Golden Gowns

Cheryl Cole

I stumbled across this photo of Cheryl Cole in a golden gown on the X-Factor. It reminded me of some photos of vintage starlets in metallic gowns I have set aside over the years. Amongst the beauties here we have Ginger Rogers, Jean Harlow, Baba Beaton, Rita Hayworth, Eleanor Powell, Nancy Coleman, Veronica Lake, Myrna Loy, Carol Hughes and Delores Del Rio. Wow, I need something like this…

Sheer Beauty: Rita Hayworth


Here’s another glamorous lady, Rita Hayworth. You’ve probably (hopefully!) seen her in Cover Girl (dancing with Gene Kelly), and Gilda (the film that made her one of the most lasting sex symbols of the 1940s). She was named number 19 in The American Film Institutes 50 Greatest Screen Legends. Glamorous from birth, her parents were Eduardo Cansino, a Spanish flamenco dancer, and Volga Hayworth, a Ziegfeld girl. She was born Margarita Carmen Cansino, in Brooklyn, New York City. Amongst her five husbands were Orson Welles, Argentine actor/singer Dick Haymes and Prince Aly Khan (yes, Rita, not Grace Kelly, was the first movie star to become a princess).

Known for her luscious red locks (and damn did she have good hair!), she did go blonde for The Lady of Shanghai, although critics claimed that was why the film was a box office flop.  I think she looks great!! Anyway, in the early 40s she was photographed pin-up style, including the infamous shot of her in a negligee perched on her bed in LIFE Magazine, so when the USA joined the war in 1941, she was admired by thousands of servicemen and became one of the top pin-up girls of the war (along with Betty Grable and that saucy peekaboo pose of hers). A few interesting Wiki facts:

  • Before she broke in to films, she danced in nightclubs in Tijuana, Mexico under her real name Margarita Cansino, and some say that the Margarita cocktail was named after her.
  • She weighed 55kg and was 5’6” (exactly the same as me!), making her “tall for women of her time”
  • In 1949 her lips were voted best in the world by the Artists League of America. She had a modeling contract with Max Factor to promote its Tru-Color lipsticks (one of the adverts is below).
  • Famous quote: “Men fell in love with Gilda, but they wake up with me.”
  • And another: “I think all women have a certain elegance about them which is destroyed when they take off their clothes.”
  • She died in 1987 at the age of 68, of Alzheimer’s disease. At her funeral, Ricardo Montalban, Glenn Ford, Don Ameche and Hermes Pan carried her coffin.

Click on the images below to see Rita in all her full-size glory…

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