“I have decided that when I am a star, I will be every inch and every moment a star.”

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Gloria Swanson was born Gloria May Josephine Svensson in Chicago, Illinois. She was destined to be perhaps one of the biggest stars of the silent movie era. Her personality and antics in private definitely made her a favorite with America’s movie-going public. Gloria certainly didn’t intend on going into show business. After her formal education in the Chicago school system and elsewhere, she began work in a department store as a salesclerk. In 1915, at the age of 18, she decided to go to a Chicago movie studio with an aunt to see how motion pictures were made. She was plucked out of the crowd, because of her beauty, to be included as a bit player in the film The Fable of Elvira and Farina and the Meal Ticket (1915).

In 1916, she first appeared with future husband Wallace Beery. Once married, the two pulled up stakes in Chicago and moved to Los Angeles to the film colony of Hollywood. Once out west, Gloria continued her torrid pace in films. She seemed to be in hit after hit in such films as The Pullman Bride (1917), Shifting Sands (1918), and Don’t Change Your Husband (1919).

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By the time of the latter, Gloria had divorced Beery and was remarried, but it was not to be her last marriage, as she collected a total of seven husbands.

“I’ve given my memoirs far more thought than any of my marriages. You can’t divorce a book.”

By the middle 1920s, she was the highest-paid actress in Hollywood. It has been said that Gloria made and spent over $8 million in the ’20s alone. That, along with the seven marriages she had, kept the fans spellbound with her escapades for over 60 years. They just couldn’t get enough of her.

“When I die, my epitaph should read “She Paid the Bills”. That’s the story of my private life.”

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Gloria was 30 when the sound revolution hit, and there was speculation as to whether she could adapt. She did. In 1928, she received an Oscar nomination for Best Actress for her role of Sadie Thompson in the film of the same name but lost to Mary Pickford in Coquette (1929). The following year, she again was nominated for the same award in The Trespasser (1929). This time, she lost out to Norma Shearer in The Divorcee (1930). By the 1930s, Gloria pared back her work with only four films during that time. She had taken a hiatus from film work after 1934’s Music in the Air (1934) and would not be seen again until Father Takes a Wife (1941). That was to be it until 1950, when she starred in Sunset Blvd. (1950) as Norma Desmond opposite William Holden. She played a movie actress who was all but washed up. The movie was a box office smash and earned her a third Academy Award nomination as Best Actress. The film is considered one of the best in the history of film and, on June 16, 1998, was named one of the top 100 films of all time by the American Film Institute, placing 12th.

After a few more films in the 1950s, Gloria more or less retired. Throughout the 1960s, she appeared mostly on television. Her last fling with the silver screen was Airport 1975 (1974), wherein she played herself. Gloria died on April 4, 1983, in New York City at the age of 86. There was never anyone like her, before or since.

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A quick overview of the history of hosiery brought to us by The Telegraph. We really enjoyed it and thought that you would too.

 

Once considered a rare luxury, tights and stockings are now at the forefront of fashion and come in an array of colors and deniers

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The Twenties: Super synthetics
Several centuries ago, it was men, not women that donned stockings of the knitted variety, but as men took to breeches and trousers in the 1800s, stockings became the norm for women.

In the Twenties, synthetic yarns transformed the industry, making hosiery sheerer than cotton and cheaper than silk.

The Forties: Nylon mania
The first nylon stockings hit the market in 1940, with a reported 780,000 pairs bought in the US on the first day they went on sale. They featured a seam at the rear and were commonly referred to as “nylons”.

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Wartime Britain: Nylons no more
Nylon stockings were rationed during Second World War, when the flexible fibre was reallocated to the production of essential parachutes, ropes and tyres. Some women would paint seams on their legs to make it look like they were wearing them.

Fishnets in the Fifties
Fishnets had been around since the early Thirties but were mainly worn by performers such as Ava Gardner (pictured) to accentuate muscle definition on stage and in publicity photographs. Fishnets are still as popular with performing artists today, such as Rihanna and Lady Gaga.

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All hail Lycra
In the Fifties, Du Pont invented Lycra and discovered that it could add stretch to nylon. This dramatically improved the fit and comfort of hosiery and helped introduce seam-free stockings to the market.

No-suspender Sixties
In 1967, British brand Pretty Polly brings hold-ups to the market, doing away with suspender belts and the unsightly bulges they created. This launch helped turn the brand into the number-one hosiery label in the UK.

Swinging Sixties and the launch of tights
The most revolutionary launch of the Sixties, however, was the advent of one-piece tights as we know them today. With the trend for hemlines creeping higher and higher, model Twiggy and her peers needed a product that worked in harmony with their Mary Quant miniskirts.

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Flower Power
By the Seventies, tights could be used as a form of self-expression. Whether they were patterned, printed with flowers and diamonds or displaying a riotous use of colour, everyone from Littlewoods to Givenchy was experimenting with motifs and colourways.

Punks in tights
Fishnets enjoyed a resurgence in the late Seventies and Eighties as the tights style of choice for punk rockers. Often heavily ripped, fishnets became synonymous with the tribe.

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Opaques for the Noughties
As with every aspect of fashion, tights are subject to the whims of passing trends. The Noughties was arguably dominated by thick black opaques, which was seen as the more modern and flattering alternative to low-denier styles. Opaques got bonus points for being warm and durable, too.

The mock suspenders
The 2000’s brought the sexy suspenders back into the spotlight, and trend that Erica M. was quick to pick up on. But these were of the trompe-l’oeil variety, allowing for the look without all the pieces. Affordable and loved by celebrities such as Lily Allen, they’re an accessible and sexy addition to any outfit.

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Spring has arrived and with it the warm weather looms closely behind. But fear not hosiery lovers, Erica M. believes in having gorgeously adorned legs all year round. Here our some of our favorite Spring styles perfect for keeping cool while looking hot.

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The Azza Hosiery

This stunning style is made of a fine sheer weave that not only lets you show a little skin but also helps keep you cool. The delicate hosiery is soft to the touch and extremely feminine, leaving you with a comfortable yet sexy style. Available in nude for a bare skin look, and black for your spring time night life.

 

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The Genevieve Hosiery

This style offers a larger fishnet weave that allows your legs to feel that cool spring breeze. The Genevieve is perfect for keeping you cool while equipping you with your own sexy secret. Garnished with discrete detailing, this look allows you to decide how much you show off while flaunting around in the spring time sunshine.

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The Diamante Socks

The Diamante socks are a versatile look from Erica M.’s newest spring collection. Available in a crew and knee high length with your choice of white or black makes it an easy addition to any ensemble.

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