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Fashion

Fashion photography in the classic era was its own genre and carried its own peculiar message to the film fans of the day. In his article in the 1943 issue of The Complete Photographer, appropriately titled Still Photography in the Motion Picture Industry, Ned Scott grouped fashion photos in the same way as glamour, menace, gag and leg art images. These were all designed for one purpose in the film industry: to increase fan interest in a film or a star personality and consequently boost ticket sales.

Fashion was distinct from the others in that it allowed the photographer more latitude to elicit personal attributes of the subject being photographed. Open to the photographer were wider choices of lighting, mood, background, pose and location. The eye of the lensman held prominent sway over the job, thus giving full expression of the photographer’s native talent. Perhaps the only limitation presented in these photo sessions was that created by the clothing design itself. Female stars are often depicted in more formal settings because of this feature, but not always as will be seen in this group of photographs. Poses and expressions of the subject, directed by the photographer, will often display characteristics of the star which are rarely seen in the Hollywood milieu, and this is why fashion photos carry their own uniqueness. One can thus make the argument, after viewing these fashion images, that the real Claire Trevor is on display, or the real Ann Miller emerges. Ned Scott knew this possibility as he stood behind the lens of his Ansco 8 x 10. Just as one can say that the real personality of the subject is captured in the lens, so too is the perspective of the photographer.

Claire Trevor

Claire Trevor relaxes in a stylish lounge outfit with jacket in this warm pose to support her role as the Outcast Girl in Director John Ford's epic western drama, Stagecoach, 1939. Her oufit is set off with a conch shell lei and matching bracelet made of graduated conch chells.

Dusty Anderson

Dusty Anderson and Ned Scott travelled to a private residence to produce a number of fashion photos for her role in Director Victor Saville's dance feature, Tonight and Every Night.  A formal, yet sumptious air radiates from Dusty as she lingers gently by a raised water feature in a covered patio.  Hairstyle elevates the scene to a formal notion which allows her soft feminity to emerge.

 

Another engaging aspect of Dusty emerges from this casual fashion photo posed on a staircase.  Called "little boy shorts" by the studio caption for this print, this outfit is credited to fashion designer Addie Masters.  Though Dusty is just being any girl in her pose, there is no escaping the fact that her very photogenic legs carry the day. Were she hamming it up a little, this image could pass as a leg art shot, but Ned Scott wanted her to be the girl next door.  For Director Ray Enright's comedy, "One Way To Love", 1946.

Ingrid Bergman

Just one of many images taken one afternoon at the Scott house in La Canada, California, this classic fashion ensemble for Ingrid Bergman speaks eloquently for the essence of this star.  This dress and jacket would be acceptable today in finer social circles.  And of course, Bergman does it so well.  One wonders if this outfit was made for Bergman or was Bergman made for it.  This set of images was presented in proof form to David O. Selznick, producer of Spellbound, 1945.  This film noir thriller was directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

Joan Bennett

Joan Bennett shines in this fashion portrait for the 1938 romantic comedy, directed by Irving Cummings, titled Vogues of 1938. The caption for this image labels this suit a swing suit with a smart single breated jacket and swagger hat.  The casual air of Joan's pose blends well the nautical theme chosen by Ned Scott.  The left hand placement and arrangement conveys confidence and poise.  

Phyllis Brooks

Photographer Ned Scott effectively puts to use contrasting forms to set off the fully sleeved, floor length gown which Phyllis Brooks so elegantly wears to support her role in Director Tay Garnett's comedic crime drama, Slightly Honorable, 1939. A reflective shadow design, created by the photographer's projection, heightens the drama of the pose.  Phyllis caps off the whole with a note of aloofness as she gently elevates her chin and lowers her eyes.  

Ann Miller

A wide hat and high end shoe wear contribute to this formal fashion pose by Ann Miller for Director Henry Levin's 1950 comedy, The Petty Girl.  A triangle theme radiates throughout this pose, giving the whole an integrity that tends to make this image echo in the mind of the viewer.

Ann Miller, Columbia Pictures dancing star, poses to support her role in Director S. Sylvan Simon's musical and dance extravaganza, The Thrill of Brazil, 1946.  There is nothing in this photograph which advertizes Ann as a dancer.  Instead what emerges is a very composed and confident woman with head-to-toe raiment as a fashion statement.  Ned Scott positioned her hands to convey complexity and character.