January 13, 2012

Dancing cheek to cheek

Snow storms have this wonderful ability to make the world stand still and force you to relax. Last night, while Montreal was receiving a heavy coating of snow, I curled up with some of my favorite Fred Astaire movies.

I've had a love affair with the dresses in these movies since I was a little girl and still can't resist watching the ostrich feathers swirl around Ann Miller, Ginger Rogers, or Cyd Charisse (I often wanted to model my own ballroom costumes after them).

Here are a few modern day equivalents worn by Liv Tyler (Givenchy), Hillary Swank (Oscar de la Rent), runway wedding dresses (Oscar de la Renta), and Christina Hendricks (Zac Posen) but in my opinion, the best model for a feather dress is a graceful dancer.

Ann Miller in her dressing gown with Fred Astare. Easter Parade 
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Ann Miller in an ostrich feather dress and the fan I wanted desperately as  little girl. Easter Parade
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Ann Miller performing one of her insanely fast tap numbers.  No feathers, I just loved this outfit. Easter Parade
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Ginger Rogers earned the nickname "feathers" after insisting on wearing this blue feathery dress.
Fred apparently said it was like dancing with a chicken being attacked by a coyote since the dress shed as they danced. Top Hat
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Fred Astaire always insisted on filming their whole bodies while dancing and they had to do the whole thing in only one take. Top Hat
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watch them dance here
Cyd Charisse posing with an ostrich feather dress and fan
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