|Photo Courtesy Of Gwladys Sordelet|
Before I proceed, a private note to Scarlett O'Hara:
I hope this letter finds you well. Sooner or later it's going to be brought to your attention that I made a compilation of garments that I like in classic movies, without you in it. Just for the record, I know you and I go way back. And you know that I'm a total sucker for costume dramas. But sweetie, you just have too much going on in "Gone With The Wind", making it extremely hard for me to pick out one favourite apparel. I mean, the sheer genius of having a dress made out of your moss green velvet curtains alone, is fodder for an entire thesis. Don't be mad. Let's hook up for a movie night soon! Miss you much.
Yours truly, Ellinor
I. The white halter dress, worn by Marilyn Monroe in "The Seven Year Itch".
II. The black Givenchy cocktail dress, worn by Audrey Hepburn in "Breakfast at Tiffany's".
III. The red skirt paired with a black top, worn by Dorothy Dandridge in "Carmen Jones".
"Carmen Jones" is George Bizet's romantic opera, adapted to the screen in 1954. The story centers around femme fatale, Carmen Jones (Dorothy Dandridge), who works at a parachute factory at an army base in the U.S. state of North Carolina. Carmen makes her move on the hard to get, and engaged soldier, named Joe, played by Harry Belafonte. Joe eventually falls for her sweet - talking swag, despite her initially telling him upfront "I told you truly, If I love you that's the end of you", and ditches his lovable (but oh so boring) fiancee, before relocating to Chicago with his new vixen. The rest, as they say, is a tragedy.
However, "Carmen Jones" is a flaming hot musical, also starring legendary Pearl Bailey and Dynasty's Deveraux, Diahann Caroll. It's an ode to a bygone glamorous era, where pretty dresses were worn all the time. I especially love the way Carmen's flamenco inspired red skirt is used as a symbol. The warning sign for both matador and bull reading, "beware!".
And speaking of glamour, although they never featured in a movie together, Marilyn Monroe and Dandridge were friends (coincidentally, they also shared the similar middle name, Jean/e). A brief reference to their amity is given in "Introducing Dorothy Dandridge" (1999), with Halle Berry in the leading role as Dandridge. This made for television drama, candidly depicts the trials and tribulations of Dandridge life, both on and off screen: Her career defining - moment, and the events leading to her ultimate demise. It's sad how closely it echoes that of Monroe's. And also that of a recent equally beloved's.
But despite their undefined mutual distress, you still look at each and any of these women and go, "Damn, I want to be like her!".