Secretaries have been depicted on the silver screen for decades. Initially often only as the witty side-kick to a male lead, but increasingly so as career women in their own right.  Tara Gardner has found six style icons who really put the xxx into secretary!

Secretary No.1 – Veronica Lake in Slattery’s Hurricane, 1949…

One of the most phenomenal style icons of the 1940s, the exquisite Veronica Lake was the darling of the silver screen. With a mysterious and alluring on and off screen persona, her trademark peekaboo hairstyle set the trend for decades to come. Synonymous with glamour and elegance, her intelligent wit and enigmatic portrayals of a many a femme fatale, set Veronica Lake in a league of her own.

It’s rumoured that her signature hairstyle was accidentally created when a stray lock of hair fell over one eye during a photoshoot. Her hairstyle changed in the war years however, when she adopted a shorter version to encourage women in factories to have safer, more practical hairstyles.

In the later part of her career Veronica Lake played secretary Dolores Greaves in Slattery’s Hurricane. Directed by her then husband André De Toth, Slattery’s 

Hurricane represented a come-back attempt for Veronica Lake, whose career was beginning to wane. The film follows the story of Slattery, an ex-Navy pilot, who works for a dope-smuggling ring, with Lake playing the put-upon secretary of the ring’s leader. Slattery’s quest for redemption somewhat mirrored Veronica Lake’s personal struggle, as her career was on the brink of collapse.

An unforgettable starlet, Veronica Lake positively sizzles in as the lonely secretary, wearing her monochrome outfits, with buttoned-down high-necked collars, a triple string of pearls worn underneath a collar, and pleated, high-waisted, belted pencil skirts to absolute perfection.

Looking back over her career, Veronica once remarked “I never did cheesecake; I just used my hair.”

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2 Responses

  1. Danette

    Loved this! I loved Jean Harlow’s amazing 30′s style as Whitey in Wife vs. Secretary.


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