As most of you will know by now, not only do I adore Old Hollywood but I especially love the incredible Blonde Bombshells of that era. I love to learn about their talent and lives, sadly so many just see them as pretty faces – when they are so much more than that!
Last week on at FACT for their Vintage Sundays was one of Diana’s films,Tread Softly Stranger (1958)and it was shown in collaboration with the Diana Dors Exhibit being held atThe Galleryin Liverpool. It was also in association with Pride as Diana is often associated as an icon for the LGBT Community, so that was wonderful.
Since discovering Marilyn in October 2010 and thus learning about Old Hollywood, I’ve known about Diana for a number of years. She was known as Britain’s Version of Marilyn Monroe and although she embraced the nickname, she ironically said,
“I was the first home-grown sex symbol, rather like Britain’s naughty seaside postcards. When Marilyn Monroe’s first film was shown here [The Asphalt Jungle (1950)], a columnist actually wrote, “How much like our Diana Dors she is.”.
After becoming a huge star in the UK and Europe in the 1950s, Diana ventured out to America and was offered a three picture contract with RKO Pictures in 1956. Ironically, when Diana came to America,Marilyn went to England to filmThe Prince and The Showgirlwith Laurence Olivier and the two never met.
The Exhibit which is being shown at The Gallery until mid December, is a beautiful collection of Diana in her heyday – the 1950s. The room is filled with stunning vintage movie posters and magazines, as well as a lot of rare photos. I was even more thrilled when I learn that I was allowed to take pictures, which of course I will be sharing with you all! The Guide who showed us around the exhibit kindly showed us some more of the collection which was not on display. I asked about the Collector and how he discovered Diana and was told that he first bought a Diana Vintage Poster, (Tread Softly Stranger) when he was just 14 years old and 34 years on he’s still collecting!
Although I don’t have any vintage movie posters as they are sadly too expensive for me, over the years I’ve collected a good amount of vintage magazines and movie stills – especially of Marilyn. I would absolutely love to show my collection some day, it’s such a wonderful idea to have it all on display and shared with other fans. Before I left I purchased my own print of Diana, although it was £35 it is without doubt worth the money. It’s such a unique item for my collection and rare and beautiful picture.
Out of all of the amazing peices in the exhibit, my favourite would have to be a group of photos from Diana’s personal collection. I was told the top right is her as Marilyn and bottom right as Mae West. I’m guessing the top left is Marlene Dietrich and bottom left Clara Bow, very similar to Marilyn’s 1958 photos by Richard Avedon! I also adored the candid rare photos from the 1950s.
I know that a lot of you may not be able to see the exhibit, therefore I hope you enjoy the photos I took and I really hope the exhibit will be displayed in other galleries!
As you probably know by now, Old Hollywood is a huge passion of mine and I have spent a lot of time learning about the stars and watching movies from the Golden Age of Hollywood. I was tagged onInstagramto post six Old Hollywood Actresses I relate to and I must say, I found it a lot harder than I expected! After narrowing my list down to about nine stars, I finally picked my beautiful six.
(1926 – 1962)
I think it’s safe to say that I relate to Marilyn the most out of all of the Stars I’ve picked. Marilyn suffered with depression and anxiety, she was her biggest critic and a very sensitive soul. She also loved to read, learn, adored animals and looking after others. Marilyn was also very misunderstood and people often judged her on their perceptions, without knowing who she really was.
(1920 – 1991)
Gene suffered a mental breakdown and experienced depression and anxiety throughout her life. During her lifetime she was very candid about her mental health and contributed to lowering the stigma considerably in today’s society. I absolutely adore Gene, she was a beautiful soul and I relate to her suffering, but her recovery gives me hope.
Brigitte is strong willed, passionate and determined, never following societies expectations and always being her own person. She fights for what she belives in and loves to love and be loved. She adores animals and fights for those who can’t fight for themselves. Brigitte is also misunderstood and has been judged by certain perceptions which are not accurate.
(1929) – (1993)
I like to think I have Audrey’s caring heart and sensitive soul. She had so much joy for life and was very humble. She thought other people were more important than herself and gave so much to those in need. I can relate to her passion about what she believed in and her determination to help in whatever way she could.
(1907) – (2003)
Katharine was always a bit of an outsider and rarely followed societies expectations. She was quirky, an individual and a bit different. She was very ahead of her time and could be quite sassy and I like to think I have some of her spirit. She was reliable, loyal and devoted a lot of her time to those who needed her.
(1908) – (1942)
I like to think that I have Carole’s sense of humour, she was witty, loved to laugh and could be a bit cheeky! She didn’t always act like the lady people expected her to be in a time when women were meant to behave in a certain way and I love that about her.
Officially, August 5th 1962 marks the death of an incredibly beautiful soul, Marilyn Monroe. Technically, Marilyn died around 10pm on the night of August 4th, but she was found in the early hours of the 5th and that is classed as her official day of death.
Sadly over the years, so much fascination and conspiracy has became attached to Marilyn’s death that it can be incredibly hard for fans to talk about. I, like many, like to focus on her amazing life and what she achieved. Personally, it’s sad to say that so many people love conspiracies and controversy and when a person is no longer with us, it’s easy to sell and tarnish their name. Marilyn had a history of suicide attempts and without the likes of Arthur Miller, Natasha Lytess and Paula Strasberg, she may have left us a lot earlier. However, I firmly believe that her death was an accident, primarily down to Medical Negligence. If you follow my Marilyn Tumblr or have read my previous post on Marilyn, you’ll know how little time I have for slandering or Marilyn, I stick with substance and legitimate research.
I don’t want this post to focus on Marilyn’s death, I wanted to write this post to emphasize what an incredible impact one person has made on so many people. Over fifty years after her death, Marilyn thankfully, shows no signs of going anywhere. Although some would say her name and image is being exploited for money, I am thankful to say that there are so many people out there that absolutely adore this beautiful lady. Thanks to Marilyn I have met so many special people, she has given me so much and has helped me through a lot of personal struggles.
Since finding Marilyn at aged 17 in October 2010, I have made it my aim to see past the beautiful Bombshell image and learn about what a sweet, kind, gentle, witty person Marilyn was. When I think of Marilyn, I always think of her as a Beautiful Soul, not only was her beauty breathtaking, but her nature and heart were just as special. Some may say I am biased and that’s fair enough, I probably am, however, I do admit that even someone as amazing as Marilyn had her flaws. But to me, this makes her even more unique and I embrace and accept her as she really was.
Sadly, so many people see Marilyn as a Tragic Figure, who died young and didn’t have much to offer other than a pretty face and figure. This is because Society seems to find it hard to grasp that a beautiful woman can be so much more than that, we all have to learn to never judge a book by it’s cover. Marilyn was always striving to learn and improve herself, an avid reader, she could put us all to shame with her extensive library of over 400 books, ranging from Russian Literature to Psychology. She suffered with Mental Illnesses; Anxiety and Depression and she was also plagued with Insomnia and Endometriosis. Yet, during her career, she never let any of these fears or illnesses stand in her way, anyone who watches her on film would not think for a second of how much emotional pain she went through. When she passed, so many people couldn’t understand how a beautiful, young and successful lady could take her own life – at the time Marilyn’s death was listed as, “Probable Suicide.”
When I found Marilyn in October 2010, through reading Vanity Fair magazine – she was on the cover and the article was publicizing the wonderful book, Fragments, little did I know that I was months away from a Nervous Breakdown. My Anxiety and Depression became so bad that I could no longer go to Sixth Form and I was suffering from Panic Attacks, I was on the verge of becoming Agoraphobic. However, through Marilyn, I found comfort and ultimately, a Guardian Angel. I could watch her films and read about her and I wouldn’t feel so alone and hopeless, even when she was in this depths of despair – she always had hope.
“I believe in myself, even my most delicate, intangible feelings.” – Fragments.
“I will be as sensitive as I am, without being ashamed of it.” – Fragments.
“Maybe I’ll never be able to do what I hope to, but at least I have hope.” – Love, Marilyn “I think you’ve got to love people, all kinds of people, to be able to have an opinion about them that’s worth anything. The whole idea of judging people is crazy. We do what we have to do, and we pay for it. We’re no better than we have to be. We can try to be better, and part of trying is not to condemn other people.” – to Journalist W.J. Weatherby in 1960.
In August 2012, it was to be Marilyn’s Fiftieth Anniversary and an incredible Marilyn Fan Club; Immortal Marilyn, were arranging a five day Marilyn themed event in Hollywood. I dreamed with all of my heart of going to Hollywood, placing my Hand Prints in Marilyn’s, visiting her Crypt at Westwood Memorial Park and visiting her Home. However, I thought it was an impossible task, emotionally, 2011 had been the hardest of my life so far. My Mental Health was so bad that I couldn’t go to University and I was very lonely and cynical about my life. Thankfully, I had the wonderful support and understanding of my parents and as always, Marilyn was my light in the dark. My parents knew how important this would be for me and a huge step in my recovery and very kindly arranged for me to go with my wonderful Mum.
To prepare for the trip my Dad had to drive me to the Airport multiple times to get me used to the idea and prepare me. I was having Therapy weekly also, but we all still didn’t know if I would be able to do this. When the day came – August 1st 2012, I was absolutely terrified, but I kept thinking of Marilyn and all that she had went through, as depressing as it sounds, I wasn’t living a life at the time and this was my hope, my chance to achieve something important to me and start recovering, that’s how I managed to do it.
Since October 2010, I have built up a blog dedicated to Marilyn, on Tumblr and Instagram called, alwaysmarilynmonroe. Marilyn has done so much for me, I’ve made so many amazing friends and moved forward so much since those horrible days in 2011. I bet wherever Marilyn is she would find it astounding to realize the impact she has had on society, on so many people and myself. Her star shows no signs of diminishing and frankly, it never should.
Marilyn achieved so much in her thirty six years, she was one of the first women to created her own Production Company in Hollywood. She spoke candidly and always looked for equality, she was very ahead of her time and I’m so thankful that she blessed us with her presence. I bet the Norma Jeane Baker, born illegitimate in a time of prejudice, with no father to support her and a mother who suffered incredibly through most of her life with Paranoid Schizophrenia, never thought she would become the worlds most loved Movie Star. She had many different homes, one of them being an Orphanage and after the first seven years of her life with The Bolender Family, never felt stability or love. She grew up dreaming that Clark Gable was her father and could she have imagined, she was to star with him in her last completed film, The Misfits.
“I cannot say goodbye. Marilyn never liked goodbyes, but in the peculiar way she had of turning things around so that they faced reality – I will say au revoire. For the country to which she has gone, we must all someday visit.“ – Lee Strasberg’s Eulogy for Marilyn on 8th August 1962.
If Marilyn Monroe was alive today, she would be turning eighty nine years old, which a lot of fans, including myself find very hard to comprehend. I don’t think I’m alone in saying I really can’t picture Marilyn as an old lady, she had so much youth and vibrancy inside of her, such a special childlike quality that was the opposite of being an elderly woman. To many people Marilyn is simply a beautiful, tragic young woman, who graced the Earth for a small amount of time but made a large impact. Sadly, a lot of people remember Marilyn for her untimely death, she became immortalized as forever young and not long after she left the world the myths started rolling in. Conspiracy Theorists went wild and her name has been dragged through some awful ridiculous scenarios, mostly for profit and publicity. Many so called fans simply admire her image and follow fake quotes that over the past few years have taken over the internet. However, I don’t like to think about any of that, it breaks my heart to think of someone so lovely being sensationalized, under appreciated and degraded for selfish motivates.
I first found Marilyn in November 2010, a few weeks after my seventeenth birthday. I was flicking through magazines and came across Vanity Fair, which had a beautiful Milton Greene 1955 photo on the front. I was struck by the beauty of this woman, who I’d heard of vaguely but didn’t really know much about. It turned out I was pretty lucky having this magazine introduce me to Marilyn, as it was publicizing Fragments. Fragments is one of the best books on Marilyn, mainly because it is all of her own words and thoughts, you get to learn about the real woman behind the image. Therefore, because of this article I have always stayed far away from conspiracies and researched from legitimate sources and books.
After reading this, I naturally was falling in love with Marilyn, yes I may be biased, but I really don’t understand how you can’t adore her. It makes me sad that so many people in society have ignorant and inaccurate views on Marilyn, they judge her by hearsay, by conspiracies and in doing this miss out on such an incredible person. I asked for some of her movies and books about her for Christmas and that was five years ago this December.
It just so happened that a few months later, I would have a mental breakdown and apart from my mum, my other Hero was Marilyn. I already knew about Marilyn’s anxiety and depression and when I was going through this myself I felt even more love and respect for her. Most days I would watch her films and feel so much emotion, I’ve always admired the underdog and since falling in love with Marilyn I’ve never doubted her talent as an Actress. No one in Hollywood before or after worked harder than Marilyn for their craft, in many ways Marilyn worked too hard, she put her profession before herself. Many people assume because of her beauty and physical appearance, that she was simply portraying herself. People who have seen her dramatic performances such as, Don’t Bother To Knock and The Misfits are shocked by the diverse range she portrays. In reality, although her dramatic performances are superb, she was actually more close to playing herself in her them, then in her comedic roles.
Through Marilyn I have became apart of the wonderful fan club, Immortal Marilyn. I went to Hollywood in August 2012, the fiftieth anniversary of Marilyn’s death and celebrated my love for her by visiting her most important places. I have made so many lovely friends and have started my own blogs, alwaysmarilynmonroe, to continue spreading the love and legacy of this incredible lady. In my darkest days Marilyn has given me so much joy, I was on the verge of being agoraphobic and I would often go out with my parents in the car and try and walk around places. Due to my anxiety and depression this was incredibly hard and I remember the first time I made a big step of recovering was when thinking of Marilyn filming The Misfits. Marilyn suffered so much, she had a mental breakdown, a marriage collapse with Arthur Miller and was hospitalized for her addiction to barbiturates, (contrary to belief, Marilyn’s addiction to drugs were prescription only, for her anxiety, insomnia and depression) and I thought to myself, if Marilyn can get through making this film then I can get out of the car and I did.
Marilyn was so humble and understated about herself, she seemed to be fascinated that so many people could love and admire her, I can imagine if she knew now that her fame is forever growing she would feel pretty overwhelmed with emotion. It’s so sad that someone so loved felt so alone, but I hope Marilyn knows that she never will be alone as it takes an incredibly special person to have such an impact on so many people. The amount of messages I’ve had from other fans who have suffered mental illness, abuse, miscarriages, endometriosis, or abandonment and felt comfort and inspiration from Marilyn is incredible. She’s helped so many people and the irony is she may not even know. When people ask how I would describe Marilyn I always say beautiful, but when I say beautiful I don’t mean it physically. Marilyn had such a beautiful soul, she was so caring and giving to others, there are anecdotes of her rescuing pigeons, helping co-workers, spending time with fans, it truly is heartwarming.
So many people assume because she was not only an Actress, but a huge Sex Symbol that she was promiscuous and say very cruel and inaccurate things about Marilyn. The irony is, this couldn’t be further from the truth. In reality, you never got very far on the casting couch anyway, you’d often get small roles and never get higher than B Movie pictures, Marilyn started movies in 1947 and didn’t get her first leading role until 1952. I find it incredibly disrespectful to judge a person on their sex life anyway, but I’ve sadly found that it is often the beautiful women in Hollywood who oozed sex appeal that suffer this. I always stick with a legitimate source or Marilyn’s own words,
“I think I had many problems as the next starlet keeping the Hollywood wolves from my door. These wolves just could not understand me. They would tell me, ‘But Marilyn, you’re not playing the game the way you should. Be smart. You’ll never get anywhere in this business acting the way you do.’ My answer to them would be, ‘The only acting I’ll do is for the camera.’ I was determined, no one was going to use me or my body—even if he could help my career. I’ve never gone out with a man I didn’t want to. No one, not even the studio, could force me to date someone. The one thing I hate more than anything else is being used. I’ve always worked hard for the sake of someday becoming a talented actress. I knew I would make it someday if I only kept at it and worked hard without lowering my principles and pride in myself.”
So many people ask me about Marilyn’s death, some with ridiculous theories, some due to morbid curiosity and some because they genuinely care. To all people I say the same, I believe Marilyn’s death was an accident resulting in medical negligence. It has happened to so many people over the years, but with Marilyn, so many people are obsessed with murder conspiracies. People who know nothing about Marilyn often automatically assume she was murdered by the CIA or a Kennedy because she, “knew to much” and this gives me a lot of frustration. In reality, Marilyn met John F. Kennedy four times in her lifetime, that’s right, four times, which is documented in Donald Spoto’s highly acclaimed biography. Yet, because of notorious liars like Robert Slatzer and Norman Mailer, this myth has spiraled into a world of it’s own. All someone has to do is pick up one of their books or other biographers influenced by their lies, cough, Anthony Summers and this suddenly becomes fact to that person and continues to spread. In reality, President Kennedy had many actual affairs and mistresses, so why would he have Marilyn, who at most he had a one night stand with, killed? Also, the whole, “Red Diary” claim is ridiculous, not only has it never been found, in Fragments we can see that Marilyn only used a couple of pages in each of her notebooks and wrote small passages about random things.
Robert Slatzer made a whole career on his claim of being Marilyn’s second husband, when in reality, the day he claimed to have married her she was out of the country with Natasha Lytess, her drama coach. You’d think someone who got to be in the presence of Marilyn and have their photograph taken would be special enough, but no, greed is often sadly stronger. It’s not only Marilyn who has suffered his lies, Grace Kelly has also been named as one of his conquests. Norman Mailer, an acclaimed author released the first photo biography on Marilyn and was the first to name any Kennedy. He later admitted on CBS in an interview that he, “needed the money very badly” conveniently after his book had made the best seller lists and his lies had been cemented. Ironically when Marilyn was alive, Norman Mailer, like most people, wanted to meet Marilyn and as he knew her third husband, Arthur Miller, asked if he could. Needless to say Marilyn turned him down and I bet all of these years later she’s happy she did.
I hope in reading this, people will be inspired to learn more about Marilyn the person, what she achieved and what she gave to the world. She had such a hard childhood and came from virtually nothing to becoming the most famous actress of all time, she worked damn hard and never gave up, no matter how much she suffered. Even 20th Century Fox Studio Executive, Darryl F. Zanuck, who never believed in Marilyn or even liked her said, “Nobody discovered her, she earned her own way to stardom.” and that is very true.
“And I want to say to the people, if I am a star, the people made me a star. No studio, no person, but the people did. There was a reaction that came to the studio, the fan mail, or when I went to a premiere, or the exhibitors wanted to meet me. I didn’t know why.”
— Marilyn in her last interview, to Richard Meryman for Life Magazine in August 1962.
So today I took inspiration from one of my favourite stars, Brigitte Bardot! I adore BB with all of my heart, her look is completely timeless and she is without doubt one of the most beautiful women who ever lived. Besides her obvious beauty, she is an incredible actress (The Truth (1960)is a must) and has devoted her post acting career to saving beloved animals. I wrote to her last year with a couple of my favourite photos and she personally signed them all, which I am incredibly thankful for and now they are displayed pride of place on my bedroom wall.
I think the most recognizable feature of Brigitte’s would have to be her blonde beehive, which was one of her signature hairstyles. Needless to say, when I have a 1960s inspired day Brigitte is my muse, along with Sharon Tate of course, but this post is all about Brigitte.
When recently asked about her famous makeup and hair dos she had this to say,
“I never decided anything. I always hated people fussing with my face and hair. I could get by on my own, pinning up my hair any old way.”
Above are three pictures of Brigitte’s Beehive during the filming of three of her films;
The Truth (1960)
Please, Not Now! (1961)
A Very Private Affair (1962)Obviously my hair doesn’t look exactly the same as Brigitte’s (sadly) but I tried my best and hopefully you guys will try this hairstyle too!
Firstly, I separated the top of my hair by placing both of my thumbs through it, bringing them both together to make an almost U sign and lifted it up from the rest. I then proceeded to tease that section of hair thoroughly and then brushed over it only slightly. Brigitte’s beehive often had a messy feel to it, which made it look effortless and I tried to capture that to. I used my favourite hair brushes, myTangle Teaser Brushand aTooth Comb.
After I had clipped the beehive in place I then added my signature touch – a flower! It also happens that Brigitte loves wearing flowers in her hair, she still does now at 80 and why not? Flowers are especially easy to buy in the summer in places such as Accessorize and TopShop, but I wear them all year round, they’re such a great accessory!
I also took some close up pictures of my beehive up close so you can see the detail. I have always left the front of my hair down and backcombed it to blend in with the beehive, purely because I prefer that style. However, it just so happens that Brigitte leaves pieces of her hair down too, so that’s a bonus! It also looks more effortless and less controlled which is the look I was going for.
I also added some boho style earrings to complete the look, I love the detail compared to my normal silver hoops and the colours are beautiful! I think I got these from Accessorize, they have such lovely earrings, it’s always my go to place.
As for my makeup, I tried to copy Brigitte’s signature style, the peachy nude lips and the winged eyeliner. However, I left out the heavy black eyeshadow as I don’t think I can pull it off like Brigitte does, maybe with some practice I may try it out, who knows! Instead, I went for white and golden colours and added some dark shadow in the crease of my eyelid. I used myNARS Lipstick in Brigitteand I also used myMAC Lip Pencil in HoverandMac Velvet Teddy.
As for clothes, I wore a floral fitted dress that I bought from H & M last year. I don’t regularly shop there as I never seem to find clothes that suits me, however, every so often I come across something lovely! I added a white embroidered lace overlay cardigan to give it that 1950s feel and also keep me warm, both the dress and cardigan really complimented one another. The only problem with the dress is that it’s not cotton material, so can get a bit uncomfortable in hot weather!
Here are some close up details of the dress, I absolutely adore the pattern, I am obsessed with anything floral! I also love how the dress is fitted at the bust and waist, but flares out so it still stays comfy.
I hope you enjoyed this look and even try a Bardot Beehive too. I love mixing my favourite decades of style together and there’s no reason why you shouldn’t give it a go. Please ignore my pink socks, (lol!) I assure you my ankle boots hid them.
On a positive, it’s now May! Which means the change of calendars, I have eight on Marilyn and one on my favourite film, Gone With The Wind. Yes, I know it’s a lot, but they sure brighten up my door and the rest of my room.
Sorry for being quiet the past couple of days, I’ve not had any fashion or makeup posts to show you as after using a spot moisturizer, I suffered an allergic reaction on my face! It’s gone all swollen, hot, dry and red so I’ve been a bit of a mess. I was meant to be going out with my parents and their friends yesterday, I pincurled my hair for the occasion but I wasn’t up to it sadly. So the past two days I’ve had lovely curls and a not so lovely face.
I’ve also been suffering a bit more severely lately with my intrusive thoughts, OCD is such a debilitating mental illness and I truly wouldn’t wish it on anyone. After watching some youtube videos with other sufferers talking, I’ve tried to be braver and let the thoughts go, but anyone who suffers will know that it’s a lot easier said then done. Over the past years I’ve tried to be as open and honest as I can about my experiences with my mental illnesses, if you want to know more you can see here. I’m very lucky to have my mum and boyfriend especially, be so understanding and make me feel less crazy, I know I’m not – but that’s how isolating this illness can be. To learn more about Obsessive Compulsive Disorder see here.
On a more positive note, I’ve recently got into the Netflix buzz and been watching shows like Breaking Bad and House Of Cards. However, until today I’d yet to have watched any films on there. As a huge lover of Old Hollywood films I was very excited to see the Classic’s Genre and I wrote down a list of ones I’d yet to see. A couple of months ago I read Sophia Loren’s Autobiography and completely fell in love with her. She is such an incredibly beautiful woman, inside and out and since then I’ve bought three of her films on DVD. Therefore, I was so excited when I saw Houseboat (1958) to watch! It was Sophia’s third American film, after Boy On A Dolphin (1957) and The Pride and The Passion (1957) and she stars opposite the ever so lovely Cary Grant.
Every year on tumblr I do a Film Challenge, rating all the movies I view that year and I’ve really been behind on watching any lately so I was very happy to get back into it. Seeing any Old Hollywood film with my favourites is always a joy, but this one was extra enjoyable – possibly because of the real life romance between Cary and Sophia and I’d recommend it to anyone who loves the Golden Age of Hollywood and the 1950s. I won’t say too much as I don’t want to give anything away! I will say though, that Sophia sure has a lovely voice, is there anything this woman can’t do? I think not!
I decided to write down the other Classic Films which caught my eye on Netflix that I hadn’t seen, so here are some recommendations;
His Girl Friday (1940)
Sorry, Wrong Number (1948)
The Enforcer (1951)
Teacher’s Pet (1958)
The Grass Is Greener (1960)
That Touch Of Mink (1962)
A Hard Day’s Night (1964)Here’s the films I’ve seen that are on there;
To Catch A Thief (1955)
The Children’s Hour (1961)
Irma La Douce (1963)
I’m also currently reading a book onGrace Kelly by James Spada, it’s the first full biography I’ve read on her and I’m really enjoying it. I’m reading an updated version from 2014, but it was originally released in 1987, a few years after her death. I’ve got a Marilyn photographic biography by him and it’s pretty good so I trust him as an author which is important. I’ve always thought Grace was a beautiful and talented lady and I’ve seen the majority of her films, (sadly, she only made eleven) so it’s wonderful to learn more about the real Grace behind her Hitchcock Blonde Persona.
As soon as my face returns to normal, I hope to be back to sharing my fashion, make up and hairstyles with you all. But at least for now you can be inspired by the beautiful Sophia and Grace, I know I am!
Ah, Sharon, where to begin? The sixties beauty queen, the fashion setter, the determined starlet with a dream of love. These are many of the thoughts that pop into my head when I think of one of my favourite Old Hollywood Actresses. Sadly, the majority of society probably thinks of another thought – the tragedy of August 9th 1969. To many, Sharon is simply a tragic figure, a beautiful girl who was taken too soon in one of the most infamous crimes of the 20th Century. She has become entwined with an evil name, a despicable event and has gained somewhat of a cult status, but for the wrong reasons. However, as a lover of Old Hollywood, the Swingin’ Sixties and the iconic bombshells, she has become to mean a lot more to devoted fans, whose goal it is to celebrate the life of an incredible human being, who had so much more to give.
I thank Old Hollywood and ultimately, my lovely Marilyn for my discovery of Sharon. I started using Tumblr in August 2010 when I decided to make a Marilyn blog and since then, I created a personal Tumblr to share my other loves; mainly Old Hollywood. One day, I was scrolling through Tumblr as usual, looking through beautiful edits that so many kind users share with other fans and I stumbled across, Sharon. At first, I was in complete awe and thought to myself, who is this beautiful girl and why haven’t I came across her before? The blog I first saw Sharon on was named after her most popular film, Valley Of The Dolls however, I’d yet to link the two together.
Since finding Marilyn and learning so much about her, I’ve often been drawn to under appreciate and misunderstood beauties. I’ve researched and found out so much more behind the beautiful faces which sadly, many cannot see past. I’ve found their intelligence and talent is so often overlooked, simply because they are often deemed, “too pretty” to be anything else. However, these stars will always mean so much more to me.
I was so struck by this beautiful actress/model that I decided to IMDB her and find out what films she had been in, I wanted to learn more and appreciate her for more than a beautiful pin up. I looked at her birth date and seeing that it was 1943, realized she was a sixties actress, I was so excited – the 1960s being one of my favourite decades. I was already pretty knowledgeable on the 1940s and 1950s and was eager to continue past 1962. After seeing her birth date, I naturally was intrigued to see if she was still with us and what she was up to now, that’s when I saw August 9th 1969 and her age as 26 years old. I was shocked by this, I assumed her death would be tragic because of her age but, never was I expecting to see the word homicide.
I read her biography on IMDB and found out what had happened, I googled her and saw a picture of a man, a strange man and it scared me, I don’t google Sharon anymore, for obvious reasons. I told my mum what I’d read and started crying, hysterically crying, I felt so much emotion and I couldn’t control myself. After that I tried to put Sharon out of my mind, I thought to myself, I’m sure there are other lovely talented stars from the 1960s that I could learn about. However, I was still drawn to Sharon and my mum had bought me Valley Of The Dolls to watch, but I wasn’t ready to see her on film yet. I found an amazing blog on tumblr dedicated to Sharon’s memory called,lovesharontateandsharontate-polanskiand my affection for Sharon continued to grow. I realized that I wasn’t the only one who had love for this beautiful human and noticed she had quite a following and for the right reasons, for the person she was, not for her untimely death.
I watched Valley Of The Dolls and learnt that her character, Jennifer North was inspired by Marilyn, I also learnt that Sharon herself was compared to Marilyn and that made me happy. Watching Sharon’s performance, I found her to be so breathtaking, she was such a natural in front of the camera and had such screen impact. Not only did I find her beauty to be astonishing, I really appreciated her talent as an actress. Her final scene in the film was so tragic and moving, I could definitely see why she was nominated for a Golden Globe as Best Newcomer. Her style and look in the film was incredible and I was amazed to see that Marilyn’s friend and frequent Costume Designer, William Travilla had designed the costumes for the film! He said such wonderful things about Sharon, they always stick with me,
“Sharon Tate is divine, a real find. Just wait and see what happens when the critics and public see her in Valley of the Dolls. Sharon has everything Marilyn Monroe had and more. She has the fascinating, yet wholly feminine strength of a Dietrich or a Garbo….a classically beautiful face, an exciting figure, the kind of sex appeal and personality appeal to become as glittering a star as Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Rita Hayworth, Lana Turner, Elizabeth Taylor.”
It seems, no one in the industry had a bad word to say about Sharon and they clearly all adored her for her beautiful soul. After Valley Of The Dolls, I set out to watching the rest of her films. Although she’d only had the chance to make six, I was incredibly impressed to see the stars she had worked with in such a short space of time. David Niven, Kim Novak, Deborah Kerr, Tony Curtis, Claudia Cardinale, Susan Hayward, Dean Martin, Elke Sommer, Bruce Lee, Vittorio Gassman and of course, Roman Polanski. Not only was Sharon hailed as one of Hollywood’s Most Promising Newcomer’s, she was also considered to be one of the most beautiful women in Hollywood, clearly it’s not hard to see why.
Pictured above is Sharon in her six motion pictures;
I enjoyed her other films thoroughly, I saw such diverse characters in only six films and it humbled me to read that Sharon didn’t think of herself as much of an actress. It seems to me, all of the best have very little arrogance about themselves and that just makes me love and appreciate them more.
I learnt about her marriage to one of the most famous Directors of our time, Roman Polanski and seeing them on film in The Fearless Vampire Killers was so heartwarming, as that’s where they fell in love with one another. I found Sharon’s official website,sharontate.netrun by Debra Tate, Sharon’s wonderful sister. I was so excited to hear Debra was releasing a photographic appreciation on Sharon’s amazing life. As far as I’m aware, it was to be the first book dedicated solely in preserving her life and memory and about nothing else. The book is simply incredible, people seem to forget that Sharon was one of the most photographed women of her time, working with the likes of, Bert Stern, Philippe Halsman, Richard Avedon, Terry O’Neill and Milton Greene and appearing in huge fashion magazines such as Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue. Debra is so thoughtful, she’s always communicating with fans and I’ve had the pleasure to speak to her on Twitter myself. Apparently, she’s also writing another book, which is incredibly exciting!
I’ve now loved Sharon for the past couple of years and she has become one of my favourite stars, among Marilyn, Brigitte Bardot and Veronica Lake. I’ve learnt to put the awful events of August 9th 1969 out of my mind and not dwell on it or let it take over. The people and crime that took place don’t deserve any publicity and I will not give them it, that’s all I will say about the matter. For people who say Sharon is only famous for her death, I have nothing to say to them as they are missing out on such an incredible person and their ignorance is frankly offensive.
Not only do I adore Sharon as a person, but I also love her individuality and style, she is without doubt a fashion icon of the 1960s and I try and be inspired by her when I portray that style. Obviously, sometimes it is hard not to think of what happened to Sharon, when reading interviews about how much she was looking forward to the future, or seeing photos of her heavily pregnant, it is incredibly heartbreaking. But, I know Sharon wouldn’t want her fans to mourn for her death, she’d want us to appreciate what she gave to the world and remember incredible life through photos and films she gave to the world.
Sharon is more than just a Pin Up/Blonde Bombshell to me. She is a talented actress, a beautiful, giving soul who adored life and experiencing wonderful memories with her family and friends. She gave a lot to Hollywood in just four short years and it incredibly loved, just reading the quotes in Recollection, you can see how much of an impact she has left on the world.
“Ah, Sharon. The Word, “exquisite” perfectly sums up this lady. Almost otherworldly, so beautiful and sensitive, a truly gentle soul. But in no way wishy-washy, she was smart and not taken in by the shallowness of the industry. Well-grounded and natural, she was very much in tune with her life and really happy when I last saw her in London in 1969. She was such an innocent, and unspoiled by her success.”– George Harrison.
So I bought a lovely floral 1950s style dress from Hollister the other week and straight away it reminded me of one of my favourite outfits Marilyn wore in her 1953 film, Niagara. The film was a huge success on it’s first release, made over $6,000,000 at the US Box Office and established Marilyn as the leading lady of 1950s cinema.
Although initially you may be wondering why I think the dress is similar due to the length and colour being different, the style is pretty much the same and a great way to follow Marilyn’s style without splurging too much.
Marilyn’s dress was designed by Dorothy Jenkins, who also worked with her again on the costumes for her 1960 film, Let’s Make Love. I’ve been very fortunate to have seen quite a few of Marilyn’s dresses at exhibitions, but I have no idea where this one is today. Sadly, in the old days the studios didn’t know the value of their stars costumes and would often reuse them to make others. However, I still hope it will turn up some day!
The dress is worn in the film’s most famous scene. Marilyn’s character, Rose comes out of her lodge dressed in this incredible dress, which was pretty shocking for it’s time and shocks fellow visitors. She then requests a song, “Kiss” which is hers and her lovers favourite and sings it sensually, whilst her husband watches.
In a very witty scene following her entrance, onlooker Ray Cutler says to his wife, Polly, “Why don’t you ever get a dress like that?” and she replies, “Listen. For a dress like that, you’ve got to start laying plans when you’re about thirteen.”
The dress is definitely key to creating her only Femme Fatale role on screen. It establishes her as the, “tantalizing temptress who lures men on to their eternal destruction.” As Niagara was filmed in Technicolor, it appears before us as a shocking hot pink, but, pictures off film have showed it as a vibrant red. Either way, it’s one of her iconic costumes for sure and a firm favourite amongst fans.
Marilyn also wore the dress on numerous occasions after the film finished filming in 1952 and with the way it looks on her, who can be surprised?! I would love the real colour of the dress to be the colour on screen, but I think that’s wishful thinking. Pink or red? You’ll have to decide for yourself.
As I am a huge fan of Marilyn’s, you can understand my excitement when I found the similar styled dress from Hollister. I was a bit worried to try it on at first, as it’s quite revealing and I’m a pretty self conscious person, but it was too beautiful not to be brave and wear it. I also pin curled my hair to complete the Marilyn inspired look and my 1950s style.
I couldn’t have chosen a better place to take the close up photo, my girl was right behind me and in the dress! I can’t wait to wear this in the summer.
I hope this post helps you to be inspired by your favourites and to watch Niagara (1953), it’s Marilyn’s only Film Noir and just a must see for lovers of Old Hollywood and Marilynettes.
If any of you follow my Tumblr or IG Account, you will probably know by now that one of my favourite stars is Sharon Tate. I love everything about her and she was the inspiration of my look for today.
My favourite Sharon film is the 1960s classic, Valley Of The Dolls and her signature look in that film was what I was aiming for. The high top bun, nude/brown lips and winged eyeliner were my goals for today. I kept to my normal 1950s style dresses, however, my hair and face was all sixties.
Now, I am very aware I am not a patch on Sharon, but imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and I wanted to show my love for her by using her as my inspiration for today. I’ve only recently started trying this hairdo, as I think I have a pretty big forehead, but the style has grown on me a lot. It’s a quick way to make your hair look a bit different, be warned though, if you’re wearing it in all day, your hair is bound to ache once you take it out.
Here’s the Goddess herself in a publicity still for Valley Of The Dolls (1967) Sharon is wearing Travilla, (one of my favourite designers) I’m not sure who was the Hair Stylist on the film, but I think Sharon herself did her own makeup.
I also think Sharon had hair pieces in the film, whereas I’m just using my own hair, so obviously I can’t match the perfection, lol. Obviously it’s not one hundred percent accurate as I’m not a professional but it’s the best that I could do.
To create this look I simply took the top section of my hair, backcombed it, not too much, and then took a hair band, tied in it and then pulled it down to give it more volume. Usually if I wasn’t copying Sharon’s hair I’d add a bow or a flower, to give it that 1950s vibe.
As for makeup, I didn’t change much, I used MAC Hover Lip Pencilas a base and then MAC Velvet Teddy, nudes, peaches and browns were very popular in the 1960s, compared to reds in the 1950s. I elongated the flicks for my winged eyeliner and chose a slightly darker eye shadow but kept most of my makeup the same.
Sharon was amazing at doing her eye makeup, she would often use a dark pencil to line her eye lid, I tried this and failed miserably so I couldn’t copy that trick, lol.
The book I am holding is the amazing, Sharon Tate: Recollection by Debra Tate (Sharon’s sister) it is a photographic tribute to her life and a must have for any fans. It has many quotes by her famous friends, a Foreword written by her husband Roman Polanski and so many lovely anecdotes.
I hope you enjoyed my latest post, maybe you could also try to copy this style? Are there any other stars hairstyles/makeup you’d like me to try? Let me know!