Icons in Denim: Ali MacGraw




Before TomKat, before Brangelina, Ali MacGraw, the hottest actress in Hollywood in the early 70’s paired with Steve McQueen (the hottest actor in Hollywood) to form a power couple that coined the spirit of the 70’s. Or so we’d like to think. MacGraw,  had a wholesome “All American Girl” thing about her like Katie Holmes today, but unlike Katie, she had a raw sexual appeal that made more interesting than the flat archetypes female actresses are subjected to today. MacGraw started out in the fashion industry, first as an assistant to Diana Vreeland, later to become a model and by the 1969 she gained celebrity status for her role in Goodbye Columbus.

At the peak of her career, she left her second husband and married Steve McQueen. Steve McQueen is often remembered for being smoking hot, and very stylish, but he was also a drug addict, alcoholic, wife-beater and chronic philanderer. He demanded dinner by 6pm every day, and he did not allow MacGraw to work, leaving a five-year gap in her acting career. Who knows if she had chose not to marry him, maybe she would still be in the collective memory of popular culture, and not as the incredibly stylish starlet who married Steve McQueen.

Her style muses even today’s fashion designers. This year the 70’s infiltrated the runways in Milan, scarves, bold prints and denim. Ali MacGraw’s 70’s style certainly echoes in the collections. Where she differs from the fashion victims of the era, her attire is rather toned down. Slight flares on her bell bottoms, a simple halter top paired with colored denim shorts could easily be worn today without even the slightest bit of nostalgia.


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