Movie Time: The Women and Gilbert Adrian!
inJune 19, 2013 - 11:44am
I had the extreme pleasure of viewing the 1939 comedy-drama film "The Women" starring Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford, Rosalind Russell, Paulette Goddard, Joan Fontaine, Lucile Watson, Mary Boland and Virgina Grey. I can’t help but mention the 2008 remake with Meg Ryan, Annette Bening, Candice Bergen, Cloris Leachman, Debra Messing, Carrie Fisher, and Bette Midler. While it was hilarious and I enjoyed every minute of it, it was missing one key element of the original - the fashions!
In the 1939 original there is a story line but it is over-shadowed by the fabulous clothing all designed by Adrian Adolph Greenberg, better known as Gilbert Adrian. He was born in 1903 in Connecticut and after attending the New York School for Fine and Applied Arts, now Parsons, he was hired in 1922 by Irving Berlin to design the costumes for The Music Box Revue. Two interesting notes: he designed the ruby red slippers in the Wizard of Oz and he worked extensively with Joan Crawford. He worked with her 28 times and was responsible for her signature outfits with the large shoulder pads which created a fashion trend.
Viewing "The Women" is a major eye candy treat for vintage clothing lovers. The evening gowns are exquisite and I have no doubt that it was his best work. With an all-women cast the costumes are a feast to behold along with the sets. It was filmed in black and white but included a 10 minute fashion parade which was in color, featuring his best gowns.
While the film was a great success and cited as the best of the year, it received no Academy Award nominations. In 2007 it was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry. The best part is the fact that the film has been restored by Turner Classic Movies.
Don’t miss it.