Friday, June 18, 2010

Jane Russell in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)




So, Jane Russell is fabulous! She almost steals the show from Marilyn. I absolutely love the scene where Jane Russell is pretending to be Marilyn. She does a great impersonation. Jane Russell is also a great singer and dancer as well. I think she should have done a lot more musicals.

Another fabulous thing to mention about this movie is that it based on a book by Anita Loos, who is a fascinating character in her own right. (The book Gentlemen Prefer Blondes began as a series of short stories called the Lorelei stories.) Loos was screenwriter in the movies from 1912 to 1956 and also wrote from Broadway and wrote fiction. It seems she had her hand in everything fabulous, not only did she write this book and the screenplay, but also the sequel Gentlemen Marry Brunettes which also stars Jane Russell. Furthermore, Loos wrote the screenplay version of The Women and the Broadway version of Colette’s Gigi with Audrey Hepburn.

Russell wears this outfit surrounded by a bunch of scantily clad young men who are supposedly on their way to compete in the Olympics. It includes a black halter top, black pants, black strappy sandals, and a checked cape with yellow lining.

Here is my interpretation:
Run-Down:Top: ASOS Structured Halterneck Corset, on sale for $18.60
Cape: Newport News, Military-style buffalo plaid cape, on sale for $29
Pants: Ann Taylor, Curvy Cotton Poplin Trousers, on sale for $49.99
Scarf: Eileen Fisher Double-Circle Shibori Scarf, on sale for $58.80 via Dillard’s
Shoes: Pleaser Women's Entice-115 Ankle-Strap Sandal, $39.95 via Endless.com
Total: $196.34

So, this is a good example of how a couple of basics can be easily worn again to make a totally different look. This outfit re-uses the exact same pair of stovepipe pants from Ann Taylor that I employed in my last Marilyn look from the same movie. I also re-used the same black strappy sandals.

I found a very sexy halter corset top for a great price. And while I was looking for the cape for my Ginger Rogers Swing Time post, I had found a buffalo checked cape from Newport News that was on sale for only $29! Just by acquiring these two inexpensive items, you have the essence of Jane’s look.

To mimic the lining of Jane’s cape, which was yellow, I selected a beautiful long yellow scarf to be worn around the waist as a belt. That really brings the whole look together. I love black, white and yellow as a color combination too.




You could wear this without the cape and it would be a great look all on its own, but with the cape it is definitely an eye-catching combination. Again, this would be a great party look, something that would definitely make you the center of attention at a barbecue or cookout. What a great way to get more mileage out of those strappy sandals and black pants!

 

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