Black and white films, Billie Holiday, The Great Gatsby, and a boudoir full of luxurious lace; no wonder it’s so easy to get caught up in the romantic glamour of decades past. We often mourn a time where chivalry was the norm and women sought to look put-together rather than “effortlessly tousled”. But now we actually spend time trying to look like we didn’t try at all. We spend hours curling our hair only to make it look naturally wavy and disheveled, we layer expensive bracelets that are intentionally created to look rugged and bohemian, and we embrace edgier styles. The result: pearls, polished pin-up curls, and pea coats are becoming increasingly obsolete, except with high-fashion enthusiasts and daring celebrities.
From Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis to Audrey Hepburn, it’s easy to see why these women are still so iconic; their looks are constantly imitated and adapted for contemporary purposes. The infamous Blair Waldorf’s well-tailored suits, elbow length silk gloves, structured handbags, and peplums are all reminiscent of these style icons. And Taylor Swift’s A-line skirts, matte red lips, and high necktie blouses evoke a look that is sexy but tactful. These looks are often questioned, deemed outdated, or simply found laughable. Most men certainly don’t understand them because they require a certain kind of beholder – an eye that can appreciate the delicateness and retro aspect of this style of dress.
And as a result, every so often you can’t help but wonder if there is still a place for Blair Waldorf, for old Hollywood glamour, for button up blouses, bouffants, and for a kind of sexy that’s more Brigitte Bardot and less Brittany Spears? Especially in an age of cleavage baring, smoky eye wearing celebrity impersonators.
But if you take a closer look, you can see the remnants of this age penetrating celebrity fashion. You have your vintage vixen: an extreme side part, winged liner, and a bold red lip, even cat eye sunglasses are becoming part of mainstream fashion. The old hollywood glamour girl creates a Helmut Newton kind of ‘sexy’ with French lingerie inspired slip dresses from Céline and Narciso Rodriguez worn with a menswear style blazer for a night out. It’s a romantic night in Paris type of ambience, where the idea is to look made up rather than dressed down – a concept that is so simple yet so difficult to understand when it is chic to look unkempt. And although there is definitely something to be said about the bohemian babe, or the punk princess, there’s something even more fearless about a girl who isn’t afraid to try. Because the glamour girl, isn’t afraid to take risks with fashion and life, and she doesn’t want to fit in.