BULLOCKS WILSHIRE: Wilshire Boulevard’s Glittering Art Deco Emporium of Dreams Illustrated presentation by Margaret Leslie Davis followed by THE WOMEN (1939).
One of Los Angeles’ most exquisite Art Deco buildings is still a glittering beacon on Wilshire Boulevard, thanks to Southwestern School of Law’s adaptive re-use of the luxury department store as their law library. Award-winning author Margaret Leslie Davis will recount the history of this magnificent retailer that clothed the likes of Mae West (who had merchandise brought to her car for her approval), Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich to name a few of Hollywood’s famous clients of the Art Deco era. Designed by Parkinson and Parkinson in 1928, the legendary building is a preservation success story. Margaret Leslie Davis will give a one hour illustrated presentation, followed by a booksigning of «Bullock's Wilshire» and then, the classic film THE WOMEN (1939).
George Cukor (A STAR IS BORN, MY FAIR LADY) directs Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford, Paulette Goddard and Joan Fontaine in a cast of 135 woman (with nothing on their minds, but men) wearing costumes designed by Adrian! Catch your breath yet? There is a six minute Technicolor fashion sequence too! Forget the plot which is essentially ‘who’s stepping out on who’ and focus on the fact that this movie takes things out of the boudoir and onto the screen in a picture that lets you see these women “with their hair down and their claws out,” and we quote. “I’ve had two years to grow my claws Mother… JUNGLE RED!”
F. Scott Fitzgerald, the author of The Great Gatsby himself, worked on the script at some point and is uncredited. Three female writers got the screenplay done: Clare Boothe Luce, Anita Loos and Jane Muffin.
Just as models once circulated through high fashion salons to show customers the latest couture, in department stores like Bullock’s Wilshire, the Art Deco Society of Los Angeles’ Fashion Committee will showcase some authentic Adrian fashions from a private collection, in a brief presentation prior to THE WOMEN.
Co-presented by the Art Deco Society of Los Angeles and American Cinematheque
In addition to the booksigning with Margaret Leslie Davis, we're pleased to have Bullock's Wilshire illustrator Gregory Weir-Quiton join us at the event. Interestingly, Gregory met Norma Shearer at a party at the Astor's in Pasadena in the 1960s! As a kid growing up in Detroit, Gregory saw the glamour of Hollywood as his way out of the automotive industry. AND he could draw! Once in Los Angeles, he drew fashion illustrations for all the major department stores, culminating in the final decade of the fabulous, iconic Bullocks Wilshire. Gregory will be on site with sample illustrations from his work for Bullock's Wilshire in the late 80s and early 90s, plus note cards and t-shirts for sale, that bear his images.
Cornerstone Brick Designs will be displaying their one-of-a-kind LEGO replica of Bullocks Wilshire — normally displayed in the Central Hall of Southwestern Law School — as well as an exclusive LEGO miniature of Bullocks Wilshire for purchase.
The Art Deco Society of Los Angeles's Annual meeting is at 12:30 PM, prior to this presentation. Current members of ADSLA will get a link and password by e-mail to RSVP to this program for free. Please contact [email protected]
if you are a member and did not get the link and password to RSVP for this program + our annual meeting for the Art Deco Society of Los Angeles.
Tickets are on sale to the public on Fandango