Yesterday in London the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences celebrated the career of Oscar®-winner actress Vanessa Redgrave.
Redgrave is currently starring as Queen Elisabeth I in the new Shakespearean movie called Anonymous. She gives an amazing portrayal one that could give her a new Oscar nomination.
Thuroughout a career that spans more than fifty years, She has been nothing short of spectacular in as many memorable roles as there have been for any other actress of her range and caliber which in this case is a very small group of divinities…maybe two or three other actors come to mind…. Many – or better to say, most – remember her as the model in Michelangelo Antonioni’s Blow-Up, where she boasted that icy glance that became a symbol of the English Cool and showed her body to the camera’s cruel eye, dressed only with that little black scarf around her neck: the R-rated version of a boy scout.
Others might remember her as the woman who stole Jane Fonda’s spotlight in Julia, for which she won the Oscar. Or Isadora Duncan in the strange, small movie of 1968 about the controversial dancer. Younger people might have noticed her in that monologue, filmed from the waist up, that closes Atonement and that gives you goose bumps due to its intensity.
Such Intelligence and heterogeneity, as well as her credibility and resolve for what she believes in, is something all great actresses have in common, as well those women that have traveled around the world, built endless families and that always give the impression of having lived at least ten lives. In her case these qualities becomes even more prevalent once you factor in her undeniable sex-appeal and her conscience of heart that she almost always wears on her sleeve or lapel….
Redgrave, who has declared more than once her great love for radical politics, is a famous activist.
Hers is not however an activism borne out of chicness or convenience but one roted in family values and beliefs that had been with her for all her life.
She protested against the war in Vietnam and founded, in the early Seventies, a socialist party. She has sided with Palestine and continues to refuse the title “Dame” by Queen Elisabeth. You might not agree with her views (many can’t stand her), but you can’t but acknowledge her exemplary energy and resolve.
Redgrave style and unique approach to presenting herself to the public can’t help but put her among the ones that make the fashion Olympus.
What makes Vanessa’s elegance particular is not necessarily her fashion savvy, on the contrary: without the help of hairdressers and stylists Redgrave might have appeared rather modest for the way she dresses. (To say the least: remember that black tunic she wore for Oscar night in 1978? It was the antithesis to an unforgettable speech that gave half Hollywood goosebumps).
But Fashion is not only about clothes, it is primarily about style and substance, and even at 74, Redgrave remains one of the coolest women we know. She can throw on anything and we wouldn’t notice … in her case the woman is much greater the the clothes that adorn her…
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