Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Mae West: Shocking Elsa

MAE WEST worked with the Italian designer Elsa Schiaparelli, who was born on Wednesday, September 10th (three years before Mae).
• • Elsa Schiaparelli [10 September 1890 — 13 November 1973] • •
• • Elsa Schiaparelli was the leading Parisian fashion designer of the 1920s and 1930s after Coco Chanel.
• • Schiaparelli was born in Rome, Italy of Italian and Egyptian heritage. She was a great-niece of Giovanni Schiaparelli, who discovered the canals of Mars.
• • In addition to apparel, Schiaparelli designed perfumes. The first and best known — — Shocking — — was created in 1936. Shocking is famous less for the fragrance itself than for its packaging: inside a shocking pink box, the bottle was shaped like a woman's torso — — and based on the curvaceous body of one of Schiaparelli's clients, film star Mae West.
• • Using a mannequin based on Mae West's measurements, Elsa Schiaparelli created the gowns and costumes the Hollywood star wore in her 1937 comedy "Every Day's a Holiday," Mae's most expensive film to date.
• • No longer a la mode after World War 2, Elsa's business faltered; The House of Schiaparelli was closed on 13 December 1954.
• • Elsa Schiaparelli died in Paris on Tuesday, 13 November 1973. She was 80.
• • On Saturday, 10 September 1921 • •
• • "The Mimic World," a musical revue Mae West performed in, opened on 17 August 1921 at the Century Promenade Roof on Central Park West at West 62nd Street.  Originally designed as a rehearsal space, this outdoor auditorium could seat 500.
• • "The Mimic World" closed on Saturday night, 10 September 1921.
• • In 1930, the building was razed to make way for the Century Apartments.
• • One of the musicians behind "The Mimic World" was Owen Murphy [2 September 1893 — 3 April 1965].  A composer, writer, and lyricist, Owen Murphy was born in September in Mt. Clemens, Michigan.  During her Hollywood years, Mae would visit Mt. Clemens for the healing mineral springs.
• • On Wednesday, 10 September 1980 • •
• • It was on Wednesday, September 10th that the news media reported that a stroke had caused Mae West to suffer a speech impairment. At the time, she and Paul Novak were registered in Good Samaritan Hospital under the press-dodging names of Gloria and Paul Drake. The Los Angeles sunshine invaded their private room, flooding the floor with fractured light.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • With Mae West starting the proceedings by remote control from Hollywood on Saturday night, Hollywood-at-the-Fair opened at the Chicago Fair with its new setup under the head of 0. W. Rosenthal and Raymond D. Berry.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "I wouldn't do a picture if it weren't right for me."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • The Film Daily mentioned Mae West.
• • "Paramount-Capitol Pool Indefinitely Postponed" • •
• • "Indefinitely postponed" is the way officials of the companies involved described the status of the pooling deal between the New York Paramount and Capitol. They insisted, however, that the deal is only deferred and not "off."
• • Reason for the postponement is understood to be because "It Ain't No Sin," the new Mae West picture which was to go into the Capitol as the first Paramount picture under the arrangement, will not be ready for release as originally scheduled owing to the necessity of retakes. The pooling deal is reported planned for one year.
• • Source: Item in Film Daily; published on Thursday, 28 June 1934   
• • The Mae West Blog celebrates its 10th anniversary • •    
• • Thank you for reading, sending questions, and posting comments during this past decade. 
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started ten years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 3001st blog post. Unlike many blogs, which draw upon reprinted content from a newspaper or a magazine and/ or summaries, links, or photos, the mainstay of this blog is its fresh material focused on the life and career of Mae West, herself an American original.

• • Come up and see Mae every day online:

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• • Mae West in 1937

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