Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Gene does Gene

This 1995 (aka "Year One") release by Doug James is a very close replica of one of Gene Tierney's Oleg Cassini designed costumes from "The Ghost & Mrs Muir." Cassini was also married to the ethereal beauty at the time of the film's 1947 release. The story card for "Love's Ghost" lists this as a circa 1946 design, which puts it within the proper timeframe of the film's production.

From the Story Card:

In Gene Marshall's most unique film romance, "Love's Ghost," she plays a lovely guardian of two children in a Victorian setting. Set in a brooding period mansion, the film allows Miss Marshall to explore the question: "Can a beautiful Victorian governess find eternal happiness with a restless spirit?" Many filmgoers are debating the true meaning of the film's conclusion. See it yourself and be the judge…but be warned: take along a hanky!

Love's Ghost is the essence of Victorian elegance. Blouse is of white lawn with deeply-ruffled neckline and lace edging, and fastens with hooks and eyes down the front. Matching skirt has a separate net slip. A flowered cummerbund and matching straw hat add color. With hose, white shoes, "pearl" earrings, and hair ribbon. Circa 1946.

Imagine yourself in a "period" film set in the Victorian era. You assume the demeanor of a quiet young woman of the late nineteenth century. You learn to walk differently, to seat yourself differently in a chair when you are wearing a Victorian-era costume that sweeps around your ankles. It is an acting challenge that surely broadens your scope as a film star.

In the film titled Love's Ghost, Gene plays a governess of two lonely children. The film takes place in a spacious mansion filled with the sweetness of the children and the joyous care of their lovely teacher. And there is something else there, too: the mysterious spirit of the mystical Count, the children's father.

In this role, Gene looks ethereal in a dress reminiscent of fine Victorian fashion. It is made of simple, soft cotton. The bodice has a deep ruffled collar and billowing, elbow-length sleeves edged with lace. The only ornamentation is a pleated cummerbund trimmed with a nosegay of flowers, as if tucked there on a walk through the mansion's garden. The natural straw hat is bedecked with the same sweet flowers.

As the story unfolds, we ask: "Will the handsome Count ever appear? Will the young governess find her true love?" This costume seems to answer: "Yes!"

I tried the hat on Gene, but it just didn't look right. My model, White Hyacinth, balked, so I acquiesced and left it off!

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