We’ve curated the schedule to create this spotlight on great fashion-in-film moments showing from Thursday to Sunday.
Coronavirus prevented everyone from attending Turner Classic Movie’s annual festival in Los Angeles this year, so TCM has brought the festival to us: The channel known for its passionate fan loyalty is making up for the fact that stay-at-home orders resulted in the cancellation of the annual event, so instead they’ve programmed four days of fab films and archived interviews we can enjoy in our own homes. Here’s a nice write-up about the decisions and plans that went into the making of TCM’s “Special Home Edition.”
At Screen Chic we’re always on the lookout for great fashion-in-film moments, so we scanned the festival schedule and put together this roundup of programming that highlights great style in the movies. Set your DVRs now!
Thursday, 16 April:
8 p.m. ET: A Star is Born (1954)
Starring Judy Garland and James Mason
Directed by George Cukor
Costumes by Jean Louis, Irene Sharaff and Mary Ann Nyberg
We know all the great stories about this second iteration of A Star is Born — how it was Judy Garland’s great comeback film, the iconic scene of her singing “The Man That Got Away” in one perfect, uncut shot, and the poignant moment when George Cukor told Garland’s then-husband, Sid Luft, “If it’s for her, whatever it is, I’ll do it,” before Luft even got a chance to tell him about the project. Put aside all those heart-swelling moments, and enjoy this film for the terrific costumes designed for Garland by Jean Louis, from the luxe evening gown and shrug with matching gloves seen here and a similar silhouette she wears during the iconic ending, to a great column gown when Vicki Lester wins her Academy Award, and several fab looks in between. Together with Mary Ann Nyberg and Irene Sharaff (who designed the costumes for the film’s “Born in a Trunk” sequence), Jean Louis was nominated for an Oscar for A Star Is Born — but like the other five nominations for this film that year (including Garland’s Best Actress nod), the cast and crew went home empty-handed. More than 65 years later, however, we’re still admiring their work.
Friday, 17 April:
3 p.m. ET: North by Northwest (1959)
Starring Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
Costumes by Harry Kress (uncredited)
North by Northwest is unquestionably one of Alfred Hitchcock’s best, from the script and the cast to the memorable opening titles by graphic designer Saul Bass and the iconic score by Bernard Herrmann. Eva Marie Saint's costumes are likewise pretty terrific, also because of their backstory: Hitchcock was dissatisfied with the look of her character, who he knew should evoke the idea of a New York sophisticate, so he took the actress to New York’s Bergdorf Goodman (still located at 57th Street and Fifth Avenue, of course) for a shopping spree, and the resulting choices range from the sleek black suit she wears on the train to the iconic rose-print dress seen here. Admit it, you’d wear that rose-print dress tomorrow, and that’s exactly what happens when a film costume is elevated to style-icon status. (Also, tune in an hour early, at 2 p.m. ET, to catch TCM’s repeat airing of an interview with Eva Marie Saint.)
Saturday, 18 April:
8 p.m. ET: Casablanca (1942)
Starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman
Directed by Michael Curtiz
Costumes by Orry-Kelly
One of the most beloved films of all time, it’s pretty thrilling that TCM is including a Casablanca showing during this stay-at-home festival — after all, from purely a cinema perspective, this 1942 classic may be the ultimate comfort food. Surely you’ll tune in for all the great lines, to watch Bogart’s tortured heart, to see Paul Henreid compel the band to play “La Marseilliaise” (and admit it, you’ll cry like the rest of us), but also take a moment to appreciate Orry-Kelly’s work, especially seen in Ingrid Bergman’s perfect costumes, which depict a stylish woman who happens to find herself in the Moroccan desert. Aside from wondering how she managed to pack those stunning hats into her bags, also admire the brooch that she wears during her entrance seen: It was crafted by the legendary firm Joseff of Hollywood, and in a recent Screen Chic story, we examine how this particular brooch may have jumped between three iconic Warner Bros. films.
Sunday, 19 April:
3:30 p.m. ET: Auntie Mame (1958)
Starring Rosalind Russell and Forrest Tucker
Directed by Morton DaCosta
Costumes by Orry-Kelly
Auntie Mame was a huge Broadway hit after its premiere in October 1956; the New York production ultimately ran for 639 performances. Rosalind Russell and Peggy Cass (as Agnes Gooch) were among those who reprised their roles for the film, but Orry-Kelly took over as costume designer and created some truly luxe looks for Mame Dennis. Equally impressive is that the film’s timeline travels across several decades, a feeling that’s seen in both the costume design and the art direction, by Malcolm C. Bert and George James Hopkins, who were nominated for an Oscar for their efforts. But among the films best costumes is the dress Russell wears when she returns to New York from an extended tour of mourning her late husband, Beauregard Jackson Pickett Burnside (played by Forrest Tucker). At the end of the scene, Russell drops the coat and turns her back to the camera, revealing a stunning-low-based dress design with a silk rose at its base. That’s Mame, surprising us once again.
12:15 a.m. ET: Baby Face (1933)
Starring Barbara Stanwyck and George Brent
Directed by Alfred E. Green
Costumes by Orry-Kelly
One of the best-known examples of a no-holds-barred pre-Code film, Baby Face is Barbara Stanwyck at her bad-girl best, playing a woman who uses men as much as they use her so she can get ahead in life. It’s an idea you also see in Orry-Kelly’s costumes, which become decidedly more luxe and glamorous as Stanwyck’s character continues to upgrade her circumstances. Ultimately they’re a fantastic example of 1930s fashion, particularly in the bias-cut designs, prolific use of satin, and details like the backless gown seen here. Another design seen late in the film, embellished with a beaded, wing-like detail, also represents her character’s desire to perhaps take flight. If you love the combination of implied sin and overt glamour in pre-Code films, Baby Face is one that shouldn’t be missed.
TCM is showing a variety of other films and archived interviews throughout the stay-at-home festival, including Jezebel early Sunday morning and Singin’ in the Rain Sunday evening; and on early Saturday morning, TCM will air an interview with Kim Novak, during which she discusses working with Hitchcock in Vertigo. View the full schedule here, and looking forward to joining you — in spirit and on social media — this weekend!