Old Hollywood glamour presents itself to Boston

The dress worn by Mary Ellis in "Paris in Spring".  Gowns will be on display at the MFA until March 2015. (Photo by Krista DeJulio)
The dress worn by Mary Ellis in “Paris in Spring”. Gowns will be on display at the MFA until March 2015. (Photo by Krista DeJulio)

Krista DeJulio & Samantha Greaves Features & Opinion Editors

Actress Mae West is known for saying, “Without diamonds, honey, I’d feel undressed.” That is how the Museum of Fine Arts Boston (MFA) introduced their exhibit “Hollywood Glamour: Fashion and Jewelry from the Silver Screen.”

The exhibit’s curators, Michelle Tolini Finamore, the fashion curator, and Emily Stoehrer, the jewelry curator, have beautifully exhibited dresses from the “golden age” of film, the 1930s and early 1940s. The two refer to the dresses and the era of the dresses as the “perfect antidote to the deprivations of the Great Depression [and] luxury for the price of a movie ticket.”

The exhibit features 16 exquisite dresses, of all styles from rhinestones and diamonds decorating the garment, to black velvet, to light embroidered kimono-style dresses. The designs were worn in films by Hollywood greats including Mae West, Gloria Swanson, Anna May Wong, Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich and Joan Crawford.

MFA patron, Charlotte Caper commented enthusiastically on the pieces saying, “Resurrect some of these and wear them to the Oscars.” Another patron, Jane Springer, commented on the purple dress designed by Elsa Schiapere. Springer said the dress, worn by Mae West in the old Hollywood movie “Everyday’s a Holiday,” “looks like a bathrobe.”

Neither of the patrons had seen the films featured in the collection, but enjoyed the collection overall because it reminded them of their parent’s generation. The exhibit explores 1930s featurettes and can be enjoyed by fashion and film lovers of all ages.

The exhibit runs until March 2015 and is free to all Lasell students with valid school ID. To get there take Riverside to Copley then switch trains to Heath St.

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