How to Tie a Turban Like Hedy

Much excitement today! I have a tribute post to Hedy Lamarr up on Silents and Talkies, complete with an eye-popping portrait of Hedy drawn by Kate herself! In honor of this momentous occasion, I’ve prepared a tutorial for all my dear readers. But first, a little explanation about my Hedy ardor.

Quite awhile ago, Kate asked her readers which star had sparked their interest in classic film. At the time, I couldn’t remember, so I didn’t participate in the discussion. (sorry, Kate – I really wanted to!) But, as I’ve been pondering the question, I’ve come to the realization that my hook into classic film was Hedy Lamarr. My premier Hedy Lamarr film was Lady of the Tropics (1939) with Robert Taylor. Hedy plays an exotic woman of European and Asian descent residing in the Orient. In one important scene, she wears a modest white turban accented with long earrings and a matching necklace. (See photos above)

The image of this uncommonly exquisite woman in her striking head wear made an enduring impression on me as a 12 year old. I seized a kerchief at the time and tried to tie a turban like hers, to no avail. While I moved on to other films and other stars as my fascination for classic film intensified, Hedy and her turban were unforgettable.

And then I saw Come Live With Me (1941). Come Live With Me is a typical 40’s feel good flick – boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy and girl live happily ever after in the end. Of course there are some other twists, but that’s the major plot. It’s an enjoyable film and I’ve seen it several times. But there is one scene which makes this film a must see for any Hedy Lamarr fan: when Hedy demonstrates how to tie her turban. For me, finding this scene was like Hedy personally visiting me and teaching me how to recreate her iconic look.

I had forgotten about Hedy and her lovely turban… until I started experimenting with pin curls about a year ago. When you set your hair in pin curls and try to sleep in it, the pins can be dreadfully painful. I needed a head covering that would stay put and – voila! Hedy’s Turban Training came to the rescue! I even wear my turban to the store now (Walmart, no less!) and get treated like a duchess because of it. The cashiers in my local Walmart are ridiculously truculent, so this is a major victory. And I owe it all to Hedy…

On to the instructions! The title of Duchess of Walmart awaits you, my friends!

Doesn’t George look dashing? I think it quite suits him. :) You can find these instructions in my flickr set, if you want a better look at them. If you have any trouble with the tutorial, please let me know. Even if you just see a typo, please tell me! I want everyone to be able to recreate the Hedy look successfully. Happy Turban Tying!

***March 25, 2010 Update: This post was featured in the Queens of Vintage Turban post today! I’m so honored to be included in it.***



Filed under Fashion Backward, Film Bloggers, How to

23 responses to “How to Tie a Turban Like Hedy

  1. First of all, this post raised you and Hedy Lamar in my estimation.

    Second of all, I’m desperate to try a turban now.

    Third of all, I want to watch Come Live with Me!

    Thank you for such a great post Casey.

  2. AMAZING! AMAZING! I totally wanna wear a turban now. I should do it today! Would make quite a splash with my crazy relatives! ;-D

  3. Raquelle– I’m infinitely thrilled to have piqued your interest so! Please try the tutorial, I think you’d look smashing in a turban! :D

    Millie– Yay!! Haha, I’d love to have you wear a turban with your nutty relations and hear what they say. I bet it would be hilarious!

  4. LOOOOL GEORGE. Oh too funny.
    But I’m really wanting to try this now…even if it’s just for kicking around the house!

  5. This is so neat Casey!! I was cracking up when I saw you were using George Washington as your model!!!! :-D

    I’m going to link to this from your guest post!

  6. Sarah & Kate– HAHA! I was hoping someone would get a kick out of George. He was the only one I could find who hold still for the camera! :D

    BobbinsAndBombshells– Double thanks! I’ll get on the acceptance post right away.

  7. I must say it looks a lot better on George than it does on me.

  8. Matthew – Well, it makes me happy to know you tried it anyway. ;) George is rather tough competition.

    Gingey– Thank you so much!

  9. Pingback: Bad hair day? Wear a turban! |

  10. This is fantastic. My hair is at that awkward not-short/not-long length and a turban is just what I need!

  11. Lilac – Thank you! I’m quite thrilled you found my tutorial helpful! Please do have a go at turbanizing yourself. It’s well worth a try!

  12. Haha. Helpful and amusing all at once!

  13. Roisin – Thanks!

  14. Pingback: How To Wear Scarvers | Penny Luxe

  15. What a helpful tutorial! Thanks – I’m off to turban up!

  16. donna

    thanks for the tutorial, casey. this perfectly completes my film noir holloween costume.

  17. Pingback: Posh Frock Friday on Sunday | Noir Girl

  18. Pingback: All your future lies beneath your hat… | The Big Mac Blog

  19. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I was searching the internets last night to find some tips for tying/wearing a turban, and I came across this post. Not only was it informative (I haven’t been able to tie it quite right yet, but I think I just need some practice), but it was just so entertaining.

    Turbans! Hedy! JIMMY! And then, when I thought it couldn’t get more awesome, GEORGE WASHINGTON!

    (Please forgive my exuberance, I just found this all so very, very delightful. I can’t wait to get the tying technique down.)

  20. Hi Em – I am completely thrilled you enjoyed my post so. It was my hope that other vintage lovers would enjoy turban wearing as much as I do. Thank you so much for your lovely comment and your enthusiasm!

  21. Pingback: 1940s Turban, No more bad hair days | dazzlingal

Share your thoughts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s