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On the Frontiers of Fashion – William Desmond Taylor

January 17, 2011 |  2:51 am


  Photographs courtesy of Steven Bibb  

Daily Mirror reader Steven Bibb sent these photos from a recent tour of Paramount. Keep reading for more details….


You had a posting a few months ago on William Desmond Taylor, and I thought I would share some photos with you that I took last week.  My family founded Paramount Studios, and I was at the studio last week on a personal tour of the archives. 

Paramount has been renting out their costumes for decades, and only recently has there been an active effort to remove from circulation historically significant costumes for preservation, with the hopes of opening a studio museum on the lot...though this is still years away, if it actually happens.



The jacket shown in the photos is a cutaway tuxedo jacket, with label indicating it was owned and worn by William Desmond Taylor.  The date on the label reads 1911, making the jacket 100 years old.  The jacket was in mint condition, which is amazing considering that it was not stored in any type of temperature controlled environment.



According to the archivist, the jacket is the oldest piece of wardrobe in existence at Paramount, and most likely personally belonged to Taylor and was absorbed into studio wardrobe, as Taylor began as an actor and later went on to become a director.


I saw many wonderful pieces of wardrobe, costume sketches and jewelry on my tour.  Some of which it is unknown who actually wore the costume.


As an example of some of the other items I saw, in the photo of the labels, the black and white cape in the foreground, was worn by Carole Lombard in the 1936 film "Love Before Breakfast."

--Steven Bibb