Style in film: Mogambo

Ava Gardner's Style-Mogambo

A remake after Clark Gable’s 1932 adventure film Red Dust, Mogambo (1953), directed by John Ford, was shot on location in Africa. Ava Gardner is a show girl who winds up stranded in the hunting outpost of Victor Marswell (Clark Gable), a big-game hunter, who also runs a safari, and the two soon start an affair. She is a natural fit for Gable. Donald Sinden plays Donald Nordley, an English anthropologist, who hires Victor to take him and his wife into the African wild. Grace Kelly is in the role of the wife, Linda, outwardly stiff and prim, but secretly harboring a lust for Victor. A love triangle unfolds on the background of the beautiful and rugged African landscape.

ava gardner's costumes Mogambo (17)

The jewel tones suit Ava incredibly well. Off shoulder top, full skirt and cinched waist, chunky gold bracelets.

ava gardner's costumes Mogambo (18)

I am happy to talk about another safari-style wardrobe in movies. Helen Rose was the designer and she did a beautiful job. However, we have the chance to see a variety of styles, including two evening gowns. I also like the impracticability of the glamorous red lips, strands of pearls, high heels and chunky gold link bracelets that we constantly see even in the middle of the safari.

ava gardner's costumes Mogambo (4)

The leather belt with whip-stitch details is the element that gives this look a twist.

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Ava in a safari skirt-suit. Note the easy elegance she wears it with.

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Grace makes her entrance in her own safari suit, with soft skirt, white gloves, satchel bag and pith helmet. This time, the look says ladylike demeanor. I like the lapel-less shirt. If there is one thing I dislike about a shirt look is too see a shirt with its lapels spread all over a blazer or jacket worn on top. This was Grace Kelly and Helen Rose’s first film collaboration and the latter would become one of the three costume designers, along with Oleg Cassini and Edith Head, who would help the actress shape up her personal style.

style in Magambo

cinema style Mogambo

Ava and Grace were both nominated for the Oscar for their performances, but Ava outshines Grace, in style and acting, and she steals the show from both Gable and Kelly. Gardner is enticing and she also has the best lines in the movie.

grace kelly's costumes in Mogambo

ava gardner's costumes Mogambo (8)

ava gardner's costumes Mogambo (9)

Another off-shoulder top, full skirt, cinched waist and heels look for Eloise.

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The only two gowns Helen had to design, to her disappointment, for the film. Purple for Grace, white for Ava. I prefer Ava’s dress. It’s like the roles are switched, because Linda is the tempted wife and Eloise is the seductress with a heart of gold.

costumes in Mogambo

Another beautiful leather belt for Ava. The array of shirts is one of my favourite parts of the wardrobe in the film and the neckerchiefs make me want to wear one more often.

ava gardner's costumes Mogambo (12)

ava gardner's costumes Mogambo (13)

ava gardner's costumes Mogambo (19)

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Although the two leading ladies are dressed similarly, they wear their outfits so differently, which reflects their different personalities. Linda wears everything by the book, everything is very posh, refined and very English about her. Eloise’s style is more relaxed, unstudied and carefree: turned up sleeves and pants, popped up collars, hair cut short – she is very confident of her attractiveness. Even the styles of the hats differ: Ava opts for a canvas safari hat.

costumes Mogambo (4)

grace kelly's style Mogambo (2)

Another classic safari look: midi skirt, shirt, leather belt and knee-length leather boots, completed by the jacket in the image below.

grace kelly's style Mogambo (3)ava gardner's style Mogamboava gardner's costumes Mogambo (15)

A tan wool safari jacket with suede elbows, pleated pockets, front zip and partially lined in silk (from what I remember having read somewhere a while ago).

grace kelly's style Mogambo (4)

grace kelly's costumes Mogambo (6)

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A green safari shirt is the next thing on my wish list. And a beautifully crafted belt to pair it with.

photos: stills from the film captured by me from this DVD edition / credit: Loew’s Incorporated

Posted by classiq in Style in film | | 7 Comments

Animal print

massimo dutti animal print and leather bracelet - Copy

massimo dutti animal print bracelet

I’m slowly learning how to incorporate animal print into my wardrobe. I’ve had this Massimo Dutti bracelet for a few months, but it was not until summer started that I realized how effortlessly it can blend into my wardrobe. It’s perfect for adding just a touch of glamour to my safari dress and shirt, to white linen shirts or tops worn with khaki trousers, and even to my little black dress.

photos by me / book photos: from the book Ralph Lauren by Ralph Lauren: 1,2-Bruce Weber, Hawaii, 1994 (model: Josie Borain)

Posted by classiq in Details, Fashion | | 7 Comments

Welcome, July

la bastide de marie-provence

Although July is greeting us with rainy weather, I’m happy that it’s here. Today I’ll let the photos do the talking, as they beautifully capture the free spirit of my favourite summer month. Let’s make the best of it and live in the moment!

elliott erwitt for tod's

Villa Grenache La Bastide de Marie Provence (2)

La bastide de Marie Provence

koto bolofo for hermes

Villa Grenache La Bastide de Marie Provence

La Bastide de Marie Provence (2)

ck eternity campaign

Villa Grenache La Bastide de Marie Provence 4

la bastide de marie provence

photos: 1,3,4,6,7,9,10-La Bastide de Marie (1,4,7,10-La Bastide de Marie / 3,6,9-Villa Grenache) / 2-Elliott Erwitt for Tod’s campaign / 5-Koto Bolofo for Collection L’Heure Hermès / 8-CK Eternity campaign (model: Christy Turlington)

Posted by classiq in Fashion Photography, Inspiration | | 10 Comments

The Strange Love of Martha Ivers

by guest writer

the strange love of martha ivers-1946

The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946) is the perfect example of Golden Age American film noir. It is a compelling story of obsession and betrayal. The beginning of the movie presents us two of the leading characters: Sam Masterson (Van Helfin) and Martha Ivers (Barbara Stanwyck). They were both children seeking love and protection. Their innocence is taken away when a terrible accident happens that will change their lives. Kirk Douglas’ debut role here is a perfect prelude to his entire career. The scared little child will develop as a grownup having the same core. Hiding a secret all your life can change you in an unspeakable way.

In the development of characters the psychological factor is very important and we are introduced to clues and facts that are meant to provide insights of our characters. Take for example Martha Ivers, the prototype of the femme fatale. She will lie, conceal, cheat and murder to get her way. Lewis Milestone’s chosen way of characterization borrows techniques from such masters as Fritz Lang and Alfred Hitchcock. Toni Marachek (Elizabeth Scott) is the character that gives the movie its balance. All four actors are amazing playing their parts in The Strange Love of Martha Ivers. Cinematographer Victor Milner’s work is breathtaking as it recreates such contrasts in the familiar chiaroscuro way to increase the tension level to a peak. The camera never spots a wrong item in its path.

photo: movie still / credit: Hal Wallis Productions

Posted by classiq in Film | | 1 Comment

Notebook pages


The month of June has been rich in summer adventures like trips to the countryside, hikes in the mountains and a beautiful sunrise on the beach. Summer should be lived out slowly, it’s too short and too longed for during the rest of the year and every moment is worth celebrating. Here are my latest finds and news from style, fashion, film, photography and beautiful living. Have a wonderful weekend!

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• A special thank you to Francisca Mattéoli for the mention on her blog in such great company
Woody Allen opens up about playing the romantic lead, the hit-flop trap and why he just can’t quit the business. Here is the trailer of his new film, Blue Jasmine, starring Cate Blanchett and Alec Baldwin, which will be released in July.
• My idea of going to the movies: a secret cinema
• Francis Ford Coppola takes us to an Italian heaven, his Palazzo Margherita hideaway
• The Awesome Project: “an experimental journey through the awesome milky-silky world of porcelain, with a touch of Romanian folklore.” Individually designed and hand-decorated.
• An Andrew Wilder photo worth framing
• This LoveShackFancy for Goop honeycomb dress is ideal for summer
• I’ve been toying with the idea of safari chairs for our balcony

photos by me

Posted by classiq in Crafts & Culture, Notebook pages | | 8 Comments