Tuesday, September 20, 2011

WWRHW: What Would Rita Hayworth Wear?

Rita Hayworth is always an under-rated icon of glamor, style, and femininity to me.  If we were dressing Miss Hayworth in the modern styles of this season, what would she wear?

I love her black and white dress here.  It's so elegant and really rather modern, with its sculptural, simple quality: 
I loathe the endless ways that celebrities now feel obliged to sell stuff with their names on it.  Will celebrity branding never stop?  I'm just waiting for Kim Kardashian to start appearing on TV hawking luxury toilet paper made especially for her renowned rear.  Anyway, this dress is actually so lovely and well-made I just had to include it: Victoria Beckham Embellished Stretch-Crepe Gown $7,755 netaporter.com
Sonia Rykiel Fall 2011
Emilio de la Morena Fall 2011
Bottega Veneta Fall 2011
I love the juicy citrus orange of Miss Hayworth's suit, and its playful mod quality with the white circle and that deliciously silly flying saucer hat!  As some of you know all too well, I have a great weakness for silly, witty little hats.  My cherished Christian Dior hat from the early 60s, with its wild blossoming of fake flowers and plastic fruit on top, comes to mind.  I look completely insane when I wear it, and that's part of the fun.  I will feel my life's mission is fulfilled if I can re-introduce the superbly frivolous hat back into public life.

Anyway, this very graphic, punchy orange found its way into a lot of suits this year.  It is crisp and modern with white, business-worthy with mustard, and irresistible paired with fresh raspberry in this eminently desirable little Bottega Veneta coat.  A lot of people are shy of orange, but it can be a very flattering shade.  Orange lipstick is also very flattering and au courant.  I wore it a lot when I was still blonde, and people always wanted to know my shade:

Orange lips from the Spring 2011 runway
Rita Hayworth looked delectable with orange lips when she was blonde:

Orange lips also look amazing with caramel and mocha shades of skin where they truly pop in a playful way:

 It's hard to wear orange lips as a redhead, but Rihanna looks quite naughty in this electric orange shade paired with her wild dark red curls.  I still haven't found a good orange shade to wear with my red hair.

Rita Hayworth as Carmen
Dolce and Gabanna One-Shoulder Printed Silk Chiffon Gown 3,595 netaporter.com
Comme des Garcons Fall 201
 The 1948 film "The Loves of Carmen" has many flaws, but watching the shy-in-real-life, maneater-on-screen Rita Hayworth playing the free-spirited Carmen is a true delight.  For more modern gypsies, we have the mad-cap, devil-may-care mix of prints and florals that are everywhere right now.  Tom Ford famously made off-shoulder, lace-up gypsy-style absolutely mandatory for a few seasons, and if you still have pieces from that collection, or inspired by it, consider yourselves invited to bring them out again!  It's a lovely, sensuous look for LA's breezy warm nights.

Somehow, in some magical way of her own, Rita Hayworth manages to make a transparent white lace gown look like the final word in erotic elegance.  I found a modern equivalent in this frothy, delicate, fairy-tale Marchesa gown:
Marchesa Fall 2011
Rita Hayworth wearing a timeless 40's white gown
A modern take on the sculptural white gown: Halston Fall 2011
I love this white Halston gown with its very modern, clean, crisp lines.   It has an easy, effortless luxury.  I would just throw this on for one of those end-of-summer parties in the hills, or perhaps for yachting on the Mediterranean with friends -- something which I fully intend to dedicate myself to doing more of, as my tough New Years resolution for next year.

In my opinion, if you have not seen Rita Hayworth as Gilda in the 1946 film of the same name, you have been living a life of quiet desperation!  In all of cinema, this scene has to be one of my absolute favorites:

On screen Rita Hayworth has her own special animal grace and sensuality, and you want to reach out and pet her glorious hair.  She is just so irresistibly feminine.

I own a pair of long, black satin gloves from a glove shop in Florence, and for my own Gilda re-enactment, I would wear this modern dress.  I have a pathological weakness for gold lame, even in its tackiest 80s incarnations, but here I think it is just very sensual.  Now I just need to work on my song and dance routine and getting a few extra thousands for the dress and I'm set!
Marchesa draped lame gown 5,500 netaporter.com

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