Thursday, 13 February 2014

STYLE DISSECTION: A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN





So, what I didn't realise when I watched this film for the first time many, many years ago, was that the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League was real.  It was a league founded for female players during the second World War, and existed between 1943 to 1954.  During which time, according to Wikipedia, 600 women played ball.  Of course I know those women as Dottie, Kit, and "All the way" May, fictional characters in the 1992 film League Of Their Own.  Who were played by Geena Davis, Lori Petty and Madonna respectively.  Yeah, that's right, Madonna. 

Here she is timing how long Tom Hanks takes to pee (you kinda had to be there). 


This film is still great 22 years (gulp) after it's release.  Watching it again I may have cried.  Twice.  But let's move on from that, because I need to draw your attention to the fact the women in this film look flawless.  They're stunning.  Just look at Geena.  She is a classic 1940's beauty.  She is the living breathing embodiment of one of those women they based all the propaganda posters on.






Perhaps one explanation for her great looks is the film's accurate portrayal of the finishing school all the ball players were made to go to (does that piece of information require a spoiler alert?  Sorry if so).  Yes, it wasn't enough to be a good hitter or a fast runner, you needed to attend Helena Rubenstein's charm school classes, where you would pick up your essential beauty kit.  You would also learn about personal hygiene, etiquette and manners.  Oh and that under no circumstances were you allowed to wear your hair short, or smoke or drink in public places.  And the women had to wear lipstick AT ALL TIMES. 

Woah.  And they also had to wear this uniform, which was pretty short by 1940's standards. 


Here are the ladies at some of their classes, which seem to have covered "how to sit in a chair" and "how to sip tea". 




Of course in the film not all the women are happy to kowtow to the regulations set up by the owner of the league, and the same was probably true in real life.  The character in the film who is most rebellious?  Well, Madonna duh.  She jive dances in her saddle shoes and print dress, she kisses soldiers, she smokes, and she seems to be wearing leather trousers. 








I love me some saddle shoes and white ankle socks.  


Oh and Madonna AKA May also threatens a small child with a baseball bat.  While wearing a charming polka dot dress, I must add. 


Apparently Madonna found the filming quite dull, she wrote this to a friend in NY:

"I cannot suffer any more than I have in the past month, learning how to play baseball with a bunch of girls (yuk) in Chicago (double yuk). I have a tan, I'm dirty all day, and I hardly ever wear make up. Penny Marshall, Lavern (sic), Geena Davis is a Barbie Doll, and when God decided where the beautiful men were going to live in the world, he did not choose Chicago. I have made a few friends but they are athletes, not actresses. They have nothing on the house of extravaganza. I wish I could come to N.Y."

Back to the clothes.  Yes, print dresses are a big deal in this film, it's the outfit of choice for the off-duty ball player.  And there are some beautiful patterns on display. 



(Madonna/May teaching her friend to read using an erotic novel.  Obviously). 



I love Lori Petty's/Kit's (far right) vegetable print dress in this picture above.  Incidentally Lori Petty also starred in Point Break, another film which definitely needs to be dissected.  

Can we also just take a moment to appreciate this monogrammed cardigan worn by Geena Davis/Dottie. Guys, the coloured buttons, I mean...


Davis and Petty play sisters in the film and they sport some pretty sweet co-ordinating outfits.  I think this one below is my favourite.  The buttons on the trousers, and the high waists and tucked in tops - great. 


And here are their "We're leaving home" ensembles, heavy on blue, white and stripes. 




The award for the best outfit of the whole film has to go to Madonna though, for this wonderful look.  I wish she dressed like this every day. 


Oh and here on the right is what the casting director in 1992 thought Madonna would look like in her 60's.  

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful write-up and pictures. I truly enjoyed reading it!

    ReplyDelete