Coveting Chinatown, a Visit to 1930′s LA

by jennine on August 22, 2008

Sometimes California seems so new, it’s easy to forget that there may be interesting bits of history and stories to tell. In college, I was captivated by Mike Davis’s City of Quartz and James Ellroy‘s noir novels, they paint such a rich landscape of a Southern California I always thought to be culturally bankrupt (I say this with love).

Welcome to California, Just Add Water…

Chinatown is by far one of my most favorite films. Loosely based on the irrigation controversies in 1930′s Los Angeles, the multi layered plot twists and turns while retaining cinematic perfection. Starring Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway, it’s a neo-noir film directed by Roman Polanski. The other night we were watching it, and I just couldn’t help but to notice Evelyn Mullwray’s (Faye Dunaway’s) wardrobe. Unlike some other modern stars, her costume is fabulous, but holds some semblance of continuity, like the brown envelope clutch (I must get one), the pearls and red lipstick. Each piece is perfectly put together. I don’t want to ruin the movie, because if you haven’t seen it, please do… it’s excellent.

chinatown faye dunawaychinatown faye dunawaychinatown faye dunawaychinatown faye dunawaychinatown faye dunaway

The Hair

In the film of course, Faye Dunaway has gorgeous hair. I’m assuming they have hairstylists on the set making sure she looks perfect in every shot. For us non-starlettes getting a 1930′s doo can be more tricky. If you’re in LA, Revamp does these wonderful vintage emersion classes where they go over beauty tips from yesteryear. If you can’t get to LA, you there are lots of great tutorials on YouTube.

The Clutch

Here are a few vintage brown clutches I found on eBay… It’s amazing she could fit everything in that clutch… but as you may know how I feel about big bags.

Vintage GivenchyBrown Clutch

Givenchy Leather Clutch : Brown with Tortise Clasp Clutch : Fendi Crocodile Clutch

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WendyB August 22, 2008 at 7:15 am

“She’s my sister AND my daughter!”

juliet August 22, 2008 at 7:16 am

I love the outfits in old movies, it’s one of the reasons to see those.

juliet xxx

jennine August 22, 2008 at 7:18 am

@wendy… that’s my favorite part! but i didn’t want to put any spoilers in my post… hehe

bobble-bee August 22, 2008 at 7:37 am

yes!! i love this movie!! and her hair is just absolutely gorgeous. And the whole mood of the movie… Thanks for posting this stills :)
@wendy… backing up jennine, hopefully those who haven’t seen the film yet will read your comment… ^_^

bobble-bee August 22, 2008 at 7:38 am

i mean, “will not” read it…

anthea August 22, 2008 at 7:51 am

The clutches are magnificent. I admit I haven’t seen it, I will now :)

Sandra August 22, 2008 at 9:01 am

Oh i love the slap scene too!! This is one of my all time favorite movies. Great pic Jennine!

Kezia August 22, 2008 at 10:30 am

Also one of my all-time favorites. Faye Dunnaway is so stunning. My hair is about that length…I want to replicate that wavy bob!

Mer August 24, 2008 at 6:47 am

UPS wendy! :-D

fantastic movie, she looks fantastic there…

Becca August 24, 2008 at 7:52 am

she looks stunning. I love that hair! It’s amazing.

Marketa August 25, 2008 at 7:20 am

LOVE LOVE LOVE this movie. And absolutely LOVE all the hats she wears.

lmglz May 4, 2009 at 7:30 pm

I am so frustrated as to how I can blend the pincurls in the front of forehead woth roller setting Can you please send me some pictures or attach a small video.

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