Category: 1940s

Decadent Photos!

Decadent Photos!

Finally! Here are some photos from Decadent: 100 Years of Burlesque. From Dandy Dillinger’s 1920s showgirl fabulosity to Candy Applebottom’s 2010s tribute to staying connected, we traveled through time on Saturday, April 22 and never looked back. Thanks to everyone who came out to The Triad and made the voyage so fantastic.

1920s

Dandy Dillinger kicks us off with an ethereal number reminiscent of a butterfly emerging from its chrysalis.

1930s

Ruby Mechant gives us some 1930s glamour with just a touch of Italian sass.

1940s

Spicy L’amour blows her bugle for the boys “over there.”

1950s

Shimmy LeCoeur shows us the devil in disguise with her tribute to the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll.

1960s

Hellz Kitten asks the age-old question, “will you still love me tomorrow?” with a shocking twist at the end.

1970s

Munroe Lilly loves to love us and takes another little piece of our hearts.

1980s

Luscious Lane revisits the Cold War with a “pop” of color.

1990s

Tutu Toussaint gives us montage of the best ’90s hip-hop.

2000s

Twinky Boots takes the red pill with his tribute to the Matrix.

2010s

And finally, Candy Applebottom lights up our world with her sassy futuristic moves.

Behind the scenes:

Photos: Veronica Toone

 

Music Movie Monday: Big Bands and Film Noir – the ’40s

Music Movie Monday: Big Bands and Film Noir – the ’40s

Music

With the Depression over, people began returning to the dance halls and the era of Big Band Swing was underway. The top dogs in the field were Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw.

Glenn Miller Orchestra
Benny Goodman
Artie Shaw

Glenn Miller was killed while en route to a USO show when his plane crashed into the English Channel, and his death is considered the end of the Big Band Era.

With the close of the swing era, we see the emergence of  bebop and jump blues, two forms of up-tempo jazz. As the decade rolled on, jazz and blues began to make their way into the mainstream, with such singers as Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald reaching national prominence.

Ella Fitzgerald
Billie Holiday

“Crooners,” such as Bing Crosby were in vogue and by the end of the decade, Frank Sinatra would become the first teen idol.

Bing Crosby

Crosby’s 1942 “White Christmas” is the best-selling single of all time, with an estimated 50+ million copies sold worldwide.

Ol’ Blue Eyes himself, Frank Sinatra

Singing cowboys were also a thing, with Gene Autry among the most famous of these.

Gene Autry

Movies

After a rough start in the early ’40s because of the war and loss of foreign markets, the movie industry rebounded and by 1946 was at peak profitability.

You can’t talk ’40s film without Casablanca, the 1942 romance starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. The movie won Oscars for Best Film, Best Screenplay and Best Director, and gave us such classic lines as “Here’s looking at you, kid,” “Round up the usual suspects,” and “We’ll always have Paris.”

Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman in Casablanca

Another hallmark of ’40s film was film noir, literally “black film,” which evolved from ’30s gangsters movies and reflected a darker and more cynical mood among the country. Film noir features ominous plots, fatalistic heroes and dangerous femmes fatales (shoutout!). The first definitive example of this genre was The Maltese Falcon, starring Humphrey Bogart as hard-boiled detective Sam Spade and was directed by John Huston in his directorial debut.

Bogart, Peter Lorre, Mary Astor and Sidney Greenstreet in The Maltese Falcon

On a more optimistic note, the films of Frank Capra idealized the underdog and the triumph of the “common man.” The most “Capraesque” of his movies is 1946 holiday feature It’s a Wonderful Life, starring James Stewart and Donna Reed.

And finally, there’s Orson Welles’ 1941 Citizen Kane, which has been called the most influential movie of all time. The film is renowned for its cinematography, innovative plot structure and memorable musical score. Stanley Kubrick, Sydney Pollack and Woody Allen are among the filmmakers who list Citizen Kane as one of the best movies of all time.

So there you have an overview of music and films of the 1940s. If you want to read more, check out the sites below.

filmsite.org
Wikipedia
retrowaste.com

As always, thanks for reading, and have a great day!

xoxo

Oh L’amour! Spicing up the ’40s

Oh L’amour! Spicing up the ’40s

Some like it hot

FB: spicylamour
Instagram: @spicylamour
Website: bloodsweatandtease.com

Despite war raging across the globe, the ’40s conjure up images of romance, intrigue and danger – the perfect rôle for a femme fatale. And who better to personify that than our own Spicy L’amour. Her name alone suggests passion, heat and drama. Pull up a chair and get to know Spicy a little better.

1. What is your favorite thing about the 1940s?

Perhaps it is uncanny that I got to represent the 40s as I just turned 40 in December. 1942 is significant to me, for no other sentimental reason than the year my father was born. And Harrison Ford. Who doesn’t love Han Solo?

2. If you could have drinks/dinner with any person from that era, real or fictional, who would it be and why?

Edith Piaf. Her signature song La Vie En Rose was a song I learned in French class, and I sing it to my daughter Artemis (aka Baby Spice) to lull her to sleep. Even though Edith herself led a life full of tragedy and loss, I think she would delight in the fact that her songs have everlasting and international appeal. And we would knock back a shitload of amazing French wine while talking about men and swapping dating horror stories. Like her, I can say, je ne regrette rien!

3. Is there anyone from today you think embodies the idea of the ’40s?

One person from the era who showed some serious girl power was Eleanor Roosevelt, so I guess I would pick Michelle Obama as an example of that. And Michelle herself has said that Eleanor was one of her inspirations, especially her idea to have a Victory Garden in every household during the war.

Come see Spicy sizzle on April 22 for Decadent: 100 Years of Burlesque. She joins a fabulous lineup of sultry stunners who will take you on a whirlwind tour through time. Tickets are on sale now!

BUY TICKETS

Party Like it’s 1949: The French 75

Party Like it’s 1949: The French 75

We here at LFF can’t resist anything French or anything that has champagne, so this week’s cocktail is a French 75. The drink dates back to WWI, but became popular in America in the ’40s, where it was served at NYC’s super ritzy Stork Club. It also makes an appearance in the 1942 movie Casablanca.

French 75

Photo: NY Times
Photo: NY Times

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces London dry gin
  • ¾ ounce fresh lemon juice
  • ¾ ounce simple syrup
  • 2 ounces Champagne
  • lemon twist

Preparation

Combine gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker. Fill shaker with ice, cover, and shake vigorously until outside of shaker is very cold, about 20 seconds.

Strain cocktail through a Hawthorne strainer or a slotted spoon into a large flute. Top with Champagne; garnish with lemon twist.

Named after a French 75 mm field gun (or so the story goes), this cocktail packs quite a kick!

Check back next week for a fabulous ’50s concoction!

Fashion Flashback Friday: the 1940s

Fashion Flashback Friday: the 1940s

World War II affected pretty much everything in the ’40s and fashion is no exception. Fabric rationing forced hemlines higher and silhouettes mimicked Utility styles introduced in Britain. They featured boxy shoulders, a nipped-in waist and knee-length skirts. Necklines were modest and sleeves fell to the elbow or wrist.

Utility dresses
Actress Deborah Kerr in a Utility dress
’40s street style

Popular dress styles included the shirtwaist, the peplum and the wrap, all of which remain popular today.

Shirtwaist dresses
Shirtwaist dresses
Peplum suit
Wrap dresses

Skirts were usually A-line, flaring out from the knee, and somewhere between full and pencil. In 1947, French designer Christian Dior introduced his “New Look,” and based on that, skirts became either very tight or very full.

Dior “New Look” silhouette, full skirt, tiny waist
A Dior pencil skirt

Suits were popular as daywear because they could be mixed and matched if necessary. Blouses featured a V-neck or small rounded peter pan collar.

Suit

The 1939 movie version of Gone with the Wind made the princess dress popular for evening. It featured a fitted bodice, long full skirt and puffy sleeves, drop sleeves or no sleeves.

Princess evening gowns

Another popular evening look was a long, gathered column gown with a short dinner jacket.

Evening gown with jacket

Many women couldn’t afford long formal gowns, so semi-formal cocktail dresses were popular. They were frequently modeled after day styles but made from upgraded fabrics.

Cocktail dress
Ditto

Women’s pants first came into the picture in the ’30s, but in the ’40s they became necessary for women working in factories. Like the ’30s versions, pants were high-waisted with wide legs. It’s also the first time coveralls or overalls are seen for women, again thanks to factory work.

40spants

Shoes were more utilitarian in the ’40s than the ’30s and often featured a chunky heel or wedge. Since leather was scarce due to the war, shoes were often made of other materials such as reptile skin.

40sshoes

Wedges

Popular hat styles included the beret, imported from France, and the turban.

Beret
Beret
Turban
Turban

Women working in factories had to keep their hair free from getting caught in machinery so many wore a knitted snood or tied hair up in a scarf.

Snood
Snood

Rationing affected men’s styles as well. As we saw last week, men’s clothing of the ’30s was aimed at making a dude look big and powerful, but new regulations that dictated cuff and lapel lengths kept suits more fitted.

Slimmer fitting suit

After the war, military styles, such as the trench coat, showed up in civilian closets.

The Zoot Suit, with it’s super baggy fit and bright colors, made its first appearance in the ’30s and was considered unpatriotic during the war years because of all the extra fabric it used. By then it was also associated with gangsters.

Zoot suit couple
Zoot suit couple
Zoot suit caszh
Zooty tux

Despite that, it becomes very popular in the late ’40s and ’50s, which we will investigate next week!

Hope you enjoyed this overview of ’40s fashion. If you want to read more, check out the sites below.

vintagedancer.com
this site
retrowaste.com
glamourdaze.com
Marie Claire, 1940s Fashion in pics

And if you missed it, you can read about 1920s fashion here and 1930s fashion here.

As always, thanks for reading and catch you next week!

Triad Poster

Throwback Thursday: Burlesque of the ’40s

Throwback Thursday: Burlesque of the ’40s

As we learned last week, NYC Mayor Fiorello Laguardia closed most of the city’s burlesque houses in 1937, bringing to an end what at the time was known as the golden age of burlesque. By this time, striptease was the name of the game, comics and variety having been dropped completely.

Last week, we also met burlesque legend Sally Rand who is one of the performers who introduced the fan dance. By the ’40s, she was an established dancer and went on to fight against censorship, which as we’ll see, seems to be the key theme of the ’40s. In 1946, Rand was arrested twice in San Francisco for lewdness, but after viewing her performance, a judge declined to convict her.

Sally Rand

Gypsy Rose Lee, whom we also met last week, tried to make it Hollywood in the ’40s but it didn’t quite work out. In 1941, Lee wrote The G-String Murders, a detective story set in the backstage world of burlesque. The novel was made into a 1943 movie musical called The Lady of Burlesque, starring Barbara Stanwyck. However, it was considered too racy for the strict moral code of the time and censored heavily.

Gypsy Rose Lee in a 1949 show
Gypsy Rose Lee in a 1949 show

Ann Corio was also an established dancer of the time, and by the ’40s, she too went to Hollywood looking for a movie career. She appeared in some B-movies in scanty costumes, the most well-known of which is probably 1942’s Jungle Siren. She also volunteered to be a pinup girl for YANK, a weekly magazine for the military.

Poster for Jungle Siren with Ann Corio

Finally, meet Lili St. Cyr, who began her career as a ballet dancer and chorus girl. She was renowned for her beauty and had several acts, including Cinderella, a matador, a bride and Cleopatra.

Lili was dubbed the most famous woman in Montreal in the late ’40s and ’50s, but unfortunately she caught the attention of the city’s top clergy, who condemned her act as filthy and immoral. This led to her arrest for “indecent, immoral and obscene” behavior. She was eventually acquitted, but the theater where she performed was shut down.

St. Cyr also performed in Hollywood (where she was billed as the “Anatomic Bomb”) and where she was ALSO taken to court by someone who considered her act lewd and lascivious. Again, she was acquitted.

Lili St. Cyr
Lili St. Cyr

By the end of the ’40s, the decline of burlesque was in full swing, but it wasn’t dead entirely and the ’50s will give us some icons of its own. But you’ll just have to wait until next week for that!

Please check out these resources to learn more about burlesque history:

burlexe.com
itssimplyburlesque.com
And pincurlmag.com has whole series on burlesque arrests!

As always always always, thanks for reading and we will catch up with you in the ’50s!

xoxo

Blood, Toil, Tears and Sweat: The ’40s

Blood, Toil, Tears and Sweat: The ’40s

Hello historians! Welcome back to our sojourn through the last 100 years. (Just joining us? You can catch up with the 1920s here and the 1930s here.)

It’s the 1940s! We made it through Great Depression, but happy days are decidedly not here again. Japan is rampaging through the Far East, Italy and Spain are being run by murderous dictators, and the Soviet Union – no slouch itself on the dictator front – is flexing its muscles in Finland, the Baltics and Poland. Speaking of Poland, our old pal Hitler dropped in for some pierogies back in ’39 and decided to hang around for awhile.

Here’s a quick recap.

1940

April 9-May 12: Hitler continues his goodwill tour through Europe by invading Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and France.

What?

May 10: A very grumpy-looking Winston Churchill is elected Prime Minister.

You’d be pissed off too if you had to deal with this Hitler jackass.

July 27: The first modern version of Bugs Bunny appears in Tex Avery’s Oscar-nominated(!) The Wild Hare.

Totes agree about Hitler

Nov 5: FDR is elected to an un’president’ed third term. (I’ll be here all week, folks!)

Don’t make me put you in an internment camp

1941

Oct 9: FDR approves the Manhattan Project, allowing work to begin on the atomic bomb. The Manhattan Project is not to be confused with a cappella jazz fusion group the Manhattan Transfer, although both cause immeasurable carnage and suffering.

Oct 31: Crews complete work on Mount Rushmore, giving South Dakota tourists something to do besides count buffalo.

Thank you for being a friend

Dec 7: A “date that will live in infamy.” Japan bombs the U.S. Naval Base at Pearl Harbor, drawing America into the war and setting the stage for a much cuter invasion 35 years later.

Submit or die

1942

June 4-7: Japan suffers its first substantial defeat at U.S. hands in the Battle of Midway, in what’s widely considered the turning point of the Pacific war. Meanwhile, Japan invades two remote U.S. islands off Alaska in a possible bid to distract American forces from the South Pacific. However, it turns out they were just looking for Uniqlo.

1943

Jan 15: Work is completed on the Pentagon and its sister buildings, the Rhombus (Treasury Dept.), and Octagon (Education Dept.).

July 25: After fucking up campaigns in Greece and North Africa, Italian Dictator Benito Mussolini is deposed by his own government.

#youhadonejob

He’s eventually executed in 1945 after being caught trying to sneak over the Swiss border dressed as Hitler.

1944

June 6: Allied troops storm the beaches of Normandy only to find them littered with trash and hypodermic needles.

Nov 7: FDR elected to a FOURTH term.

1945

April 12: FDR dies suddenly of a brain hemorrhage, but goes on to win re-election in 1948, 1952 and 1956.

April 30: With Allied forces closing in on Berlin, Hitler commits suicide in his bunker after claiming he just needs to “rest his eyes” for a few minutes.

#SoTired

May 7: Germany surrenders, but immediately regroups and begins plotting to invade Czechoslovakia.

Aug 6 & Aug 9: U.S. drops A-Bombs on Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Six days later, this happens:

1946

March 5: Churchill give his “Iron Curtain” speech, kicking off the Cold War in style.

San Dimas High School football rules!

July 5: The modern bikini debuts in Paris. The swimsuit is named after recent atomic tests on Bikini Atoll, because nothing says “sassy fun on the beach” like “nuclear war.”

1947

April 15: Jackie Robinson debuts with the Brooklyn Dodgers, becoming the first black player in the major leagues since the 1880s.

Dodger!?

First week in July: A “weather balloon” crashes near Roswell, NM.

Six days later, this happens:

Oct 14: American pilot Chuck Yeager breaks the sound barrier, becoming the “fastest man alive.” Wife Glennis is not amused.

Dec 27: Howdy Doody debuts on NBC…

Then goes on a three-state killing spree

1948

June 20: Ed Sullivan Show premieres. First guests include Elvis, The Beatles, and Sonny & Cher.

sonnycher

Aug 16: Babe Ruth dies and is buried under Fenway Park in a Big Papi jersey.

Nov 2: Dewey does NOT defeat Truman

Again with the #fakenews

1949

April 4: The North Atlantic Treaty is signed in Washington, DC, creating the NATO defense alliance to counter Soviet aggression. In 2013, the alliance is rebranded as SharkNATO to counter Ian Ziering.

June 8: Publication of 1984George Orwell’s dystopian novel about reality show contestants who live in a house together and vie for a job with a shadowy industrialist known only as “Big Brother.” The book goes on to win the Nobel Prize for literature and spawns several spin-offs, including Celebrity 1984 and 1985: Still Watching.

And that, my friends, wraps up the ’40s, which as you can see, was pretty intense. But fear not, because up next, we get pompadours, poodle skirts and prosperity! Stay tuned for…the ’50s!

And we are thisclose to having ticket info available for our April 22 show, Decadent: 100 Years of Burlesque, so be sure to check back often!

See you next time!

xoxo