|L to R : Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford, |
For those who are unfamiliar, the story is a simple one of adultery and situational comedy; a New York wife and mother discovers through Beauty Salon gossip that her husband has been stepping out with a department store perfume girl. Humiliated and depressed, she flees to Nevada to get a divorce. While there, she is introduced to a variety of colorful women, all with man trouble of their own, who will inspire her to fight tooth and nail to get her husband back, if that is what she really wants. Of course the story ends well with the happy reunion of the estranged couple and the ousting to the trollop.
What makes this film stand out, besides the acting, writing and beautiful Adrian costumes, are the beautiful 'contemporary' sets designed by MGM's Cedric Gibbons; and for a design junkie like myself, wonderful interiors can make up for a multitude of sins, not that The Women has any. Gibbons transports us from chic salons and glossy city apartments to Colonial country homes and nouveau riche man-traps without leaving the comforts of a sound stage in Culver City, Ca. While I adore beautiful locations, there's still magic in conjuring an exotic land or beautiful boudoir in an airplane hangar or a studio back lot. Gibbons most definitely has that movie magic we all love to crave, and the few images I could dig up from this iconic film illustrate that talent beautifully.
|One of Adrian's many costumes with Surrealist influences (if you need a hint, it's the three|
disembodied, stylized eyes). Designers like Elsa Schiaparelli were finding
inspiration in artists like Salvador Dali at the time.
|Mary Haines' (Shearer) City Apartment. Two things infatuate me with this interior.|
One - That Blackamoore Cachepot. In the film, it's seen overflowing with flowers.
I wonder what happened to it? Because I really, really, want it.
|Two - The liberal use of quilting. Not only is the furniture done in |
quilted fabric, but look at the drapes! Floor to ceiling box quilting.
It's genius. Total genius. I want to replicate it for a project.
|Apparently, this look became known as 'Hollywood Colonial'. Think Mr. Blandings, or |
even the season where Lucy moved to Connecticut. Beautiful early American and Georgian
architecture mixes with 20th century furnishings to create the look.
|The Kitchen in the Country House. Utterly charming with its painted brick and|
|You know a Set Designer was responsible for this work. A lovely|
painted stair, dark wood floors, pictorial wallpaper (loving that) and a
striking bay window configuration at the foot of the landing.
|Crystal's (Crawford) man-trap of a bathroom. Imagine what the rest of the home|
looks like! As garish as it is, I am fascinated by that glass bathtub with it's
wave base. And check out that lyre shaped towel holder!
|Details of the Lounge are incredible. The doors are silver leaf! With crystal knobs!|
The vanities are Chinoiserie in inspiration, but the legs are Lucite and the tops mirrored!
The wall mirrors are topped with a Pagoda crown! How utterly decadent.