An Actress, a Prince, a car crash

«Nell’estate del 1931 il principe più bello d’Europa, Umberto II di Savoia, fu oggetto di scandalose cronache che raccontavano di un presunto idillio tra il giovane, che si era sposato solo diciotto mesi prima, e la bellissima attrice hollywoodiana Jeanette MacDonald, giunta in Riviera per una vacanza. Il giorno in cui si sarebbe dovuta separare da Umberto, lei era seduta in macchina e lui era alla guida, l’automobile slittò sull’asfalto bagnato facendo sbalzare fuori dall’abitacolo i due. Il volto dell’attrice ne rimase sfigurato, per ricucirle il cuoio capelluto i chirurghi dovettero raderle la bionda chioma. Disperata Jeanette si fece aiutare dal banchiere Maurice Garfunkel che la affidò ai migliori specialisti di New York. La diva sfigurata fu restituita prontamente a Hollywood grazie a un abile intervento di chirurgia plastica.»

Tratto dal mio libro “Il Macabo e il Grottesco nella Moda e nel Costume“.

Storie incredibili, aneddoti e curiosità, info e shop al link: https://www.progedit.com/libro-589.html

«In the summer of 1931 the most beautiful prince of Europe, Umberto II of Savoy, was the object of scandalous chronicles that told of an alleged idyll between the young man, who had married only eighteen months before, and the beautiful Hollywood actress Jeanette MacDonald, come to the Riviera for holydays. The day she was supposed to leave Umberto, she was sitting in the car and he was driving, the car skidded on the wet asphalt, knocking the two out of the cockpit. The actress’s face was disfigured, and to round her scalp the surgeons had to shave her blonde hair. Desperate, Jeanette was helped by the banker Maurice Garfunkel who entrusted her to the best specialists in New York. The disfigured diva was promptly returned to Hollywood thanks to a skilful plastic surgery.»

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Back in fashion: 1916 and New Look

La moda, si sa, è fatta di eterni ritorni in fatto di stile, gusti, tendenze. E non è questo un fenomeno del tutto contemporaneo, anzi, affonda le proprie origini nella genesi della novità vestimentaria, che a dispetto del vocabolo, di nuovo spesso non ha nulla. Si confronti in proposito lo strano caso che riguarda la regina di Francia Maria Antonietta, discusso nel mio libro “Il Macabro e il Grottesco nella Moda e nel Costume“. Oggi vi presento la curiosa rielaborazione New Look di una tendenza apparsa nel 1916. Abiti più corti dei precedenti, dai volumi sorprendentemente innovativi, morbidi, con gonne ampie e arricciate sostenute da sottovesti a balze. Colori, fantasie, capricci neo barocchi si spostano così dal ’16 al ’47 per durare questa volta più a lungo. La mia selezione fotografica per voi.

Fashion, as we know, is made up of eternal returns in terms of style, tastes and trends. And this is not a completely contemporary phenomenon, indeed, it has its origins in the genesis of the modern dress, which despite the word, often has nothing of modern. Compare in this regard the strange case concerning the queen of France Marie Antoinette, discussed in my book “The Macabre and the Grotesque in Fashion and Costume“. Today I present to you all the curious New Look reworking of a trend that appeared in 1916. Shorter dresses than the previous ones, with surprisingly innovative volumes, soft, with wide and gathered skirts supported by flounced petticoats. Colors, fantasies, new-baroque trends move from ’16 to ’47 to last this time longer. My photo selection for you.

1916 evening gown
Model in a taffeta dress by Emilio Schuberth, Rome, 1955, photo by G.M. Fadigati
Gabrielle Chanel – Robes de Jersey,1916
Marcelle Dormoy, french couture fashion designer active from the 1910s to 1950, and a former model. 1948
Delineator fashion magazine, July 1916

1948, note the widths and lengths of the skirts, the patern, the necklines:

Jeanne Lanvin, 1916, and Marcel Dormoy 1948:

Fashion sketches fom 1916 and christian dior evening gown 1951.

same irregular cascades of pleated fabrics.

Jeanne Lanvin, 1916
Supermodel Barbara Mullen moeling Balenciaga Dress, 1947
Summer Afternoons dresses from April 1916
Christian Dior ball gown 1947
L’Art et la Mode, 1916
1957, Creators Studios New York
Robes et Chapeaux de Printemps – Le Style Parisien 1916
Cristobal Balenciaga 1948 Pleats, Photo Arik Népo
House of Lanvin 1916
Tailleur bar, House of Dior, 1947
Harvey Nichols day dress, 1916 From the Helen Larson Historic Fashion Collection at the FIDM Museum
“Ciao Bella” Jacques Fath stripes striped 1952

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20s Flapper girls from China

luciano lapadula moda china actress anna may wong blogger chinese 20s 1920s blog fashion magazine culture creepy macabre grotesque

Una nuova tipologia di donna nasce in Cina durante gli anni ’20. La sfrenatezza della vita occidentale, legata al ritrovato benessere, invade l’Oriente e la sua moda che lentamente è sedotta dall’immagine à la Garçonne. Il pesante cerone, gli ombrellini di carta, i fascianti kimono in seta cedono il passo ad impalpabili abiti  in chiffon, a trucchi meno vistosi, ad acconciature “alla maschietta”. E si fa strada ad Hollywood la prima tra le attrici cinesi, Anna May Wong, destinata a divenire un’icona di stile per il mondo intero. Di seguito una selezione di immagini che testimoniano questa rivoluzione sociale e vestimentaria in Cina.

© COPYRIGHT: Luciano Lapadula

A kind of woman was born in China during the 1920s. The wildness of Western life, linked to the refounded welfare, invades the Orient and its fashion that was slowly seduced by the style “à la Garçonne”. The heavy make-up, the paper umbrellas, the kimono silk bindings give way to impalpable chiffon dresses, to less conspicuous make-up, to “boyish” hairstyles. And the first of the Chinese actresses, Anna May Wong, was making her way to Hollywood, destined to become a style icon for the whole world. Below for you a selection of images that testify to this social and clothing chinese revolution.

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Illustrazione cinese anni ’20. Due ballerine indossano un abito tradizionale chiamato Cheongsam, rivisitato per un look occidentale tipico della “Flapper Girl”. I capelli sono corti e in stile Garçonne. Calzature T-Bar. 

Cheongsam china shangai dancer 1920s 20s blog blogger fashion history luciano lapadula

Chinese illustration from the 20s. Two female dancers wear a dress called Cheongsam, rivisited in Western look, typical of the Flapper Girls. The hair is short and in Garçonne style. T-Bar shoes

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Ni Hongyan, Chinese film actress popular in the Chinese film industry in the late 1920s. Fashion Magazine and Amazing Belt (seems to be a modern Alaya!) for this beautiful girl in her swimsuit

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Silk Socks, Waves Hairstyle and Cigarette for a smoking flapper

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Huang Huilan wife of the  Chinese diplomat Wellington Koo, popular in the western world as Madame Wellington Koo or Hui-lan Koo

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still Madame Wellington Koo

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Two asian ladies in 20s fashionable outfits

Here is Anna May Wong visiting Chicago 20s china fashion 1920s history chinese women

March 25, 1928. Here is Anna May Wong visiting Chicago. Trousers, Mary Jane shoes and Cloche hat for the first Chinese American Hollywood movie star, as well as the first Chinese American actress to gain international recognition

Anna May Wong

“The Dangerous” Anna May Wong

the dangerous Anna May Wong

Anna May Wong a glamorous Femme Fatale. 1928

Anna May Wong -1929 photo by Paul Tanqueray cloche fur

Anna May Wong in 20s

Anna May Wong -1929 photo by Paul Tanqueray

Anna May Wong -1929 photo by Paul Tanqueray

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When Madonna was Evita

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Cinema, Moda, Musica incontrano la storia. Siamo nel 1996 e una camaleontica Madonna indossa i panni di Evita Peron, attrice e adorata First Lady argentina nell’immediato dopoguerra. Per il film, diretto da Alan Parker, Italia e Francia gareggiano tra loro in sala costumi: la sartoria romana Tirelli cura il guardaroba con Penny Rose, vestiti e tailleur ricreati su modello di quelli indossati da Evita si alternano a capi autentici anni ’40 e il New Look di Dior trionfa per la sera con autentici capolavori di alta moda.

Le pellicce indossate da Madonna sono create da Fendi, per la casa di moda un classico dai tempi di “Gruppo di Famiglia in un Interno”. Per le calzature, invece, ci si ricorda di Ferragamo, brand amato in vita dalla Peron. Nulla dunque è trascurato, le bellissime acconciature di Martin Samuel completano un aspetto il cui risultato è straordinario: il film vince l’Oscar e la costumista, per gli 85 abiti presenti nel film, si aggiudica il BAFTA.

E forse questo grande lavoro di ricerca e ricostruzione sarebbe piaciuto a Monsier Christian Dior, il quale un giorno disse:

“l’unica regina che io abbia mai vestito è stata Evita Peron”.

Luciano Lapadula

Cinema, Fashion, Music meet history. We are in 1996 and a chameleon-like Madonna wearing the clothes of Evita Peron, actress and beloved Argentine First Lady in the immediate post-war period. For the movie, directed by Alan Parker, Italy and France compete in the costumes room: the Roman tailoring Tirelli takes care of the wardrobe with Penny Rose, clothes and suits recreated on the model worn by Evita alternate with authentic ’40s and Dior’s New Look style gown for the evening with authentic high fashion masterpieces. The furs worn by Madonna are created by Fendi, for the fashion house a classic from the time of “Conversation Piece”. For the shoes, however, they remember Ferragamo, a brand loved by Peron in life. Nothing is therefore overlooked, the beautiful hairstyles of Martin Samuel complete an aspect whose result is extraordinary: the movie wins the Oscar and the costume designer, for the 85 dresses in the film, is awarded the BAFTA. And perhaps this great research work and reconstruction would have pleased Monsieur Christian Dior, who one day said:”The only queen I ever dressed was Eva Peron.”

Luciano Lapadula

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