For worshippers of pure glamour and elegance, there is but one god, and his name is Fred. Dazzling, effortlessly elegant, Fred Astaire epitomized everything stylish, first-rate, and swell. He could belt a pair of the finest Saville Row gray flannels with an old necktie from the MGM wardrobe trunk. And need I mention what he could do with a set of tails? When asked if she thought Astaire was good looking, Audrey Hepburn replied, "I think so, because charm is the best looking thing in the world, isn't it?" That flair and personal style is why I cast my vote for most glamorous human to Fred Astaire.
WHO IS THE EPITOME OF GLAMOUR?
TV's "Fashion Guy"
I love Lucy! Lucille Ball never felt she was a born beauty, not in the Garbo-esque standard of the day, but MGM worked with her look and gave her that strawberry-orange hair. Along with her bright blue eyes, white skin, and those huge red lips, she became known as "Technicolor Tessie." She really worked hard at being beautiful--always fixing and tweaking her look over the years. She even had a beauty salon installed in her home! Lucy felt she had an obligation to the world to look terrific. In the '50s, she really glamorized the housewife. Many of the fashions on I Love Lucy were her own ideas--all made to appeal to Mrs. Middle America. Her adaptations of Dior's New Look made it possible for housewives to look great. Lucy Ricardo made women feel that they didn't have to be rich to be glamorous. Glamour was attainable!
I find that a woman who is good at what she does, has accomplished something with her life, and can still turn a few heads when she enters a room is very glamorous. It's mainly what someone has done with her life that interests me. I don't care if she's a performer, a fine doctor, or runs a great house. I know it's surprising, but I don't worry about clothes that much--they shouldn't be on top of anyone's priority list.
Host of Celebrity Homes on E! Entertainment Television
Lauren Bacall has always been the ultimate glamour girl to me. She's always poised, always the movie star. I met her at a Christie's auction once, and I said to her, "You look amazing!" She looked me up and down and said confidently, in that deep Betty Bacall voice, "I always DO!"
Lypsinka (John Epperson)
Legends!, Bay Street Theater, July 3; Life With Jeem, The New York International Fringe Festival, August; www.Lypsinka.com
Glamour is hard work! It's illusion, attention to every detail, personality, and the talent to make it all look easy. Who's glamorous? Joan Collins. I saw it close-up and first-hand, too. When I was in California, Mart Crowley, the writer of Boys in the Band, invited me to have lunch with Joan. So there we were lunching on the patio at The Ivy. She looked amazing! She was in a Garbo slouch hat, black suit and black blouse. She couldn't have been more chic. Not a whole lot of makeup, but big huge sunglasses, which she never took off, of course--and no shoulder pads. At one point, she whipped around to look at Morgan Fairchild, who was sitting at a nearby table, and her breasts brushed right up against my shoulder. She said, "Excuse me," but she didn't need to--it was a big thrill! When lunch was over, we all went next door to a little boutique. There was a long-haired man there, and he came over and asked Joan if he could take a photo. She resisted a bit, saying, "But I don't have all my stuff on,"--meaning makeup. She ended up consenting and he took the picture. After he left, she said to me, "He was from Guns and Roses. What's Guns and Roses?" She was just too busy in the '80s to know about them, I guess. Now, that's glamour!
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