Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Top Hat (1935)

The other day something miraculous happened...

My Mum & I were left on our own for the evening!

Doesn't sound like anything to special I know, but that never happens in my house, especially during the week. So we took the chance to have a girls evening together, complete with painting our nails & watching a 'girlie movie'. The chosen film being Top Hat. The 1935 film starring Fred Astair & Ginger Rogers.

Image: Retrogasm

**Now I say 'girlie movie' as neither my Dad or brother would ever put a musical film on to watch themselves or with myself or Mum! I don't think of classic films like this as a 'chic flick', but I'll call it that before we get into the specifics of film genres!**

If you haven't seen Top Hat, I thoroughly recommend it. It's funny & uplifting with amazing dance sequences as well as being beautifully shot. The video below is slightly grainy, but I thought the other videos I found showed too much of the dancing, and I didn't want to ruin it for anyone!


As with many classic films, the costumes are amazing. Fred Astaire apparently chose & provided his own clothing for the film. The suits are so crisp & suave, and the top & tails are especially effective in the all male dance scene pictured below. With Fred taking centre stage of course!  


How do they get their shoes so impossibly shiny!?

I also love the suit Ginger Rogers' wears in the 'Isn't This a Lovely Day?' scene - a form fitting check jacket & white jodpur trousers. She wears the suit so well, and it gives a nice twist to the usual man/woman dance number. I haven't included any images of this costume as I'm trying to do this 'blog thing' all proper-like (!) and only using images I won't get in trouble for! 
Buuutttt! You can click the video below to check out the dance number & see what I'm on about!


Bernad Newman is the man responsible for the beautiful gowns in the film. 
Ginger Rogers also stepped in & helped design the infamous feather dress she wears in the 'Cheek to Cheek' dance. It's a gorgeous bias cut, ostrich feather number with a plunging back - very typical of the 1930s. 


It's well known that the dress caused havoc in this scene. The dress wasn't finished for rehersals so the first time Ginger wore it was when they were filming the 'Cheek to Cheek' number. With feathers flying everywhere (you can see some on the floor in the film if you look closely) Fred was quite understandably very annoyed! 


Luckily, it all worked out and this dance scene is stunning. The dress move so beautifully you can't take your eyes off of it, enhancing every movement Ginger makes. 

Clothes on Film has a great article on the infamous feather dress here

Other costumes that caught my eye were the black ruffle sleeved dress with white corsages worn by Ginger in the italian hotel scene, and her chinese style 'pyjama jacket' worn to greet her new husband towards the end of the film. Both are stunning items of clothing and should be mentioned more! 
I've tried to find images on them on my pinterest board, so make sure you look out for them - the link is below at the end of the post. Let me know if you've seen any other costume items that deserve a mention, whether from this film or another. 

Also, if you have any classic movie recommendations for me to watch just shout! I'm always on the look out for new films to watch. This is such a lovely, feel-good film; it makes me wish I could dance elegantly & be able to wear stunning dresses all the time! I don't think that's going to happen anytime soon, so I'll have to be content living out that fantasy by watching Top Hat again

I recommend you do the same!

Happy watching :)

Em x

Have a peek at my Top Hat pinterest board here:


Take a look at Top Hat on Imdb.com here: