10 Old Hollywood Style Icons That Can Inspire Us Today
Without getting all biblical on you, the Book of Ecclesiastes states that there is “nothing new under the sun.”
In other words, nothing is original but is instead borrowed or inspired from a previous moment in time.
In 2016, hipsters are starting to sport beards and moustaches in a nod to the late nineteenth century when your great great GREAT grandfather never had a shave and worked down a mine.
Vintage is also back with a bang, as music lovers everywhere are starting to invest in vinyl records that not so long ago were just big, black cumbersome discs that your parents stored in their attic.
And because the past is currently inspiring everyone, Beauty & Tips decided that we’d take a look at 10 old Hollywood style icons that can inspire us today!
Audrey Heburn was a classy mix of chic and elegance when it came to her style, and is one of the biggest style icons of the 20th century.
The Breakfast At Tiffany’s star has certainly gone down in the history books because of her looks and fashion sense more than her films, yet the two often went hand-in-hand; the movies she was in, including Roman Holiday, were as famous for their wardrobes as for their plot lines.
The great thing about Audrey is that she kept things simple; a simple colour palette, a classy black dress and a few nicely tailored pieces.
Dark, sultry, exotic, yet 100% British, Liz Taylor was often seen as the yin to Marilyn Monroe’s yang. With luscious black curls, bright red lipstick, and a smouldering smile, she was born to play the role of Egyptian fashion queen Cleopatra.
Elizabeth became famous for simple dresses with plunging necklines that teased but only ever showed just the right amount of cleavage. Never crass, always elegant, she dazzled in sequins, flowers, bows and feathers, and stuck to her preferred rich, bright and vibrant colours, eschewing anything pale or muted. For Liz, boldness was everything.
Perhaps the most quoted female actress of all time by women of today, Marilyn Monroe lived a largely troubled life that was ended prematurely. She captivated audiences with her vivacious sexuality, irritated her co-stars by constantly turning up late, and frustrated her husbands who couldn’t keep up with her. More than anything, she wowed audiences with her style.
Marilyn Monroe was Hollywood’s first blonde bombshell, and her fashion ideas are as applicable today. She had curves – and she knew how to incite them in a way that surely inspired J-Lo. Forgoing baggy clothes for tight dresses and pencil skirts, Marilyn fully embraced her shape and flaunted her body rather than hid it.
If you’re not a movie fan, you can probably be forgiven for not having heard of Marlene Dietrich. Despite starring in a clutch of good films, her most famous was Shanghai Express.
Yeah, me neither.
In fact, Dietrich became known as “box office poison” and is arguably more famous today for her style than for her acting. If you want to take your cues from this German-American goddess, you simply have to start with your brows. Although today many women pencil in their lashes and brows, it was a totally new thing back in 1930.
And Dietrich went further than everyone else. She shaved off her entire brows and pencilled in new ones instead. Were they good? Honey, they were divine.
Before Marilyn Monroe, Hollywood had Mae West. It would be hard to term her a blonde bombshell or on-screen sex icon in an era when men and women couldn’t be filmed in the same bed or sharing an onscreen kiss for longer than 3 seconds, but West was still the original silver screen siren.
Glamorous, intelligent and caustically witty, she was every man’s dream and every woman’s style icon. West had plump legs, but used her wardrobe to her advantage; like Monroe, she emphasised her curves, and wore satin clothes, platinum blonde hair, thin eyebrows and thick lipstick. She was confident and bold, and wore clothing that accentuated cleavage and clung to her waist.
History has remembered Monroe, Taylor and West, but what about petite Louise Brooks? Unfortunately, the movie industry has brushed aside this style icon, but if you ask any fashionista’s in the know, they’ll tell you that silent film star Brooks had it all.
Brooks didn’t smile in photographs, and was the first Hollywood girl to popularise the bob hair cut. With her innocent looks and small frame, she was ahead of her time.
This one is both for the guys and the gals (come on, what girl doesn’t want to see her man dressed up like Al Capone?!)
Big Al may have been a villain, but while everyone else remembers him for his crimes and misdemeanours, we at Beauty & Tips would like to focus on his style.
After all, who dressed as sharply as this guy before this guy?! Look at those prim suits, those hats, those cigars, and those shoes! Indeed, his style was so good that many historians reckon it was a driving force behind his rabid success.
The big question that women are always faced is whether they want to be comfortable, or whether they want to be chic and elegant?
Well, Coco Chanel showed that you can be both.
Draped in pearls and trilbies, Coco Chanel was the innovative fashion designer who dared to change women’s fashion totally, demanding that women can wear comfortable fabrics while still looking the business.
After the war was over, men everywhere were happy.
Then, along came screen goddess Lauren Bacall and they were even happier!
Bacall had a husky voice that complimented her arresting looks that actually became known as The Look. Part of The Look were crisp blouses, slacks, neckerchiefs, and cherry red lipstick. She could be chic, she could be casual, but her hair was consistently curly. Naturally.
Elegant Grace Kelly’s dresses are still inspiring red-carpet actresses today. Even royalties and celebrities are inspired by this former actress and Princess of Monaco.
In truth, anyone can be inspired by Grace’s style. She had a soft femininity that she emphasised with her makeup, while she highlighted her lofty regality with A-line skirts and classy evening gowns.
Oh, and don’t forget the jewellery!