Friday, September 23, 2016

Mae West: Famous Corsetiere

In September 1933, MAE WEST sat down for a series of interviews with syndicated columnist Willis Thornton.
• • "Go West Young Woman, Go West" • •
• • Editor's Note: This is the first of three installments on Mae West, the  buxom actress who is restoring curves to to feminine favor.
• • Written by Willis Thornton, NEA Service Writer • •
• • Madame Binner, New York's famous corsetiere • • 
• • Corsets? Sure! They go with the hour-glass figure. But Mae West feels they needn't be an encumbrance. Mae likes a figure which has identical hip and bust measurements, with a waist 10 inches smaller. But (in 1928) when she was about to create "Diamond Lil" she went undulating right down to Madame Binner, New York's famous corsetiere, and had herself designed a corset that encouraged an upward curve for the bosom, but was short enough not to interfere with freedom of the knees.
• • The main thing, according to Mae West, about corsets, is "You got to have something to put in 'em. Know what I mean?" The whole world knows  — —  or at least it will when the new fashions appear.
• • Product of the Theater • •
• • Once more a woman of the theater dictates what her unprofessional sisters shall wear. And Mae West is essentially a woman of the theater.
• • She is a trouper, and like almost every Broadway success, hides years of unwept, unhonored and unsung trouping behind the dazzling light of present-day success.
• • From the day when she was born in that Brooklyn fastness — —  which her nativity entitles her to call "Green-pernt" — —  she was destined for the stage.  But in those days few thought that the little daughter of Jack West, Brooklyn lightweight prize fighter of the days of Sullivan and Corbett, would rule the world of fashion.
• • NEXT CHAPTER: Mae West goes on the stage at four and a half, and runs the gamut from Little Eva to a shimmy queen.
• • This has been the fourth installment of Mae West's life story written by Willis Thornton. This section (started on Tuesday) ends here.
• • "Go West Young Woman, Go West," a syndicated feature, appeared in various newspapers starting around  Sunday, 10 September 1933.  
• • On Sunday, 23 September 1934 in The L.A. Times • •
• • An article argued for censorship of the type of motion picture made by Mae West and other bombshells. "Films Should Be Fit for Children to See" was printed in The Los Angeles Times on Sunday, 23 September 1934.
• • On Monday, 23 September 1940 • •
• • "My Little Chickadee" starring Mae West and W.C. Fields was playing at the Grand Theatre, as part of a double feature, in New Zealand on Monday, 23 September 1940.  "Final screening tonight!" announced the advertisement on that date on the front page of the Bay of Plenty Beacon, Volume 3, Issue 216.  "Honestly, this is a great programme!" was lettered all in caps under the cast and credits.  "Both recommended — Censor for Adults."
• • On Tuesday, 23 September 1969 • •
• • Production on the motion picture "Myra Breckinridge" began in September — — on Tuesday, 23 September 1969 — — and Mae West (cast as Leticia Van Allen) received top billing.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • The Hollywood Reporter wrote: Mae West is to do a modernized version of "Du Barry," from a story now being developed by the William LeBaron unit.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said:  "I had to come in like a streak of lightning."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • A Singapore newspaper mentioned Mae West.
• • "I've Come to Find out, Says Mae" • •
• • The Singapore Free Press wrote: Mae West invited goggle-eyed British reporters to "come up and see me sometime" when she ran the first gauntlet of them on her arrival at Southampton at two o'clock on Wednesday morning. 
• • To keep everything above board, Mae asked them all to a press reception at the Savoy Hotel.  ...
• • Source: Item in The Singapore Free Press; published on Tuesday, 23 September 1947
• • The Mae West Blog celebrates its 12th anniversary • •
• • Thank you for reading, sending questions, and posting comments during these past twelve years. The other day we entertained 3,497 visitors. And we reached a milestone recently when we completed 3,500 blog posts. Wow! 
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started twelve years ago in July 2004.
You are reading the 3537th 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 1928

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