Friday, December 6, 2013

Friday Night Spotlight: Costume design

Tonight being the first Friday in December, we get a new Friday Night Spotlight, which this month focuses on costume design. Deborah Nadoolman Landis, a costume designer herself who was nominated for an Academy Award for the costumes in Coming To America, is presenting two films from each of a bunch of designers. The TCM page lists twelve designers, which would imply three designers a week with six films, but I don't think she'll be presenting the third designer of the night since it's generally only the first four films in prime time that get the TCM announcer treatment.

This first Friday night sees two films from Travis Banton, a name that I have to admit isn't particularly familiar to me, although that's probably because he worked for Paramount in the 1930s and those films don't show up all that often on TCM what with the broadcast rights being owned by Universal. His work on display tonight includes costumes for Marlene Dietrich in Blonde Venus (8:00 PM) and Claudette Colbert in Cleopatra (10:00 PM).

That's followed by Orry-Kelly. I don't remember anything particularly notable about the fashions in Casablanca (midnight), but then I don't particularly have an eye for fashion. Orry-Kelly's other movie is Auntie Mame (2:00 AM), in which Rosalind Russell gets to showcase a whole bunch of Orry-Kelly's designs.

Last up on this first Friday in December is Adrian, whose last name was Greenberg. Or, I suppose, you could call him Mr. Janet Gaynor, since they were married for 26 years until his death in 1959. His spotlighted films include The Women (4:30 AM), and the 1935 Greta Garbo version of Anna Karenina at 7:00 AM. Adrian, having wored at MGM, designed costumes for a bunch of famous MGM movies, but if you can only go with two, a period piece and one with only women in the cast aren't bad choices.

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