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Marlene Dietrich as a Fashion Icon

By Senay TOPCUOGLU
Editor-in-Chief


At the peak of her career in the 1930s, Marlene Dietrich was the screen's highest-paid actress; moreover, she was also the very essence of cinematic eroticism, a beguiling creature whose almost supernatural allure established her among film's most enduring icons.


While immensely sensual, Dietrich's persona was also strangely androgynous; her fondness for masculine attire -- suits, top hats, and the like -- not only spawned a fashion craze, it also created an added dimension of sexual ambiguity which served to make her even more magnetic.

Born Maria Magdalena Dietrich outside of Berlin on December 27, 1901, she was the daughter of a Royal Prussian Police lieutenant. As a child, she studied the violin, and later tenured at the Deutsche Theaterschule.

She made her film debut with a brief role in 1923's Der Kleine Napoleon, followed by a more substantial performance in Tragodie der Liebe; she later married the picture's casting director, Rudolf Sieber.

She spent the last decade of her life in almost total seclusion in her Paris apartment and was bed-ridden throughout the majority of her final years; Dietrich died on May 6, 1992. She was 90.

Now she will be a fashion icon again in the fall/winter 05/06 collections as DreamWorks will turn Marlene Dietrich's story into a star vehicle for Gwyneth Paltrow. Dietrich legend will live on the fashion scenes in the next season.



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