Fashion Book–Ellie Andrews
On Valentine’s Day, Joe and I went to see “It Happened One Night” at BAM. I had never seen it, and didn’t know anything about it, other than it starred Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert, old Hollywood names that didn’t mean much to me. I was delighted by what turned out to be one of the most unexpectedly funny and smart movies I’ve seen in a long time. Directed by Frank Capra, the same man behind “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” the film is a precursor to the modern rom-com trope of boy meets girl, boy and girl don’t get along, boy and girl participate in much sassy sparring before boy and girl fall madly in love. Yes, the movie is predictable and some parts are inevitably dated, but it adds to the charm of the experience.
Claudette Colbert plays Ellie Andrews, an heiress with an overprotective father who escapes his clutches and ends up stranded and broke on a bus headed from Florida to NYC. Clark Gable plays a reporter who takes up her cause in order to get story. What drew me to Ellie is that she is wide-eyed and naive, but she’s also bravely independent and not afraid to stick up for herself.
Since I’ve been reading magazines and essays all week, I decided to take on a film character instead of a book character for this Fashion Book feature. Ellie wears the outfit in the screen cap above for the entire film, save for her to-die-for wedding gown in the last scene (image at the bottom of this post). Here, I re-imagine her outfit if the film were to be remade today: