First, let me apologize for my lateness in putting out this week's film selections. I had the day off of work and took advantage of that to get a lot of errands done and stop by a few estate sales--something I don't normally get a chance to do on Fridays!! Anyways, I am so excited to share this week's films and fashion designer. The main film this week is Wife Versus Secretary (1936). Ever since I saw Public Enemies (2009) this summer, I have really gotten into the look of the '30s. This film features really awesome outfits from the mid-30's.....these outfits are just to die for!!!!
The costumes were designed by Dolly Tree. Miss Tree designed costumes and coordinated wardrobes for over 130 movies during her movie career and some of likes include several Joan Crawford favorites and a few of the movies from the Thin Man series. Miss Tree began her career in Europe in the theatre the costume department. She is created with creating Mae West's signature 1890's look in her 1920's films and is believed to be the first designer to use the strapless gown.
Tree worked for MGM and designed looks for some of the big leading ladies of the 30's; including Jean Harlow and Myrna Low, and later for Judy Garland and Rosalind Russell. I was so excited to feature a film with her designs because I am sure vintage lovers have seen a film with her costumes and just didn't know it was hers. Tree was often overshadowed by other costume designers at MGM, mainly Adrian. I really recommend checking out some more of her movies, her eye and flare for glamour are spot on.
Wife Versus Secretary stars Clark Gable as a New York business man and Mryna Loy as his wife. Jean Harlow plays Gable's secretary. There is also a small, but memorable preformance by James Stewart, as Harlow's boyfriend. As the title suggests, this becomes a love triangle of sorts, without Gable actually engaging in a romantic relationship with Harlow--it is just assumed by the general public that he has cheated on Loy, thus creating a rift between the married couple. I love this film, not only for the great costumes but also because it is a lovable screwball comedy. I just wanted to point out one really great scene, the one pictured above, because it features mostly extras dressed in everyday leisure clothing indicative of the 30's. They are on an ice skating rink, so they have on winter type clothing--prefect to copy now that colder weather has arrived!!!
This week's honorable mention is one of my favorite period films, The War Bride (2001). This movie is the story about a war bride and her trials and successes as she tries to fit in with her husband's family while he is away at war. This is truly a lovely film in every sense of the word. The costumes/accessories are very right on and true to the era, as well as the make-up and hair styling. Some of the costumes remind me a little bit of the ones in The Edge of Love (2008). I highly recommend this movie, and it along with all of the others mentioned in this post are available on DVD and Netflix. Public Enemies will be coming out on DVD in December!!!