Thursday, August 27, 2015

Mae West: Born Coquette

MAE WEST was lavishly dressed by Travis Banton for her 1934 Paramount Pictures opus, "Belle of the Nineties," for which he created about 20 ravishing costumes for the leading lady.   This article was posted in two halves. This portion is Part 2.
• • "Mae West-ian'' Styles • •
• • New Trend in Fashion World • •
• • 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 Travis Banton has adapted the heart-shape to Miss West's elaborate formal gowns will delight the matron and the debutante alike, style authorities decree. One outstanding model in pink tulle has this low neckline, outlined in massive pink satin roses — — and with this, a large picture hat of pink tulle has a petal-scattered crown which is bound to cause quite a sensation in the millinery trend.
• • Brilliant embroidery • •
• • Brilliant embroidery in all-over designs is used in many instances In this collection for Mae West.  One gorgeous black velvet creation has diamond leaves embroidered in a diagonal pattern which gives a lavish effect.  This is designed In the off-shoulder manner of the period, and has the smallest puff-sleeves in fashion history.  This tiny sleeve was often used, according to Travis Banton, to accentuate the hour-glass silhouette and also serve to support the daring decolletage which had that "falling-off-at any-minute" look.
• • Another Trend • •
• • Another trend, which is expected to be re-established from Miss West's picture, is the use of the veil for practical purposes.  In the age of the Gibson girl, veils were worn for two reasons.  Mae West says she thinks the women felt that "veiled" beauty was more enchanting than the frank, open allure of to-day and that, although the Gibson girl knew she could protect her complexion by an enveloping shroud of veiling, she was a born coquette and  the veil was "part of the act."
• • This concludes our two-part article from August 1934, started yesterday.
• • Source: Article in the Sunday Times (Perth); published on Sunday, 26 August 1934.
• • On Monday, 27 August 1934 • •
• • Film Daily wrote: About $15,000 in presents was passed around by Mae West to those who helped in the retakes of her new Paramount picture, "Belle of the Nineties."
• • Source: Article: "Mae West Plays Santa Claus'' written by the West Coast Bureau of The Film Daily, Hollywood, for Film Daily; published on 27 August 1934.
• • The L.A. Times printed a similar item on Monday, 27 August 1934.
• • On Friday, 27 August 1976 • •
• • The Times Sunday Review interviewed people who knew Mae West. The actress had attended the theatre with friends and after the show they asked what she thought of it. And Mae had replied: "I kept concentrating on making my mind wander. It [the play] made me realize there's less to life than sex."
• • Source: The Times Sunday Review published in the UK on Friday, 27 August 1976.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Mae West and W.C. Fields stand on the front porch of the Hotel Newport, a landmark in a time when producers flirted with the idea of making movies in New Port Richey.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said:  "It wasn't what I did, but how I did it."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • A film critic discussed Mae West.
• • Gretchen Turner, New Salem Film Examiner wrote:  In 1927, when Mae West was arrested for the first Broadway show she wrote and starred in, called "Sex,” and in 1937, when she appeared on an NBC comedy sketch and the FCC inveighed her performance as "vulgar and indecent," Mae West pretty much told everyone to "Kiss my sass!"
• • Gretchen Turner continued: Mae West blazed a torrid trail of explicit sexuality and controversial innuendo that spit sutures from the constrictive moral codes of her day and established her, unapologetically, as Hollywood's most brazen and brash superstar.  . . .
• • Source:  Review: "Mae West and W.C. Fields at the top of their legendary, comic-genius game!" in The Examiner; published on Wednesday, 19 August  2015
• • 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 3254th 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:

Source: to Google

• • Photo:
• • Mae West • in 1940

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