Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Baubles, Bangles...

...and Swede.

For no good reason, other than that it's February-cold, midwinter-damp, and just generally a tad dreary, this seems like the kind of week that might require a Garbo moment. And so let's have one.

Sometimes Metro seems to have spent an inordinate amount of time testing just how far they could go to put their top star in outré outfits before they outshone her. But they never did, or very rarely. That bone structure defeated even the most extreme efforts - who else could have carried off that glamorized dunce's hat in Ninotchka, or the Indochine frou-frou with which she was draped in Mata Hari?

Even here, it's not everyone who could triumph over an outfit in which one's turban matches one's earrings which match one's assymetrical collar details. Crawford would have looked like a high-class hooker, and Shearer like a middle-class wife trying to pass herself off as a high-class hooker. For Garbo, this could practically be daywear, even if we didn't know that her own choice of daywear was a pair of slacks and a trenchcoat.

One reason I like staring at some portraits of Greta Garbo: if you look long enough, she subtly morphs into Betty Comden, and that's reason enough to feel better about even the grayest of February Wednesdays.

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