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18 iconic photos of life at sea

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Louise Brooks

Getty Images

From the yachting clique of Hollywood's golden era to modern sailing icons, click through to see the stories behind some of the most iconic and glamorous images ever taken of life at sea...

Louise Brooks

Pictured here in Germany in 1931 wearing her signature sailor’s suit and sporting the distinctive bob that made her an icon of flapper style, Louise Brooks is every inch the silver screen starlet. Just two years earlier she had found fame in Europe in Georg Wilhelm Pabst’s controversial masterpiece Pandora’s Box but life as a major actress never sat easily with Brooks. Having stepped onto the boat to Germany after being blacklisted by Hollywood’s Paramount Pictures in 1929, she was open about her hatred of the studio system, saying: “There is no other occupation in the world that so closely resembled enslavement as the career of a film star.”

Her reputation as a fashion trendsetter, however, is one that Brooks fully embraced. A leading figure of the Roaring Twenties, her taste for lavish furs, beaded gowns, velvet jackets and sleek suits made her a style pin-up throughout her career. Brooks’s real treasures, however, came from beneath the waves, with long strings of pearls becoming something of a trademark after her turn as the chic yet conniving showgirl Margaret Odell in 1929’s The Canary Murder Case.

Brooks’s film career had sadly faded by 1938, reducing her to work as a shop assistant and call girl throughout the 1940s. Yet because her combination of sharp bob, glistening pearls and cocktail dress came to epitomise 1920s fashion in the modern era, her opulent look is
what she is remembered for above all else. After all, as she once said: “A well dressed woman, even though her purse is painfully empty, can conquer the world.”

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