Divas of Fascist Cinema

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Il volto scolpito nel marmo, uno sguardo insieme sensuale e spietato che allude all’erotismo più feroce di quei giorni bui. Le labbra violacee evidenziano un sorriso amaro, sprezzante, fiero del proprio sublime incanto. Sono le dive del cinema fascista, in un’Italia umiliata dalla guerra regnano sulle superfici dell’illusione per regalare un sogno a chi di illusione perisce.

The face sculpted in marble, a sensual and ruthless glance that alludes to the most ferocious eroticism of those dark days. The violet lips show a bitter, contemptuous smile, proud of its own sublime charm. They are the divas of Fascist cinema, in an Italy humiliated by war thay all reigns on the surfaces of illusion to give a dream to those who are diyng by illusion.

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Alida Valli – From a Fresh Look to a Dark Lady – Venturini

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Alida Valli. Ghergo

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Luisa Ferida

Leda Gloria

Seductive Leda Gloria – Ghergo

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Leda Gloria – Venturini

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Elisa Cegani – Ph unknown

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Elisa Cegani from in “LA CORONA DI FERRO” di Alessandro Blasetti, 1941. Winner of Coppa Mussolini award

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Clara Calami: the first italian “Dark Lady” actress

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Clara Calamai. I think she worn Ferragamo platform shoes. Could be now

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Elsa De Giorgi – Peek-a-Boo hairstyle. Ph Venturini

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A perfect face. Elsa De Giorgi

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Amazing Beauty: Doris Duranti, the most loved by dictators

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Doris Duranti, the fascist actress, by Elio Luxardo

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Isa Mirande: the platinum italian Dietrich

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Isa Miranda, who arrived in Hollywood, was greeted with clamor by the public and by Paramount

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Annunci

20s Flapper girls from China

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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.

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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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Spirit Photography – Fotografia spiritica tra ‘800 e ‘900

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È la fine del XIX secolo, il mondo pare cambiare troppo vorticosamente. Il metallo svetta dal cemento delle metropoli e promette di toccare il cielo. Nuove generazioni si scontrano con quelle vecchie, i cabaret sono affollati da “cocotte”, i bar da artisti che annegano nell’assenzio insieme alle prostitute. La domenica si indossa l’abito buono, chi può permetterselo sfoggia quello bianco. Cambia il modo di ricordare, la fotografia sostituisce le tele dei pittori, e ci descrive di quella strana moda che imperversò durante l’epoca vittoriana giungendo ai primi decenni del nuovo secolo: lo spiritismo. Dalla Russia degli Zar a  Villa Santa Barbara di Cefalù personaggi carismatici, mistici, visionari muovono folle di adepti assetati di conoscere i segreti della vita e della morte. Il clima di trasformazione sociale, i nuovi mostruosi mondi generati dal capitalismo, generano ansia, terrore, malattia. Tubercolosi e sifilide sono solo due tra i tanti virus che decimano impietosi uomini e donne, i dagherrotipi cercano di fermare inutilmente quelle esistenze, ma sono solo fotografie. Allora ci si riunisce in casa, nel salotto, si chiudono le pesanti tende in broccato e intorno a un tavolo solitamente con tre gambe, le mani dei presenti si stringono in una catena, e il medium invoca una presenza. Di seguito una selezione di immagini d’epoca che testimonia la pratica dello spiritismo tra la fine del 1800 e l’inizio del 1900. Come tutte le tendenze, numerosi fiorirono i gabinetti fotografici esperti nel ritrarre quelle immagini che presero il nome di “fotografie spiritiche”.  Alcune tra queste sono frutto di un abile e antesignana pratica di fotoritocco, i cui effetti speciali hanno contribuito ad alimentare come vento sul fuoco le fiamme della speranza, il morbo della conoscenza, consumando le struggenti notti di quel tempo perduto.

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It’s the end of the Nineteenth century, the world seems to change too vortically. Metal stands out from the cemented streets of the metropolises and promises to touch the sky. New generations clash with old ones, cabarets are crowded with “cocottes”, bars by artists drowning in absinthe along with prostitutes. On Sundays people wear the “good dress”, a white one if wealthy. The way to remember changes, photography replaces the paintings, and describes that strange fashion that raged during the Victorian Age reaching the first decades of the new century: spiritualism. From Tsars’ Russia to Villa Santa Barbara in Cefalù, charismatic, mystical and visionary characters move crowds of adepts eager for knowing the secrets of life and death. The mood of general social transformation, the new monstrous worlds created by capitalism, generate anxiety, terror, disease. Tuberculosis and syphilis are just two of the many viruses that merciless decimate men and women, daguerreotypes try to uselessly stop those existences, but they are only photographs. Hence people meet at home, in the living room, they close the heavy brocade curtains and around a table with three legs the hands of those present are clutched in a chain, and the medium invokes the presence. Below you can find a selection of antique images proving the practice of spiritualism between the late 1800s and early 1900s. Like all the trends, there bloomed numerous photographic cabinets, specialized in portraying those images that took the name of “spiritual photographs”. Some of those images are the result of a skilled and precursor practice of photo editing, which special effects have helped to fuel the flames of hope, the morbidness of knowledge like the wind on the fire, consuming the poignant nights of that lost time.

 

Special Thanks for supporting translation SERENA BARTOLO

Luciano Lapadula

Spirit-Photography1

Victorian couple with ghost of daughter

Katie King fu il nome di uno tra i più famosi – presunti – fantasmi che sul finire dell’Ottocento presero forma grazie alla medium Florence Cook, fu così che gli spiritisti attribuirono lo stesso nome alla materializzazione spiritica di quegli anni.

Katie King was a popular ghost evocated by Florence Cook, and was already the name given by Spiritualists in the 1870s to what they believed to be a materialized spirit. The question of whether the spirit was real or a fraud was a notable public controversy of the mid-1870s.

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Katie King materialized, photograph of Sir William Crookes

Eusapia Palladino, nata nel 1854 a Minervino Murge, in provincia di Bari: Fu una tra le medium più conosciute e accreditate di tutti i tempi. L’iniziazione allo spiritismo avvenne quando, lavorando come cameriera presso una benestante famiglia, iniziò a prendere parte alle sedute  organizzate nella lussuosa dimora. Fu durante quelle sedute che si verificarono fenomeni mai accaduti prima, che furono attribuiti alla presenza della giovane. Nella sua carriera di occultista ebbe fama mondiale affascinando aristocratici e scienziati, tra i quali Cesare Lombroso e persino Pierre e Marie Curie.

Eusapia Palladino, born in 1854 in Minervino Murge, near Bari: she was one of the best known and accredited mediums of all time. The initiation into spiritism came when, working as a waitress with a rich family, she began to take part in the sessions inside the luxurious home. It was during those sessions that phenomena never happened before were ascribed to the presence of the young woman. In her career as an occultist she gained world fame by captivating aristocrats and scientists, including Cesare Lombroso and even Pierre and Marie Curie.

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Fotografia-delle-mani-di-Eusapia-Palladino.-Collezione-Tony-Oursler

Eusapia Palladino Hands. Collection Tony Oursler

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The well-know italian medium Eusapia Palladino during a spiritual seance

Seance with Eusapia Palladino at the home of Camille Flammario 1898

Eusapia Palladino at the home of Camille Flammarion, Rue Cassini. Full levitation of a table. 12 November 1898

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Victorian Spiritualism Movement Seance conducted by John Beattie in Bristol in England, 1872

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Ghost levitation

Amazing spirit photography by astonishing William Hope: english author, photographer, sailor, and body-builder

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William Hope

spirit photography

William Hope

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William Hope

French medium Marthe Beraud aka Eva Carriere

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Materialização ectoplásmica eva carriere 1912

A young woman face appear from ectoplasm by Eva Carriére  – 1912

spirit-photography

1912: Eva Carriere has a spiritic light between her hands and a materialization on her head.

Richard Boursnell (1832 – 1909), medium e fotografo britannico esperto in immagini spiritiche. Suoi alcuni tra i più intensi scatti mai realizzati su questo tema.

Richard Boursnell (1832 – 1909), medium and British photographer expert in spiritual images. His some of the most intense shots ever made on this subject.

Richard Boursnell - Spirit Photographer c.1908

Robert Boursnell, Self-Portrait with Spirits, Silver print cabinet card, March 1902

Robert Boursnell, Self-Portrait with Spirits, Silver print cabinet card

spitism photography

Frederick A. Hudson (England)
Mr. Raby with the Spirits “Countess,” “James Lombard,” “Tommy,” and the Spirit of Mr. Wootton’s Mother.
circa 1875 – from www.photographymuseum.com

M. Parkes (England), Mrs. Collins & Her Husband's Father, Recognized by Several, Albumen carte de visite, 1875

M. Parkes (England), Mrs. Collins & Her Husband’s Father, Recognized by Several, 1875

Spesso durante le sedute medianiche si materializzava, o si supponeva si materializzasse, una sostanza semi liquida che fuoriusciva dagli orifizi del medium, a cui lo scienziato Charles Richet dette il nome di ectoplasma. Questo poteva assumere svariate forme, riconducibili all’esistenza del trapassato.

Often during the seance sessions, a semi-liquid substance materialized, or was supposed to materialize, it came out of the medium’s orifices, to which the scientist Charles Richet gave the name of ectoplasm. It could take many forms, attributable to the existence of the person who passed away.

According to spiritualists, it was a substance that would be externalized by the bodily orifices of the medium during a séance.

ectoplasm regurgitation

The ectoplasm comes out as a regurgitation from the mouth of the medium into a trance

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F. C. E. Dimmick (England) blog

C. E. Dimmick (England)
“Mrs. Dorothy Henderson. Head bent forward, hands controlled and Ectoplasm covering her lap.”
October 2, 1928 – www.photographymuseum.com

W. J. Crawford - The psychic structures at the Goligher circle

W. J. Crawford – The psychic structures at the Goligher circle

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Ectoplasm from Kathleen Goligher

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A well-known medium, Mina “Margery” Crandon conducting a séance

The famous medium Mina “Margery” Crandon (1889 – 1941) conducting a séance – late 20s

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dangerous ectoplasm for Mina “Margery” Crandon

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Look down, on the right

Group-conducting-a-seance

Dr. Mabuse: The Gambler – 1922

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Stripes & Disorders from fashion in 1914 – 1915

 

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Quello della striscia come motivo ornamentale o pattern per indumenti merita una riflessione approfondita. Mi limito qui, in sintesi, a farvi riflettere sul ruolo che questa geometria assume nel campo della semiologia e quindi della storia del costume. La riga, la striatura, la striscia, riveste il corpo interrompendo in modo violento un “tutto” sottoesposto generando così in chi guarda l’abito – e allora chi lo indossa – un senso di confusione, misto a eccitazione e persino ricusazione. Come il simbolo di un divieto, quello di un’allerta, o come una sbarra che impedisce un passaggio, la striscia nel suo consueto bicolore, cattura l’attenzione spezzando la regola dell’uniforme: irriverente e ribelle diviene alla moda intorno al 1914 – 1915, e non a caso. La Belle Époque con la sua sfrenatezza cancella il ruolo della donna “angelo del focolare” in virtù di una nuova figura emancipata, pronta a riprendere il proprio ruolo sociale. I venti di guerra poi, soffiano tra le strade delle città, profumando l’aria di polvere da sparo. La riga così spunta violenta dalle tele di Egon Schiele e dagli abiti di Paul Poiret, comparendo sui vestiti delle signore alla moda, simbolo del tempo nuovo e della pericolosità di quello futuro.

That of the stripe as an ornamental motif or garment pattern deserves a thorough reflection. In short, I limit myself here to reflect on the role that this geometry assumes in the field of semiology and therefore of the history of customs. The line, the streak, the strip, covers the body violently interrupting a “whole” underexposed thus generating in the viewer the dress – and then the wearer – a sense of confusion, mixed with excitement and even rejection. As the symbol of a ban, that of an alert, or like a bar that prevents a passage, the strip in its usual two-color, catches the attention breaking the rule of the uniform: irreverent and rebel becomes fashionable around 1914 – 1915, and not by chance. The Belle Époque with its wilderness cancels the role of the woman “angel of the hearth” by virtue of a new emancipated figure, ready to resume its social role. The winds of war then, blow through the streets of the city, smelling the air of gunpowder. The line so violent check on the clothes of fashionable ladies, symbol of the new time and the danger of the future.

Portrait of Edith Schiele in a Striped Dress - Egon Schiele, 1915

Egon Schiele Portrait of Edith Schiele in a Striped Dress – 1915

stripes history fashion blog magazine blogger 1910 1900s 1914 1915 art arte moda storia luciano lapadula costume scrittore blogger quadro schiele arte museo lgano ferrara piacenza

Egon Schiele and wife Edith (muse) with Striped Dress Sitting, ca 1915. – artwork by Schiele 1915 – Emilie Louise Flöge – 1914 – wearing one of Gustav Klimt’s dress shirts that he made just for her

stripes history fashion blog magazine blogger 1910 1900s 1914 1915 art arte moda storia luciano lapadula costume scrittore blogger

Matisse – Striped Jacket, 1914

stripes history fashion blog magazine blogger 1910 1900s 1914 1915 art arte moda storia luciano lapadula costume scrittore blogger quadro

Viv in Blue Stripe, 1914 – Robert Henri (

llustration de mode française Georges Barbier petit manteau de velours dans costumes parisiens 1914 stripes

French Illustration by Georges Barbierfor Costumes Parisiens – 1914

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The Delineator – July 1914

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Fashion Plate from The Delineator – July 1914

stripes history fashion blog magazine blogger 1910 1900s 1914 1915 art arte moda storia luciano lapadula costume scrittore blogger photography rivista

The Modern Priscilla, October 1915

Les Modes (Paris) 1914 Costume tailleur par Redfern

Les Modes, Paris – 1914 Costume tailleur by Redfern

Les Modes (Paris) 1914 Robe d'apres-midi par Zimmermann

Les Modes, Paris – 1914 Robe d’apres-midi byZ immermann

stripes history fashion blog magazine blogger 1910 1900s 1914 1915 art arte moda storia luciano lapadula costume scrittore blogger photography

1914 c. fashion for a day at the races

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Olga Skott Vänersborg – 1914, by K & A Vikner – Vänersborg Museum

1915 a fool there was

Theda Bara in a scene from the film ‘A Fool There Was’ 1915

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Theda Bara in a scene from the film ‘A Fool There Was’ 1915

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Fashion and Make-Up from Silent Movies

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Fatali, struggenti, maledette: le donne del cinema muto hanno lanciato mode dell’assurdo, che racconto nel mio libro. Per voi un breve estratto nel video.

Fatal, tormenting, cursed: the women of silent cinema have launched fashions of the absurd, which I tell in my book. A short excerpt in the video for you.

From my book: “The Macabre and the Grotesque in Fashion and Costume”

Dal mio libro: “Il macabro e il grottesco nella Moda e nel Costume”


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Rudolph Valentino: history of an Icon in Fashion

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Un estratto della straordinaria storia dell’attore italo americano Rodolfo Valentino, icona cinematografica che ha lanciato stili e mode.

An excerpt of the extraordinary story of the Italian-American actor Rodolfo Valentino, a cinematographic icon that has launched styles and fashions

From my book: “The Macabre and the Grotesque in Fashion and Costume”

Dal mio libro: “Il macabro e il grottesco nella Moda e nel Costume”


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Beading: astonishing Make-Up from 1920s


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Questo testo è tratto dal mio libro: “Il Macabro e il Grottesco nella Moda e nel Costume”. Racconto di una particolare moda del trucco durante gli anni ’20. I volti si fecero bianchi, con gli occhi cerchiati di nero e sottolineati da sottili e depilate sopracciglia dalle estremità tendenti verso il basso. Dalle ragazze russe fu importta la moda del beading: piccole sfere di cera erano fissate alle estremità delle ciglia.

This text is taken from my book. The Macabre and the Grotesque in Fashion and in Costume. I wrote of a particularweird make-up fashion during the 1920s. The faces turned white, with their black-rimmed eyes underlined by thin, shapeless eyebrows with down-tending ends. The beading fashion was imported from Russian girls: small wax balls were attached to the ends of the eyelashes.

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Film star silent erotic sex clara bow with lashes that appear to be beaded blog luciano lapadula history make up makeup 20s book gothic trucco i macabro e il grottesco moda storia costum

From Silent Movies, an Iconic Actress: Clara Bow with beaded eyes make-up

Film star Viola Dana with lashes that appear to be beaded blog luciano lapadula history make up makeup 20s book gothic trucco i macabro e il grottesco moda storia costume

Film Star Viola Dana with beaded eyelashes

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Maybelline 20s MakeUp adv

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