Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Modern Gal's Guide to Glamour

One of my New Year's resolutions for 2010 is to become a more glamorous gal. Day to day, I am not 'all glammed up' per se. More often than not, I am running late and skimp makeup all together. But when I do apply makeup, I go all out and channel my inner glam goddess. The beautiful bombshell, with her adoration of smoky eyes, red lipstick, silks and chiffon, did not pass away with Old Hollywood, and many fabulous women today perfectly embody 'glamour.' We may never have another Sophia, Marilyn, or Brigitte, but we have Penelope, Kate, and Claudia. If you want to know the name of a certain person pictured here, drop me a note and I'll fill you in on their fabulousness!

Who do you look up to as women of glamour?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Dolly Rocker Girl Dream Christmas List

1. Betsey Johnson Faux Fur Raggy Coat: its so chic, warm, and if paired with Chuck Taylor converse, green pants, and a red button down it would be very George-at-the-rooftop-concert apropos, or alternately when worn with a gypsy caftan, ethnic baubles, and a swipe of kohl eyeliner it will look right out of the closet of Anita Pallenberg.
2. Vera Wang Rose Tie Necklace: at $650 it's a very pricey piece, but I cannot get over the romantic glamour of the nude rosettes combined with the dark crystal facets and black satin ribbon. But hey, that's why this is a dream list, right? Santa I'm sure can get a little creative for little ole' me.
3. House of Harlow 1960 Gold Aztec Bangles: for an instant luxe-hippie look, I would stack several different colors together with various other gold chains and bracelets.
4. Gypset Style: I've been dying to get a hold of Julia Chaplin's book ever since I found out the fabulous Mignot Sisters are profiled in it. I plan to one day escape my boringly conventional humdrum life and become a fabulous gypsetter. This really just constitutes being research into my future. It's very scholastic.
5. Fourteen Eye Zipper Boots by Dr. Martens: On the days I want to channel my inner Rayanne Graff, I need to have these boots. The patent adds a fun '80s edge to an otherwise grunge staple. And plus, I live in the snow now, so these will be practical (the patent is water-resistant, right? Yes yes yes) I can already imagine wearing these with fishnets or thigh high socks, a fun party dress or a large flannel button down. These have SUCH potential.
6. Rodarte for Target Collection: The geniuses at Rodarte have managed to create affordable clothes in their signature girlishly feminine style. In their Target collection, released just the other week, tough leopard prints and loud colors are mixed with dainty dresses and pale-shaded cardigans. I love this swiss-lace dot dress in 'Alice in Wonderland'-blue paired with the leopard print bow belt. With a little bit of naughty and a lot of nice, this look comes in at only $53.
7. Purple Suede Gladiator Sandals, as seen on Jenny Boyd: This is really where the dream aspect of this list comes in. Though Jenny is the one seen here wearing them in a photoshoot, Pattie was the one who ended up with these incredible shoes, rocking them hard core during her 1967 trip to California with hubby Georgie. If anyone knows how I can get a pair on these (or even similar-yet-groovy styles), not only will you be my best friend for life, but also my personal savior.
8. Tons of DVDS, including "Wonderwall," "Magical Mystery Tour," "Troop Beverly Hills," "Lagerfeld Confidential," and "How to Steal a Million": The Jane Birkin vehicle "Wonderwall" has been quite a challenge for me to find, but I'm interested to check it out since the music was scored in Eastern fashion by George Harrison and the sets were designed in a swirl of cosmic colors by the Dutch art group The Fool. I've seen clips of "MMT" online, but YouTube just does not suffice anymore and I want to see it in it's full, critically-unacclaimed glory. Along with the Anna Wintour doc "The September Issue," the film "Lagerfeld Confidential" gives a rare glimpse at one of fashion's most enigmatic creatures, Chanel's guru Kaiser Karl. Featuring a young Jenny Lewis (of Rilo Kiley fame) and Cheers alum Shelley Long, "Troop Beverly Hills" was my absolute favorite movie for a time in my life. I absolutely abhorred the thought of joining the real Girl Scouts after discovering my Troop Mother would be nothing like Long in this movie. Also, I'm in a very Godard stage, so I'm hoping to score "Masculin Feminine," "Breathless," or "Contempt" to add to my DVD collection.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

a harrison boy is always in fashion...

Wow, this spread from Fashion Rocks! is so old it's practically vintage now, isn't it? While you ignore my lame attempt at a joke, please enjoy reminiscing to a simpler time full of opulence and fantasy - I'm talking about circa 2007, when these photos were taken, NOT the sixties. Again, lame joke aside, this is perhaps one of my favorite photoshoots of recent years. And I love that Dhani's outfit in the lower left corner is quite similar to his dad's at the rooftop concert so many years before.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

so we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past


This is something that I had to write for my seminar class (*with slight edits*), in response to The Great Gatsby (1974):
When I was fourteen, I feel head-over-heels in love with this adaptation of The Great Gatsby. I hadn’t read the book, mind you, so my basic understanding of the story was that an adorably flighty socialite had an affair with a suave millionaire, all the while the guy from Law and Order just stood in the background. For years after that, I nursed an obsession for the costumes Ralph Lauren designed for the film, and frequently cited the movie as ‘incredible.’ Upon viewing this film again, my opinion of it has changed. No longer are the gorgeous costumes, perfect settings, and lush music blinding me into thinking that this film is without fault.
First of all, I think it says something that the first thing I loved about the film was the way it looked. It was still true for me that while I was watching it again I was struck by how beautiful everything and everyone was. Well, except for the actress who portrayed Myrtle – she sort of scared me. The film succeeded in capturing the shallow beauty of the time, but I think it relied too heavily on that, and, in doing so, it turned one of the most celebrated stories of the 20th century from a character study into a costume movie. It is an issue of style over substance.
Mia Farrow plays Daisy as a fragile, naïve wife in a jittery way that makes me imagine her as Rosemary Woodhouse, but instead of mod shift dresses and a Vidal Sassoon haircut she’s wearing flapper dresses and finger waves. I’m not sure that she was the most appropriate person to play Daisy, but she played the character well. Robert Redford is just too pretty (in a masculine way, of course) for me to believe him to be the guy from the wrong side of the tracks who is a bootlegger and swindler. If the perfect ‘All-American Man’ were to exist, it would be Robert Redford. More specifically, it would be Robert Redford as Jay Gatsby. Overlooking his appearance, he gives a pretty decent performance. My only critical note was that Redford carried himself throughout the film as a rich man, not as a newly rich man. I was intimidated by Redford’s Gatsby, not intrigued by him. Sam Waterston’s portrayal of Nick Carraway was a great performance, although not quite at all like the Nick I imagined in the book. Waterston’s Nick has this sort of wide-eyed look to him most of the time as though he is more baffled by this crowd than fascinated.
I think what keeps this film from being superb is the fact that it’s really long. The appeal of Fitzgerald’s novel is that it’s exciting and quick – just like the Roaring Twenties – all the while remaining poignant and beautiful. I think that the production team was too consumed with crafting every bit of the film to be just right that it came off being very structured and crafted. The director’s choice to make the film almost two and a half hours long makes the story seem stilted and sluggish. And there are way too many awkward silences between Daisy and Gatsby to consider theirs a torrid, passionate love. While I do respect Coppola’s efforts to translate as much of the original text into the screenplay, I thought that using so much of Nick’s narration and turning it into dialogue didn’t quite work.
I wonder if one day someone will remake this film in a way that properly honors the book. I’ve heard that Baz Luhrmann is to direct one that will be released by the end of next year, but I’m not sure if even he could capture the story’s essence appropriately. I am a great fan of his work, but I cannot imagine his preferences for Bollywood-esque sets and musical rapidity would really come off well in the lazy Long Island setting of this story. I used to have daydreams (during the brief time I imagined myself becoming a filmmaker) about making a new Great Gatsby – one that everyone would love. And to my future critics who will say its impossible for me to recapture a time almost a hundred years before, I will quote Gatsby: “Can’t repeat the past? Why of course you can!

Friday, December 4, 2009

jane be jane, and if sometimes that might drive them away, let them stay there, you don't need them anyway

For whatever reason, Jane Asher has been on my mind as of late. Not that that's any real surprise - she's one of my favorite gals to write about. But I find myself thinking more and more that despite really liking her as an actress and style icon of the sixties, I don't really know much about Jane the person. Sure I've read about her background, her eccentric musically-inclined upperclass family, and her relationship with Paul, but I haven't really read or seen much in terms of her own opinions on matters. The only real interview I've found of her is when she and Paul came back from Rishikesh together, but she talks for only a moment there.
I know that a memoir of her life will probably never happen, which I don't mind at all - I have a lot of respect for her not wanting to discuss her life and relationships from when she was a young girl. But it just sort of gets at me a bit - she's still so much a mystery to me.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

i love the black and white, i love the play of light, the way contini puts his image through a prism


I'm developing a quick but overwhelming obsession with Nine, the musical directed by Rob Marshall of Chicago fame and based on Fellini's 81/2. It stars the most incredible cast - Daniel Day Lewis plays Guido Contini, a famed Italian director who struggles to overcome a monumental creative (not to mention mid-life) crisis, all the while trying to balance all the women in his life, including his wife (Marion Cotillard), his mistress (Penelope Cruz), his mother (Sophia Loren), his cinematic muse (Nicole Kidman), an American Vogue journalist (Kate Hudson), a whore from his youth (Fergie), and his costume designer and confidant (Judi Dench).
What I am digging most about the film is its fantastic wardrobes, each perfectly suited for the character. My favorite is Kate Hudson's character Stephanie, a Vogue journalist from the States who absolutely loves Guido Contini and tries to seduce him. Her look is that of a mod go-go girl, with tons of over-the-knee boots, miniskirts, fishnet tights, scarves, backcombed hair, heavy makeup, and clothing colors of black, white, pink, and silver. Hudson even gets to sing "Cinema Italiano" which was written especially for her. The tune is reminiscent of '60s Frenchyé-yé pop, and talks about Stephanie's adoration of Italian film and how she wants to live in the world of Guido Contini's cinema.