If there is a name synonymous with ‘screen siren’, it’s the ever-timeless, Sophia Loren, an Italian actress whose beauty, grace and impeccable fashion sense still dazzles, even at the age of 82.
Born in Rome, Sofia Villani Scicolone’s beauty was recognised from an early age. At 15 she entered a beauty pageant, Miss Italia 1950, and while she didn’t take out the top place, there was no denying that she was blessed with star quality. She enrolled in acting classes and began appearing in bit-parts for much of the decade, and soon took on the stage name of Sophia Loren.
“There’s no pleasure in working, if you don’t do the things you want to do.”
Her first starring role was in Aida in 1953, for which she was to receive widespread acclaim, however her real breakthrough role was in The Gold of Naples in 1954. The following years saw her take up roles in many films, but it was through a five-picture contract with Paramount Pictures that she was to find international fame. Among these films were Desire Under the Elms, House Boat (alongside Cary Grant, with whom she was to have a well-publicised affair) and Heller in Pink Tights.
In 1961 she was cast in Two Women, a harrowing story for which her performance earned her accolades, including Cannes Film Festival best performance and an Academy Award for Best Actress. Her popularity as an actress was now far more than skin deep.
“I think the quality of sexiness comes from within. It is something that is in you or it isn’t and it really doesn’t have much to do with breasts or thighs or the pout of your lips”
‘Fashion Icon’ is a title that shouldn’t be bestowed lightly. But if there’s anyone who deserves it, it’s Sophia. Throughout her long career she has been a consistent source of fashion inspiration, owing to her chic sense of style, balanced with an element of sexiness. While always following modern fashion tastes, she has still managed to maintain a distinct style.
This sultry, feminine style has undoubtedly been an inspiration to fashion lovers everywhere who want to add film-star chic to their wardrobe. She pioneered the ‘bombshell’ look with plunging necklines, cinched waists and full skirts, finished with a headscarf, oversized sunglasses, big hair and kohl-lined eyes.
“Beauty is how you feel inside, and it reflects in your eyes. It is not something physical.”
Sophia Loren is certainly the epitome of sex appeal. But despite boasting an enviable hourglass figure, and striking facial features, Sophia is a firm believer that sexiness and style comes from within. She inspired women to embrace the sultry queen within, and let their femininity create an air of intrigue. She proved that femininity didn’t mean being submissive or meek, and that sexiness was strong and something to be proud of.
We love her effortless and timeless sense of fashion, showing that beauty and style is as much about what you love about yourself on the inside, as you do on the outside.