In my opinion, today we are lack of true style icons.
There are grotesque but sexy silicone doll Kim Kardashian and pretty but very boring good girl Olivia Palermo and thousands mediocre more or less famous no-personality stars and self-proclamed trendsetters in between.
Actress and dancer Louise Brooks – the shining star of Roaring Twenties – got it all: beauty, sex appeal and wit. She was the one who made bobbed haircut popular.
Watch miss Brooks in silent German movie Die Buchse der Pandora 1929. Believe me you will not regret it: this old film is a cinematographic masterpiece, mesmerizing and stylish.
Louise was a perfect choice for the main character Lulu – explosive mixture of dark seduction and childish naiveness. With help of director Georg Wilhelm Pabst and camera man Gunther Krampf she reigns on the screen.
Miss Brooks looks gorgeous with sleek hair and curls.
It’s amazing, but she doesn’t look cheap or vulgar wearing dress with very low cut neckline and back.
Almost all dresses are with asymmetrical hem.
The wedding dress of femme fatale Lulu looks very modest comparing to many modern models.
Louise-Lulu with cigarette.
This dress looks very stylish, chic and morden though it was created 88 years ago.
For me Louise Brooks is an epitome of magic, charm and mystery – rare qualities in the modern movie industry. But I still hope that soon or later true beauty will come back to the cinema.
After looking at some tasteless photos of modern celebrities like
“you never guess where I’m hiding my other leg” Kaia Gerber’s picture for Vogue, my bleeding eyes need a treatment so I watch old good movies.
Recently it was silent film The Mysterios Lady with Greta Garbo.This very naive but very beautiful movie tells us story about love of Russian spy Tania Fedorova and Austrian officer Karl von Raden.
Director Fred Niblo, cameraman William H. Daniels and costume designer Gilbert Clark created a perfect femme fatale, seductive but not vulgar.
Garbo’s close-ups are impeccable. By the way, you can have thin upper lip and be extremely attractive.
These shots can turn into an inspiration for photographers and for those instagram queens, who can not live a day without posting picture of themselves.
Gilbert Clark created for actress one shoulder grecian dresses.
Of course, it’s silly to copy these outfits, but smart fashionista can pick a lot of stylish details which suit her.
Coats with big collars make slim girls silhoettes more feminine.
And I think this hat will add a vintage charm to a modern pant suit.
P.S. 11 year later Greta Garbo played another mesmerizing Russian lady in Ninotchka.
For a long time Jayne Mansfield was for me an epitome of vulgarity but then
Kardashian family came in the limelight I saw The Girl Can’t Help It. First I liked her beautiful cosumes created by Charles Le Maire and after I read more about Jayne and change my opinion of her. Miss Mansfield was very intelegent and talented: she spoke Spanish and German, played violin and piano.
I think one of the main reasons Jayne didn’t get recognition she deserves is that she didn’t meet her Pygmalion director or producer who would take proper care of her career, like Carlo Ponti did for Sophia Loren. That’s why in her filmogrphy very few high-profile movies and The Girl Can’t Help It is definitely on top of this short list.
Jayne Mansfield wardrobe in this movie is an excellent inspiration for those girls with enviable hourglass figures.
The decoration on Jayne’s hips makes her moves even more sexy.
Jayne holds 2 bottles of milk close to her famous assets – without a doubt directer and screen writer Frank Tashlin had a perfect sense of humour.
Jessica Rabbit borrowed her red dress from Jayne wardrobe (and peecaboo hair style from Veronica Lake).
Yellow outfit transforms into a swimsuit,
all you need to do is to take off a skirt.
Blouse + pants + wide sash = perfect cocktail outfit.
Jayne in brown.
Jayne in red (those straps make decolletage more sophisticated and draw extra attention as well).
What is the difference between real couturier and wannabe? Real one expresses himself (herself) making women beautiful, wannabe uses them to express his “ingeniuos” idea without thinking how poor ladies will look in their creatures.
Cristobal Balenciaga definitely belongs to the first group.
Great couturier created wonderful costumes for a good old French movie L’air de Paris with Jean Gabin. Actress Marie Daems looks simply gorgeous in them.
Balenciaga shows us how to make suit more feminine: just decorate your neck with ribbon and brooch
and put extravagant hat on head.
Limit yourself with a scarf for a modest version.
Dress decorated with fur.
Pretty jewellery and master class how to wear long gloves stylishly.
Unfortunately nowadays girls look like that in Balenciaga’s clothes created by Demna Gvasalia.
Why? Because chances are that you might look (and feel) akward wearing even most beautiful Asian, African, Indian dresses.
In Macao (1952) costume designer Michael Woulfe accessorized Jane Russell Chineese with straw hat and oversized clutch (I guess it’s made of straw too) and actress looked exotic and sophisticated at the same time.
Director of Macao legendary Josef von Sternberg made Jane’s natural beauty and sex appeal even more vivid. Von Sternberg (he’s the one, who lit the star of Marlene Dietrich) had a rare nowadays quality – he could turn almost each and every actress into the mesmerizing and mysterious screen goddess.
Jane Russell and Robert Mitchume produced a lot of electricity in this movie.
Pure gender differences and no unisex at all – that’s why I love old screen couples.
Cigarate Holder + Stylish Woman = Perfect Combinatin
Mae West used decorated piece in I’m No Angel (1933).
Tatyana Vasilyeva in Adam Marries Eve (1980). Russian cameraman Georgy Rerberg was an ingenious magician: he could turn almost each and every actress into the mesmerizing beauty. Here he beautifully highlighted Vasilyeva’s high cheekbones.
Shelley Winters in Lolita (1962),
Russian actress Alisa Freindlich,
Girls and Cigarettes. Part I is here.
The most important trick of nude dress is to create an illusion that you’re showing everything being fully covered. Irene, famous Hollywood costume designer, who dressed Marlene Dietrich in old good comedy Seven Sinners, definitely knew about it.
Marlene in black
Marlene in white
In I’m No Angel movie Mae West plays circus singer who seduces men on local fairs while her boyfriend empties pockets of those guys. And I dare to say that her stage dress (costume designer Trevis Banton) looks almost puritanical comparing to those outfits which modern celebrities wear on official events.
Sad but true: nowadays designers forgot this trick and most of starsin their creations look meat in transparent pack.
the side of Lottie’s dress is really ugly (I guess not every prostitute would agree to put it on)
and Queen of Trash Kim Kardashian.
Refinded seduction and sensuality are gone unfortunately and I’m afraid they might not come back.