So I'd like to start a small series called "An Education" in which we will explore (or merely touch the surface) the lost art of the Original Fashion Icon, or icons of yesteryear. I believe these Goddesses have inspired us current fashionistas without us even knowing it! I'd like to start with my personal favorite, Marlene Dietrich.
Paramount Studios always competing with MGM, insisted on having a "European Beauty" of their own. They soon discovered a rival to the already made Goddess, Garbo.....Dietrich. While all other singers of the thirties were high in the soprano range, in Germany's first talkie she growled her most famous song "Falling in Love again". This outfit, as all her costumes, she put together herself.
Her heavy lidded and radiant look was well planned in each photo, as she was also lighting designer for every photo shoot ever completed.
For "Shanghai Express" she and her favorite costume designer, Travis Banton, constructed this feather wonder topped with a stunning veil.
Move over, Marilyn! Marlene was the originator of the "transparent dress", made famous by Marilyn Monroe when she sang to JFK and in the film "Some Like it Hot".
Marlene used this in her touring days in the 50's and 60's.
She wore an afro wig for her "strip tease" as a Gorilla in "Blonde Venus"...
But perhaps, her most famous look is the trans-gender which she pulled off with grace. In Hollywood-Land she was appealing to both men and women! Katie Hepburn later made "wearing trousers" famous but it originated with Marlene.
Here's to you, Marlene!
(For additional reading check the book "Marlene Dietrich" by her daughter Maria Riva.)