David Oberman wrote:
Post by David Oberman
They were certainly dressed better. The elegance & line of the haute
couture glory years are roughly parallel with the Hollywood Golden
Age. Today is certainly not a couture high point; you'd be a ditz to
argue that it is. Lanvin, Chanel, Dior, Balmain--most of these
companies still design, but their designers from fifty years ago (who
are now dead) were greater artists, & the old movie stars were
longtime customers (& the studio contract designers definitely copied
the Paris houses). The change since the 1970s may be a result of the
inevitable move from custom clothing to ready-to-wear & stuff like
perfume licensing (which is where the money is today). But obviously
custom has evolved, too. It's been fashionable for about forty years
now to look like a shlub (whereas before it may have been "cool" &
anti-establishment to look like one but not fashionable).
Actually, the coolest, sexiest picture I've ever seen of Lombard is one of
her and Gable. She's wearing a man's shirt and jeans and standing next to
their woody stationwagon. She looks so fresh, so natural, so damn happy and
healthy that it like to break your heart.
The picture of Lombard and a horse reminds me that after she died Gable had
to get rid of a horse that she used to ride and was quite fond of. It
reminded him too much of her. At the time my father was connected to the
Hollywood crowd through the racehorses he owned and trained. Gable gave the
horse away and it wound up in my dad's possession. He boarded it north of
When I was born, it became my horse and until we left the Seattle area at
the end of the 40s they'd take me out to ride it. I do not actually remember
any of this, btw, but got it from my mom.
I do have a photo, which I've never scanned, of me and Penny Singleton in
the winner's circle with one of our horses. She's holding me up to the
flower horseshoe around the horse's neck.
Frank in Seattle
Frank Richard Aloysius Jude Maloney
"Millennium hand and shrimp."