Life and Lillian Gish (1932)

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214 Life and Lillian Gish and all concerned, an idea of the possibilities of each scene. When Lillian looked at the miniature of Mimi's attic, she said: "But isn't it rather large? Mimi lives in a very small corner under the roof." "Ah, but this is in an old castle." "Why, yes, to be sure — only, there could hardly have been a castle in that locality, and even so, Mimi and her friends would not have been living in one. Just up under the roof of very old and rather poor houses." "But you see, you have been in big productions, with very fine sets. We don't want to put you into anything small and poor-looking. The road exhibitors would not feel they were getting their money's worth." "Romola's" elaborate background had worked on their imagination. They gave up their old castle, though sadly. The matter of costumes offered another surprise: A very expensive designer from Paris had been engaged — French, of Russian origin — Lillian rejoiced in the thought that she would get just the right thing. But, oh dear, when she came to see them! Monsieur was a small, dainty man, and he seemed to have designed them for himself. Also, it appeared to be his idea that Mimi was a vamp. Phyllis Moir, Lillian's secretary of that time, says that it was Lillian herself who, in the end, planned Mimi's costumes. Of this, Lillian only said: "Finally, the woman at the head of our wardrobe department took some of the costumes I had — things I had picked up, here and there — and together we got what I wanted. Mimi's picnic costume was the only new one. Our little designer was deeply offended. I was impossible to work with, he said.