She has the bearing of a man; the characters she plays love power and wear trousers. Marlene’s masculinity appeals to women and her sexuality to men.” Kenneth Tynan.
This quote sums up why I am completely in love with her. She loved men’s clothes, and would often perform her cabaret shows in a top hat and tails, yet she oozed femininity and poise. She is a shining example of someone whose style was in direct correlation with her personality; she was a vibrant, sexual person with a string of lovers, both male and female. In the 1930 film ‘Morocco’, Dietrich played a cabaret singer who performed in a man’s tuxedo and kissed a female audience member. Performing in such a masculine outfit was outrageous enough for the time, but the biggest talking point was the female kiss, the first ever in the history of cinema.
“I dress for myself. Not for the image, not for the public, not for the fashion, not for men.” – Marlene Dietrich.
Yes, it was clear that she dressed to the beat of her own drum. Her offbeat originality was transcendent, and way ahead of her time. She remains an icon of fashion and film, and I for one am delighted to see the androgynous look featuring heavily on catwalks and high streets over the last few seasons. When I throw on a tuxedo jacket, a shirt and bow tie or bowler hat, or even just a simple everyday blazer I feel a sense of empowerment, a sense of dominance and masculine valour. You only have to look at pictures or clips of the late, great Marlene to get the feeling she felt liberated and powerful too.
Androgyny In Recent Fashion
L’Wren Scott S/S ’12
Vivienne Westwood A/W ’12-’13
Jean Paul Gaultier A/W ’12-’13