Friday, August 10, 2007

Wrapping Up Astaire vs Grant

Thanks to everyone who participated!

I love the passion everyone brought to the discussion.

Special thanks the Richard Torregrossa and G. Bruce Boyer for their contributions. I highly recommend both of their books.

Just to clarify Richard was being completely tongue-in-cheek, if you read it again I think it is pretty obvious (and he told he wanted to play a little devils advocate even before he wrote it)

It’s funny you guys mentioned Gene Kelly.
When I was in Paris last time I met Mr Assouline of Assouline Books and he said to me “I saw you walking on the the street today! I thought you looked like Gene Kelly!” (I guess I was dressed like an American in Paris)

If I was going to do an actress version of this exercise I would do Louise Brooks vs…..

Who would you compare/contrast Louise Brooks to?

She seems so unique to her time in many ways.


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  1. Michelle

    August 10, 2007 at 7:44 am

    Maybe Selma Blair???

  2. Suz

    August 10, 2007 at 7:50 am

    Louise Brooks as a lasting style icon? We still reference her hair and maybe her coloring (hair/skin/lipstick) but I don’t see the clothes at all.

    Hepburn versus Hepburn would work.

  3. Jessica

    August 10, 2007 at 8:18 am

    How about Marlene Dietrich? She was up against Louise for the role of Lulu in Pabst’s ‘Pandora’s Box’ which was to make Brooks famous worldwide. Both started life as dancers, looked great in men’s clothes (see Brooks in ‘Beggars of Life’) and neither was anybody’s fool.

  4. The haircuts résumé

    August 10, 2007 at 8:28 am

    Louise Brooks hairstyle was also unique, could “the helmet”(the Bob), she acquire the idea from a japanese doll. / Tomas

  5. Urban Gypsy

    August 10, 2007 at 8:32 am

    Disagree with michelle and suz… louise is a timeless icon/idol of style and elegance… agree with jessica, marlene dietrich is a great choice. definately contrast her to someone blonde and more shapely…
    love the concept of this sart! really enjoyed the grant vs astaire discussion :)

  6. Deja Pseu

    August 10, 2007 at 8:49 am

    I’d go with Marlene Dietrich as well to pair with Brooks, but would also like to second suz’s suggestion for Hepburn/Hepburn, two of my favorite screen style icons.

  7. Anonymous

    August 10, 2007 at 8:57 am

    She is absolutely unique…
    what about a confrontation with Jean Harlow? Gloria Swanson?

  8. Anonymous

    August 10, 2007 at 9:13 am

    katharine hepburn ore marlene dietrich? if we look to our time i think maybe diane krüger, selma blair (good call michelle :D) and kate hudson. and oh my god i allmost forgot; Ingrid Bergman. quite possibly the most beautful woman to ever have lived

  9. Rebecca H.

    August 10, 2007 at 9:24 am

    Brooks is almost incomparable. Only one other jazz age lady is in the same league: Josephine Baker.

  10. Anonymous

    August 10, 2007 at 9:35 am

    in our time it was marilyn and elizabeth taylor or marilyn and audrey hepburn, that one is still playing itself out.. marilyn monroe vs her own self brunette?

  11. Alice Olive

    August 10, 2007 at 9:35 am

    Marlene Dietrich is a good choice.

    What about Katherine Hepburn? I think I would also place her in the Grant-deconstructed-style camp. There is something about a woman who wears a masculine look that is very appealing.

  12. ana

    August 10, 2007 at 9:40 am

    she looks like a portuguese actress, please check out

  13. Ashe Romance

    August 10, 2007 at 9:50 am

    Mae West may work out as an interesting contrast, too.

    Although I’d agree with Suz about Hepburn versus Hepburn. Amongst my fashion friends, it’s always the big debate between us. Katherine has a great impact on modern women’s wear, bringing femininity to the masculine style (wide-leg trousers), while Audrey kind of romanticized and glamorized the current fashion trends.

  14. Lachipie

    August 10, 2007 at 9:52 am

    Louise Brooks is important (I think it was Henri Langlois who once said there is no Dietrich, there is no Garbo, there’s only Louise Brooks) ! Although I do think it would an interesting match vs Dietrich. Hepburn vs Hepburn would be fascinating. Maybe add Grace Kelly somewhere in there for her style.

  15. Anonymous

    August 10, 2007 at 10:12 am

    George Hurrell’s Norma Shearer – close to perfection. Not Norma alone – but Hurrell’s Norma…

  16. Mai

    August 10, 2007 at 10:14 am

    i think i’d go another way and compare her to anna mae wong. a groundbreaker and fashionist during a time it was hard for her to be an asian american actress.

  17. The Sartorialist

    August 10, 2007 at 10:16 am

    Josephine Baker great call!

  18. Anonymous

    August 10, 2007 at 10:18 am

    Thank you for mentioning Louise Brooks! A fascinating woman who mesmerized people and audiences with her second-look beauty and style.

    I personally would nominate Marlene Dietrich, who could rival Cary Grant or Fred Astaire in a tuxedo. But there’s also Katharine Hepburn, Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Greta Garbo, or Barbara Stanwyck (she really knew how to wear clothes and worked with tailors/designers to hide what she didn’t like–her proportions, especially her waist–and emphasize what she did–her legs. Her costumes in Ball of Fire and The Lady Eve really show this off.)

  19. dave

    August 10, 2007 at 10:28 am

    another vote for Dietrich, but I concur: there is only Louise Brooks.

  20. Anonymous

    August 10, 2007 at 10:42 am

    Richard Torregrossa’s post doesn’t seem tongue-in-cheek to me at all. Sounds like he can’t take the heat from other posters.

  21. LR

    August 10, 2007 at 11:05 am

    What about Claudette Colbert?

  22. jkh

    August 10, 2007 at 11:06 am

    greer garson

  23. Blythe

    August 10, 2007 at 11:10 am

    Lauren Bacall!!

  24. Lauren K Pral

    August 10, 2007 at 11:11 am

    Her expression in that photo reminds me of Audrey Tatou in Amelie. I know that Amelie represents a fictional character but she is very quirky in her stylishness. I think we all know an Amelie, somewhere in our lives.

  25. Anonymous

    August 10, 2007 at 11:15 am

    Of the silent film era? You’re all forgetting Clara Bow. She was actually more famous than Louise Brooks at the time, although I personally prefer Louise.

  26. Butch

    August 10, 2007 at 11:15 am

    No one–she’s really sui generis. And, sorry, the only thing that she and Ms. Bakaire have in common, to a degree and early on, was the hair, though JB did a slicked-down marcel.

    But, come to think of it, there was a certain free-spiritedness, usually culminating in less rather than more clothing (viz. JB’s banana sarong) that tied the two together.

  27. dk

    August 10, 2007 at 11:29 am

    Agree with Suz- would LOVE to see a hepburn/hepburn or perhaps a jackie O/ Marilyn…

    As for Louise Brooks, how about comparing her with Greta Garbo?

  28. toshi

    August 10, 2007 at 11:36 am

    Yes to Josephine Baker!

    Also maybe Greta Garbo? Claudette Colbert?

    And the 60s, please : Anna Karina (Godard’s wife/muse in his seminal new wave films)? Nico? Anita Eckberg?

    Thanks for these posts!

  29. Dan

    August 10, 2007 at 11:36 am

    She’s not as iconic as Loise Brooks, but I’ve always admired Paulette Goddard. I think the two of them have a similar energy onscreen.

    Here’s a picture of her:

  30. Claire

    August 10, 2007 at 12:15 pm

    Spooky! I just bought the DVD of Pandora’s Box last week. Louise Brooks transcends time in that movie — she looks like somebody from our day & age spliced into a 1929 silent film.

    How about Louise Brooks vs. Greta Garbo? Although I like Lulu vs. Josephine Baker — inspired!

  31. Anonymous

    August 10, 2007 at 12:33 pm

    She reminds me of Helena Bonham Carter.

  32. Anonymous

    August 10, 2007 at 12:40 pm

    natalie portman in Closer

  33. Anonymous

    August 10, 2007 at 12:47 pm

    Louise who?

  34. Mlle MTL

    August 10, 2007 at 1:06 pm

    I’m putting my vote in for Hep. vs Hep. Two different body types, two different styles, two very different public personaes. Both had wonderul presence, though.

  35. Anonymous

    August 10, 2007 at 1:06 pm

    Grace Kelly?

  36. Michelle

    August 10, 2007 at 1:33 pm

    Lillian Gish!

  37. Anonymous

    August 10, 2007 at 1:45 pm

    Ingrid Bergman, or maybe Greta Garbo.

  38. Marnee

    August 10, 2007 at 1:56 pm

    Audry Hepburn!

  39. danielle

    August 10, 2007 at 2:02 pm

    I just watched Pandora’s Box last night (first viewing for my husband and me, no less), i am not even kidding…

    Anyhow…after hearing so much for so long about Louise Brook’s charm…I was a tad bit let down. A bit too pouty and kiddish for my taste. I appreciated her style, don’t get me wrong. Just not the whole package. But my two cents is that the obvious comparison is with Audrey Hepburn. Both are inarguably style icons, both very childlike, both dancers, both elegant and graceful, unique from other women…but they are from vastly different realms at the same time.

    And that leads me to compare her to Natalie Portman, too…Not my favorite actress by far, but I was def. thinking of her when I was watching Brooks in Pandora’s Box.

  40. Anonymous

    August 10, 2007 at 2:02 pm

    I think Brooks is unique – her mixture of brains, beauty, daring and fluidity of movement has no comparison. However, the nearest anyone has got is, I think, Anna Karina in her 60s movies with Godard.

    My first and second favourite actresses. I have no other favourites!

  41. NM

    August 10, 2007 at 2:02 pm

    It would have to be Marlene Dietrich.. their lives were so similar in so many ways, even intersecting as mentioned by others. Louise didn’t care what she wore and Marlene could wear anything at all. Both: had hollywood careers that saw them not getting the roles worthy of them (with the exception of a one pivotal defining role), left behind the movies and found careers elsewhere (Louise’s writing, Marlene’s singing) and both became reclusive in old age. One with the jet black hair and the other with blonde that had to be filmed just so to even be seen correctly. Style icons each in very different ways, and both amazing women! MY TWO FAVORITES!

  42. Anonymous

    August 10, 2007 at 2:07 pm

    who won the books?

  43. Anonymous

    August 10, 2007 at 2:09 pm

    Totie Fields.

  44. positively the same dame

    August 10, 2007 at 2:25 pm


  45. Rhiannon

    August 10, 2007 at 2:30 pm

    Yes, definitely Dietrich. . . Maybe Dietrich vs. K. Hepburn for their love of menswear (Dietrich’s wonderfully tailored tuxes and Hepburn’s casuals)?

  46. angela

    August 10, 2007 at 2:31 pm


  47. positively the same dame

    August 10, 2007 at 2:32 pm

    …or possibly Claudette Cobert, who is frequently overlooked and had tremendous style and great pins. I do love Stanwyck, though, and she looked great in clothes. All three were very strong, but while there may well have been a Louise Brooks, in the long run there is only Garbo.

  48. Anonymous

    August 10, 2007 at 2:41 pm

    What about Claudette Colbert in “It Happened One Night”?
    Marlene is such a perfect contrast though and was as iconic as Louise, if not more. The shot of her lit from above in “Shanghai Lily” along with the black and white image of Louise with her perfect bob and long string of pearls were two I had pasted on my walls in high school.
    But my first thought was Greta Garbo, who these days I would compare with (and I hate to admit this) Kirsten Dunst (who doesn’t hold a candle to Garbo) but their features are eerily similar.

  49. Casey

    August 10, 2007 at 2:42 pm

    what about clara bow?

  50. sophistagoth

    August 10, 2007 at 2:46 pm

    I second the suggestion of Jean Harlow. What about the possibility of Lillian Gish or Theda Bara?

  51. Anonymous

    August 10, 2007 at 3:03 pm


    Thank you “Rebecca H.” When I thought of Josephine I thought folks would take my “take” the wrong way. That and I’m an unabashed Baker fan.

    That being said, Mae West seems like an intresting choice seeing as her body type is different from all the women mentioned here but she was absolutely alluring 24/7.

    For a clash of the titans, however, I suppose one could revive a Dietrich and/or Hepburn debate (yawning…)



    August 10, 2007 at 3:13 pm

    Definitely Josephine Baker. Her smart and socially sassy take on the art world’s fascination with primitivism was fantastic. She knew the gravity of the image just like Louise Brooks and manipulated style as cultural commentary.

  53. positively the same dame

    August 10, 2007 at 3:28 pm

    of course one might also want to ponder the hair and mystique of veronica lake.

  54. editor

    August 10, 2007 at 3:43 pm

    i look forward to reading the replies to this.
    i wrote a tiny piece about her on my blog – i was amazed to discover that i felt her severe bob with the bangs had such an enormous impact on her appeal (for me). seeing pictures of her without bangs left me feeling nothing, whereas i feel absolute inspiration from her more fierce and famous look. most actresses today change their appearances so often that you don’t necessarily associate them as strongly with one look. on the one hand it’s disappointing, but on the other hand, when they do impress you, at least you know that a hefty amount of their appeal isn’t in their hair.

  55. MacGuffin

    August 10, 2007 at 3:51 pm

    Marlene Dietrich would be an era appropriate match.

    Audrey Hepburn as opposed to Grace Kelly perhaps?

  56. Anonymous

    August 10, 2007 at 3:51 pm


    Well, it’s tricky, isn’t it? Louise Brooks’ looks were unique. But, maybe we should look for style icons outside of Hollywood to compare her to? Avant garde socialite patrons of the arts? Dancers?

    – desertwind

  57. Anonymous

    August 10, 2007 at 4:01 pm

    Yes, if you’re going to do a comparison similar to the Grant / Astaire, then it would have to be Louise Brooks vs. Katharine Hepburn, where LB is FA and KH is CG.

  58. Anonymous

    August 10, 2007 at 4:19 pm

    I like Betty Boop or Josephine Baker…both icons. Possibly Joan Crawford.

  59. Liza

    August 10, 2007 at 4:26 pm

    Isabella Rossellini. Looks, brains, attitude, style. No doubt in my mind.

  60. Anonymous

    August 10, 2007 at 4:31 pm

    i think dietrich is the only proper comparison to brooks: they were contemporaries and rivals, both icons of german and american cinema, both careers suffered in the cross-over from silent to talkies. also, stylistically, they really represent two very different camps: brooks streamlined, chic, extremely modern. dietrich was modern too but had some of the baroque in her style, a little bit of vuloptuous gypsy messiness.

    in one of the last interviews brooks gave before she died, brooks referred to dietrich as “that contraption.”

    let the sparrring begin!

  61. Anonymous

    August 10, 2007 at 4:49 pm

    Ingrid Bergman

  62. Nhat

    August 10, 2007 at 5:22 pm

    Virginia Cherrill, that’s my pick.

  63. Deena

    August 10, 2007 at 5:23 pm

    My vote is for Carole Lombard – she and Louise Brooks careers overlapped and ended around the same time (give or take a few years). Also, Lombard was a style icon – most of her movies were an opportunity for her to be in a variety of glamorous outfits. I know that she was probably mostly dressed by the studios but she knew how to pull it off. Brooks was the same (I mean, how many people besides Selma Blair can really pull that hairstyle off?).

  64. cigalechanta

    August 10, 2007 at 5:28 pm

    I’m a big Louise Brooks fan and there is and was no one like her.

  65. Courtney

    August 10, 2007 at 5:34 pm

    Dare I suggest Audrey Hepburn? Katherine Hepburn is also a great choice.

  66. Maria

    August 10, 2007 at 6:31 pm

    Jean Rhys!

  67. madame_leiderhosen

    August 10, 2007 at 6:47 pm

    Garbo, I think. How about Garbo and Hepburn (Audrey: now there’s a fashion icon or Katherine: happy fashion slob off work but carried costumes off very well).

    Is Brooks a little unavailable for the current eye? So much of her work was silent?

    With women, it’s harder as personal beauty becomes an issue and it gets confusing. Plus women get more dressed as business as actresses; what do they look like on their off days and by their own choosing? Grant and Astaire had a nice way of owning what they wore instead of making it look like the costume it was.

  68. Anonymous

    August 10, 2007 at 8:46 pm

    Gloria Swanson?

  69. Ami

    August 10, 2007 at 9:16 pm

    Clara Bow?

  70. elizabeth n.s.

    August 10, 2007 at 9:17 pm

    Amelia Earhart. She was around the same period and had an influence and style all her own (and very different from Brooks’). She even designed her own clothing line.

  71. Anonymous

    August 10, 2007 at 9:47 pm

    I compare her to Audrey Tautou of “Amelie” fame:

  72. Doctorwild

    August 11, 2007 at 12:13 am

    Your star vs. star posts have added a fabulous zeal to your blog and remind us of our timeless sources (as well as remind of the resounding power of American, cinematographic chic. Garbo wouldn’t be Garbo without Hollywood).
    Garbo or Dietrich are great choices for Brooks since they oppose flapper chic with more womanly sophistication.

    I would love to see the throw down between Hepburn and Bacall.

  73. kirstin

    August 11, 2007 at 2:23 am

    I can’t believe no one has said Clara Bow.

  74. Anonymous

    August 11, 2007 at 4:28 am

    dietrich or garbo

  75. Anonymous

    August 11, 2007 at 4:48 am

    Carole Lombard in the scene in 20th Century (great, great movie. You’ll laugh until you puke!) where she’s wearin’ this hot white turtleneck?

    This is fun, Sart!

    – desertwind

    PS — For more in this vein, you may wanna check out Dames & Divas Deathmatch every Friday. (They also do a fun Musical Mondays and Project Rungay):

  76. mj

    August 11, 2007 at 5:27 am

    The charm of Louise Brooks?
    It´s only a matter of good phothos…

    No please, I prefer the allure & complete elegance of Joan Crawford!

  77. Victor

    August 11, 2007 at 6:14 am

    Louise Brooks vs Lilian Gish, but maybe better would be Garbo vs Dietrich !

  78. bates

    August 11, 2007 at 6:48 am

  79. Anonymous

    August 11, 2007 at 6:55 am

    Sorry Sart, but I don’t think brooks really can be compared to either grant/astaire, given the scarcity of her public persona. I think Hepburn v. Hepburn was the best suggestion yet… But of course their personalities in relation to their styles is the opposite of grant/astaire: Hepburn (A) being genial but bland, Hepburn (K) being aloof but quirky.

  80. Anonymous

    August 11, 2007 at 7:07 am

    I’d compare Louise Books to Clara Bow or maybe Joan Crawford (20s era Joan). Bow is the closest to Louise’s uniqueness. Josephine Baker and Norma Shearer are interesting contrasts too, but certainly contrasts. Jean Harlow is Louise’s inheritor…like Dietrich lost Lulu to Louise, Louise lost “Public Enemy” to Jean.

    Louise Brooks wore that hairstyle as a very small child and kept it pretty much until the mid 1930s. As far as I know, there was no “inspirations” for it, just that her mother cut it that way and it suited her active life as a dancer then became hugely popular in the 1920s.

  81. Amalia

    August 11, 2007 at 7:18 am

    I’d say Katharine Hepburn because she also stood out so much in her own time.
    Love your blog :)

  82. Anonymous

    August 11, 2007 at 11:26 am

    How about the late Isabella Blow? Such a powerfully unique style and personality.

  83. Anonymous

    August 11, 2007 at 11:32 am

    Brooks compares to no one!!!!! She glows at all times. Her clothes glide on her, her movements are fluid and exciting. She is perfect.

  84. Anonymous

    August 11, 2007 at 11:54 am

    How about Isabella Blow? Such a powerfully unique style and personality.

  85. riz

    August 11, 2007 at 12:13 pm

    beat me to the punch!!

  86. Anonymous

    August 11, 2007 at 1:29 pm

    “At a book signing for his third bio, on Audrey Hepburn, [Barry] Paris all but confessed that there was not much to write about Audrey. When I brought my Brooks book to be signed, his face lit up. “Ah, Louise,” he sighed, like a man who has never gotten over his first love. Paris inscribed my book with his favorite Brooksie quote: “[I have a gift for enraging people, but] If I ever bore you, it’ll be with a knife.”
    –Dan Callahan, “The Martyrdom of Lulu” (

  87. philip nod

    August 11, 2007 at 1:43 pm

    juliette binoche in blue; renee falconetti in jeanne de arc; emily watson in breaking the waves. all giving the bravest performances in film history leaving a trail tears in their wake–in a style that is anti style. did louise brooks ever approach their degradation?

  88. Massilianana

    August 11, 2007 at 2:05 pm

    Louise Brooks / Jodie Foster .

  89. Anonymous

    August 11, 2007 at 2:13 pm

    Let’s compare eras…….Kate Moss,clearly the most stylish gal of the last decade with no one even close in comparision. As for the men, obviously slightly harder as…most likely in response to the Grants and Astaires Brando and Dean made common clothes (not suits) into the outfits of the day.

    So in that vein I put up Johnny Depp as the preeminent Sartorialist of this day. Pretty much his entire style is his own with nods to different eras and everything from Keith Richards to romainian Gypsies and a little Brando and Dean thrown in. And that is just when he is in casual ]mode when necessary he can do the suit and once again he will stand out from all the rest.


    August 11, 2007 at 2:19 pm

    I love Louise Brooks for the Bob…
    and Clara Bow the original “It” girl.

  91. Anonymous

    August 11, 2007 at 3:05 pm

    I adore Louise Brooks…but NO!. I would start the comparison with either Kate Hepburn or my favorite, Marlene Dietrich. Both wore what pleased them i.e. slacks. Louise Brooks was simply seductive with expressive eyes and a bewitching haircut.

  92. Anonymous

    August 11, 2007 at 3:22 pm

    Does it seem a lot of people are missing the point, here, when making suggestions? Mr. Sart is looking for style icons, with personal flare that they themselves can at least take some credit for, whose sartorial influence transcends time. The comparable personas need not be contemporaries. It’s not a matter of which actress Brooks reminds you of (past or present), just as Astaire does not evoke Grant. It’s one thing to note the physical likeness between Brooks and another actress, but this is not supposed to be a doppelganger hunt. I don’t mean to be acerbic, and I truly do enjoy the forum, but, really, am i wrong?

  93. ThePromenader

    August 11, 2007 at 5:20 pm

    Inès de la Fressange!

  94. marina

    August 11, 2007 at 8:59 pm

    clara bow.

  95. Anonymous

    August 11, 2007 at 9:14 pm

    another vote for Josephine Baker!

  96. Anonymous

    August 11, 2007 at 9:54 pm

    I vote Josephine Baker… I love her

  97. Gina Marie

    August 11, 2007 at 10:07 pm

    Clara Bow?

  98. Princess Poochie

    August 11, 2007 at 10:45 pm

    Did someone say Clara Bow already?

    Dietrich would be great too, or how about Ingrid Bergman.

    Luv Poochie

  99. a.

    August 12, 2007 at 5:11 am

    dietrich or garbo.

    regarding torregossa: his comments that were homophobic were unnecessary, tongue-in-cheek or not.

  100. Nuria

    August 12, 2007 at 12:07 pm

    Jean Seberg. Because like Louis Brooks, she is an American actress who chose the European cinema and because both are the most representative examples of two great haircuts: the “bob” of Louis and the “garçon” of Jean.

    • Wendy Carlos Williams

      July 25, 2012 at 5:48 pm

      I agree with Nuria. Jean Seberg held the Louise Brooks torch.

  101. momo

    August 12, 2007 at 12:22 pm

    As a young girl, I wanted so much to be able to wear my hair like that, but it is too curly!

    But can this be a conversation instead of a competition? I like to hear what people think, but I don’t think that one has to put down someone in order to praise someone else.

  102. Anonymous

    August 12, 2007 at 8:14 pm

    Marlene Dietrich. But I don’t find Louise Brooks all that remarkable fashion statement wise. Colleen Moore, Clara Bw – all had the same style. Actually those two were more distinctive if you ask me. But most people just reference Louise as if she was unique.

  103. Anonymous

    August 12, 2007 at 10:06 pm

    Many have credited Louise with the bob, but just as many say that the style started with Colleen Moore.

    Clara Bow was the real flapper icon.

  104. L'Idiot

    August 12, 2007 at 10:15 pm

    hands down, Bette Davis (and Bette would win – IMHO)

  105. Anonymous

    August 13, 2007 at 5:16 am

    Something about her eyes and her bone structure reminds me of Nicole Kidman in ‘Moulon Rouge’

  106. AnastasiaC

    August 13, 2007 at 7:54 am

    what a beautiful face…ive never seen that photo before of Louise…stunning!
    Louise Brooks is a timeless style icon…you couldnt compare her to anyone although Im sure many try to emulate her style
    …I think British model Erin O’Connor has an edgier look…not as soft but could compare slightly…

  107. Anonymous

    August 13, 2007 at 8:57 am

    I’m voting for La Baker!

  108. Mariah

    August 13, 2007 at 10:36 am

    jean seberg … i like that one a lot. im getting my hair cut like her in breathless this fall.

    but my first thought was nancy cunard. obvs, that man ray photo is iconic, but there are tons of other photos that are amazing evidence of her style. and _her_ style it was. unlike a lot of actresses, all the stuff she wore and was famous for was _hers_.

    modern equivalents? maybe catherine denouve?

  109. Anonymous

    August 13, 2007 at 2:21 pm

    Perhaps one criteria for a style icon is that they retain their household name status. Do you feel that’s true with Louise Brooks? I think your Hepburn death match has more possibilities, Sart. Every other fashion mag trots out stills of Audrey and Kate when they want to portray classic style…


  110. chickentikka

    August 13, 2007 at 6:13 pm

    Juliette Binoche.

  111. Anonymous

    August 13, 2007 at 8:16 pm

    Given the style of the photo, my mind instantly snaps to model par excellence, Linda Evangelista.

    For Brooks’s overall persona, Lauren Bacall.

  112. Anonymous

    August 13, 2007 at 10:13 pm

    Compare Louise Brooks to…

    NO ONE!!! She is unique. xoxo

  113. Anonymous

    August 13, 2007 at 10:14 pm

    PS: Agree with Rebecca H.: Josephine Baker is GREAT!!! No one in her league either. Incomprable!! xoxoxo

  114. Goldrush

    August 14, 2007 at 1:37 am

    You made this Brooksie-phile’s day, checking in late and finding her photo here. She’s the nonpareil.

    Want to know more? See

  115. Anonymous

    August 14, 2007 at 11:07 am

    katie holmes???

  116. love,gidget

    August 14, 2007 at 2:48 pm

    Either Garbo or Bow would make an interesting discussion.

  117. love,gidget

    August 14, 2007 at 2:49 pm

    Garbo or Bow.

  118. Chelly

    August 14, 2007 at 9:53 pm

    I definitely think Josephine Baker…

  119. Kayla

    August 15, 2007 at 6:03 am

    No one else sees Christina Ricci??

  120. Anonymous

    August 15, 2007 at 10:24 pm

    A few years later in her prime, but how about comparing Brooks to Vivien Leigh?

  121. Anonymous

    August 16, 2007 at 4:10 pm

    Louise Brooks vs. Clara Bow, similar styles but with totally different attitudes.

  122. Anonymous

    August 16, 2007 at 6:09 pm

    clara bow.

  123. Anonymous

    August 17, 2007 at 1:20 am

    Louise Brooks was a riskier sort of actress (and a terrific writer as well).
    Even though she began as a dancing gal, I don’t know if she was a showstopper of a dancer such as Josephine Baker, and in turn Josephine Baker wasn’t known so much for her acting as her dancing and singing, but as far as talent and charisma, both are indeed in the same league in my opinion.
    You know it is funny, I would say that there is a lack of ‘intellectual’ actresses today who take risky roles a la Brooks, and for that reason, I vote Chloe Sevigny (tho’ I don’t find her nearly as alluring or brilliant as Louise Brooks) as a possible contender for the category. Perhaps history will prove this right…However, I’m sure modern overexposure of all of our present celebrities leaves the *mystery* that makes Louise Brooks so exciting to us now, forever unattainable.
    btw, I loooved the Anna Mae Wong suggestion – a comparable intelligence/eloquence.
    Sart (you amazing soul you) – please do a compare/contrast for the other ladies of style as well! This is fabulous!

  124. Anonymous

    August 20, 2007 at 12:54 am

    selma blair?

  125. Anonymous

    August 20, 2007 at 3:32 pm

    She looks like Audrey Tautou

  126. Laura

    August 24, 2007 at 12:03 pm

    Helena Bonham Carter perhaps? It’s the eyes.

  127. aelita

    August 27, 2007 at 5:37 pm

    Lee Miller! Not an actress per se, but she did appear in Cocteau’s Blood of a Poet. They were exact contemporaries and had a series of life concidences. Lee’s description of herself ‘I looked like an angel, but I was a fiend inside’ applies equally to Louise. Can you tell I adore them both?

  128. Becca

    October 4, 2007 at 4:38 pm

    Louise Brooks vs. Morena Baccarin in Firefly. Fairly similar look.

  129. Anonymous

    March 20, 2009 at 1:56 pm


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