Thursday, July 21, 2011
LESLIE CARON THANK HEAVEN FOR LESLIE!
French born actress Leslie Caron is a much loved film actor and dancer who has appeared in some of the most memorable MGM musicals.
Discovered by another MGM performer, Gene Kelly, Caron started life as a dancer. He cast her in the MGM classic An American in Paris (1951). MGM liked what they saw and continued her in a number of musical classics. Lili in 1953 and of course the best being Gigi in 1958.
This wonderful costume was worn by Leslie Caron in the 1958 MGM musical classic “Gigi”. Released in 1958, the film was directed by Vincente Minnelli. Considered as really the last of the great MGM musicals, the film remains a much-loved musical classic.
The costume consists of a white blouse with blue bow detail and a sapphire-blue wool skirt with blue satin piping to the hem. The costume is worn by lead actress Leslie Caron as young Gigi in the musical comedy.
Costumes were designed by the legendary Cecil Beaton who designed for other film classics including My Fair Lady.
The costumes whilst designed by Beaton, were executed by another legendary designer Irène Karinska.
Karinska was a costumer with the New York City Ballet. For film she won the 1948 Oscar for costume for Joan of Arc.
The costume is worn in a number of scenes in the film including the conformation scene with co-star Louis Jourdan. The film also starred Maurice Chevalier and character actors Hermione Gingold and Isabel Jeans. A young Eva Gabor can also been seen in this film classic.
Below is the trailer to the film as release by MGM.
This link takes you to one of the scenes in which the costume appears.
The costume is also worn by Caron in a number of promotional photos released for the film.
With songs by Lerner and Lowe, the film is set in turn-of-the-20th century Paris and tells the story of high society, marriage, mistresses, lovers and a girl named Gigi.
Gaston a wealthy bachelor, bored with life, takes interest in Gigi in a different way as she slowly become groomed as a courtesan and learns etiquette and charm from her Aunt Alicia. These scenes in themselves are charming and very funny.
Eventually after a few failed attempts he ends up falling in love with a matured Gigi.
Caron has appeared in other much loved film classics including “Daddy Long Legs”, “The Glass Slipper” and “Father Goose”.
Caron has danced with the greats including Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, Mikhail Baryshnikov, and Rudolf Nureyev.
Caron continues to act and appears on stage film and television.
Gigi is such a loved classic that it has been selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."
The film is ranked as number 35 in the AFI top 100 films. It’s in the top 10 in mine.