This post was written by Lindy Shopper.
“I dress for the image. Not for myself, not for the public, not for fashion, not for men.” Marlene Dietrich
This quote from Marlene Dietrich is, to me, somehow both complicated and empowering. Is image the vision she has for herself? The version of herself she believes is best for her? The public persona she wants to portray? The intrinsic version of herself? An image to inspire others? Perhaps all of these things. Grace Foster posits in a Smithsonian article that “Dietrich fastidiously fashioned and controlled her own image,” much in the way that an Instagram celeb might cultivate an image over time.
Dietrich is perhaps most known for her iconic appearance in white tie and top hat in the film Morocco, is perhaps secondarily known for donning traditional menswear off-screen, as well. As part of that carefully cultivated image, Dietrich inspires in both silk and and in tweed, presenting an image that is glamorous and distinctly Dietrich in any garment she chose to wear.
My favorite brand of the moment, the UK-based House of Foxy, has released three sets of trousers and waistcoat pairings inspired by Dietrich, complete with men’s style tailored trousers, in navy chalk stripe, charcoal chalk stripe, and brown herringbone. Women’s trousers, still rare during the 1930’s, would likely have had a side opening instead of a front opening, but Dietrich was known for having men’s pieces tailored for her, so the House of Foxy trousers follow suit. I’m so very excited about these pieces, primarily because I’ve had women approach me about how to get this look or ask where to find menswear to fit women’s bodies, and, short of replicating Dietrich’s strategy of paying a tailor to modify menswear, my recommendations often fell short. Baby steps…also, the charcoal stripe vest (as of my writing this) is still not posted on the website and I’ve been hitting refresh for two weeks eagerly waiting for its release to purchase along with the trousers – I have ties, braces, a cap, and cap-toe boots ready to go! *REFRESH*
In one of the House of Foxy’s Facebook posts, someone noted that this was an outfit of their dreams and HOF responded something to the effect that they themselves were just following their dreams. Here’s to dreams of Dietrich and defining your own image. Cheers!