The recent passing of film and pin up sex symbol icon of the 50’s Jane Russell, reminded me of just how influencial she was on the fashion front in regards to what women wore underneath their clothes (i.e. brassieres).
Jane was discovered by the late Howard Hughes who was an aviator, industrialist, engineer, who also had film director and producer added to his credentials. Jane was his dentists receptionist and he took her on as the lead in his 1941 movie ‘The Outlaw’ which ended up being known as his epic story of cleavage in the old West.
The movie wasn’t released until 1945 but only to a select audience because it couldn’t pass the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America’s) ‘code’ which was written to enforce morality in Hollywood movies. Given the movies made these days, I’m pretty sure that code has long been removed eh?
The movie ‘The Outlaw’ was stated to have starred Russell’s breasts and although there was no rule against cleavage cited, approval was denied and the movie was put on hold. There was just too much jiggling and bouncing going on!
Earlier bra designs didn't have much body or form to them so in 1943, Hughes in an effort to ensue a more modest appeal then decided that he was going to design a seamless underwire brassiere which ended up being a breakthrough in the science of bra designing. It was by all means the first practical ‘lift and separate push up bra’. He designed this ‘uncomfortable contraption’ as quoted by Russell in an effort to eliminate unsightly visible support lines.
The actual ‘general release’ of the movie ‘The Outlaw’ didn’t occur until 1946 and unbeknown to Howard Huges, Jane actually ended up wearing her own bra on the film set with the straps pulled down! Nonetheless, Howard's efforts were not in vain being that he set the foreground for women everywhere and years later Jane even went on to be the spokeswoman for the Playtex 'Cross-Your-Heart Bras' for full figured women.
source: timesonline nifty fifties flickriver.com never plead guilty