Friday, July 13, 2012

Travis Banton's Egypt

The other day, I was watching a short film called  Star Night at the Cocoanut Grove. It appears as a bonus feature on The Gay Divorcee DVD.  In it, a "galaxy of stars" watch the "Sahara Fashion Parade" which is made up of costumes designed by Travis Banton for Cleopatra (1934).

Banton was one of Hollywood's most important designers in the 1930s.  For several years he was the principle designer at Paramount where he helped define a decade of fashion with stars like Claudette Colbert, Clara Bow, Mae West and Marlene Dietrich.  He also served as mentor to Edith Head who would go on to become Hollywood's most famous costume designer.

Here are some screenshots from the short:

Banton's famous gold costume for Claudette Colbert as Cleopatra was auctioned in the first Debbie Reynolds auction last year.

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