Friday, March 6, 2015

Lauren Bacall: The Look

The beautiful Lauren Bacall. Photo from Doctor Macro.

It’s not often that I will write to say if you get a chance to see a certain dress you should go see it, but that is how much I love the 1958 Norman Norell creation that is on view for just a month at The Museum at FIT as part of the mini-exhibit Lauren Bacall: The Look.

This is one of my favorite ensembles that I have ever seen and at this point I have seen quite a few! It is made of camel cashmere, silk jersey, and gold sequins and the coat is lined in sequins. Talk about the glam factor! I can absolutely see the sultry screen legend Lauren Bacall, with those amazing eyes and that dark gold hair wearing this outfit and looking like a million dollars. It was called the “subway coat” because you could close it up and wear it on the subway and no one would know of the sparkle underneath. Hey, that’s my kind of secret, I hate being super dressed up on the train!

Traina-Norell evening set, 1958. Photo courtesy of The Museum at FIT.

My photo of it from IMPACT: 50 Years of the CFDA, 2012.

At her wedding to Humphrey Bogart, May 21, 1945. Photo from Doctor Macro.

There will be just 12 ensembles on display of Ms. Bacall’s, who gave a collection of 700 items to FIT, in 22 gifts bestowed to the museum between 1968 and 1986.

At the premiere of How to Marry a Millionaire, 1953. Photo from Doctor Macro.

The photo above is from the 1953 premiere of How to Marry a Millionaire. Bacall is probably wearing a Norman Norell gown. The man was a genius with sequins, let me tell you! In case you’re wondering, the man standing between Lauren and Marilyn Monroe is Nunnally Johnson, who wrote the screenplay for the movie.

The blue Halston dress from 1972 was owned by Lauren Bacall. I can imagine her in it!

Ms. Bacall, who died last August just short of her 90th birthday, was also a devotee of both Halston and Yves Saint Laurent, so if you don’t catch the exhibit devoted to her, head next door to the show YSL + Halston: Fashioning the 1970s because there are several items on display that she also owned.

Ms. Bacall’s style was both simple and chic and suited her so well. It seems to me she appreciated both the slink factor and sequins and was going for a long, lean look, so how could I not love her style? Those are all the things I adore as well!

The 1971 YSL purple print dress on the left was also owned by Ms. Bacall.
A 1969 YSL dress of silk organza, sequins, and beads. Photo by Eileen Costa/MFIT.

Amazing details by Norman Norell. Photo courtesy of The Museum at FIT.

Lauren Bacall: The Look is on display until April 4, 2015.

The Museum at FIT
Seventh Avenue at 27th Street
New York NY 10001-5992

Hours: Tuesday-Friday, noon-8pm
Saturday, 10AM-5PM
Closed Sunday, Monday, and legal holidays
Admission is free


GSL said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
GSL said...

Having trouble pecking this on phone but love that camel ensemble you highlight and Lauren Becall as she taught me how to whistle.

GSL said...

Having trouble pecking this on phone but love that camel ensemble you highlight and Lauren Becall as she taught me how to whistle.

Jill said...

Hi GSL! That camel ensemble is just divine, I have loved it since the first time I laid eyes on it back in 2012! Lauren really was so beautiful, right? I mean that picture at the top of the post--Wow! Have a great weekend! XO, Jill

Suzanne Carillo said...

Ooh I wish I'd been able to see this exhibit the last time I was in NY.

That coat and dress are sublime! How fantastic.


Jill said...

Hi Suzanne, this is a quick exhibit, you'd have to time your visit just right or live here to see it. Can't believe you keep coming to the city and we have not met for coffee. Or champagne! Let me know if you are ever interested. XO, Jill

Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello Jill,

We all need a man who is as good with sequins as Norman Norell. Imagine how glamorous every minute of every day could become with twinkling pyjamas, flashy frocks,glittery gowns and sparkly suits. Yes, life would surely become so much more interesting if we just added sequins to our the thousands, of course.

We love the idea of a coat with a glittery interior. One could flash as necessary or be as discrete as the occasion demanded. A great idea.

Lauren Bacall was such an elegant and talented actress. She really did light up Hollywood with a golden glow, with or without sequins.

We have found you via the Lion's Den and are pleased to have arrived. We shall be back for more.

rosie said...

Bacall was a fashion icon for the ages. With that face & figure, it was inevitable.

She was one tough cookie on & off screen. She sure tamed Bogie.

In hindsight, she really made very few movies for all her years in the movie business. At least two of them classics.

Jill said...

Hello Hattatts! I think you came to the right place because I am a big believer in sequins. I recently did a count of the number of blouses and sweaters I own that are embellished with sequins and, oh dear, perhaps it's time to take a break on purchasing anymore!

Any friend of GSL's is a friend of mine so swing by whenever you'd like, you are more than welcome here! Nice to meet you!

Jill said...

Hi Rosie! I am trying to remember now what Betty H didn't like about Lauren--maybe it's because she was too opinionated and strong, not unlike herself? Also, I read that too, that Bacall didn't make that many movies and it was because she would reject scripts she didn't like. Good for her! I need to see 'How to Marry a Millionaire' again, it's been ages since I saw it. If you have a movie suggestion for me let me know! XO, Jill

Denton said...

Now you too can own a piece...

rosie said...

HI Jill,

To Have and Have Not is a classic Bogie/Bacall. Her first movie. She was 19 & they fell in love on the set & she became known forever as Bogie's Baby.

She was great as the femme fatal in Young Man with a Horn, starring Kirk Douglas. If you can get past Mr. Douglas'over-acting.

She and Betty H. were both as they used to say "tough broads". So of course they would have clashed.

Her last good role was in "The Mirror has Two Faces". She played Barbra Streisand's mom & got a nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Rumor has it she was devasted she didn't get it. This movie is just ok & the premise is odd.

Jill said...

Hi Denton, I read in Harper's Bazaar about the auction too. How fun, are you bidding on something? XO, Jill

Jill said...

Hi again Rosie! I thought you might say 'To Have and Have Not!' I have yet to see that classic so I will add it to the list. I did see 'The Mirror Has Two Faces,' in fact I bet on her to win Best Supporting Actress that year in an Oscar office pool. I was stunned that she lost, and to Juliette Binoche! No offense to Ms. Binoche, she is a fine actress, but I could not believe an American acting legend (and icon!) lost to a French actress. There is no respect, I tell you! XO, Jill