Paris - City Of Fashion 1950-1959

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    Colour by Technicolor. Photography - George Stevens. Film Editor - Lionel Hoare. Sound - W.S. Bland, George Newberry. Commentary - Lambton Burn. Technicolour Colour Consultant - Joan Bridge. In charge of production - Howard Thomas. Directed by - Terry Ashwood. Intertitle surrounded by cartoon drawing of two women gossiping to each other as they lean out of their house windows: "Milady - and the pattern of her thousand moods mirrored in the hour-glass of fashion for man's delight." Shot of the Eiffel Tower with two models posing in black and white outfits. Narrator with French accent sets the tone of the voiceover by saying: "Her name caresses the lips with the lightness of Champagne - Paris." Various fashions are displayed against the skyline with scintillating, sparkling descriptions. Fur trimmed jacket and the "guitar line" coat trimmed with astrakhan by Jacques Heim seen in M/S. C/U of woman's feet with pan up to show her Jeanne Lanvin suit - "with emancipation in the accentuated hips." Two women walk towards the camera - Denise wears a striking red coat with large collar by Bruyere (?) - "note how the pocket flaps point artfully to the line of the hips". The other model wears a "pencil-slim" yellow dress with leopard-skin accessories - absolutely fabulous! Car pulls up close to the camera in the Champs Elysees. Chauffeur in white coat and hat opens the car door for a model in slate blue coat and purple dress "with a hint of Oriental Pagodas." A crowd of spectators and a Gendarme smile with approval. A photographer steps up to the model and shows her how he would like her to hold her head. C/U of her face to show off her black hat with veil which "will inspire rhapsodies." A Jacques Griffe outfit is modelled in the grounds of Versailles. Arthur Ferrier sits on a bench and sketches the model who wears a bat winged hooded cape. Crowd (outside the Louvre?) stand and watch. "A tone poem by Mangone waits among the flowers" - model sits on park bench wearing a dark suit and bright yellow jacket. Christian Dior is modelled by three women posing by a small ornamental lake. Cameraman steps in. M/S of children playing with toy sailing boats nearby. C/Us of the Dior outfits - dark suits with pinched in waists. Two women chat in the gardens.

    One wears red overcoat, the other a beige overcoat. They walk through the grounds of Versailles. L/S of the "Place de la Concorde" - horse drawn carriage approaches camera. Woman steps down from the carriage to speak to a friend. They compare outfits - a coat by Worth and a C/U of a striking yellow Paquin coat-cape. Two cameramen crouch in front of the models to film them. C/U of the driver of the carriage turning around to admire the outfits - "Even Pierre could take a tip" says the narrator. Woman stands at a bookstall looking at a fashion magazine. Voiceover states - "Now the bookstalls which should be sober, yet somehow contrive to be gay. Ask any tourist the reason, the reply will be - C'est Paris!" C/U of Jacques Vert outfit - grey dress with long striped scarf and "military" peaked cap. The model looks around and sighs nonchalantly. C/U of the Arc de Triomphe. Nina Ricci creations are paraded. Gendarme walks past the watching crowds. One of the models rolls down the cuffs of her jacket which had looked like a muff. Crowds watch a cameraman filming and a make-up artist touching up a models lipstick in the open air. She is wearing a Georgette Reynard (?) outfit - "a willing prisoner in grey." A Gendarme speaks to another model who is wearing a Bruyere (?) purple coat - she is given a mirror and she combs her hair. In the flower markets near Notre Dame the dropped shoulder coats of Rochas are modelled. Small velvet berets crown the high collars - they promise to become the season's rage. C/U of the two women looking at plants. C/U of photographer crouching by his camera taking a shot. "The flower market attracts the bachelor girl too" states the narrator. La Forrie (?) models - bottle green and bright yellow outfits. Montmartre -L/S of Restaurant du Moulin Joueux. C/U of chef. Two women walk towards the restaurant. People sit outside a cafe admiring their outfits - bright green and brown coats by Schiaparelli (one with an early "puffball" skirt). They approach an outside table where they meet some friends. The green outfit has a pleated skirt. Their friends also wear gorgeous outfits of course. One model shows off a bright red coat, another a lemon and grey tweed coat - Gisette wears grey worsted which "sounds a clerical note". The ladies are amused by Gisette's umbrella - designed by Pierre Balmous (?) - as it has a recorder-like instrument as part of its handle. Gisette plays a tune on it and her companions laugh.

    L'Arc de Triomphe and Notre Dame, fountains at night -L/Ss . Extravagant voiceover about "the velvet of the night" and the power of feminine witchcraft... Neon lights advertising the Moulin Rouge, Sphinx, Symphonie du Nu (with Naturistes), Pigalle, Le Can-Can, Eve, etc. Interior of a photographers studio - Arcour (?). Models pose for the camera. L/S of two models in crease resistant jersey outfits. Jean la Fourrine (?) asymmetric neckline is pointed out. Men move large photographers lights. Jacqueline models a cocktail ensemble from the House of Balenciaga. She also wears an: "absurdly stimulating oasis of a hat" with Osprey feathers. Make-up artist steps up on to platform to touch up model's face powder. Top shot of the studio full of party guests. But the photographer is still at work. Three contrasts in finely woven wool are photographed. Jean Desses sequinned suit, beaver fur trimmed beige coat modelled by Joanna from the House of Maggy Rouff, Yvonne wears an outfit of "delicate ease." Camera pans up from the feet of the models to their faces. Several photographers snap away as five outfits are modelled in the studio. Balmain outfit allows the petticoat to peep coyly through, youthful suit by Rochas, Carbon (?) uses embroidery. Monsieur and Madame Ricci are seen at the party sitting with Madame Germaine La Compte (?) - discussing dreams for the future. Giselle descends an ornate staircase wearing a Jacques Griffe white evening gown. Jackie waits to greet her in a "dressy hostess gown" designed by Vert (?) M/S of the outfits as the women talk. Georgette Renal (?) tartan muslin dress is modelled. High angle shot of elegant party guests chatting and eating canapes. Balenciaga and Mangone frocks are paraded down the staircase. Various designers are seen at the party chatting with each other - Madame Laligne (?) of Christian Dior for example. Patou "makes a plea for the spring" with a tulle evening gown, whilst a regal Maggy Rouff outfit is modelled by reclining model being wooed by a suitor. Monsieur and Madame Worth chat whilst beautiful outfits are seen all around them. Outfits mentioned include designs by Paquin, Dessay, Carven, Lanvin, Schiaparelli etc. etc. L/S of models, top shots of party goers. A woman in a backless extravagantly pleated white evening gown walks up a grand stairway. The camera follows her up the stairs as she walks past many models in outfits we have previously seen. It is "the stairway of high fashion which leads to the stars..." End title. Note: 16mm print exists & multiple 35mm prints.

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  • Data

    British Pathé
    Issue Date:
    1950 - 1959
    Media URN:
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Film ID:
    Time in/Out:
    01:21:25:00 / 01:35:59:00
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  • Appears in...

    Fashion & Music Lifestyle & Culture
    fashion Halston Doris Day Wool Fashion The Fashion Archive docs Paris in the 50's Temporary workspace: 27.4.2010 19:23 a Fashion fashion trends 1939-1954 dior Temporary Workspaces: 13.11.2011 22:38 fashion fashion - Karl Lagerfeld 50's fashion to watch Twiggy Untitled Viewspace Advertising Business Program 33 Order Elsa SCHIAPARELLI 1066 50's Fashion RC More Christian DIOR Jaques Heim Vogue Ne sous Z Haute Couture Untitled Workspace elsa schiaparelli Fashion rocks Bart Arlene philips
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Comments (1)

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  • "Mangone" should read Manguin, (2 changes required).

    Two references in text, and one in tags, to "Jacques Vert" should read Jacques Fath.

    "Pierre Balmous" in text and tags should read Pierre Balmain.

    "Georgette Reynard (?)" - no, it's Georgette Renal.

    "Carbon" in text and tags should read Carven.

    "Bruyere (?)" - yes, it's Marie-Louise Bruyere.

    "Madame Germaine La Compte (?)" no, it's Germaine Lecomte.

    jamied 16th Sep 2013

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