‘Maraschino…..like the cherry’
Bringing a touch of 50’s movie-star glamour and sophistication to the Pink Ladies, Dinah Manoff as Marty Maraschino personifies 50’s styling. Unlike Frenchy, Jan and Sandy, she favours slim fitting pencil skirts, cinched at the waist, tight pedal pushers and low cut tops that celebrate her curves. A neck-scarf, tied just-so, an elegant matchy-matchy clutch, oversized sunglasses and rolled hair complete the look. But Marty’s cultivated allure and apparent class is undermined by her lack of personality – when she does speak, it’s to say…well not a lot.
Marty is a prolific pen-pal, writing to a seemingly impossible list of men around the world (“I’m a terrific pen-pal, hopelessly devoted to each and every one’) and spraying her notepaper with perfume (using an atomiser, naturally)…but the audience is left to second-guess just exactly WHAT it is she writes in those letters. During Frenchy’s sleepover, Marty steals the limelight in a lemon satin baby-doll, and (her pride and joy) a pillar-box red silk kimono, complete with intricate embroidery. Throwing it on with practised panache, and, aware of her ‘look’, she accessories it with a fan – evoking jealousy and attention from the other Pink Ladies. It’s interesting to note that whilst Marty is much more aware of the power of clothes than her peers, is keen (and knows how) to use them attract attention – as a consequence she often appears older and more mature than her Rydell High classmates.
At the prom, Marty plays up to her perceived sex-pot image. Arriving with Rizzo and her date Leo (the T-Birds’ arch nemesis, and a calculated choice by Rizzo) she makes a beeline for Vince Fontaine. Clad in a bottle green cocktail dress with a sweetheart neckline and a ruched bodice complete with an embellished clasp, Marty’s dressed to the nines. In contrast to the more youthful, almost girlish styles favoured by the other Pink Ladies (with the exception of Rizzo), Marty’s choice is sassy and seductive, her message? Vamp, not virgin. Her elegant up-do, pearl drop earrings, red nails and cigarette holder suggest she has dressed to impress – but her awkward conversation and dancing reveal her youth. Despite all her intentions, Marty’s prom seems to be a failure; Fontaine leaves her alone to perform his ‘prom duties’, with Marty (not a dancer if the evidence is to be believed!) playing second fiddle to Cha-Cha DiGregorio (‘the best dancer at St. Bernadette’s’) and Danny Zuko.
It’s not until the final scene that Marty gets her look right – combining just the right amount of sweetness and sass. A yellow halterneck top that ties at the waist is paired with casual white pedal pushers and white high-heeled mules, and a yellow flower has been pushed into her hair. Her beau Sonny (played by Michael Tucci) is back by her side, as she abandons her grown-up ‘image’ and enjoys her final hours at high school. There’s certainly a lot to be learnt at Rydell if her, Sandy and Frency’s sartorial makeovers are to believed.
Images via Clothes On Film