Sunday, February 19, 2012

{Style Inspiration} Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

I am obsessed with William Travilla's costumes for "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes". Actually I'm obsessed with the whole film, it's one of the best ever made - the humour has stood up over time, unlike many others of its era. I can't remember how old I was when I first saw it - it was one of the films we had on Betamax (which my stepfather always maintains was superior to its commpetitor VHS). Some of you may recall a project I've had in the pipeline for, oh, years - in which I intend to sew a series of garments inspired by the costumes from this movie. Well my first such garment is scheduled in for next month, so I thought I'd dedicate a Sunday Style Inspiration post to those fabulous costumes.

Both ladies' "Paris" suits were simply to die for, but Marilyn's especially was an absolute show-stealer, in some ways outshining even the much more extravagant and famous red sparkly "Little Rock" and hot pinks "Diamonds" dresses in pure elegance.

Although Jane Russell's Dorothy is often overshadowed in popular imagination by Marilyn's Lorelei (she was actually the bigger star at the time, and paid several times Marilyn's fee!), her outfits were just as stylish, given a sharp elegance to match her wise-cracking character.

The skirt below is another on my to-make list - just love that high-waist detail!

The first of Dorothy's swing coats, black and white check with shaped lapels and vibrant yellow lining, worn over a black halterneck jumpsuit.

The velvet trouser outfit with wide lilac cummerbund sash and green sweater - a study in colour and texture. And Dorothy's white swing jacket with blue polka dot lining is just a dream.

One of the less well-known costumes from the film, but one of my favourites, is this sapphire number from the scene which contains one of Marilyn's best lines (and one which I read she had a hand in scripting).

Don't you see? A man being rich is like a girl being pretty. You might not marry a girl just because she's pretty, but my goodness, doesn't it help?


  1. I love this movie and all the costumes. A real classic.

    1. I love this film. Witty and full of cheek. The garments are amazing, just impeccably tailored. I'm loving the leopard get up on Marilyn, so striking!

  2. That movie is one of my favorites! Marilyn's green top with purple sash is amazing. I haven't seen the sequel (Gentlemen Marry Brunettes) but its on Netflix so I think I'll have to watch it sometime this week

  3. I love that movie- instant medication if I feel low. And the clothes are absolutely wonderful, both Russell's and Monroe's! I look forward to see your clothes!

  4. You, my dear, are an inspiration! I cannot wait to see the next garment you create!

  5. This movie is my favourite Marilyn film. Jane Russel cuts a gorgeous figure in all of her costumes. Can't wait to see what you decide to make :)
    Hello from a new follower! :)
    R xx

  6. Such perfect costumes would love them to come to life! x

  7. Oh that suit! The neckline is swoooonworthy!

  8. One of my favourites! I actually prefer Jane Russell to Marilyn in this she just looks gorgeous!

  9. I LOVE MM but Jane Russell MAKES that movie for me :D

  10. Oh I really love this movie and all clothes inside!!! But I think my favorite film with Marilyn is Monkey Business.

    Please look at my last post you will love all these hats to die for... I think your favorites area for hats is late 30's, isn't?

  11. Must re watch it, I haven't seen that film since I was a child, I used to watch old films on TV of a Saturday the days when one could do that....with my Granny. She was a huge Fred and Ginger fan, too, I remember her eating those horrible Oddfellows sweets, we had a great time!

    Looking forward to seeing your creations.

  12. I watch this film about once a week. Hands down my favorite, especially Jane's wit. Jane's swing coats are my fave, I keep hoping I'll get around to making one. Can't wait to see what you make!


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