Coveting Chinatown, a Visit to 1930′s LA

Sometimes California seems so new, it’s easy to forget that there may be interesting bits of history and stories to tell. In college, I was captivated by Mike Davis’s City of Quartz and James Ellroy‘s noir novels, they paint such a rich landscape of a Southern California I always thought to be culturally bankrupt (I say this with love).

Welcome to California, Just Add Water…

Chinatown is by far one of my most favorite films. Loosely based on the irrigation controversies in 1930′s Los Angeles, the multi layered plot twists and turns while retaining cinematic perfection. Starring Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway, it’s a neo-noir film directed by Roman Polanski. The other night we were watching it, and I just couldn’t help but to notice Evelyn Mullwray’s (Faye Dunaway’s) wardrobe. Unlike some other modern stars, her costume is fabulous, but holds some semblance of continuity, like the brown envelope clutch (I must get one), the pearls and red lipstick. Each piece is perfectly put together. I don’t want to ruin the movie, because if you haven’t seen it, please do… it’s excellent.

chinatown faye dunawaychinatown faye dunawaychinatown faye dunawaychinatown faye dunawaychinatown faye dunawaychinatown faye dunawaychinatown faye dunawaychinatown faye dunaway

The Hair

In the film of course, Faye Dunaway has gorgeous hair. I’m assuming they have hairstylists on the set making sure she looks perfect in every shot. For us non-starlettes getting a 1930′s doo can be more tricky. If you’re in LA, Revamp does these wonderful vintage emersion classes where they go over beauty tips from yesteryear. If you can’t get to LA, you there are lots of great tutorials on YouTube.

The Clutch

Here are a few vintage brown clutches I found on eBay… It’s amazing she could fit everything in that clutch… but as you may know how I feel about big bags.

Vintage GivenchyBrown ClutchFendi Crocidile Clutch

Givenchy Leather Clutch : Brown with Tortise Clasp Clutch : Fendi Crocodile Clutch

jennineCoveting Chinatown, a Visit to 1930′s LA