Girl. This dress. I can’t deal. It’s like a fluffy-foo-honey-boo. Not quite that down home just simply glamour:
Top Hat was made in 1935 and co-stars Fred Astaire. For years I had heard references to both these actors and never quite understood what made them so interesting. That all changed last night. At least from the Ginger Roger side of things. Fred, is well, not very attractive. Just a fine dancer and a good sport, as they say. The movie’s plot is nothing exceptional. Just a case of mistaken identity. Rogers is a model employed by an Italian fashion designer to wear his gowns for the rich and famous. Astaire is a married man who falls in love with her. They dance. They sing. That’s about that.
What stands out and slaps me in the face is that ostrich gown. Designed by Bernard Newman, Rogers wanted the color of the dress to match the pure blue of Monet’s paintings. The gown was to be made of figure-hugging shimmering satin and encircled with ostrich feathers around the neck and shoulders and from the hips downwards. An Art-Deco style diamond-shaped diamante jewel at the neckline and a satin bow at the bottom of the back completes the look.
Rogers’ desired shape is interesting and very typical of the era – her wish was for a high front and a low back. After the intoxicating craziness of the 1920s, the Hayes Censorship Code in 1932 called for women to cover up their cleavage and show as little flesh as possible. Ironically enough, the female form was thus more visible than ever, as bare backs became ‘de rigueur’, and therefore no bras were worn and evening gowns clung to the body provocatively.
The bias-cut, introduced by the revolutionary Madeleine Vionnet who discovered that material cut on the diagonal allowed dresses to echo the fluidity of a woman’s shape, is a hallmark of the 1930s and was perfect for dancers such as Rogers as these allowed audiences to not miss a moment of the movements of her body.
All I want to know is does it come in pale pink or silver? Here’s the dress in action: