January 06, 2014

DO THE (AMERICAN) HUSTLE!



David O. Russell's latest film, American Hustle is getting rave reviews all round: directing; screenplay; acting and, last but not least--the funky, fun fashions. The movie is set in the dizzying disco era of 1970s New York.






Costumer, Michael Wilkinson used many bona fide vintage designer garments, accessories and footwear: Halston; Gucci; Diane von Furstenberg; Charles Jourdan; I. Magnin--to name a few. He embellished with 'made for the movie' clothes that look so authentic, you'll think it's 1978!





 
 
 Con man, Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale) meets an attractive young woman Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams) at a pool party.
 
 
One of the 1970s re-creations: a genuine macramé swimsuit
  
 
 Ms. Prosser is wearing a macramé swimsuit, in an ivory shade that only a stunning redhead could wear well. Irving: paunchy, balding and wearing the "leisure suit" so popular in the late 1970s, is instantly smitten.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Rosenfeld tells Prosser that he has a dry cleaning business where all manner of terrific dresses are forgotten and left behind. She can have her pick of the crop.
 
 
Sydney models a Diane von Furstenberg wrap dress
 
 
Amy Adams' try-on in the back room of the dry cleaners
  
 
 Sydney and Irving decide to form a partnership. She is smart as well as beautiful, and possesses just what his con operation needs: a touch of class. 
  
 
Irving and Sydney's "dancing in the streets" gear
 
   
Sydney takes on an alter ego: Englishwoman Lady Edith Greensly, who purports to have British banking connections.  Together, they form "London Associates" and thrive both personally and professionally, working as a team.
  
 
 
Amy Adams wears another version of the DVF wrap...
 
 
 
...and another. This  classic style was introduced in 1974
 
 
 
 Irving is in love with Sydney and she with him.  Meanwhile, back in Long Island, resides wife, Rosalyn Rosenfeld, (Jennifer Lawrence) with  Irving's adoptive young son. An awkward situation just waiting to ignite...
 
 
Jennifer Lawrence as Rosalyn--cleaning in a leopard print top

 
Enter Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper), an ambitious FBI agent looking to further his career by busting some dishonest politicians.  Richie arrests Sydney, whom he locks up in solitary for three days.  He is, however, also smitten by this lovely--if dishonest--English rose.



 

 Bradley Cooper as Richie DiMaso-- in bright blue polyester
 
 
 
 
 
Amy Adams in brown wrap dress worn with Bradley Cooper above

 
 
The three soon form an unholy alliance, involving a fake Arab Sheik, the mayor of Camden, New Jersey, Miami-based mobsters and Washington politicos on the take.  FBI money is used to scam and bribe with the phony intention of rebuilding Atlantic City as a gambling mecca. Mayor Carmine Polito, (Jeremy Renner) an honest man, is the only one unaware of the operation.
 
 
 
 
Rosenfeld, Lady Edith and DiMaso walk down Lexington Avenue



Leather dress from the Halston archives



Mayor Polito, a devoted family man, sets up a meeting in an elegant Manhattan restaurant insisting that Rosenfeld bring his wife. Rosalyn is a character and then some, giving Jennifer Lawrence a tour de force acting gig, while looking both sexy and stylish.
 
 
 
At the restaurant: Rosalyn; Dolly Polito; Irving and Mayor Polito

 


Rosalyn's vintage animal print jumpsuit from I. Magnin



 
 An FBI private jet delivers Mayor Polito to meet the Sheik on the tarmac, as Lady Edith/Sydney looks on--chic in vintage hat and fur-trimmed coat.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sydney, feeling frustrated by Irving's renewed attention to Rosalyn and Carmine's insistence that she accompany him everywhere, calls Richie out for a night at a dance club--bearing a striking similarity to Studio 54.
 
  
 
Made for the movie disco diva dress
 

  
Barely-there disco dress with vintage fur and strappy sandals




The climactic scene takes place at a ritzy Casino party with everyone in attendance and dressed appropriately for the Hustle of a lifetime.

All decked out in a dangerously clingy and revealing white glittery gown,  Rosalyn flirts with a junior mobster, while his boss holds court in a back room with Irving, Richie and the Sheik.
 
 


 
 
 
 

Aware of her husband's dalliance and furious that Sydney has shown up with Richie, she plans a little payback of her own.

 
 
 




Sydney and Roslyn have a confrontation in the ladies room. Amy Adams sparkles in a dazzling gunmetal sequin backless halter dress.







 
At the Casino: Amy Adams as Sydney/Edith; Bradley Cooper as Richie DiMaso; Jeremy Renner as Carmine Polito; Christian Bale as Irving Rosenfeld and Jennifer Lawrence as Rosalyn Rosenfeld. 







There's more--but--Crème de la Crème reveals no endings.  Ergo, if you haven't already--boogie on down to see American Hustle!
 
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January 03, 2014

"OH, YOU BEAUTIFUL DOLL" Joan Crawford


Joan Crawford was one of the best-dressed film actresses of all time. She was muse to great photographers like George Hurrell as well as to brilliant MGM designer, Adrian.
 
 
Joan wrapped in a garland of her beloved gardenias, 1935
 
 
 
 
Joan, like many other glamorous stars of the 1930s and 1940s inspired Paper Dolls, one of film, fashion & frivolity's favourite things:
 
 
Bra, step-ins and corselette--lingerie of the era
 
 
 
 The movie that each outfit is taken from is written at the side of the garment.


Famous Roles
 



From beach to boudoir








Best-Dressed Joan!





After Dark!







This is one of the loveliest and most accurate collections of Paper Doll film costumes I have ever encountered.

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