Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Thank Heaven for HD screens!

Colette in 1913. I took this from a feature in a 1937 Marie-Claire, about Hats and Royalty, showing that royalty was always behind the times when it came to fashion. Queen Alexandra is shown wearing a big hat. Colette wrote a beauty column for the early Marie-Claire, or was supposed to, but she never made her deadlines so Marcelle Auclaire, the co-founder and main writer took it over.

Well, I watched Gigi (Turner Classic Movies) on the big HD last night. What eye-candy! This is the first time I have seen that movie in big, brilliant colour, the way it was meant to be seen on the big screen, and you know, now I understand why it won Best Picture over Cat on a Hot Tin Roof...for the sheer beauty of it. (I'm a huge fan of Cat.)

The social satire was dumbed down from Colette's book (which I am a achin' to re-read) but the art direction is simply superb on the that film, and those songs... (I have taped it and will re-watch.)

You know, I just took another look at the blurry Edison films of the 1900 Exposition to see 'how authentic' the costume design was.
I guess it's like all costume design, a little license is taken to appeal to the audience of the time. The hats were simply HUGE in the film and I thought the hats only got huge in 1912. But then I did a little quick research on the web - and hat fashions were pretty wild in 19o0 in Paris, still not the HUGE Confections from the movie, they are exaggerating for effect, I guess.

I checked and saw that Leslie Caron was 27, when this film was made. Lucky. Had she been 16, it would have been a bit creepy, by today's standards. (We pretend it this society that we don't sexualize teenage girls, but of course we do BIG TIME.)

Audrey Hepburn played the part in the Anita Loos Play.
Anyway, the movie begins with Louis Jourdan saying that it is 1900 in Paris. Well, gee, the Exposition would have been going strong. From what I see on YouTube, the streets were much busier than what they show in the movie.

And there were far fewer women walking about. As I've mentioned before, the messy streets were no place for a corsetted woman. Edison's film of his moving sidewalk at the Expo reveals that it is mostly men jumping on and off. Well, that invention never took off, for so many reasons. That one goes in the column with the electric car. Win some, lose some.