Noir inspiration

I love noir, be it movies or books.  So today when I was watching Dark Passage (1947) while deadheading (non working crew) in my middle seat I thought I’d take some screen shots of Lauren Bacall’s outfits to give me some inspirations for future project ideas.  BTW Lauren Bacall is about 22 here and just gorgeous.

This is her casual painting in the boonies outfit. Clearly.

Here is the outfit I think would be most interesting to interpret into 2014 pieces.  This is the outfit her character is wearing while oil painting in Marin just coincidentally when Humphrey Bogart is escaping from San Quentin in a BARREL.  Srsly.  I overlook the crazypants plots because it’s so fun to see San Francisco in 1947.

So back to the outfit.  Her tweed skirt is below knee length, A line shaped with 3 release pleats in front, plain back (just darts) and a center back zipper.  It’s a black and white movie so I can only guess at the color.  Beige or tan would be my guess.

The blouse is plaid with crazy huge shoulders.  There are flange pleats at the shoulders, a wide (3″ or so) collar with squared off ends.  The most interesting part of this blouse to me are the sleeves.  They’ve cut them on the bias!  Nuts!  I like it but that is all kinds of fabric hog.  The good part is that you don’t need to worry about matching the plaid at the sleeve tops, which is a total pain.

This is her ROBE! Fun fact – my robe is plaid too. Resemblance ends there.

The other outfit that amuses me in this movie is her robe, as in robe over pajamas “robe”.  It’s floor length plaid wool (must be wool right?) robe with kimono/dolman sleeves.  Those sleeves aren’t separate from the top and set in, they’re cut in one with the front and back pieces and you can see the overarm seam in the photos.  The front has an asymmetrical opening that comes into a band at the waist.  That band seems to only be on the right front.  There is another tab band at the back waist that controls the fullness and another band at the front under the collar to keep the robe closed.  The bands are cut on the bias and are adorable and the skirt is super full.  I’d guess 3/4 circle skirt there.  This is another fabric hog so clearly no expense was spared.  No post war rationing here.

There are some other fun clothes in the movie, mostly the lounge items.  You know like I wear sweats, the gals here wear silk jackets with sequin trim and silk satin flowing pants.  Of course I know this is make believe (reference back to Humphrey escaping San Quentin in a barrel) so I know that average folks aren’t wearing silk outfits to hang out and listen to records at the house, but still.  I’d like to think that I can get some ideas from a more glamorous time and see what comes out in the era of sweats, jeans and tees.  Stay tuned!


4 responses

  1. Now I want to see that movie. They did have some gorgeous fashions then, very ladylike. Things certainly have changed, I can hardly wait (not) when the weather gets hot here, and the young women come to the office wearing practically nothing, and flip flops! It is amazing what they get away with.

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  3. Love the fashion commentary…..I love old films for the very reason of looking at the fashion. The difference between you and me is that you actually know about cutting on the bias, how sleeves are put in and all that other smart seamstress-y stuff. Very cool.

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