Max Factor’s Hollywood Magic

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Max Factor, “the father of modern make-up,” bought a  building in Hollywood and turned it into the ultimate salon for movie stars and the public. Glass bits in the columns sparkle in the afternoon sun.

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He took this plain storage facility and had it decorated in Hollywood Regency Art Deco.

He had four make-up rooms for women of different hair color.  Each was painted to flatter a woman’s complexion, a woman with that hair color.

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In this blue room, Max Factor turned Marilyn Monroe into a blonde.  That’s a dress she wore when entertaining troops oversees.

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The natural brunette Lucille Ball, who had been a platinum blonde showgirl, became a redhead in this green room.  She looks lovely in this magazine ad for Max Factor cosmetics.  These ads always stated the title of the star’s current movie.

The room with the sign on the door “For Brunettes Only,” was for dark-haired beauties like Liz Taylor.  The pink walls flattered these ladies.

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One more room.  One more hair color.

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A brownette has brown hair with reddish or blondish highlights.

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Here is Max Factor with brownette Judy Garland at age 13 or 14.

These rooms are only part of the Hollywood Museum, which has thousands of photos, costumes, and other items from old and recent movies and television.

The Sack Suit

 This ad for a sack suit is in the New York Public Library’s Digital Gallery, and is dated 1900.  Click on the picture to enlarge it.  The model is drawn to be svelte, but the jacket is still big.  On an ordinary man, the jacket was big and boxy.

The caption reads, “The New Bowdoin Sack Suit” and below it, “About the nobbiest that you will see this season.”

I love the style of the text — the voice — in ads around 1900.  They all sound as if they were written by the same person.

Sack suits were more casual than knee-length suit jackets, called frock coats or frock suits, which were formal but still for daytime.

“The sack suit … was leisure wear for men who might wear a frock coat, and the best clothes of vast majority of American men,” writes Walter Nelson.  “A banker would wear a sack suit to a picnic, and a cowboy or farmer would wear it to church,”  he writes at  The Gentleman’s Page , an entertaining resource about historic menswear on http://WalterNelson.com.