[Los Angeles: RKO Radio Pictures, 1931]. Vintage original 11 x 14″ (28 x 35 cm.) black-and-white glossy silver gelatin print photo. Chip at top and bottom left corner, crease at top and bottom right corners, bend along bottom right corner, tiny tear at mid-top blank white margin. About fine. 

Mary Astor appeared in seven films in 1931, for RKO Radio Pictures and one for Warner Brothers. including titles Behind Office Doors, The Royal Bed, Sin Ship and White Shoulders, all in the pre-Code genre. On top of her busy contract work playing leading lady to several male co-stars, Mary posed for fashion photos which illustrated the plethora of fan magazines at the time. Harry Collins was designer of this ensemble for publicity use.

From 1910-50 Harry Collins was a name known across the United States. To simple housewives, first ladies and stars of the stage and screen that sported his designs, Collins was synonymous with American fashion. A New York designer, author and philanthropist, Collins was both prolific and celebrated during his nearly fifty-year career as a “dress artist”.

His peers included famous turn-of-the-century designers such as Poiret and Lucile as well as later well-known designers such as Adrian, Hattie Carnegie and Clarie McCardell; Collins often showed up alongside these illustrious stars of the fashion world and was seen as their equal. Not only was Collins a designer for the stage, screen and shop, he was also a creative author, critic and inventor who sought to bring an art to the dress of the everyday American woman. (Nora Ellen Carleson: Harry Collins and the American Art of Dress: 1884-1980) 

Fashion photo 44 (hand numbered on back) is a black ensemble with black suede gloves, black felt hat and a scarf. There is a full descriptive blurb on the verso and the Photoplay magazine ink stamp without date but from same sitting as Fashion photo 45.

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