During the recent whirlwind of L.A. Fashion Week shows I met a lady who seemed to be a Fairy Godmother who is hell-bent on transforming ordinary Cinderellas into glamorous Hollywood icons.
When fashion designer Sue Wong presented her Spring 2011 collection she hosted a “Glamour Goddess” themed party. The ultra-artistic and creative Wong didn’t do a traditional runway show. Instead she showcased her most exquisite dresses on movie actresses, TV stars, and stunning models, who mixed and mingled at her Los Angeles showroom.
“My mantra is beauty, magic, and transformation,” Wong told me. Her well-dressed guests embodied that idea.
“I think I’ve always been enamored of vintage fashion. The 1920s were the dawn of the twentieth century, with a brand new attitude and the emergence of the first modern women. All of that was personified with the glamour goddesses of the silver screen back then, so Hollywood legends have been my inspiration.”
It was an era when people faced struggles, but they emerged strong. And Wong explained that people need a touch of glamour to escape into a fantasy and keep their hopes alive. That’s what she offers with styles that are rich in romance and adventure.
Legendary stars such as Greta Garbo, Mae West and Jean Harlow would have been very comfortable in Wong’s collection. So were the contemporary celebrities who arrived in her designs.
In an outfit that flashed back to the Roaring ’20s, The Girls Next Door’s lovely Bridget Marquardt gushed, “It’s incredible,” she said about the flapper dress she wore. Also Katelyn Pippy of Army Wives, Brooke Burns of Baywatch fame, Melinda McGraw from Mad Men, and Charlotte Ross of NYPD Blue fame and more recently seen on Glee, were among others who were dressed to impress. Others on hand were Kate Linder, Carolyn Hennessy, Harvey Guillen, and Tinsel Korey (Twilight).
Young Bella Thorne (from Disney’s Shake It Up show) also wore a flapper dress that she loved. And sweet 11-year-old Madison Leisle (Ghost Whisper) had a junior version of the design. Noted stylist Mary Lou Krewson called it “old world charm with old school glam. The classics never go out of style.”
A classic beauty, the raven hair Hannah Montana darling Romi Dames looked like a young Vivian Leigh in her dazzling beaded cocktail dress.
“Sue Wong’s designs are amazingly romantic and very figure flattering,” she praised.
Romi’s friend, Kaycee Stroh reported she wore a Sue Wong design to the High School Musical movie premiere. They are the dresses that are ideal for the extra special occasions in your life.
Opulent designs with beads, feathers, lace, and embroidery made Wong’s Spring 2011 collection an old fashion Hollywood hit. And Wong really was a Fairy Godmother to all the Cinderellas who were wearing her gowns.
Old World Charm from John Barrymore and Steve McQueen
The famous thespian known for his charm as well as his acting, John Barrymore has been brought to life in the show Barrymore, starring Jack Betts at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute. Opening night was hosted by Doris Roberts on her 80th birthday. Among the celebrities on hand for the double celebration were John Barrymore, Jr.; Ana Strasberg; Julie Newmar; Fred Willard; Rip Taylor; Thao Penghlis; John Glover; and Carlyle King who directed the production. Roberts once directed her friend Betts in a play. And Betts has starred in everything from All My Children to Gods And Monsters (playing Boris Karloff). John Barrymore (Drew’s grandfather) once said, “A man is old when regrets take the place of dreams.” Betts said he’s still dreaming.
Another legend recently honored was Steve McQueen, who would have turned 80 this year. A 30th anniversary tribute of his passing was presented by the Jules Verne Festival at the ArcLight Hollywood Cinerama Dome. The Steve McQueen— The King of Cool Returns to Hollywood celebration had his former wife Neile Adams McQueen on hand, along with other family members for a special screening of Bullitt. It reminded everyone why McQueen was the “King of Cool.”