Tuesday, August 16, 2011

"It" Took The Snap Out of My Garters.

"It" 1927 Silent Film

Pleated Skirt at Natural Waist Belted with Sweater,
 T Straps, Scarf and Beret
Clara Bow

"IT" is that quality possessed by some which draws all others with its magnetic force. With "IT" you win all men if you are a woman—and all women if you are a man. "IT" can be a quality of the mind as well as a physical attraction."
Elinor Glyn
Opening Title of the 1927 film "It"

And so "It" begins.  The 1927 romantic comedy that made me fall in love with 20s fashion.  Watching Clara Bow bounce around bra-less as Betty Lou Spence, manipulating wealthy playboys, and defending fatherless infants changed how I regarded the decade’s daywear for good.  Her silhouettes were far from cylindrical; Bow's slim bodices and delicately pleated skirts met at or slightly below her natural waist highlighting her adorable figure.  

In one of my favorite scenes Betty convinces socialite Monty to take her to the Ritz after finding out her object of affection would be in attendance.  To prepare, Bow’s character resourcefully removes the sleeves and collar from her work dress, wraps a tulle scarf around her neck and pins an enormous floral arrangement at her waist.  Blatantly underdressed but well equipped with sheer sex appeal, Betty Lou catches the eye of Mr. Waltham, her employer and owner of the world’s largest department store, in spite of the highbrow blonde with whom he is dining. 

As a working class shopgirl simply brimming with "It", Clara's wardrobe was simple compared to the decadent productions of the era.  Nonetheless, the role catapulted her to an iconic status and immortalized her as the first "It" girl.