French fashion designer Hubert de Givenchy helped fashion Audrey Hepburn’s iconic style from the time she appeared in 1953’s “Sabrina.” His famous “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” black sheath — which was based on earlier Chanel designs and possibly solidified the doe-eyed gamine’s place as sartorial role model for generations of women desiring seemingly effortless chic — sold at a 2006 Christie’s auction for $923,187. Off-screen, Hepburn’s wardrobe was more about comfort with ballet flats and simple dresses or skinny pants -– items still seen in retail stores today.
Not that Hepburn was alone in cultivating a fashionable fan base. Mary Tyler Moore furthered the Capri pants cause with “The Dick Van Dyke Show.” When Colleen Moore bobbed her hair, F. Scott Fitzgerald remarked was "the most fateful haircut since Samson's,” but she and others like Clara Bow helped mainstream the provocative hair style. Not to mention Frank Sinatra’s dark suits, cufflinks, fedoras and swagger or what Grace Kelly did for Hermes’ Sac à dépêches when she used it to shield her pregnancy on the cover of Life magazine in 1956. And let’s not forget what Greta Garbo, Katharine Hepburn and Marlene Dietrich did for pants.
Nowadays we have examples such as actresses/business moguls Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen — known to popularize fashion trends like Bohemian chic and '80s revival styles — who have their fashion thumbprint on clothing labels like Olsenboye and The Row, and Sean Combs is co-owner of sportswear and fragrance brand Sean John Clothing Inc. And, of course, there’s Elizabeth Taylor’s jewelry and perfumes.
But there are plenty more Hollywood fashion plates who were around well before the term “fashionista” entered the lexicon. Silent film siren Esther Ralston, one of the highest-paid actresses in that genre who was nicknamed the "Paramount Clotheshorse," led a fashionable lifestyle including synchronizing her Rolls-Royce chauffer’s uniform with her own attire. Silent film hunk Francis X. Bushman’s legendary color obsession might give Jayne Mansfield’s Pink Palace a run for her money. He was known to ride around in a long, low lavender automobile, attended by servants in lavender livery and smoking lavender, monogrammed cigarettes.
Film/television/theater star Anita Louise was considered one of the best-dressed women in Hollywood. And Zsa Zsa Gabor, who made an art form of saying the word “darling,” draped herself in diamonds, pearls and furs. She once scoffed of today’s starlets, “when you see them in real life, they look like nothing.” Perhaps it’s worth mentioning that she was once married to Conrad Hilton.
— Whitney Friedlander, online producer for the Los Angeles Times who has worked with the Image and Entertainment departments
Here's a look at some of the best-known style setters with stars on the Walk of Fame. If you do not see the person you are looking for below please search our complete list of the stars on the Walk of Fame. And, if you haven’t yet, check out The Times virtual tour of the stars.