As I re-watch the old movies I grew up watching as a child I become more and more impressed by the female stars. In musicals, as Ginger Rogers famously said, the women did everything the men did, but "backwards and in heels." They were often cast as ridiculous love interest for increasingly older leading men, like Audrey Hepburn in Love in the Afternoon making doe-eyes at 28 years older Gary Cooper. Still as unrealistic as the pairings and the inherent misogyny in the system that allows those romantic castings to see feasible, sometimes it does lead to gold--like Leslie Caron and Fred Astaire in Daddy Long Legs. Their dancing styles are so compatible that it is actually interesting Daddy Long Legs was their only film together. Still, her (and other's) ability to act along their much older and more established co-stars and hold their own just shows their talent.
Leslie Caron was a French ballet dancer who after being discovered by Gene Kelly transitioned into movies becoming a star in her own right in both musicals and non-musicals (like Father Goose with Cary Grant). She is often most remember for Gigi where she manages to convincingly transform from gawky adolescence to graceful young woman. Most of my style inspiration from Caron comes from her films and the often whimsical outfits she wears in them rather than the limited number of red carpet appearances or street style snaps I've found of her. She's still acting today and her talent will continue to inspire.