In her 1928 article, ‘Clothes are Worth a Second Thought’, Marcelle writes that she has ‘been identified with the production of films in England almost since childhood’ and asserts that ‘their success is dearer to me than any subject outside my most intimate affairs’.

In this article Marcelle discusses the importance of good film costumes, particularly if British films – and British actresses – are to make more of an impact with audiences. Marcelle offers the oft-repeated observation – that the majority of cinema audiences are women – and suggests that: ‘Dress does not come fourth or fifth with women who go to the films. While the finest technical brains have been obtained to place British productions on a level with foreign films, dress has not yet received the study and effort it demands’.

She notes: ‘there is much to learn about the effect of light on fabric, and it is only through constant experimenting and great patience that any real headway can be made’. Marcelle reveals that she uses a piece of blue Wratten glass (given to her by Adolph Zukor) when assessing costumes as this generally gives a costume its true photographic values. The exception to this is the colour blue, ‘the trickiest and most unsatisfactory of all screen hues’. (NM)


Motion Picture Studio, 24 September 1921, p. 9 (notes St. Martin is in charge of the Ladies Wardrobe at Famous Players-Lasky).

De Saint Martin, Marcelle, ‘Clothes are Worth a Second Thought’, The Bioscope British Film Number 1928, p. 243 (between 12 December and 19 December issues).

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