Socialize
  • Follow Us!
  • Like Us?
  • Tumbl for Us!
  • Get our Feed!
Newsletter Signup
Add my email address to the selected mailing list(s):

Edited by on March 14 2011 at 2:38 PM

TCMTurning Classic Movies, brings to light classic movies with a flair for fashion. This week Myrna Loy stars as film’s most glamorous gal Friday, Nora Charles, in the first of The Thin Man (1934) series.

Turning Classic Movies: The Thin Man

Beautiful, stylish and always at the ready with a fresh cocktail or a witty remark (often both) Nora  is married to retired detective/functioning alcoholic Nick Charles (the brilliant William Powell).

Turning Classic Movies: The Thin Man

In town for the holidays, Nick and Nora are ensnared in a murder mystery after the mistress of one of Nick’s old client’s turns up dead. Nick is then beseeched by said client’s willful daughter to help clear her father’s name.

Based on Dashiell Hammett‘s novel of the same name, what follows is a twisty-turny whodunit sharper than anything Hollywood has turned out in decades. In fact, Powell and Loy’s chemistry proved so dynamic they were reunited for five more sequels (they eventually starred in 14 films together), but this was far and away their best outing.

Costume designer Dolly Tree keeps Nora looking every inch the socialite, but for a film almost 80 years old, her wardrobe is surprisingly modern. Nora is prone to fur and dramatic sleeves, but she also sports a silk jumpsuit, a bowtie and an evening gown that passes for revealing even by today’s lax standards.

Turning Classic Movies: The Thin Man

Turning Classic Movies: The Thin Man

Turning Classic Movies: The Thin Man

It’s hard to pick Nora’s best look — she’s in the film for maybe 35 minutes in total but like any lady worth her salt she has no less than 8 wardrobe changes — however the dress she dons for the Charles’ Christmas party ranks high on the list. Asymmetrical…tiers…a study in stripes….it’s like she’s a gorgeous candy cane:

Turning Classic Movies: The Thin Man

Then there’s this subtle nightgown:

Turning Classic Movies: The Thin Man

I mean, if you’re going to go to bed, why not throw on a silk negligee with floor-sweeping sleeves and fur trim? It beats a Snuggie any day of the week.

Though originally intended as a B picture and shot in only two weeks, The Thin Man went on to earn four Oscar nominations and remains one of the best — and certainly one of the most stylish — comedies of Hollywood’s Golden Age.

Story by Lester Brathwaite

I was center square from 1969 to 1978, during which I perfected the art of the zing as well as a crippling cocaine addiction. Bea Arthur was responsible for both. @LesFabian lester at fashionindie.com