Although I consider myself quite the girly-girl, this year I have not been able to get enough of menswear inspired dressing. Smart tailoring, both fitted and oversized blazers, tapered trousers and wide leg trousers, crisp white button downs and oversized watches are just some of the masculine looks I have been wearing repeatedly and admiring on other women. When looking for inspiration on how to pull off menswear while still remaining feminine and sexy, one first thinks of Katherine Hepburn, Annie Hall and Marlene Dietrich.
The German actress is probably the least recognized by young fashionistas for her style iconography in this respect. Managing to stay relevant for half of a century in the entertainment industry, as a cabaret singer, chorus girl, Hollywood actress, international stage show performer, and recording artist.
Ernest Hemingway once remarked that "if she had nothing more than her voice, she could break your heart with it.”
Dietrich’s legacy is one that should be celebrated.
Perhaps the most recognizable homage paid to Dietrich’s style has been by Madonna, who channeled her several times throughout her career, most notably in the video of "Express Yourself" and during the "Like a Virgin" performance of The Girlie Show Tour. She also included Dietrich in the spoken word part of her 1990 song "Vogue".
While Dietrich’s pantsuits, fedoras, screen siren makeup, bow ties and manipulation of the female image are definitely looks to emulate, perhaps the most important style lesson to learn from Dietrich is that the right attitude is everything.
She once said, "I dress for myself. Not for the image, not for the public, not for the fashion, not for men." A woman can not help but look amazing, no matter what she is wearing, with that kind of aplomb.