Lauren Bacall: Hollywood Glamor, Personified

As one of the original screen sirens of Old Hollywood, Lauren Bacall was not only a star of the silver screen, but also within the fashion industry as well. Her prolific and singular style, which was emulated by women the world over, became a signature look for its effortless appeal, understated glamor, and timeless quality.

Over seven decades since she became a household name, Bacall is still heavily associated with some of the most copied aesthetics to this day. The legendary icon began her career as a model, appearing on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar for noted fashion editor Diana Vreeland, who catapulted the teenager to celebrity status seemingly overnight. Featured on the cover, Lauren Bacall was instantly sought after in Hollywood for her smoldering looks and later for her raspy voice. Her first movie, To Have and Have Not, paired her with screen legend Humphrey Bogart, whom she would later marry and together they would come one of the most photographed couples in the world. From movie sets to casual wear, Bacall cast the image of an upstart women combining femininity with an androgynous appeal that inspired millions of women to emulate it.

The Classic Muse

A favorite muse to some of the most respected designers of the era, Lauren Bacall chose several to feature on red carpets across the world: Yves Saint Laurent, Pierre Cardin, Norm Norell, Marc Bohan, and Ungaro, to name a few. Of these designers and many more, Bacall had many classic looks, with the following among her most acclaimed.


The Ingenue

Bacall’s first iconic look was her cover for Harper’s Bazaar which featured the model in a chic, tailored number that became one of the most associated looks of her career.


The Jumpsuit

A carefree attitude to match her understated look spoke volumes and was another aesthetic that Lauren Bacall became known for. By combining the tomboyish appeal of a jumpsuit with bright red lipstick, Bacall made casual look instantly chic.


Key Largo

Source: pinterest.com

Source: pinterest

The midi skirt ushered in a rebirth for the design and Bacall took it to the next level in her button down that was tailored to her curves. Even today, it is a popular look among women of all ages.


How to Marry a Millionaire

Source: pinterest.com

Source: pinterest

Arguably one of her most popular movies, Lauren Bacall starred on screen with Marilyn Monroe and Betty Grable in How to Marry a Millionaire, the movie that cemented her status as a fashion icon and Hollywood star. Her elegant, refined clothes in the classic film are considered one of the most iconic of the period.


The Girls in the Boys Club

Source: pinterest.com

Source: pinterest

Long before Diane Keaton became synonymous with androgynous fashion, Lauren Bacall was one of the original screen sirens to wear high-waisted trousers paired with fitted blouses. Bacall’s sharp suits and billowing shirts became an adored looked for women across concrete jungles everywhere.


The Evening Dress

Source: The Guardian

Source: The Guardian

A firm believer in maxing out a minimal look, Lauren Bacall had a penchant for oversized topcoats, big collars, and short jackets to accentuate her tall frame. Ball gowns were either draped or nipped-in, becoming a classic style for the Oscar recipient.

Strike a Pose

A mantra that was heavily associated with Lauren Bacall was her ‘wear the clothes, don’t let the clothes wear you’, which translated into the actress taking a simple dress and showcasing it exceptionally with her trademarked poses. Owning the room through fashion was a quintessential Bacall trait that influenced generations of women.

Accessories

Keeping it simple was also Lauren Bacall’s sense of style when it came to her accessories. With simple statement necklaces and her love of pearls, she made them more popular for decades.

Triston Brewer
September 29, 2016

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