Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

The blue dress and the red shoes

Just one marvellous costume from Michael Powell's THE RED SHOES that 1948 delirious movie - no wonder its a Scorsese favourite - from Michael Powell and Emeric Pressberger.

This particular costume was designed by Jacques Fath, a completely self-taught designer, learning his craft from studying museum exhibitions and books about fashion. He presented his first collection in 1937, and became - together with Christian Dior and Pierre Balmain - one of the three dominant influencers of postwar haute couture. 
In 1954, he died of leukemia. Thankfully he got to design some costumes for movies, He dressed Kay Kendall in GENEVIEVE and ABDULLAH THE GREAT.  She would have been ideal for his fashions (and she too died of leukemia in 1959 - as per my posts on her, Kendall label.). 
He also created this lovely outfit, in a wonderful shade of blue/sea green, for ballerina Moira Shearer. I love that dreamy scene where she wears it ascending those stairs to meet the ruthless but charismatic impressario Lermontov (Anton Walbrook) who will offer her that dream role in "The Red Shoes" ballet .... see Michael Powell/Jack Cardiff labels for more on this fantastic film, its a 1940s dreamworld where Jack Cardiff's Technicolor seems positively psychedelic - as in BLACK NARCISSUS. Moira Shearer is perfect here too - though she was later a victim of Powell's PEEPING TOM!  (right: Kay in GENEVIEVE).
Walbrook is a Person We Like here; he died in 1967 and is buried opposite Kay Kendall in that charming Hampstead cemetry I have written about here before - Walbrook label.

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