Thursday, January 27, 2011

Hollywood and Fashion: Mae West and Elsa Schiaparelli



Whenever I am doing a search for Schiaparelli items on both eBay and etsy, bottles of Shocking always seem to pop up. I really love the design of the bottle and thought my readers would enjoy learning more about the perfume, just as I did.


In my research, I came across several stories that all told pretty much the same tale. As legend has it, when Mae West was set to start working on her 1937 film, Every Day's A Holiday, she contracted Elsa Schiaparelli to make the gowns for the film. (See still below for a tiny look at the film's wardrobe. The film is only available on VHS and I have been since searching for a copy to be able to view these great designs!) West was dead set on having Schiaparelli make the gowns for the film, but Elsa refused to come to Hollywood for fittings. In order to solve this, West had a dress form of her body sent to Elsa. Upon first look of the form, Elsa is reported to have said "shocking." Apparently, this was her inspiration for her next perfume, which debuted in 1937. The bottle was designed to look like West's dress form and the name taken from Elsa's reaction to first seeing the form. Great story huh?

Although I really want to see this film, it will be hard to know if the gowns used in the film are the actual works of Schiaparelli or not. As the rest of the story goes, once the costumes arrived in Hollywood, they did not fit and I am not sure if they were let out and used in the film or not. There doesn't seem to be much information out there on the web. I am sure that the archives in L.A. have detailed records of this, but for now, it will just be left to mystery. Even though West wanted to continue to use Paris designers for her films to follow, she employed the help of Walter Plunkett instead, ultimately rescuing his dwindling career. Following his work on Gown with the Wind (1939), many producers refused to hire him, thinking his services would be too pricey. So, to avoid any further fitting problems on this film, West went with a U.S. designer. When Plunkett appeared for their first meeting, West greeted him absolutely naked and said "Walter, I'd like you to see what you're working with." What a woman!

Emily

21 comments:

Danièle said...

Great post!

Missy Vintage said...

ohhhh those pics are such full on glorious glamour, thanks for sharing.

BaronessVonVintage said...

how fascinating!! Hope you find out more about this! PS: I had to giggle at the fact you typed "Gown with the Wind" not because I'm trying to be a mean snob laughing at a typo, but because it is so adorable--and that is what it SHOULD be called...HEHEwritten like a true vintage fashion lover

Emily said...

I didn't even notice that as I scanned for errors. I totally agree, it SHOULD have been called that. :)

GARAGE SALE GAL said...

LOVE the bottle!!
You make a cute waitress :)
Deb

Naked Playwright said...

Nice pictures of MAE WEST and the curvy perfume bottle! Come up and see Mae, honey . . . MaeWest.blogspot.com

Hourglass Style said...

I've always Loved Mae West.

Hourglass Style said...

Great Post by the way!

alice asd said...

cheap ray ban sunglasses
air jordan
cheap ray ban sunglasses
pandora bracelet
rolex replica watches
cheap uggs
washington redskins jerseys
cheap ray ban sunglasses
longchamp sale
pandora charms

raybanoutlet001 said...

ray ban sunglasses
ugg boots
oakley sunglasses
ugg outlet
replica watches
pandora outlet
gucci sito ufficiale
hugo boss suits
nike shoes
ray ban sunglasses outlet

raybanoutlet001 said...

polo ralph lauren
oakley sunglasses
chargers jerseys
true religion outlet
uggs outlet
christian louboutin outlet
true religion outlet store
cheap jordan shoes
air jordan 4
ray ban sunglasses

raybanoutlet001 said...

oakley sunglasses
hugo boss outlet
michael kors uk
san antonio spurs
coach factory outlet
seattle seahawks jerseys
chiefs jersey
ralph lauren uk
ralph lauren polo
coach outlet online

Fghkfhk Dfgaert said...

qzz0416
christian louboutin outlet
chicago bulls
true religion outlet
christian louboutin shoes
cheap oakley sunglasses
canada goose outlet
nike shoes
bills jerseys
miami heat jersey
ralph lauren polo

dongua xie said...

lebron james shoes
goyard handbags
balenciaga sneakers
links of london sale
http://www.kobeshoes.uk
nike huarache
nike air max
yeezy boost 350
lacoste outlet
nike roshe

Fghkfhk Dfgaert said...

qzz0530
swarovski crystal
longchamp bags
jerseys from china
mishka clothing
canada goose outlet
oakley sunglasses
ugg outlet
miu miu handbags
mulberry bags
wizards jerseys

Yaro Gabriel said...

www0621

world cup jerseys
canada goose outlet
kate spade outlet
reebok outlet store
christian louboutin outlet
coach handbags
michael kors
louboutin pas cher
hermes outlet
nike shoes

Yaro Gabriel said...

www0727


nike soldes
nike tn pas cher
tn pas cher
adidas nmd runner
adidas nmd
off white clothing brand
off white clothing
off-white clothing
off white jordan 1
off white shoes





4578 said...

0801jejeIl asics gel nimbus 9 test n'y a pas d'exception pour les stars d'Hollywood. Eh asics gel lyte femme bleu marine bien, tout d'abord, ces deux nike femme air max 1 essential beige nouveaux Kelty Child Carriers offrent toujours les nike baskets air revolution sky hi femme blanche mêmes caractéristiques qui ont fait asics chaussure homme running le porte-bébé Kelty si populaire au départ.

Xu千禧 said...

qwtw0822golden goose sneakers
pandora jewelry
nba jerseys
manolo blahnik shoes
ugg boots clearance
cheap jordan shoes
louboutin shoes
moncler online outlet
jordan shoes
ralph lauren outlet

Yaro Gabriel said...

www0911


ralph lauren polo
yeezy boots 350
ugg boots
vibram five fingers
moncler outlet
jordans
tod's outlet
christian louboutin outlet
reebok outlet
ecco shoes

Yaro Gabriel said...

WWW1015
coach outlet online
coach outlet
true religion jeans
adidas clothing
moncler jackets
canada goose outlet
ugg outlet
canada goose outlet
off white shoes
christian louboutin shoes