Thursday, October 15, 2009
Just like a peeled eel
If you've ever wanted to see a musical fashion show, then Roberta (1935) is your kind of movie! There are some wonderful dresses in it. One of them is one of my all-time favorite dresses in movie history. My sisters and I called it "the peeled eel dress" although it's really supposed to be called "la sirène noire." The eel reference is due to a bit of dialogue between Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers who, sadly, are only side characters in the film. The model walks by and Ginger says, "Mm! Does not she look wonderful in that?" and Fred replies, "Marvelous. Just like a peeled eel." However, I'm pretty sure most girls would beg to differ with him....
The dress is sexy with a beautiful low cut front and an excitingly low cut back. The fabric, together with the bias cut give the dress a sleek, snug fit. The model, Jane Hamilton appears in several Fred and Ginger films. She's also in Top Hat (1935), Follow the Fleet (1936), and Shall We Dance (1937). I love finding bit actors in multiple parts; it makes me feel like I'm playing "Where's Waldo" when I watch movies. Anyway, this is one of my favorite dresses and, someday, I hope to add it to my wardrobe!
I'd love to hear your thoughts on this dress. What do you think? Peeled eel or sirène noire?