I’m thrilled to hear that the film Son of the Sheik (1926) will be playing on Sunday, July 10 at the San Francisco Public Library – it’s an opportunity to see the work of costume designer Natacha Rambova on the big screen.
Though Valentino and Rambova had divorced in January of 1926, her work still appeared in his film (released in April 1926). It seems that many of the costumes Rambova had designed for Hooded Falcon (1924) –a film that was not completed — were re-used by the studio for Son of the Sheik. According to a Chicago Tribune article dated April 11, 1926:
“A stunning Moorish costume adorned the stalwart form of our hero, including a pair of cerise satin zouave trousers plentifully braided and embroidered in gold. These had been secured in Algiers originally for ‘The Hooded Falcon,’ which Rudy never made and which was the high spot in the Valentino contention with the Ritz-Carlton company, which sent him into the United Artists fold. Natacha Rambova was the one who designed the costumes, to the tune of $100,000. They now lie on the wardrobe shelves. This is the first use that has been made of any of them.”