The Look: Lauren Bacall
Yesterday, Lauren Bacall passed away at the age of 89 after suffering a stroke at her longtime home in The Dakota overlooking Central Park in the Upper West Side of Manhattan. The legendary film and stage actress was known for her sultry looks and deep husky voice. I also remember her as a Fashion Icon.
Midriff-Exposing Glamour: Lauren Bacall
Anytime I think of Muses that have inspired me and keep inspiring me as a fashion designer, Lauren Bacall is on the top of that list. She always exuded a strong, confidence and devilish sexy style yet you still knew, wherever she went, who was in control. I also have a short little story about my "Three Degrees of Separation" from the legendary Lauren Bacall, a little story about my father meeting with her at an airport lounge in Europe in the late 50's--it's pretty good, so for that you'll have to keep reading to the end of the blog...
But first, let's talk about The Legend...
Don't Mess With Me Fellow: Lauren Bacall's "The Look"
Lauren Bacall's smoldering, confident expression--the down-turned face and up-turned eyes (see pic above)--earned her the nickname "The Look". Ironically, Bacall has said that she originally struck that now infamous look because she felt insecure.
Cocktail Hour: Bogart, Bacall and Sinatra
In 1945 Lauren Bacall married Humphrey Bogart. She was 20 and he was 45. He called her "Baby" naturally. Their marriage--which lasted until his death from cancer in 1957--cemented her, and them, as THE Royal Couple of Hollywood.
Bogart and Bacall: Wedding Day, 1945
Jet Set: Mr. and Mrs. Bogart, traveling in style
What A Threesome: Lauren Bacall, Humphrey Bogart and Marilyn Monroe
Shortly after his death, Lauren Bacall began dating Frank Sinatra:
Light me up: Frank Sinatra and Lauren Bacall
Sinatra proposed to her but ended the relationship once the proposal story had been "spilled" to the press. She later married actor Jason Robards Jr. from 1961-1969. In her autobiography, she has said that the marriage ended because of his alcoholism. Bacall had a son and daughter with Bogart and another son from her marriage to Robards Jr.
The Fashion Muse:
Jersey Goddess: Lauren Bacall, 1940's
The "marriage" between Lauren Bacall and Fashion began very early when she began modeling during her teenage years for fashion magazines such as Harper's Bazaar and Vogue before her acting career took off...
Lauren Bacall on the cover of Harper's Bazzar, 1943--The Cover that Changed Her Life
During all her years in Hollywood, she worked with all the iconic Costume Designers including Milo Anderson, Travilla, Edith Head and Norman Norell, who all costumed her for films such as "How To Marry A Millionaire", "Sex And The Single Girl" and "Young Man With a Horn" among others.
Never Met a Strong Shoulder (pad) She Did Not Like: Lauren Bacall
Effortless Chic: Lauren Bacall, Harper's Bazaar 1957
Lauren Bacall was known for her Structured, Tailored looks and Menswear-Inspired fashion but also combined it with sexy vamp-glamour looks. It was evident that Bacall knew the power of Fashion and what it could convey.
Zebra Chic: Lauren Bacall gets "exotic"
During the 60's and 70's, Bacall became (naturally) a Muse to many of the top Couturiers. She was also a paying Haute Couture client. Whereas nowadays Hollywood actresses get a $100,000 gown loaned to them for FREE, Lauren Bacall actually wrote checks, darling. And the Couturiers loved her back...
Designer and Muse: Yves Saint Laurent with Lauren Bacall
Yves Saint Laurent and Bacall developed a powerful relationship, both as designer-client as well as friends. It was inevitable that the fashion designer who is credited for putting women in pants, would eventually meet the one-and-only Lauren Bacall and they would have mutual admiration for each other. She was a client of his for many, many years.
Yves Saint Laurent Haute Couture evening ensemble--Fall/Winter 1973 Collection--Cardigan embroidered with gold, gray and silver; sand colored chiffon blouse and gray flannel pants--Made-to-order for actress Lauren Bacall
Lauren Bacall, Yves Saint Laurent and Bacall's daughter Leslie Bogart--both mom and daughter clad in matching Yves Saint Laurent Haute Couture
Couture Shopping: Leslie Bogart and mother Lauren Bacall, Paris 1960's
Lauren Bacall with Pierre Cardin
Lauren Bacall being fitted by Pierre Cardin for a Pierre Cardin Couture dress, 1968
Lauren Bacall with Parisian Couturier Pierre Cardin with French actor Alain Delon holding Bacall's daughter Leslie
And now onto my dad's cute story of having a "Run-In" with Lauren Bacall:
My father, James Verreos (and yes, that's me!)
My father was a Diplomat and worked for the U.S. State Department from the 1950's-1970's. During this time, he had many duties abroad. Between 1954-1959, he was a Diplomatic Courier assigned in Frankfurt, Germany. On one of his many trips, he was at the Zurich International Airport Lounge en route back to Frankfurt via Swiss Air (pre-jet age!) carrying secret diplomatic "pouches" when a woman sat next to him...
RIP Lauren Bacall