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Designing man, part 2: Travis Banton, Photoplay, May 1936

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A white chiffon gown and a salmon pink negligee are modeled by Carole Lombard in the May 1936 issue of Photoplay. Both outfits were designed by Travis Banton, subject of a three-part series in the magazine, "Trials And Triumphs Of A Hollywood Dress Designer." Yesterday, we examined Banton's arrival at Paramount and the starters he knew in his early Hollywood years. Today -- from that May '36 issue -- we go to the late 1920s and the designer's reflections on actresses he'd worked with. Some were easy, some were difficult, some were simply volatile.

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Nancy Carroll may have looked cherubic on screen, but off-screen, she was anything but -- a fashion headache. In contrast, while Clara Bow meant well, her boundless energy (not to mention a colossal Great Dane she would take to fittings) more often than not presented a challenge. Fortunately, Bebe Daniels -- good-natured, if often injury-prone -- and the now-forgotten Evelyn Brent more than compensated with their ease as fashion subjects. This installment also examines how Banton worked with two of the industry's most fashion-famed actresses, the late Lilyan Tashman and Kay Francis.

Where's Lombard, you ask? She's being saved for the concluding part three, alongside Claudette Colbert, Marlene Dietrich and even Mae West.
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