The mystique of fifties Hollywood glamour and its seductive lifestyle remains in vogue with its style and fashions emulated by current celebrities and seen on today’s runways and magazine covers. Not only were the fifties a time of style and beauty but also a time of mystery and seductiveness. The entertainment news began to cover every event the stars attended and reported their every move.
Famous fifties actors were dashing and were photographed in their sports cars or piloting their own airplanes. And how fascinating was Marlon Brando on his Triumph Thunderbird 6T motorcycle? The world began to imitate the looks they idolized.
Often thought to be interchangeable with fifties glamour, 50s style has a “born-with” or an effortless beauty connotation. Glamour, on the other hand, may be contrived or more deliberate. It is not always associated with a person or a particular look. It could be that a rather plain person is considered captivating if dressed in luxurious fashions, living in elaborate surroundings, or enjoying exciting activities.
The dictionary has three definitions of glamour. The first one is the quality of fascinating, alluring, or attracting, especially by a combination of charm and good looks. My first thought when I hear charm and good looks is Cary Grant.
The second definition is excitement, adventure, and unusual activity. Now that brings to mind Ernest Hemingway.
The third one is magic or enchantment. Doesn’t that just shout Grace Kelly? Grace Kelly wore couture gowns designed by Dior and Balenciaga which along with her smooth blonde hair and fair skin lent an unrivaled elegance to her fifties Hollywood glamour.
But how many of the Hollywood stars from the 1950s actually lived an exciting lifestyle outside of the public eye? It is possible Jacqueline Kennedy did. Although not a typical fifties Hollywood glamour celebrity, the taste and elegance Jacqueline Lee Bouvier Kennedy brought to the White House made her The American Style Icon of all time.
To me, fifties style and charisma is Hollywood movie stars like Ava Gardner and our favorite pin up girl Rita Hayworth. While Ava and Rita were entirely different in looks, they were both captivating.
Another example of contrasting yet totally glamorous stars were Audrey Hepburn and Liz Taylor. Audrey Hepburn’s doe-eyed innocence and waif like looks was the epitome of Hollywood grace and charm. Her favorite designer and close personal friend was Hubert de Givenchy.
With her much publicized lifestyle and many love affairs, marriages, and divorces splashed on front pages of every movie magazine of that era, Elizabeth Taylor’s image as a glamorous movie star was well established.
Although not considered the typical 1950s beauty, Bette Davis’ sultry voice, blond bombshell looks, and a private life that paralleled her film career confirmed her glamorous film star status. Fifties fans were all fascinated by the quiet sophistication of Greta Garbo.
50s style and glamour would have to include Marilyn Monroe. Named the sixth greatest female star of all time by the American Film Institute, her bubbly character, platinum blonde hair, and hourglass figure cinched her standing as an iconic female sex symbol.
As evidenced by the popularity of the television show “Mad Men” and the continued demand for vintage couture, the world remains fascinated by the fifties Hollywood glamour.
Check Fifties Hollywood Glamour pages frequently for updates on all of your favorite stars from that era.