Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Egyptian Style

Theda Bara as Cleopatra

Gene Tierney in The Egyptian (1954)

Ever since making papyrus paper at secondary school, to visiting various museums with mummies and artefacts, I have had a fascination with Egypt. And as some of you may be aware I tend to take my interests and inspirations and reflect them in my style.  This scarab collar was purchased via eBay it is wonderfully tacky and OTT so I love it.

Egyptian style is not something new in the fashion world, in 1922 with the discovery of Tutankhamun's crypt by Howard Carter, Egyptian style began to cross over. With opulent metallic material being used and scarab motifs being translated into modern fashion. Even Egyptian beauty regimes worked there way into the mainstream.

Egyptian detailing on dresses.

Marlene wearing metallic Egyptianesque hat

Palmolive 1920s advert

All the great old world peoples used these oils! 

Mati Hari

Hollywood has been obsessed with Egypt, in particular of course Cleopatra, who is your favourite Cleopatra?  There is a new Cleopatra film in the works with Angelina Jolie taking the role of the queen, and it is rumoured to have the very talented Tom Hardy in it, should be interesting, at least for the costumes. 

Cleopatra and Caesar by Jean Leon Gerome

Theda Bara

Colbert as Cleopatra

Elizabeth as Cleopatra

Vivien Leigh in Caesar in Cleopatra (1945)

I do apologise profusely for this, but I had to.

Eleanor Parker in Valley of the Kings 1954

Hope you all had a lovely weekend, I will leave you in the capable hips of Tahia Carioca.


  1. Love your "tacky and OTT" collar! I would totally wear one.

    I think my favorite Cleopatra is the one with Claudette Colbert. I love Richard Burton to bits (and Rex Harrison!), but the 1963 version is so bad! It's great fashion-wise, though. Elizabeth Taylor looks gorgeous, of course.

  2. Thank you! there are smaller versions on eBay which are perhaps more wearable everyday. I have not seen the Colbert version (I will do soon), agree with you on the Burton, Taylor front though.

  3. The only cinematic Cleopatra I've seen is the 1963 film... I was much younger and I don't remember enjoying it. I thought perhaps it was my age but it sounds like neither you nor Lauren rate it particularly highly!

    I loved Egyptian history at school and would love to go there one day. I was never particularly into neo-Egyptian ornamentation though... until I kept coming across it in Deco buildings and jewellery. It grew on me then and now I'm all for it! You rock that OTT collar, girl!

  4. Well it was also a good few years ago since I watched it, but I doubt my opinion would change if I were to watch it now. Yes it has influenced so much, some that I did not realise, and thank you!

  5. Feck me,that collar is FABULOUS!!! Rocking it ,YEAH!
    The only Cleopatra film I have seen is the Liz Taylor one,it's so frigging over the top divine I'm not sure if I should pollute myself with another version!!! Ha! I love pix of Theda Bara in the part,though.(who in turn inspired Siouxsie Sioux!)
    I've actually been to Egypt,in 1992,it was spectacular AND gob smacking! Gob smackingly spectacular might sound better.I love how Deco showed a lot of infuence from Egyptian style.
    Don't apologise for walking like an Egyptian, I think it was essential for this post!!! :)

  6. Oh my goodness, I am in love with your scarab collar and your entire ensemble. Something about all that black with the blue, gold and then the tan belt is so chic!

    Ever since studying ancient egypt in kindergarten, I've been obsessed. I might just have to find a collar of my own!

    I love Theda Bara's Cleo, but that's just because I love Theda.

  7. I love your collar. You look awesome. And the inspiration photos are killer.

  8. Helga: Hah thank you so much! Gotta love a bit of Theda, it is so surprising how many old stars inspired people and continue to do so. I would love to see Egypt, the closest I have ever got was riding a camel in Tunisia! So glad you understand that the pose was an integral part of the post.

    Ginger: Thank you that is very lovely of you to say. Glad you have a penchant for all that is Egyptian too!

    Mary: Thank you, you are too kind, I loved 'researching' for photos to go with it.

  9. Oh wow that collar is fabulous and works perfectly with your outfit and I agree with Helga it would be rude not to strike such a vintage pose!! I adore anything and everything Egyptian so will definitely be checking out some of these films and probably wearing way to much eyeliner!

  10. I love the collar! Great pose too! I always adored the eye makeup of the Egyptians from movies.

  11. You look georegeous, that collar is amazing! I like Egypt and all the cinematographic Cleopatras are so beautiful!

  12. Wendy: Thank you lovely lady, hah I did try and do Cleopatra like eye liner but I am not that good at it!

    Radka: Thank you, that is very nice of you to say. Yeah I am always fascinated by anything set in Egypt really!

  13. That collar is awesome. You look so retro chic :)

    I adore Theda Bara and Marlene is rocking that hat!

  14. Oh, gorgeous! I love all your inspirations there too :) Loving Theda Bara at the moment!

  15. Kelly Ann: Thank you, I tried to make the rest of the outfit slightly more subdued hah. Marlene could rock just about anything!

    Esme: Thank you so much, yeah Theda is magical.

  16. Great post! And, wow, what a collar! Oh boy. It looks great. =D
    -Andi x

  17. Thank you Andi, glad you admire the tackiness haha x

  18. The collar is awesome, I need one too! :D

  19. Hah thanks get yourself on eBay they are only cheap.

  20. I love the Egyptian style, too and your take on it is great. Wonderful post. I love the images, especially of Elizabeth as Cleopatra.

  21. hello, I love the site and would like to copy one or two of the images from the 20s. do you know where the copyright is for these?
    Thnanks a lot,

    1. Thank you :) I cannot remember the original sources sorry, but you shouldn't have much trouble finding them