In the 1942 flick I Married A Witch, Fredric March’s character Wallace Wooley states, “Mere physical beauty isn’t everything.” That may be true, but did he even LOOK at this dress? In the classic film, Veronica Lake plays Jennifer, a Salem witch who’s been stuck in a tree for hundreds of years, until a bolt of lightning sets her spirit free! She’s put a curse on the family of the man who burned her at the stake, and after wandering around the modern world, accidentally drinks her own love potion meant for one of her enemy’s descendants! It’s the definition of a screwball comedy from that era, and an adorable one to boot! We had always pictured Veronica Lake as a tall, sultry actress, but she was barely 5’0, and the little cutie runs around this movie creating all sorts of havoc (apparently, not far off from the real life set either!) In the book Vintage Fashion, Ottilie Godfrey describes in detail how Jennifer’s infamous black dress was made: “For Lake’s wardrobe in I Married a Witch (1942), Edith Head and her fellow costume designers were allowed to use acres of extravagant fabric to enhance the actress’s glamour and help boost public morale. This black chiffon over nude silk evening dress with Guipre lace bodice detail and bishop sleeves is a perfect foil for Lake’s smoldering beauty.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. Happy Halloween to all our bewitching beauties!
In this bewitching edition of “Fancy Friday,” we’re showcasing Miss Lena Duchannes (played by Alice Englert) in Beautiful Creatures. The box office bomb debuted on this editor’s birthday (Valentine’s Day), and she absolutely loved the 2013 flick! Based on the novel of the same name, it tells the story of an ordinary boy who falls for an extraordinary girl. Set in the deep south, the two fall in love, while spending copious amounts of time cracking sardonic jokes and reading lots of books – I mean, what’s not to like? The characters also wear some killer clothes! Without revealing too much, this scene happens to be the climax of the film, and Miss Duchannes sports this mystical ballgown. Costume designer Jeffrey Kurland explained to Entertainment Weekly, “I designed the top of the gown as a man’s shirt might look, open and loose, which I felt was more her style.” The open shoulders on the belted corset, paired with the grays and lavenders in her layered skirt create a mesmerizing look. These photos don’t even do the dress justice – you have to see the film to really appreciate it! It’s also the outfit Lena wears when she finally learns to stand on her own and defend herself; and there’s no better accessory than STRENGTH!
When this editor was a little girl, she loved witches so much, she formed a “Witch Club” with her best friend. (Thankfully, those days are behind her!) She also loved old movies and Jimmy Stewart, so her parents rented her Bell, Book and Candle. Honestly, I was so bored I couldn’t even tell you what happened, but it does make me feel nostalgic! In the 1958 film, Kim Novak plays a Manhattan girl and a modern witch who falls in love with James Stewart! She sports some stunning costumes by Jean Louis, who was nominated for an Academy Award for his work on the film. Here is the best: a simple, long-sleeved black peplum dress, with silk gloves and the most elegant hooded cape to match. Bewitching is an understatement.
“Are you a good witch or a bad witch?” Glinda asks Dorothy, upon her arrival in the wonderful world of Oz. Who else would we feature on “Pink Wednesday” than the most famous good witch of all? Billie Burke played the witch of the north in the 1939 classic The Wizard of Oz, and dons an enormous soft pink, sparkling ballgown, with poofed sleeves and a matching crown and scepter. The film’s costume designer was the legendary Adrian. When Dorothy is surprised at how lovely Glinda is, she responds, “Only bad witches are ugly.” In The Wizard of OZ FAQ, by David J. Hogan, our editors were shocked to learn Glinda’s gown was featured previously in the movie, San Francisco (1936) on Jeanette MacDonald. Hogan also mentioned that Billie Burke once joked of her costume, “I look like a refugee from German opera.” Burke wasn’t far off, but it’s a cinematic look that has gone down in history. Good thing no one dropped a house on this dress!
This “Tuesday Twosome” is a “Tuesday Trio,” and who better to feature during a week dedicated to witches than the Witches of Eastwick? In the 1987 film, the beguiling ladies are played by everlasting beauties Cher, Susan Sarandon and Michelle Pfeiffer. They play Alexandra Medford, Jane Spofford, and Sukie Ridgemont, respectively – three friends who are drastically different, but all face the same issue: men trouble. While lamenting and bonding one night, the women accidentally and unknowingly form a coven, and conjure the “perfect man.” Unfortunately, the so-called perfect guy happens to be Satan! And who better to play him than devilish Hollywood bad boy, Jack Nicholson? Here, the three ladies play around in some gorgeous frocks. Cher looks stunning in a black evening gown, with a subtle sequined detail; Michelle Pfeiffer’s character is sporting a slick black hat and a large-printed pajama set; and Susan Sarandon’s character, Jane, goes from nerdy music teacher to a voluptuous redhead in a gold lamé gown. The film’s costume designer Aggie Guerard Rodgers mentioned in a 1990 article in the LA Times, she’s featured jewelry of her late mother in all of her work. (Fun Fact: Rodgers is also the costumer from Tim Burton’s Beetlejuice, who designed our favorite black-and-white striped pattern the lead character wears!) The witches look absolutely lovely here playing around, but things take a dark and dangerous turn, and they have to figure out a way to get rid of the once perfect boyfriend they all use to share! (P.S. If you couldn’t tell from the details mentioned already, this movie is super weird!)
“I’ve lived a disreputable life, but I’ve done it in style – and I’ll die likewise.” Miss Fiona Goode, played by the incredible Jessica Lange, is the star of American Horror Story: Coven. She is the “Supreme,” the highest and most powerful witch of the coven. Here, she is taking the young witches on a field trip around New Orleans, in a beautiful black Gucci peplum dress, delicate black leather gloves, a killer parasol and suede Pointed-Toe Island Platform Pumps by Prada. Ms. Lange is always stunning, but she is absolutely fierce in this series! Fiona always looks sophisticated scheming and casting spells, and while she is rarely seen not wearing black, this is the most iconic outfit she sports throughout the series. “Who’s the baddest witch in town?” Fiona asks the mirror, but she already knows who… She is, and there’s no Supreme like her!
We’re continuing “Witch Week,” with the fabulous Meryl Streep! She plays “The Witch” in 2013’s Into the Woods. She actually spends most of the movie cursed as a hideous hag (thanks to her mother), but once her neighbor, The Baker, secures the magic ingredients (a cow as white as milk, a cape as red as blood, hair as yellow as corn, and a slipper as pure as gold), she transforms into the absolute stunner shown here. Costume designer Colleen Atwood told Vanity Fair, “It is sort of a take on a turn-of-the-century silhouette. We played with scale a lot with her hair. It was big, the shoulders were big, it was all big.” Meryl’s dark turquoise gown featured high-shoulders and a long, whimsical cape, her nails and beautiful bouffant also matched in color. Atwood added, “I kind of wanted the texture of the hair and the dress to tie together.” The result was breathtaking – we are definitely dying our hair blue in retirement! Meryl is drop-dead gorgeous as blue-haired lady!
Since we’re a week away from Halloween, our editors at theSkinnyStiletto decided to dedicate this week to our favorite type of supernatural subject – witches! We will feature the best-dressed bewitching ladies of TV and film! Here is fashion icon herself, Sarah Jessica Parker, in Hocus Pocus as Sarah Sanderson. She plays one of three sister witches, and also happens to be the prettiest (and dumbest) of the three. While her older sisters are more concerned with revenge and coming back to life, Sarah is more excited about being attractive again… “BOYS WILL LOVE ME!” Sarah declares, after rejuvenating herself with the life of a young child. She may have been born centuries ago, but Sarah still looks hot in her corseted red gown, platinum blonde hair, heavy eyeliner and tops it off with a flowing purple cape. Sarah is a total creep, but she knows the importance of not letting your looks run, “Amok, amok, amok, amok, amok!” (Fun Fact: SJP recently found out one of her ancestors was actually accused of witchcraft in Salem, Massachusetts! This movie wasn’t too far off!)
Since theSkinnyStiletto was an a bit of a hiatus last year, we missed one of our favorite events – the Met Costume Gala! The theme last year was “Charles James: Beyond Fashion.” He was considered America’s first couturier, so many attendees showed up in, what else, couture! One of our favorite girls, the legendary Sarah Jessica Parker, showed up in a show-stopping black and white ballgown. Created by Oscar de la Renta (check out his signature in red on the back), the gown features a fitted black bodice adorned with white buttons, a full gleaming skirt and a geometric black and white windowpane train. SJP accessorized the look with white evening gloves, and a big, glamorous up-do filled with flowers! Sadly, the 1st anniversary Mr. de la Rena’s death passed earlier this week, and we found a touching tribute Sarah wrote about her dear friend. Fun Fact: It was Sarah’s idea to put Oscar’s signature on the back of the dress! She improves everything!
We’re back from the future! It’s been a year and a half since our editors have posted on our beloved site, but we’re back! In honor of Back to the Future Day (October 21, 2015), what better outfit to post on Pink Wednesday than Jennifer Parker’s sweet pastel jacket? In the 1985 film, Marty McFly’s girlfriend, Jennifer (played by the lovely Claudia Wells) rocks a pair of jeans, an open floral button-down, a black vest donning some pink flowers and a decade-appropriate soft pink jacket. It is the ultimate girl-next-door uniform of the 1980s. The film’s costume designer was Deborah Lynn Scott, and we’ve featured her work on the film in a previous post about the Top 10 Prom Dresses on Film. (Marty’s mother also sports pink – at her 1955 school dance where he has to trick his parents to fall in love!) It is one of this editor’s all-time favorite films! As Doc Brown says, “Your future hasn’t been written yet. No one’s has. Your future is whatever you make it, so make it a good one!” Happy October 21st, 2015!