June 18th, 2011 Style Inspiration: Clara Bow
Step aside Blake Lively, Clara Bow was the original It Girl, and to me, will always be the It Girl. Clara was thrusted into the spotlight when she starred in the classic film ‘It’, and her undeniable sex appeal made her The It Girl (notice how I said The, and not a), and the “hottest jazz baby in films”. This moment in the spotlight coincided with the brief era of the flapper in the mid-20′s, and the silent movie actress became a fashion icon and beauty trendsetter of her era, as she came to epitomise the good, and to some, the bad of the flapper style. For those of you who don’t know what flapper was, she was a young woman in the 20′s who flaunted her unconventional conduct and dress.
Not only do I admire Clara Bow for her self-confidence and conviction, but also because she’s one of those truly inspirational figures who came from “rags to riches”. Bow came from a troubled family background, and until 1921, when she entered and won a magazine competition, she had a pretty rough childhood. In the competition, she won a part in the film “Beyond the Rainbow”, and although her scenes were eventually cut from the film, she was on her way to stardom, from which she never looked back.
Bow really was fabulous. She had a strange magnetism which attracted and drew both sexes to her. She was full of self-confidence, but indifferent to the effect she had on other people, she produced and influenced so many people, even many years after her unfortunate death. Her huge, wide eyes played a big part in her appeal to audiences and people everywhere, and although they were emphasised using heavy kohl makeup, they were still amazingly beautiful. Adolph Zukor, the head of Paramount Pictures at the time said that Bow “danced even when her feet weren’t moving. Some part of her was always in motion, if only her great, rolling eyes’.
Stills from Bow films still continuously offer style inspiration, and she still represents one of the most glamorous fashions, not only of her era, but of all time.