You're going to have to bear with me on this post because it's about as scattered as I have been this week. Anyway, I finally got the chance to read the book Balenciaga and Spain the other night, and I found the photo above of Pauline de Rothschild in her glorious Balenciaga black lace and brown organza coat. Her pants peeping out from beneath the coat reminded me of those skirt and pants combos that women seemed to wear often in 1950s movies. More specifically, it made me think of Lana Turner in Imitation of Life:
I have no earthly idea what you call this outfit, though I'm sure that many of you do. (If so, please shed some light!) I suppose that it's some type of hostess gown or day dress with pants? Whatever it is, I think it's really pretty fabulous. In fact, Chanel had one of these hybrid dresses in their collection about five or six years ago, if I recall correctly.
Are you familiar with Imitation of Life? There was the original 1934 version that starred Claudette Colbert as a successful businesswoman who makes a fortune on her maid Delilah's pancake recipe. Seriously. But the 1959 version with Lana Turner reads more like a soap opera: a driven woman (Lana Turner) stops at nothing to become a successful and wealthy Broadway actress, while her daughter (played as a teenager by Sandra Dee) feels neglected, despite the fact that she has been lovingly raised by Lana's housekeeper (Juanita Moore), who in turn is having problems with her own daughter who rebels by running off and working in a raunchy nightclub. And did I mention that the movie ends with the mother of all funerals, one in which Mahalia Jackson sings the stirring spiritual "Trouble of the World"? That scene with Mahalia always brings a tear to my eye.
So now that you have a synopsis of the film, let's take a look at Lana's suburban house in Imitation of Life. As you can see, it's a little bit of a mish-mash...just like the skirt/pant combo.
Another shot of Lana in her day outfit.
The living room with a stone fireplace and rolling hills beyond the window.
My favorite part of the house is the bar with the padded leather front and those barstools. And how about that niche of glassware?
The dining room table is set for an after-theater party.
And the dining table set for a simple dinner. This is the way that I wished that I dined. But you know, my silver serving pieces just don't see the light of day for those everyday kind of dinners.
Is it wrong to like this chair's trim?
Another shot of the bar, this time with Sandra Dee serving up John Gavin a highball. She informs him that he only gets one highball before lunch. Well, alrighty then. I will say, though, that I'm not so sure about that clown painting to the right.
I suppose that John Gavin's glasses add a note of seriousness to that gargantuan leather ottoman.
Lana's bedroom. Better than the bedroom, though, is that fur trimmed pink velvet robe. I really would wear that if I could find something similar to it.
And because I couldn't resist: Lana in a fabulous mocha-colored turban with an attached scarf that is pinned to her day dress with a diamond brooch. This was worn for her daughter's graduation. If only one of the mothers had dressed like this for my high-school graduation!