The Golden Age of Hollywood was the time of genuine movie stars. Bright, talented, and unique, they became trendsetters during their lifetime. And today, the greatest actresses of the 20th century continue to influence our ideas of beauty and fashion. We looked back at their wedding attires to find some inspiration.
Grace Kelly was the most memorable bride in the fashion world. Over 60 years have passed since the wedding of a Hollywood star with Prince Rainier III of Monaco, but her look still inspires dozens of women, including the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton. Grace Kelly walked down the aisle in a dress designed by costume designer Helen Rose (they worked together on the sets of The Swan and High Society). It took 6 weeks of tailoring, 100 meters of silk tulle, and 300 meters of lace made by hand in Brussels. Instead of the traditional tiara, the bride wore a lace cap adorned with orange blossoms. On her veil, Grace Kelly opted to have a pair of birds embroidered on her veil – an eternal symbol of love.
In the 1950s, Ava Gardner and Frank Sinatra’s romance was one of the hottest topics in the world. Their relationship included gunfire, threats, and even a discarded six-carat diamond engagement ring. Despite regular scandals, in 1951, the pair finally got married. The actress broke with convention and chose a powder-colored dress with a geometric neckline and a white-collar. The Italian fashion house Fontana designed her dress, and they also sewed the actress’s costumes for the films The Barefoot Contessa, The Sun Also Rises, and On the Beach. Gardner opted not to wear a veil and forewent all other traditional attributes of a bride. The only piece of jewelry the actress wore was a two-string pearl choker.
Audrey Hepburn, as befits a Hollywood star, became a bride more than once - both in movies and in real life. But in the history of fashion, people remember Hepburn's wedding to director Mel Ferrer. The actress chose a knee-length dress for the ceremony, which was designed by Pierre Balmain, founder of the French fashion house Balmain. Ball sleeves, a high collar, a puffy skirt, and elbow gloves. Instead of a traditional veil, the bride’s hair was adorned with a wreath of small white roses.
Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart had only two days to prepare for their wedding. Heavy work schedules meant they were a little low on time. The bride did not waste time looking for a classic white dress and instead chose a beige two-piece suit with a buckskin belt. Instead of a veil, Lauren Bacall chose a black scarf around the neck with blue embroidery (a tribute to the “something blue” tradition). The simple attire only emphasized Lauren’s youth: on the day of the wedding she was just 20 years old, and Humphrey was 46 years old.
In the fashion of the 1930s, there were silk and satin dresses with long sleeves, a small train, and minimal ornaments like appliques or embroidery. This is exactly what Ingrid Bergman chose for her wedding to Aron Lindström. She completed the iconic look with a beaded Juliet cap and a lush organza veil.
Elizabeth Taylor holds the record for the most weddings. The Hollywood star got married eight times, but only once opted to walk down the aisle in a traditional bridal outfit. In 1950, she married Conrad Hilton Jr. in a dress with a corset bodice, an open shoulder line, and a puffy floor-length skirt, which was decorated with pearl embroidery. A diadem adorned the actress's jet black hair. Helen Rose handled Taylor's elegant wedding look, and she was also the mastermind behind Grace Kelly’s wedding dress. Elizabeth Taylor's look took 3 months and 15 assistants to create!
The wedding of one of the biggest stars in the Golden Age of Hollywood Rita Hayworth and the Prince of Pakistan Ali Khan was steeped in scandal. Their relationship began when the heir to the throne was still married and the decision to wed was made when Hayworth was already pregnant. Realizing that the sovereigns would never accept a bride in her circumstances, Rita did not take royal wedding traditions too seriously. She walked down the aisle in a blue V-neck Christian Dior tea dress with a flared skirt. And instead of a veil, she put on a stylish hat which was also blue and also created by Dior.