This winter I’ve had great use out of my my fabulous ASOS turban, a style of headgear I’ve hankered after for years – after seeing it being worn in many a 1940s movie, by the likes of Ann Sheridan and the sultry Hedy Lamarr (above). The style was in and out of fashion from the 1920s onwards – and Hedy’s white, 1940s version contrasts beautifully with her jet black hair. I’m not sure that Greta Garbo’s (below) works as well: it looks a little like a post-brain surgery bandage ..
It wasn’t just the exotic beauties who made the turban chic in Hollywood; homegrown, all-American actresses worked the look too. Here’s the elegant and always tasteful Loretta Young pushing the boat out with an uncharacteristically OTT variation on the turban theme. Substitute some fruit for those flowers and you’re halfway to Carmen Miranda-style understatement!
And talking of understatement (not!), few actresses of our time offset instances of good taste with those of bad as blatantly as the late Elizabeth Taylor, pictured here in the sort of turban that normal people could only wear to a wedding..
And those jazz divas knew a chic trick (saves washing the hair) when they saw one. In my last turban round-up, I featured Lena Horne, but she wasn’t the first jazz star to adopt the style: here’s Billie Holiday, offsetting the turban with a mannish suit, alongside one of the most stylish men in jazz – Duke Ellington (left).