Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Halloween: Me/Marlene

Hey everybody!  I've been really excited for this post since Halloween.  It's an outfit post about my costume, and also an announcement for what I hope will be an exciting new post series!

For Halloween this year, I decided to go as silver screen goddess/gay icon Marlene Dietrich, from her role in Morocco.

In Weimar Berlin, tuxedoes were all the rage in women's fashion, particularly so in lesbian subculture, and in Morocco, Dietrich sports one with sublime cool.  Audiences expected their first glimpse of Dietrich, in her first American film, to reveal her fabulous gams (thanks to her Blue Angel fame), but director Von Sternberg and Dietrich herself subverted their expectations.  Not only does she sport a suit with suave self-assurance and beyond-sexy swagger, she even goes so far as to kiss a woman on screen-- in 1930.  As one YouTube commenter says, Britney and Madonna have nothing on Dietrich.

I was really excited to try and imitate this important moment in cinema.  In terms of my outfit, I'm of course missing the top hat, as well as the white vest.  And Dietrich's face.  On a budget, though, top hat and vest are hard to come by, and I was (am) convinced that no top hat is better than a cheap top hat.  In any case, here is my interpretation:

I'm really excited to announce that this is the inaugural post in what will become my Queer Vintage/Vintage Queer series.  Once a month or so, I'll profile a famous vintage bisexual/lesbian lady, looking at both her life and her fashion.  I know I mentioned this in my very first post, but one of the challenges for LGBTQ people is a lack of visibility.  Our whole lives, male/female relationships and cis-gendered stars are romanticized, idealized, and presented as the one and only norm.  It can create a real sense of isolation and abnormality in those who don't fit this particular mold.  This is changing as people begin opening up, of course, but getting a view of queer history--realizing some of the vintage starlets you adore have so much in common with you, and something you may not have expected--goes a long way towards self-acceptance, self-recognition, and even self-celebration.  So I'm starting the QV/VQ series as a way to highlight and celebrate these women, and hopefully to make vintage lovers out there feel perhaps a little more at home in the vintage scene and their fabulous vintage skin.

My first profile will be of, you guessed it, the inimitable Marlene Dietrich, who was well-known as bisexual.  You can expect this post in a few weeks (no half-assing here, thank you very much!), while I do my research.  After that, I have some exciting plans for future profiles, and I hope you'll look forward to these posts as much as I do!

Outfit details:
Jacket: Ann Taylor
Blouse: costume shop giveaway
Bow tie: Dreamland Vintage, Baltimore MD
Pants: costume shop giveaway
Lipstick: Face Stockholm, shade: Desire

This is actually from Shanghai Express, but she's so beautiful here I couldn't help myself.


  1. This is brilliant! And right on the money!


  2. Great interpretation - and I love your hair too!