Carole-tennial +3!!!: Carole Lombard and Fashion
Yesterday was Carole Lombard’s 103rd birthday. To celebrate, the lovely Vincent at Carole and Co (http://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/) is hosting a blogathon in her honor, Carole-tennial +3.
Carole Lombard was considered one of the most fashionable women of her time. She had a lean, lithe body, perfect for modeling clothes, was always seen wearing the latest trends, and was clothed by America’s most venerated couturiers. Of course, she was considered the best dressed woman not only in Hollywood, but perhaps throughout the whole country. However, Lombard never seemed too enthusiastic about her title as reigning fashionista: “I can’t imagine a duller fate than being the best dressed woman in reality. When I want to do something I don’t pause to contemplate whether I’m exquisitely gowned. I want to live, not pose!”. I think that this is exactly she was considered so fashionable. She was never a show-off about her clothes, and was never afraid to have fun and just be a regular girl, even when wearing an evening gown designed by Irene. She wore the clothes, and didn’t let the clothes wear her. Here are some of Lombard’s most popular fashion trends:
As I mentioned above, Lombard had a perfect model’s body: long, lean, and feminine in all the right places. She was a couturier’s dream. When Lombard sported evening gowns, they were designed by the best: Edith Head, Travis Banton, or her personal favorite, Irene. Lombard usually wore clingy satins in light colors, but she also wore sparkles, feathers, and even fur trim!
Of course Lombard, being a top actress, looked breathtaking in an evening gowns. However, unlike many of her peers, she looked just at home in casual, men’s-style clothing. During her relationship and marriage to Clark Gable, Lombard was seen more and more in casual sporty clothing than in glamorous, liquid couture gowns. She immersed herself in Gable’s favorite sports, and therefore popularized a less-dressy, yet always feminine, look for women.
Turbans were all the rage in Old Hollywood, and if you haven’t noticed, they’re starting to make a comeback! Even though turbans are associated with exoticism, no one wore them better than all-American Carole Lombard! Once she started wearing turbans, others, such as pal Ginger Rogers, copied her too:
Lombard wearing a fancy turban in an early glamour portrait. At this stage of her career she was aiming for a more exotic look, like many of her fellow actresses.
Firstly, Lombard was blonde, a hair color that will always and forever be in vogue. But how Carole styled her h0ney-colored locks is what I’m concerned with here. When platinum was popular in the early 30s, she was platinum. When bangs were in during the mid 30s, she sported a heavy, waved fringe across her forehead. When long hair started to emerge in the late 30s-early 40s, her blonde curls tumbled down her shoulders. Lombard’s hair was always up-to-date:
Carole in heavy, curled bangs
In her last film, To Be Or Not To Be, Lombard’s hair was especially long, perfect for 1940s hairstyles.
Many of you must know that throughout the 20s and 30s, the trend was only to paint the middle of your nails, leaving the tip and half-moon blank. However, Lombard was amongst the first to do the unheard of…paint her full nails! It caused quite a stir at the time, but eventually everyone caught up with Lombard’s fashion-forward ways.
When Lombard was asked about her fashion essentials, one of those she listed was a suit. They’re smart, conservative, clean, and elegant. And Lombard sure knew how to wear them! She had plenty of suits,whether they be sporty, or the famous dove-gray suit she wore when she married Clark Gable.
Once upon a time, wearing furs was actually cool. And if something was cool, Lombard was guaranteed to wear it. She wore furs of all kinds…even monkey fur!
Carole and I have the same shopping weakness: hats. Lombard couldn’t get enough of hats, and she became quite well-known for buying several hats at once during a shopping excursion. She would even buy ugly hats, knowing that her husband Clark Gable would get annoyed. Despite her mischievous ways, she always looked glamorous, no matter how over-the-top her hats were.
In a giant sunhat
Although she humbly tried to deny it, Carole Lombard was a fashion icon. She revolutionized women’s fashion, making it possible for us dames to be both causal and glamorous, simple and extravagant. She allowed us to have with our wardrobes and to be beautiful stylish ladies. Kudos to Carole!