A Talented, Unparalleled Woman of Courage

A beautiful film begins to play on the screen…

The notes of music start to sing delightful songs, as the black and white hues of coloration mingle together in a lovely, memorable way. A few seconds into the film, a woman magically enters the frame, exiting a door and taking notice of an older man a few steps from her form. She approaches the man with an unmistakable confidence, wearing a fluid dress that awakens the senses in its light, sheer drapery and silk accents. The woman begins to pour a drink for the elder man– a coquettish glint sparkles in her eye, as a mysterious smile charms and intrigues all who see it. Her face glows on the screen. Her glistening image mesmerizes. The woman’s shining raven bob frames her heightened, alluring beauty, as well as her dark, memorable eyes that hold within them this unparalleled seductive energy, this independence, this undeniable awareness of who she is and what she herself desires. As the woman stares at the man, you, as a viewer, cannot stop yourself from staring at her.

This film’s name is Pandora’s Box and the mesmerizing woman is Louise Brooks.

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Louise Brooks was born in Cherryvale Kansas in the year 1906. With exposure to the arts from an early age, Brooks was destined for a career on the stage and on film–dancing and acting for all the world to see. In the year 1922, Brooks joined the Denishawn Dance Company, dancing under the greats of Ruth St. Denis and Ted Shawn. Brooks took part in performances that encompassed a modernity unseen before, elements that were new and different. Soon after her time with the Denishawn Dance Company, Louise Brooks joined George White’s Scandals as a chorus girl, performing in terrific, sometimes risqué, acts. She further exemplified her wonderfully hedonistic stance on life by traveling to Europe and dancing in nightclubs, being the first person to ‘Charleston’ in London. In the year 1925, Brooks joined the Ziegfeld Follies, becoming one of the top dancers of the production. Through her career in dance, Louise Brooks broke the molds of femininity by doing what she wished to do. She tore away at Victorian constraints and became a true flapper of the 1920s. Due to her successful time as a dancer and her radiating energetic freedom, she was recognized by the film industry, recognized by Paramount, and she began her career as an actress.

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Before creating remarkable works of film in Europe, Louise Brooks acted in the United States, having parts in comedies and dramas such as Love ‘Em and Leave ‘Em, It’s the Old Army Game, A Girl in Every Port, and Beggars of Life. In each film, Brooks beauty and talent is exhibited–she easily controls of the viewer’s thoughts and vision on every viewing occasion. Due to a lack of a raise in her payment, however, Brooks left Paramount. She did not care about leaving the Hollywood industry in the United States. She did not care how it would affect her movie career. She realized she wasn’t being treated justly. She wasn’t being treated as she expected. As a result, she traveled to Berlin, a fantastically wild city of the 1920s, where she danced in the clubs till the early morning hours, where she met people of unique backgrounds, and where she worked with the director G.W. Pabst to create two true masterpieces of silent film…Pandora’s Box and Diary of a Lost Girl. Whether it was the mesmerizing Lulu in Pandora’s Box or the tragic Thymian in Diary of a Lost Girl, Brooks played roles that contained much depth, that conveyed much emotion. Not just in dancing, Louise Brooks revealed her true abilities as a strong, opinionated actress in film. Brooks, internally and externally, housed admirable qualities of bravery and independence. She was her own person, a woman of a modern era.

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Louise Brooks epitomized the flapper of the “Jazz Age,” as well as the social innovations of the 1920s– the altered structures of gender and the awesomely defying changes in the fashion industry. Brooks played with masculine, as well as feminine styles. She was unafraid to show her form in what she wore, unafraid to allow her expression and her belief in choice to shine. She made fashion decisions based on her own opinions and ideas–she did not allow the past, constraining beliefs of society influence her magnificent selections. Brooks dazzled in fashion’s novel lack of constraints– in vivacious, sparkling drop waist dresses, luxurious fur coats and boas, beautiful cloche hats, t-straps and mary jane heels of movement, suits and collard shirts of newly defined feminine modernity, daring silky kimonos of a seductive aura, and more. With her hair cut in a perfect, exquisite bob, Louise Brooks was and continues to be a fashion icon in the world.

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Louise Brooks film career ended in the 1930s. It was not until the 1950s when she was discovered once again. After her rediscovery, Brooks became a memorable critic, delving into the films she had made and the people she had encountered in her life. With a wonderful lack of restraint and a lack of fear to speak the truth, Brooks wrote what she truly believed. Rightfully gaining much popularity over these past few years, Louise Brooks remains an icon to this day, both in film and in fashion.

c. 1925: Louise Brooks standing by the stairway.

Louise Brooks was a dancer, an actress, a flapper, a woman who was undaunted by the obstacles thrown in her way. Throughout her life, she lived with this excellent confidence, this opinionated stance that did not care about what others thought about her. She spoke and expressed her ideas as she wished to. She acted in what she wanted to act in. She lived a life that was bold and commendable. Although Louise Brooks birthday was on November 14th, I still want to wish her a happy birthday and I want to thank her for being who she was, a flapper, an individual…someone who I very much look up to.

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Androgynous Beauty and Timeless Glamour

A woman who goes against the confining trends of her era, who goes against the commonalities placed on women during her time is a woman to admire.

A woman who ignores the unjust expectations put on female society, who is comfortable with her own self not to care about the judgments that might be placed on her is a woman to praise.

A woman who sees fashion as a swirl of possibilities, as a mixture of opportunities to take chances and to wear liberal fashions that explore all genders, all emotions, and all personalities in existence is a woman to cherish.

There is a woman in history who should be admired, praised, and cherished for all of these reasons…

Her name is Marlene Dietrich.

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Marlene Dietrich is a source of inspiration, a woman of much importance and worth. Born in Germany in the year 1901, Dietrich lived a life of much boldness and wonderful success throughout her long, dazzling career. She was many things in her life…She was an internationally renowned actress, a woman who did not fear showing her strong personality, her courage, and her mesmerizing sophistication on the screen. She was a compelling singer whose voice, to this day, captures the attention and mind, a memorable voice that draws you in and lifts your spirits. She was an outspoken power who was unafraid to speak her mind during WWII, to make anti-Nazi broadcasts, as well as help the Allied troops in times of need– she was awarded the Medal of Freedom for her actions. She was a cabaret performer of much energetic thrill and beauty, performing with a freedom and a liberal sexuality that is marvelous. And she is a fashion icon, a woman who proved and continues to prove that gender does not matter in fashion–androgyny is beautiful…a woman who proved and continues to prove that glamour is timeless.

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Dietrich was an innovator, someone who made groundbreaking strides in the world of fashion–she was one of the woman to introduce the concept of androgyny to society. Marlene Dietrich helped blur the gender lines of everyday life. As mentioned in my post The Blurring of the Lines last year, androgyny is all about blending together masculinity and femininity, about breaking and redefining the definitions of both sexes. And Marlene Dietrich did just that. She showed that stereotypes of femininity do not need to be recognized and rules of dress do not need to be followed. She gave off this unmistakable confidence, this radiating energy that defied the norms of society and helped make change in the fashion industry. Rather than just dresses or skirts, Dietrich wore pants, collared, button down shirts, blazers, both ties and bow ties, top hats, as well as suits and tuxedos. She wore these menswear pieces with a naturalness that is impossible not to admire. Marlene Dietrich gave women the courage they needed to dress the way they truly wished to dress.

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Not only androgyny, Dietrich was and still is a symbol of sparkling, ageless glamour. Besides menswear pieces, Dietrich wore rich fashions that oozed in glittery allure and unforgettable sophistication. Wearing shimmering jewels of colorful stones and pearls, and tantalizing, glowing fashions of fur coats, luxurious gowns, and other garments of charming qualities, Marlene Dietrich showed the world that she will always be a known star. She will always be fearless…

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She will always be an independent, self-assured woman.

The Editor of Change and Unconventionality

“Why don’t you…tie black tulle bows on your wrists?

“Why don’t you…cover a big cork bulletin board in bright pink felt, banded with bamboo, and pin with colored thumb-tacks all of your various enthusiasms as you life varies from week to week?”

“Why don’t you…own, as does one extremely smart woman, twelve diamond roses of all sizes?”

-Diana Vreeland

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Diana Vreeland was a remarkably talented and fearlessly unconventional fashion columnist and editor in the 1930s, 40s, 50s, and 60s. She was an unforgettable pioneer, a creator of new, daring concepts on the beauties and originalities of fashion and culture. She was a spirited woman with a sophisticated, witty personality that could not be confined. She was a traveler, a person with a fearless imagination who, both physically and mentally, saw and experienced new, uncharted worlds. She was a beautiful, dynamic dreamer in that she wanted people to break away from the mundane, the sameness of everyday life. She was a free-spirit, writing what she wished to write, doing what she wished to do. She was a heroine of individuality, having a strong, passionate desire for the unique, individual woman.

Diana Vreeland embraced both the minor changes and large revolutions of fashion. She recognized every aspect of the fashion world, including all of its mysteries, complexities, simplicities, and imaginings.

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First making herself known in the industry in the year 1937, Diana Vreeland’s awe-consuming, beautifying presence has been known, seen, and experienced in the fashion industry for many years. Beginning her career as a columnist at Harper’s Bazaar, Vreeland created a column full of willingness, a willingness to discover new details about yourself and your inner desires; a column full of outrageousness, filled with unrealistic, beautiful dreams that were stunningly unordinary. This column was entitled “Why Don’t You?”
However, this was not where the true Vreeland emerged. This is not where the true Vreeland staked her claim in the industry. Diana Vreeland signified her worldly, experienced thoughts and radical, lavish fashions at Vogue, as editor-in-chief. This is where her pure innovative mind was revealed.
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Vreeland redefined the standard of beauty. Vreeland reinvented the fashion editor. Vreeland transformed Vogue into a magazine of both hardship and pleasure, real-life and fantasy. She helped to create a magazine that focused on demolishing commonalities and embracing changing topics in an ever-changing world. Vreeland was and still is the true definition of a fashion editor. Whether it was originating trends, creating new, influential ideas, or experiencing the world, Vreeland gave the editor a viewpoint, a say and attitude in what is important and admirable in the fashion universe. Vreeland gave the editor an imagination, a want to exaggerate and emphasize beautiful pieces of clothing, beautiful places of the world, beautiful moments in history, art, and culture, beautiful persons of much thought and substance.
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Diana Vreeland, most significantly, embraced the powers and gifts of change. She relished in the excellencies of forwardness and the unknown wonders of the revolutionizing future.  Embracing the 60s culture of individualism, modernism, and youth, she cherished the powers of uniqueness and the desires to change constrictive thoughts of past social tradition and conventional fashions of unrevealing dreariness. Vreeland, during her time in the fashion industry, created new, sensational concepts of sparkling free-thought and lively wildness.
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Diana Vreeland…the pioneer of alternative thoughts, styles, and fashions.
         An icon of fashion…
                  A proponent of change…
                             A woman of legendary, global status…
Diana Vreeland…the explorer, the discoverer, and the editor of the fashion world.

Escaping to the Streets with Glittering Charm!

There is a woman out there who radiates the stylish streets with shimmer and thrill…

There is a woman out there who wears eclectic styles full of zest and exaggeration…

There is a woman out there who adores thrilling, bold accessories that make loud statements…

This woman is a “passionate fashionista”—a true “fashion maniac!” She colors the streets with spirit; she brightens the streets with metallic luster; she adores the streets with baroque mysticism; she confronts the streets with audacious prints; she presents the streets with magical runway creations; she makes herself heard and seen with crazy hats, glistening jewels, and adventurous heels; she absorbs the streets in all her fashion glory and wild bliss.

This woman is certainly someone to look up to and admire…

And this woman’s name is Anna Dello Russo.

Anna Dello Russo is the editor-at-large and creative consultant for Vogue Japan. She was born in Bari, and currently lives in the resplendent city of Milan. Throughout the years, she has worked at publications such as Condé Nast Italia, Vogue Italia, and L ‘Uomo Vogue. She has shown her talents as an editor, a designer, and a fashion expert! Her work has given her a credibility that is difficult to match. Her true talents and compelling viewpoints are impossible to ignore.

Dello Russo has expressed fashion’s power and beauty through the fantastic clothes she wears. She has shown that “fashion is a declaration of one’s own freedom.” She has made clear that “fashion is what dreams are made on.” Her pieces of clothing exhibit a true importance–each piece exhibits a “museum like” quality and a reminiscent flair. Dello Russo has given fashion a new life– full of sparkly zest, dreamy elegance, and lovely value. And she has also given fashion a whole new exciting, alluring, and daring life in the streets!

Anna Dello Russo is the reigning queen of street style! She has transformed the streets to runways of authenticity, creation, imagination, and freedom. She has transformed the streets to photo shoots of everlasting extravagance and dazzling genius. She has captured the attention of street style photographers such as Tommy Ton and Scott Schuman. She has enraptured the thoughts and minds of an infinite number of people. She takes in the many tastes of fashion and mixes them up into an outfit of pure, spellbound charm. She enchants viewers and bewitches photographers. She collects garments and wears them so uniquely, that they become her own.

Anna Dello Russo’s style reminisces the past, captivates the present, and transcends the future. Dello Russo’s spectrum of fashion ranges from a glossy cherry headpiece to an androgynous tuxedo. She could wear an extreme Balenciaga visor, a lush, yellow Fendi fur coat, or a light feathered, lace Dolce and Gabbana dress. She could wear a kaleidoscopic computer-generated dress, a sleek, cheetah blazer, a wonderful, ruffled, encrusted masterpiece, or an extravagantly fluffy, white, feathered coat. She could wear showy accessories such as golden necklaces, elaborate gem clutches or brilliant, glitzy, headpieces with a wild nature of unconventional fascination!

From ornately rich to lively spontaneity…Anna Dello Russo’s style is outlandishly and harmoniously refined!

“Color me. ACCESSORIZE ME! Shock me!”– Anna Dello Russo

Kiss Curled Blue Hair with a Brilliant, Loud Hat

In the world of fashion and style, it is important to be yourself. It is important to be an individual, unafraid of ugly judgements or obnoxious remarks. It is important to express your beliefs and inner attributes. And to not be afraid of harsh criticism or opinion. It is about wearing what you want to wear. It could be a frilly, tulle dress; it could be a metallic, leather bodice; it could be a neon colored skirt…it could be anything– it just has to be you. And there is a woman in the fashion world who goes by this mind-set effectively and proudly. This woman is brazen and unafraid. She is ready for any challenge given to her. This woman is a visionary who wears a stylish hat with energy and vivacity. This woman is Anna Piaggi.

Why wear one color when you can wear many? Why wear one print when you can wear more? Why shy away from boldness when you could embrace it?

Born in 1931, Anna Piaggi is a true fashion icon in the industry. She has worked and acted as a translator, a writer, an editor, a consultant, and a muse to the world of fashion. She expresses herself through the written word and most significantly through what she wears. She has worked for Vogue Italia, Mondadori, Vanity, and many more publications. She speaks her mind, carrying with her a powerful essence of pure exuberance, artistic chic, influential uniqueness, and eclectic taste. Sitting down with her red manual Olivetti valentine typewriter, wearing a signature, bold hat, speaking in six different languages, Anna Piaggi writes what she feels and what she wishes to express. She speaks through her manner of dress.

Why always wear a piece of simplicity when you could sometimes wear a piece of spontaneity? Why wear something bland when you could wear something loud? Why shy away from inner desire when you could use it to your own free will?

Anna Piaggi’s style is eccentric, boisterous, audacious, provoking, and glorious. It has been recognized by fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld, shoe designer Manolo Blahnik, and British milliner Stephen Jones. Noticed since the early 1960s, Piaggi’s choice of dress is outside the typical realm of fashion. And that is what makes her presence heard. She is simply legendary–her modernist outlook and approach to the fashion world does not go unnoticed. There is no chronology in her clothing, there is only unpredictability–she could combine a 100 year old Poiret gown with a pair of 1920s shoes and a cheerful, lively hat. She takes inspiration from the past and the present. She mixes up designers, trends, and themes. She relishes in personal uniqueness and fearless individuality.

Piaggi has a sophisticated wit and charm. She is avant-garde in her style of dress and wear. She is new in her longevity and outlook. She is fresh in her vintage pieces from the 20s, 30s, 40s, and beyond. With Piaggi, age is just a number. She has a vitality that many do not have. She has a force of energy that is not meant to be copied. Anna Piaggi is a form of art, a wonder of fashion, a cultured intellectual, and an inspiration. She is a splatter of color and shine. She is a print of zest and suave. She is a feeling of aesthetic texture.

Anna Piaggi is and will continue to be a legend in the fashion universe. She soars beyond others with her influential statements and outfits of significance. She is a woman who colors her face with color, dresses her body with funky dress, and thinks with her mind of thought. She is an icon of style and fashion…

And she is an icon with an impeccable taste in hats!

Why wear outfits with no meaning when you can wear outfits full of emotion? Why wear fashions lacking personal joy when you can wear fashions full of inner happiness and content? Why shy away from individual taste when you can love it as its own entity?

Why not just be yourself?

The Imaginative, Futuristic, Dazzling Daphne

Heiress, Artist, Actress, Muse, Model, Collector, Designer, Icon…

Who is Daphne Guinness?

Daphne Guinness is the Queen of Haute Couture. She is one of the most original, innovative, daring individual leaders of the fashion world. Her style is aesthetic. Her design is romantically filled with nature, intellectuality, and passion. Her expression is one of confidence–a willingness to discover new forms, conceptions, and features of the fashion world. She captures the essence and grace of fashion in what she wears. She presents herself as a unique individual- ignoring judgements, harsh opinions, or criticisms. She wears what she feels. She feels what she wears. Guinness connects with the architecturally magnificent designs she puts on her body. Fashion is her armour–a cultivated style of elegance, imagination, and ingenuity. She is not eccentric. She is Daphne.

Daphne Diana Joan Susanna Guinness is a true artist. She is the heir of Arthur Guinness, the 18th-century inventor of the beer that still bears the same name. She has a devotion to the sound of music, to the raw honest beauty of literature, and to the visionary, inventive world of art. She also has an undeniable infatuation with the mystical and exquisite fashion world.

Guinness is completely and utterly fearless in what she wears. She leaps beyond the conventions of everyday society. She soars beyond the mundane actions of everyday life. She truly becomes her own person. She brings the beauty of couture to life on the streets. She makes fashion have a distinct personality. She allows fashion to take the reins. Her appearances are matchless. Her fashion wit and insight is remarkable. She is simply extraordinary.

Daphne Guinness embraces the essence of nature and the aura of creation. Her fashion lives by the romantic thought and action. Her own inner self appreciates the earth in its natural, breathtaking qualities. Her and her style relishes in the complexities of human nature. Her ideals are the same as the romantic thinkers of those past times ago. Her ideals are the same as her great, deceased friend Alexander McQueen. Pure nature is uncultivated, uncontrolled, spontaneous, and fascinating. Emotion is lustful, bewitching, and genuine. Romanticism comes to life through what she wears.

Daphne Guinness is both admirable and stunning. She treats fashion as a delicacy. She treats designs as ideas and pieces of worth and authentic originality. She is a magnificent human being with an ardor for self-appreciation, character, and glistening grace. Her fashionable, aesthetic pieces speak volumes. Her personal ambition is strong and almighty.

An illuminated wonder of culture, flavor, and power…Daphne Guinness is authentically and theatrically enchanting.

“I don’t approach fashion; fashion approaches me.” –Daphne Guinness