I just watched my first Astaire-Rogers musical comedy...Top Hat! Despite being made during the Great Depression, the film is incredibly smart and funny, plus the script translates surprisingly well into the 2000s. After watching A Hard Day's Night, I thought all classic movies were hard to understand. But since recent films aren't sufficient to satisfy my entertainment needs (oh yes, I'm very needy), I've been digging for classic musicals.
Ok, here's what you've got to know about this scene to understand why it's hilarious: Dale thinks Madge is married to Jerry, but they really aren't. So she thinks Jerry is being a douchebag of a flirt when all he is an innocent flirt. She's surprised by the "brave" Madge who encourages her new relationship with Jerry. Funny, right?? Skip to 3:25 for the dance segment.
No one can forget the slightly gaudy, but overall enchanting ostrich feather dress that Ginger Rogers donned during her dance number with Fred Astaire. Though some of the fluff came loose and were visibly sprinkled all over the dance floor, the dress's floaty feathers were mesmerizing. They caressed Rogers and followed her every move, as if they had a life of their own. While Astaire danced with Rogers, he broke into the romantic tune, Cheek to Cheek. "Heaven, I'm in heaven..." A dress that looked so light certainly appeared angelic!
It's a pity that the true color of the dress was not visible in the black and white film. Ginger asked Bernard Newman, the costume designer (not Eric Rhodes' character, THE GREAT BEDDINI), to create a pure blue dress for her. "Like the blue you find in paintings of Monet," she requested. I can't pinpoint the exact color she thought of, as Monet's paintings had tons of blue hues. I'm imagining royal blue, even though the dress appeared to be a light color. I actually imagined the dress color to be exactly like that of Jason Wu's feather dress, the closing piece for his Spring 2010 runway show. The dress looks alright, but one must wonder WWMOW (What Would MObama Wear?).
In other news, the Stussy hats I'm auctioning off on eBay are still up for bids (click here and here to take a look). I had no idea that anyone was watching these lots but according to my eBay summary, the caps gained some popularity. Now...if someone would just bid...
Top Hat screen caps: filmfanatic.org, LA Times Blog. Monet transparency: Wikipedia. Photo: Coutorture via Getty Images