Tag Archives: vintage style icons

Here’s Lookin at You….Ingrid.

31 Jan

Continuing with our theme of fashion icons of the past, we stop and bask in the glow that was Ingrid Bergman. She was a Swedish actress who made black and white look vibrant. Ingrid Bergman gained popularity in Hollywood in the 40’s and 50’s, and is most known for her role of Isla in Casablanca, and for being the mother of actress Isabella Rossellini. Ingrid’s style and mark on the fashion world can be described as Jackie O, before Jackie was Jackie O. In her earlier years, she was revered as a woman of her time, wife, mother, saintly even. Having made a shift in her public persona after her affair with Roberto Rossellini, she took on a much more controversial role as, what one Senator of Colorado called, “a powerful influence of evil”. A bit harsh in my opinion. Glass house people, glass house.

Her style, on the other hand, won over many women of her time and carries on into the fashion world of today. She was never lude, never too busty, and didn’t show a little too much leg. Her style was demure, classic even, very “Charlotte” if we are comparing to a Sex and the City character. According to Pas Un Autre, “In 1947 Christian Dior introduced the New Look collection – a ‘make do and mend’ approach to fashion that didn’t comprise ideals of beauty, femininity and luxury. Ingrid Bergman was a life long fan of Dior – her fitted suits, pencil skirts, subtle accessories, and a slightly androgynous charm helped define the era”. She was famous for her boxy jackets, A line dresses and their modest tea length, and wide-legged trousers. She pulled off a suit in a way a woman had never pulled off a suit before. Her style was feminine with a masculine touch about her. Maybe it was just her personality as a “tough broad” trying to scream it’s way through. Her medium hair length was also one that was admired. Having hair not too long and not too short gave her a wide range of styles to play with, and still made it easy to maintain. Her vintage finger waves are still one of my favorites. Wavy and yet still so put together. I’ve yet to accomplish this myself, but she did it effortlessly. Need something else to admire?… She never wore a lot of makeup. That’s right. Natural beauty was her gift. Many actresses of her time wore thick stage, or pancake makeup. She refused to wear such makeup and stayed true to herself, literally. She never wore much on her face, and let her natural beauty shine through. Like I’ve said before, everything in moderation ladies.

Perhaps she was a woman the world wasn’t ready for. She sure did shake things up for her time and possibly pave the way for those that came after her. She is definitely a legend that lives on, a style that cannot ever be perfectly duplicated. For now we’ll settle for basking in the glow of the silver screen, multiple oscar winning actress that was, is, and always will be, Miss Ingrid Bergman.

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The Week of Marilyn

24 Jan

I feel like we can’t talk vintage without talking about fashion icons. There were so many rare beauties that left their mark on this world. So for the next few weeks I will be walking us through some of the monumental fashion icons from the mid 20th century.

Starting on a high note, one of my personal favorites, and I do have a few, is the fabulous Miss Norma Jean herself, Marilyn Monroe.

I recently saw a great movie with my husband. I would say it was great. He would say, OH MY GOSH, that was painful. Ladies let this be a warning. If your husband owes you one, just know, you will enjoy My Week with Marilyn, your man will most likely not.

I love biographical movies. It’s an addiction I fear. I think what I love most about them is that they give me a little bit more of an idea of what a person was, or how someone else saw them. Marilyn has always been one of those iconic fashion icons. You will always hear a curvy woman relish in the fact that Marilyn was a size 14. In modern terms though, that means she was a 5/6. She was definitely iconic, and definitely one of kind. Many women have come after her, but they have all paled in comparision to the “Some Like it Hot” actress herself.

   So one has to wonder, what was all the hype about? Why was she such an admired                      and revered woman?

A woman who would’ve been 85 years old this year, who’s life was ended at the prime    age of 36, became a sensation, and what was refered to as “machine” in Hollywood.  Everything she touched turned to gold. It didn’t hurt that she was remarkably beautiful. Between her platinum blonde hair, light, child-like eyes, perfect skin, and strategically placed mole, she complimented everyone’s senses. Both men and women fell head over heels in love with her. Her small waist, large breasts, and vivacious curves made women want to be her and men want to be with her. Most vintage styles were modeled after her, during her prime. In season 3 of Mad Men, the men reference Marilyn as being a type for the everyday modern woman. They say “ You are either a Jackie or a Marilyn,” referring of course the beautiful and always stylish Jackie O as well. There was definitive line between the two: the sexy, steamboat, blonde bombshell, or the ever classy, stylish, proper, First Lady. Marilyn embodied a sex symbol in every way, but had the personality of what Colin Clarke referred to as ‘an innocent child in a world of bright lights.’ She was lovable, and she played the part of “Marilyn” so well. In “My Week with Marilyn”, she claims, according to the diaries the movie is based on, that everyone expects her to be Marilyn, and when they find out that she’s not her, they are disappointed, and she doesn’t know who to be for everyone.


I guess the important part is that we knew who she was and is for us.  She represented an independent woman, a female powerhouse in a man’s world. She knew how to use her sex appeal and apply it to her success. She knew how to dress the part, and be the person we wanted to see on screen. An amazing method actress, she became the parts she played, and we love her for it. Her style was sexy, but never over the top. She had curves that make any woman jealous. She was sexy, but never trashy. She was a temptress, but also innocent. She was definitely one of a kind. Many women have tried, but failed, to duplicate her. From Madonna’s 80’s look, to Anna Nicole Smith’s curves, to Christina Aguilera’s red lips, she lives on through the years. Often imitated. Never duplicated. Or at least never to this kind of perfection.