There’s something lovely about having your own vanity, a practical yet usually beautiful object that evokes a real feeling of glamor, It elevates the art of getting ready to go out. An art so important that it needs its own piece of furniture to do the job properly.
Vintage vanities can come from all periods, of course, but they’re primarily linked with the silver screen goddesses of the Fifties: Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn and Marlene Dietrich would surely not have looked so impeccable without spending hours at their vanities before facing their adoring public.
So here’s five fabulous vintage vanities from our favorite celebrities from days gone by. I mean who doesn’t love reminiscing about the past right?
This is the most wonderful vanity, with layers of fringing and a matching pouffe which go with Jean Harlow’s ultra-feminine ostrich plumed outfit. I imagine this was in shell pink, a popular color for both 1930s dresses and accessories, which is the era when Jean Harlow was a star. The vanity is glass topped for a practical touch, and so huge it could be an executive desk. Notice that the very large tri- leafed mirror has ostrich plumes surmounting it, above the no doubt flattering light cast by the lamps.
Here is Carole Lombard sitting at her vanity and dreaming, while showing a flash of leg through her kimono like dressing gown. Her vanity is much more bijou than Jean Harlow’s. It comes complete with french Provencal lines and pretty gilding. It’s covered with a clutter of embroidered mats, silver backed clothes brushes, cut glass jars, bowls, flowers, and beautiful lamps on top.
Two stars for the price of one here – Betty Grable and Carmen Miranda sit at matching dressing tables smiling at one another from across the room. The dramatic rope borders to the mirror with huge tassels look nautical at first glance, but checking the wallpaper and matching frilled fabric on the dressing table the effect is probably more like a theater curtain than a hank of rope.
It would be great if Katherine Hepburn was wearing the trousers and shirts she’s famous for in front of this rather masculine tartan padded vanity. The china shepherdess lamps are doing nothing to soften the line, in fact they ought to be replaced with a glass of whisky and soda. It already looks as though there is an ashtray on the vanity among the vintage compacts.
Clara Bow, the darling of 1920s silent films, is here shown at a quintessentially Art Deco vanity. It’s an incredible object, with a dressing room mirror that a whole chorus line could do their makeup in, graduated stacks of shelves, a curtain beneath and a padded bench to sit on. It somehow looks like a church organ’s been given a glamor makeover.
Featured Image: Bloglovin