90 Years: "It" and the "It Girl"
"It" is a 1927 romantic comedy released to the general public on February 19, 1927. It tells the story of a shop girl who sets her sights on the handsome and wealthy boss of the department store where she works. It is based on a serial by Elinor Glyn published in Cosmopolitan magazine.
Elinor Glyn sold her story “It” to Paramount for $50,000, they then turned around and rewrote the script. The film made Clara Bow a superstar. She was the embodiment of the era, in the same way Zelda Fitzgerald was. Key to her appeal was that she wasn’t portraying a “bad girl”. She was fun-loving, that’s all. Her personality fit the age of the Roaring Twenties to a tee.
" It isn't beauty, so to speak, nor good talk necessarily. It's just 'It'. Some women will
stay in a man's memory if they once
walk down the street. "
- Rudyard Kipling, 1904
Glyn wasn't the first person to use the term 'It' to describe, as she put it, "the quality possessed by some which draws all others with its magnetic force". However, her usage along with Bow's interpretation and the popular movie sparked a new term 'It Girl'.
"With 'It,' you win all men if you are a woman
and all women if you are a man. 'It' can be a quality of the mind
as well as a physical attraction." - Elinor Glyn, 1927
The term probably had an early fashion link in that Glyn's sister was the celebrated haute couture designer Lucile (Lucy Christiana, Lady Duff-Gordon). Lucile Ltd. became the first global couture brand, dressing a trend-setting clientele of royalty, nobility, and stage and film personalities. She is also widely credited with training the first professional fashion models (called mannequins) as well as staging the first runway or "catwalk" style shows.
Fashion, style, art, and film-stars - all perfectly exemplified in the Cadillac models that debuted that year at the new Long Cadillac showroom!
'90 Years' blog entries will feature historical happenings and news that surrounded the Long family at the beginning of our Cadillac dealership in 1927