There is no power like the power of confidence. No woman embodies this power more completely than Marlene Deitrich.  Born Marie Magdalene Dietrich in 1901 to an affluent Berlin family, she was drawn to performance in her teen years. She took the name Marlene (crafted from her first and middle name) and sought her path to stardom. Despite her passion for performance, it took some time for her to find her feet in the craft. By the 20s she found her stride on the stage and in film, where her commanding presence captivated audiences. In 1930, she starred as Lola Lola in the German film The Blue Angel, a tale of a femme fatale cabaret singer who seduces and destroys a respectable schoolmaster. It was a role that paved the way to stardom, leading to a film career of more than 24 films over a period of thirty years. As she aged, she took that stardom to her truest love - the theatre. Marlene spent her latter years in cabaret, commanding sellout audiences well into her seventies. She died aged 90, in relative seclusion.

But her enduring legacy is the power of confidence. Marlene always stood up for what she believed in, no matter what the cost. She was known for her strong political opinions, and never hesitated to speak up. When the Nazis tried to coax her back to Germany to perform as a fascist figurehead, she not only turned them down but renounced her German citizenship entirely, going on to raise money to fund the escape of Jews and dissidents. She put her salaries in trust for refugees, and put a lucrative Hollywood career on hold to head to the front line, entertaining the troops dangerously close to the battlefields. She was awarded the American Medal of Freedom in 1947, which she said was her proudest achievement.

   Marlene also refused to live any other life but her own. She had love affairs with both men and women, and courted such luminaries as Gary Cooper, Douglas Fairbanks Jr, Mercedes de Acosta and Claudette Colbert, among others. She maintained an open relationship with her husband, often sharing her loveletters with him complete with commentary. She maintained a circle of queer Hollywood women dubbed "Marlene's Sewing Circle". From the gay bars and cabarets of 1920s Berlin to the decadence of the Hollywood Hills, she never let convention stop her from living exactly how she pleased.

What Would Marlene Wear?

Marlene was known for her deep sense of sophistication and style. If we could give her a gift from the KÂfemme collection, the Queen of Spades would best suit her unique style. Its sleek timeless lines are ideal for a trendsetter like Marlene, and the exquisite tailoring is perfect for a one-of-a-kind icon known for her glamour.

Anna Azarisu