Monday, May 27, 2013

Little Known Hollywood Story

Back in 1964, Madra Lord was intent on staying on top. That meant appealing to a younger audience. If Bette and Joan had ventured into the realm of "le nouveau horreur" in What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?,  why couldn't she - she who looked so much better than the other two aging divas? On a particularly balmy evening, while sipping a very dry Martini in her private booth at The Formosa Café, she learned from one of her secret informers about an  underground project in the works. Directed by relative newcomer Russ Meyer, the flick was meant to capitalize on a new formula that included angry dames and fast cars. Known as much for her volatility as for her love of her Bugatti Royale, Madra was certain that she would be cast.

La Lord went to designer friend Byanca Evans of Byanca of Houston for fashion advice. Byanca proposed a sexy and still proper black lace dress. Madra was delighted with the idea and added Byanca's net stockings and gloves for that peek-a-boo effect. One of Byanca of Houston's leopard envelope purses and voilà, she had the look.

Madra was certainly beautiful, her red hair as fiery as her temper, yet the director was underwhelmed, for Mr. Meyer had a very specific look in mind.

Madra never gave up. She had fought her way to the top and knew what it took to stay there and in the limelight. At 1:11 am Central Time Zone, Miss Evans received a call from Madra explaining the situation in her inimitably dramatic way. Byanca assuaged her fears with a soft and reassuring: "I'll take care of it." The next day, by cocktail hour time, La Lord received a box carrying the secret arsenal.

The rest, as they say, is history. La Lord got the part but later turned it down when she learned that several key scenes would be shot in the Mojave Desert. "I'm not wreaking havoc with my skin" - she exclaimed while smoking a cigarette. The part went to Tura Satana.

Miss Evan's work is the stuff of legend.

She's Houston's and Hollywood's best kept secret...

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Bloom Boom!

The flower. The bloom. Would there be any pleasure in life without them? Flowers regale our eyes with their varied colors and shapes and capture our olfactory glands with their perfumes of seduction. After all, the purpose of the flower is to guarantee the continuity of beauty. A flower's life may seem brief to us and in so realizing, we intentionally stop and engage in contemplation. Dolldom follows suite and takes Nature's lead in this celebration of botanical magic. From prints to colors - it's a tribute to magnificent blooms.

Tonner Doll's 2011 Basic Special Fresh Face Frankie (LE 200) is perfect for a remake of Roman Holiday or Three Coins In The Fountain in her Retros halter dress and matching head scarf. Sunglasses by Horsman.

Fresh Face Frankie is Cami and Jon's friend. Her jewelry by VJT Designs.

Lilli Lalka by Julian Kalinowski wears a vintage Elite Creations Wendy sundress. Her purse is an Enid Collins miniaturization by Liz Cole for Retros.

Bild Lilli wears WellerMade's fantabulous tea rose-hued sweater set with delicate beading at neck. Lilli's bulldog seems to approve. Barbie cases by Rebecca Brosdhal.

Chicago's Velma Kelly by Tonner Doll Company wears a violet day dress by Liz Cole for Retros.

Velma's cloche is also a Retros creation.

All the colors of an orchid garden! All About The Eyes Gene Marshall models this luscious sensation by Retros.

Underneath the apple green cape- lined in daffodil yellow silk - a dew sprinkled cocktail dress and periwinkle knit gloves. Only Retros!

Gene is a flower adorned with flowers. Her hair comb is from Ashton-Drake's Twilight Rumba fashion designed by Doug James.

Barbie Fashion Model Collection's Luncheon Ensemble exemplifies bloom boom. To add more lushness to the affair, a leafy green necklace and earring set by Joy Jarred completes the celebration of blooms.

Francie's Check This! (#1291, circa 1967) ingeniously incorporates the flower power of the Mod years. This checked gown is adorned with yellow and white flower appliqués and a yellow chiffon stole.

A baggie Francie doll proudly models the ensemble.

1970 Barbie's Flower Wower (#1453, circa 1970) is the perfect dress for TNT PJ to wear as it perfectly matches her hair beads! Peace and love!

A Hong Kong Lilli doll goes to the park in a delicate dress of hydrangea blue and Baby's Breath lace by Liz Cole. A perfect fashion for a Springtime wedding or just to wear on a Sunday. Lilli's bulldog keeps the paparazzo at bay. Jewelry by Joy Jarred.

Flowers? Yes, flowers. A beautiful print of flowers! An enveloping coat of blooms for a day in the city. Oona, Gene Marshall's friend, models the design by James Bogue.

The day of shopping transforms as evening falls. Underneath the cape, there lies a seductive cocktail dress.

Mr. Bogue accessorized the ensemble with a turban. Jewelry by VJT Designs. 

American Character's 29-inch Betsy McCall also joins the fun in a burst-of Spring sundress created by Liz Cole with vintage fabric

To close the fashion show, Dolldom gives you JAMIEshow's Phoenix Gen Marshall by Mel Odom in pne of her iconic fashions - First Close-Up- a costume designed by Tim Kennedy for Gene's first ever movie role in which she plays a flower vendor in a posh Hollywood watering hole.