Shanghai Sings (t-18779171) KABOBS: Fashion and Costume in Film Assessment: 1 “A good costume must be material enough to signify and transparent enough not to turn its signs into parasites. ” (Farthest Roland, 1972 pig 5) That is exactly what is portrayed in Marilyn Monomer’s white halter dress in “The Seven Year Itch” (1955) directed by Billy Wilder. The movie revolves around Richard Sherman (Tom Lowell), an employee at an advertising company who resolves to eat healthy food, and quit smoking and drinking while his wife and son are away.
During this time he meets his stairs tenant: dizzy, appealing, luscious Marilyn Monroe known as “The Girl” who had come to spend the summer. His resolutions fly out of the window as he finds himself trapped with an “Itch”. Marilyn Monroe in the “subway scene” has been portrayed in such a way that it creates a “montage of attractions” by flashing her iconic image throughout the sequence. A costume so iconic in itself formed a remarkable landmark in the film industry creating an absolute enigma in the minds and hearts of people.
We can find continuing modernity in later references but earlier parallels put these images in the story of cinema. Showcasing women undergarments, “the wondrous revetment” is also one of the recurring concepts in literature and psychology. Farthest locus on erotic character of “intermittent” points directly toward the concept of “appearance- as-disappearance” where as Fraud’s interpretations in his writings about sexuality explains this preoccupation about “wondrous revetment” ” . Is not the most erotic portion of a body where the garment gapes? . . Psychoanalysis states that this is “intermittent” which is further erotic: the intermittent of skin illuminated between armaments in this case Monomer’s legs and thighs or the flashing because of the wind. The seduction created by the flash or rather the staging of appearance-as- disappearance plays with the mind and psych of Sherman (Farthest 1975 The Pleasure of the Text pig 17). The glance in the first place prepares the deification; in impetuous motives and drives, it is then very easy to spot dilated pupils and sparkling eyes (Quean 1988 pig 10-11) Figure 1: Marilyn Monroe and Tom Lowell Filming “The Seven Year Itch” (16 September 1954).
Bateman/Corbels On June 1 1955 the film “The Seven Year Itch” premiered on Monomer’s birthday. It could be significantly observed that Billy Wielder’s adaptation of George’s Caseload’s play was predominantly an interpretation of unforgettable “intermittent” or “appearance-as-disappearance” (Roland Farthest 1975 pig 21-39) of “the Girl” played by Monroe. The scenes showcasing “intermittent” thus generated enormous publicity worldwide. The play however was showcased in November 1952 at Fulton Theatre New York which was entirely set in Richard Sherman flat in Creamery Park section New York.
On the other hand Wielder’s film roams all over the city. Wilder first shot the subway scene in New York and numerous shots were taken f Monroe standing on the subway with her skirt blowing all around her. (Figure 1 and texture 2 “The Seven Year Itch” storyline, unlike some of Monomer’s earlier films, held forth no promise as a costume showcase. It was not a period piece and she had no dance routines. Still, this was to become the vehicle for Travail’s most famous dress design: in bias cut crepe with a halter top and sunburst pleats.
The character “The Girl” in the film and the personality of Marilyn Monroe in real life were similar in a sense that Monroe possessed a girl-next-door sweetness, reassuring ultra-feminine heartsickness that coexisted with a supernatural sexual attraction. This image of her had to be kept in mind while creating the costume. Therefore the costume was a deceptively simple dress, classic but sexy, and it was meant to make Monroe cool on the hot, sticky sidewalk of New York. “I’m going to have my precious baby standing over a grate. ” Trivial remembered. L wanted her to look fresh and clean. So I wondered what could I do with the most beautiful girl that Marilyn was to play to make her look clean, talcum powdered, and adorable,” Trivial mused (Hollywood Costume Design, pig 109). The costumes worn by Marilyn in this movie follow a pattern of modest to erotic, peaking in high eroticism, then gradually becoming less so toward the end when Sherman starts feeling guilty about his attraction toward “The Girl”. Figure 2: Marilyn Monroe on Subway Grating for “The Seven Year Itch” (16 September 1954).
Bateman/Corbels Looking at Travail’s design process in the costumes of other films we can understand the analysis of the white halter dress. His impeccable work in “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” (The Pink Dress) and “How to Marry a Millionaire” (strapless Mermaid dress) was an epitome of originality, class, creativity, and sex appeal with a sleek sophistication (Hollywood Reporter, 1984) which was very well reflected in the subway dress. Figure 3: Door’s corolla line, woman modeling dress, 11 March 1948 Christian Dior, the French couturier, first designed a skirt which was very much similar to what Monroe wore.
It was in February 1948 and reflected an attitude toward the rigor of world war times. “Corolla Line” was the name given to the exorbitant skirts of Dior (coming from ‘corolla’ meaning “the flower’s petals typically covering the sigma that is sexual organs”), the style that was at once creative as it was dramatic, provocative, elegant and feminine. American Journalists of the time coined it as the “New Look”. A symbolic version was prevalent throughout sass which is very well evident from Monomer’s costume.
On the other hand sensuality and eroticism of costumes was also becoming a significant feature of cinema and had started to come to the forefront of film production in sass. In reference to the subway scene Freud states that public voyeurism and Monomer’s abandonment both crossed the limits of decency. This was rather Justified in the three Essays on Theory of Sexuality, published in 1905 by Freud stating “curiosity seeks to complete the sexual object by revealing its hidden parts” and “[the] progressive concealment of the body which goes along with civilization [that] keeps sexual curiosity awake” (Freud 1991 pig 60-70).
This was argued by a legal scholar and a contemporary philosopher, Thomas Angel, he stated that concealment is a prominent and most important element of decorum and one’s clothing determines a healthy interaction between the two genders (Angel 2002 pig. 3-26). Therefore the New York footage proved to be of no use in the movie and the scene was snot again in Holly. Voodoo but nevertheless the dotage proved to be a huge publicity and advertising tool for the movie, which was one of the main reasons for its success in other terms success De scandals. Explicit sexuality and “appearance-as- disappearance” made history.
Figure 4: Fifty-Two Foot Figure of Marilyn Monroe Installed at theatre in New York (19th May 1955) The subway scene outside the theatre is cast accurately in the film. When Monroe waits for the train to pass through we observe the camera cut and Ochs on her legs and dress. When the rush of wind created by the train blows up the skirt, her legs in that effect are detached from the person and become disembodied altogether (Edgar Degas 1954 article pig 2). Furthermore Marlin’s underpants are not revealed as the scene cuts abruptly, this serves to neutralize an otherwise explicitly sensuous scene.
Nevertheless Monomer’s full length billboard installed for the premiere of the movie “The Seven Year Itch” gave a glimpse of her underpants. However the reviews of the movie focused on billboard and talked about lingerie and its erotic border zeroing the “appearance. An exasperating relationship set between the billboard and the movie also symbolized “appearance-as-disappearance”. Figure 5: Poster of “the seven year itch” (Cinema Scope 1954) Films that were made in sass, ass, ass, and ass, also made reference to the subway scene; for instance, Tommy, The Woman in Red, Insignificance, Pulp Fiction.
It is noticeable that these films refer to the billboard and the posters rather than the movie. The scene and Monroe became so iconic that the billowing skirt pattern could be created almost anywhere and people would be able to understand the reference immediately. Nevertheless the aura created by Monroe was coming to an end. Even though the “New Look” by Dior remained popular in the sass, the elegant and feminine fashion was transforming into Mary Quant’s pop style of clouded tights and mini micro skirts.
If “progressive concealment…. Keeps sexual curiosity awake,” as stated by Edmund, “intermittent of skin flashing between two articles of clothing” became yet another reason in neutralizing the erotic charges in the preceding era and sass taste of sensuality (Freud, 1950 essay page 6). Monroe standing on the subway with her skirt blowing around her was actually rough through antecedent order. This can be very well backed up through Elite’s and Sonatas interpretations stating that Wilder had modified an already existing order.
That is, the past was modified or changed a bit to make the new present, whereas the present very well illuminated upon the past. Wilder built the scene on an already existing order in the history of cinema, that is “contemporary the historical and historicist the contemporary. ” A very well know example can be observed in the film by Joseph von Sternberg “Deer blame Engel” in 1930 (Elderflower 1994, up. 5-95). More examples are “Delta of Venus” and “The awful Truth”, the latter of which Sonata remarks included almost the same costume and scene.
I Figure 6: Marlene Dietrich as Lola Lola in “Deer Blame Engel,” (1930). Hereby do not suggest that it was a genealogical pre-existing scene rather I want to relate the “montage of attraction” or the aura created by Monroe through her costume with the early times. Neither do I guess hat t t Wilder and all these notions in mind when nee created the scene rather he must have attributed the examples of “appearance-as-disappearance” which could have given him the idea of portraying Monroe in his own style with the help of her costume.
Figure 7: Sherman gazing at Monomer’s ankles, “The Seven Year Itch”, (20th Century Fox, 1954) Psychoanalysis of the subway scene and the costume illuminates a lot about what would have been the thought process before designing this explicit dress. Psychoanalytical Theory by Freud states about De, Ego and Superego, all of them together helps a person to take a decision example De: “l want this right now’, Ego: “Let’s figure out a way to work this”, Superego: “good people don’t think about his” (Edmund Freud, 1940 theory).
Now if we compare this model with the movie we see that Sherman went through all these phases in all parts of the movie. If we look at the subway scene in particular then we can observe that there was a transition happening from Superego to Ego and then in the end when Monroe flaunts her legs and shows off her ankles while she is wearing the white dress costume, the transition from Ego to De takes place. John Risking, Oxford professor of fine arts, states in one of his essays in relation to Fraud’s interpretation that it is sociopolitical “impulse” (Freud 1991 up. -70) that a man goes through. Here he refers too hope of a seductive flash because of the wind coming from the subway. Farthest stated what lies beneath the “chemist” no one knows (Farthest 1975 pig 12). Articulating further that a beautiful woman can make the wisest of men go insane. That is what Monomer’s costume was made to do , overpower Sherman senses so much so that he forgot about his guilt and sense of decision making.
Figure 8: Marilyn Monroe during her still Photo shoot, Elliott Rewrite (1954) Marilyn Monomer’s character “The Girl” in the movie “The Seven Year Itch” is a product of receding notions. It is noticeable that every notion is built upon, and has, an overlapping notion. Firstly there is a notion of pre-photography in visual arts and literature (ii. Plays and novels), then there is a cinematic notion of the blue angel and other examples were previously stated, and other forms like billboards, postcards and erotic posters. There are various literary notions that run alongside.
Then twin bibliographic notions, as seen in Beret’s Hardy photographs, having the same culture as well as subject directly inspired from “The Seven Year Itch”. Lastly the movie itself s a notion and its promotion through premieres. Based on “the theory of sexuality’ Freud stated that “visual impressions remain the most frequent pathway along which libidinal excitation is aroused. ” All the notions were kept in mind while shooting the scene and it was made sure that the costume should be such that it arouses immediate feelings within a blink of an eye.