To turban or to not turban, that is the question.
Thanks to designers like Leona Edmiston and fashion icons like Katy Perry and Lady Gaga, the turban is back. The question is, ‘did it ever go out of style?’ Since the 1920s when every well-dressed woman had a turban (or two) in her wardrobe, the turban has held a place in the fashion world. And while they’re available in stores, I’m buying up. There’ll come a time when they’re not so easy to source and I’ll still be wanting to wear them – and it’s all because my passion for turbans began through film.
There’s nothing cute about the turban in film, they’re mainly worn by femme fatales – but it only makes them more attractive!
Here are some of the best on-screen turban moments:
1. Sunset Boulevard (1950)
Silent screen star Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson) is preparing for her comeback 30 years after her heyday. She is still dressing in the glamour style of earlier years and what better way to preserve that than with a turban.
2. Chinatown (1974) and Mommie Dearest (1981)
Chinatown, made in the 70s and set in the 30s, has Faye Dunaway recreating the fashion of long ago. Here, her hat is in turban style. She more famously wore a turban in Mommie Dearest, the tell all film about Joan Crawford, written by Crawford’s adopted daughter, Christina.
3. The Women (1939)
This classic was for women, starring an all female cast at their glamorous best. Joan Crawford here plays a home wrecker and in one of the most stylish scenes in the film faces the wife in a gold lame turban.
4. Auntie Mame (1958)
Mame is the stunning aunt everyone wants to have or grow into, and I have always adored her, whether played on the stage by Angela Lansbury, or on screen by Rosalind Russell or Lucille Ball – another one who wore turbans with elan.
5. The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946)
Lana Turner knows how to rock a turban, and plays a woman who connives to have her husband killed. Whatever her character – her style is above reproach.
6. The Garden of Allah (1936)
Marlene Dietrich was no shrinking violet and when she plays her great role in The Garden of Allah, she wears a turban in the most exotic way, still creating the on-screen seductress for which she would later become famous for.
7. Sabrina (1954)
The most iconic of them all – style queen Audrey Hepburn in Sabrina wears a 50s style chiffon turban. So stylish, she even manages to wind and wear a towel turban here in Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961).
And for some other inspiration about the turban’s pedigree, take a look at styles worn by movie/real royalty: