Who said you can’t be funny and fabulous? During the mid-twentieth century, female comedians proved those naysayers wrong. In fact, there were two of these funny gals that both had style and substance within their ultra successful careers, legendaries Lucille Ball and Carol Channing
What people remember of Lucille Ball is her timeless skill of making people laugh through her television show, I Love Lucy. She stunned watchers with her jokes and physical comedy, all while dressed to nines as a classic 1950’s housewife. Lucy’s costumes, created by costume designer Eloise Jensen, represented the suburban housewife in fitted collared dresses underneath aprons with heeled shoes and perfect hair.
Lucille’s off-screen wardrobe was a more upscale take on her on-screen character. She favored fitted couture gowns and frocks, wearing popular designers like Balenciaga and Norman Norell. Ball wasn’t afraid of making a statement and embraced Hollywood glamour to the fullest. Sparkle, lame and bold colors were just some of the special touches Lucille added to her attire.
The comedian Carol Channing was as fabulous as she was animated. Known for starring in comedies like Thoroughly Modern Millie and her work on Broadway, Carol has made a strong impression on the fashion world. Early in her career Carol developed a signature quirky style that she still has today. She has a knack for mixing classic shapes with revealing necklines paired with sparkly materials and unusual visual touches. As Carol has gotten older, she has covered her neck and chest, but only with more sparkles.
Carol’s style has become iconic for her short, thick blonde hairdo paired with long, spidery lashes. As much as she enhanced her characters with her talent, she also used the impact of her beauty as a comedy tool. Nothing was intimidating, rather her looks were bright and friendly, but still always glamorous. She even had her hair cut by the most famous hairstylist of the time, Vidal Sassoon, into an asymmetrical bowl cut.
Just as fashion can be a comedy, comedy can also be quite fashionable. During a time where the well-dressed woman ruled Hollywood, two of its biggest comedic stars took it and made hilarious fashion history.