Tag Archive | clara bow

Happy Birthday Clara Bow-Hollywood’s First ‘It’ Girl

Clara Bow

Clara Bow 7/29/1905 – 9/27/1965

Today is one of my favorite silent film stars birthdays. She had that rare superstar quality: sexy, sweet and sassy all at the same time. Clara Bow was named the “It” girl of the 1920s. Her most famous movie is centered around that mysterious quality – and appropriately named It. All the women wanted to be her and all the men wanted to be with her!  Plus she was a redhead – and I’ve got a soft spot for fellow gingers :)

“You think of Greta Garbo, Lillian Gish, all those great names, great actresses. Clara Bow was more popular in terms of box-office dollars, in terms of consistently bringing audiences into the theaters, she was right on top, ” said film historian Leonard Maltin. She worked with the cream of the crop in the industry, including famous costume designer Travis Banton.

Clara Bow in a stunning silver evening gown.

Clara Bow in a stunning silver evening gown.

In a 1936 interview with reporter Julie Lang Hunt  for Photoplay magazine, Banton described what it was like working with Clara.  He claimed her taste in clothes was noxious, she thwarted every move he made to improve it, and she “jazzed up” his most beautiful creations. And yet he continued to indulge her.

Clara Bow in a costume designed by Travis Banton for the 1929 film The Wild Party.

Clara Bow in a costume designed by Travis Banton for the 1929 film The Wild Party.

Clara Bow was apparently not a fan of the straightlaced, boring military costumes she wore in much of the film Wings. And neither was one of the designer’s apprentices.   “Putting Clara in a drab uniform was like bridling an untamed horse . She loved wild colors, the wilder the better. They reflected her personality.” That apprentice was none other than Edith Head, who went on to become one of the most famous Hollywood costumers in history.

Clara Bow in the 1927 film Wings. Costume designed by Travis Banton and Edith Head.

Clara Bow in the Academy Award winning 1927 film Wings. Costume designed by Travis Banton and Edith Head.

Clara Bow’s makeup also inspired huge trends in the 1920s and  have become a popular look once again with the resurgence of 1920s themed parties and events. Her famous lips – the red cupid’s bow lips defined the look of her era, along with her kohl lined eyes and pencil thin eyebrows. When her fans found out she was redhead,  not readily apparent in a world of black and white film, the sales of henna tripled!

Clara Bow 7/29/1905 - 9/27/1965 Color by DreamPinups.

Clara Bow’s signature make-up look.
Color by DreamPinups.

Clara Bow’s career in Hollywood was relatively short and often plagued with scandal – but no one can deny that whatever ‘It’ was, this gal definitely had it!

Have a glamorous day :-)


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How to Get the 1920s Screen Siren Make Up Look


From Boardwalk Empire to Downton Abbey to the remake of the Great Gatsby, the interest in Roaring 20s fashions has never been hotter.  The 1920s was a liberating time for women,  resulting in less restrictive clothing that downplayed a woman’s curves.   And just like today, young women emulated celebrities, resulting in the popularity of  make up looks worn by their favorite silver screen stars.  This very feminine, dramatic look contrasted nicely with the looser, less curve revealing silhouettes.

To recreate the 1920s make up look you need  dark, smoky, kohl-rimmed eyes,  high thin eyebrows and heavily rouged cheeks,  along with the iconic ‘cupid’s bow’ lip inspired by the  actress,  Clara Bow. Women would accentuate the curve of their upper lip – so it resembled a bow – and fill in their bottom lip to meet the top, almost like a permanent ‘kissy’ face.  The vogue lip colors were plums and deep reds. There were even metal lip tracers to ensure women got that perfect ‘bow’ shape.

Below is a photo of the beautiful Clara Bow. Notice those adorable “cupid’s bow”  lips?  And I love how she has the head scarf wrapped!

clara bow

Clara Bow in 1926. Photo by Eugene Robert Richee

This is a cute and entertaining video from the  Glamourdaze  YouTube channel of actress Colleen Moore and her flapper makeup routine in 1923.

I love cupid’s bow lips but I’m not sure I could pull off those eyebrows – what about you? Would you wear this look out on the town?







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Famous Flappers and their Fabulous Fashions


The  women’s rights movement in the 1920’s sparked a major fashion revolution.  Young women rebelled against the restrictive garments that had been worn by their mothers and opted for loose fitting dresses that downplayed their curves.  Of course, in the flapper era,  wearing clothing that was easy to dance in was also a plus.  Can’t exactly do  Charleston kicks  in  tight fitting corsets and  long gowns!  And just like today, young women looked to celebrities for their fashion inspiration. Below are photos of  some of the most famous fashionable  flappers of the 20s stage and screen.

Clara Bow, the “It Girl”, wearing a stunning pleated, print dress. How about those adorable ankle socks with the heels?  So much for thinking it was just an 80s thing!

Clara Bow 1920s Dress

Clara Bow in 1920s Dress


Headbands were very big back in the 1920s.

Clara Bow Head Band

Clara Bow wearing Head Band

Mlle. Rhea was an actress and dancer in the 20s. Here she is with her handy dandy little garter flask. No self respecting prohibition era flapper would leave home without it! Note the Mary Jane pumps.  Along with the T strap and Louis heel, it was an iconic shoe style of the era.

Mlle Rhea dancer 1920s

20's dancer Mlle. Rhea with her handy garter flask

 Louise Brooks was the bad girl of  the silver screen. She’s the actress who made the bobbed haircut famous.  Her dropped waist dress and cloche hat were the height of fashion in the 1920’s.

Louise Brooks

Louise Brooks in fur trimmed coat, cloche hat and drop waist dress

You may think of Joan Crawford as a popular actress from the 40s, but here she is with Dorothy Sebastian and Anita Page in the 1928 film  “Our Dancing Daughters”.   Joan, along with Anita and Dorothy were the quintessential flapper girls!

Joan Crawford, Dorothy Sebastion, Anita Page

Joan Crawford, Dorothy Sebastion, Anita Page

Photos of Clara Bow, Joan Crawford, Dorothy Sebastian, Anita Page courtesy of Cabonated’s Photostream on Flickr


If you love the fashion looks of the Jazz Era, are planning a 20s wedding or  have a 20’s themed event to attend, then check out Blue Velvet Vintage for our dresses and accessories inspired by the fabulous fashions of the 1920’s!

20's inspired fashins 1920s style clothing

20s inspired fashions

1. Nataya embroidered ivory tulle 20s style dress  2. Black satin T strap pumps

3. Black and silver T strap dress sandals  4. Black flapper style beaded lace dress

5. Ivory beaded 20’s reproduction flapper dress  6.  Bronze beaded fringe evening bag

7. Deco style faux pearl and rhinestone bracelet  8. Nataya 20’s inspired ivory chiffon dress w/rose accent

9. Black beaded fringe reproduction flapper dress  10.  White beaded fringed reproduction flapper dress

11. Beaded fringed black tulle shawl  12. Ivory cloche hat with lace and crystal trim

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