My friend, lingerie blogger A Slip of a Girl, and her vintage slip and lingerie collection is featured at Collectors Weekly in Sexier Than Silk: The Irresistible Allure of the Nylon Slip.
Starring Jean Simmons and Burt Lancaster (who won an Oscar for his role as Elmer Gantry), this is a powerful film about faith and fanaticism, foibles and fairness — but above all, it’s character-driven story about human character. It’s the best combination of issues to chew on and characters to consider, long after the film is over.
I love those sorts of stories.
In terms of fashion, the spotlight is on Shirley Jones (who also won an Oscar for her role of Lulu Bains) in classic lingerie, most notably visible in the scene in which Lulu attempts to seduce and shame Elmer. (Click the link to watch!)
What may have begun as the vengeful opportunistic act of a lover scorned (deflowered and left to prostitution) is quickly shown to be more complicated, exposing more than unfinished business but unrequited feelings between the two.
It’s brilliant stuff, really. Not what many may expect from the Shirley Jones they remember from The Partridge Family or know from musicals (although I cry every time I see Carousel).
But if you watch Elmer Gantry, this is precisely the sort of thing you learn to refrain from. For Jones’ performance as Lulu (as layered as anyone else’s in the movie), should teach you to look beneath the surface, what you think you know. The perceptions of “who and what Shirley Jones is” that the viewer brings to this classic film is, in this case, a layer of experience that only adds to this film.
The lovely Esther Williams wearing a sheer, dreamy peignoir as a swimsuit cover-up at the pool — the outdoor pool. This sure beats terrycloth! So why not bring this beautiful vintage idea back?
I must watch too many film noirs and assorted crime dramas, because I swore there was a gun in her hand!
I bet many folks don’t even see Dorothy Sebastian‘s hand; they get lost in admiring her — and her lingerie. So, gun or no gun, we get a bang out of Sebastian. *wink*
Deanna sent me this scan from a vintage (circa 1945) issue of Modern Woman magazine which has tips for preserving the fit of New Look foundation garments. Such care likely serves the collector and/or wearer of vintage lingerie pieces as well as the fashions which are worn over them.
Personally, I never ever would have thought of hanging my vintage girdles to dry by the garters — I’m eager to try it and see if and how it might affect things.