Eighty-two years ago MAE WEST sashayed into a glorious phase of her career. That was her big Broadway bonanza in 1928 — — and a gem it was.
• • "Diamond Lil" debuted at the Royale Theatre [242 West 45th Street, NYC 10036] on 9 April 1928. It was a box office success as well as a favorite with drama critics.
• • Though Mae had worn contemporary styles as Margy LaMont in "Sex," she situated her 1928 script on the Bowery [New York City] during the Gay Nineties. Even after the show's run, Diamond Lil would become the actress's enduring persona.
• • Engaging gowns designed by the British costumer Dolly Tree [1899— 1962] balanced Mae West's scarlet sisterhood style with a glamorous touch that made her more appealing to a middle-class audience.
• • Floor-sweeping creations featured the hour-glass waist, revealing cleavage, frills and flounces, feather boas, and 1890-ish accessories that have meshed with Mae West's iconic image.
• • Dolly Tree also worked with Mae West on the costumes for another project staged on Broadway in 1928: The Pleasure Man.
• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
• • Photo: • • Mae West as Diamond Lil • • 1928 • •
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