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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Inspired by Ruby Slippers

Kenn Duncan did a photographic series of people wearing all white outfits with red shoes. My first impression was that the series was inspired by the 1948 film The Red Shoes. The film was inspired by the fairy tale written by Hans Christian Andersen. Both the film and the fairy tale concerned girls who wanted to dance and the red shoes that led to their ultimate tragedy. I remember when I first heard about the movie, it was in the film version of A Chorus Line. It seems the film inspired many of the dancers on the line to pursue their dream of dancing. Earlier, I had posted a clip from YouTube featuring the dance number from Night of 100 Stars. In that video clip, all the dancers were wearing white outfits and costumes and each were wearing red shoes (ballet slippers, tap shoes, boots, pumps, etc…). The dance number was obviously inspired by and in tribute to the film The Red Shoes.
Three of the photos from Kenn Duncan’s series were featured in the December 1978 issue of After Dark. Along with those photos, there was a blurb about how the series was inspired by the ruby slippers in the film The Wizard of Oz. That’s fine. Whichever idea inspired the look, I love it. An all-white outfit with red shoes looks very cool and shows a little classic style. If it wasn’t for the fact that an all-white outfit was so hard to keep clean, I would wear white linen pants with a white pullover and my red snakeskin ankle boots.

Here are the photos that After Dark used from the series.

My man of the week, Maxwell Caulfield is in a white loincloth and red sandals. I promised earlier this week that I would post my favorite photo of him and this is it. This photo appeared separately from the others. It was featured in one of the few issues of After Dark that was cover dated for two months. I will feature After Dark Jan/Feb 1982 real soon.

These last three are the ones from the December 1978 issue.

The first is Warhol superstar Holly Woodlawn in white lingerie and a white top hat with red high-heels. I remember first seeing Holly in Trash.

Next is model and actor Antony Hamilton in white boxing trunks and boxing gloves with red boxing shoes. Tony Hamilton later replaced the gorgeous Jon-Erik Hexum in Cover Up when Jon-Erik died tragically. The next time I saw him was in the 80’s revival of Mission: Impossible. Sadly, like Jon-Erik, Tony was taken away from us too soon.

Finally, models Charles Duffy and Nancy Grigor are in white underwear(?) with white umbrella while wearing red galoshes.

I think it makes an interesting photo essay that needs to be repeated in some new way. Maybe get some celebrities that are considered famous now and do a series of shots to be released around the winter holidays. Have them in clothes that are familiar to audiences whether they were character costumes or outfits and re-do them in white with red footwear.

I'll feature both of these issues of After Dark in upcoming posts, so be on the lookout for some really great photos.

1 comment:

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