Friday, February 25, 2011

Film Fashion Friday: Fashion Show February: Fashions of 1934 (1934)

Here is the second film for this week that is not currently on DVD. My copy is kinda poor, so the screen caps are not the best, but you get the idea. Again, as with the other movie from this week, this one appears on TCM and I do have a copy that I am willing to share! :)


William Powell.....Sherwood Nash
Bette Davis.....Lynn Mason
Frank McHugh.....Snap
Hugh Herbert.....Joe Ward
Verree Teasdale.....Grand Duchess Alix

Gowns by Orry-Kelly
Directed by William Dieterle

Sherwood Nash is a swindler who bootlegs Paris fashions for sale at cut-rate prices. His assistant Lynn poses as An American interested in a dress and Snap conceals a camera in his cane. When they try to steal the latest Baroque designs hidden cameras capture them. Threat and counterthreat lead to the suggestion of putting on a legitimate show. (Taken from IMDb)

Fashion Review
While I have only shared screen caps from the two different fashion show sequences, this film is packed full of fabulous mid-30s fashion. Not only are the models in the different fashion shows dressed to die for, so is Bette Davis. I am also loving the cute hairstyle she sports throughout the film, a slightly longer style than one normally sees with the 30s. Davis also wears a few hats throughout the film that I wish I could steal. I know Joan Crawford is normally the one out of the two that gets credited as the clotheshorse and I am not one to argue, however, this film proves that there are times when Bette sure can hold her own! I seriously love all the edgy 30s fashion that this film produces. If you get a chance to see it, I definitely would, especially if you are really into this decade. Plus, it is a great example of William Powell's 30s films that aren't in the Thin Man series. :)

Fashions of 1934 showcases the earlier work of Orry-Kelly. Did this man know how to design a gown or what? I love his work and the first time I watched this film, I knew I was going to be in for some serious eye candy when I saw his name on the credits. The cut of all these dresses in this film, whether they are formal or casual, for the models or for the characters within the film, are simply spectacular and showcase the classic 30s form that we normally think of when we think of this era. Plus, his dresses really flatter each actress too. I have written more about Orry-Kelly HERE. Please do take a look if you are interested in knowing more!

Fashion Show Review
Boy do you get a heck of a bang for your buck with this film! You get not one, but two fashion show sequences, plus Bette Davis, who sports some excellent style. What I love about this movie is we first get the traditional fashion show sequence that all of the other films included in this series have done as well. They are either at a boutique or home or someplace where one would normally see a fashion show. Then in the second half of the movie, we get a special treat and are presented a second show that is really unique to anything I have seen in the other fashion show movies. The scene goes like this: we are first presented with a painting, part of that painting is lifted like a screen, to reveal another painting that is semi sheer and we begin to see the model, finally this screen is lifted and we see the whole model and she poses in her little box. The models are on some kind of a carousal that revolves, making it so they are stationery. I am reminded here of the scene in Singin' in the Rain, however, as one film historian points out, this scene is more of a vehicle of the musical sequence rather than a full on fashion show. The fashion show in Fashions of 1934 is really unique and displays the wonderful gowns by Orry-Kelly in a lovely fashion! :)