One of the missions of GlamAmor is to bring attention to the amount of cross over that exists between costume design in film and fashion. Since the days of Old Hollywood, inspiration has most often come from the movies first to then influence a trend in mainstream fashion. An example of this would be Jean Harlow's bias-cut gowns of the 1930s. Or Joan Crawford's broad shoulders of the 1940s. Some designs were such a hit that stores would simply copy costumes from the movies. Such was the case with Helen Rose's designs for Elizabeth Taylor in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Butterfield 8...both led to their iconic dresses being duplicated in the stores so that all women could wear them.
Sometimes, though, fashion designers were drawn into the film industry. Examples include Hubert de Givenchy's designs for Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's or Pierre Balmain's designs for Brigitte Bardot in ...And God Created Woman. And here in That Touch of Mink, we have American designer Norman Norell creating the wardrobe for Doris Day.
Norell was a gifted designer of the highest order. His career stretched from the 1920s to the 1970s and was central to the evolution of American fashion. Known for his glamour, he created costumes for the Ziegfeld Follies and the Cotton Club before moving into film. And afterward, like many others, started designing his own fashion line with various partners. He was a visionary...his 1946 collection, with its longer skirts and nipped waists, predated the famous Dior New Look that shook the world the following year.
Known for the quality of his construction, he would create collections that rivaled French couturiers. When he passed away in 1972, headlines pronounced that Norell had "made 7th Avenue the Rival of Paris." For these reasons, his dresses are still highly valued and quite fashionable today. In fact, First Lady Michelle Obama wore vintage Norell to last year's White House Christmas. Clearly she appreciated the timelessness of his designs, which is what made him such a perfect fit for Doris Day in That Touch of Mink.
Though this movie boasts both Doris and Cary Grant--style superstars in their own right--I watch Mink for Normal Norell. I would have loved to see a bit more color in the costumes, but Doris' slinky black gown and the movie's fashion show--including one of Norell's famous sequined mermaid gowns--more than make up for it. Also his delicious detailing in fabrics like leather and fur...it's just that perfect touch, of course.
Movie starts with Philip Shayne (Cary Grant) making a real splash with Cathy Timberlake (Doris Day)
Recovering from the Rolls Royce run in, Cathy heads to the unemployment office
and lunch in her black leather-trimmed cream coat and leather gloves
Angry, Cathy tells her friend (Audrey Meadows) about her morning and
then decides to head to Philip's office to give him a piece of her mind
One look at Cary Grant would make any woman forget her troubles
and Doris Day's expression proves she is no exception
Cathy finds herself agreeing to a date that instant with Philip
A cream belted boatneck sheath dress is under Cathy's matching neck-tie jacket
Cathy gets a proposal, but not quite the one she wants...
an invitation to Bermuda for a little fun in the sun
Cathy originally chooses a black longsleeve fit and flare dress with peter pan collar for Bermuda...
that is, until a personal shopper from Bergdorf Goodman whisks her away for a private fashion show
Let the Norman Norell fashion show begin...
One of my favorites...a black column with fur-trimmed stole and gloves
Quintessential Norell...an emerald sequined mermaid gown with a plunging back
More quintessential Norell...a mink lined silk coat
Cathy nearly cries with joy seeing the coat
and chooses a cream version as her own for her trip
PanAm flight from New York to Bermuda
Philip buys out the entire flight just for Cathy
Mink coat + Bermuda + Cary Grant = Heaven
Taking Cathy to their room
Unmarried Cathy starts to be paranoid that everyone knows what they're up to
Doris in my favorite dress of the movie--look at that back!
Virginal Cathy gets more than a little over anxious at Philip's expectations
So much for romance
Cathy books a flight back to Bermuda, and calls Philip to try again
while drinking a little (too much) liquid courage
Now the scheming begins to get Philip as more than just a lover...
pretending to go off with another man
Philip finally catches up with Cathy in her cute red suit (and butterfly brooch)
Now married, Philip reacts to the good news from the doctor
Of course the family lives happily ever after