Jean Harlow
“Jean Harlow is in the back room, where Sylvia is giving her a spanking she’ll remember – to judge by the howls.”

So begins Sylvia of Hollywood’s 1931 expose “Hollywood Undressed”, I knew I was in for a big treat as soon as I opened the cover and saw the original owner’s stamp. “The Circulating Library of the Bungalow Dress Shop in Alhambra, California” – NATCH. Despite the fact the book purported to be written by Sylvia’s secretary it was surely Sylvia herself attempting to avoid ANOTHER law suit by adopting an alter-ego. Mind you, would Sylvia refer to herself as “a midget viking”? Probably.

She spilled the beans on all of her clients. Marie Dressler (addicted to “near beer”), Jack Holt (wore bright purple silk underpants) Constance Bennett (bony backed), Ramon Novarro (sleeps in a coffin), Mae Murray (non-payer) etc. Fabulosa!

I was most pleased to hear that Sylvia advocates a high heel, she does not approve of flats. “A patient wearing low heels will not be admitted twice to Sylvia’s work-room. The boss prescribes the so-called Louis XV heel as the one best suited to the build and locomotive idiosyncrasies of the average female.”

I must seek out some Louis XV heels.

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