Plenty of stylish types have worn top hats—an entry in Encyclopedia of the Exquisite—over the years. But did anyone ever wear a top hat with more panache than Marlene Dietrich did? She made her American movie debut in 1930 in Morocco, playing a cabaret star, and thrilling audiences with her audacity. She appears swaggering around the nightclub’s stage in a top hat and tails, languidly dragging on a cigarette while she sings a love song—and ending her performance by throwing back a glass of champagne, then stealing a kiss from a pretty woman. Wow! (You can see the clip below.)
“The best part of Morocco is when I am in my own tails,” Dietrich said. “They look unbelievably beautiful.” She’s right.
i have always always loved her – always wanted her panache and confidence and i love her husky singing voice (i’m an alto too). love that scene from Morocco 🙂 cheers
So true! I love the way she steps over the railing in her tux. So bold, and so elegant!
Josephine Baker! They were friends … or I suppose Ms. Baker’s expression is a bit sweet and respectable compared to the exquisitely randy Ms. Dietrich…
Oh to have been there to see them both be-hatted!
Thanks for writing, Simone.
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