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Renate Müller: the tragic antinazi Diva

Quando un’anima nasce, le vengono gettate delle reti per impedire che fugga. Tu mi parli di religione, lingua, nazionalità: io cercherò di fuggire da quelle reti

“When the soul of a man is born in this country there are nets flung at it to hold it back from flight. You talk to me of nationality, language, religion. I shall try to fly by those nets”

James Joyce

Padre pubblicista e madre pittrice, un talento innato per la recitazione e una bellezza fuori dal comune, che le costerà la vita. Renate Müller nacque a Monaco il 26 aprile del 1906, e a soli 19 anni debuttò a teatro con “Ein Sommernachtstraum” (Shakespeare’s Midsummer Nights Dream) diretta da Pabst.

Trasferitasi a Berlino, nel 1929 ebbe il suo primo ruolo cinematografico in “Peter Der Matrose” (Peter the Sailor). Il successo fu immediato e fino al 1937 comparve in 25 film , tra i quali il celebre “Die Privatesekretärin”, tradotto anche in inglese e ”Viktor und Viktoria” del 1933.

La fama raggiunta, i capelli biondi, i bei occhi azzurri, destarono l’interesse del regime nazionalsocialista, che pressò Renate con sempre maggiore insistenza affinché lei divenisse il volto per i film di propaganda del partito. Numerosi quanto le richieste furono i rifiuti della bella attrice, ma la vita nella Berlino di quel tempo era difficile: sospetti, dicerie, semplici invidie di colleghe potevano essere la causa di processi sommari, deportazioni, omicidi, e Renate aveva un angoscioso segreto che doveva restare nascosto.

Così cedette alle pressioni e nel 1937 recitò in quella che sarebbe stata la sua ultima comparsa in celluloide: “Togger”, pellicola dal contenuto antisemita. Hitler fu sedotto dall’attrice, perfetta incarnazione dell’ideale di donna ariana, ma nonostante le sue lusinghe lei rifiutò di essergli amica. Goebbels insospettito da tanta distanza e dai suoi continui viaggi nella nemica città di Londra, prese a farla pedinare dalla Gestapo.

L’inconfessabile segreto emerse: Renate aveva un fidanzato, viveva in Inghilterra ed era un ebreo. Si persero così, tutto d’un tratto, le notizie sulla bella ragazza: nuove star ariane presero il suo posto sugli schermi. Si diffusero strane voci secondo le quali Renate era stata ricoverata in manicomio a seguito di ripetute crisi di nervi, abuso di alcol e di morfina. Repentino giunse il finale di questa triste storia, il 7 ottobre del 1937 l’attrice fece un lungo volo dalla finestra della sua casa a Berlino. Il corpo fu in fretta cremato presso il Wilmersdorf Krematorium per essere sepolto in gran silenzio all’interno del Parkfriedhof Lichterfelde a Berlin Steglitz. Ai tanti fan fu proibito di partecipare ai funerali, il governo cercò di placare gli animi affermando si fosse trattato di suicidio, ma dei vicini di casa della ragazza, in silenzio, dissero di averla vista precipitare dal balcone all’arrivo in cortile degli uomini della Gestapo. Molti altri, invece, giurarono che furono proprio i soldati ad aver lanciato nel vuoto l’attrice che in vita rifiutò di esser lanciata sugli schermi di un cinema maledetto.

Luciano Lapadula

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Father publicist and mother painter, an innate talent for acting and a beauty out of the ordinary, which will cost her life. Renate Müller was born in Monaco on April 26, 1906, and at the age of 19 filmaker Pabst made her debut with “Ein Sommernachtstraum” (Shakespeare’s Midsummer Nights Dream). Transferring to Berlin, in 1929 she had his first film role in “Peter Der Matrose “(Peter the Sailor). The success was immediate and until 1937 appeared in 25 films, among which the famous “Die Privatesekretärin”, also translated into English and “Viktor und Viktoria” of 1933. The fame achieved, the blonde hair, the beautiful blue eyes, aroused the interest of the National Socialist regime, which pressed Renate with increasing insistence to use her face for the nazi propaganda films. Life in Berlin – at that time – was difficult: suspicions, rumors, simple envies of colleagues could be the cause of summary trials, deportations, murders, and Renate had an anguishing secret that was to remain hidden. So he gave in to pressure and in 1937 she played in what would have been her last appearance in celluloid: “Togger”, a film with anti-Semitic content. Hitler was seduced by the actress, the perfect embodiment of the ideal of an Aryan woman, but in spite of her flattery, she refused to be his friend. Goebbels, suspicious of her distance and her constant journeys in the enemy city of London, began to  follow the woman by Gestapo. The unconfessable secret emerged: Renate had a boyfriend, lived in England and was a Jew. Thus, all of a sudden, the news about the beautiful girl was lost: new Aryan stars took their place on the screens. Strange rumors were spread that Renate had been hospitalized as a result of repeated nerve crises, alcohol abuse and morphine. The end of this sad story came to a sudden, on October 7, 1937, the actress took a long flight from the window of her house in Berlin. The body was quickly cremated at the Wilmersdorf Krematorium to be buried in great silence inside the Parkfriedhof Lichterfelde in Berlin Steglitz. To the many fans it was forbidden to attend the funeral, the government tried to appease the soul by saying it was suicide, but the girl’s neighbors, in silence, said they had seen her fall from the balcony to the men’s Gestapo. Many others, however, swore that it was the soldiers who had launched into the void the actress who in life refused to be thrown on the screens of a damn cinema.

Renate Müller with pet. Ufa Photo for the movie “Liebling der Götter” (in italian: Le Ali della Fortuna”) by Hanns Schwarz. Costumes: René Hubert. 1930
Renate Müller, Viktor und Viktoria (Germany, 1933, dir. Reinhold Schünzel)
Renate Müller in a silk pajamas strike a pose for a signed 30s film postcard
A magnetic and fatal gaze for a 30s film postcard from the Ufa German motion-picture production company.
Renate Müller wears an evening dress with a plunging neckline on the shoulder, in the typical style of the 1930s
Statuesque body and gorgeous evening dress. Ph Aufnahme Walther Jaeger, Berlin
Early 30s. Posing like a Pin-Up anticipating the 50s looks
On the cover of “FILMWOCHE” Magazine year 1934
Renate Müller at the window, she does not imagine that soon will fall from there

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Piero Tosi. Death in Venice.

È scomparso uno tra i più celebri costumisti italiani famoso in tutto il mondo. Il talentuoso Piero Tosi, che ha brillato nel sodalizio con il regista Luchino Visconti, lavorando anche nella prosa (La locandiera), nella lirica (La sonnambula, Macbeth) e nel cinema (Senso, Rocco e i suoi fratelli, Le notti bianche, Il gattopardo, Morte a Venezia film del 1971, di cui allego alcune drammatiche e struggenti immagini.

One of the most famous Italian costume designers famous all over the world has passed away. The talented Piero Tosi, who shone in the partnership with the filmaker Luchino Visconti, also working in the prose (La locandiera), in the lyric (La sonnambula, Macbeth) and in the cinema (Senso, Rocco e i suoi fratelli, Le notti bianche, Il gattopardo , Death in Venice film of 1971, of which I am attaching some dramatic and poignant images.

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Björn Johan Andrésen
Death in Venice – Movie Frame
Björn Johan Andrésen
Dirk Bogarde
Dirk Bogarde
Costume worn by Silvana Mangano
Silvana Mangano from Death In Venice
Silvana Mangano and Björn Johan Andrésen
Silvana Mangano

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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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Some of my styling. Photoshooting in Berlin.

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Some of the styling I created for a photoshooting in Berlin. Vintage clothes and accessories all from my archive.

Alcuni degli styling che ho creato per lo shooting fotografico realizzato a Berlino. Abiti e accessori d’epoca, dal mio archivio.

Photography Suzana Holtgrave

Mua – Hair Noriko Takayama

Models: Iconic Management – Berlin

in collaboration with Amanda Kastrati and Andreas Weigelt (location)

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Divas of Fascist Cinema

Alida Valli Ghergo Luciano Lapadula blog moda storia attrici fascismo moda fashion history photography history blogger libro

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 fascismo cinema Luciano Lapadula blog moda storia attrici nazi beauty creepy moda fashion history photography
Alida Valli – From a Fresh Look to a Dark Lady – Venturini

Alida Valli Ghergo Luciano Lapadula blog moda storia attrici fascismo moda fashion history photography
Alida Valli. Ghergo

luisa ferida
Luisa Ferida

Leda Gloria
Seductive Leda Gloria – Ghergo

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Leda Gloria – Venturini

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Elisa Cegani – Ph unknown

Elisa Cegani magazine italia duce Luciano Lapadula blog moda storia attrici fascismo moda fashion history photography
Elisa Cegani from in “LA CORONA DI FERRO” di Alessandro Blasetti, 1941. Winner of Coppa Mussolini award

clara calamai profondo rosso nazismo nazi diva gothic fascismo cinema Luciano Lapadula blog moda storia attrici nazi beauty creepy moda fashion history photography
Clara Calami: the first italian “Dark Lady” actress

clara calamai profondo rosso nazismo nazi diva gothic fascismo cinema Luciano Lapadula blog moda storia attrici nazi beauty creepy moda fashion history photography weird blogger
Clara Calamai. I think she worn Ferragamo platform shoes. Could be now

Elsa De Giorgi fascismo cinema Luciano Lapadula blog moda storia attrici nazi beauty creepy moda fashion history photography
Elsa De Giorgi – Peek-a-Boo hairstyle. Ph Venturini

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A perfect face. Elsa De Giorgi

Doris Duranti hitler nazismo nazi diva gothic fascismo cinema Luciano Lapadula blog moda storia attrici nazi beauty creepy moda fashion history photography
Amazing Beauty: Doris Duranti, the most loved by dictators

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Doris Duranti, the fascist actress, by Elio Luxardo

isa miranda marlene dietrich nazismo nazi diva gothic fascismo cinema Luciano Lapadula blog moda storia attrici nazi beauty creepy moda fashion history photography
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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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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Stripes & Disorders from fashion in 1914 – 1915

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

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

fashion history stripes moda righe luciano lapadula blog blogger olga skott 1914 1915 20s
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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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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[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_t8HQvnF2A&w=560&h=315]

© COPYRIGHT:

Divieto di copia e riproduzione. Contattare l’autore per info e disponibilità

Do Not Copy. Contact the writer for info

Follow Me on Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/iamlucianolapadula/

Follow Me on Facebook:

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Acquista il mio libro. Clicca sull’immagine per info.

Shop my Book. Click on the pic for info.