nohway

JOHN GRUEN’S FABULOUS LIFE, VALENTINA’S FABULOUS CLOTHES

In Uncategorized on April 29, 2009 at 5:06 am

Read all about ‘em in my column, IN THE NOH, in GAY CITY NEWS

http://www.gaycitynews.com/site/index.cfm?newsid=20299740&BRD=2729&PAG=461&dept_id=568864&rfi=8

THE WORLD OF VALENTINA

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The Valentina exhibit at Museum of the City of NY, those are Katharine Hepburn’s pajamas on the far right

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Kohle Yohannon’s magnificent book, VALENTINA: AMERICAN COUTURE AND THE CULT OF CELEBRITY

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The designer, in one of her signature coolie hats

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with her husband, George Schlee, in their apartment, playing Chinese Checkers

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The Schlees, with ever-present friend, Garbo, taking a back seat

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Valentina’s classic draped jersey, photographed by her friend Horst

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Valentina, fitting client and friend, mezzzo-soprano Gladys Swarthout

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As brilliant a costume designer as she was a couturiere, Valentina designed the single greatest opera costume of all time for Rosa Ponselle in CARMEN, 1935, which made the cover of Time magazine.

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Katharine Hepburn on Broadway in THE PHILADELPHIA STORY, 1939. The laced girdle was a Valentina trademark. Duplicates of Valentina’s costumes were still being ordered by clients decades after the show closed.

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Hepburn with Van Heflin and Joseph Cotten

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Hepburn with Joseph Cotten

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When Adrian designed the MGM movie version in 1940, you could not miss the “resemblances.”

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Hepburn, with Cary Grant

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Hepburn with Ruth Hussey and James Stewart

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Hepburn with Cary Grant and James Stewart

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Hepburn with George Cukor on the set

Copying Valentina was nothing new for Adrian; he had also done this when MGM made IDIOT’S DELIGHT with Norma Shearer in 1939. Adrian had a long look at what Valentina had done for Lynn Fontanne on the stage. Incidentally, Fontanne based her impersonation of a phony Russian countess in the play on Valentina.

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Fontanne with Alfred Lunt in IDIOT’S DELIGHT on Broadway

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Norma Shearer and Clark Gable in the 1939 film version

In 1942, Hepburn returned to Broadway in WITHOUT LOVE again gowned by Valentina. When MGM filmed it in 1945, Designer Irene also took inspiration from her stage looks, copying Valentina’s attached draped scarf effects.

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Copyright: davidnoh2009

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  1. Fabulous I love all the photos.

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