This sort of thing is so subjective, it just ends up being about personal taste and 'what turns you on', which we had enough trouble with on the 'beautifully proportioned' male and female ballet dancers. I actually find Astaire handsome in a classy-gent way when he was very young, but no promise in the lower body. Gene Kelly, Irish, was also Italian from top to bottom, or even if he wasn't, you get the idea of the way I see that hunk.
Up to a point. You could argue about Astaire, but Kelly is objectively sexy. He may or may not be to oneís taste, but I donít understand how anyone, even someone who doesnít care for him, could say he has no sex appeal. Although interestingly the big romantic duets in Kellyís movies tend to be washouts; he was best alone, or when he was paired with Judy Garland, a very appealing mover but not a dancer per se.
All of which reminds me that I really, really need to see The Pirate again, even if Garland was not in peak shape and Cole Porter was temporarily out to lunch.
I don't find either of them to be the least bit sexy
Iím disposed to agree, personally; Arlene Croce said that Astaire and Rogers together were a powerfully erotic vision or words to that effect, but I donít see it at all. Rogers did make him into an acceptable romantic leading man in the movies. It might have happened without her; it might not have.
I would characterize Powell as a 30s star primarily.
Shearer, Garbo and Crawford all had figures that were far from perfect, and Adrian did a masterly job of disguising their bad points and highlighting their good ones. (In fact, Iíd say that Powell had a better figure, technically, than any of the above ladies.) I think he dressed Powell a couple of times, I wonder how he did with her.