By Liza Foreman
Loretta Young was considered to be one of the most fashionable stars of her time. “Glamour is something you can’t bear to be without once you are used to it,” she once said. And then: "Every best-dressed woman keeps some of her gowns for years. She's learned that fashion-wisdom is compounded of knowledge, taste, confidence and poise."
Indeed. Now on display at The Hollywood Museum in Los Angeles is a selection from her wardrobe, including some of her favorite handbags – there are designs from Morabito and Gucci among others - hats from a diversity of labels, including Lydia and Lilly Sachet, and glam outfits from the time, like the patterned dress made by her husband, the costume designer Jean Louis, which she wore to The White House.
The fashion side of the Hollywood actress, who was dubbed the best dressed actress in America, is just one part of “Loretta Young: Hollywood Legend,” an exhibition which opened this week to mark the 100th anniversary of the film star’s life.
The most comprehensive collection of authentic Hollywood memorabilia ever assembled on Young - the first actress to win both an Oscar and an Emmy – is on display.
Old Hollywood turned out earlier this week to view the exhibition in the former Max Factor building - Young was the first Max Factor model. The museum also houses an ecclectic collection of Hollywood memorabilia from "The Rat Pack" to "Moulin Rouge."
Young’s career spanned seven decades. She began as a child ingénue during the Silent Era and became a romantic leading lady during Hollywood’s Golden Age, before moving onto television as the host of her own series "The Loretta Young Show," on NBC which further enhanced her reputation as a glamorous star.
As well as showcasing highlights from her film career, the exhibition also explores her personal life, including love letters from Spencer Tracy and Clark Gable – with whom she had an illicit child which she claimed she had adopted to avoid a scandal.
The collection includes items gathered from family, friends and private collectors, including scores of photos of Young and her colleagues, friends and family, costumes and artifacts from her films.
The exhibition runs until April 28th at The Hollywood Museum in the Max Factor Building at 1660 N. Highland Ave. at Hollywood Blvd.