Tag Archive | roaring twenties

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 Put Together a 1920s Style Great Gatsby Look


With television shows such as Boardwalk Empire, Downton Abbey and the movie remake of the Great Gatsby, fashion looks  of the 1920s are currently hot, hot, hot!   This trend means there is an increase in Jazz Era, Roaring Twenties themed parties, events and weddings to which gals get to have fun dressing up in 1920’s inspired outfits.  And, the good thing is many of the styles from the 20s are very flattering on a wide variety of figures.

Lately we’ve been receiving a lot of emails from customers asking for advice on how to put together this look.  And though we do sell a lovely line of beaded reproduction flapper dresses,  not everyone going to a 20s themed party wishes to wear that style or sometimes they are attending an event that is not quite as dressy.  So I’ve included a little graphic below to show you a 1920s inspired outfit I put together with items we sell on our website.

Most people don’t realize that the 1920s fashions were not just about fringed flapper dresses.  Women wore many other styles and they weren’t all short! Most hemlines in the 20’s varied from just above ankle length to just below knee.  The Nataya dress I’m wearing in the photo has that loose,  unstructured silhouette that was popular in the 20s, plus the sheer overlay over a slip liner that was also popular back then.  I added some long strands of pearls, 3/4 length gloves, deco style bracelet, cloche hat and T strap heels to complete the look.  It’s a really nice alternative  for a 1920’s themed event  if you’re not looking to go with a full on fancy flapper style.


 1920s Great Gatsby Look 1920's style fashion

A 1920s inspired Great Gatsby Look

And the links to shop this look!

Nataya Art Nouveau dress

Cream color pearls and champagne pearl strands

Black stretch satin ruched gloves

Beaded gunmetal stretch cuff bracelet

Black cloche hat with jewels and feathers

Black satin T strap pumps

Don’t forget to add red cupid bow lips and dark, smoky shadow for the  eyes!




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