Barbara Stanwyck is one of my all time favorite actresses. Her legendary upbringing, hard-boiled personality and the longevity of her career, makes her a true Hollywood legend. Born in 1906 and orphaned at early age, from her humble foster family upbringing, she somehow managed to steer her path to destiny. Following the footsteps of her sister as a show girl, she was a chorus girl and dancer in the Ziegfeld Follies and numerous other shows. “I just wanted to survive and eat and have a nice coat”, Stanwyck said.
After a brief stint on Broadway, she landed herself roles in Hollywood. Frank Capra’s choice of using Stanwyck in ‘Ladies of Leisure’ promised a steady stream of film roles, which helped in crafting her skill for strong characters in movies. She was often seen as the glamorous, courageous and perfect femme fatale. Often fighting to be equal with her male leads, her personality shone and offered a modern take on the female persona for movies at the time. I especially love her in ‘All about Eve’, as the crook who lures her man into confusion. Her strong spirit and infectious laugh certainly makes this movie unforgettable. I especially love her voice, husky and controlled, has a calm demeanour on the surface, and storm stored under.
Stanwyck had a figure like a model. Tall and athletic, she often wore gowns that showed off her endless legs, with cropped tops just cut above her rib cage. These looks are surprisingly on the radar at the moment. As we have seen, the designers are moving our waist lines upwards, so we can certainly imitate Stanwyck’s style with ease. Wear one of the cropped tee shirts we’ve featured, teamed with a high-waisted pencil skirt and you will find how flattering this look can be. Or a high waisted maxi skirt for a modern touch, teamed with platforms shoes, gives you an ease of casual glamour.
Often the smallest part of our torso is our waist, so this should be used to best show off our assets, which is evident in countless old movies. So go on, be a style icon and you will be discover your inner siren too!
She also often donned with long beaded gowns made of silk with bias cut details, we shouldn’t be shy of elegant evening dress. We would love to picture ourselves as a film siren wearing evening gowns. But then of course we can dress in figure hugging maxi dresses, to achieve a casual look.