"I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing...kissing a lot. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls."
Saturday, July 9, 2016
The Starlet Series Episode 4: 1923
So far, all of the movies I've paid homage to in this resurrected series of mine, are dramatic films. This time, I decided to use a look featured in one of the decade's most pivotal silent comedies: Safety Last!, starring Harold Lloyd and his real-life leading lady, Mildred Davis. I had only seen those famous iconic images of Lloyd dangling from a clock tower until now, so I was happy to see that the film is available on a variety of streaming options and in relatively good quality. I'm so glad I gave it a watch!
About the Film:
The story is very simple. Harold Lloyd portrays 'the boy', in this one. Names aren't needed, nor are they missed. The boy travels to the big city to seek his fortune, and thus procure the hand of his lady-love back at home. While he is highly ambitious, he doesn't quite manage to make said 'fortune', and instead lives hand to mouth, scraping together earnings from a thankless job at a local department store. Since he exaggerates his success in his letters to home, sending expensive gifts and making dishonest claims about his position at the store, the girl he loves decides to make a journey to the city as well, so they can go ahead and be married. Faced with her presence, the boy must decide how to quickly obtain the funds needed, and comes up with a publicity stunt that would result in a huge paycheck for him, as well as increased business for the store. Chaos and hilarity ensue.
In spite of the fact that the story is very basic, there are moments of comedic timing here that will rival anything ever filmed. The moments at the department store, during sale days, when the ladies ransack the dress goods for a good deal will still resonate with retail workers today. Both Lloyd and Davis shine on screen, separately and as a couple. While I still prefer the acrobatic charm of Buster Keaton, I can completely understand the appeal of Harold's 'every-man' persona. The tousled hair, black framed rims, and lanky frame all combine to create a presence that was much-needed during a time of dark and brooding screen heroes. Davis is a breath of fresh air as well, sacrificing glamour and icy sentimentality in favor of girl-next-door simplicity. Her expressions, fashions, and simple attire likely spoke to the ladies of that generation in a way that was attainable and identifiable for them. The climax of this film did not fail to impress, especially when one considers the amount of preparation and skillful stunt-work that would have been involved in such a feat. For what it is, it is hard to imagine it being improved upon even in light of today's technical advances.
My Rating: 10/10
My inspiration for the look in this video was actually based on a head shot of Davis at the time. I liked the above photo because her curls are still very apparent, and the big beautiful white flower really sets off her hair length and texture.
I first set it overnight in the smallest foam rollers I had. I parted my hair on the side and sprayed each section with a diluted solution of Lottobody setting lotion before rolling it up.
The makeup I did was the easiest option for 20's makeup yet. It's a wearable version more consistent with the every day look that makeup novices of the day would have done. After all, makeup was really new to the general public and folks like Mildred Davis made a natural, fresh look not only en vogue, but also highly attainable!
See the video for techniques and application tips, but below is a list of the actual products I used in this tutorial. Some are discontinued so I didn't include those. Just find something with the same general look.
Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch (primer) by Clarins
Beyond Perfecting Foundation by Clinique in the color 'Alabaster'
Mac eyeshadow in Soft Brown
Napoleon Perdis Prismatic Eyeshadow Quad #4
Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in 'Trooper'
Lancome Hypnose 'Doll Eyes' Mascara, black
Rimmel Lip Liner in 'Spice'
Loreal Lipstick in Cinnamon Toast
Floral Hair Clip: Belle Blossoms