Italian screen legend Monica Vitti served as Michelangelo Antonioni's muse and the star of his critically acclaimed films "L'Avventura," "La Notte" and "L'Eclisse" during the early 1960s. The iconic imagery of Vitti's feathery blonde hair framing her chiseled features remains one of the most coveted looks from the cinematic decade, and for good reason. Why have her locks become such an enduring fashion symbol? They represent everything women seek aesthetically along and contain a timeless minimalism that looks oh so effortless.
Reflecting on Vitti's classic mid-length hair offers a break from today's Rapunzel standard without sacrificing the slightest bit of feminine charm. Her hairstyle never once looked fussy, stiff or over-processed; instead, its healthy lustre beamed from lifted roots to well-shaped ends. The premium cut combined long layers, ample movement and pushed-aside bangs that hit perfectly atop her brows. American Vogue replicated the look on its September 2013 cover featuring actress Jennifer Lawrence, directly citing Vitti's Italian style and influence.
Voluminous and bouncy, her hairstyle impressively balanced the modern allure of straight strands with the flirtation and charisma of curls. Tousled layers and height at the crown prevented her predominantly straight style from falling flat, while the gently curled-under ends softened the edges with a hint of tame playfulness.
She retained her lightweight and modern style even as her hair colour changed from bombshell blonde in Antonioni's films to a rich auburn in 1964's "Red Desert." As the title comic book character of the cult classic film "Modesty Blaise," her secret agent's hair colour switched between flaxen waves and glossy brunette with enviable ease.
Vitti also set new standards for beach hair by raising the bar for more polished fun in the sun. Before mermaid hair and texturising salt sprays, Vitti presented a high-maintenance coif that brought sophistication to swimwear. Gently curled at the ends and heightened with a side part, her hairstyle didn't apologise for its obvious preparation.
Much like Brigitte Bardot, Vitti's hair often sat atop her head in messy half-up and half-down masterpieces, a look that is decadently laid-back and thoroughly romantic. Whether deliberately structured or windblown in appearance, her updos looked equally thick and lightweight -- the best of both worlds.
Monica Vitti's tousled perfection never loses its appeal, and her authentic, sultry charm continues to cultivate a steady stream of admirers.