Saturday, July 31, 2010

Still Film: More Fashions from Bathing Beauty (1944)

Bathing Beauty is full of bright fashions that exist exactly on the edge between chic and kitsch...I didn't realize there was a shared border between the two until I saw this film. Costuming was supervised by Irene Sharaff, the oscar wining costume designer for a wide range of musicials and classic films from the 50s through the 70s.    

Bathing Beauty has a strong Latin undercurrent in the musical sequences, so at times the wardrobe also echoed the Latin American influences (above/below cape being the most overt). The film has a over-all meticulous design in color and form, and the fashion is so perfectly framed by the mise-en-scene that it must have been a major focus in the movie-making process. This movie certainly makes one of the most whimsical, light-hearted fashion statements in 40s film.


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