Imagine zapping yourself back to the 1930s (or 1931, as Cecil Beaton is in this case), attending a photo shoot of Carole Lombard. What would it be like?
Let legendary photographer George Hurrell describe it to you:
"Carole was one of my favorite subjects. She could be carrying on like Faust one minute and then strike an ultra-dramatic attitude the next. She was always in high spirits and even when she was swearing up a storm, no one minded, because it was done in such a funny, lowbrow way. The technicians on her pictures truly loved her and she was so bright and so witty that I always looked forward not only to photograph her but to just being with her. No one could possibly be bored in her presence."
In late 1933 or early '34, on the set of "Bolero," Hurrell took the above photo of Lombard with a cellophane background. A further description of the session:
"Blonde, beautiful and bombastic, she stood in the middle of the living room set for 'Bolero' with a cup of coffee in one hand and a script in the other. As usual, the area was blue from her language. St. Hilare [Hurrell's assistant] hung a piece of cellophane over a nearby scenery flat and arranged the lights. Lombard was dressed in a low-cut, slinky black dress.
"Hurrell posed her against the cellophane, which crackled as she sat down. She stuck her tongue out and thumbed her nose at him while St. Hilare adjusted the key light. Hurrell was used to her chameleon-like changes of mood as well as her vocabulary and pressed the bulb. Her cerulean-blue eyes were large and expressive, her creamy complexion marred only slightly by a thin hairline scar running from the corner of her mouth up through the left side of her cheek. Her hair, shimmering in the light, heightened her heart-shaped face."
Wish I'd been there. Don't you?
I'm guessing this also came from that session: