Designing the Movies: Dinner at Eight

Join host Nathalie Atkinson and guest Elizabeth Semmelhack, senior Bata Shoe Museum curator and adjunct professor at Ryerson School of Fashion, for a conversation about 1930s fashion and feminism in pre-Code film costume design, followed by a screening of George Cukor's ensemble comedy DINNER AT EIGHT.


Jean Harlow, Marie Dressler, Billie Burke, John and Lionel Barrymore and Wallace Beery! A star-studded cast fills this melodramatic drawing-room comedy with humour, tragedy and glamour — and one unforgettable line of dialogue after another.

Directed by George Cukor

Written by Frances Marion and Herman Mankiewicz

Costume design by Adrian

USA, 111 minutes


Created and hosted by journalist Nathalie Atkinson, Designing the Movies is a monthly film series exploring art direction, set decoration, costume and production design as a lens for analysis.


Elizabeth Semmelhack is senior curator at the Bata Shoe Museum and adjunct professor at Ryerson School of Fashion and her work focuses on the construction of gender in relation to dress. Semmelhack has been a consultant for the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and has guest curated a number of exhibitions. She has also written many books, including the recent SHOES: THE MEANING OF STYLE (2017); Out of the Box: The Rise of Sneaker Culture; Standing Tall: The Curious History of Men in Heels and Fashion Victims: The Pleasures and Perils of Dress in the 19th Century (with co-curator Dr. Alison Matthews David).

Designing the Movies: Dinner at Eight

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