The Other White Dress

I was thinking about the the royal wedding one day while I was doing all this writing on Italian neo-realist films so I began to put the two and two together (how this idiom even makes sense is beyond me) and voila, this is the product! First off I am so glad that HRH KATE went with SARAH BURTON of ALEXANDER MCQUEEN, because Burton is so very talented and is the next best thing the label can have after Lee. Obviously HRH looked very gorgeous yet still demure enough in such a formal setting. Her dress was phenomenal and so much of it can be analyzed yet that has already been said and done so I'll move to the another equally famous white dress of the Italian neo-realist films: CLAUDIA CARDINALE's dress in Il Gattopardo (1963). By now you probably think that I am in love with VISCONTI and indeed I do, I love him more than Fellini.

I wasn't so in love with this photo but it was the best way to see the dress in colour. Personally, I much prefer the B&W photo below but I thought the colour photo would show how the dress looks in its original glorious white–not what could merely be just a pale colour in the B&W. According to my Italian professor, back in its heyday, every single girl in the country dreamt of having such a dress. The dress looks a little dated for today's tastes (unlike Grace Kelly's classical look) since after all, the period of the film is supposed to be set in during the Risorgimento when Italy finally united together as one country in the 19th century if you remembered your history from AP European History. Nonetheless, the dress is still so dreamily romantic, with a narrow bodice, wide skirt and all the lace flounces you can ever dream of. If anything the dress is not meant to last stylistically speaking but to remain deeply seated in the viewers' mind. In my opinion, Cardinale looks the most gorgeous here, even more so than in 8 1/2. I really enjoyed Burt Lancaster here in his role as the aging Prince, a relic from the older past slowly giving up to the new generation and the new direction of Italy. The film in all is very poetic as it is not so much about the romance between the Prince's nephew Tancredi played by Alain Delon (see below) and the businessman's daughter Angelica, portrayed by Cardinale but more on using the Prince as a metaphor for Italy, as it progresses from a society ruled by the nobility to one ruled by the new haute-bourgeoisie and other nouvelles riches. The film is rather long (nowhere near as long as Gone with the Road but it feels like it) so I suggest you watch it in Italian, with Lancaster's voice dubbed over, to keep things interesting.

The following image is rather big so I'll keep it within the post (but so beautiful so I couldn't resist posting it):

via Google Images


Michelle of The Feather Den said...

Beautiful, beautiful pictures.

x Michelle |

Fashion Fabrice said...

amazing, so pretty those dresses:)
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MyDailyGlamour said...

Absolutely love these vintage photos !

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Phara said...

I only want to get married, so I can wear a wedding dress, haha. These are lovely!

Sweet Harvest Moon said...

This is why i love old movies... so pretty!

Jada said...

Joy, I LOVE your writing. "According to my Italian professor, she said that back in its heyday, every single girl in the country dreamt having such a dress." -Don't we all though though? It's quite the elegant dress for quite the extraordinary occasion! I have to agree with you on liking the black and white photographs more too. They are always so classic.