Only fashion fades, style remains the same – Coco Chanel
Steve McQueen and his Ferrari Lusso
Recently I was looking at one of those celebrity car sites, and was struck by the fact that none of the people listed were famous. Everyone on the site was a “wanna be” rapper, a Z-list reality star, or a drugged out bad girl. Every picture had them either standing next to a “murdered out” Bentley, that was obviously leased, or some poor Lamborghini with 24” rims. It looked tawdry.
Why we need to see a crotch shot of Lindsey Lohan in some cheap Mercedes, or Kim Kardashian stumbling out of a Range Rover is beyond me. The whole site was a waste of time, and while looking at it, one thought hit me like a pimp cup to the skull: Style is dead in Hollywood…Boyee!
Hollywood has always been a place of dreams, but now those dreams seem like a bad acid trip. It’s the home of fake breasts, bad facelifts, and now matte black cars. There is a whole cottage industry that supplies faux stars with tacky hyped up faux cars and garish rims. What passes for style is the latest Ed Hardy shirt, Jersey Shore fashions, and Lady Gaga inspired costumes. The cars are even worse, with Lime Green Lamborghini’s, Blinged out Hummers, and ruined Phantoms dressed in Alcantara.
Once upon a time, in the Golden Age of Hollywood, stars were icons that were the epitome of style and fashion. Men like Cary Grant, wearing a Jack Taylor suit and driving a custom Cord could stop traffic, and women like Marlene Dietrich and Greta Garbo could silence a room simply by entering. Cars were an important part of this image, and the words style and Hollywood were once synonymous.
Everything in Hollywood was created by the studio, including image, fashion, and hairstyles. Celebrities drove cars that matched the status of their stardom. Clark Gable had several Duesenbergs, Mae West had a custom 1932 Cadillac Series 40 V16 Town car, Marlene Dietrich had a custom Cadillac, and Al Jolson had an amazing Mercedes 500K. Sometimes the car was so integral to the image, they became almost as famous, like Jack Benny and his Maxwell, and Jayne Mansfield and her pink Lincoln. The list of celebrities with magnificent cars extends right up to the 1960’s, including Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra with their Facel Vega’s, Carroll O’Connor and his Maserati 3500, and my two favorites: Steve McQueen and his Ferrari Lusso, and James Coburn with his Ferrari California Spyder.
Hollywood today has nothing to offer except a quick shot of David Beckham in some hip-hop Mercedes, or Tom Hanks in a Chevy Tahoe. It is not the same, and even a shot of Heidi Klum in her white Bentley Continental GTC only reminds us about the style that is missing.
Alan Flusser, author and men’s clothing designer said it best: “People dress by looking at other people. There is no style anymore, and no one to look to for guidance.” In my opinion, stars, like those of the Golden Age will never return to Hollywood, unless true style returns first.
Article courtesy of Chris Raymond
Photos courtesy of DUB Publishing and Google Images