Saturday, February 06, 2010

Fashion In Film: Now, Voyager (1942)

Director: Irving Rapper
Bette Davis, Paul Henreid
Costume Design: Orry-Kelly

Have you ever seen Now, Voyager with Bette Davis and Paul Henreid? I've now seen it twice in the last three months. I just get sucked in. The movie boasts one of those great makeovers but; unfortunately, we don't get to see a makeover montage. What's up with that?

We see this:

and then suddenly we see this:

In a modern-day film, we would have had to sit through the sorely needed eyebrow plucking scene and some scenes of exercise because there was supposedly a 25-pound weight loss. However, I don't think Bette was okay with looking fat because her character sure didn't, but in my opinion, if you are going to let them do that to your eyebrows you might as well let them pad you up.

Besides the graphic suit when she returns triumphantly to Boston, there are three dresses that have always intrigued and impressed me. Two of the dresses could be worn today and no one would find them dated. All were designed by talented costume designer Orry-Kelly.

The outfits I loved were the dress and cape ensemble she wears to her first dinner aboard the ship, the cape embroidered and beaded with butterflies and the dress, very Grecian inspired. Then there is the black low cut dress with a pinned on Camellia she wears to make her shocking debut to her family, who are expecting the same dour spinster they've always known. Last but not least; my favorite outfit, the gorgeous shimmering coat dress she wears when she is reunited with her lover. This outfit, I could see on any elegant woman today, what with its embroidery in that modern looking chevron pattern.

I was going to do a whole detailed post on the clothes and use pictures from likeabalalaika's great screen caps from the film, however, while searching for the ones I wanted to use, I found her fabulous blog; called what else, Like A Balalaika AND a post she herself did on Now, Voyager. So I now instruct you to immediately click on this link and read her words and then go check out her great Flickr groups on costume in film; her latest being Marilyn Monroe in Bus Stop.

Images: thefoxling's Flickr stream


Anonymous said...

I have never heard of this movie. Thanks for the tip - I've put it in my Netflix queue. I wish it were instant view, I'd watch it tonight (who cares about the Superbowl)!

The Slapdash Sewist said...

I really think all three of those could be worn now. How lovely!

Anonymous said...

Aye I agree, I think all three evening outfits are still modern enough, if only because the first two are really classics ;)

I recently wrote a sort of analysis of Davis' costumes using likeabalalaika's screen caps! I wanted to write a post about how her choice of clothes related to her character in the film. Here's the link :)