Category Archives: 1910s

Theda Bara as Cleopatra (1917)

Cleopatra Theda Bara 1917 28

Since visiting the Petrie Museum of Egyptology earlier in the year I’ve been thinking about Egyptian fashion and how it can still inspire us even today. I thought it would be fun to do a series on fashion in Ancient Egypt, in particular how it is depicted in film. I have started with the 1917 version of Cleopatra, starring screen vamp Theda Bara. Theda was known for playing dangerous women, and Cleopatra was no exception. She played the similar femme fatale role of ‘Salome’ the year after Cleopatra came out. Sadly most of her films have been lost, including Cleopatra, but at least we still have some photographs to look at. I even managed to find a colourised photo and a colour poster for the film so we can get an idea of how glorious the sets and costumes must have been in real life.

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Film Style: Picnic At Hanging Rock (1975)

Picnic at Hanging Rock movie (27)

The film Picnic At Hanging Rock has become something of a cult classic. Directed by Peter Weir, it was released in 1975 and set in 1900, but like many movies of that period it is now identified as much with the style of the 70s as it is with the Edwardian era. The long white lace gowns worn by the girls at the beginning of the film have many resemblances to the romantic maxi dresses which became popular at the time, along with the long hair, natural make-up look, and soft-focus lighting.

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