La Bella Vita

I may have mentioned this in my earlier post, but Mr. Magpie and I stayed at Turtle Inn while on our honeymoon in Belize (loved everything about it, minus the mosquitoes, and found the servers and staff so friendly, I miss them!  We spent so much time lounging on the beach with first class service, we ended up leaving a big tip for the head barman — Carlos — before we left and even took a picture with him!).  Turtle Inn is owned and operated by the movie director Francis Ford Coppola, of “The Godfather” trilogy and “Apocalypse Now” fame.  While we indulged most nights in fresh seafood or the local fare, 1 of the 3 restaurants at the resort was an Italian place that left both of us completely inspired.  (Their thin-crust pizza with olives and rosemary was yum.yum.yum.)  As a result, the first night back in the States, Mr. Magpie and I made pasta from scratch using our new pasta roller, cooked up a tomato-and-fresh-tuna-steak sauce (molto bene, Mario Batali!), opened some red wine, and watched “The Godfather.”  Delicioso.

(Image courtesy of Smitten Kitchen)

The whole revisiting-my-Italian roots experience (my grandmother moved to the States from Frosolone, Italy) has left me on the lookout for some old world Italian wardrobe additions.  I’m thinking Sophia Loren circa 1950, body-conscious pieces in the best of the D&G tradition, and a  penchant for the va-va-voom in evening wear.

First off, a siren red, snug-fit sheath dress like this satin number by Karen Millen ($380, Karen Millen) is in order:

I like the idea of pairing it with these ladylike (but super-high) Louboutins in unexpected blush leather ($636, Shop Savannah’s):

Alternately, saucy ankle strap pumps in classic black (on SUPER sale for only $25, Lori’s Shoes) with some eye-catching, jet-black earrings ($43.95, Fantasy Jewel Box) could be magic:

This curve-skimming Moschino number is a red hot alternative ($615, Harvey Nichols):

I kind of like the idea of going on tone-on-tone with this fire engine red dress — consider slipping into these sky-high Casadei pumps (they’ve been all over Hollywood — on sale for $325, The Corner):

Add a pair of faux cils and a frou-frou clutch ($112, Lori’s Shoes), and you are ready to go.  Bella donna!

For the rustic, I’m-with-Al-Pacino-while-he-was-in-the-Italian-countryside-and-I-want-to-be-Apollonia look (if you’ve never seen the “The Godfather,” disregard), I like this understated, old-school house dress in unfussy khaki ($100, ModCloth):

Love the nipped-in waist.  The whole borderline peasant aesthetic reminds me of this shot of a young Loren:

I’d pair it with this to.die.for Fendi bag (a sleek take on the bermuda bag more commonly seen amongst the preppy set — $1,620, Barney’s):

Or — how beyond precious is this once-in-a-lifetime find from Archive Vintage (Koret, $140, Archive Vintage):

Tie a scarf around your hair or onto your bag or even as a chic bracelet of sorts ($55, Hermes):

A young Loren (19 years old below — wow) typically wore hers tied around her neck but that seems a bit costumey for this day in age…(Read: wear at your own risk.)

And don’t forget your shades — Sophia Loren would likely reach for something akin to these Balenciagas ($350, Net-A-Porter):

Very Bottega Veneta 2007 (I LOVED their reinvention of the “Roman Holiday” film look — have you seen that Audrey Hepburn classic?!  Come to think of it, their runway aesthetic wasn’t so much a reinvention of “Roman Holiday” as it was a recreation, right down to the closely-cropped hair):

Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck in “Roman Holiday”

…which reminds me: don’t forget your Roman-style gladiator sandals!  I’m obsessed with these Chloe show-stoppers (I’ve posted them before, and I’ll continue to do so — love ’em! — $625, Net-A-Porter):

After a tour of the vineyards, freshen up and pour yourself into this gasp-worthy Dolce and Gabbana pin-up dress ($2,000, Brown’s Fashion):

Pure amore at first sight, especially with these slightly heavy-looking YSL pumps ($636, MyTheresa), a lightweight summer scarf for the hair/wrist/bag ($475, Barney’s), and some cat-eye shades (Linda Farrow, $640, Net-A-Porter):

Side note: I’m only including the egregiously overpriced Linda Farrow shades above because of the recent “It-ness” of her namesake brand.  (She’s responsible for some of the odd circular-shade eyewear spotted on Lady GaGa in recent months.)  You can get the style for much less from trendsters like Urban Outfitters, where they’re only $16 a pop.

Don’t forget your cherry red lips — Chanel has some fab colors out (like Shanghai — $33, Amazon):

If you’re wondering whether the looks above might seem a bit dated, just take a look at Eva Mendes, the neo-Sophia-Loren, and one of my absolute favorite little fashionistas (I’ve been collecting pics of her for quite some time now in preparation for officially making her a Magpie Maven).  She adapts the slightly retro Italiana look to modern day times with ease and panache.

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