Sunday, November 9, 2014

Bonnie Parker's Iconic Sweater Dress-- Are It's True Colors Known??

So many wonderful photos exist from the 1930's.  Color photography of course did exist-- but as this "true-life" medium wasn't yet quite ready for inexpensive public consumption, true color photos from this era are rare.  So too-- the photos of Bonnie & Clyde, and almost all to do with this history-- remain frozen in time, within the stark non-reality of black & white.  Thus when the question comes up concerning Bonnie's famous sweater dress, as to it's colors and make-up-- not much is known.  Except as I understand it from one source-- Ted Hinton. 

Now for those of us who know him-- when you talk with Ted's son L. C. "Boots" Hinton, you never quite know what revelations will be advanced.  Plus unless asked-- revelations are not always voluntarily forthcoming.  Sometimes, when some new piece of info is learned from this lovable and sometimes brutally frank individual-- it's asked "hey, why haven't you revealed this before"-- to which perhaps a simple "because no one's ever asked" will be the straight forward no nonsense response. 

Well one day a few years back, when it was asked of me what color Bonnie's sweater dress was, I did pay a phone visit to the overseer of Bonnie & Clyde History in Gibsland.  "Boots" told me Ted said he saw the dress, which he described as being black, with red, yellow and light green stripes.  I never have known how Ted witnessed the dress?? 
Did he perhaps witness it, through an encounter with Bonnie prior to her Bonnie & Clyde escapades??  Was she wearing it during a lawman's near miss with the heavily pursued pair, as seen from near or far while being chased by the law??  Or was this dress simply found among Bonnie's clothing, seized after the ambush at Sailes??

Then of course, my mind raced back to the '30's magazine cover which can be viewed on Bonnie & Clyde's Hideout, the web page.  The Minerva Style Book-- with a similar multi-color design of vaguely similar sweater dress modeled on it's cover.  

In most colorized versions of Bonnie wearing her quite stylish rendition of '30's woman's casual wear-- this dress is often assumed to be red-- as many know Bonnie seemed to favor the color red for a number of her witnessed outfits.  But are the "true colors" of Bonnie's most famous article of clothing, as Ted Hinton described??  Well unless some other credible account surfaces-- it seems Mr. Hinton's account is the best we have to go on. 

Seems too-- someone's been paying attention to this description-- for Bonnie Parker as portrayed on the latest TV movie, sports a Bonnie sweater dress "close" to the Ted description-- but perhaps with an added touch of elegance, via golden accents rather than light green and yellow one's.

Regardless of it's perceived colors-- Bonnie Parker's sweater dress, 1st seen via the film captured and developed from the Joplin Hideout-- is one for the ages-- and a wonderful historical mystery, with it's true colors believed known.

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