In order to gain a deeper understanding of the women of the 1930s and 1940s who would be interested in Piguet’s glamorous Hollywood-inspired pieces, I decided to watch Arena – Screen Goddesses. This is a documentary put together by the BBC, all about early Hollywood and its female movie stars. I’ll be creating a list of bullet points, to remind me of all the juicy, concise titbits that I gathered whilst watching the program:
- Movie stars became an “ideal of beauty” during the 1920s and 1930s.
- MGM controlled how stars were portrayed by magazines in the 1930s.
- In cinema, intimacy was often portrayed by the exchange of a cigarette. The striking of a match conveyed overwhelming desire, as seen in Queen Christina (1933) starring Greta Garbo.
- Clara Bow possessed “a magnetism that attracted both sexes” and her taste for men was voracious both on and off screen.
- Rita Hayworth was described as: “a figure of sexual supremacy.”
- Ingrid Bergman felt that: “Her only image was herself and grew tired of the Hollywood dream factory.”
- Barbara Stanwyck was known for her “glamour and fast wit.”
- Mae West was known for her “verbal playfulness.” One of her most famous quotes is: “I do most of my writing in bed; everyone knows I do my best work there.”
- In Shanghai Express (1932), Shanghai Lily played by Marlene Dietrich is described as a “user of men.” Also, in The Blue Angel (1930) her character Lola Lola says: “I live for sex, it’s the way I’m made.”
After reading through all of the notes I wrote after watching this documentary, I came to the conclusion that women who admired Hollywood stars in these decades would want to appear as sultry, confident powerful goddesses. This is the way that Piguet consumers of the 21st century will want to feel too, albeit with a lot of cultural updates. It is the brand’s responsibility to make sure its new products and identity makes its customers feel this way.