Posted by Edelweiss Patterns on August 5, 2011
“Lucy, you have some ‘splainin’ to do!!”
Lucille’s 100th Birthday
If you are an “I Love Lucy” fan at all, this is an exciting day! Today, on August 6th, we celebrate the 100th birthday of Mrs. “I Love Lucy” herself – Lucille Ball! Not only that, but this year also marks the 60th anniversary of the “I Love Lucy” tv series first airing on television back in 1951! It went on to be one of the most popular shows of all time, boasting such devoted fans as First Lady Mamie Eishenhower! Between the live studio laughter, charming 1950s set, the endearing characters, and uproariously hilarious humor, “I Love Lucy” has captured the hearts of fans for decades, and shows no signs of stopping any time soon!
Celebrations are being held in Lucy’s hometown where the Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz Center hopes to break the world record for “most people dressed as Lucille Ball at one time”. And you know it’s more than just an old-fashioned comedy show when Google adds a vintage “I Love Lucy” clip to their home page for the day!
Rare I Love Lucy Photographs
In honor of these celebrations, I would like to share some vintage images from a 1953 rare treasure that I just received from an estate sale. This 1953 edition of “Family Life” magazine contained terrific behind-the-scenes photos shot on the filming stage for the film, “The Long, Long Trailer”. While I haven’t watched it myself, it sounds like a feature-length I Love Lucy episode filmed as an entire movie, just with different names for the characters.
For this movie Lucy and Ricky posed as newlyweds, and if you look closely Lucy’s wedding dress may remind you very strongly of Princess Catherine’s wedding dress! It certainly reminds of the royal wedding dress much more than Grace Kelly’s gown, which was the dress everyone attributed the recent royal gown design to.
I Love Lucy Costumes
The costume designer for much of the series was Elois Jennsen, who worked closely with Lucy to ensure that her unique style came through the screen. Lucille’s costumer did a fabulous job of keeping her well-dressed, and her already trim figure was elongated even more with three inch high heels and slenderizing 1950s dresses. The “I Love Lucy” costumes were not all serious, though, and the poor costume designer must have thrown her hands up when it came to episodes where Lucy’s eccentric personality led her to dress as a baseball player, clown, moustached news reporter, or much worse!
In the episode, “Lucy Wants New Furniture”, Lucy attempts to sew herself a dress with hilariously disastrous results! And quite uncharacteristingly, the whole Ricardo and Mertz clan went waltzing about their work in turn of the century Victorian costumes during Lucy and Ethel’s portrayal of “Pioneer Women”.
Of all the I Love Lucy costumes, I am particularly fond of the flared bias cut skirts that Lucy wore with crossover wrap blouses, as well as the famous checked pencil-skirt dress worn for the legendary “Chocolate Factory” episode. And since every appliance and piece of furniture from the tv set was copied and marketed to loyal fans of the day, I can only imagine that Lucille was quite a trend setter in 50s fashions for the American housewife!
In recent months I have come across a fabulous resource for free “I Love Lucy” episodes on this website. Film Classics website holds a virtual library of episodes, offering over six seasons of the classic television series online for watching enjoyment. If you love Lucy, it’s something you won’t want to miss! And if you love 1950s dresses as much as I do, you may enjoy seeing some of my recent Lucille-inspired creations here. Enjoy!