worn by Jane Russell's character, Dorothy Shaw during their voyage to Europe. I especially love the shoes she is wearing, the design is timeless. During the scene Dorothy Shaw leaves Lorelei Lee (played by Marilyn Monroe) scheming with the passenger list of the ship to peruse the pool and work out area where she finds the Olympic athletes that are traveling overseas on the ship. She begins a choreographed singing and dancing number called "Ain't there anyone here for love?" (which by the way ends with Jane Russell in the pool, which was purportedly an accident that the director liked and included in the final cut). The pant suit looks to be a two piece with a corseted halter top and a matching swing coat that has a black and white checkered pattern with a striking yellow lining. It caught my eye immediately. I noticed that Jane Russell wore a lot of black in this movie, but I think it goes really well with her hair, skin tone, and makeup. Plus, I love her quote "I like a man who can run faster than I can".

Another outfit I love is Jane Russell's black lace cocktail dress that she wears one of the nights for dinner and dancing. At this point Dorothy Shaw is being wooed by the private investigator who is on board trying to get incriminating information on Lorelei Lee (he is hired by the father of Lorelei Lee's rich fiance). The dress is in a tea-length ballgown style with long sleeves and a matching black lace shawl that she uses to cover her head once they walk near the ship's railing and the wind and cold are kicking up. I think it is very indicative of the styles during this time period, but at the same time it's a classic look that could very easily be pulled off today.

Finally, the dress suit Marilyn Monroe's character wears when they arrive in Paris is very chic. It appears to be a navy blue color with a white collar, matching navy beret, white gloves, and fur stole. I think the combination of navy blue and white works really well. The suit is both sexy and classy on Marilyn. This is another example of how well the wardrobe was matched with the scenes, plot and pace of the movie, and I liked how both Jane Russell and Marilyn Monroe played off each other with their outfits.

More than anything what I admire about all of the clothing in this movie is the attention to detail. All of the accessories are immaculate - from the earrings to the nail polish, shoes, shawls, stoles, hair styles and everything in between. For this, and for many other reasons, this is one of my favorite movies.

Photograph of Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell taken on set of the movie
(Photograph: Edward Clark; LIFE Photo Archive)
"If we can't empty his pockets between us, then we're not worthy of the name Woman".
(Quote from the movie)

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