MAE WEST was a notable presence at "Hollywood Glamour: Fashion and Jewelry from the Silver Screen," a colorful exhibition that was on view at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston until 8 March 2015. After previewing this expensive display, Janet Zapata wrote an article for Antiques Magazine. This section of her feature focused on Mae West and her brand of style and chic.
• • "The democratization of glamour" • •
• • Jewelry historian Janet Zapata wrote: The actress who epitomized, or possibly caricatured, extravagance was Mae West. Her line "Without diamonds, honey, I'd feel undressed" encapsulates the importance of jewelry to her and to the film business of the period. If Dietrich radiated a sexy toughness, West was all diamond-encrusted excess, a conscious vulgarity that was meant to make her larger than life, though she was only five feet tall. All swagger and suggestiveness, in one publicity shot she wears multiple bracelets on each arm, a ring with a large cabochon gemstone on one hand, a diamond on the other, earrings, and multiple brooches pinned to her décolleté. ... The two-part diamond bracelet joined by two trefoil connectors in Figure 8 may be one of the bracelets she is wearing in the studio photograph.
• • Gemstones set into ample geometrically designed mountings • •
• • Janet Zapata continued: Suites of jewelry radiating a pronounced glamour of excess were popular. West's aquamarine and diamond set . . . consists of a bracelet, brooch, and ring in the art moderne style of the late 1930s and early 1940s, which was characterized by large gemstones set into ample geometrically designed mountings. . . .
• • Source: Excerpt from "The democratization of glamour" written by Janet Zapata for Antiques; published in September 2014. The magazine article shows several superb pieces of jewelry personally owned by Mae West. Outstanding.
• • On Saturday, 8 May 1926 • •
• • Unflattering comments about Mae West's play "Sex" (the phrase "street sweepings" was in the description) were printed in The New Yorker, their issue dated for Saturday, 8 May 1926. Aww. Somebody was not swayed by all that free beer Mae was pouring backstage. Tsk tsk.
• • On Tuesday, 8 May 1934 • •
• • Tuesday, 8 May 1934 Mae West recorded the ending of "My Old Flame." This collaboration between New York City lyricist Sam Coslow and composer Arthur Johnson was created for the motion picture "Belle of the Nineties." Backed by Duke Ellington and his Orchestra, Mae archived her performance in the recording studio. The Duke himself was on the piano.
• • On Saturday, 8 May 1937 • •
• • "Buxom Mae West Gives Trial Deposition" • •
• • An article by an Associated Press reporter that was published on Saturday, 8 May 1937 (in numerous newspapers) provided a Technicolor glimpse of the drama surrounding Mae West's "forgotten" 1911 trip to the altar.
• • On Wednesday, 8 May 1940 • •
• • An article about Mae West called "A Little Warm for Wax" was reprinted in Goulburn Evening Post [Australia] and published on Wednesday, 8 May 1940.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Owen Moore is back from New York to play with Mae West in her first Paramount starring vehicle, "Ruby Red." He is abandoning a personal appearance tour which started in Hollywood last April and which has taken him through the South and East.
• • Other cast assignments add Noah Beery, David Landau, and Dewey Robinson to this story of the rowdy nineties on the Bowery.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "If we can send a man to the moon, why don’t we send all of 'em?"
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • The Niagara Falls Gazette quoted Mae West.
• • There are no missing husbands in her life, she says, because "no guy ever led me to the altar." And that, said the buxom Mae decisively, goes for the startling discovery of a marriage license issued to a Mae West and a Frank Wallace in Milwaukee op April 11, 1911.
• • "Me a Milwaukee bride?" said Mae. "No — it must have been two other people." . . .
• • Source: Article in The Niagara Falls Gazette; published on Thursday, 25 April 1935
• • The Mae West Blog celebrates its 10th anniversary • •
• • Thank
you for reading, sending questions, and posting comments during this
past decade. The other day we entertained 3,497 visitors. And we reached a
milestone recently when we completed 3,100 blog posts. Wow!
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started ten years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 3174th blog post.
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• • Photo: • • Mae West • • with Owen Moore in 1932 • •
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