Friday, January 22, 2010

Film Fashion Friday: Best Foot Forward (1943)

Welcome to week two of actress month! This week's Lucy film is a musical from 1943, Best Foot Forward. This is such a cute film!! It focuses around this military school boy who writes to Lucille Ball to be his date to prom. Since Lucy's career is becoming a flop, her agent suggests that she accepts the invitation in order to get some positive publicity. After she gets to the school, a crazy chain of events happen making for much laughter. Desi said that he thought this was Lucy's best film and I can see why. Lucy's "cameo" role is really humorous in her own dry comedic way. This film is a definite must see for the Lucy fan!

What really makes this film great is the super stylish costumes put together by Irene. Irene began her career in the early thirties and continued to work into the early sixties. She worked a lot with Judy Garland and had a hand in some of the great musicals from the '30s. What caught my eye most about this film is the great attention to detail. Every outfit had coordinating shoes and bags, not to mention the spectacular hats! This keen eye for a complete look is something Irene is known for and can be seen in many of her films. What little may know (and I just found this out myself) is Irene was among some of the Hollywood costume designers that made custom clothing for wealthy clients. I am really interested to see if any of her civilian clothing has survived!

A year before Best Foot Forward came out, Lucy was appearing in theaters in The Big Street (1942). While this film is a little hard to watch at times, with all the "your highness" stuff, there are a few standout costumes. Lucy plays a full-of-herself showgirl that becomes paralyzed in a freak accident. Henry Fonda is Lucy's semi-obsessed fan who comes to her aid, for which Lucy is not grateful at all. Setting aside the difficulty factor, I really enjoyed the costumes. Renie did the gowns for the cast and Freddy Wittop created Lucy's showgirl gown, both showing their talents. This film is worth checking out for the beach pajamas Lucy dons and the golden snood Marion Martian wears in the conclusion.

Stop by next week for more stylish Lucy films!

And don't forget to post a question in Q & A post. I've already gotten some really fun questions! Answers will be posted Monday.



BaronessVonVintage said...

Fabulous post. Lucille looks her absolute most gorgeous in this film in my opinion...and Irene's costumes are just out of this world gorgeous. I agree it would be amazing to see if there are some of those "civilian" pieces still around. If you find any, please do post!!!

Amy said...

Lucy looks so beautiful in the pictures you posted. I loved the longer sparkly jacket she is wearing in the top pic.

Although I love her, Lucy is not my favorite. What about Jane Russell. Now there's a gal I can relate to. Any news on her? I know, I know, she's not who was picked. Ok, well, when you get a chance, fill us all in.

Thanks, Sugar.


Heidi Ann said...

I love the posts you do about films- I am an old movie buff, too. It seems like it has been such a long time since I have seen any. We don't get Turner Classic Movies, or any stations that show the ones I'd like to see!, and we never rent movies. Used to be there were old movies on all the time, I miss it.

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