Vintage Photos Show Lucille Ball's Unmatched Style Through The Years

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Julia Brucculieri
·2 min read
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Lucille Ball was a star in more ways than one. She was a television pioneer, a trailblazing feminist and a style icon.

During her long career in the entertainment industry, Ball, whose 107th birthday would have been Monday, appeared in over 70 films. But it was her role as Lucy Ricardo in the classic “I Love Lucy” that left the biggest mark on TV. Not only was Ball one of the first female comedic leads on TV, she was the first woman to own her own production company, Desilu Productions. (She co-owned it with her then-husband of 20 years, Desi Arnaz, but she bought him out when they divorced.)

Before all that, Ball got her start as a model in the 1930s and, according to Vogue, she worked for New York designer Hattie Carnegie. In those days, Ball’s signature red locks were bleached blond (she was actually a brunette).

Her time in the fashion industry likely had some influence on the star’s style, which Vogue described as the “casual American look.” She often wore the popular fit-and-flare silhouette in the ’50s, reminiscent of Dior’s New Look, but looked just as stylish in jeans or tailored separates. Ball embraced the glamour of the ’70s and ’80s, incorporating sparkles, feathers and other embellishments into her wardrobe for public events.

Below, take a look back at some of the icon’s best style moments through the years:

Undated

An early portrait of a blonde Ball.
An early portrait of a blonde Ball.

1936

A blonde Ball displays the latest in spring fashion in Hollywood.
A blonde Ball displays the latest in spring fashion in Hollywood.

1936

Here, Ball wears a two-piece ensemble with a black dress and printed jacket. 
Here, Ball wears a two-piece ensemble with a black dress and printed jacket.

1938

Ball posing for a color portrait. 
Ball posing for a color portrait.

1938

Ball wearing a floral bonnet in a fashion image. 
Ball wearing a floral bonnet in a fashion image.

1939

The TV icon is photographed with her pet dog.
The TV icon is photographed with her pet dog.

Early 1940s

Ball is shown here posing in casual attire at her San Fernando Valley ranch home. 
Ball is shown here posing in casual attire at her San Fernando Valley ranch home.

Undated

The actress is pictured wearing a gingham dress and carrying egg baskets. 
The actress is pictured wearing a gingham dress and carrying egg baskets.

Sometime in the 1940s

Ball posing in a swimsuit.
Ball posing in a swimsuit.

1941

Ball vacationing at the Roney Plaza Cabana Club.
Ball vacationing at the Roney Plaza Cabana Club.

1942

Ball in a publicity photo. 
Ball in a publicity photo.

1945

Ball wearing an evening gown.
Ball wearing an evening gown.

1947

Ball at a torch parade in New York to raise funds for the New York Infirmary. 
Ball at a torch parade in New York to raise funds for the New York Infirmary.

In the 1950s

Ball on the set of "I Love Lucy," which aired from 1951-1957. 
Ball on the set of "I Love Lucy," which aired from 1951-1957.

1953

Ball with her then-husband, Desi Arnaz.
Ball with her then-husband, Desi Arnaz.

1954

A publicity portrait of the actress. 
A publicity portrait of the actress.

1955

Ball wearing cuffed jeans and a white headpiece. 
Ball wearing cuffed jeans and a white headpiece.

1955

Ball wearing a lace wedding dress.
Ball wearing a lace wedding dress.

1959

The Desilu Productions co-founder standing by office door to Desilu Studios in Hollywood.
The Desilu Productions co-founder standing by office door to Desilu Studios in Hollywood.

1962

Ball photographed in Los Angeles. 
Ball photographed in Los Angeles.

1965

A portrait of Ball under an umbrella. 
A portrait of Ball under an umbrella.

1972

Ball, with then-husband Gary Morton, during the "Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" 10th anniversary party.
Ball, with then-husband Gary Morton, during the "Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" 10th anniversary party.

1974

Ball at a party in honor of her starring role in the film version of the Broadway musical "Mame" in New York City.  
Ball at a party in honor of her starring role in the film version of the Broadway musical "Mame" in New York City.

1974

Ball at the "Mame" film premiere after-party in Los Angeles.
Ball at the "Mame" film premiere after-party in Los Angeles.

1975

The star at a <a href="http://www.thalians.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Thalians Ball</a>.
The star at a Thalians Ball.

1979

Ball at the The Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City.
Ball at the The Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City.

1980

Ball photographed in 1980. 
Ball photographed in 1980.

1981

A photo of Ball at the Share Boomtown annual charity event.
A photo of Ball at the Share Boomtown annual charity event.

1982

The star during the taping of Bob Hope's special "The Women I Love: Beautiful, But Funny" at NBC Studios in Burbank, California.
The star during the taping of Bob Hope's special "The Women I Love: Beautiful, But Funny" at NBC Studios in Burbank, California.

1982

Ball with then-husband Morton.
Ball with then-husband Morton.

1986

Ball in a publicity still. 
Ball in a publicity still.

1987

Ball at the 10th annual Kennedy Center Honors: A Celebration of the Performing Arts.
Ball at the 10th annual Kennedy Center Honors: A Celebration of the Performing Arts.

1987

Pictured at the taping of the Hollywood 100th Birthday Celebration. 
Pictured at the taping of the Hollywood 100th Birthday Celebration.

1987

Ball at a book signing event for Betty White's <i>Betty White In Person.</i>
Ball at a book signing event for Betty White's Betty White In Person.

1988

Ball at the Los Angeles Children's Museum's annual Halloween carnival and fashion show.
Ball at the Los Angeles Children's Museum's annual Halloween carnival and fashion show.

CORRECTION: In a previous version of this story, a photo caption misstated the date of a photo of Ball as 1940 instead of 1954.

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This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.