A Brief History of Women In Tuxedos

While a valuable skill, it must be said that learning to tie a bow tie is not just for the guys. Since the early 1900s we’ve witnessed countless women wearing the stylish suit as well. In the ’20s, performers such as Gladys Bentley and Josephine Baker playfully blurred gender lines in both Harlem and Paris while captivating their respective audiences. Marlene Dietrich became a big fan of the tux in the 1930s, wearing it both on and offscreen. Later on, the look evolved from a costume to a style statement thanks to Yves Saint Laurent who designed Le Smoking, the ultimate power suit, in 1966. Though it caused an uproar at the time, it was quickly favored by the likes of Charlotte Rampling, Betty Catroux, and Catherine Deneuve. “The thing about a tuxedo is that it is virile and feminine at the same time,” the latter has said. Hedi Slimane, the brand’s current creative director, has moved the look forward with modern, slim-cut versions that are now regularly worn by Angelina Jolie, Kate Moss, and more.

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