Living In: The Women

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If you live in New York City, you’ve likely witnessed the models filling up subway cars, aspiring fashionistas dressing to impress street photographers like Bill Cunningham and Scott Schuman, and a general sense of heightened energy in the air—all signs that, once again, it’s fashion week! While there are a number of films that exemplify the glamor and frivolity of the fashion world (Funny Face, The Devil Wears Prada, Mannequin, Auntie Mame…), I can think of none better than the 1939 classic, The WomenAlthough it’s not about fashion per se (the plot surrounds the scandal-sheet divorce of society woman Mary Haines), the film’s entirely female cast is outfitted in clothing that is so outrageous and so decadent that only the Gagas of today would dare to wear them. From Schiaparelli-esque dresses adorned with surrealist imagery to a larger-than-life (full color!) fashion show at its apex—the film is a delicious, glittery escape (something that was no-doubt needed in the economically and politically torn world of 1939). Add on the movie’s razor-sharp wit and hysterical physical comedy from Joan Crawford and Rosalind Russell, and you have a winning, utterly timeless combination. —Max

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1. Crosley Candlestick Phone | 2. Roland Mouret Gown | 3. Vintage Bes-Ben Feathered Hat | 4. Vintage Film Projector | 5. NARS Jungled Red Nail Polish | 6. Vintage French Art Deco Bergere Chair | 7. Lalique Perfume Bottle | 8. Vogue Cover, September 1938 | 9. The Little Book of Schiaparelli | 10. Tosh Merino Yarn | 11. Vintage Silver Cigarette Box

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1. Esther Williams Vintage-Style Bathing Suit | 2. Vintage Tennis Racket | 3. Monogrammed Towels | 4. Bubble Bath | 5. Beach Ball | 6. Glass Bathtub | 7. Calla Lily Arrangement

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Film: The Women

Year: 1939

Director: George Cukor

Starring: Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford, Rosalind Russell

Art Direction: Cedric Gibbons

Set Decoration: Edwin B. Willis, Jack D. Moore

Costume Design: Adrian

  1. Andrea says:

    Wow, Max. If I wasn’t already a big fan of you this post would have sealed the deal. Great film!

  2. Jamie says:

    Nailed it! This roundup might be my favorite yet (which is saying a lot).

  3. Jen O says:

    Gilbert Adrian was such an inspiring genius–timeless as always!

  4. la mala says:

    i second Jamie’s sentiments. I really do want to live in this, and always have. Wonderful!

  5. One of my absolute favorite movies! Thanks so much for doing this.

  6. Valerie Rice says:

    Max, fabulous Living In! Every piece featured is wonderful. Thanks for the inspiration!!

  7. Love this! Such a great film.

  8. Jill says:

    Love this! Fantastic movie!

  9. Beautiful, i don´t know this movie

    thanks

  10. 'Becca'lise says:

    One of my favorite movies of all time. Wrote a paper on it in college, watch it all the time. How great is Rosalind Russell in this?? Love it love it love it!

  11. teresa says:

    I can’t believe you’ve missed the most obvious trend right now that’s been making me think of this movie recently–the “seeing eye” (remember that line launched at Roz Russell’s character? What are you done up for ? The seeing eye?) Dali-esque/Schiaparelli motif that’s being slapped on tops and dresses this season!

  12. You consistently pick the best movies! That bathroom, I love it. I would move in right now.

  13. Maria G. says:

    The Women is one of my favorite films. My friends and I were even playing games according to this film. I like this style so much that I would like to buy all those things. I think it would be funny to organize a special thematic party.

  14. Anastasia says:

    My mother and I used to watch this all the time! Needless to say, I’m sending her a bottle of NARS Jungle Red ASAP! Oh, Stephen!!

  15. elizabeth hinden says:

    Max, never get tired of this movie – period clothing, furniture, props, especially the Lalique perfume bottle – a masterpiece (what i wouldn’t give…) – thanks for your presentation an enormity of art, style, nostalglia, so much of what inspires us today comes from all your special pic’s. Luv!!!

  16. elizabeth hinden says:

    Max, never get tired of this movie – period clothing, furniture, props, especially the Lalique perfume bottle – a masterpiece (what i wouldn’t give…) thanks for this wonderful presentation.

  17. Kat From Jersey says:

    Thanks for this! My daughters and I watch this hilarious movie together. The catfight scene is the best!

  18. Creole B. says:

    Some the best one-liners ever! Love the fashion show. The fashions of the future became a reality.

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