Monday, August 1, 2011

A Wonderful Weekend & Down Argentine Way

Hello all!

This past weekend was grand, with lots of vintage-related goodness packed in and some merrymaking (that involved lots of yummy food, always a plus) with friends last night. 

Saturday I had a shoot that was somewhat hastily planned with a girl I know from work - me taking the pictures, of course (I say this because if you know me, you know how I get extremely uncomfortable in front of the camera - behind it, however, is where I love to be). I just had this urge to play dress up with somebody, and Emily (yes, we have the same name, but that's not too exciting since it's the most popular girl's name for people born in the 90's) is pretty and has this really long wavy hair I was dying to vintage-ify, so I thought, hey, lets do a little vintage inspired shoot! It's been ages since I took pictures so I was a bit nervous that my "technique" would be rusty, and it was, but practice makes perfect, right? I went over to her place the night before and pin-curled her hair, then came over on Saturday and did her hair, makeup, and brought some clothing, and away we went! She was actually really great, even though she'd never done a shoot before - no awkwardness, really relaxed, so that was great. I'll try and edit some soon... I need to get Photoshop but for now I'll have to make do with Gimp.

On Sunday I got up early and headed out to the SoWa Open Market that happens every Sunday in Boston, because it's located right by Bobby's and the market also has a market-within-a-market vintage section, and it's been weeks since I last went. And boy, did I hit the jackpot (and my wallet... really hard. Meh.)! More on that in a later post. 
Then I came home, took a cold shower (something I have to do all the time here, it being so hot and humid and my apartment with no A/C), and hunkered down with baking for a friend's dinner party that night, where everyone was supposed to bring a little food/drink to contribute. I made a cheese & croissants recipe I learned from Gee, and then made chocolate croissants too, but those were an utter flop as the chocolate I used was wayyyy to bitter. Not bittersweet. Just plain bitter.
But the party was a blast, lots of good food, good people, good times. 

Anyway, if you haven't dozed off by now, I'll leave you with some pictures from Down Argentine Way (1940) with Betty Grable and Don Ameche, which I watched a few days ago, and really loved, not that I'm surprised! There was some marvelous fashion in this film, and Technicolor never fails to dazzle me!

First up: there was some really cute sportswear and equestrian clothing in this film!
Betty Grable at the races. 

This below outfit was actually my favorite of the sportswear: some equestrian breeches, a neat little sweater and collar, and riding boots! I've always had an incongruous affection for equestrian styles - incongruous because I have had absolutely no experience with or connection to horseback riding in any part of my life, except for a few terrifying summer camp experiences with peevish horses that liked to rear up and throw you off when you least expected it. Come to think of it, though, perhaps it's a hereditary connection - my mom lived for horses in her youth, she kept a few horses through all her childhood and rode everywhere on Big Red (her favorite) like most teenagers do their cars. She kept riding and had her own horse even through college and when she moved down south the Atlanta, and didn't give it up until she got pregnant with me because of the danger of pregnant ladies on horses... Sorry about that, mom. You got me instead!

During the horse training montage, a cute blue sweater & brown breeches combo:

 On raceday, a tailored suit and blouse:

Of course there was a ton of glamorous fancywear (this should be a word):
I do like cutout details, but the skirt wasn't that great, in my opinion, and this outfit wouldn't have done much for me if it had been on someone less awesome than Betty. 
Wooing on the balcony.
Fresh off the plane after landing in Argentina. The wonderful Charlotte Greenwood to the left, who I've unintentionally seen in quite a few films now, and she seems to always play the same sort of character - not that I mind, because she's always funny. 

A closer look at Betty's... interesting hat. Definitely fun to look at, but not something I would wear. 
A chunky and extravagant (and undoubtably expensive) fur worn by Betty for her first night out on the town in Argentina. This is another one of those outfits that I definitely admire for that distinct over-the-top glamour typical of the era, but not something that I find exactly pretty or something that I would ever want to wear. Like the hat above, it's fun to look at, but just doesn't float my boat, style wise. 
The coat from behind.
Cheer up, Betty! Look at all those sparkles!
Oh, yeah. I forgot, she was getting a bit bored/annoyed with her date.
This was just a girl in the background, I couldn't get a very good shot of her (ribbon?) dress, but - isn't it fun? For some reason it makes me think of 30s beach pajamas, made into an evening dress.  
More sparkles from Betty, and the girl to the left also has a jaunty and colorful striped number.  
This is just because Betty has a pretty face and pretty hair. 
Patriotic colors dress. I would've liked this okay if it weren't for the immensely puffy sleeves. I mean, don't get me wrong, I love puffy sleeves, way more than the average person, but these were just too enormous, kind of overwhelmed her frame a bit.  
More wooing by moonlight, and a song sung by Don Ameche. 
At the races again. 
Betty shakin' it in the final number of the film. 
I don't even have to tell you, do I, that this is the last shot of the film - romantic banter, the big kiss, fade to black, soaring orchestra. Yes, it's a formula, and I love it. 
And here are some other bits:
Gorgeous car, driven by gorgeous Betty. 
The Nicolas Brothers have two dance scenes! Superb as usual, seemed almost like acrobats at certain points. 
The endlessly wonderful and adorable Carmen Miranda! This was her American film debut. She only had two short scenes, but clearly she made a big enough hit that she went on the star in all the films she did and become the sensation that she was.  
This outfit did not do it for me, in fact I think it's a bit silly. Anyone less lovely than Betty would not be able to wear this without looking clownlike. It's just so unexpected, to see something so garish in a film from an era that produced such loveliness! 
Lots of pretty South American style dresses.
The Garish Jacket and Betty and Don, sitting on a car. 
In the special features there was a 40 minute or so special on Betty Grable from TCM, which I of course watched. There was some rare Betty footage on there, and I learned some things about her I had never known before, which was pleasantly surprising since I thought I'd Googled Betty-info into oblivion. Here are a few pictures of Betty from pre-teen and teenage years:

Betty as an unknown (and very young) chorus girl. Look in front of her, those kids are quite literally children! The documentary talked quite a bit about how those days were the height of the Stage Mother. 

- Emily

1 comment:

  1. Down Argentine Way is definitely one of the better Betty Grable movies. I definitely think Don Ameche helps. Betty's always cute, but some of those musicals are such duds!