Lily Absinthe Travels To Mescal…

Las Saturday, I had the opportunity to visit  Old Tucson Studio’s movie ranch at Mescal (aka Mescal) to do a photo shoot and otherwise participate in a gathering bringing together of those who either worked on the movie Tombstone or are “Tombstone enthusiasts.” Organized by my good friend Laurie Jagielo, this event honors both the movie and those who worked on making this iconic film. Located close to Benson, Arizona, Mescal is an 80 acre open movie ranch with a western town, various ranch buildings, and a lot of open space with no modern structures in the background. Over the years, Mescal has had a lot of westerns filmed here to include Tombstone and The Quick and the Dead. 🙂

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So without further ado, here are some pictures. First, there was the pre-event party (and birthday party for one of the participants) at Big Nose Kate’s in Tombstone:

First there was the dressing of the organizer herself, Ruby Whirlwind (aka my good friend Laurie Jagielo…here she is pausing for one quick moment before dashing off to her appointment:


And of course, myself. I decided to go “saloon girl” for the night. The proper historical look is a lot more covered up than what people expect: 🙂

First, the underpinnings…


And now the dress…


Getting ready for the evening’s festivities…

After dressing others, this is about as good as it was going to get for me. Yes, I actually stepped away form the sewing machines!

And for the festivities themselves, here we are! Can you see a common theme in the style colorway? 🙂


And even Doc Holliday (aka our good friend Stephen Keith) can cut up a bit…


And on to Mescal…

Mescal was beautiful and the weather was extremely cooperative. I haven’t been to Mescal in years but things for the most part hadn’t changed…well except that Herod’s house was completely destroyed (I wonder HOW that happened? 😉 ).


Here Doc Holliday takes in “his” town… 😉


And here I am, fresh off the stagecoach from Benson…here’s a better view of the saloon exterior:

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And now for a few of me… 🙂


Peter Sherayko and I…remember Texas Jack Vermillion from Tombstone? Part of the event was a special birthday celebration for him, hosted by Laurie as well.

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And one of me in the saloon…(Photograph by Guy Atchley)


Group Portrait (Photo by Guy Atchley)

And the group shot, I’m up towards the top in the right, next to Doc Holliday. The dress should be a giveaway. 🙂


And here’s me at the end of the day, back at No. 11…tired, but happy.


And to top off the day’s fun, a Jack Russell hug. ❤ Three days of very little sleep, my corset is the only thing keeping me vertical! Mescal is a fascinating place with a lot of movie history and I look forward to going back in the future. And that concludes my very busy week in Tombstone. See you down the trail! 🙂

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On To Mescal…

Well, the filming is over and it’s time to move on to the next thing- Saturday, we’ll be taking a trip out to Old Tucson Studio’s movie ranch at Mescal to do a photo shoot with some of our dresses. We’re still working out the details somewhat but needless to say, we’re completely excited about this, given that some of our most favorite movies have been filmed there to include Tombstone and The Quick and the Dead. 🙂


Breakfast and planning out the day. Molly is hoping for a few crumbs…


The Atelier…


Preparation time…

Accessories lined up for Saturday’s shoot…the devil’s in the details… 😉


And just to show that it’s not all glamour and glitz- lightening up some old lace with chemicals more caustic than arsenic…behold our glamorous life. ❤

Lily Absinthe’s Take On The River Of No Return…

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We at Lily Absinthe find the costuming in B-Westerns to be absolutely fascinating and that includes Marilyn Monroe’s gowns from the movie River Of No Return. A few years ago, one of our clients wanted to recreate the green dress that Marilyn Monroe wears in the movie:

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Here is our interpretation:


Out client was more than pleased with the results and so were we. 🙂

One of the things that we love about B-Western costumes is the sheer fantastical nature of the creations themselves- we are fully aware that these were more of a reflection on the era in which the movie was made than anything remotely “historical” but sheer creativity continues to amaze us, especially since these costumes were made to enhance the actresses’ features (it certainly succeeded with Ms. Monroe! 🙂 ).

Lily Absinthe welcomes the challenge of designing that special one-of-a-kind gown- whether it’s historical, historically-inspired, or just plain B-Western, we do it all. 🙂

Lily Absinthe Sails Down The River Of No Return…

And just for a change of pace, today we’re going to take a brief look at movie costumes and specifically, one particular costume- one of Marilyn Monroe’s gowns from the movie River Of No Return. Set in the American Northwest in 1875, this movie centers around a widower Matt Calder (played by Robert Mitchum) who has just been released from prison after serving time for killing a man while defending another. He arrives in a boomtown in search of his son who had been left in the care of a dance hall singer named Kay (played by Marilyn Monroe). Needless to say, the plot continues from there and we’ll leave it to you, dear reader to chase down the rest. 🙂

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Naturally, where there are dance hall singers, there will be musical numbers and more so if the movie casts Marilyn Monroe. And of course, a singer needs a suitable dress…so here’s one:

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And here are few of more of the dress itself:

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The dress is constructed from jade green velvet and is trimmed along the hem and edges with black embroidery along with beading. It appears that the velvet started out as a dark jade color but it’s no doubt experienced some fading over the years.

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Close-Up Of The Beadwork

And here’s nice view of Marilyn in the dress that shows the underskirt:

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From the pictures, it would appear that there was also a split underskirt of red chiffon and acts as a contrast to the overall green of the dress. Needless to say, the effect was dramatic as Marilyn performed her song and dance number. 😉

The movie itself was not particularly great and probably the best that could be said for it was that the scenery was excellent (it was filmed in Alberta, Canada). As a final note, the dress recently sold at auction for $525,000, proving that the mystique of Marilyn Monroe is still alive and well. 🙂