Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Jane Russell the Hollywood Muse

Guest post by Silk Pockets

I first discovered Jane Russell when watching Gentlemen Prefer Blondes at a very early age. It is down to this day one of my favorite movies of all time. While watching the film, my mother tells me that Jane Russell was so beautiful that she was allegedly the Muse that inspired the invention of the first ever push-up Bra! This completely fascinated me; imagine, being someone’s muse!

Howard Hughes was the man who was so inspired by Ms. Russell's beauty, and bountiful ‘assets’ that he took it upon himself to invent a bra for her. Either that, or he felt the film screen did not do full justice to her very large bust, and set about trying to accentuate Jane’s greatest asset for his upcoming Western, The Outlaw. Howard Hughes, being not only a film producer, but also an aviator and aerospace engineer, was eager to put his engineering skills to work. Hughes added rods of curved structural steel that were sewn into the bra below each breast. The rods were then attached to the bra's shoulder straps. The arrangement allowed the breasts to be pulled upward and made it possible to move the shoulder straps away from the neck. The design allowed for any amount of bosom to be freely exposed.

Unfortunately Jane did not take well to the idea. She is famed to have described the bra as a ‘ridiculous’ contraption! Which she only wore for a few minutes, and then promptly went back to wearing her old bra, straps tightened, back on set. Howard Hughes was none the wiser.

The Outlaw was indeed a very big success, cementing Jane Russell as a Hollywood legend. It did not hurt that the film was shrouded in scandal, and controversy, which had it banned from release to the big screen for years due to the ‘risqué’ images of Jane with he assets on show. When the film was eventually released, everyone knew who Jane Russell was. She became a household name.

The one thing I really love about Jane Russell, is although she was a sex symbol of the time, she always owned her own sexuality, without letting it ‘own’ her. 

Until Next Time…

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