Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving Dressing

No, not the food kind! We instead offer up this hooty two-page spread from (I think!) TV Guide in which The Young and the Restless' Jeanne Cooper is given a vintage version of What Not to Wear by none other than Irwin Allen's very favorite costume designer and close friend Paul Zastupnevich.

Sadly, the next page of text isn't included/available, though what's there is choice. Zastupnevich gave each one of these get-ups a name! Ah, the '50s and early-'60s. There is a bit of misinformation in this brief article, though, but leave it to The Underworld to snake out the truth. Zastupnevich was not the costume designer for Cooper's musical. He was her co-star! Under the name Paul Kremin, he and Cooper did "Plain and Fancy" at the Riverside Tent Theater in North Hollywood. But Cooper's husband's client (the man was an agent) needed a dress for an event and in desperation turned to Zastupnevich, who had several years of experience in costume design.

The client was Rhonda Fleming. She was so happy with what he came up with that he was touted by her as the full-on designer for her next picture, The Big Circus (1959.) He presented his ideas to the producer, Irwin Allen, and the rest is history. Once grand showman Allen witnessed the flair with which the young designer presented his work, he utilized him forever after. Even then, Allen had assembled an all-star cast. Seen below are Vincent Price, Gilbert Roland, Rhonda Fleming, Victor Mature, Red Buttons, Adela Mara, David Nelson and Peter Lorre.
Surely one of the delights of costuming this mammoth motion picture would have been the fitting of hunky David Nelson (son of Ozzie & Harriet and brother to teen crooner Ricky) for his trapeze leotards!
Under Allen's supervision, Zastupnevich went on to design countless clothes for TV shows like Lost in Space, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Land of the Giants and The Time Tunnel along with movies like The Poseidon Adventure (1972), The Swarm (1978) and When Time Ran Out... (1980), among others.  Prudish Allen and he tangled over Stella Stevens' cleavage during Poseidon, resulting in a sizable brooch being plopped into the lowermost regions of it.  One of my favorite quotes of his about Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea was that the show was "... all men and monsters, and some of the men were monsters!"

Zastupnevich was also nominated for Oscars with these films, losing to Anthony Powell for Travels with My Aunt, Anthony Powell for Death on the Nile and, yes, Anthony Powell for Tess!  (What are the chances?!)  One presumes that Zastupnevich's office had an Anthony Powell voodoo doll dangling over a lit candle with needles in its head!

Of course he wasn't even nominated for The Towering Inferno (1974) which contained one of my all-time favorite dresses in cinema history, that of Faye Dunaway's. The dress was the subject of my sixth ever post here!

Mr. Z passed away at the age of seventy-five in 1997, his final project having also been Irwin Allen's, a TV-movie called Outrage! (1986), which was uncharacteristic for the duo in content (the trial of a man who killed his daughter's rapist and murderer), but not casting. The parade of names involved included Robert Preston, Beau Bridges, Burgess Meredith, Mel Ferrer, Anthony Newley and Linda Purl!  It was a long way from both Jeanne Cooper and Rhonda Fleming.


roberta steve said...

Hi Poseidon! Hope you had a great Thanksgiving. I know you're not crazy about the color of Faye's fàmous dress, but I love it. When I saw The Towering Inferno as a kid, I thought that dress was the epitome of glamor. Plus, I think those neutral tones like beige really flattered Faye Dunaway. Look at her Network wardrobe -- lots of taupe, beige, camel -- and I thought she never looked better.

As much as I love Faye's dress, though, my favorite Irwin Allen movie fashion statement has to be the dress that Pamela Sue Martin wore in The Poseidon Adventure. It had matching shorts under the skirt! Now that girl was prepared for disaster!

Poseidon3 said...

Roberta, while I did indeed say in that older post that the color wasn't anything spectacular, I must admit I did that because a number of my friends dislike it and I felt I must make that disclaimer in describing it. (One of them cannot understand my fascination with it and calls it "that damned dress!" and another has ranted and raged about how Faye is "all one color! Her hair, her face, her dress!") But I personally love it!! I agree with you completely and, to my 7 year-old eyes, her appearance on the big screen in that gown was truly like seeing a mythological goddess come to life. Nothing has ever topped it for me. In fact, my second favorite Faye Dunaway look was at the 70th Academy Awards when she wore another taupe-chiffon gown. (I wish she'd cut her hair again!) Thanks!

Gingerguy said...

It's so interesting when people "fall" into careers like this (it made me think of Nolan Miller), he really did create some memorable looks. As mentioned, the skirt/hot pants outfit and Carol Lynley's hippie chanteuse really stick in my mind. I missed this last week so this is great Thanksgiving leftovers.