Monday, April 26, 2010

as she posts another letter to the sound of five, people gather 'round her and she finds it hard to stay alive

Paul McCartney is shown here heading to court on February 19th, 1971, in the case against the other three members of the Beatles and the Apple Record company. By his side lending support was his wife of nearly two years, Linda, who was then two-months pregnant with daughter Stella. It was during this court case that Paul tried to dissolve all legal ties between the Beatles. The case was very much opposed by the other members of the band, who each wanted financial control to remain in the hands of Allen Klein.
Linda's brother, John Eastman, advised the couple on how to dress at the court proceedings. Linda was told to dress like a conservative young wife, and Paul was told to wear a suit and tie. He refused to wear a tie, instead opting for an open-neck white buttondown shirt and telling Eastman that "That's too humiliating. I'm dressing up so they'll think I'm innocent. There's no way I'm doing that [wearing a tie]." Linda matched her leather boots and buttondown with a long tailored skirt and vest, and retained her Earth mama charm by letting her hair hang loose and free. Paul, whether out of coincidence or irony, wore the Tommy Nutter suit that he wore on the cover of Abbey Road.
As I've mentioned before, I'm quite a big fan of Paul McCartney facial hair, so I absolutely love his full-on Navy beard. In his official biography Many Years From Now, his look is likened to "a sailor of the Players Navy Cut cigarette packet."

Monday, April 19, 2010

and in the dark and in the past, i thought 'oh god my chance has come at last'

This weekend marked the first time ever I had seen Inglourious Basterds. Which is surprising, because I am quite the Tarantino nut. In fondness of the film, I dedicate this post to the lovely ladies of the Basterds, Shosanna Dreyfus, played by Melanie Laurent, and Bridgit von Hammersmark, portrayed by Diane Kruger.

Shosanna Dreyfus (also known as: Emmanuelle Mimieux)
Few other characters in cinematic history embody the phrase "revenge is a dish best served cold" than Shosanna Dreyfus. After her family is brutally killed at the order of Co. Hans Landa, Shosanna manages to concoct her revenge almost four years later when a pro-Nazi film is set to premiere at her local theatre.

During the day, Shosanna relies on slouchy menswear pieces to complete her look. Baggy trousers, overcoats, and sweaters are not unusual, nor are suspenders and her requisite newsboy cap. During 'Operation-Kino' Shosanna channels her inner vixen and dresses at the ultimate Lady in Red. In a body-skimming scarlett gown, paired with a veiled hat, Shosanna makes a memorable last impression on celluloid.

Mélanie Laurent
I have recently come to admire the personal style of the actress behind the Basterd Shosanna, played by the beautiful Paris-born-and-bred actress Melanie (with an accent) Laurent. While she doesn't possess the polished Parisian style of Catherine Deneuve (another French icon of style), Laurent's look is something more akin to Vanessa Paradis. This messy, sexy, and edgy look is precisely what I love most about how French women dress. Laurent has the enviable quality about her that makes her hair look better when it goes unbrushed, and she looks gorgeous in makeup from the night before.

I like that she plays around with different styles, moving seamlessly from detailed little black frocks to romantic silk gowns, before switching it up with leather or marabou feathers. Laurent has experimented with her hair as well - dark blonde, brunette, strawberry blonde, platinum (her current hue), with heavy blunt fringe, shoulder-length, long, short, and everything in between. Her beauty mainstays are subtly smoky eyes and a dramatic lip, often alternating between a nude gloss or a dark red stain.

Bridgit von Hammersmark
Bridgit is the ultimate German film star. With her ice blonde hair and Nordic good looks, it is not difficult to imagine von Hammersmark to be an international celebrity en par with Bergman and Dietrich - she has the alluring accent and a demeanor that is equally as such.
Very much a character in tune with the times, Bridgit sports feminine tailored pieces, like her khaki skirt suit with belted blazer. She adds a bit of an edge with her dramatic hat with a feather poking out the back. At the premiere of Nation's Pride, the film-within-the-film, she embraces true Hollywood glamour in a mostly-backless black gown, white opera gloves, tons of diamond jewelry, and an oversized white fur stole. She finishes the look with subtle makeup - little more that red lipstick - and an orchid piece set in her hair.

Diane Kruger
I have always really admired the way that Kruger dresses. She is one of the few actresses in Hollywood that doesn't use a stylist. Instead, she dresses herself in some of the most stunning pieces I've ever seen - occasionally, she even (gasp!) does her own hair and makeup for the red carpet. She consistently comes out on the Best Dressed list for her gorgeous, unique choices.

In Basterds, Kruger was given her best-role-to-date as the starlet/double agent Bridgit von Hammersmark. She was able to use her native German and gave a truly stellar performance. Because of her connection to this Tarantino film, Kruger has walked the red carpet for many of the big events for the last eighteen-or-so months. Kruger rarely experiments with her signature bright blonde hair, but everything else is up to chance when it comes to how she looks. There is no definite 'style' for Kruger, except for that she wears some of the most exquisite, romantic clothing. With her blonde hair, peaches-and-cream complexion and her soft flowing pieces, she looks as if she emerged from a dream.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

she wore a raspberry beret, the kind you find in a secondhand store, she wore a raspberry beret, and if it was warm she wouldn't wear much more

Continuing on the same note as my previous post on floppy hats, I dedicate this post to my love of berets. I like the diverseness of the beret. One can look like an innocent Parisian ingenue, or a badass revolutionary (see: Patty Hearst, circa 1974).

Arguably the look that started it all: Faye Dunaway in 1967's Bonnie and Clyde. This crook's look wasn't complete without a fantastic felt topper over her honey-colored bob.

Jane Asher (left) and Pattie Boyd both sported berets when in the company of their Beatle boys. Coincidentally, both of the girls wore the hat on their travels to India.

French icon of sex, song, and style Brigitte Bardot pulled off the equally-as-iconic French accessory without a hitch.

Another lovely French actress, Catherine Deneuve, looks positively chic in her knit beret atop her cropped hair.

Gorgeous gamine Audrey Hepburn poses for some early fashion shots with a white beret resting on top of her head.

Supermodel Agyness Deyn matches her beret to her gloves, while Alexa Chung, Peaches Geldof, and Michelle Williams sport the look for some added spunk to their outfits. Kirsten Dunst and Blake Lively (as her GG character Serena) both choose berets of the pink variety.

Alicia Silverstone stars as Cher Horowitz, the most fashionable girl in school, in the 90s classic Clueless, so naturally she would sport a beret on several occasions throughout the film.

Sixties siren Britt Ekland dresses up a simple suit with a beret and tons of chains and tassels.

Groupie-turned-singer/songwriter Bebe Buell poses in a beret for an earthy photoshoot during the mid-1970s.

Except for the whole impregnanted-by-Satan thing, things look pretty great for Rosemary Woodhouse (Mia Farrow) in Rosemary's Baby, in a plaid beret and matching scarf.

Queen of punk rock Debbie Harry adds an element of feminine sweetness to her otherwise rocker looks.

Charlotte Rampling wore the beret with ease during the 1970s.

The lovely Lauren Bacall in publicity shots for The Big Sleep.

Marilyn Monroe perfectly captures the Parisian essence of the cafe scene during Gentlemen Prefer Blondes when she and Jane Russell's characters take a rest at a French bistro to sing "When Love Goes Wrong, Nothing Goes Right."

Screen legend Ingrid Bergman is captured during a candid moment with her Gaslight costar Charles Boyer and sporting a beret.

Photographed several times in a beret, each of different colors, chanteuse France Gall had an affinity for these floppy felt hats.

Godard gamine Anna Karina can light up the screen donning this French staple.

Anita Pallenberg rocks a gold sequin beret while at a premiere with beau Keith Richards.

An eleven-year-old Anna Paquin accepts the Academy Award in a blue beret and matching dress.

Nicole Richie, Zooey Deschanel, Eva Green (in The Dreamers), and Jenny Lewis each have a love affair with red berets.

Barbara Novak (Renee Zellweger) dresses up in a beret to go to a swingin' beatnik party in Down With Love.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

the lovely dysfunction of natalie wood and warren beatty

I've never really spoken of my long-time love for Natalie Wood on this site before. My conscious admiration of her started after my first viewing of Rebel Without a Cause, of which I wrote a 10+ page high school research paper, though arguably I liked - even loved - Natalie long before I enviously watched her canoodling James Dean on screen. Her first film, Miracle on 34th Street, was on constant rotation during the holiday season in my household, and my favorite tune during 1997 was "I Feel Pretty." Granted, Wood didn't actually sing that song, but that was alright by me. She also wasn't Puerto Rican. I can overlook a thing or two.
When I finally saw her film Splendor in the Grass, I was excited for numerous reasons. Uniting the lovely fragility of Natalie Wood with the brooding badass-ery of Warren Beatty (and adding a dash of cinematic brilliance in the form of Elia Kazan) was a dream for me. The film was very effecting - so much that the doctor's appointment I had for the following morning was noted for my skewed personality (unlike my awkwardly quiet compliance) and I was asked repeatedly if I had recently lost a family member, pet, boyfriend, etc. etc.
Wood and Beatty have great chemistry onscreen, and its easy to see why these two hooked up after filming completed. I've always enjoyed the relationship between the two former Splendor in the Grass costars. Yes, I love Robert Wagner and I do not relish the fact that his and Wood's marriage had to end before she started her relationship with Beatty, but you have to admit that these two were a pretty adorable pair.
Their relationship was fraught with drama. Beatty was a notorious womanizer during the 1960s, and the fact that he had come between Wood's marriage to Wagner did little to endear the couple to the public. Natalie allegedly turned down the role of Bonnie in Beatty's iconic Bonnie and Clyde because she feared separation from her analyst during the Texas shoot would cause a nervous breakdown. Later that night, Beatty claimed that Wood tried to take her life with an overdose of sleeping pills.
The couple stayed amicable after the split, apparently so lovely were relations between Beatty and Wood that they would sometimes go on double dates together. Click here to read about the odd dates where Wood (who was seeing filmmaker Henry Jaglom at the time) would act as translator for Beatty in his seduction of Russian ballet dancer Maya Plisetskaya.

Monday, April 12, 2010

where does she hide it inside of her, that keeps her peace most every day, and won’t disappear, my hairs turning grey

One of my most favorite fashionable film characters is Louise Vargo, portrayed by Tricia Vessey, in the Jim Jarmusch samurai mobster flick Ghost Dog. The film stars a young Forest Whitaker, an anonymous assassin who refers to himself as Ghost Dog, that is employed by a Jersey City mob. He follows the ancient samurai creed Hagakure, and takes care of pidgeons. When Ghost Dog is hired to kill a member of the mob known to be sleeping with Louise, the daughter of mafia leader Vargo, problems arise. She accidentally witnesses the assassination, and the mob decides that Ghost Dog must be killed before their involvement in the murder is uncovered. In the narrative, little is actually seen of Louise, but it is her presence that is catalyst for the entire story. She gives Ghost Dog a copy of Rashomon and Other Stories, which makes several important appearances throughout the film.
Style-wise, Louise seems to model herself after a retro Hollywood celebrity. It is important that the first scene we see her in, she is watching a Betty Boop cartoon. Not unlike Miss Boop, Louise styles her jet black hair in a short, chin-length bob, and wears rather retro clothing. Her eyes are saucers ringed with shadows underneath and her skin is very pale, giving her the appearance of a sleep-deprived child. She lounges around her lover's bedroom in a scarlet nightgown and marabou heels, but is equally as comfortable in an Adidas tracksuit and flip-flops if ever the need to go into hiding in the country should arise. Her final appearance in the film makes her appear as cool and calculated as a Hitchcock heroine. In her classic tweed suit with white flower pin, a strand of pearls, and her dark sunglasses masking her face, her emotions are unreadable.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

fashion face-off: pattie boyd vs. jenny boyd

It's no surprise when sisters share each others' clothing. When you have a sibling that is essentially the same clothing size as you, your closet virtually doubles in size and the possibilities are seemingly endless. What is interesting is seeing how each item of clothing is interpreted by each person. The Olsen twins do it all the time - what appears androgynously chic on Ashley can look grunge glam on Mary-Kate. One of my favorite sister duos is Pattie and Jenny Boyd. As they were both legendary musical muses and top models of the 1960s, it's no surprise that they also have similarities in the clothing that they wore.

Middle image is courtesy of Child of the Moon

In the top image, the sisters are both seen wearing a psychedelic print mini dress that Pattie exhibited during her 2008 appearance at Beatlefest. On an August 1967 trip to California with hubby George and Beatles press agent Derek Taylor, Pattie visited her sister Jenny, who was by then living in the Haight-Asbury district of San Francisco, rocking this tiny frock. Her look was completed by purple gladiator sandles, an embroidered vest, and many strands of beads and stacks of bangles. Jenny borrowed the dress when she appeared in Donovan's promotional video for "Wear Your Love Like Heaven." This was during the time when Donovan was falling in love with the middle Boyd sister, and the video coincided with the composition of the song "Jennifer Juniper," which was about Jenny. With the mini dress, Jenny added a pair of white linen pants, a red velvet cape, beaded necklace and bracelets, and opted to go barefoot.

While modeling with her sister for the British magazine Petticoat, Jenny got her hands on this pair of incredible purple suede gladiator sandals. She didn't get to wear them for long - Pattie kindly took them off of her hands and sported them frequently throughout 1967, where the shoes made almost regular appearances during the Summer of Love trip through San Francisco. Both of the Boyd girls paired the knee-high sandals with lushly-colored mini dresses and as many hippie love beads and accessories as they could find.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

candy came from out on the island, she was everybody's darling, but she never lost her head, even when she was giving head

Born in 1944 to an alcoholic father and a bookkeeper mother in Queens, New York, James Lawrence Slattery was reborn in two decades later as the Warhol muse Candy Darling.
Growing up in Long Island, Candy developed a deep affection for classic Hollywood actresses like Kim Novak, Marilyn Monroe, Jean Harlow, and Joan Bennett. It was the influence of these women that contributed to the Candy Darling persona in years to come. She started dressing as a girl during her teenage years, ultimately revealing herself to her mother after rumors arose about her attendance at a local gay bar. Her mother would later say of the transformation, "I knew then ... that I couldn't stop Jimmy. Candy was too beautiful and talented."
With the blessing of her mother, Candy began frequenting the Greenwich Village set of hipsters and artists. In the process of forming her identity as a female, Candy went through a series of names, starting with Hope Slattery around 1964, before moving on to Hope Dahl, Candy Dahl, before settling on Candy Darling.
In 1967, she met Andy Warhol at an after-hours club in the city called The Tenth of Always. With her look that was a throwback to classic starlets of the silver screen, Andy knew that Candy represented the ultimate Hollywood fantasy. With her breathy voice reminiscent of Marilyn Monroe and her platinum locks, Candy was beautiful. Unlike her 'sisters' Jackie Curtis and Holly Woodlawn, Candy was never in "drag" - she always just was herself. And she was glamorous.
Candy was cast in Warhol's films "Flesh" and "Women in Revolt," along with good friends Holly Woodlawn and Jackie Curtis. She also was cast by friend Tennessee Williams in his premiere production of the play "Small Craft Warnings." She acted on the stage once again in the first of three Jackie Curtis plays she would be in called "Glamour, Glory and Gold" with Robert De Niro. The other two plays were "Heaven Grand in Amber Orbit," and "Vain Victory: The Vicissitudes of the Damned." She continued her acting career with parts in "Klute" with Jane Fonda, whom she befriended and frequented the Factory, and "Mortadella" with Sophia Loren. She was in the running for the main role as "Myra Breckenridge," which ultimately went to Raquel Welch, before traveling to Vienna in 1971 to act in two features for director Werner Schroeter.
In 1974, Candy died of leukemia, a result of hormone pills she took increase her female form. Her funeral was attended by huge crowds. Guests included Gloria Swanson, who was remembered for saluting Candy's coffin, and Julie Newmar, who wrote a touching eulogy to her late friend: "Candy was a genius ... Hers was an extraordinarily high achievement. Her skin was so flawless, her behavior not limpid but liquid, the movement of her hands exquisite." After her death, The New York Times dedicated the front page to her obituary and her memory.
In addition to the great friendships she had with many legendary artists and thinkers, Candy served as muse to the art world as well. She was immortalized in two songs written by Lou Reed - "Walk on the Wild Side" and "Candy Says." Two books composed of her writings were published posthumously in the 1990s.