circa 1925: American actress Louise Brooks (1906-1985) shares a romantic arbour with a man in a scene from an unknown film.
27 Nov 1928 --- Philo Vance (William Powell) examines the body of the Canary, Margaret Odell (Louise Brooks) in the 1929 mystery, . --- Image by © John Springer Collection/CORBIS
Louise Brooks (1906-1985) was an American dancer, model, showgirl but most known for being a silent actress. She is one of the most important icons of the 20′s and represented a new kind of woman for that decade, not just because of her style but because she embodied an era of transition. There was a sort of revolution that anticipated the feminist claims of decades later in the way women thought about themselves: more independent, cheeky, self confident. And this was a reflection of the so called “Roaring Twenties”, years dominated by night clubs, wild dances and jazz music.
Women started to wear short, low-necked or backless dresses to be comfortable while dancing which was considered very scandalous for that period if we consider that just a few years before women were not allowed to show such a lot of their bodies and were constrained in voluminous dresses and bodices.
As we can appreciate through the images gallery, Louise Brooks leaves a very strong visual impact, especially due to her hair styling: a perfectly geometric bob with a short fringe, framed her ambiguous and engaging face. Her make up introduced the “smoky eye”, typical of the so called 20′s “vamp”, and the dark heart shaped mouth. She wore quite linear dresses, embellished by shiny fabrics and precious applications usually with no accessories except for a single string of pearls.
She perfectly fitted the taste of the 20′s that was dominated by a new aesthetic due to Art Deco style moving in: a severe but attractive figure at the same time, ironic because of the geometric elements that compose it but minimal, of course. She even went on to inspire“Valentina”, the most famous 60′s comic by Guido Crepax.
Posted by: Paola Cignoli
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