ava gardner style

I thought today I’d veer off the usual Monday-scans-path a bit and instead talk about one of my other favorite sources of style inspiration: classic film stars. During our trip back from Virginia, we made a quick stop at the Ava Gardner Museum in Smithfield, NC. I’d been dying to stop there for ages, and was delighted that we were able to this time. The museum is very small, but well done, and had quite a nice collection of Ava memorabilia, clothes, personal possessions and photos on display. I’m kicking myself for not asking if photos were allowed inside the museum–but I was a little starstruck! After seeing so many images of Ava in the museum I was inspired to do this post since she had a really fantastic sense of style (and was utterly gorgeous). There is a mix of studio portraits, film stills and candids in this post–hope you enjoy!

l: cute summertime style with printed shorts! | r: this dress was on display at the museum–it’s a breathtaking coral-orange silk.

l: I love the pouch hanging from her belt. | r: those cat-eye sunglasses are so glamorous!

l: a beautiful neckline on an evening dress; I like the simple choker-ribbon necklace as well. | r: another beautiful, dramatic evening gown.

l: look closely at the dress–the print has nautical motifs and mermaids! | r: a simple, casual look.

l: every girl needs a fuzzy sweater, imho (still on the hunt for the perfect one!).
| r: a cute, sporting outfit! got a pair of saddle shoes for Christmas and have been saving up all kinds of outfit inspiration around those shoes…

l: a dramatic neckline with an equally dramatic neckline–beautiful! | r: I love the stylized scallops on the skirt–such a neat embellishment idea.

l: am determined to copy this outfit once the weather warms up! | r: another cute, casual look: rolled slacks and an argyle sweater with flat shoes.

l: sweaters and full skirts have become my standby this winter–I adore the look! | r: a polka dot blouse and a jauntily-printed hat!

doesn’t every girl need a gingham dress for the summer and lounging in?

I’ll be back a bit later today with a post about the sew-along!

January 10, 2011 · 27 lovely thoughts
posted in vintage inspiration · tags: , , ,

Jenny @ Kerrfect! January 10, 2011 at 07:07

I think my favorite is the dramatic neckline photo. It is so simple and still so striking.

Em January 10, 2011 at 07:28

Gorgeous looks! I saw several I’d like to try. She makes every day clothes look so glamourous.

Gina January 10, 2011 at 07:57

She is lovely and reminds me of a girl we all enjoy here. I love the saddle shoes, you mentioned them to me a while back , they would be great instead of high heels, I would love to see how you are going to wear them. I am hoping to try them, although I have thick legs and I don’t know if socks and saddles will look fine. Not sure how to wear them, but love them.

Eilane January 10, 2011 at 08:12

Olá Querida, que bom ter você de volta, leio seu blog sempre e amei as fotos, uma diva concertesa, elegante e bela e com um senso próprio de estilo e beleza.


Eilane – Brasil

Victoria / Justice Pirate January 10, 2011 at 08:51

You know, I have never really paid much attention to her or her style ever but you are so right. she is very fashionable and lovely! Thanks for pointing it out to me!

Clare January 10, 2011 at 08:53

Crikey. Not that I have ever seen either’s work – I think Jessica Biel looks just like her. If anyone ever were to make a biopic.

Carys January 10, 2011 at 09:45

I love the more casual, sporty outfits, they’re perfect!! I never realised she had such great style.
From Carys of La Ville Inconnue

Kerry January 10, 2011 at 10:18

She was such a beautiful woman. I had no idea there was a museum. I love the fuzzy sweater photo … she was stunning even in the simplest of outfits.

Achaia January 10, 2011 at 10:34

Hi Casey! I found your blog a couple weeks ago and am utterly hooked! Vintage style is something I’m completely smitten with and I love the way you incorporate it in everyday life!
Where did you get your seamed stockings/hose?
Ava Gardner is really lovely! I’ve never seen her in a movie before (got to remedy that!). Classic films are my favorite place to find inspiration.
Have a lovely day!

Portia January 10, 2011 at 11:32

The rolled up slacks and argyle sweater with a pair of loafers….so workable today even. But she makes it look just that extra bit special. Pure superstar class. No wonder she snagged ol’ blue eyes himself……

Kathy January 10, 2011 at 12:01

I particularly love her monogram bed cover in the the last photo! The draping on the coral-orange silk dress is breathtaking.

Jill/laughbutnotloudly January 10, 2011 at 12:28

I never want to play golf in khakis and a t-shirt again.

Rosy January 10, 2011 at 13:15

I’m dying for the look of pants and argyle sweater, of course not be the same on any other girl, she is unique!

The Cupcake Goddess January 10, 2011 at 14:40

Oh I love the inspiration. She’s utterly gorgeous too. So dramatic and sexy looking, but with that very feminine look too. I love it when someone can pull that look off. I love the polka dot blouse and have a vintage pattern so much like it. What a perfect look in polka dots! Just what I need.

emma January 10, 2011 at 15:18

Gosh Ava really is so stunning! Each one of those outfits are so perfect, so feminine and classic

Ava Gardner Museum January 10, 2011 at 15:36

Glad you stopped in and enjoyed yourself. Yes, photos are allowed and we change exhibits twice a year so the next time you find yourself passing by, come on in. We’ll probably have something new up!

Lottie January 10, 2011 at 15:54

She’s gorgeous! I love the shorts in the first picture, very cute.

Penny Dreadful Vintage January 10, 2011 at 16:04

You saved the best for last, that gingham dress is gorgeous.

Rebecca January 10, 2011 at 17:23

Thanks so much for sharing these!! I have beeen wanting to wear shorts all summer and havne’t had any good inspiration untill now. :)

Lynn January 10, 2011 at 18:53

holy incredible! i didn’t know there was such a thing as a museum to her tribute!!! wow. sounds like it was most enthralling. lovely post, thanks so much for sharing casey, i’ve loved this journey back in time.

Alli January 10, 2011 at 19:07

I always loved Ava Gardner. She was so beautiful, and her clothes were gorgeous. The museum sounds fascinating. What a thrill it must have been to see all those things. Lucky girl! :)

Athena January 10, 2011 at 22:01

How lovely, always been a fan of Ava Gardner, read her autobiography.

Vittoria January 10, 2011 at 23:29

Actually, Milla Jovovich looks just like Ava Gardner. Their features are strikingly similar and very unique. I don’t believe that anyone, except for Jovovich, looks like her these days. Especially not Kate Beckinsale or Jessica Biel.

Lucy January 11, 2011 at 08:31

oh my, she’s so classic, thanks for sharing such a gorgeous post!

Jojo January 11, 2011 at 10:59

Wow! I really envy her hair and of course all the classy ball gowns. I’m still looking for the perfect prom dress (in Germany you only have one prom at the end of school, not every year), but I just can’t find anything to please me and if I find something, it just doesn’t suit my figure.
Thanks for this gorgeous inspiration!
Love, Jojo

Lauren January 15, 2011 at 21:26

My husband has an enormous crush on Ava and I just told him about this museum…which is apparently near my father’s house so, um, I think he’ll insist on going there and I will not protest!

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