Wednesday, August 26, 2009


I don't know why it's taken us so long to follow Auntie Mame's notion of a good breakfast ("Tell Ito to make me a very light breakfast, black coffee and a Sidecar") but now that we know the allure of that drink we're sold on it for any time of the day. You would be too:

1 part Cointreau
1 part fresh lemon juice
3 parts Brandy

Chill martini glass while putting together ingredients above in shaker. Add lots of ice cubes. Shake for 20 seconds or until shaker is frosted. Strain on frosted martini glass. Consider calling Ul Yulu to re-do your living room while sipping.

Friday, August 21, 2009


"I think it's about time John Derek got a leading lady at least half as good-looking as he is. No one, male or female, could be better looking. But if he were teamed with luscious Liz Taylor, she could probably hold her own! So far, John Derek has made all of his leading ladies look sick!" -- Lois J. Boyd, Streator, Ill.
(Letters to Photoplay magazine, 1952)

Sunday, August 9, 2009

WHAT SHOULD I DO? Your Problems Answered by Claudette Colbert

Dear Miss Colbert:
I have finally been asked to join a club at school I have wanted to belong for a long time. One of my very best friends was invited to join, so she asked to have me initiated too. For initiation each girl has to do something difficult. One girl had to locate two eight-cent airmail stamps. She borrowed them from a stamp collector. Another girl had to have a deck of cards autographed by a minister. Luckily, her uncle is a minister, but the girls didn't know that.
Here is what I have to do: ask you to send me a black wig exactly like Hedy Lamarr's hair. If you can't do this I can't become a member of the club, so I know you won't let me down. --Ellie E.

Dear Ellie:
I feel there is something to be said on high school clubs of this sort and I might as well say it. In California, high school clubs are strictly forbidden unless they have a definite and clear-cut purpose approved by the faculty and supervised by them, such as collecting toys for underprivileged children, and in general contributing something constructive to the community. A club that forces new members to do humiliating and foolish things isn't a club to which I would want a younger sister or a niece of mine to join.
Besides, it would be impossible to find a wig as beautiful as Hedy Lamarr's hair; there isn't such a thing. -- Claudette Colbert

-- Photoplay magazine, 1952

...because when you're Suzy Parker it doesn't matter how you wear your hair...

The beautiful Universal lucite logo was recently used in "Changeling." Even in a digitized version, it was worth all the tzures that followed.

Saturday, August 8, 2009


"In 1947 Bette Davis' tenure as the first lady of Warner Brothers was drawing to a close. Since 1932 her [wardrobe for] films had been designed almost exclusively by the brilliant and hot-tempered Orry-Kelly. "She didn't like him as a person but she kept using him because she knew she needed him," recalls Milo Anderson.

Her figure had several serious problems: bowed legs, very round shoulders, and a long and broad neck. Worst of all were her breasts, which hung almost to her waist. She refused to wear brassieres with underwire because she thought that the wire would cause breast cancer. When strapless bras became available, Kelly bought one and tried to get her to wear it, but she threw it at him. If Kelly pulled up on the straps too much her shoulders ached and the breasts simply doubled over.

Sometimes Kelly just let the breasts fall as they would and hid them in the unfitted waistline of a dress. But usually he lifted them as much as possible and tried to find new and different ways of camouflaging the situation with optical illusions. Short sleeves on a blouse or dress usually end at the middle of the upper arm, but Kelly brought Davis' sleeves down to the elbow so that they would be on the same level as the bottom of her bust. He often put white handkerchiefs in her breast pockets or corsages to draw the eye up. "Oh, give me some new way to break her bust!" he moaned one day to his assistant."
. -- from Edith Head: The Life and Times of Hollywood's Celebrated Costume Designer by David Chierichetti

Sunday, August 2, 2009


The Empress of Cosmetology was painted by just about every significant artist of her time, including Vertes, Dali and Duffy. The one that got away was Picasso, who worked on a painting for many months but didn't complete it because he thought that if he finished it meant he would die first. "The devil," she called him.