That pink dress! Costuming Marilyn Monroe for “Diamonds”

Dance · Fashion · Film
At right, Travilla‘s design for Marilyn’s iconic pink dress in “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend” from GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES (1953) whose 60th anniversary we are honoring with a screening at the Academy’s “Oscars Outdoors” series Saturday August 3. The classy pink dress, lined with felt, was a replacement design for an original, much less ...

Fred & Cyd march on tippy toe in “The Band Wagon”

Dance · Fashion · Film
In this publicity still for “The Band Wagon” (MGM, 1953), Cyd Charisse marches on gorgeous gams while her partner Fred Astaire embodies a human exclamation point. In the movie, Cyd dons a different frock. Costumes were by Mary Ann Nyberg, who has a wonderful film-costume portfolio. Nyberg ran into problems dressing Judy Garland in “A ...

Streisand’s “Funny Girl” on Grauman’s big screen 2

Fashion · Film
Director William Wyler’s “Funny Girl,” TCM Fest 2013‘s opening-night film, vividly restored and splashed across Grauman’s huge screen, proved a tour de force beyond our memory of it. In her motion picture debut, Barbra Streisand performs in every possible context: she’s sings in comic numbers and torch songs; she sings while dancing and amidst love ...

A garden of creativity on “Project Runway”

Fashion
I very much enjoyed the exquisite results of the ‘special challenge’ on last night’s “Project Runway“; the assignment involved melding purchases from hardware store and  flower shop into creative couture. Real, fresh flowers are interwoven in those dresses. Or … could it be the arts·meme green that attracts my eye? Incredibly well done. Thanks to ...

Fosse! Pub’ed by Dance Heritage Coalition 1

Dance · Fashion · Film
A new go-to essay on choreographer Bob Fosse, scribed by arts·meme pal Larry Billman, has just been published as part of the America’s Irreplaceable Dance Treasures series. Billman, the founder of the Academy of Dance on Film, is one of several esteemed writers invited by the Washington D.C.-based Dance Heritage Coalition to contribute thinking and ...

Gwen Samuels’ skyscraper stitchery @ A & D Museum

Architecture & Design · Fashion · Visual arts
Looking forward to seeing artist Gwen Samuel’s amazing architectural clothing installed at the Architecture and Design Museum on Wilshire Boulevard across from LACMA.  Samuels considers that when we dress and go out into the world we turn ourselves into a moving canvas or a sculpture … or even a classic building. Whatever building I am, ...

Fred & Barrie for the Fourth 2

Dance · Fashion
The meeting of two slenderellas …. in her red jumpsuit, Barrie Chase looks like a Fourth of July firecracker!

Amy Jean Boebel’s intriguing mesh-metal sculptures 1

Fashion · Visual arts
I am really liking artist Amy Jean Boebel’s beautiful wire and mesh screen sculptures. The Santa Monica sculptress and creator of wearable art also makes tutus! Boebel, who studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and Tulane University School of Architecture, will showcase not this work, but a new installation at Diverted Destruction 5 at The ...

In a New York state of mind … with Henning Rubsam 1

Dance · Fashion
This New York/New York anecdote comes from our Facebook friend, Henning Rübsam, the artistic Director/Choreographer of SENSEDANCE: Back in NYC. Last night at the MET watching ABT … “Are you in fashion?,” the old lady sitting next to me started the conversation. “Always in fashion. But professionally I am a choreographer,” I answered. “My nephew ...

“Travis Banton inspired my dressing Cher,” says Bob Mackie at TCM Fest

Fashion · Film
In a curtain talk with costume historian Deborah Nadoolman-Landis prior to a TCM Fest opening-night screening of Cleopatra, Bob Mackie described an early influence. It was designer Travis Banton’s amazing costumes for Claudette Colbert in Cecil B. DeMille’s at-turns-camp, at-turns-sumptuous Roman romp. “I was thirteen, I lived in Inglewood, there were three movie theaters there. An ...