Just so there’s no misunderstanding or underestimating the power of color…
In The Great Movie Stars: The Golden Years, by David Shipman (1970), the author writes of the great feud between Raquel Welch and Mae West which began on the set of Myra Breckenridge:
Raquel Welch had the title role, but Mae West had top billing. Apparently Miss Welch was no more pleased about this than about the clause in Miss West’s contract which gave her the exclusive right to wear black or white. Indeed there seems to have been dissension on all sides.
According to Jill Watts in her biography of West (suitably titled Mae West: An Icon in Black and White), this costuming decision was blessed by Edith Head:
At Head’s urging, West’s contract had specified that when she shared scenes with other characters, she was to appear exclusively in black and tgowns. The savvy designer knew that the black-and-white contrast would make West stand out on the screen.
Something to think about with all those holiday photos and videos, hmm?