TCM salutes Hollywood’s distinguished costume designers

Fashion · Film
We like Deborah Nadoolman Landis. She’s pretty, she’s nice, she wears spectacles, she has a cool husband, and she’s an arts·meme subscriber. Hey, she’s a Deborah! What’s not to love? More importantly, Ms. Nadoolman Landis is a huge expert in a super interesting field. She earned a Ph.D. in history of design from the Royal ...

C.B.’s captivating “Cleopatra”

Film
We just loved Cecil B. DeMille’s Cleopatra (1934)  — a movie that burns at high voltage for one hundred entertaining minutes. It looked all the better projected onto the Egyptian Theater’s humongous screen. Scott Eyman, author of the new DeMille biography, “Empire of Dreams,” was on hand to banter about the film with critic Leonard ...

Cleopatra reclaims the Egyptian Theater 1

Film
What better place to celebrate the art (and commerce!) of Cecil B. DeMille than the Egyptian Theater on Hollywood Boulevard? An under appreciated director who mined the nexus of the lofty and the lusty, DeMille fits well with the Egyptian Theater’s ornate aesthetic. His influence was ingrained in mainstream American culture by the time Sid Grauman ...

Travis Banton undresses Miriam Hopkins

Film
We’re midway through Ian Birnie’s weekend film retrospective of the American-made comedies of Ernst Lubitsch at LACMA. Last weekend, we levitated in pleasure under the spell of “Design for Living“ (1933), the sophisticated German-born film director’s version of the Noel Coward play. Two Americans sharing a flat in Paris, playwright Tom Chambers (Frederic March) and ...

All hail Travis Banton, Paramount Pictures costume designer

Fashion · Film
LACMA’s retrospective of Ernst Lubitsch comedies, made in America with a classy European sensibility, opened with the giddy perfection of the German-born director’s “Trouble in Paradise” (1932). Of all the ingredients simmering in this film’s sweet stew, it’s the pre-code evening gowns in which “Trouble”‘s two leading ladies circulate the sound stage dropping witty dialogue ...

Travis Banton turned tootsies into stars 1

Fashion · Film
I had the great pleasure of spending a few hours with writer David Chierichetti, the film fashion expert. David is the biographer of the under appreciated film director Mitchell Leisen; costume designer Edith Head; and he is author of coffee table volume, Hollywood Costume Design. Driving in L.A. traffic en route to the Egyptian Theater, ...