The Golden Age of Hollywood lasted from the 1920s until the 1960s. Its female stars became icons, as famous for the clothes they wore as the films they starred in. From the flappers of the 1920s to Marilyn Monroe, the glamour of Hollywood is timeless, and the perfect inspiration for the upcoming party season.
Hollywood’s first fashion icons emerged in the 1920s. Names like Clara Bow and Louise Brooks may not be as familiar today as Monroe or Hepburn, but they were huge celebrities whose modern take on Hollywood glamour sparked trends that were copied by young women across America, desperate to emulate their style. They wore loose-fitting dresses that were daringly short for the time, complete with beads, dark makeup, and bobbed hair.
From simple dropped waist dresses to all-out beaded party dresses, the glamour of early Hollywood is a great alternative to the more popular styles of the 1950s and 1960ss, and is conveniently on-trend this season. Check out H&M, Coast, and French Connection for Twenties inspired dresses to suit all budgets.
In the 1950s, the hourglass reigned supreme, and dresses were designed to showcase the wearer’s curves. Marilyn Monroe is the epitome of Hollywood glamour, and her classic silhouette, with its nipped-in waist, is arguably the most iconic of all time. Whether the dress had a circle skirt or pencil skirt, the waist remained the focus of the look. Her blonde hair, red lips, and beauty spot made her the embodiment of beauty and glamour.
To recreate the glamour of the 1950s, take a look at Vivien of Holloway, who make reproduction dresses in a wide array of colours and patterns. For a more subtle 1950s-inspired look, try a pencil dress, but keep the length midi; mini dresses were a creation of the 1960s. Warehouse and Miss Selfridge have some great options.
Finally, I could not forget Audrey Hepburn. Her role as Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s gave us one of Hollywood’s most famous looks—the long, black Givenchy dress, complete with black gloves, pearls, and sunglasses. Her dark hair and chic, simplistic style contrasted completely with Monroe, yet her understated look was no less glamorous.
For a Hepburn inspired outfit, try a classic black dress, and keep it simple with a shift style. ASOS have a huge selection of LBDs. Add a statement necklace and the look is complete—sunglasses are optional.
Models: Katie Nertney, Kirsten Powley, Melissa Taylor, Maddie Russell, Charlotte Cox, Hatty Farnham and Jess Beech.
Stylist: Jess Beech.
Photographer: Elizabeth Margereson.