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hostess-gown

Marjorie Montgomery

Marjorie Montgomery (born May 27, 1912) was a child dancer and actress. She appeared in vaudeville and later in a motion picture. Montgomery is from Sikeston, Missouri. As an adult she became a noted designer of women's clothes.

Actress

As a young girl she was in a group of traveling vaudeville players of the Junior Times Club in Los Angeles, California. Accompanied by truckloads of ice cream, Montgomery and the others entertained children at hospitals. In May 1924 she performed as an eccentric dancer at the Orthopedic and Children's Hospital in Los Angeles.

In 1925 Montgomery entered the Mary Pickford silhouette contest which selected a lookalike of America's sweetheart. Other aspiring young actresses like Virginia Davis, Cecilia Parker, and Mary Kestner, also submitted photos.

As a seventeen-year-old Hollywood High School student, Montgomery acted the part of a maid in the stage play Bad Babies. An attorney for the California State Department of Industrial Relations ruled that the theme of the production was too risque for a minor actress to appear in. Montgomery was required to wait until her eighteenth birthday in 1930 to participate.

She became upset over the ruling. Her mother, Mrs. Marie Cleveland, hired a private tutor so that Montgomery would comply with the Los Angeles, California compulsory school laws. An understudy, Dorothy Gould, took over the role.

Montgomery's film career as an actress was quite brief. She has an uncredited role as a student in Freshman Year (1938).

Fashion designer

Montgomery began to sew for herself and her daughter as a young widow residing on an Arizona ranch. By the late 1940s she owned her own large manufacturing business. Among her original creations is a one-piece knee-length dress with a wraparound skirt. She is noted for her fiesta dresses. The apparel combined a jersey tunic with push-up sleeves and a full jersey skirt, girthed with a wide gold leather belt. The casual attire served multiple functions. It might be worn as a hostess gown, for beach clothes, or simply as fashionable duds.

Montgomery was a costume designer for the Republic Pictures movie Outside of Paradise (1938). In 1948 she released a Dan River gingham dress which was available in green, brown, or blue plaid. For a 1955 California Designer's Show a model donned a Marjorie Montgomery ensemble consisting of a red sheath dress, with a striped red and white cotton coat.

Her 1958 fashions included a front-belted chemise which Montgomery turned into a coat dress. The autumn line had a color scheme featuring light-gray stripes on charcoal jersey. An alternate hue was toast on brown. 1962 introduced the California Girl line designed by Jim Church. The Montgomery fashions from that year are highlighted by a craftily cut shift. In moygashal linen, the chemise had a fresh outline and a button on belt.

References

  • Coshocton Tribune (Coshocton, Ohio), Fashion Begins At Home, Monday Evening, November 3, 1947, Page 5.
  • Fresno Bee Republican, Western Designers Offer Varied Spring Modes, November 16, 1962, Page 22.
  • Long Beach Independent, California Designers In Unprecedented Show, September 28, 1955, Page 13.
  • Los Angeles Times, Carnival Day At Hospitals, May 2, 1924, Page A8.
  • Los Angeles Times, Mary Pickford Contest Ends, With Hundreds Of Photographs Submitted, February 1, 1925, Page K3.
  • Los Angeles Times, Girl Actress Barred From Bad Babies, September 12, 1929, Page A1.
  • Los Angeles Times, Fashions, August 24, 1958, Page D12.

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