A distinct departure from routine picture producing, Vogues of 1938 has an ingenious script, of surprising elasticity. It has a group of superlative floor-show specialties. It introduces a dozen of the country’s famous fashion models. And it is photographed throughout in some of the loveliest Technicolor so far projected.
The Spewacks’ screenplay is more of a libretto than a tightly knit story. Of interest is the exposure of the inner workings of the fashion racket, the rivalry for latest Paris designs and models, the methods of exploiting styles, and the salesmanship necessary to convince fickle women they must buy only what the establishments have for sale.
Production numbers are incorporated in the annual public showings of new styles in costumes, furs and lingerie.
Warner Baxter plays the proprietor of the House of Curson and goes about his manifold duties with the air of a diplomat and with serene good humor. When Joan Bennett’s society girl pleads with him to delay delivery of her wedding costume, he refuses to fall down on an order, but he hires her as a model after she does a walkout.
Helen Vinson does a neat bit of wifely villainy, Mischa Auer displays temperament as a rival designer, and Alma Kruger contributes a warm characterization of a hard-working general manager of seamstresses and girlish models.