The Wild, Wild World of Jayne Mansfield

USA 1968. Dir Charles W. Broun Jr. & Joel Holt.

With The Wild, Wild World of Jayne Mansfield (1968) a documentary, we have a higly visible celebrity guide and host. Mansfield, complete with her pet chihuahua, personally introduces us to a darker, generally hidden side of humanity, taking us on a fantastical journey deep into the underbelly of the American and European sex trade. In a similar way to David Byrne in mall world, she appears totally at ease mingling with these various low-life communities. One minute we are observing attractive young prostitutes of both sexes, practising openly on the streets of European cities – attracting their salubrious clientele by wearing the latest chic styles usually reserved fo the fashion set – and the next, she takes us behind the closed doors of assorted sex parlours where a seedy glamorous dress style is the norm. Then we are witness to a surreal fashion show, this time with the designer’s bizarre creations displayed by semi-naked girls – one featured girls wears a tent complete with camping equpment and all its trappings, while another who is made up to resemble an oil painting, sports little more than a large gilt frame. Within the context of this environment, the costumes seem completely acceptable and well received by the audience. But, on equestions, would anybody dare to wear such incredible garments outside of these four walls?