My fashionistas, when I was reading up on Argentina before traveling there in September this year, I knew nothing about their national style icons. After my initial research I have not only being introduced to one of the greatest style icons of the country but also about the aura of this great woman who is very much a part of the popular international culture now- Eva Perón. So, when in Eva’s land, in my own way giving a tribute to her sense of style, for my birthday dinner and a tango show to enjoy, I have donned this look that possess both power and admirable feminine style- the two most endearing personality traits of Evita that defines her individual style. When we hear the name “Evita,” we immediately think of Madonna’s infamous portrayal of the Argentine first lady in the 1996 biopic — especially that epic farewell scene on the balcony. But the actual Evita, or Eva Perón was just as beautiful as her on-screen counterpart. Born on May 7 in a rural Argentina village in 1919 as Eva Duarte, she came from a poor family and aspired to be an actress. She moved to Buenos Aires at age 15, where she met Colonel JuanPerón at a charity event. She then marries him in the following year and becomes his second wife.
Why Eva Perón Style?
Reading up on her online, I have to say It takes a tremendous amount of drive, ambition and energy to get where she got in such a limited time frame as, lest we forget, she died at 33. But what draws my attention towards her more is what she wrote in her autobiography “I could have been a President’s wife in the same way that others were. It is a simple and agreeable role: appear on holidays, receive honors, “dress up” and follow protocol which is almost what I did before, and I believe more or less well, in the theater and the cinema.” She had a mind of her own! Her fight for Argentine women’s right to vote made great strides for feminism, as she refused to take the back seat during her husband’s presidency. Fittingly, she earned the official title of ‘‘Spiritual Leader of the nation.’’
Here is the interesting bit to don a look inspired by eva Peron’s style. Fashion & Feminism- the two peas in a pod that I’ve grown humongous interest in over the past few years that one day I would like to put them together in a Ph.D dissertation thesis, one day! Going back to Eva Peron, aside from her feminist influence, Perón was also an amazingly fashionable woman. She proved that, even in the ’40s and ’50s, a woman could possess both power and admirable feminine style. She became particularly famous for her hair — who could forget that impeccable chignon? Whether it was braided or styled more simply, her hair looked immaculate (and soshiny). Not to mention, she had the most delectable collection of flashy hats and head scarves – head accessories are something that I love to collect as well. Looking at pictures of Eva Peron’s braided hairstyle on google, without the help of a hairstylist or anyone but with the help of few bobby pins and my tail comb, I tried this milkmaid braid with this very feminine net embroidered frock to have a dreamy effect. I gathered, that Eva was also very interested in the latest designer frocks, and once she developed a stronger political presence, she particularly enjoyed wearing the stylish business suits designed by Christian Dior and other couture houses in Paris.
Unlike Kate Middleton or Queen Elizabeth, she’d never repeat an outfit – in fact on her visit to Spain, she would change outfits more than thrice a day, for galas, meetings and outings. Something I have very successfully done on this (birth)day- one for the spa visit, one for the helicopter ride and this one was for the dinner & tango show. Although I don’t endorse ‘‘never repeat your outfit’’ but I have also found it less exciting to wear the same outfit in a special occasion or event once photographed and shared in public which actually made me start selling my party wears/occasional wears through a page on Facebook, and that turned out to be a full-fledged blog today- hence, the name OneTimeFashionista. Unlike many other things in life, I never imagined myself as a blogger- fashion blogger per se. So, this is how it started! I still sell items from my wardrobe from time to time but for daily wears I do recommend to shop for classic pieces so that you can recycle them, re-style them with different accessories on different occasions.
Eva also seems to have had a fondness for very high heels, probably to gain a little height as she wasn’t particularly tall. I love wearing high-heels mostly because most good-looking shoes come with high-heel, I’m 5’6’’ tall, so getting lil extra height has never been a concern for me. Though after the European tours Eva’s high-heel obsession also seemed to get lower, few people will have a wardrobe extensive enough to cope with at least three changes a day, private casual wardrobe, work /public visits wardrobe, including clothing suitable for meeting religious leaders ,visiting places of worship and both would be needed in larger quantity than anyone is likely to have as there is a daily need. And a low-heel or flat shoes are the most comfortable option in such eventful days of Eva Peron’s life. Talking of a comfortable pair of shoes wearable for all occasions, I didn’t have to think twice before picking this pointy brogue up. In spite of carrying a champagne colored strappy stilettos in my suitcase all the way from London just to wear with this dress for one night out, I still continued my day with this pair of beige brogue that you saw me in the look from the helicopter ride previously posted here.
Eva seems to have loved clothes and loved picking the initially very glamorous wrap style or gathered figure hugging dresses and suits and elaborate ball gowns, jewels, bags, shoes and furs and hats which are usually quite large and worn far back on her head. I can identify with her fondness for accessories, as you have probably observed me insisting on the fact that accessories create a look; a beautiful dress alone is not enough. So, I have styled this Victorian-styled net embroidered frock with sheer shoulder motif with this olive green suede leather clutch heavily beaded with crystals and coins. This shade of amber yellow paired with the olive green played the theme of contrasting colors beautifully. In the early years, Evita appears in a wide range of spectacular outfits in public, though apparently she was still preferring trousers and casual shirts for private wear- something very common between women of all time, age and social status, I reckon.
So, in honor of what would have been her 95th birthday this year- also happens to be the year I have made my maiden visit to Argentina, I’ve tried a look inspired by her ever flashing berry red lipstick, braided hair- style wrapped around in a feminine frock. May Eva’s most famous and popular style- the tailleur (the business skirt and jacket combo) live on!
River Island Brogue
Michael Kors Watch
Vintage Two-bud Ring from Spitafields Market London
Diamanté Earring from Sachdeva, Kamla Nagar Market, New Delhi
Bobbi Brown Crimson Lipstick