Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Way We Were

"The best-dressed women in the world are to be found on almost any street in America. Without the small fortune it takes to outfit a fashionable woman abroad, women across the U.S. can outdress all others because of a unique $8 billion ready-to-wear industry which puts no price barrier on style. How well the American woman does is illustrated by the photograph at right. Here are 12 new American designs whose prices range from $10.95 to $1,020..." December, 1956
Click to enlarge!

To this we say... What the hell happened, America?!?!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Color My World

"Last year, working as a color consultant on John Huston's Moulin Rouge, LIFE photographer Eliot Elisofon brilliantly showed how color could be used not only to heighten realism but to play its own dramatic and psychological role in a movie. Recently Elisofon visited the Hollywood studios to demonstrate how his principles can be applied to a representative group of screen beauties.

"He took a group of ranking younger stars, had them dress in all white, put them against white backgrounds and blow-ups of black and white stills from recent movies, then chose a key color for each of them. Using color gelatins on his lights (like the spotlights which shine on the stage from theater balconies) and filters on his camera to control the color balance, he matched colors to each young player's movie character..." (LIFE, June 29, 1953)

"GOLDEN GIRL, Doris Day, bouncy singing star of Warner Brothers' films, was photographed under yellow light to bring out her 'sunshine and good health.' The stagecoach is setting for her forthcoming movie, Calamity Jane."

"PINK AND PENSIVE, Elizabeth Taylor is bathed in rosy light which Elisofom chose to go with the 'tender sweetness' of her personality. In the background is a statue of Buddha from Elephant Walk, her new Paramount film."

"SPECTACULAR hair and sultry stateliness led Elisofon to drench Rhonda Fleming in bright orange light in order to emphasize her sensuous qualities. The background which he chose for this picture is a still showing sands of the Utah desert over which her locks wave in her current Paramount movie, Pony Express."

"CLASSIC calm and beauty of Audrey Hepburn, Elisofon decided, called for blue tones to bring out her poise and subtle coloring. Antique arch is from her forthcoming Roman Holiday. Hollywood is convinced that Audrey, best known for her stage role in Gigi, is one of tomorrow's great stars."

"OFF-BEAT LOOKS of Joanne Gilbert, in addition to her 'stark eyes and hot songs,' led Elisofon to pick purple for this nightclub sensation whom Paramount expects to be an equal sensation in movies."

"FLASHIEST LEGS in films belong to dancer Cyd Charisse. Photographer thought red a good choice for Cyd and background, from ballet in her MGM musical, The Band Wagon, which spoofs sex-and-sadism craze in 25 cent books."

"A TOUCH OF GREEN was added in varying degrees by the photographer to these two pictures [top] of Virginia Mayo. In this amount the light, taken together with a background which is reminiscent of Virginia's most successful sea picture (Captain Horatio Hornblower), suggests a sea-borne, free-and-easy character... AS MORE GREEN IS ADDED, the increasing intensity of the color transforms the open, pleasant effect of pictures of Virginia [bottom] into something slightly off-color and vaguely disquieting. Elisofon thinks directors can make use of color changes like this to indicate dramatic turns in the movie's story."