Monday, August 13, 2012

One detail.

My brother mentioned yesterday that he had just watched Stage Door.  What a wonderful movie, with early performances by not-yet-known stars like Lucille Ball and Ginger Rogers.  But first and foremost, of course, is Miss Katherine Hepburn.

The climactic scene is shown above, with Miss Hepburn wearing a gown designed by Muriel King.  I saw it, and I fell in love.  I can't find a full length photo of it online, and I'm hesitant to post the video clip, lest it ruin the movie for you.  But if you must.......

Just look at how that dress moves.  It's like liquid.  Absolutely gorgeous.  Apparently, Ms. King believed that dresses should have only one focal element which, of course, is the bodice in this dress.  How smart is it when a designer knows how to edit themselves?  And it served her well, because although she didn't draw, or sew, or even drape, she became a personal designer for Ms. Hepburn both on and off the stage.  Her work process was backward -- she painted a full watercolor of the dress, then left it up to her people to make the dress a reality.  What I would give to have one of those paintings.........

And if you are like me, and wonder how that dress looked in real life color, here it is.

I imagined it in powder blue, but after seeing it in color, realized that designers had to design for the lighting of black and white film.  This detail only adds to the genius of designers such as Muriel King.  She retired in the late 50s to paint full time, leaving behind a fine set of designing credits.

Photo:  Kent State (who had a display of Katherine Hepburn's wardrobe in 2010.  Had I known it was there, I would have slept on their doorstep, waiting to see it.)

No comments:

Post a Comment