Diva Icon #1: Sophia Loren

From this week on I'm starting with the Diva Icon series each Monday. What could be more empowering than going through powerful, gorgeous women from the past decennia and find out their beauty tricks, the keys to their effortless style and add a little bit of prestige and allure into our week? Let's embrace our inner Italian sex-symbol with Italy's pride Sophia Loren.

Bio: Loren was discovered at a beauty pageant at the age of 14 in 1949, after a couple of acting lessons and minor roles she signed with Paramount and debuted as international Hollywood star. She was the first artist to win an Oscar for a foreign-language performance. She was also awarded a Grammy, five special Golden Globes and plenty of others. She's been married to Italian film producer Carlo Ponti until his death in 2007.

These Loren movies will get you in the mood: It started in Naples, Milan Billionaire, Two Nights with Cleopatra, Too Bad She's Bad, The Sign of Venus, Heller in Pink Tights, Madame Sans-gĂȘne, The Millionairess, Two Women.

Trademark: The tempting tiger eyes, the more mascara - the better. Mind how Sophia enlarged her eyes with white eye pencil in the outer corners, outlining it with black eyeliner for a very dramatic look. The best Italian Diva make-up tutorial is found here. What concerns hair: the bigger, the better. Average diva style.
Music: have the Mambo Italiano playing in the background while getting pretty in your dressing room.


"Nothing makes a woman more beautiful than the believe she is beatiful."

"Sex-appeal if fifty percent what you've got, and fifty percent what they think you've got."

"I've never tried to block out the memories of the past, even though some are painful. I don't understand people who hide from their past. Everything you live through helps to make you the person you are now."

"A woman's dress should be like a barbed-wire fence: serving its purpose without obstructing the view."

"Everything you see I owe to spaghetti."

"If you haven't cried, your eyes cannot be beautiful."

 Cook Italian:
Everything Sophia has, she owes to spaghetti. And by this she is definitely referring to her curves. Buy her cook book on Amazon here or prepare her favourite spaghetti from the recipe below:

You will need:
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 16 ounce canned, peeled tomatoes or 1 lb fresh tomatoes peeled and sieved.
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil or 1 tsp dried basil, minced
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • salt, to taste
  • 1 pound spaghetti, cooked
  • Parmesan cheese, grated 
1. Heat olive oil in a skillet. When hot, add garlic until blanched. Next, add the tomatoes, basil, sugar and salt, until blended. Lower heat and cook gently for 30 minutes, stirring every now and then.

2. For a spaghetti dinner for four, Sophia Loren suggests using one pound of spaghetti, and that you prepare the pasta in a six-quart pot filled almost to the top with water. When the water boils briskly, add 2 tablespoons of salt, if you wish. Then put in the spaghetti, a little at a time, making sure the water does not stop boiling. “Never overcook pasta,” warns the actress. It should be served al dente -- which means that the teeth should feel the pasta -- it should not be a mush. Stir it now and then while it cooks so that it doesn’t stick to the pot. Before pouring out the water, taste a strand or two to be sure it is the way you want it. If it is, drain it into a colander.

3. Put cooked spaghetti in a large serving platter. Cover with the sauce, sprinkle with at least four heaping tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese. Mix well and serve. (Put a bowl of cheese on the table for those who want more.)

4. With the pasta, Sophia serves a fresh green salad (no tomatoes, but maybe add mushrooms or olives) with oil and vinegar dressing, Italian bread, and a red wine. Sophia also likes to serve fresh fruit for dessert and, of course, espresso coffee.

 How to dress:

- Short skirts and dresses are must, reveal those mile-long legs!

- Gloves might fit just a little bit more into this season, so make sure you have a nice, leather pair. Jet black, preferably elbow-long. Very vixen and elegant.

- As your new channeled Mediterranean diva-self you should wear LOTS of feasty, bright red.

-  Halter dresses and cleavage-showing tops and blouses are the most feminine clothing items ever. Bustiers and low-cuts are very flaunting if a curvy cleavage is your best accessory. If you're going for halter tops make sure they are long and flared.

- Cat eyed sunnies or glasses are also very vintage and very sassy. Sophia was often spotted wearing a pair.

What to do this week:

- Go out for an Italian dinner - all the way!

- Have a man lighten your cigarette, this is an act of submission to you, the lady.

- Sophia's man always referred to her as "the perfect female animal". She was a tiger indeed. Stand up for your beliefs and seriously, just go out there and do whatever you want!

- Have an Espresso shot every day of the week: an ideal espresso shot is rich brown with some speckling or flecking of dark gold. You should drink it fast! No milk, no sugar!

- Work on your Italian. Like, just the basics. Hello, and thank you and I'd like to order.

- No beauty salons! Sophia does her hair, make-up and all the rest herself.

- Wear your heels, ladies. At times, male actors were hesitant to appear with her as she stands nearly 5'9'' and wears towering heels and tall hair that can make her look over 6 feet tall! 


She is mentioned in Bob Dylan's song "I shall be free."

She owns an apartment in the Trump World Tower in New York.

She is often called the Italian Marilyn Monroe.

Her sister Anna Maria married Romano Mussolini, the son of the dictator. (What a small world)

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