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10 STYLE LESSONS LEARNED FROM MALENA/ MONICA BELLUCCI

With summer being in full spring, I caught myself thinking about iconic summer outfits. Do you know what came to my mind? Costumes/outfits worn by Monica Belluci when she played Malena Scordia in an iconic Italian movie set on Sicily.  The costumes for that movie were designed by an acclaimed Italian costume designer Maurizio Millenotti and he outdone himself! Seeing that Malena is a historical movie, Maurizio choose quite timeless outfits and cuts that will ever go out of style. That fact makes Malena movie the perfect place to look for inspiration! Moreover, I feel that Monica Belluci's personal style is quite similar to Malena's (i.e. to the style of the character she is playing). There is definitely a Mediterranean lady feel about Malena/Monica Bellucci. What says summer better than Mediterranean and Sicily? Today we'll analyze Malena's style and see what we can learn from her. There is much to learn! Having analyzed looks that Monica wore in iconic Malena film, I've came up with 10 style lessons we can take to heart ( I will elaborate on them a bit later), and they can be summed up in ten fashion commands:

1. DON'T SHOW TOO MUCH SKIN
2. WEAR BELLOW THE KNEE SKIRTS AND DRESSES
3. OPT FOR NEUTRAL COLOURS (DARK BLUE, WHITE AND BLACK)
4. CREATE COLOUR CONTRASTS USING BASIC COLOURS (BLACK AND WHITE)
5. WEAR CLASSICAL PRINTS (FLOWER AND POLKA DOT PRINT)
6. WEAR CLASSICAL AND TIMELESS CUTS (THINK PENCIL SKIRTS AND DRESSES)
7. HEELED SANDALS ARE A GIRL'S BEST FRIEND
8. FEMININE DETAILS MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE (SAY YES TO BOWS)
9. BELT IT! ALWAYS WEAR A BELT TO ACCENTUATE YOUR WAIST.
10. GO FOR SIMPLE AND CLASSICAL MAKE UP LOOK AND HAIRDO

This will be neither a movie review nor a cosplay post. I won't be recreating any of her vintage looks (that's a fun idea for a future post, though), rather I will browse my archives to look for Malena inspired outfits. This post will be more about hacking Malena's style, discovering the secret of her allure and elaborating on them. Seeing that I was born and raised in the Mediterranean region myself, this is a style that is very close to my heart. I'll share outfits that seem very 'Malena' to me (and who knows perhaps I was subconsciously influenced by Malena when I wore them). In fact, I have my husband to thank for this idea. He is the was first to call me Malena (in reference to the movie) when I wore this Mediterranean style outfit back in 2015
WHO IS MALENA? 
 I won't get into details about the film itself, you can easily find a summary of it online (if you haven't seen it), but it is worth noting that it is probably the film that propelled Monica Bellucci into stardom. The movie takes place prior and during the second world war, so think 1940-ties in terms of dressing style. Sicily is a mythical and magical island, and this movie does a great job at capturing that. Released in 2000 (almost 20 years ago), this movie continues to inspire fashionistas and fashion designers. If you take a look at Dolce & Gabbana's campaigns, you'll see a distinct Malena's flavour to them (and that is not surprising because D&G duo often cites Sicily is their inspiration). Readers of my blog will remember that I often illustrate D&G fashion runaway looks (see this fashion illustration herehere here and here), so you know it's a style that I absolutely love. However, before we get into analyzing Malena's style, first we need to answer the question: Who is Malena? A beautiful Sicilian woman living in a small and enclosed community, Malena is cursed by her beauty because it makes all the men adore her and all the women hate her (and that makes her terribly isolated but somehow even more beautiful). As an Italian woman, Malena's sense of style would have been influenced by cultural and sociological influences, such as for example Catholicism and Mediterranean culture. 

10 STYLE LESSONS LEARNED FROM MALENA

1. DON'T SHOW TOO MUCH SKIN AND STAY AWAY FROM REVEALING OUTFITS
One of the first things you notice about Malena's wardrobe is that she never shows too much skin. Malena's outfits are very balanced in terms of skin exposure. Her dresses and skirts are never too short, too tight and/or provocative. Instead revealing too much, Malena retains a sense of mystery and allure by keeping it classy. The only time she wears a dress without sleeves is when she wears a maxi dress. When Malena/Monica Belluci wears dresses and skirts, they are most often of classical design. In the film, Malena wears both V-neck and closed neckline, but she never reveals too much skin. Long story short, her style could be described as classical and ladylike. It is a vintage style, one could say, but with a distinct Italian flavour. 



2. WEAR BELLOW THE KNEE PENCIL SKIRTS AND DRESSES
Malena/Monica Bellucci's favourite skirt and dress length is just bellow the knee. Malena is fully aware of benefits of rocking such a classy look. Bellow the knee and midi lengths can be very flattering when worn the right way. Malena often chooses pencil skirts and dresses that complement her hour glass figure perfectly. 

3. OPT FOR NEUTRAL COLOURS (DARK BLUE, WHITE AND BLACK)
Malena has that Mediterranean lady chic down. She is often mesmerizing in all black. In some ways, her style makes me think of Parisian chic, but it is more Italian in feel on overall. It is  a very elegant and chic style. One thing is sure, Malena knows how to wear black. Malena stays away from crazy and vibrant colours, instead opting for a more simple colour palette dominated by dark blue, black and white. If you ask Malena, less is more. 
4. CREATE COLOUR CONTRASTS USING BASIC COLOURS (BLACK, NAVY AND WHITE)
Even though the colours that Malena wears are very basic, she knows how to make the most of them. She often contrast white with black or navy blue. Moreover, she will often wear a monochromatic look, for an example an all white look with black details or the way around. Whether it comes to accents or outfits, Malena knows how to make the most out of colour contrasts. 

5.WEAR CLASSICAL PRINTS (FLOWER AND POLKA DOT PRINT)
Malena's style is very classical and timeless. It is no surprise that she opts for classical prints. When she is not contrasting basic colours to create a timeless outfit, she is wearing prints like it's nobody's business. What is more classical than a floral dress? Malena likes to wear floral and polka dot prints. If you want to imitate her style, you can opt for a nice classical floral print dress. If you want to be a bit more bold, you can choose a vibrant print instead of a neutral one(like I did in the outfit you can see bellow). 


6. WEAR CLASSICAL AND TIMELESS CUTS (THINK BLAZERS, BLOUSES,  PENCIL SKIRTS AND DRESSES)

Malena/Monica Bellucci often opts for classical and timeless cuts. She wears classically cut blazers and blouses, pairing them with pencil skirts and chic accessories. Everything about her style feels timeless. Indeed, this historical film is a great place to look for vintage style outfits to get inspiration from. Malena's outfits are the kind of classic lady like combos that will never go out of style. 
7. HEELED SANDALS ARE A GIRL'S BEST FRIEND
If you pay attention to Malena's outfits, you'll notice that she always wears heels. Heeled sandals are the perfect finishing touch to her summer outfits. The heels she wears make her look even taller and that is important because Monica plays a character that stands out. Her tragic beauty metaphorically elevates Malena (in the film) and heels play a part in that. Therefore,  another important component of Malena's style are the heeled sandals. Malena always opts for basic black and white ones to complement the colours she wears most often: white and black. 
8. FEMININE DETAILS MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE (SAY YES TO BOWS)
Another important element of Malena/ Monica Bellucci's style are feminine details. If you observe her outfits in the film, you will notice that Malena often rocks bows or similar feminine details. She expresses her femininity with elegant outfits that stand out in their simplicity. Malena's bags are always very chic and they do a great job of elevating her outfits. Malena doesn't wear many accessories, but when she wears jewellery, it is always in the perfect balance with her outfit. As with colours, when it comes to accessories, Malena believes in less is more philosophy. 


9. BELT IT! ALWAYS WEAR A BELT
Malena knows the importance of accentuating one's figure by focusing on the most narrow part of her body- the waist. Malena knows that to belt it is to win it. That is why she will always wear a belt (both with dresses and skirts!). Her fashion rule is simple: always wear a belt. The belts that Malena chooses are always simple and they don't contrast with the rest of the outfit. 

10. GO FOR SIMPLE AND CLASSICAL MAKE UP LOOK AND HAIRDO
When it comes to make up and hairdo, Malena likes to play it simple. Malena doesn't wear much make up and she stays away from crazy colours. No experimentation with unusual eye-shadow or lipstick colours. A classical red lip is allowed, though. The make up that Monica Bellucci wears in this film is very typical of the 1940-ties, but it is a bit downplayed.  The focus in this film is clearly on Monica's natural beauty so too much make up would only get in the way. In the film, Malena wears her hair let down. Her long hair attributes to her feminine allure and adds to her beauty. Pay attention to what happens when she eventually cuts her hair by the end of the film. There is a great metaphorical message in that, I'd say. 


 I hope you have enjoyed this Malena/Monica Bellucci inspired post. Did I do a good job of hacking her style secrets? Would you follow these fashion rules? Do you think Monica Belluci is a good style inspiration? Let me know in the comments. Until next time, thank you for reading.

Comments

  1. You have quite the wardrobe collection. I believe less skin is more. I love neutral natural make up most of the time if not all of the time. A lot of fashion inspiration here you did very well and yes Monica Belluci is a very good style inspiration. Take care : ) xo

    www.juanitalikes.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you dear. Neutral make up is the best.

      Delete
  2. I haven't heard of the actress or seen the movie before but she looks very stylish, as do you ! These are great style rules to follow and you wear them well :)

    I hope that you are having a great week so far :)



    Away From Blue

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  3. The first look is so gorgeous and would be flattering on any woman. Very Italian looking too! I have not seen Malena but will have to keep my eyes open for it. Great domestic and foreign classics sometimes show up on Netflix and Amazon. All the other looks are fabulous too! You did an amazing job interpreting Belluci's style. These looks are all timeless.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Val. It is a very classical film, a bit graphic but not more than most European films.

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  4. I love your style Posts Ivana! You look amazing in all your photos!

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  5. awesome article :)
    have a nice day

    ReplyDelete
  6. Wonderful tips here. I LOVE all the photos and your style in each one. I like the idea of finding fashion inspiration through movies. I'll have to start paying more attention when I watch movies. Thanks Ivana.

    xo, Maria
    https://www.miamiamine.com/

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  7. I think you really do have something of her style. I've never seen the movie, but it actually sounds really interesting so I might check it out. I think the looks you shared really are inspired, or look like they were inspired, by her and are very elegant and beautiful.

    I wouldn't follow those style rules myself, but I generally don't follow many style rules.

    Kathrin | Polar Bear Style

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    Replies
    1. I don't always follow these rules myself, but I do like this style so sometimes I do.

      Delete
  8. I love this movie, Monica is the most beautuful woman ever:)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Io lei la trovo bellissima anche se il film non l'ho mai visto perché non mi piace come attrice, ma lo stile è top e tu sei bellissima!
    Don't Call Me Fashion Blogger
    Facebook
    Bloglovin'

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. grazie Selvaggia, sono contenta che ti piace:).

      Delete
  10. It must be a great movie and you have done an awesome style coz you know her secret :).

    ReplyDelete
  11. I must admit to having never seen the movie but know the actress. You certainly have interpreted the styles beautifully. I agree with many of the concepts , not too much skin, skirt length , classic colours and patterns. Enjoy your Summer in your beautiful style.

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  12. Articolo davvero davvero interessante...è un piacere leggerti!

    https://nettaredimiele.blogspot.com

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  13. Pensa che io non l'ho mai visto quel film!^^
    Però Monica Bellucci è una donna stupenda ed incarna perfettamente la bellezza e l'eleganza siciliana!
    Mi piace molto come hai interpretato i look che lei indossava nel film, alla fine risulti bellissima, moderna e sofisticata!
    Ed i consigli di moda sono davvero basi senza tempo!
    Baci!
    S
    https://s-fashion-avenue.blogspot.com

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  14. Your Malena-inspired outfits are fab:) I love Monica Bellucci but haven't seen this movie. She's just so gorgeous. Thanks for sharing these fashion tips:) So agree about not showing too much skin.

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  15. Trovo che lo stile di Monica Bellucci si adatti perfettamente alla tua persona. Complimenti!

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  16. Thanks a lot :D

    absolutelly great post

    NEW FASHION POST | HOW TO USE BRALETTE!! :O
    InstagramFacebook Official PageMiguel Gouveia / Blog Pieces Of Me :D

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  17. Completely loved the post, full of good information, great to follow during summer time! :)
    www.styledays.pt

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  18. Arrasando como sempre lindos looks, obrigado pela visita.
    Blog: https://arrasandonobatomvermelho.blogspot.com
    Canal: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DmO8csZDARM

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  19. Sicily is on my radar for a holiday this year! It looks beautiful there. There are so many inspiring outfits within this post! xx

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    Replies
    1. Thank you. This is actually Croatia in the photographs (apart from the movie photos).

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  20. these outfit styles look so great to me ....

    Have a nice day
    Kinza Khushboo
    Glamorous without the Guilt

    ReplyDelete
  21. Brava, Ivana! You put together such an inspiring and detailed Summer guide to Mediterranean classic feminine style. Not only you share many style preferences with Malena, but you also have gorgeous classic feminine proportions as does Monica Bellucci, and all these outfits shine on you!

    I do think this style will look great on women of all shapes and sizes, with some adjustments. Personally, I don't like wearing belts, they feel too constricting, but if it's a fabric tie, I can wear it with ease. I also much prefer bright and light colors to black and dark blues, which seem too hot under the summer sun. But I do have a couple of dark dresses in classic style for summer. And even though I love "more is more" visually, I also prefer minimal details in Summer - it feels to fussy to wear many accessories when it's hot outside.

    Giuseppe Tornatore is one of my favorite film directors. I adore his debut movie Cinema Paradiso, and even though he made some wonderful movies after that one (I believe I saw them all, and more than once, including Malena), it still remains his true masterpiece, in my opinion, not only because it is masterfully made, but also because it is so full of heart and soul...It would most probably make my top 10 favorite movies of all times.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much. Mediterranean style is very close to my heart. I agree that fabric tie and belts are more comfortable, especially in summer. I have a few vintage pieces that have that kind of belts and I love to wear them.
      I've seen Malena two times I think. It's a great film (some scenes are hard to watch, but still).
      I haven't seen Cinema Paradiso yet. I will look it up. Thank you for recommendation.

      Delete
  22. Wow! You look so gorgeous in all photos dear. I love that Malena inspired you. It's one thing that I love about art, it brings people inspiration. I'm also inspired by it and by you so I will take note of the styling you have featured here. She looks so so pretty too just like you.

    love lots,
    Tin
    mypoeticisolation.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  23. I've never heard of that movie or actress before, but all of the outfits you created are beautiful! They really do have the same vibe as her's. Thank you for sharing these style lessons!

    x Kara | http://karascloset.net

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  24. I agree with a lot of the lessons you learned from this actress (who I must admit I hadn't heard of!) but I must say, I am NOT a fan of Pencil skirts- they really do look dreadful on my pear shape so I avoid!!!

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  25. I agree with all of these, especially wearing a belt!
    https://www.robincharmagne.com/blog

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All your comments mean a lot to me, even the criticism. Naravno da mi puno znači što ste uzeli vrijeme da nešto napišete, pa makar to bila i kritika. Per me le vostre parole sono sempre preziose anche quando si tratta di critiche.

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