King Louie's Icon: Louise Brooks (1906-1985)
When you think about the roaring 1920s, you probably envision Louise Brooks, subconsciously or not. Because even though this actress only appeared on the big screen for a relatively short period, she did leave an unforgettable impression.
Louise was the quintessential flapper girl, and the roaring twenties were the years that she was most successful: World War I was over, fresh winds were blowing in culture, politics, and ingrained role patterns, and this also showed in fashion and how both men and women dressed. Louise was the epitome of that era. Her raven black bobbed hair, which soon symbolized the modern young woman who didn't want to spend hours doing her hair, was the first thing that characterized Louise. Two scrutinizing eyes, heavily accentuated with kohl, often sensual, sometimes bored but mostly mysterious look at you from underneath a meticulously trimmed fringe.
Her most famous role is that of man-eater Lulu in the silent movie Pandora's Box. The movie promotes a rather free sexual morale, which didn't go down well with everyone, even in this ‘new age’ of the 1920s, but Brooks couldn't have enjoyed it more. It was known that Louise liked to provoke, saying whatever came to mind, posing nude without any qualms, and she was deliberately ambiguous about her own sexual orientation.
Silk, fur and pearls
She demonstrated her provocative nature in different ways. For example, by wearing dramatic outfits such as black fur coats, lots of velvet, magnificent silk evening gowns, and hats that made her look even more mysterious. ‘A well-dressed woman, even though her purse is painfully empty, can conquer the world,’ is what she said. It was an age in which women wanted to break free from old conventions. The corset was banned and arms, necks, and calves could finally be exposed. And Louise certainly dressed the part. The waistline of her dresses and skirts were loose and low on the hips, her neckline was deep and filled with a seductively long string of pearls.
Although many women cut their hair short and loved free-thinking Louise for paving the way, not everyone was happy with her independent mind. First of all, after the film studios refused a pay rise, she left the US to make films in Europe, which led to her being blacklisted by frustrated American film producers. It gave her the reputation of being a Hollywood rebel and it became increasingly harder for her to get contracted for new roles. Another reason for this was that she refused to do whatever it took to secure a role; she blatantly turned down movie big shots who expected her to sleep with them. In the end, she left Hollywood life for good and after working as a shop assistant for a while, she turned to writing. And this is how she started her second career as an author. She became a film critic and published essays in magazines. Her autobiographic work Lulu in Hollywood was published in 1982. Louise Brooks died three years later in 1985, at the age of 78.
King Louie's Gael, designer:
Louise Brooks was a free-spirited woman. She introduced a radically different image of a woman: she didn't wear corsets and she was quirky and authentic - two qualities that perfectly match our King Louie values. It is true that the flapper look does not come back one on one in our collections, but that same feeling and the typical silhouettes do. Consider, for example, the sequin dress that we had in the winter collection two years ago. '
Dress like Louise Brooks:
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