I am innately nostalgic by nature and often feel lost in time, daydreaming in black and white and imagining days spent shaded by parasols and escorted by well tailored men. I feel myself longing for opulent glamour and yearning for the image portrayed by so called ‘old Hollywood’ stars. In my mind those referred to as such are simply timeless, untouchable by labels that seek to quantify age. They are the constant standards we return to and are the embodiment of idealism, the idea that perfection can be mastered and that beauty is still.
A real stand out of many old movies to me and something that fascinates me is that moment of total stillness. Often seen when the romantic leads embrace, cheek to cheek, look lovingly just beyond the camera and pause. There’s a held breath moment, a fraction of a frame when the leads just stops and we can see what has been created. A quiet glimpse at a ‘perfect’ moment. This was a time when cinema created images of glamourized elegance, unquestionable and expected chivalry and indulgent excess. A time when fur coats, overly done ‘natural’ faces were common and woman were subtly commanding, bejeweled and constantly spotlight so as to stand out radiantly amongst a crowd.
There was a consistent unbalanced stereotype but viewing purely as a romantic there was also always a striking vulnerability in these stories and characters, a dramatized exuberance for life and luxury, love and the search for happiness. These creations are not truly reflective of the reality of the time necessarily but they still have captured and conjured a fantasy, a silhouette, a movement and domineer, a language and gesture. An image of femininity and beauty. The gowns and jewels, words and conversations just send me spinning, chasing the idea of finding a portal back to this scene. When held beside some current images of perceived ‘beauty’ that bombard the public I reassure myself that this compulsion to be lost in the past is in fact exposing me to perhaps a more inspiring world and definitely for me a more desirable image.
Here are some of the woman that transfix me and compel me to sport feline flicked eyes, crave plunging necklines and hourglass figures. Long for a sense to absolute womanliness, total self confidence and acceptance of ones body, commandment of every occasion and the ability to capture all eyes in a room upon entry. These are some of the woman that stand to me are true ICONS.