Author Topic: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!  (Read 19955 times)

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Lewton

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Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
« Reply #225 on: February 09, 2018, 12:32:21 PM »
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"Barbara Rose" is apparently based on Barbara Hutton. Well, on page 176 of her biography, Poor Little Rich Girl, we're told that the FBI had opened a file on her around the early 1940s; the code name of the file was "Red Rose".

Thanks for sharing.

I guess you found the book at a library, right? Seems like it's out of print, unfortunately.

I've owned the book for years; it's very interesting. The conspicuous consumption is breathtaking in its, I don't know, audacity. And then her story deteriorates into utter, terrible, gruelling horror; a frail recluse and drug addict, she became a female version of the post-1958 Howard Hughes. One of the richest women in the world for most of her life, by the end she died virtually broke. The book is also a sharp vision of the horrid, sick, twisted world of high society and café society. Sick, sick, sick.

Still and all, you should read it! You can find it for an inexpensive price at Abebooks.com; just enter "Poor Little Rich Girl Hutton".

P.S.

1. ". . . the sale of visas to French Jews at the beginning of World War II" (Porfirio Rubirosa) appears on p. 259.
2. The marriage press conference, pp. 266-67. (There is also a photo of this.)
3. Passing out at the wedding reception, p. 267.

Thanks for this. I'm adding it to my list of books and will hopefully track it down.

I'm assuming that PTA was, at one point or another, considering the idea of making an entire film about Hutton or a character partly based on her life.

eward

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Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
« Reply #226 on: February 09, 2018, 02:05:28 PM »
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1. ". . . the sale of visas to French Jews at the beginning of World War II" (Porfirio Rubirosa) appears on p. 259.

One of my favorite little bits in the film...."Visas, Jews? Jews, Visas?"
"Do you laugh at jealousy?"

"No, I don't even laugh at seasickness! I happen to regard jealousy as the seasickness of passion."

Bleep

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Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
« Reply #227 on: February 10, 2018, 01:07:04 AM »
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Three points, one about BARBARA HUTTON; one about THE GARMENTS IN PT; and FUN FACTS

1. Generally speaking, at first thought, I suppose Barbara Hutton is included in the film to demonstrate that even if a fashion designer chooses to remain at arm's length from the sick, sick world of high society, he or she has no choice but to participate to some extent. (This is a general theme: the artist in the world and the artist vs. the world.) (When the dress is stolen from an inebriated Barbara in that slapstick sequence, the fashion designer is indulging in a revolutionary act, both as an individual and as an artist.) This is but one initial thought. There are and will be others. . . .

-(Alexander McQueen, arguably the greatest fashion designer of the 1990s-2000s, pretty much hated the fashion industry; quit his post at Givenchy; refused to create clothing for women he thought annoying; and repeatedly spoke of escaping into another career. He finally escaped . . . but in the worst way possible.)

-(Andrew Bolton, a McQueen biographer [Savage Beauty], is thanked at the end of PT; and also at the end it says, "Mr. Day-Lewis' Tailoring Provided by ANDERSON SHEPPARD" -- the Savile Row tailors where McQueen began his adventure.)

-(People in Hollywood who have a sense of history will love the inclusion of Barbara Hutton for many reasons, including her marriage to Cary Grant and her dalliance with Howard Hughes. And I wonder if Wes Anderson has read the book Poor Little Rich Girl, because it mentions, more than once, a European high society woman by the name of Lady Mendl [though, obviously, he could have heard of her from somewhere else!]). My intuition is that all the greats in Hollywood have read this book. Hutton's pampered life leads to a horrible downfall; it's an ultimate cautionary tale. And the ghost of Hutton adds a spice of MGM's Grand Hotel (1932) to PT.)

2. Now what do we think of the quality of the garments in PT? For anyone new to the subject of fashion, I suggest the book, "The Golden Age of Couture: Paris and London 1947-57", edited by Claire Wilcox. (Any fashion book with the name Claire Wilcox is well worth buying.) The book contains close to 200 photographs (Dior, Balenciaga, Lanvin, Givenchy, and so on); moreover, a reader new to the subject will learn a tremendous amount of what goes on behind the scenes. We cannot judge the character and quality of Woodcock's designs until we have seen hundreds of pictures of the work of his contemporaries. Once we are able to better understand Woodcock's designs, we will thereby learn something more about his inner character.

3. Fun facts: When the fashion designer first begins to create a dress for Alma, the process of putting the calico on her body and designing and cutting and pinning it is called DRAPING. The calico prototype is called a TOILE. And that the fashion designer is designing STRAIGHT ON THE BODY (instead of on a mannequin, called a "stand") shows his immense skill in draping and design (I assume he's improvising?). Except for the absolute greats, fashion designers require sketches first, and then draping on a stand second; and only then does the draping on a human body take place. (McQueen was one who could improvise right on the human body without any intitial preparation, to the everlasting amazement of onlookers.)

HACKANUT

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Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
« Reply #228 on: February 10, 2018, 08:09:48 PM »
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Very interesting thoughts regarding draping. Thanks for sharing, I had no idea doing it on the body was so difficult but I can see why.
In an interview with PT's costume designer Mark Bridges he said he wasn't happy that DDL had learned the wrong way to drape. I'm assuming it was a method that wasnt used in that period? Any thoughts regarding that?

Bleep

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Re: Phantom Thread - SPOILERS!
« Reply #229 on: February 11, 2018, 05:47:13 AM »
+1
Very interesting thoughts regarding draping. Thanks for sharing, I had no idea doing it on the body was so difficult but I can see why.
In an interview with PT's costume designer Mark Bridges he said he wasn't happy that DDL had learned the wrong way to drape. I'm assuming it was a method that wasnt used in that period? Any thoughts regarding that?

Yes, indeed. Great question. First of all, I personally didn't see enough of DDL's draping to make a judgment; the short glimpse we saw of it looked very fine to me, however. (The entire film looks very fine!) (Though now that I have seen it again, I see that a prototype has already been created, and it is put onto Alma wholesale, so we don't actually see an initial-draping-from-scratch.)

As for draping straight on the body: the Wilcox book I cited earlier mentions that Dior, for one, towering figure that he was, required initial sketches. But, and this answers your question: Cecil Beaton observed of Balenciaga [in the 1950s] and his ability to work without sketches or stands: "Balenciaga uses fabrics like a sculptor working in marble." Beaton went on to speak of Balenciaga's "practical, hands-on dressmaking" (p. 19).

This fact about Balenciaga is seconded in the book, "The Great Fashion Designers" (Polan and Tedre): "Balenciaga . . . often draped directly on to the body" (p. 87).

If you're interested in draping, a fantastic book is: "Draping: the Complete Course" by Karolyn Kiisel.

P.S.: Woodcock (obviously?) has a TINY set-up. Balmain, for example, at the same time, employed 600 people, as did Lanvin (Wilcox, p. 46). Givenchy opened in 1952 with 22 employees, and had 250 by 1956 (Wilcox, p. 68). Dior employed a workforce of 1,200 in the mid-1950s (Wilcox, p. 56).

As for British designers in the 1950s: "In 1952, leading London couturiers Norman Hartnell and Hardy Amies employed 400 and 200 workers respectively" (Wilcox, p. 92).

FUN FACT! The Dior headquarters in Paris, founded in December 1946, were located right off the . . . Place de l'Alma!

CONNECTION TO SHAKESPEARE'S HAMLET: The structural prototype of the initial development of the mother theme in PT is the first act of Hamlet. Hamlet says "Methinks I see my father" [. . . "In my mind's eye, Horatio"] in scene II before he sees the ghost in scene V. Similarly, DDL says he feels his mother close or something like that before Alma enters.

 . . . and the word "woodcock" is in Hamlet. . . .

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