Vintage Icons: Lauren Bacall

Vintage Icons: Lauren Bacall

When I think of 1940s fashion, a few names come to mind, but one jumps out. Lauren Bacall!

I remember seeing To Have and Have Not (1944) in my younger days, and marveling at how gorgeous she was. But beyond the smoldering stare and the raspy voice was her sense of style!

And if you don’t believe me, check out this midriff-bearing dress she wore in that film!

Vintage icons Lauren Bacall
Lauren Bacall in To Have and Have Not (1944)

I remember thinking, that dress must’ve been scandalous at the time, and I’m sure it was, but I could see myself wearing a dress like this in 2023.

What makes vintage icons like Lauren Bacall so enduring is their influence on our modern tastes. And what good is vintage fashion if it seems out of place on today’s streets? There must be an element of timelessness to a look.

And timeless is exactly the word I’d use to describe Lauren Bacall. Now, I love Katharine Hepburn, and I think she and Bacall both had this tough exterior. But there’s an impish quality to Lauren Bacall that Hepburn lacked.

Don’t get me wrong! Kate Hepburn is one of my idols. And I will get around to featuring her here. I want to be able to deliver a scathing line to some man who thinks he has the upper hand in the way she could.

But there’s a softness to Lauren Bacall as well. A balance between cool and vulnerable. And it shows in her fashion as well.

When I discovered this dress for the shop, I immediately thought of Bacall!

1940s vintage garnet velvet dress

It combines that 1940s structure with the softness of this gorgeous garnet velvet! And that sums up that Lauren Bacall.

And I can’t help but think Ms. Bacall would look stunning in this black bamboo-print Hawaiian dress from the 1960s! It calls to mind the silhouette she cast! Even though it’s from a different era, I think it calls to mind that structured look.

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