Archive for the ‘Dolly Tree’ Category


Dolly Tree and Myrna Loy
Dolly Tree and Myrna Loy It is always annoying when you research, write and publish a book (Dolly Tree: A Dream of Beauty) and then you find an important quote, that should have gone in the book which has just been unearthed.  Myrna Loy went on strike against MGM’s refusal to increase her pay in 1935 and cleared off for a vacation in Europe. In an interview in Paris in the summer of 1935, she was congratulated on the art of her dresses for the screen and told the interviewer with a smile ‘... I have a couturier in Hollywood: Dolly Tree, she worked for a long time in Paris, it is she who creates all my dresses. I always strive for simple dresses, dresses that any elegant woman could wear in the city and not those extravagant 'costumes' that some stars call ‘Cinema dresses’.    [caption id="attachment_4296" align="alignleft" width="234"]Dolly Tree:A Dream of Beauty book cover
Dolly Tree: A Dream of Beauty book cover - showing Dolly Tree with Myrna Loy discussing the gowns for The Thin Man[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4306" align="aligncenter" width="246"]A sketch of a gown by Dolly Tree for Myrna Loy Third Finger Left Hand
A sketch of a gown by Dolly Tree for Myrna Loy Third Finger Left Hand[/caption]   [caption id="attachment_4305" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Myrna Loy in a Dolly Tree gown in Evelyn Prentice
Myrna Loy in a Dolly Tree gown in Evelyn Prentice
[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4304" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Myrna Loy wearing a Dolly Tree gown in The Thin Man
Myrna Loy wearing a Dolly Tree gown in The Thin Man
[/caption]     See the digital sampler for Dolly Tree: A Dream of Beauty here: https://issuu.com/garychapman/docs/dt_digital_sampler                            

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Dolly Tree: A Dream of Beauty - Special offer for the Hardback  Pre-publication offer of £60 for anyone who orders the hardback directly from me. If you would like to take advantage of this offer you will need to email me and I can send you full details of how to order via a cheque (UK only) or paypal. Email: edditt@btinternet.com There will be an additional charge for UK postage and for overseas orders - although not the full cost (it is a big book to post & deliver). For UK orders choose from First Class Post (£8) or special delivery via DPD (£6). A quote can be provided for multiple copies. For deliveries to USA the best option is Fedex and this will cost £15 (airmail costs £28). Conversion to US$ will be based on exchange rate at the time and will be confirmed at the time of ordering via paypal. Since the book is print on demand please allow between 7-14 days for printing and then delivery after placing your order.     Dolly Tree: A Dream of Beauty Will be published 26th September 2017 in hardback and paperback. Both versions contain over 600 photographs and is A4 - it is a big coffee table book. The Hardback has 400 pages all in full colour -- it is the deluxe package with an RRP of £75. The paperback has 340 pages and is in black and white with 11 colour sections containing 44 pages and an RRP of £30. View the digital sampler https://issuu.com/garychapman/docs/dt_digital_sampler   Dolly Tree: A Dream of Beauty Press Release    

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Did the famous dress-designer Dolly Tree make an appearance in Alfred Hitchcock’s The Lodger (1926)?

On watching the film closely (once again) I saw something that had not registered before - a rather tantalising and interesting visual connection. The mannequin parade (shown twice) was filmed at the Islington studio in June 1926 and all the gowns, estimated to be worth £10,000 at the time, were supplied by Peron Couture. The proprietor Jean Peron arrived in person at the studio to supervise the scenes. Since Dolly Tree was chief designer, and by some accounts an investor in Peron Couture, it is highly likely that the gowns displayed were created by her. I have placed this side-story in context of the making of The Lodger in my book London’s Hollywood. Interestingly, one of the models, in the first dress parade, who proceeds Daisy (June Tripp) descending the stairs to the onlookers, was a striking lady wearing an elegant two-piece suit, smoking a cigarette and with slicked-backed dark hair. [caption id="attachment_4097" align="alignleft" width="200"]Dolly Tree as one of the models in the mannequin parade from The Lodger (1926)
Dolly Tree as one of the models in the mannequin parade from The Lodger[/caption]   [caption id="attachment_4096" align="alignleft" width="167"]Dolly Tree in June 1926 with slicked-back hair
Dolly Tree in June 1926 with slicked-back hair[/caption]   [caption id="attachment_4095" align="alignleft" width="173"]Dolly Tree sketching in June 1926 wearing the two-piece suit seen in The Lodger (1926)
Dolly Tree sketching in June 1926 wearing the two-piece suit seen in The Lodger (1926)[/caption]                         There is a photograph of Dolly Tree wearing the exact same suit and photographed at exactly the same time. Her hair is bobbed but another photograph from the same shoot shows her with slick-backed hair. The resemblance to the known photo of Dolly Tree in the suit and the mannequin on screen wearing the same dress is quite uncanny. Could it be that she was also supervising the models with Peron in the studio and was asked to be one of the models? She of course knew Alfred Hitchcock as they had worked together on Woman to Woman in 1923 and prior to her career as a dress designer she had been an actress so the connection is quite plausible. Thus, it might be likely that not only did Hitchcock himself have a cameo appearance in The Lodger but so did Dolly Tree. However, herein also lies another interesting conundrum about the dates for the filming of The Lodger and the controversy that ensued as Balcon attempted to get the film released. Filming had been conducted over a six-week period and was completed by the end of April 1926. Thereafter, the film had been cut and assembled for a private viewing and, as we know, C.M. Woolf, the distributor, did not approve and wanted to shelve the film. But Balcon, with the help of Ivor Montague, made revisions to the footage. Since the mannequin parade was filmed in June, this must have been one of the ‘new’ and ‘major’ additions, that swayed Woolf’s opinion to finally schedule a release. For more information about Dolly Tree click here

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Two Lancashire Lasses in London (1917)

Two Lancashire Lasses in London (1917)

Two Lancashire Lasses in London was a typical British feature film made during the First World War. The film is lost, at the time of its release it was overshadowed by big American releases and yet a press book has survived that gives us a glimpse of what it was all about. (more…)

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Dolly Tree costume design at MGM

The Evolution of a Screen Gown by Dolly Tree at MGM in the 1930s

In the 1930s MGM was regarded as Hollywood’s premier film production company and renowned for the excellence of its costumes and gowns from its two designers Adrian and Dolly Tree and an array of costume makers. How did this incredible team produce such wonderful visions of beauty? (more…)

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Mae West and the gowns for She Done Him Wrong (1933) the film version of Diamond Lil (1928)

Le style Mae West, c'est magnifique! The gowns for She Done Him Wrong (1933) the film version of Diamond Lil (1928)

Mae West’s gowns for She Done Him Wrong (1933), the film version of Diamond Lil (1928), seemingly caused a sensation at the time. But what is the story behind them? And who created them? (more…)

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Dolly Tree illustrations

Dolly Tree’s Jazz Age illustrations

Before she became an international renowned costume designer for stage and screen in the early 1920s, Dolly Tree excelled as an illustrator. (more…)

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