Journalist. Mother. Bunny enthusiast. Pop culture junkie.

Journalist. Mother. Bunny enthusiast. Pop culture junkie.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Jezebel: Southern Belle Fashion

Before Gone With the Wind, there was Jezebel.

The 1938 film stars a very young Bette Davis as the stubborn spitfire, Julie, who refuses to obey social conventions.

Although the New Orleans southern belle is very much in love with her fiance, her egotistical antics create a barrier between the couple.

It is eventually a wrong fashion decision that costs her the man she loves.

Her selfishness swallows her up into a sea of despair and scorn.

I'm not going to lie. This is one of the most frustrating films I have ever seen. There were numerous times where I wanted to reach my hand into the television and slap some sense into each character. The lack of communication needed for the plot is painful to endure.

I was also disappointed that the film was released in black and white. A spectacular scarlet dress is the center of the entire film and believe me, the silver screen does not do it justice. (The Wizard of Oz came out a year after Jezebel, so I know color was around during this time period).

Plus, I am not a big fan of the South when it comes to the Civil War. Racism and slavery put a bad taste in my mouth.

But I have to admit, the American South during the 19th century, given all its flaws, was incredibly beautiful.

It must be magical to live in an enchanting world where you can be swallowed up by willow trees and lush green meadows. Chivalry was admirable back then. Ladies were respected. Politeness was key. Elegance was social order.

And the fashion.

Oh, the fashion...

Here is a taste of what Bette Davis has to offer in this film:

Wouldn't it be a dream to be a Southern Belle for a day?

Bette Davis is absolutely divine in this film. I'm not surprised she won the Best Actress Oscar for her performance.

Here is a polyvore I made to honor the main character's spectacular fashion faux paux:


Andrés Corella said...

I totally love it..I remember watching Gone with the wind and being absolutely blown away by all the beautiful dresses parading on the screen...Bette Davis..what can I say..stunning!

The Black Label

Elisse said...

You always come up with such interesting blog posts! I like your Polyvore inspiration board on this movie - and seeing images of a young Bette Davis reminds me the class and glamour of movie stars of that era!

Jennifer said...

She's gorgeous but no way could I stomach a film if it's that frusterating! P and I can barely handle ben stiller movies b/c he makes us so frusterated we want to throw things! bahaha!

Jenn @ Peas & Crayons

Sarah said...

The costumes look stunning!

Diego R. Wyatt said...

Southern Belle fashion is incredibly ornate and feminine. I love the dynamics between femininity and strength I think are personified in this gentile style of design. I live in ATlanta for 5 years and loved attending debutante balls just to see the gorgeous and over the top gowns.


Bonnie said...

I love her fashion. Sometimes, I watch movies on mute just so I can focus on the fashion (and not the lame-ass storylines). This movie sounds really good, though. I love things with a feminist theme. (Hence why I am writing my thesis on such a topic.)
Twitter: @GlamKitten88

Kristy said...

I love this. Also wait a minute, I've missed you this week!? Is it possible to miss someone you haven't really met? Man, I'm so weird. I love this post though, and you, stranger child. x

Katie said...

The costumes look amazing. That dress, I wish!

lifeontherocks said...

she looks smoking hot!!!! and the dress is just so divine! wow!

Meri said...

Thanks for the screencaps! I was about to say that even if its a stupid movie it might be worth watching on mute for the clothes. But you captured lots of them for us! I love Bette Davis, I have All About Eve home from the library, one of my favorites.

Chic 'n Cheap Living said...

The fashion is seriously unbelievable! I have an alumni dinner tonight and I should seriously dress up!

Chic 'n Cheap Living

Lightning Bug's Butt said...

I can see why they wrote a song about those!

Josie said...

Her eyes are just INSANE.
xo Josie

Sherin said...

Ohh, the fashion does look fantastic. Hehe, I want to watch this film just for the feeling of slapping sense into the chaacters. Looks like a relatively entertaining film to watch though.

alexandra grecco said...

lovely blog!


Olga said...

I greatly enjoyed your guest post. It made me view certain things in a new light; for example, that a wealthy person can be so dedicated to charity. The movie Jezebel is really depressing. Throughout the film, there's so much drama that it makes you exhausted in the end. Although it's true that the dresses and costumes of that time are very aesthetically pleasing. The most incredible thing is picturing yourself wearing them.

Marie said...

I do!:D She's gorgeous, I like her eyes.:D

***** Marie *****

yiqin; said...

I lvoe them too. Women back then are more stylih.

Oh to Be a Muse said...

yet again, another film i haven't heard of. but the photos look great--maybe better in color as you say. nice polyvore too!

Miksu said...

that sounds like a perfect movie for me! I love the old elegance. And even if the movie is not so good, I always enjoy the dresses and views!

I made a posting on my blog about movies too, go and check it :)


Missy said...

Fab post! Thanks for sharing x

Blending Style, Celebs and Fashion

Vanilla said...

I so love that era for fashion! :) I kinda wish we could still dress like this once in a while :)

Love, Vanilla.

Couture Carrie said...

What amazing costumes!
Love your collage!

Happy weekend, darling!


Mouthwash said...

This is actually my one favorite movies of all time. I love it. I'm so glad that you did a post on this! it's such a sad sad movie - but the fashion, and THAT dress is so perfect.


Ashley/ MILK TEETHS said...

such a shame that they didn't do this movie in color, that red dress would have been so awesome to see! Also, is it me, or Betty's eyes be buggin the second to last photo? Whatever, still fierce.

Imogen said...

These pictures are stunning, what truly beautiful women. Of course I love the fashion, I always have loved this style. I wish we all wore dresses like this frequently in society. This is a gorgeous polyvore set too.

Tights Lover said...

I love Bette Davis, although I've never seen this particular movie. I'm definitely a fan of the old B&W movies too. Even though I'm a New Englander, I love going down south when I get the chance.

Dilan Dilir said...

great post :D

Kristen Leotsakou said...

im such a fan of film noir! and her eyes are huge! <3

*chameleon* said...

Goen with the wind-watched,but this one-i skipped!:( and here is my new task!:)

Elizabeth of PrettyNiftyThriftyFashion said...

oh i just love gone with the wind, such a awesome movie but i have never seen this one!! i just love the dresses they had :)

Emily, Ruby Slipper Journeys said...

I'm loving all these classic movie recommendations... great taste in films!

heidiluxe said...

love jezebel. gone with the wind is my favorite movie. i have the opinion that if you don't want to slap someone then the movie wasn't worth it.
you should check out some of the work of walter plunkett. brilliant costumer, historically accurate with a great avant garde streak.

Anonymous said...