Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Mae West: 1934 Decolletage

MAE WEST was lavishly dressed by Travis Banton for her 1934 Paramount Pictures production, "Belle of the Nineties," in which she was supposed to wear about 20 costumes from this romantic period.  This article appeared and focused on the dresses and their Gibson Girl mode.
• • "Mae West-ian'' Styles • •
• • New Trend in Fashion World • •
• • The fashion world is due for another "Mae West-ian" cycle. This news broke In Hollywood recently when style scouts reviewed the designs which Travis Banton. Paramount Pictures designer, discussed with them and described as the "1934 Gibson Girl Mode."
• • In Mae West's current Paramount production, "Belle of the Nineties," she will wear about 20 costumes from this romantic period. This revival of the Gibson girl is expected to cause the same international fashion revolution Miss West's "gay ninety" styles caused,  Hollywood style-making authorities disclosed.
• • The famous "dust ruffles" of that period • •
• • The famous "dust ruffles" of that period have been used in many of Banton's designs.  In that age, when the sight of a feminine ankle caused a terrific uproar, women coquettishly managed to have several layers of lacey ruffles supporting the hems of their dresses, and were always careful to lift these just a little bit higher than was necessary to keep them from dragging in the dust. In this coming summer's fashions, such a revival is bound to be accepted enthusiastically, Banton predicts. Women have already shown a willingness to admit the petticoat, and modern girls will be delighted with a set of these ruffles as a "petticoat camouflage" it is believed.
• • Another relic of the Gibson girl • •
• • Another relic of the Gibson girl is the heart-shaped decolletage which Mae West will wear in several of her costumes in this production. This extremely low line comes at an opportune time, after the high-necked season which has just waned. The manner in which . . .
• • To be continued tomorrow.
• • Source: Article in the Sunday Times (Perth); published on Sunday, 26 August 1934.
• • On Friday, 26 August 1921 • •
• • "The Mimic World 1921" opened on 17 August 1921 and Jimmy Hussey's close friend, Jack Dempsey (another Irish-American) attended the premiere, and visited Mae West backstage after the show.
• • Clearly with Mae's approval and cooperation, Hussey penned the skit "The Trial of Shimmy Mae." Hussey himself played the judge as Mae demonstrated the shimmy in his topsy-turvy courtroom.
• • Variety tartly commented on 26 August 1921: "In a tent it would have been a riot."
• • On Thursday, 26 August 1954 • •
• • According to vintage newspaper ads, the roving "Mae West Revue" opened their performance schedule in Reno, Nevada starting on Thursday, 26 August 1954. 
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• •  You are received at her apartment by Paul, La West's constant companion, champion, and confidant.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said:  "I built up a loyal public in the theatre and I'm going to keep faith with my public in pictures."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • The Detroit News mentioned Mae West, featured at the Temple Theatre in Detroit.
• • Their entertainment critic, objecting to the suggestive lyrics of "And Then," complained: "This woman is all that is coarse in Eva Tanguay without that player's ability. Yet the audience howled for more." ...    
• • Source: Review in Detroit News; published on Tuesday, 26 August 1913  
• • The Mae West Blog celebrates its 11th anniversary • •    
• • Thank you for reading, sending questions, and posting comments during these past eleven years. The other day we entertained 3,497 visitors. And we reached a milestone recently when we completed 3,200 blog posts. Wow! 
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started ten years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 3253rd 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 1913

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