Lauren Bacall has always been my favourite actress from the “Golden Age” of Hollywood. There’s something so pleasing in her appearance that remains modern even today. She strikes the fine and tricky balance of seductive allure and intelligence. She appears confident and enigmatic but also, somehow, relatable. Much of her wardrobe displays this personality: even in masculine tailoring there is a creeping femininity. Sharp shoulders are paired with a nipped in waist. A long dress is worn with daring cleavage. Bacall understood the importance of a single piece of statement jewelry or a jauntily placed hat to add interest to an outfit.
Most of Bacall’s 1940s style has been replicated at various times- in the shoulder pads of the 80’s to the tea dresses of the 70’s and has been a source of inspiration for artists such as Madonna and Lady Gaga even today. In 2014 most of this style seems out of place in a year when fashion wants to look back to the androgyny and iconoclasm of grunge but there’s still a lot to take from this more polished style. Are there still female icons who will be remembered for their mystique? When the smoke clears from the ever rising tide of mom jeans and crop tops perhaps knee length skirts and cropped pedal pushers will have their day. Fashion is, after all, dress up for grown ups and Lauren Bacall’s character-sultry, wise-cracking, unknowable-is as good a part to play as any.
Even when there’s only the slightest suggestion of animal print, as in this blouse, it works to create a contrast between it and this classic pencil skirt. (I’m not even going to pretend that I don’t want her hair).
Casual Bacall knows how to make loose fitting capri pants and loafers appear dainty and even, dare I suggest it, a little bit alluring.
Words : Caroline Allen
Photos : Pinterest