Model wearing an ensemble with a buttoned on wrap by Dior, 1955.
About this time Johnny and Mary Mills invited me to a New Year’s Eve party and I arrange to pick up Larry and Vivien, Rex Harrison and Lilli Palmer, in order to save petrol, which was still rationed. Johnny chose to offer the most peculiar mixture of drinks at this bash: rum cocktails followed by some rather sweet champagne. No one was partaking too freely but dear Vivien, thinking that Johnny would be hurt, downed large quantities of this bilious mixture with disastrous results. On the way home she started to get very sick and, as the Mills lived way out in the country, the Great West Road was dotted by Vivien’s upchucking all the way home. We dropped off Rex and Lilli and eventually a very pale and shaken Vivien was helped out of the car by Larry.
"Oh my god, where’s my purse?" she moaned. "I’ve lost my purse with all those lovely presents."
Over the years Larry had given her a valuable jewel-encrusted compact, lipstick holder and cigarette case. We searched the car frantically, but no bag. Vivien must have dropped it during one of her excursions into the bushes - but which bush? She had been throwing up at frequent intervals along thirty miles of freeway. We dismissed all thoughts of searching for her missing property and Larry accompanied a now sobbing Vivien into the house. On the way back I suddenly had a vision of the handbag lying in a gutter. It was now about four in the morning and I asked Rushton if he would mind going back to take a look, and we set off, keeping our eyes glued to the side of the road. We drove for miles and I was beginning to think my psychic flash had been wishful thinking when there was the bag, exactly as I had pictured it. I leapt out, half expecting everything to have been stolen, but to my amazement it was all there.
We drove triumphantly and at lunchtime next day I called Vivien to offer my sympathies. When she tearfully told me what a terrible hangover she had and how awful she felt about her loss I said I would be over soon as I had a small New Year’s gift for her. I arrived with the bag wrapped in layers of tissue paper and hidden in a box covered in ribbons. Vivien took it rather half-heartedly and slowly started unwrapping it. I went to the next room where Larry was dejectedly sipping black coffee. As he was telling me how he’d warned Vivien not to drink those bloody cocktails we heard a scream.
"My bag! My jewels! Jimmy! Jimmy , where did you find them? Larry, look, they’re here - they’re all here." After profuse thanks and kisses I went home glowing with the success of my little miracle..""
I want one of those marriages where they’ve been married 20 years but are still crazy in love and still cuddle on the couch and kiss a lot. I want those kind of marriages that make my kids nauseous because how in love their parents are.
Carole Lombard relaxing in a sun lounger, circa 1935
Paulette Goddard, 1939
"Ava didn’t have to wear makeup. She had naturally beautiful skin, and great color to her lips. She dressed very casually; she was never so happy as when she wore slacks and a blouse. But the slacks were well tailored, she was never sloppy, and she was very clean. She would wash her hands at least three times during lunch. And there was no one who could touch that posture, the way she walked and presented herself. She was a sexy woman without trying. All she had to do was walk into a room."