Style icon: Louise Brooks

(November 14, 1906 – August 8, 1985)
With The Artist taking cinemas by storm (not that I've had time to see it yet, which is annoying to say the least) and The Great Gatsby due to hit the big screen at the end of the year, it looks like 2012 will have more than a sprinkle of 1920's fashion inspiration. I wonder if this will be reflected in the Oscar fashions?......

Louise Brooks was American born but had great success in Europe following a move to London at seventeen. A wonderful dancer and an all round bit of a character, who was declared bankrupt in 1932,  she liked to splash the cash that's for certain. Perhaps it was following her bankruptcy that she gave the famous quote:

“A well-dressed woman, even though her purse is painfully empty, can conquer the world.”

The bob hairstyle must surely be one of the most repeated styles over the decades? It may have been similar to the Louise Brooks cut, longer, asymmetric or the famous Vidal Sassoon bob, bobs have evolved - but they are still bobs. Yes even the famous Victoria Beckham 'pob' was of course a bob.

Vidal Sassoon
Danni Minougue
I had a bob about 2005 too, but I've not been able to find a clear enough picture to add to this blog, my hair is much longer now as I currently like to wear it in victory rolls or quiffed at the front - but I haven't ruled out going shorter again at some point. So that's iconic hair, what about if you'd like to recreate a twenties look with your wardrobe?

Well it's not all feathers and pearls (unless you want it to be!) Simple shaped dresses can be given an instant twenties twist with a pair of Mary Jane shoes.  

Black shoes BHS £25     Blue shoes ASOS £18 (sale)

Just a few accessories can really vintage up your look. You don't have look like an original twenties flapper to carry off the look. Little hints back to another era are a really workable way of adding a sprinkle of vintage style to your look.

With snow possibly on the way, what better time to brighten up your wardrobe with a hat. Also perfect for bad or just can't be bothered hair days! You may be familiar with cloche hats?  A simple shaped hat popular that was a popular style in the twenties. Still a very popular style today.

Red hat Topshop £25     Black hat George £8  Grey hat BHS £12.60 (sale)

If you've been into vintage for ages or if it's something you might just be starting, may be you are just at the thinking stage? My advice would be don't worry too much about eras and looking authentic. Vintage in such an interesting sub culture of fashion because many of us are not purists and we do mix and match the eras. For me that's part of the fun. One day I could be sporting a 1940's wartime sweetheart look, the next I might be feeling in the mood to put on a pencil skirt and look more 1950's. It's all about just finding out what you like.

You also don't need to ditch your existing wardrobe either! You may be surprised to know what vintage inspired looks you can put together with a pair of trousers and a blouse, or a pencil skirt and a t shirt. You can see me chat more about this in a previous post I wrote called 'Getting that vintage look'.

If you want a look at fashion through the decades then I currently have a competition running  this week and there is still time to enter! Courtesy  of Carlton Books ,I have 5 books by Sarah Kennedy called Vintage Style, featuring Elizabeth Taylor as one of 25 icons of fashion. Carlton books have been having fashion week on Twitter with vintage inspired tweets as well as give aways, if you're on twitter but you haven't been following them yet then you have missed some fab tweet. Do pop over and follow them for the final day. If you're on twitter and you have seen the hashtag #VINTAGEWEEK this is why!

If you haven't entered the give away then don't worry, you can enter up until midnight 27 Jan 2012. Just click here to read the book review, the competition rules and details of how to enter.

Vintage Style by Sarah Kennedy, published by Carlton Books, £20, is available in all good book shops and online now.


  1. Lovely article! Louise Brooks was certainly a thoroughly modern missy! Love the 20s style hats and shoes you've shown here too. Fab! ;)

  2. Oh my look at her lips - she is so gorgeous.

  3. I am in love with the 20's, seen The Artist, loved it, and of course the hair is of massive interest to me.
    I hope drop-wasited dresses and sparkly hair slides are all over the shops, along with some dramatic cover ups. Get's me excited just thinking about it.

  4. I love the 1920s. Got myself some 20s style Mary Jane shoes from Clarks & they are sooooooooooooooo comfy! Love flapper necklaces too but they have got to be glass - no cheap plastic ones for me. Love your blog! I have just started to blog about my amazing finds from the many charity shops & vintage fairs I visit.


  5. I'm really enjoying this Style Icon series, keep it up! In fact it's inspired me to do my own ones for the chaps - if you don't mind me pinching your idea...? ;-)

  6. Wow - you really are educating me on the style icons! Hopefully off to the see the Artist tomorrow! x

  7. My ex wore a dark bob for awhile - it was very attractive. I like that there is a resurgence in 20's culture all lately. Funny that it is nearly 100 years after that decade


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