No doubt a little girl lacks the super-refined taste of avoiding bright plaids with stripes, or of wearing orange and pink and green together if left to her own predilections, (such matters of style being best left to her blonde mommy), but when a little girl's clothes are properly suited to her coloring, personality, stature and age, she can be as stunning as the most beautiful grown-up princess!
Here, look at darling Shirley Temple as she appears in Curly Top, currently a smash hit in mid-Trent. The film requires eighteen changes of costume, each one costing $35 to $40, or ten times the price of a normal little girl's dress! This ensemble is fashioned from heavy white silk crepe and sheer black velvet, topped with a modified black velvet Breton sailor hat. The velvet capelet is trimmed with hand-embroidered bright yellow baby ducklings. Note the Very Proper white doeskin gloves, regulation white socks and black patent leather Mary Janes. The smart little purse of is white suede. (What do you suppose Miss Temple carries in it? Lipstick? Comb? Compact? Address book? Spare pair of nylons? Chewing gum?)
Little girls all over Trent dream of being Miss Temple, or at least dream of being dressed like her, so are quite fortunate if their mothers can afford even one dress. Those whose mothers can sew are perhaps more fortunate, as both the Ladies' Home Journal and McCall's carry studio-approved Shirley Temple patterns for only fifteen or twenty cents each. Miss Temple, however, is the most fortunate of all little girls, as not only is she Miss Temple, but she gets to keep all her costumes when each film is finished!
Though one cannot properly say that little girls entertain in their own boudoirs and therefore still have no pressing need for what we in Trent call lounge wear, yet every little girl should be indulged with at least one special negligee, so that she might entertain her menagerie of stuffed animals in her bedroom, serving them tea from a diminutive tea-set before saying her prayers and getting tucked in for the night.
] And here is Miss Temple wearing just such an indulgent negligee (also from Curly Top), a sample of charmingly provocative satin feminine elegance in pale blue. The embroidered trim outlining the bodice, with its chic white bunny, has a created a juvenile Trentish fashion sensation which appears on every conceivable item of clothing from undies to topcoats! The stylish dark blue and white striped yarn framing the neckline is complemented with dangling blue and white pom-poms. The only accessory here is a cuddly white goose with contrasting red and white checked bonnet and polka dot neckerchief.
(I had a stuffed goose once, made of red-and-white oilcloth and so not overly cuddly, but I misplaced it -- having shut it up in the oven for some reason or other and then forgetting about it. Mommy lighted the oven one afternoon and pretty soon everyone could smell my stuffed goose roasting; it got all scorched and black and had to be thrown away. Once roasted, it instantly became my Absolutely Favorite Toy, so its unceremonious interment, only partially cremated, in the ash can occasioned great wailing and its prompt replacement, the following Monday, with a stuffed velveteen pony, very cuddly. This is the first time, since then, I have even thought of the stuffed oilcloth goose!)
Surely Miss Temple is the very avatar of feminine purity and innocence; one cannot deny the power of the archetypes she embodies in such a very small package!
ANITA, PARAMOUNT STUDIOS ARCHIVIST FROM TRENT
But, before hanging out too much crepe, let me first (for old times' sake, if for no other reason), titillate your eyes (and imaginations) with some of the finest (and naughtiest) fashion shots Trent can ever be blamed for.
I have only two photos to discuss today. One is from Eastern Trent, where the infamous Hayes Office hasn't any branches, while the other is from Western Trent, where directors must use quite a bit of ingenuity at times to circumvent the censors that office has spawned.
In Western Arcadia, all of Vintesse and the easternmost part of Trent, too, there is little agreement about what should and should not be shown on the screen. Even nudity is not rare, and famous stars -- not mere extras or aspiring starlets -- appear not infrequently dressed in nothing much more substantial than their lingerie.Observe, for example, this breath-taking studio still of Miss Greta Garbo in her Mata Hari working outfit (as she appeared, in fact, in the film itself, of the same name). There is nothing artificial in this costume to mold, trim, augment or alter Miss Garbo's perfect figure, most of which is bared. Indeed, there is not very much of anything in this costume! Though the shot has a bit of backlighting to silhouette Miss Garbo's delectable curves, the primary lighting is frontal
Directors in Western Trent, however, must resort to backlighting an actress clad in a thin, gauzy material to achieve the same effect, and leave more to the audience's imagination, which, after all, may be the better course. Here is such a backlighted studio still of Miss Carole Lombard: only the outline of the famous Lombard figure is actually revealed, so, though the censors might fume (or ogle, perhaps?) they could not do nothing to prevent her appearing like this on the screen itself -- which she does, and often! Provocative, sensual and within the bounds of decent taste.
Which one do you like better?
ANITA, PARAMOUNT STUDIO ARCHIVIST FROM TRENT
Some one has described Aristasia as "one long conversation". Well, Aphrodite is rather like that. If you want to catch up on the conversation so far, the Archive is the place to do it.