New York Nights (United Artists) (1929)

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Fitting Clothes to One’s Personality by Norma Talmadge (Note —This is one of a series of instructive style tal\s by Norma Talmadge, the famous United Ar- tists star, who is appearing in the tal\ing and musical extravaganza, “New T or\ Nights,” at the . theatre. Miss Tab madge is considered to be the best dressed motion picture ac¬ tress.) Clothes may not make the man, ^ but they most cer' , tainly do make the woman, no matter what any one says to the contrary. How- ever, in stressing NOR-MATaoMAoet the vital part carefully selected clothes play in the life of women, I do not mean that fine feathers make fine birds. I have seen some of the most charmingly dressed women who spent but very little for their ward' robes, while other women, whose clothes no doubt cost a small for' tune, looked positively ugly. Good taste in clothes, not the amount one spends for them, is the thing. A Russian philosopher said that our characters change every seven years, and a French dressmaker as' sures me that our styles revert ev¬ ery seven years. I rather think that our styles change with our char' acters. Unconsciously, I think, every woman dresses for the part she wants to play—not on the screen but in life—and it is always a lead¬ ing part. She becomes the heroine of her dream existence and express¬ es it in her clothes, according to her taste. Women are constandy being ac' cused of dressing only for the ad¬ miration of men. I have always thought women dress for the ad¬ miration of everyone. Clothes af¬ fect the moods of men and women equally. I have seen the most con' ventional people become their exact opposites at a masquerade ball. An artist once said to me that he could read history from clothes. The period, of course, could be proven from the style, but often the emotions and principles, and even the personality, of the time showed themselves in bows and laces, crinolines and smocks. One of the great fascinations of the screen is the analysis that one has to bring to the clothes that are worn by the role one is going to inter' pret. Would she wear this or that? If she were this or that kind of woman? An actress has to think more of clothes than any other ar¬ tist. During the time she is work' ing, her work requires her to wear the most varied kind. One must dress to character. Women should also dress accord' ing to their physical characteristics. But once they have achieved that difficult art they should advance a step and clothe themselves accord' ing to their personalities. Personality is that part of you which exudes charm and poise when it is positive and dullness when it is negative. It is up to you to ad' vertise that positive personality for the benefit of those who do not know you intimately. Some women exude personality only when they talk; others flaunt it and make it apparent to the least practiced of eyes by the clothes they wear. Page Six A Five Day Fashion Feature This serial fashion feature will create considerable stir among your women patrons. Norma Talmadge answers in each article some vital question concerning dress. Get your local editor to run one essay each day, and embellish the text with a thumbnail silhouette of Norma Talmadge as indicated on this page. The series could be used as the basis for a contest by having readers write a 100 or 150 word article on each topic, the best collections of which would be the prize-winners. These articles can also be used as the subject matter for radio talks. Order the complete set of five thumbnail silhouettes by requesting: —20 —Thumbnail Tab madge silhouettes (All on one Two Col. Mat 10c; Cuts each 30c). Americans Too Well Dressed by Norma Talmadge ( Note—This is the second of a series of instructive style tal\s by Norma Talmadge, the famous United Artists star, who is ap¬ pearing in the talking and musi¬ cal extravaganza, “New Tor\ Nights,” at the . Theatre. Miss Talmadge is con¬ sidered to be the best dressed motion picture actress.) American WO' men are too well dressed; they are too perfect and lose themselves as individuals in the process. En masse they form __ a beautiful and TACMAoct charming picture but individually there is no emana' tion of personality of which one is conscious before a word has been spoken. There are exceptions, of course, many of them, but I speak of Amer¬ ican women as a whole, not of any special class. They spend extrava' gant sums for their clothing, they have excellent taste, color schemes are harmonious, accessories are per¬ fection itself and as a part of life’s scenery they are both decorative and effective, but they fail to make of their own gowns backgrounds for themselves. Instead, almost every woman makes herself a dummy for the display of a creation of sartor' ial perfection. For a long time after I became aware that something was definitely wrong, I was puzzled. I couldn’t quite place my finger on the flaw although I knew it was there. Clothes are of paramount impor' tance to a motion picture actress, so I passed hours studying the chic of women in the United States and comparing them with those I saw abroad. Suddenly, I found the answer. The method of shopping was wrong. Frocks were being bought by Amer- ican women which pleased their own eyes with little thought given to whether or not these same frocks brought out the very best in the wearer and would leave the observ' er conscious more of the woman than of her costume. Even worse than that, the cos' tume was worn without the addi' tion of a single deft, qualifying touch to stamp it indelibly with the personality of the wearer. That in itself is fatal. The most exclusive fashion creator in the world could do nothing more than design a frock for the individual woman, unless she added her own bit to the ensemble, a flower, a bit of lace or a jewel. The gown would always be the designer’s creation for her, not hers alone. Harmony in Dress—An Art by Norma Talmadge (Note This is the third of a series of instructive style tal\s by Norma Talmadge, the famous United Artists star, who is ap pearing in the talking and musical exxtravaganza, “New York Rights, at the . . Theatre. Miss Talmadge i\ considered to be the best dressed motion picture actress.) If it were not an unquestionable fact that the natural beauty of woman may be enhanced by wear¬ ing apparel, no interest would be taken in habiliment or ornamentation, but the prevalence of designing and dressmaking establishments, both abroad and in our own country is evidence to the fact that it is a matter not taken lightly by the feminine population of the various countries. As a result, among the most famous men and women in the world are de' nor-ma TAt»MAO<56 signers of women’s clothes. If one is sufficiently endowed with worldly goods, a Poiret, an Erte, a Worth, or a Lucille is at one’s disposal to fashion a creation “suitable only to one’s particular personality and distinct type of beauty!” As we know, only a very small portion are so endowed, but with a little study and application, very satisfactory results may be obtained without outside aid. First of all, it is necessary to learn which particular colors are harmonious in combination. It is instinctive in most of us to be immediately offended by certain discordant combinations among the standard colors, but the various shades of these intense hues must also be taken into consideration. An enu' meration of every harmonious, or in- harmonious, combination of colors would be far too lengthy for the space I am allotted here, and really, I think everyone knows these things instinct' ively when they are put to the test. The next step is a study of one’s own self. This is essential, otherwise a know' ledge of all color combinations would be useless. A certain hue, or one of its shades, might be symjpathetic with one’s own coloring, but if its very opposite were used, though harmonious in it¬ self, the effect would be blatantly dis¬ cordant. Forsaking the study of colors, now take into consideration the figure of the subject and just what type of designs are suitable to it. If one is over-tall, it is ridiculous to wear designs that ac¬ centuate the height. This is frequent¬ ly done, just because the wearer was attracted to that particular type of clothes without taking into considera¬ tion its applicability. This applies also to those whose height is well below the average. It all simmers down to this: There is a very positive rule for good manners in dress. Study yourself carefully. De¬ velop a modified sense of vanity, if you will, insofar as your appearance is con¬ cerned. Once an honest estimate is taken of your distinctive points of beau¬ ty (and for that matter, your faults; we all have them), it is well to dress accordingly. The first thing I would suggest is a careful study of the better fashion maga' zines. Retain ideas and when the occa¬ sion comes along, apply them sanely and sensibly to your own peculiar needs. Fine Manners and Their Charm by Norma Talmadge Some Style Suggestions by Norma Talmadge (Note—This is the fifth of a ser¬ ies of instructive style tal\s by Norma Talmadge, the famous United Artists star, who is ap¬ pearing in the talking and musi¬ cal extravaganza, “New Tor\ Nights," at the . Theatre. Miss Talmadge is con¬ sidered to be the best dressed mo¬ tion picture actress.) Strict conformity to the decrees of style is all well and good if the style is becoming to the in¬ dividual. Where it is not, I would al¬ ways lean toward such modifications NOR-MA TALMADe& as will make it suit¬ able to the expression of the individual aura. And it is obvious—to me, at least—that extremes of style are always avoided by the woman who desires to be just a little bit more than simply “well dressed.” The “boyish” styles are rapidly going it—for which, I think, most men and many women will be glad. They were not particularly becoming to more than a scattering few, and they certainly de¬ tracted from that feminine allure which is, or should be, every woman’s heri¬ tage. I read recently that the design¬ ers of New York had decided that the new mode was toward more girlish gar¬ ments. Personally, I have always been in favor of girls being girls. I think that general rules can be laid down for good dressing somewhat as follows: On the street, be dressed inconspicu¬ ously. Wear neutral tints. Blacks, tans, umbrian gray, and mauve are always good. For dinner or the dance, gay colors are more in order. Any tint or hue that looks well on you—with the reservation that blondes usually look better in pas¬ tel shades and more delicate color schemes, while brunettes can more of¬ ten wear the more vivid colors. For sport wear, particularly on the golf links, be as brilliant in your dress as your individual appearance can stand. Bright splashes of color are never more appropriate than for sports wear; and the links are my idea of the place to let your passion for vivid tones take free rein. I have often seen women wearing artificial flowers so large that it looked as if the flower was wearing the woman. That is bad. Few faces can stand the juxtaposition of a great blob of bright coloring. Too large a flower near your chin will attract away the attention that ought to go to the face. I doubt if even the great beauties of history would have looked well with that sort of sun¬ burst on their shoulder. The stripe will be more popular than the plaid this season; and it is more becoming to most women. The metal thread which is being woven through the cloth of many sport clothes gives them a tone and a distinction which I admire. Pink is coming into its own. Hith¬ erto it has been confined largely to lingerie or to an occasional dinner dress. Nothing is more fetching than a gar¬ land pink—particularly for blondes. Brunettes should wear it with the ut¬ most discretion. Red heads never! For the latter, of course, the apple greens— in fact, any green that is not too raw of hue—the yellows, and occasionally the orchid shades. One of the smarter shades which will be especially charming to many bru¬ nettes is “reefrose” coral. Tropic blue is also to be largely worn, I am in¬ formed. (Note— This is the fourth of a series of instructive style tal\s by Norma Talmadge, the famous United Artists star, who is ap¬ pearing in the talking and musi¬ cal extravaganza, “New T or\ Nights,” at the . Theatre. Miss Talmadge is considered to be the best dressed motion picture actress.) We have discus¬ sed fine clothes, don’t forget fine manners, the dress of good breeding. It seems only fitting while discussing this subject, to quote the acknowledged Mas¬ ter of the Graces, the Earl of Chester- NOR-MA TALMADGE- In one of his celebrated letters to his son, he says: “It is good manners alone that can prepossess people in your fa¬ vor at first sight. These good manners, you know, do not consist in low bows and formal ceremony; but in an easy, civil, and respectful behavior.” There is really little else that can be said upon the subject, as the entire field is covered in the foregoing pas¬ sage, but an elaboration of the text of the excerpt might not be entirely out of order. I, for one, readily admit that I am prepossessed in favor of anyone with charming manners, and I think my feel¬ ing in the matter is shared by almost everyone. There is an indescribable warmth and appeal to the well-man¬ nered. Even though they are aloof, the barrier is only an incentive to destroy it and become better acquainted with the possessor of such a winning per¬ sonality. The stories and anecdotes are legion anent the triumphs of the well-man¬ nered person over grosser people. The very fact that they are told and re-told is evidence to the high esteem in which manners—good ones—are held. Good manners truly do not consist in low bows and formal ceremony. The extremely formal person is not gener< ally a welcome addition to any circle of society. Of course, formality is to be desired and expected from mere ac¬ quaintances and the newly introduced, but a continuation of the formality after a reasonable period of time, assuming, of course, that they are thrown into contact with one another quite frequent¬ ly, is little short of rude. Lack of manners, I believe, is more the result of extreme shyness in most cases than that of boorishness, and with the conquering of the bashfulness will come an easier attitude which, with care¬ ful grooming, will quite naturally de¬ velop into a pleasing personality.