Bombshells: Baby Face 1933

Once again the costumes designed by Orry-Kelly have made me gasp with delight while watching a film!

The Pre-Code Hollywood film Baby Face (1933) is a little gem of a film that raised a lot of eyebrows in the 30's. Barbara Stanwyck stars as down and out Lily Powers who soon discovers that she can use her sexuality to sleep her way to the top of the banking industry. A rags to riches story with a dark side...quintessential pre-code!

What I really loved about this film is the costumes. They play such an important role in guiding the viewer to the stages of her upwardly climb. They also provide us with a fantastic piece of history reflecting poverty, working class, and glitz in the heart of the Depression Era!

Lily Powers in a common day dress with her abusive father.

Lily as a mid-level employee at the bank.

Jealous and judgmental co-workers. I love the look on the blonde's face!

She's hit the big time!

She brought her friend Chico along for the ride and treats her well!

Watch the film for this dress alone! It is amazing!

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Bobbins: Designer Orry-Kelly

Marilyn Monroe

The gorgeous metallic sequin dress in Some Like it Hot

Mitzi Gaynor

Mitzi Gaynor in Les Girls

Three on a Match

1930's luncheon wear in Three on a Match



I recently watched the fantastic pre-code 1930's films, Three on a Match (starring Joan Blondell Ann Dvorak and a young and blonde Bette Davis) and Female (starring Ruth Chatterton) and discovered the wonderful costumes were designed by Orry-Kelly. Not as well known as Adrian or Edith Head I had never heard of him and decided to do a little research. As it turns out he should be more well known than he is. He has done the gowns and costumes for hundreds of films including the big Busby Berkeley musicals, Jezebel (1938),The Maltese Falcon (1941), Casablanca (1942), and Les Girls (1957). He won oscars for his designs in An American in Paris (1951), and one of my absolute favorites, Some Like it Hot (1959).

I was already a fan and didn't know it!