Back in the early years of the twentieth century, silent comedian Harold Lloyd was looking for a gimmick to make his screen character more memorable, despite the fact that his vision was perfect, he decided on a pair of large round glasses, with clear glass. His ploy worked, his character was a runaway success, and the style of glasses became the latest must-have. The clothing and accessories worn by the rich and famous have always exerted a powerful fascination on the popular imagination, take these style icons for example.
Madonna – fingerless lace gloves
The wearing of gloves has always signaled prosperity, a visible sign that you literally don’t have to get your hands dirty. The fingerless lace glove, however, is a rather different matter. Dating back to the early nineteenth century they enabled women to conform to the social convention of always wearing gloves in public whilst allowing them tactile contact and to display their skin. The New Romantics adopted them and for a while, Madonna was never seen without them. Naughty, sexy, and oh so stylish.
Alexa Chung – the Peter Pan collar
The French author Colette wore one on the cover of her 1900’s best seller Claudine a L’ecole but it was its appearance in the 1905 stage version of Peter Pan that really brought it to public attention. Since then, it’s popped up at some point during most decades and in the thirties and forties, it became a standard feature of the bridal outfit. These days you’ll find it reimagined in just about every possible variation.
Audrey Hepburn – the Little Black Dress
The most famous dress in film history appears in the opening scene of the 1961 film ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Although the original design was by Givenchy, the dress that was seen in the film was a version remodeled by the costume designer Elizabeth Head. In 2006, one of the original two dresses was auctioned for £467,200.
Julia Roberts – the power suit
The concept of the female suit was first introduced by Coco Chanel in the 1920s and evolved from that point to the wide-shouldered Armani suits of the 1980s. Popularised by the characters of Dynasty and taken to the point of parody by Julia Roberts in her 1990 Golden Globe appearance, for which she wore a grey outsize power suit. Today, the power suit is alive and well, as evidenced by the designer suits available at ‘Barbara Bui luxury ready to wear and tailoring for women.’
Paris Hilton – velour tracksuits
Early in the year, 2000 Paris Hilton acquired her first Juicy Couture velour tracksuit, soon after she had hundreds in every possible color. Her enthusiasm for the garment has not diminished during the subsequent decades, in fact, she’s just launched her own line.
Marlon Brando – leather jacket
‘Hey, Johnny, what are you rebelling against?’
Two lines of dialogue from ‘The Wild One’ tied leather jackets irrevocably to the idea of rebellion. The Schott Perfecto leather jacket had been around since 1928, but it was Brando’s performance in this 1953 film that made the leather jacket the essential clothing item for generations of rebels to come.