Style Icon: Greta Garbo

– By Sarah Bertness –


When speaking about the illustrious career of silver screen icon Greta Garbo, not enough compliments can be given.  From film historian David Derby saying “worlds turned on her movements” to famed reviewer, Pierre de Rohan stating “she has a glamour and fascination for both sexes which has never been equaled on the screen”, it’s safe to say that Greta Garbo had an allure all her own.  Scouted in her native Sweden, Garbo was signed with MGM Studios at the age of twenty and went on to become one of Hollywood’s most sought after leading ladies.  Starting off in silent films, with a career that soared throughout Hollywood’s golden era – Garbo’s acting talent spoke for itself as she was instilled with the ability to convey everything she was thinking with a mere glance.

Defiantly adamant about her privacy throughout her wildly successful career, Greta Garbo rarely graced the public with press and personal appearances which only added to her enigmatic charm.  Her performance in 1926’s Flesh and the Devil not only enamored a fast growing fan base, but also sparked off a short-lived romance with famed actor, screenwriter and director, John Gilbert.  Starring in a total of twenty-three films, Garbo’s roles enraptured both the public and the industry, and in 1954 Garbo was presented with an honorary Academy Award for her “luminous and unforgettable screen performances.”

When it came to fashion, Garbo commandeered a personal style that was classic and all her own.  Dressing in her favorite designer, Valentina Schlee, she dressed as she wanted to and encased a perfect balance of old Hollywood elegance with the comfort and practicality that comes in her androgynous designs.  Her immaculately tailored button downs paired with lounge pants, dancer’s flats and a string of delicate pearls – she opted for the confidence of comfort, keeping her silhouettes relaxed and her color palette simple, allowing for her timeless beauty to make every outfit unforgettable.

As her career took off, Ms. Garbo decided early on that enough was enough.  Even as the offer’s continued to roll in, she decided to retire early, retreating from the public eye and secluding herself to a life of privacy.  To this day, after making each on-screen performance more coveted than the last, Greta Garbo will forever be remembered for her astounding acting, endless charisma and celebrated timeless style.

Click through our favorite inspiring photos of  Greta Garbo:

Sarah Bertness is a freelance writer covering the arts, music, fashion and culture. She has a love for all things avant-garde, late night rock and roll, wanderlust, and a good dose of fringe and gold sequins. You can follow her musings on Twitter @sarahbertness

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About the Author

Sarah Bertness is the Editorial Manager of social shopping platform, covering the arts, music, fashion and culture from Dallas in her spare time. She has a love for public art, all things vinyl, antiquing, wanderlust, and a good dose of color blocking and print clashing. You can follow her travels and musings on Instagram @sarahbertness.