Mae West: 1928
• • "Diamond Lil" debuted at the Royale Theatre [242 West 45th Street, NYC 10036] on 9 April 1928. It was a box office success as well as a favorite with drama critics.
• • Though Mae had worn contemporary styles as Margy LaMont in "Sex," she situated her 1928 script on the Bowery [New York City] during the Gay Nineties. Even after the show's run, Diamond Lil would become the actress's enduring persona.
• • Engaging gowns designed by the British costumer Dolly Tree [1899— 1962] balanced Mae West's scarlet sisterhood style with a glamorous touch that made her more appealing to a middle-class audience.
• • Floor-sweeping creations featured the hour-glass waist, revealing cleavage, frills and flounces, feather boas, and 1890-ish accessories that have meshed with Mae West's iconic image.
• • Dolly Tree also worked with Mae West on the costumes for another project staged on Broadway in 1928: The Pleasure Man.
Courting Mae West
• • Photo: Mae West • • 1928 • •