On Saturday, March 11, 2006 the "Woman's Club of Hollywood" invited the community to celebrate 100 years of Hollywood Fashion by presenting vintage dresses and outfits from throughout the century in a one-of-a-kind Fashion Show. A Champagne Reception started off this unique event, followed by a Luncheon where people from all walks of life would gather.
The Fashion Show, organized by Club Historian and best-selling Author Rosemary Lord and her Committee headed by Nina Van Tassell, served as a fundraiser for the "Woman's Club of
Hollywood's" charities: Hollygrove, Aviva - Home for Girls, Union Rescue Mission and St. Vincent's Meals-on-Wheels. The show would represent the Club's multi-faceted history and some of the famous and infamous names attached to it.
The precious gowns and outfits, exceeding a value of half a million dollars total, were proudly modeled by the Club's own members and loaned by Susan Sandke, Vice President of the "Western Costume Company", owner of the world's largest costume collection.
Susan Quick, the Club's Vice President served as the Fashion Show Narrator and the models-for-the-day were skillfully transformed into Hollywood Legends under the watchful eye of former MGM Costumer Milton Magnum aka Milton Mangum, who spent 10 hours a day for 2 weeks going through the thousands of costumes and putting the outfits together.
Among the most valuable costumes were the original dresses and gowns worn by Joan Crawford in "Mildred Pierce", Lena Horne, Lana Turner, Mary Pickford, a "Titanic" evening gown, two 1915 "Bathing Belle" outfits, and Edith Head's famous eye-glasses. All the outfits were vintage originals.
The Parade was opened and closed by members of the legendary "Troupers", Hollywood's oldest performing theatrical troupe who appeared as W.C. Fields, Mae West, Charlie Chaplin and Marilyn Monroe just as they do in their own revue "Hollywood Legends".
This most entertaining and nostalgic stroll down memory lane ended with a final curtain call including all models and event contributors, and under the thunderous applause of the audience.
History of the "Woman's Club of Hollywood"
In 1905, 20 women founded the Hollywood Club. Their purpose was to support and aid the community.
The Club was instrumental in the development of Hollywood High School and in 1906, the women gave Hollywood its first library, the Hollywood Public Library
In 1913 the name was changed to the "Woman's Club of Hollywood" and the women continued their activities by starting the Pilgrimage Plays, the Hollywood Hospital and the famous Hollywood Bowl.
During World War I and World War II the club was used as a Red Cross centre and the women actively participated in the War Relief Effort.
The crowd awaits the Fashion Show
with great anticipation
Small selection from thousands of original
and vintage gowns, dresses and costumes
Dressing up! "Jean Harlow", "Marilyn Monroe", "Mae West", "Lana Turner" and Narrator Susan
"Charlie Chaplin" and
"Carol Lombard", "Rosie the Riveter" and "Pioneer Woman"
"Newspaper Boy" and
"Bathing Bell", "Pioneer
Woman" and "Suffragette"
Members of the legendary "Troupers", Hollywood's oldest performing theatrical troupe, appeared as Mae West, W.C. Fields, Marilyn Monroe and Charlie Chaplin, just as they do in their own revue "Hollywood Legends".
"Little Orphan Annie"
"Mack Sennett Bathing Belles"
"1920s Glamour Queen"
"Roaring 20s Flapper"
"Red Cross Nurse"
"Joan Crawford", original gown from "Mildred Pierce"
"Red Cross Nurse" and "Edith Head"
"Pink Construction Workers" promoting the important role of the Woman's Club of Hollywood
Final curtain call:
A unique group of remarkable women and men posing for the audience and the cameras
"Edith Head", "Carol Lombard" and "Rosie the Riveter"
poses with "his" models
Rosemary Lord and Milton Magnum pose with models
From left to right: Club Historian and best-selling Author Rosemary Lord (as "Carol Lombard") and former MGM Costumer Milton Magnum aka Milton Mangum pose with "Jean Harlow"
"Gloria Swanson", "Carol Lombard" and "Mary Pickford"
"Lena Horne", "Lana Turner" and "Gloria Swanson"
After World War II, the women moved to the present clubhouse at 1749 North La Brea Avenue, which was designed by noted architect Arthur E. Harvey in 1946. It had been the Hollywood School for Girls, with Jean Harlow, Carol Lombard and Douglas Fairbanks Jr. amongst the pupils, and Edith Head and Charles Laughton teaching there.
The Hospitality House that remains was originally the Shakespeare House and today is used for acting, arts and literary classes as it was then. The legacy of the Hospitality House resulted in this building being placed on the Southern California Historical Registry in 1994.
Throughout the decades the club was not only a philanthropic organization, raising money for charitable causes, but a cultural centre for the arts as well. The women members have always been involved in outreach projects within the community helping wherever the need was greatest.
The causes they have helped and supported include the Hollygrove Orphanage, Union Rescue Mission, Save the Children American Indian Program, Meals-on-wheels, Foundation for the Junior Blind and Aviva Family Care Centre.
In the early years, Mary Pickford, Charlie Chaplin and Douglas Fairbanks Sr. attended and hosted events and celebrity luncheons for the community at the clubhouse, and the tradition continued with Gary Cooper, Joan Crawford, W.B. Yeats and many more.
The "Woman's Club of Hollywood" has raised many funds, hosted endless community forums, held inspiring cultural events throughout the one hundred years and had a wonderful time doing so. Today they carry on these glorious traditions with pride.
For more information about the "Woman's Club of Hollywood" membership and event calendar please call 323-876-8383.
Photographer was on assignment for various sources - All photos taken with prof. equipment
Horticultural Stock Photography, Design+Printing Service for Full Color Business Cards and Postcards, Seasonal Photo Greeting Cards, Event Photography and Oscars Pre-Event Coverage, Celebrities' Charities