Dietrich Teaches

Clad in designs by Irene, Marlene Dietrich is cast as Jamilla, the wife of the Grand Vizier and the trophy of the charlatan Hafiz in the 1944 film Kismet. Wearing costumes that more closely resemble the suggestive undergarments of the 1940’s than actual ancient Arabic dress, the above scene establishes the basic style and form for aspirations of Hollywood glamour, grandeur, and beauty as expressed through a contemporary dance called “Voguing”…

Thierry Mugler, 1980

Madonna in Jean Paul Gaultier, 1990

Hollywood always represented the most audacious hopes and dreams of the American people and after WWII came to an end it went on to influence the globe. It could be coincidence that two uncanny French designers would find inspiration for their own designs, though a decade a part, invoking Marlene’s tinsel tinted glamour and the kind of confidence that could only be found on a fabricated movie set made of sizzling gumption and blonde ambition.

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