Friday, 18 January 2013

The Beauty of the 1920s: Louise Brooks

Today I found some film online that I simply had to share with you. It is some of the "earliest colour film you will ever see" from 1922. I'm not going to say anymore, you just have to watch it.


Ever since watching this film I've been going mad for 1920s photography and the beautiful models, bodies, prop and fashion styling.  Who better to put the spotlight on than the face of the roaring 20s, Louise Brooks, the woman who made the bob haircut infamous. Brooks was American born in 1906, seventeen silent films and eight sound films later she retired in 1935 and despite her short lived acting career, she made a huge impression.

Then how is it that Lulu, as she called herself, and her unsuccessful acting career become the face of the roaring twenties? During the next few years she began writing about film and making some close friends in the process, whether this part of her life mixed with her other work as a courtesan is unknown. Then during the 20th century, various Louise Brooks 'revivals' occurred, historian Henri Langlois even declared "There is no Garbo, there is no Dietrich, there is only Louise Brooks!" And therefore it's fair to say her career, image and life are firmly planted in the "icons" box despite a large amount of her films having been declared as lost.

 Louise Brooks developed a reputation for being sexually adventurous, and apparently had a one night fling with Greta Garbo, who she described as being a "tender lover"! Well, despite her decisions to occasionally bat for the other team, she later said that none of her lesbian affairs meant anything to her. And while searching for some Brooks footage to show you, I found this scene from the 1929 silent film Pandora's Box where she dances with a female co star while seductively watching a young man in the corner of the room. Quite possibly one of the very first portrayals of bisexuality in cinematic history? I'll let you ponder that one. But definitely fitting for what we've just learned about Brooks personal life.

A very interesting woman all in all, sadly she died of a heart attack aged 78 but you can find out more about her Hollywood life in her book Lulu in Hollywood and one of her rare interviews in the documentary Looking For Lulu. And let's be honest, we just want to look at some pretty pictures don't we? So I'll leave you with more gorgeous images of this beautiful woman.



  1. Thank you so much for sharing! That first film in particular is an absolute dream.

  2. Jadore Vintage ! this blog is perfect :)