After the first few humid days in June, I realized – the summer was finally here. Hot New York days have become our present, and air condition our salvation. Meantime, I had a few troubles to deal with (after I got myself an AC, of course). First of all, hot weather means no more layers. Simple clothes, a pair of shorts and a tank top, are the official summer uniform because your skin needs to breathe. The sad part of it all was that it’s way too simple for me. And way too safe. I just want to continue to play with clothes and details. And to continue doing that during the summer, it takes a lot of courage. As always, when I have some doubts I would seek advice from my good friend Rosanda. Her artistic soul always gives me a different point of view, and this time was the same. So, I sent her a photo of me wearing a turban. She simply answered – “You look like Rudolf Valentino!” Next thing you know, I was on google looking to that “guy” with a turban on his head.
It was very interesting to discover that Rudolf Valentino was born in Italy. After he got his degree at agricultural school at Genoa, he moved to Paris. In 1912 he returned to Italy, however, unable to secure employment, he departed for the United States in 1913. Arriving in New York City, Valentino soon ran out of money and spent some time on the streets. He supported himself with jobs such as bussing tables in restaurants and gardening. Reading all of this, I was immediately thinking, well, he was brave and all alone (just like me when I came to New York). After a heroic struggle, he found his way to Hollywood. Rudolf starred in several well-known silent films including “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse”, “Blood and Sand“, “The Eagle“, “The Sheik”, and “The Son of the Sheik.” The last two were the inspiration for my summer outfit. I just want to add that this early pop icon, a sex symbol of the 1920s, was known as the “Latin Lover” or simply as “Valentino”. He was obviously a risk taker. From the little place in Italy to Hollywood! Really, Rudolf Valentino made his dreams come true, and he didn’t care about anything or anyone.
When it comes to fashion we should do the same. Yes, sometimes we have to play safe, but when you are in New York, there is no need to be safe… or serious about fashion. It’s just a game, and I was willing to play for the first time in front of a real photographer (Ivaylo Kudinov) with the turban on my head. The look was completed with vintage Ralph Lauren tuxedo shirt and navy blue polka dot tie as the belt on navy blue vintage pants that I’ve got from my late grandfather. The result – pure fun in Tribeca! That part of town became my scene and my playground. Everything was so beautiful and whimsical just like in Rudolf’s movies, but not black and white and definitely opposite of silent. This time the reincarnation of Rudolf’s Sheik is just to prove that you can find inspiration everywhere. For example, did you know that the film ‘’The Sheik” was a major success with audiences and set new attendance records where it premiered? In its first week of release, it set attendance records at two of New York’s major theaters, “The Rialto” and “The Rivoli.” The New York Telegraph estimated that in the first few weeks 125,000 people had seen the film. The weirdest part was that everyone predicted that this movie was going to be a failure.
This movie is definitely on my bucket list. I highly recommend it, just like I recommend to have more courage and play with fashion. I’m not necessarily saying that everyone ships put on a turban, but this summer you should definitely experiment with colors and prints.