Celluloid style: The Lady from Shanghai before she's revealed . . .


. . . as a scheming and deceptive murderess. Rita Hayworth, as Elsa, is at first sight a captured and wounded dove, married to a loathsome, wealthy man. Orson Welles, as seaman Michael O'Hara, cannot resist her. Absolutely not. As he says upon their meeting: "From that moment on, I did not use my head very much, except to be thinking of her." Emerald_drab_novelty_wool_crepeHis last line in the movie is also about Elsa: "Maybe I'll live so long that I'll forget her. Maybe I'll die trying."

The movie is complex; Rita is at her best. The clothes are sexy, elegant and ladylike, except when Rita lazes about a boat scantily clad in sunsuits and the like.

If you'd like to duplicate one of my favorite looks in the 1948 movie, may I suggest these two patterns:

Vogue 5259, a broad shouldered jumper dress, copyright 1945.

And Simplicity 2977, from 1949, as the blouse.

Warm_beige_silk_charmeuseI think I would choose the emerald drab wool crepe, shown above, for the jumper and the warm beige silk charmeuse at Fabric Mart Fabrics for the blouse. I'd go with the matte side of the charmeuse showing. Both fabrics are luscious, and I admit having a powerful lust for them both. Santa? Are you listening?

Naturally, both of these are available at The Blue Gardenia. But you knew that, didn't you? And you may buy them both at our fabulous End-of-an-Era Sale!