I never said "I want to be alone". I only said "I want to be let alone". There is all the difference.
For the monlthy heading "Fashion icon of the month", today I want to pay tribute to the most "divine" of divas, true legend of cinema and my personal style muse. I'm talking about Greta Garbo, the personification of golden days of cinema, which myth is still today synonymous of charm, of elegance and mystery. Garbo owes her success not only to her talent, but also to her eyes that have been definied "the face of this century" and considered the most expressive look in the cinema history, still today. Entered in the world of cinema on tiptoe, she's estabilished in the Olympus of unattanaibles for talent, style and elegance.
Greta Lovisa Gustaffson was born in Stockholm in 1905. Since childhood, she has a closed and melancholy personality; she loves to do theatre, staging of private show in which she can wear make up, dress up and recite. As teenager she begins to study acting, but she's forced to stop because her father's death and the need to support the family. She starts to work as shop assistant and, occasionally, as a model at The Pub, the most important emporium of the city. Here, she mets Erik Petschler, who introduces her in the world of cinema making her get small parts in several movies until she gets more important roles, for which she has to do runks. She gets the scholarship for the Royal Dramatic Theatre Academy in Stockholm getting, after six months, an audiction with the director Mauritz Stiller, her mentor and pygmalion. Following the advice of the director, she changes her surname. Since that moment, Greta Lovisa Gustaffson gives way to Greta Garbo.
Thanks to Stiller she gets her first big success with the Gosta Berlings saga (1924). Later, she acts in Die Freudlose Gasse (1925) by Whilelm Pabst that launches her among Hollywood stars. In the next 19 years of career, there are other movies and successes as The Temptress (1926), Flesh and the Devil (1926), Anna Christie (1930), Grand Hotel (1932) and Anna Karenina (1935), in which she moves with easy from seductress to spy, from queen of double game to murder, until she acts in the comedy Ninotchka (1939), in which you can see her smile for the first time.
Despite a career on the rise, when she's just 36 years old, she decides to abandon the world of cinema. After four nominations at the Academy Awards, she gets an honorific Oscar in 1954 for her "unforgettable screen performances". After her withdrawal she lives a normal but melancholic life, aware that the world that made her rich and famous, didn't really love her. In 1990, at the age of 84 years old, she dies at the Manhattan Medical Center.
As well as for her career, also her life is conditioned by her reserved, indipendent and melancholic peronality. Her relationship with John Gilbert, star of silent movies, ends when he asks her to marry him and she, indipendent and autonomous, says no. However, the mutual respect between them doesn't stop and Greta will help him to boost her career. After her affair with the musician Leopold Stokowsky, become increasingly insistent the rumors about her bisexualityattributing to her several lovers like Mercedes de Acosta and Marlend Dietrich (her traditional rival on the screen). To these rumors, Garbo answers with the tighter reserve. Notoriously reserved, she won't ever grant any interview, shunning publicity don't attending at premieres.
Style icon of her time, her influence on fashion world is still visible today, as strong as then. She accentuates her slim and slender figure with an elongated silhouette that gives her grace and elegance and, if for her roles she often wears skirts, dresses and pantsuits that give her an allure of a sophisticated femme fatale, in her free time she prefers to wear a comfort, informal and practical style. Unawares, she begins the Garbo style, a classic and androgynous style, that Giorgio Armani brings on catwalk for this f/w 2012.
Main element of her style are:
- masculine cut jackets;
- flared shirts, matched with ties;
- masculine cut pants;
- flat shoes, rarely you can see her wearing heels;
- big sunglasses, to hide her face to paparazzi;
- hats, often beret or cloche.
You can not miss an actress like Greta Garbo, capable with her only intesity of her look to enchant and seduce with an aura on veiled innocence that no one, after her, has been able to reproduce and that has been celebrated in 2010 (in occasion of the 20th anniversary of her death), by Salvatore Ferragamo Museum through an exhibition, called Il mistero dello stile (The mystery of the style), that examines the myth, highlighting the contemporary, the minimalism and the simplicity of her style.
And now one of the best scene in the history of cinema, taken from the film Grand Hotel played by the amzing Greta Garbo.