Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Drapery for Marlene Dietrich

Bonjour mes amis,

Like any window treatment, a costume designing concept first begins on paper, then selection of fabric, then workroom and finally execution. The designer is involved in every step of the way. The end result being a happy client. Today, renting "Desire", we can "see" and appreciate all the effort that went into creating the "drapery" for Marlene Dietrich.

The development of costume design departments in the Hollywood studios was the result of two major factors: There were few fashion sources to draw on in Calilfornia, and special costumes were needed for the epics, period stories, musicals, and Westerns that became staples of the industry. Interior Designers of that time were just as limited. Three Interior Designers come to mind whom we are forever grateful; Edith Wharton, Elsie de Wolfe and Dorothy Drapper. And rightly so, for they are still the arbiters of taste and correct usage in the making of domestic interior rooms of the first rank. Did you know that Elsie de Wolfe was the first to woman to use a business card and invented the term "Interior Designer" under her name?

Travis Banton designed for Paramount beginning in 1925, "The Dressmaker from Paris." He creations were understated and deceptively simple designs elevated motion pictures costumes to the status of high fashion. He had a great sense of exquistie balance in a garment perfectly captured the new sophistication that arrived with the thirties. A Banton gown, with a softness and sultriness that followed a woman's body, was Hollywood design at its most sublime.
Banton's sketch for the gown from "Desire" is itself an expression of the serene, sensuous classicism that dominated fashion llustration during the 1930's.

Marlene Dietrich, here gowned superbly by Travis Banton for Paramount's 1935 "Desire". Swathed, draped, enveloped in chiffon that flowed about her like the rippling waters about a fashion goddess, Dietrich captured the imagination and heart of audiences with an allure that has never been equaled.

Like the drapery for Marlene Dietrich, window treatments adds a new sense of fashion and beauty to a room. They also give full credit to your taste and thanks to your interior designer.

Credits: "IN A GLAMOUS FASHION" BY ROBERT LAVINE and Special Assistant and Photo Consultant, ALLEN FLORIO

A la prochaine,
Denise et Gwen


à la parisienne said...


Bonjour, Denise,
Oh, I just love the feminity in these images of Marlen Dietrich.
I totally agree that a room just doesn't look put together without wonderful window treatments. For me, the hardest thing is finding the exact fabric I have in mind. Right now I am looking for the perfect gray (silk) fabric...
Have a great day!

Denise said...

Merci beaucoup-! When you find that perfect gray silk, let us know for pricing.