Every Costume Designers Dream Movies And Series.

I have always paid attention to clothes in movies and sometimes I think I pay more attention to the costume designer than the director! Every now and then I watch a movie and say, ”I would have loved to have been the costume designer for that film” and so I thought I would share my list on here, in no particular order.

  1. The Greatest Showman. 

GreatestShowman2. The Great Gatsby. 

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3. Sing Street. 

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4. Cinderella (2015) 

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5. The Boat That Rocked. 

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6. Alice In Wonderland. 

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7. Peaky Blinders. 

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8. Stranger Things. 

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9. Sex And The City. 

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10. The Carrie Diaries.

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Hope you enjoyed!

Eleanor Elizabeth xx

Old Hollywood Stars: Mae West.

Mary Jane “Mae” West (August 17, 1893 – November 22, 1980) was an American actress, singer, playwright, screenwriter, comedian, and sex symbol whose entertainment career spanned seven decades, known for her light-hearted bawdy double engenders and breezy sexual independence.

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West was active in vaudeville and on the stage in New York City before moving to Hollywood to become a comedian, actress and writer in the motion picture industry, as well as appearing on radio and television. West made a name for herself by writing and staring in her own plays- the first, in 1926, was entitled sex. The American Film Institute named her 15th among the greatest female stars of classic American cinema.

Enforcing a moral code in entertainment was big in that era, and she served time for corrupting the morals of youth- a theme that would follow her for her entire career. She continued to write racy comedic plays that touched on subjects of pleasure and sexuality, including her 1928 play Diamond Lil; it became a Broadway hit, and she took that luxury-loving persona all the way to Hollywood.

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West got her first studio contract from Paramount Pictures at the age of Foughty- and became a silver screen icon shortly after. Her starring roles in ‘She Done Him Wrong’ and ‘I’m No Angel’ were rumoured to have saved Paramount from bankruptcy and made her the second- highest-paid person in the US at the time (just after William Randolph Hearst).

West was a lifetime advocate for equality for all people; when one of her boyfriends, boxing champion Gorilla Jones, was denied entry to her apartment building because of segregation, she bought the building and lifted the ban. In the 1950s, she performed in her own Las Vegas stage show, surrounded by body-builders. One of those men, Paul Novak, thirty years her junior, became her long-time companion until her death.

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Often using a husky contralto voice, West was one of the more controversial movie stars of her day and encountered many problems, especially censorship. She bucked the system, making comedy out of conventional mores, and the Depression-era audience admired her for it. When her cinematic career ended, she wrote books and plays and continued to perform in Las Vegas, in the United Kingdom, on radio and television and to record rock and roll albums. She was once asked about the various efforts to impede her career, to which she replied: “I believe in censorship. I made a fortune out of it.”

Hope you enjoyed this post about Mae West, she is definitely one of my favourites!

Eleanor Elizabeth xx

 

Old Hollywood Stars: Mary Pickford.

There were no movie stars in Hollywood before Mary Pickford (1892-1979) came along. Born in Canada and raised as a child stage actor, Pickford and her family moved to Manhattan so she could make it on Broadway. After her last play closed in 1909, Pickford decided to try out the motion pictures and landed a small part with D.W Griffith’s short-film company Biograph. Exhibiting a phenomenally dedicated work ethic, Pickford acted in fifty-one short films during her first year with Biograph. She created the various yet sassy girl-next-door archetype that would make her a household name.

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Before she came along, there were no actor credits in films for fear of inflating egos and salaries. Pickford knew her value, though, and made sure those credits appeared- and in the process, invented the Hollywood star. She studio jumped, each time getting a substantial pay rise equal to the highest-paid male star’s, until she became the first actor in history to become a millionaire. Then Pickford pulled the ultimate power play: she formed her own studio, United Artists, with her husband, Douglas Fairbanks, and their best friend, Charlie Chaplin and D.W Griffith. As Americas first movie sweetheart, Pickford was savvy enough to leave her name off the executive producer and director credits in order to play to the public’s perception of her sweet, innocent young girl, but industry insiders knew that she called all the shots.

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Pickford won her first Academy Award in her first talkie, Coquette. She also used her star power for philanthropy, selling eighteen billion dollars in Liberty Bonds during WW1, confounding the Motion Picture Relief Fund, and establishing a foundation that still supports the preservation of film and provides scholarships for education today. She essentially invented star power. 

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Hope you enjoyed!

Eleanor Elizabeth xx

Old Hollywood Stars: Bette Davis.

Ruth Elizabeth “Bette” Davis April 5, 1908 – October 6, 1989) was an American actress of film, television, and theatre. With a career spanning 60 years she is regarded as one of the greatest actresses in Hollywood history. She was noted for her willingness to play unsympathetic, sardonic characters, and was famous for her performances in a range of film genres, from contemporary crime melodramas to historical and period films, suspense horror, and occasional comedies, although her greatest successes were her roles in romantic dramas.

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After appearing in Broadway plays, Davis moved to Hollywood in the summer of 1930. However, her early films for Universal Studios were unsuccessful. She joined Warner Bros. in 1932, and established her career with several critically acclaimed performances. In 1937, she attempted to free herself from her contract, although she lost the well-publicized legal case against the studio, it marked the beginning of the most successful period of her career. Until the late 1940s, she was one of American cinema’s most celebrated leading ladies, known for her forceful and intense style. Davis gained a reputation as a perfectionist who could be highly combative and confrontational. She clashed with studio executives and film directors, as well as many of her co-stars. Her forthright manner, idiosyncratic speech, and ubiquitous cigarette contributed to a public persona, which has often been imitated.

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Davis was the co-founder of the Hollywood Canteen, and was the first female president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. She won the Academy Award for Best Actress twice, was the first person to accrue 10 Academy Award nominations for acting, and was the first woman to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Film Institute. Her career went through several periods of eclipse, and she admitted that her success had often been at the expense of her personal relationships. Married four times, she was once widowed and three times divorced, and raised her children as a single parent. Her final years were marred by a long period of ill health, but she continued acting until shortly before her death from breast cancer, with more than 100 film, television, and theatre roles to her credit during her six-decade-long career. In 1999, Davis was placed second behind Katharine Hepburn on the American Film Institute’s list of the greatest female stars of classic Hollywood cinema.

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Hope you enjoyed!

Eleanor Elizabeth xx

Old Hollywood Stars: Carole Lombard.

I would like to start this series with Carole Lombard and her piercing eyes.

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Carole Lombard (born Jane Alice Peters, October 6, 1908 – January 16, 1942) was an American film actress. She was particularly noted for her energetic, often off-beat roles in the screwball comedies of the 1930s, allowing her to become the highest-paid star in Hollywood in the late 1930s.

Lombard was born into a wealthy family in Fort Wayne, Indiana, but was raised in Los Angeles by her single mother. At 12, she was recruited by the film director Allan Dwan and made her screen debut in A Perfect Crime (1921). Eager to become an actress, she signed a contract with the Fox Film Corporation at age 16, but mainly played bit parts. She was dropped by Fox after a car accident left a scar on her face. Lombard appeared in 15 short comedies for Mack Sennett between 1927 and 1929, and then began appearing in feature films such as High Voltage and The Racketeer. After a successful appearance in The Arizona Kid (1930), she was signed to a contract with Paramount Pictures.

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Paramount quickly began casting Lombard as a leading lady, primarily in drama films. Her profile increased when she married William Powell in 1931, but the couple divorced after two years. A turning point in Lombard’s career came when she starred in Howard Hawks’ pioneering screwball comedy Twentieth Century (1934). The actress found her niche in this genre, and continued to appear in films such as Hands Across the Table (1935) (forming a popular partnership with Fred MacMurray), My Man Godfrey (1936), for which she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress, and Nothing Sacred (1937). At this time, Lombard married “the King of Hollywood”, Clark Gable, and the supercouple gained much attention from the media. Keen to win an Oscar, at the end of the decade, Lombard began to move towards more serious roles. Unsuccessful in this aim, she returned to comedy in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mr. & Mrs. Smith (1941) and Ernst Lubitsch’s To Be or Not to Be (1942)—her final film role.

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Lombard’s career was cut short when she died at the age of 33 in an airplane crash on Mount Potosi, Nevada while returning from a war bond tour. Today, she is remembered as one of the definitive actresses of the screwball comedy genre and American comedy, and ranks among the American Film Institute’s greatest female stars of classic Hollywood cinema.

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Hope you enjoyed this post about Carole Lombard.

Eleanor Elizabeth xx