Wedding Aly Khan and Rita Hayworth

Rita Hayworth and Prince Ali Khan on their wedding day in the French Riveria, May 27, 1949

In 1948, the American actress was introduced to the Prince Ali Khan at a party thrown by columnist Elsa Maxwell and the lovers promptly engaged a relationship threatened by religious groups and Hollywood narrow-minded spirits denouncing their affair that had begun when both were not yet officially divorced but also scandalized by the non-Christianity of the playboy prince.

Whatever, the sexy actress turned into a princess and stayed away of screens, dedicating herself to domestic life and her two daughters.

Rita Hayworth and Prince Ali KhanRita Hatworth and Prince Ali Khan on their wedding day in the French Riveria

Begum Om Habibeh Aga Khan at Wedding Aly Khan Rita Hayworth

Her Highness The Begum Aga Khan III attends the wedding of her stepson Prince Aly Khan to Rita Hayworth at Château de l’Horizon in the South of France on May 27, 1949.

However, fairy tales don’t always lead to happy endings and Rita Hayworth called for divorce in 1951 after her husband was remarked with Joan Fontaine. Rita Hayworth had left the spotlights of Hollywood for the soft sunlight of elegant holiday resorts but was constrained to return to obscurity, behind the oppressive shadow of Gilda.

The Make-Up Man

Max Factor at work2

Max Factor at work (Click photo to enlarge).

Max Factor, one of the famous names in Western cosmetics, was born in Lodz, Poland, in 1877, and began his career as an apprentice to a wig maker. By 20, he was running his own makeup shop.

Polish-born Maksymilian Faktorowicz, had been apprenticed at 9 to a wigmaker and cosmetician and had developed into a well-known theatrical make-up artist. After emigrating to the U.S. 1902. They never returned. He began selling hair goods, imported cosmetics and establishing the Max Factor cosmetics company in time for the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair, developed stage greasepaints for local stage actors in St. Louis.

As his local fame spread, actors from the emerging film industry also came to Max for make-up advice. Thus, the motion picture industry, then beginning in Hollywood, beckoned. He settled in Los Angeles with his family in 1909 and got a job with the Pantages Theatre.
By 1914, he was perfecting make up for the movies. He had improvised a new alternative to dye greasepaint, which he thought looked dreadful and ‘terrifying’ on the screen.
He formed flexible greasepaint, which was the first make up created for film. It helped make actresses look more natural in close up.
In 1918, he developed his ‘colour harmony’ face powder range, which allowed him to create make up for each individual based on their skin tones, due to the wide range of shades on offer.

Max Factor at work3

Max Factor at work (Click photo to enlarge).

Creating false eyelashes, the eyebrow pencil, lip gloss, and pancake make up, Factor created a whole new language for screen cosmetics.
Inevitably, once the actresses had been made to look so stylish on screen, they wanted to maintain the same effect in everyday life, so they wore the new Max Factor ‘make up’ in personal appearances. Soon, women unconnected with the theatre or the film industry were asking for the make up, so that they too could look glamorous.

Max Factor Bette Davis Nail Polish 1939

In 1934 he introduced Liquid Nail Enamel, forerunner of today’s nail enamels, here with Bette Davis for Life Magazine (Click photo to enlarge).

Max Factor Ruby Keeler Makeup, 1935

Max Factor ad with Hollywood Star: Ruby Keeler, 1935 (Click photo to enlarge).

In 1920 he developed the “Color Harmony” principles of makeup, which held that ‘certain combinations of a woman’s complexion, hair and eye coloring were most effectively complemented by specific makeup shades’.

By the 1920s, Max’s sons were heavily involved in the business with Davis working as general manager and Frank helping his father to develop new products. They received their biggest single make up order during this decade in 1925 when they had to provide 600 gallons of light olive make up to the film set of ‘Ben Hur’ to ensure that the extras filming in America had the same colour skin as the extras who filmed in Italy.

max factor pancake

Max Factor Pan Cake ad with Hollywood Star Merle Oberon in the movie ‘The Love Of Madame Sand’. (Click photo to enlarge).

Judy Garland Max Factor Pancake2

Max Factor Pan Cake ad with Hollywood Star Judy Garland in the movie ‘Till The Clouds Roll By’, with Lena Horn, Frank Sinatra and Robert Walker, 1946 (Click photo to enlarge).

Another key development in the make up world was the invention of waterproof mascara for the film ‘Mare Nostrum’ in 1926.
It was in 1927 that Max Factor introduced his first cosmetics to be sold to non-theatrical consumers. Before Max Factor, few women used cosmetics. Factor popularised both the word “make up” and the use (and abuse) of the cosmetic repertoire.
Credited as the father of modern make up, Max Factor is responsible for inventing many key cosmetic products (for both on screen and off) and is still the inspiration behind beauty trends and innovations today.

Max Factor

A portrait of American cosmetics executive Max Factor.  (Photo by Hulton, ca 1960).

He died on 30 August 1938 at the age of 59. His son, Frank, who renamed himself Max Factor, Jr., popularized the term ‘make-up’, which had formerly been reserved for theater people, and took his father’s Hollywood business into the broad world, building the Max Factor Cosmetics empire, created, pancake make-up and smear-proof lipstick, built on his father’s innovations. He continued to be involved with the company until the 1970s, seeing the company create make up shades for US Marines during the second world war, offer male products such as shampoo and aftershave and launch its first female fragrance in 1955. Mac Factor jr. died at 91 in Los Angeles on this date in 1996.

Max Factor Rita Hayworth lip gloss

Max Factor ad for new lipsticks with Hollywood Star Rita Hayworth who is starring in ‘Down To Earth’, 1947

Max Factor’s most notable clients were Mary Pickford, Claudette Colbert, Jean Harlow, Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Gloria Swanson, Rita Hayworth, Judy Garland, Dinah Shore, Lena Horne, Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn and Farrah Fawcett, all of whom became regular visitors at his salons.

In the 1970s, the third generation of Factors rose to senior positions but wanted to focus on their own interests, leading the firm to first be bought by Revlon and then Proctor & Gamble in 1991

Norma Jeane Marilyn Monroe Max Factor

t’s been more than 50 years since Marilyn Monroe’s death, but there’s no doubt the famed actress’ signature beauty is still recognized around the globe. So much so that Max Factor has announced Monroe as the new global ambassador for its latest ads, celebrating the makeup label’s 80th anniversary.

The late starlet was a longtime client of founder Max Factor’s son Max Factor Jr. in the ’40s, when she was known as Norma Jeane Mortenson. According to the beauty brand’s post on its Facebook page, Max Factor credits its makeup with helping transform the innocent-looking young lady into the sex symbol she’s known as today (“From Norma Jeane to Marilyn Monroe, Created by Max Factor,” reads the campaign’s tagline).

Marilyn Monroe Max Factor

“Marilyn made the sultry red lip, creamy skin and dramatically lined eyes the most famous beauty look of the Forties and it’s a look that continues to dominate the beauty and fashion industry,” said Pat McGrath, Max Factor’s global creative design director. “It is the ultimate look that defines glamour, nothing else compares.” (Click photo to enlarge).

Given that Max Factor seems to favor past beauty icons (the brand’s former face, Gwyneth Paltrow, channeled Audrey Hepburn and Farrah Fawcett for her campaign), it comes as no surprise that the company would choose the blond bombshell as its new face.

Marilyn Monroe Max Factor

This isn’t the first time that Monroe has been associated with a beauty brand even after her death. The platinum-blonde Hollywood star had a make-up collection dedicated to her by MAC in 2012 and had been the face of Chanel No.5 campaigns in 2013

by Jean Amr

Rita Hayworth and Aly Khan visit city of Algiers


 Algiers, Algeria

In 1948, at the height of her fame, Hayworth traveled to Cannes, France, and was introduced to Prince Aly Khan. They began a year-long courtship, and were married on May 27, 1949. Hayworth left Hollywood and sailed for France, breaking her contract with Columbia.

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Rita Hayworth and Prince Aly Khan visit the capital city of Algiers in Algeria, December 1950

As Hayworth was already one of the most well-known celebrities in the world, the courtship and the wedding received enormous press coverage around the world. Hayworth also received some negative backlash for her courtship with the Prince, causing some American fans to boycott her pictures. The wedding marked the first time a Hollywood actress became a princess. On December 28, 1949, Hayworth gave birth to the couple’s only daughter, Princess Yasmin Aga Khan.

by Jean Amr

Francesco Scavullo: No End to Beauty

An outstanding archive of fashion and celebrity portraits by the photographer Francesco Scavullo from the collection of his partner, stylist Sean Byrnes, will hit Sotheby’s online auction block next month – without reserve.

Earlier this year, our hearts leapt at the thought of purchasing a piece of fashion history when one of Kate Moss’ earliest shoots hit the online auction block. But we’ve got a lot more saving up to do, because on November 2, Sotheby’s will auction over 80 intimate images of celebrities, drag queens, athletes, and icons from legendary portrait photographer Francesco Scavullo’s dynamic archive.

Titled ‘Francesco Scavullo: No End to Beauty’, the auction spans four decades of Scavullo’s studio portraits. Born in New York in 1921, Scavullo spent roughly 30 years shooting Cosmopolitan’s cover girls, and this effortless glamour is well represented. The lot includes jaw-dropping shots of supermodels Lauren Hutton, Jerry Hall, Linda Evangelista, and musical icons Barbra Streisand and Donna Summer (above) rocking only their natural curls.

Grace Jones by Francesco Scavullo

Kris Kristofferson and Barbra Streisand by Francesco Scavullo for ‘A Star Is Born’

Princess Grace of Monaco by Francesco Scavullo

But what’s refreshing about Scavullo and his longtime collaborator and partner Sean Byrnes’ curation is that this vision of beauty is much more diverse than bombshells and beauty queens. There’s Brook Shields as a child, Lou Reed with leopard spotted hair, painted nails, and shaved eyebrows. There’s Blitz Kids Mathieu and Zaldy posing only in fishnets. There’s a snap of Caitlyn as Olympic champion Bruce. And of course, there’s John Waters’ drag superstar, who looks as if she’s letting out her triumphant Female Troubles’ rallying cry: “I’m so fucking beautiful I can’t stand it myself!”

Divine by Francesco Scavullo

Rita Hayworth by Francesco Scavullo

Salvador Dali by Francesco Scavullo

Francesco Scavullo: No End to Beauty opens November 2 at 3 pm EST without reserve on Sotheby’s online auction portal and eBay. More information come into the beautiful world of Sotheby’

Montblanc Rita Hayworth Limited Edition 46



Rita Hayworth was a legendary Hollywood actress and dancer who achieved fame during the 1940s as one of the era’s top stars. Her stunning, sensual looks greatly helped her, and in 1941, Life magazine writer Winthrop Sargeant nicknamed Hayworth ‘The Great American Love Goddess’. She became the first Hollywood actress to become a real princess when married Prince Aly Khan in 1949.

Now, iconic pen maker MontBlanc pays tribute to this Hollywood diva with a pen that captures all her glamor. Limited to just 46 handcrafted pieces as a nod to the 1946 release of Gilda – the movie that made Hayworth into an international movie icon as a femme fatale – the limited edition fountain pen is designed after the actress’ iconic role the ultimate temptress.

The translucent green lacquer is reminiscent of the alluring satin dress worn by Hayworth in the movie, while the barrel and cap also feature wavy guilloche crafted from 18 karat gold, while its orange citrine on the cap evokes memories of her signature bright red hair. The shape of the pen reflects her sensual dancing figure, while the diamond studded cap top and cap ring are a reference to the sheer glamor she projected as Hollywood royalty.

Montblanc-Rita-Hayworth-Limited-Edition-46-Fountain-Pen .jpgThe top of cap also boasts mother-of-pearl Montblanc emblem. The handcrafted gold nib features a heart-shaped hole in honor of the goddess of love. As expected, the Montblanc Rita Hayworth is limited to only 46 pieces.

Montblanc Rita Hayworth Limited Edition 46 is available in very selected MontBlanc Boutiques worldwide. Come into the wonderful world of MontBlanc.




New ‘Stars in Dior’ by Rizzoli


What makes a person style icon. I suppose it’s been in  reaction to the ubiquitous Alexa Chung and her new title as British Fashion Council’s Young Style Ambassador and of types such as Olivia Palermo, model, rich girl socialite and ex-reality TV show member of ‘The City’ or even Katy Perry who terming both ‘style’ and ‘icon’ is laughable in the extreme despite her recent unwise front row Chanel appearance.


It used to be that women (and men!) named style icons were lauded for their talent be it acting, voice, writing ability or other and their natural (self) style which became a moniker and a signpost of their image. Pre-stylists foisting image and designers throwing free clothes upon them, stars such as Grace Kelly, Gina Lollobrigida, Marlene Deitrich, Marilyn Monroe and Katharine Hepburn chose their image and carefully kept to its confines, using it to reinforce their stardom and their kudos. Style was an adjunct to their abilities and how they conducted themselves, not the sole reason for their existence or their many column inches.


Today, it seems that many self modelled style icons seek validation and reify themselves by being no more than clothing puppets, raising their stakes in global fashion media, neither aligning themselves to one design house or other, chopping and changing their loyalties to whomever will dress them willingly and often freely. No sooner has someone glimpsed fame than the hungry media from gossip mags to glossies and the marketing needs of designer brands to high street, leap on the chance of a new find with whom to bind themselves. We can see this in the case of the gorgeous Lana Del Rey who had barely released her first album and already featured in multitudes of fashion editorials and even had a Mulberry bag named after her (why??). It may not be Hermes, but still…


True style icons, in a time they bought their clothes by themselves. Left picture: Begum Om Habibeh Aga Khan III (left) with her stepdaughter-in-law actress Rita Hayworth (middle), and picture right: Marlene Dietrich (middle)

Style by association is now revered instead of reviled. Many who have little style (Diana Vickers anyone?) and who may be little more than vacuous clothes horses are paid to feature front row at catwalk shows further denigrating the notion of self style, elegance and class and also of loyalty to a design House. Which is why the strongest brands today are niche brands such as Balenciaga, Celine and Haider Ackerman who, strong in their own personality, choose carefully and who don’t need the same front row footloose brand harlots to parade their wares, unyielding to those celebrities who see themselves as commodities and sell themselves to the highest or most frequent bidders.


Similarly, labels such as Dior still have weight when it comes to who wears their wares. Over the years, Dior have groomed only the best and have a long history of the most beautiful and sought after women in the world wearing the label. Her Highness the Begum Om Habibeh Aga Khan III, aka Yvette Labrousse, former Miss France, who knew exactly what fits her. Women like Marlene Dietrich, Sophia Loren, Kim Novak, Grace Kelly, Ava Gardner and Elizabeth Taylor have all starred in the greatest films shot by the finest directors and were dressed to match their role, by Dior Haute Couture.


To celebrate this fact Dior’s latest release (published by Rizzoli, New York), ‘Stars in Dior’ features such screen goddesses at the height of their fame as well as modern stars such as Charlize Theron, Natalie Portman, Kirsten Dunst, Penelope Cruz and Monica Bellucci. Times may have changed but Dior honours its past by choosing wisely.

Christian Dior started out as a costume designer even before his couture house was founded in 1946 so it’s no surprise that Dior’s filmography is impressive featuring in more than 90 films.


A book paying homage to the glamour of cinema and its relationship with the leading couture house Dior. The selection of previously unpublished beautiful behind-the-scenes photographes shows many of cinema’s greatest stars, clothed by Dior and captured by some of the biggest names in fashion photography.

Check out some true style icons in ‘Stars in Dior’, released in Europe in May and in the USA in September. Imagery featured taken from this book and supplied by Dior.





A family gatering at Yakymour

A family portrait. Prior to the marriage between Prince Aly Khan and actress Rita Hayworth, on May 27 and 28, a family gathering took place on April 1, 1949 in the south of France in Yakymour, Le Cannet. The whole family together at the house of Sultan Mohammed Aga Khan III and his wife The Begum Om Habibeh Aga Khan III, his childern Sadruddin and Aly with Rita Hayworth, his fiancée. His grandchildern Amyn and Karim.


From left to right: Begum Om Habibeh Aha Khan III, Amyn Aga Khan, Sadruddin Aga Khan, Aly Aga Khan, Karim Aga Khan. Sitting: Sultan Mohammed Aga Khan III and Rita Hayworth at Yakymour, Le Cannet, France, April 1, 1949