living in

Living In: The Women

by Maxwell Tielman

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If you live in New York City, you’ve likely witnessed the models filling up subway cars, aspiring fashionistas dressing to impress street photographers like Bill Cunningham and Scott Schuman, and a general sense of heightened energy in the air—all signs that, once again, it’s fashion week! While there are a number of films that exemplify the glamor and frivolity of the fashion world (Funny Face, The Devil Wears Prada, Mannequin, Auntie Mame…), I can think of none better than the 1939 classic, The WomenAlthough it’s not about fashion per se (the plot surrounds the scandal-sheet divorce of society woman Mary Haines), the film’s entirely female cast is outfitted in clothing that is so outrageous and so decadent that only the Gagas of today would dare to wear them. From Schiaparelli-esque dresses adorned with surrealist imagery to a larger-than-life (full color!) fashion show at its apex—the film is a delicious, glittery escape (something that was no-doubt needed in the economically and politically torn world of 1939). Add on the movie’s razor-sharp wit and hysterical physical comedy from Joan Crawford and Rosalind Russell, and you have a winning, utterly timeless combination. —Max


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Film: The Women

Year: 1939

Director: George Cukor

Starring: Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford, Rosalind Russell

Art Direction: Cedric Gibbons

Set Decoration: Edwin B. Willis, Jack D. Moore

Costume Design: Adrian

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