Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Cinema Style File - True Doris Day Style in 1960's PLEASE DON'T EAT THE DAISIES

The TCM Classic Film Festival is officially underway and there is already such excitement! Today was open to the press to chat with hosts Robert Osborne and Ben Mankiewicz, so I spent my morning in bliss at the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood.  It feels like another home to me now and was fun to reunite with old friends while also making the acquaintance of some new ones. You can join the fun online - start at GlamAmor on Twitter and from there you can connect with many other fans while getting updates live from the festival. It's promising to be one exciting moment after another, so I will tweet when I can and share what others are doing as well. As with last year, most of my coverage will come after the festival so I can savor every moment and really share the stories in the best possible way. I know it will be incredible. This year's theme is Style in the Movies and the festival's home in Hollywood - the Roosevelt Hotel, Grauman's Chinese Theater, Grauman's Egyptian Theater, and more - are some of the most stylish places on Earth.  

To keep you company over the next few days, I wanted to share the style of a star who means so much to me. It just so happens that TCM also chose her to be their April Star of the Month - Doris Day. Next to Grace Kelly, I cannot think of another actress who has been more influential on my personal style. Viewing movies over the course of her career, it is fascinating to see her evolve from a singer into an actress and then an actress into a style icon. And what's perhaps most intriguing is how Doris really curated her own costumes and style. Though she was paired with many different designers - such as Jean Louis for 1959's Pillow Talk, Irene for 1961's Lover Come Back, and Norman Norell for 1962's That Touch of Mink - there is a real consistency about her style. That consistency was due to her control and understanding what worked best for her body. And personality. And the times.  

1960's Please Don't Eat the Daisies really illustrates my point. For starters, the movie's costume designer was Morton Haack. Perhaps you share my own reaction: "WHO?!" Science fiction fans may know his work from the transformative costumes he created for 1968's Planet of the Apes. An amazing talent, to be sure. But clearly we're talking about work that is a far far cry from the feminine, colorful, and enviable costumes that fill Please Don't Eat the Daisies. Thus, I would argue, the difference that made this incredible wardrobe possible, as well as all the others that seem almost designed by the same hand, was Doris Day.  

Her most popular style came from movies in the mid-1950s to the mid-1960s. Pictures like Please Don't Eat the Daisies were filled with the shapes that I love - nipped in waists alternating between the the fit and flare dresses of the 1950s and the form-fitting wiggle dresses of the 1960s. They were also filled with loads of color. I learned many lessons about color from her. For instance, Please Don't Eat the Daisies showed how black and blue can indeed work together.  Prior seeing this movie, I had only understood it as a fashion taboo. But not anymore, as you'll see below.  Just as Ava Gardner taught me how to successfully wear yellow, Doris Day taught me all the ways to wear blue.

So while I'm sitting in dimmed theaters at the TCM Classic Film Festival watching movies in the theaters where they were originally shown, I leave you in very capable and stylish hands. Doris Day is a style icon who is enjoying some well-deserved appreciation again after releasing her new album. Some of the appreciation is rightfully in the form of Lifetime Achievement Awards, and she should certainly win one for Style in the Movies. Please consider this her nomination.

 Our first peek at busy Kate Mackay (Doris Day) -
mother of four young boys and wife to a newly instated New York City newspaper drama critic

Kate trying to get dressed up for the play of a producer friend that her husband will review

The audience is allowed to be a bit of a voyeur as Doris changes from a black slip
into her body-hugging black column gown

If you recall one of the trends of the Sex and the City series was Carrie's huge fabric flowers -
the trend started here

Kate takes a tuxedo for husband, Larry (David Niven),
before heading to the show

Unfortunately, Larry does not like his friend's show,
but Kate in her pearls is music to his eyes

Time to face the music of giving a bad review to a friend 
AND godfather to their children - Alfred North (Richard Haydn)

Doris is precious in a cotton gingham belted fit and flare dress,
a timeless style she is known for

A very public slap at Sardi's from criticized "actress" Deborah Vaughn (Janis Paige),
who looks stunning in those olive satin gloves contrasting against her taupe-colored ensemble

Kate arrives in a demure white two-piece suit with pencil skirt and double-breasted boxy jacket

The slap heard 'round the world...or at least New York City

Alfred brings word of a challenge to Deborah's talent and assets

At a Broadway party after the news is out

Doris has taught me many lessons in style
and one is how effective the formerly taboo combination of black and blue can be

Deborah Vaughn arrives to prove the point that she does indeed have some assets

I absolutely adore the deep V back on this wiggle dress,
which we see as Kate attempts to slip away from the craziness

She bumps into Alfred hiding in the bedroom at the party
as she puts on her matching black and blue floral coat and black gloves

A great example of how costume can draw a character -
a wealthy woman (with a Kelly bag) comes to let the Mackays know she's the new tenant there

Home from shopping with the boys in a black fit and flare dress, 
Kate hears the news that they're being forced to move

Love the accessories of the matching black hat, black patent belt, 
and ivory raffia purse with black trim

Moving day...welcome to the country

Though known for her wiggle dresses and fit and flare dresses,
Doris often chose form-fitting capris and tucked in tops like this denim pair

Again, the importance of accessories such as this brown leather belt to break up the blue

Now friends, bold Deborah sees an opportunity with Larry now that he is on such a long leash

Meanwhile Kate is none the wiser as she shops for furniture fabric at Macy's
in this smart tan tweed coat and leather accessories

Once again Deborah makes a move at Sardi's, but this time much more friendly -
I love the color combination of her jade suiting with turquoise accessories

News flash...things are getting friendlier and friendlier with Deborah Vaughn

At a cozy coffee shop where glamorous Deborah tries to take a different tack with Larry

Larry finally returns home to House Beautiful when the remodeling is finally done

Their maid Maggie shows him his new den (above) and living room,
which is right on trend with our 2012 color of the year - Tangerine Tango - in the drapes

Returning to a hotel after yet another misunderstanding with Kate,
there's no place he can hide from Deborah Vaughn

Janis Paige exudes the same voluptuousness of Marilyn Monroe in this role and this dress

Even Kate's mother (Suzie Robinson) is beautifully dressed as she arrives to talk to Larry -
I can't help but admire her matching cornflower blue hat and necklace

Kate arrives buttoned up in classic navy and prim white gloves 
to emphasize her as the good wife
and they live happily ever after


Anonymous said...

I've recently become a DD fan--I used to think she was so square, but she isn't, is she? She's a lovely woman who knows herself, on screen and off. Her voice is so much a part of her persona--I can hear her clearly as I look at these wonderful photos. Color is wonderful--why do we all dress in black?

Looking forward to your thoughts on the festival!

Katherine Louise

Melissa Clark said...

Hi Kimberly. :) You know I loved this post. Doris! I've never given the clothes in "Please Don't Eat the Daisies" much thought. Compared to her wardrobe in movies like "Pillow Talk," "Lover Come Back" and "Midnight Lace" the movie just didn't scream style to me.

Looking at your screencaps I can see that it really is a stylish movie, however. Doris had such a lovely figure and wore clothes so well. I really love the blue wiggle dress with the V back and matching coat. The black evening gown with the huge flower is beautiful too. Plus, she looks so smart in her daywear, like the black dress with that fantastic hat, and the tweed coat she wears to go shopping. Thanks for the fun post. I just adore Doris!

It sounds like you had a wonderful time at the TCM festival. Can't wait to hear more about it from you. I wish I could've been there! As it is I probably won't even be able to come next year, but for a good reason -- I just booked a trip to Hawaii for mid-January, with a stop to visit friends in LA for a couple of days before that. Hopefully I'll get to set up an appointment to visit your shop and say hello while I'm out there! I have a feeling I could go nuts shopping at GlamAmor in person. It's tempting enough just browing on Etsy. ;)


Kimberly Truhler said...

Thanks Katherine Louise! I agree--why do people wear so much black? It's shockingly true even (and often especially) true in the fashion industry. I'm at the California Market Center, the center of the fashion industry in LA, and it's an ocean of black and gray every day. Then there's lone me walking around in orange or something. lol For me, it has so much to do about just can't have a bad day in color. Or even if you do, it makes it a lot better. Doris is such an outstanding role model, not the least of which is how boldly she wears color.

Can't wait to share about my experience at the Film Festival. I'm in the midst of processing right now, both mentally and photographically, and trying to figure out the best way to show it all. You would have had a blast.

Kimberly Truhler said...

Hi Melissa! Yes, PLEASE DON'T EAT THE DAISIES is so often overlooked for its fashion, largely because it's costume designer is not so well known. Also, it's not one of her pics with Rock, so I don't think as many people have seen it. But there's A LOT to love about it from a fashion standpoint as you've just pointed out. Great great pieces that could easily be worn today. I wish! lol

Yes, the Festival was IN-CREDIBLE. I was interviewed twice on air--once by Robert and once by Ben--and that's just one of many highlights. As I just mentioned to Katherine Louise, there's so much to process mentally and photographically, so just trying to work through it all to share in the best possible way. I know you would have had an amazing time, and you were in my thoughts at movies like TO CATCH A THIEF and CHARADE (and VERTIGO and... lol).

Would love to see you any time you're in LA! xo

MIKEY'55 THS said...

A new author and a new book about Doris Day, but this time the story is about a correspondance that has endured over 60 years. "MY 'SECRET LOVE' AFFAIR WITH DORIS DAY" by Michael J DeVita is available NOW on Check out the reviews and read the story.

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