Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Out and About - Presenting FASHION IN FILM OF TCMFF 2019 at Woman's Club of Hollywood

Two weeks ago - from April 11 to 14 - the TCM Classic Film Festival (TCMFF) once again took over Hollywood. The theme of this year's festival was Follow Your Heart: Love at the Movies. Of course costume design helps tell all the great love stories, and there's no question that costume design also contributes to the ongoing legacy of classic cinema.

And so, in what has become an annual event, it was my pleasure to present the Fashion in Film of TCMFF 2019 on Tuesday, April 9 at the Woman's Club of Hollywood. As I did for last year's talk, I highlighted movies from the festival's programming and shared the stories behind their style - from the historical context and origins of the films to the lives of the costume designers and backstories of the stars. The 10 films I chose started with Greta Garbo in 1929's A Woman of Affairs and ended with Meg Ryan in 1989's When Harry Met Sally. More can be seen in the collage above. People were so excited that many flew to Hollywood a day early just to attend this event!

The second the doors opened, people were there ready to tour The Woman's Club of Hollywood and enjoy a glass of champagne before my talk. The place has a rich history. It was founded in 1905 - a year when the entertainment industry had not yet made its mark in Los Angeles and women still didn't have the right to vote. Yet members were passionate about contributing to the culture of the city and made their first mission to create the Hollywood Public Library. They were also founding members of both the Hollywood Bowl and the Hollywood Studio Club, something of a dormitory for young women who were involved in motion pictures (famous residents included Marilyn Monroe and Kim Novak). In the Woman's Club of Hollywood's early years, stars such as Gloria Swanson, Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, and Douglas Fairbanks were involved in events there.

In 1948, the Woman's Club moved a short distance from its original location on Hollywood Boulevard to its current address at 1749 N. La Brea Avenue. They shared this new location with the Hollywood School for Girls - another organization the Woman's Club supported - where industry heavyweights such as Cecil B. DeMille and David O. Selznick sent their children to be educated. There were many famous faces associated with the school. In fact, Jean Harlow was one of the students and Edith Head was a teacher of both French and Art right before she got her job assisting head costume designer Howard Greer at Paramount. It's for all these reasons the Woman's Club of Hollywood is now on the National Register of Historic Places and a Historic Cultural Monument. 

There was even more movie history at my event - we enjoyed a beautiful display of jewelry from Joseff of Hollywood. Eugene Joseff was renowned for creating much of the jewelry we know and love from films of the Golden Age. This includes iconic jewelry for Vivien Leigh in Gone with the Wind and Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra. The wonderful Kristin Joseff brought pieces from their archive that actresses wore in movies I highlighted in my talk - Holiday, Mogambo, Love Affair, and High Society. I can't wait to visit their archive soon.

I was so thrilled to speak to a sell out crowd of classic film lovers. Some of my favorite parts of presentation were discussing the relationship between Adrian and Greta Garbo, and also the origins and backstory of the movie Holiday. The enthusiastic audience clapped and cheered all through the talk, and then gave me an emotional standing ovation at the end. Throughout the festival, I was approached by people telling me how much everyone enjoyed the event and that what I shared stayed with them as they watched the movies. Some even told me that it was their favorite of the entire week.

Thanks to everyone who came - I love you all and know we're already looking forward to next year!

Before my talk wearing a vintage 1960s raspberry pink knit dress,
silver pumps, 1960s silver chandelier earrings, and 1960s silver clutch purse (not shown)

The Woman's Club of Hollywood

These photos courtesy of Mikael Sharafyan

The lovely entrance of the Woman's Club of Hollywood before all the arrivals

The lounge of the Woman's Club

Guest Kristin Joseff brought all kinds of wonderful from the
Joseff of Hollywood archive

Joseff of Hollywood jewelry from Holiday, High Society, Mogambo, and Love Affair

From Holiday - Doris Nolan's jewelry on left and Katharine Hepburn's on right

Kristin models Katharine Hepburn's ring from Holiday

Jewelry for Grace Kelly in High Society

Jewelry for Ava Gardner in Mogambo

Kristin shares stories of Joseff of Hollywood with attendees (above)
and Woman's Club President Rosemary Lord leads one of the tours before my talk

With friends and TCMFF attendees Isabella Miller and Casey Koester (above)
and Sara Henriksson and Karin Mustvedt-Pl├╝ss

With the lovely Kelly Kitchens Wickersham,
leader of the super popular Going to TCM Classic Film Festival group on Facebook

One of the original buildings from the Hollywood School for Girls -
photos courtesy of Mikael Sharafyan

Edith Head was a teacher at the Hollywood School for Girls before going to Paramount

Jean Harlow (top row, second from left) was a student at the Hollywood School for Girls

Jean Harlow flanked the stage and screen of my presentation -
photo above courtesy of Aurora Bugallo

Vicki Leeper was a guest at last year's talk and brought champagne for everyone this year
courtesy of her company Dancing Chocolate 

We're going to need more chairs -
the crowd growing and growing before our eyes

Starting my talk with a little background on my work
before kicking things off with the luminous Greta Garbo in A Woman of Affairs -
photos courtesy of Aurora Bugallo and Theresa Brown

Cheers from some of my film family - Kellee Pratt, Theresa Brown, and Aurora Bugallo

Until next year...

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