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. 

Mary Pickford - Ziegfeld - c. 1920s - by Alfred Cheney Johnston

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

How To Party Like An ‘IT Girl’!

To party like an ‘it’ girl, you need to put in as little effort as possible but still look and be the life of the party. Think London, New York and Paris in the evening, you just casually find yourself at some party in an expensive venue, with a drink in your hand whilst you talk to a friend of a friend. These rules should assist you in this difficult craft.

1. Rules are more like suggestions.
You probably decided to go to the party last minute on your way home from your evening activities and so did not have time to comply with the all black dress code as you turn up in a red cocktail dress. Woops. Sometimes black jeans a white t-shirt and heals does the trick. Image-1.png.jpg

2. Arive late and leave early, even to your own party.

3. It’s all about the after party.
There are a few events, such as work party’s where you have to restrain yourself. Your main priority is alays the after party. Surrounded by your closest friends and at one of their houses, there you can really let your hair down.

4. You are not afraid to dance. If there is a disco ball you are under it.
5.. Remember the sexiest parts are your smile, hair and a little declatage.
Messy hair, make up with a killer smile and a hint of perfume will keep them wanting more.

6. Do get pictured drinking but you can handle your drink.

7.Don’t spend your night in the toilets.

8.You never take the selefie but somehow you end up being tagged in others.
Don’t spend your night stairing at your screen, talk to people.

9.Make an impression on everyone.
Even if you don’t speak to everyone, eye contact with a smirk can shout lounder.

10. It’s okay to wear the same hair, make up and outfit the next day.
Who said the party was over?

There you go, some rather easy rules for you to ace a party. Make it spontaneous, effortless and as long as you are having fun, others will follow.

 

Eleanor Elizabeth x

Autumn 2018 Trends.

Autumn is my favourite fashion season and I am hoping Autumn 2018 will deliver my expectations. I went to the Trafford Centre to browse the new trends and to be honest I wasn’t all that impressed, the clothes in the high streets are so predictable! A lot of burnt orange, burgundy and dark green as the colour pallet (how ground-breaking). In terms of clothes, again a lot of pinafores and teddy bear coats, in my opinion that was great for 2017 but I was hoping fashion would have progressed. I did manage to find some pieces that I think will fit well into Autumn 2018, online shopping might have too best way too update your autumn wardrobe.

  1. Leopard Print Everything. 

So you already knew this was a trend but personally I wouldn’t wear a full on leopard print item such as a top, skirt or coat. I think you have to be a certain level of cool too be able to look good in a leopard print coat, think Anita Pallenberg esc. I do however like subtle hints of leopard print, for example on a flat shoes, a scrunchie or a bandana tied onto a bag, that is how I will incorporate this tend in Autumn 2018.

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Boohoo Dress £22.

2. Rainbow Jumpers.

Again quite a dividing trend but I do actually like this one. I am going to opt for a pastel rainbow jumper but why not inject some serious bold colour into your wardrobe. I have seen one from Primark for £10 if you are not sure about it. If you check ASOS you will be able too look at a range of rainbow jumpers and pick your favourite.

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Monki Rainbow Jumper £25 Available at ASOS

 

3. Boiler Suits. 

This may sound weird but I really think this will take off in Autumn 2018. Topshop have two and I love the black with white piping boiler suit however it is £65 and so I checked ASOS and found an alternative for £45. I would recommend making sure it fits well because otherwise you may look a little shapeless, perhaps try a belt in that case.

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ASOS Boiler Suit £45.

4. Orange. 

I think bright orange will start creeping in Autumn this year. Whilst it is a bold colour, I have an orange tee which I tuck into black jeans and it adds a nice pop of colour too an all black outfit.

5. Teddy Bear Coats. 

In my opinion, I liked these coats but for 2017/ early 2018. I have a black one and whilst I got loads of wear out of it, I enjoy getting a new winter coat each year and I just think everyone will be wearing a tan coloured teddy bear coat. I just find it awkward when you walk past people and you are wearing the same coat, plus I am not cool enough too wear a leopard print coat.

6. Windbreaker Jackets. 

Practical and give a sports lux’s vibe to an outfit. I bought a black and grey one from the men’s section in Primark for £12.

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Boohoo Windbreaker £18

7.  Cargo Trousers.

I like this trend a lot, a trouser that your legs can breath in. I think they are quite a masculine looking trouser and so are perfect for people who want to tone down an outfit. However, I would wear cargo trousers with heals and a black crop top for a night out. Perfect day to night trousers.

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Bershka Cargo Trousers £25.99

8.  Midi Skirts with Flats.  

I love this! Again adding a masculine element too a feminine item. I love black floral print midi skirts with trainers, vans or boots. I have one dress from Nasty Gal which is a wrap dress with an open midi skirt, love it.

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Boohoo Wrap Skirt £10.

9. Open Back Jumpers. 

Whilst this item certainly defeats the point of wearing a jumper too keep you warm, it does look nice and so I am sure we will all manage. I have seen many on ASOS and Misguided. You could wear it with a completely open back and either go braless or wear a cute bralette with your hair in a bun. Cute!

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Pretty Little Thing Open Back Jumper £20.

 

10. Face Print. 

I am actually a fan of this one! I have a tee from Vintage Reclaimed with faces on it and I think it looks very chic and reminds me of the kind of item one might find in Copenhagen. I also have gold earrings with faces on. A number of high street stores are doing these but the cheapest I have seen are in Primark for £2 in silver.

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Face Tee From Asos  £20

Hope you enjoyed this post, please let me know of any other trend you have seen that you are loving!

Eleanor Elizabeth xx

Wardrobe Essentials Everyone Needs.

As someone who likes statement pieces in my wardrobe and I am y no means a minimalist I do have basic items that I always go back too. Basic pieces can really help finish an outfit through simplicity and practicality.

Here are my wardrobe essentials that get used in every outfit. They may sound boring and simple but they are so necessary!

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  1. Basic white and black t-shirts. 

The fit depends on your personal preference. I prefer oversized tees to tuck into jeans but I also have tighter fitted ones. Think about the neck line and how low cut they are as well. Whilst you will be able to find these t-shirts anywhere, pay attention to the quality, you don’t want a white tee that you can see through. These simple pieces are really something to invest in.

2. Well fitted jeans in staple colours. 

I think skinny jeans is a classic shape that you will always be able to pull off, however I could not be without my straight legged jeans. Find a fit you feel comfortable in! Personally I would say the essential colours would be black and dark blue but I think grey is a third essential.

3. Vest tops. 

These can provide extra warmth or prevent everyone being able to see your bra. I have one in black, white and nude. I would recommend the ones from Primark, super cheap.

4. Underwear. 

Over the years I have really invested in underwear and it has definitely paid off, having different styles and colours means you are never caught off guard with a awkward outfit. I would say colour wise white, black and nude is a must for practicality. In terms of styles, that is really a personal preference, buy the style you feels comfortable and confident in. Finally for awkward outfits I like having a stick on bra, strapless and push up bra so that I am always prepared. Nipple stickers are also cheap and good to have just in case. Shape wear may also be useful, along with cycling shorts for summer dresses. Plus black and nude coloured tights are useful!

5.  Stripy t-shirt. 

6. Basic shoes.

In this category I would say you want shoes that go with multiple outfits. For me, I always pair my outfits with black boots (healed and flat), black heals or simple white or black trainers/ converse.

7. Jackets. 

Simple staples for me is a  black leather jacket or a denim jacket. I always think having pockets is essential in a jacket.

8. Oversized hoodie. 

9. Staple jewellery. 

I would always invest in fine jewellery (gold or silver) so that it doesn’t tarnish. Simple rings, earrings and a necklace will be useful. The best accessory should be your watch.

10. Handbag. 

Think about your lifestyle, do you need a big bag so you can fit your laptop in it or will a cross body bag fit the purpose?

11. Sunglasses.

12. Belt.

13. Little black dress. 

14. A matching gym outfit. 

For the days you just cannot be bothered too face.

 

 

Hope this simple and relatively short list helps your outfits.

Is there any other pieces that help your outfits? Please let me know.

Eleanor Elizabeth x