Meryl Streep, The True Hollywood Diva
Hollywood has always been about glamour, luxury and glitz. Fashion and jewellery have always found inspiration in Hollywood but have also helped shape the image of an actor or actress to become a true cinema star. From Audrey Hepburn to Angelina Jolie and from Robert de Niro to George Clooney, actors have always been lured by fashion, watches and jewellery brands to wear their products and directly or indirectly endorse them. Whether it was Givenchy in the case of Audrey Hepburn or recently Asprey for Angelina Jolie and Armani mostly for male actors, many luxury brands have created trends and sold their collections with the help of celebrities, especially from the cinema world.
For decades, the undisputed number one female actress, Meryl Streep has proven the opposite. At 60, Meryl Streep, twice Oscar winner and the female actress with the highest number of Oscar and Golden Globe nominations has been named by the Vanity Fair magazine in its 2010 January issue‘’the greatest American actress’’. The VF January lead story on Meryl Streep features a unique collection of pictures of Meryl Streep taken throughout her career by famed French photographer Brigitte Lacombe. For the first time in many issues the cover of VF is not shot by celebrity photographer Annie Leibowitz and the reason is the fact that Mrs Lacombe is the only privileged photographer to have shot Mrs Streep from the very beginning of her career till today’s cover of the VF.
Magazine covers and pictorials of celebrities are always featuring luxury brands, from make up, to clothing and accessories. Not in the case of Meryl Streep who wears a Prada sweater, yet it could very well be a Zara or an H&M one as no one would have noticed. The make up Mrs Streep wears on most of the photos is almost inexistent and she takes pride in never having done any cosmetic or surgical intervention on her face. In most of the photos one could notice how Mrs Streep proudly highlights her wrinkles, yet somehow the photos are a testimony she hasn’t aged at all. The one photo which stands out is the one shot by Mrs Lacombe when Meryl Streep completed Kramer vs Kramer, the movie which brought her the first Oscar. The photo taken in 1979 is almost identical with the one on the January 2010 edition of the VF – the same hairdo, very light make up. She is actually wearing the same pair of white pearl earings. Almost 31 years apart, the 2 photos also reflect the source of her incredible talent and that is her ‘’art’’ of managing happiness. The end of the article in VF is also suggestive of this, the diva saying how grateful she is to be alive and healthy.
According to the latest figures published in the VF article, Mrs Streep has also become not only the famous actress to have attracted the largest audiences worldwide for her movies but also the best paid actress, having registered blockbuster success with movies such as Mamma Mia and The Devil Weats Prada. And yet, she has never been featured in any L’Oreal , Estee Lauder or Revlon ad and she has never been the ‘’face’’ of Chanel, Louis Vuitton or Armani and these are brands which are spending billions on advertising worldwide. Is it because the marketing gurus of these brands have never seen her potential to represent their brands or is it rather the case that Mrs Streep has all but turned down all such requests?
She had, however, been featured at Oscar or Golden Globe awards wearing dresses of famous designers. In the interview to VF, Mrs Streep speaks about how she doesn’t like to have her picture taken and also Mrs Lacombe how she has always felt that Mrs Streep never enjoyed having her picture taken. I could only come up with one reason for this and that is Mrs Streep likes to play different parts only in the movies and does not accept to be featured as someone who she is not in reality. And the reality is that she wears no make up or jewellery and in all the photos I could find on the internet she has never worn more than a back pack type of leather or canvas bag. Then there comes to our mind her philosophy of her entire career and that has always been to wait and that is how all the major parts have actually ‘’come ‘’to her. But she is waiting for parts and opportunities that enrich her life and keep her going….and it seems luxuries are not part of her wishes or dreams….