Friday, December 31, 2010

heavy metal

Every time December 31st rolls around, I get the itch to put on my most fab sparkly dress, my Edie shoulder-duster earrings, the thickest false lashes that I can get my fingers on, and go out on the town. You see, on these nights I imagine my life slowly evolving into a Jane Birkin movie. In my mind, if I only put on my swingingest minidress and go out, dancing or something, I can find a Serge of my own.
Sadly, these urges to dress up are usually in vain because I normally spend my New Year’s Eve watching Dick Clark, waiting for the ball to drop and for a glass of champagne.
Tonight, I will break the mold. I am going out with some girlfriends and, though I won’t have a midnight kiss, I will finally be able to wear a sparkly dress and thick eye makeup and have my own Jane Birkin moment. I don’t need a kiss tonight, all I need is a little glitter. 
Here is an ode to some of my favorite girls wearing the heaviest, glamorous, most glittered, sequined, and sparkled dresses to help every get into the New Year's mood!

This is my ultimate look: backcombed hair, thick black eyeliner, and a simply smashing gold sequined minidress

I absolutely adore Mia Farrow's look as Daisy Buchanan at one of the infamous 'Gatsby' parties

Audrey Hepburn in a fabulous Paco Rabanne dress in Two For the Road - it was reworked by the designer from his 1964 line of 'Unwearable Dresses' for the film

Baba Beaton, in a 1925 photograph entitled "A Symphony of Silver," by her brother Cecil

The sensational Bianca Jagger often sported metallic threads and glittery accessories during her heyday as the Studio 54 It-Girl in the 1970s

Some looks from the Biba clothing line throughout the late '60s and '70s

Blake Lively looks every inch a glam girl-next-door in a sequined blazer and black knitted cap with sequined brooche

Celebrities like Dita Von Teese, Mary Kate Olsen, Anne Hathaway, Marion Cotillard, and Lara Stone all try their hands at the look 

From the severe runway look to the metallic gowns that Beyonce, Olivia Wilde, and Brooke Shields look almost poured into, dressing in 'heavy metal' really makes a statement

The legendary statement-maker Cher rocks a sequined gown and feather boa

Though not recommended in this late-December cold, a silver swimsuit is quite on point (perhaps put on a big fur coat to keep warm if you decide to go this route)

Donyale Luna, legendary supermodel and muse to Paco Rabanne, rocks the metal fruits of the designer's labor
Edie Sedgwick, 'Superstar' and fashion icon, wore metallics almost as loud as her eye makeup - utterly sensational

Innocent chanteuse France Gall tries out the edgy metalluc fashions

Such designs from Courreges and Rabanne really require a boyish, lanky, super-tall figure - perfect for Francoise Hardy 

Ginger Rodgers in a gilded gown and jewels

If you cannot find a metallic dress, why not try a gold-leafed hairstyle? 

The fab Jane Birkin, my inspiration for the entire evening

Jane Fonda in Barbarella

Jean Shrimpton, or 'The Shrimp', had the super-thin body that was perfect for this look

Jerry Hall rocks the style in her usual glamazon way

Kate Moss - brilliant beyond words 

Lady Gaga in "Paparazzi" - never has anyone had a more fabulous mug shot

Lauren Hutton sports metallic dresses, heavy necklaces, sequined frocks, and every shiny thing in the spectrum - such a style superstar

Miley Cyrus "Can't Be Tamed" in a metallic bustier. 

Models in Paco Rabanne's duds 

What would a list of great style gals be without Pattie Boyd? 

David Bailey's muse and his former great love, Penelope Tree 

If only I could get a star headdress of my own

Carole Lombard, with her husband Clark Gable

Sienna Miller - whether channeling Edie or being her former uber-hippie self, she looks unbelievably gorgeous

Paula Gellibrand, the Marquesa de Casa Maury, photographed by Cecil Beaton in 1928

Love the full-on body paint in Goldfinger (but don't forget to let some of your skin to go unpainted - don't want to go the way of Jill Masterton)

This image perfectly encapsulates the major trends of the Sixties - from the Rabanne-inspired dress to the  mod glasses, hippie hat, and Indian beads

Veruschka looks luminous in metallic makeup and headpiece 

Models sporting Rodger Vivier in an editorial shot inspired by the futuristic metallic trends of the west and richly colored luxe-ness of the east

Hope everyone has a good eve evening - and see you all in 2011!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'till it's gone

I feel so terrible that I haven't already done this, but I feel like I must pay tribute to the late, great Blake Edwards. Blake died on December 15th of this year, which was also my birthday. I told you that my birthday is always terrible - this year being no different, as one of my favorite directors passed away on the day.
Blake Edwards began his career in the film industry in the 1940s as an actor. He was a great writer and soon shifted from acting to behind the screen, writing scripts for radio productions at Columbia Pictures. He was largely known for his successes in producing and directing films. Edwards was at the helm of so many great films: Operation Petticoat, the Cary Grant-Tony Curtis submarine romp, marking Edwards' turn as a big-budget director; The Great Race, starring Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis, and Natalie Wood; Days of Wine and Roses, also starring Jack Lemmon, alongside Lee Remick as an unhappy alcoholic married couple; the Pink Panther films series with his good friend Peter Sellers. He was known for his comedic films, best perhaps are the Pink Panther films for they show off his penchant for slapstick comedic styles inspired by Chaplin, Keaton, Laurel and Hardy. Perhaps my favorite films by Edwards are Victor/Victoria, and Breakfast at Tiffany's (quelle surprise, I know). Edwards lends a magical quality to his films, they seem so carefree and loosely flowing, yet each frame is so meticulously styled that any frame could be pulled and put into an editorial for a fashion magazine.
Victor/Victoria is one of several films that Blake made starring his wife of 41 years, Julie Andrews. The duo, whose marriage lasted from 1969 until his death, made films V/V, Darling Lili, 10, The Tamarind Seed, The Man Who Loved Women, among others, as well as had five children (two from Edwards' first marriage, the third child from Andrews' previous marriage, and the last two children were adopted).
Blake Edwards is an invaluable member of cinematic history; his work was recognized by the Academy in 2004 when he was awarded an Honorary Academy Award for his achievements. His work leaves an indelible mark on the film industry, and he will be missed terribly by family, friends, and fans worldwide.
James Garner and Julie Andrews in Victor/ Victoria

The closing shot of Breakfast at Tiffany's, with George Peppard, Audrey Hepburn and "Cat"

Tony Curtis puts the moves on Dina Merrill in Operation Petticoat

The gorgeous Claudia Cardinale in The Pink Panther

Title: from"Big Yellow Taxi"(Joni Mitchell)

Monday, December 27, 2010

only a week until new year, that's when i'll make a new start

As 2010 is winding down, we are given the chance to reflect on the goals we made for ourselves this past year and evaluate whether or not we made any progress. Even if we've failed or forgotten a lot of our resolutions, we are given the chance to start anew when the stroke of midnight comes on December 31st. With the new year comes renewed promise - we are given 365 days to make some magic happen.
I personally do not want to let 2011 slip by as quickly as 2010 did. I want to do something significant, truly make this the defining year in my life where things began to happen for me. (No pressure or anything, eh?)
Without further ado, here are my list of resolutions for 2011:
  1. Say Yes - I've never seen the Jim Carrey movie (despite the dear Zooey Deschanel being in it) but there is some good in saying 'Yes Man' to things that come your way. 
  2. Put the sources of things on the blog - work on citing song lyrics, quotes, and pictures as best I can. I know how annoying it is when I stumble across a site that is using my collages (there was a site out there that actually lifted my writing as well - it really irked me) without any credit. 
  3. Edit my vocabulary - eliminate curse words, 'like,' and 'uh/umm' from my vernacular. I want to sound like I am living in a glammy 1940s screwball comedy, not a Kevin Smith film.
  4. Write in my Moleskine every day - even just a short sentence or two. How can I write my memoirs one day without some reference to when the great events happened in my life? One of my favorite recent rom-coms, Love and Other Disasters, had the most delightful exchange that I think is so marvelously appropriate: "I'm sorry I'm late - I was in the middle of an absolutely gripping book. I couldn't put it down." "What books is that?" "My memoirs, darling. I've decided to publish."   
  5. Release my inner free spirit - I want to act more like the girl I know I am on the inside but I'm too afraid to let come out. I want to stop caring what other people think, let go of all my hang-ups regarding judgment, failure, and fear. I want to live life out loud!
  6. Find a signature scent - a repeat from last year. I have found some lovely scents (Mûre et Musc by L'Artisan Parfumeur; Kate Moss' original scent; Tom Ford Black Orchid) but I am still on the lookout for one that I cannot bear to part with. 
  7. Learn more about classical music and art history - it's been about four years since I took a course on the history of art and music, and I definitely want to revisit some of my favorite artists
  8. Find a mantra - discover or invent a phrase that I can repeat often and hold close to my soul. 
  9. Have confidence - smile more, walk tall and strong, and improve my posture. No more shuffling around looking at the floor!
  10. Adopt the Dita Von Teese approach to life - "I advocate glamour. Every day. Every minute." I'm nowhere close to being the beauty that Dita is, nor do I dress myself in the bombshell apparel that she sports (though I've thought about it - I certainly have more of the body for those retro cuts than the bohemian garb I so love but better suits the thin, tall, lanky gals). Still, I think that glamour can be applied to any lifestyle - not just the burlesque-at-heart, but photographers (think Meryl in Out of Africa or Faye Dunaway as Laura Mars), substitute teachers (perhaps a lovely Donna Reed-inspired circle skirt with crinoline and cherry red lips), and even university students like me (Ali MacGraw in Love Story maybe). 
  11. Be better to my body - your body is your temple, so they say and I need to treat mine a little better. As important as it is to feed the soul, it is equally as important to feed the body with good things that can actually improve the way I feel, the amount of energy I have, and how productive I am (sans caffeine). I want to try cutting out dairy and processed white sugar, as well as exercise more regularly. 
  12. Do these random things - brush up on my French speaking skills; take dance lessons; have media black-out days once a month; meet new people; do something I've always been too afraid to do (karaoke, skydiving, etc.); change my hairstyle; drink more water every day; learn the names of flowers; wear nice undergarments daily; practice yoga more regularly; keep a poetry journal; wear scarves, hats, and driving gloves with outfits; learn to walk in my frighteningly tall Jeffrey Campbell Lita's; learn how to do finger waves and other retro hairstyles

And in the spirit of Resolution #2...
Title: from "A Cold, Cold Christmas" (Stephen Colbert) 

Saturday, December 25, 2010

she looks quite delightfully stoned, she's the darling of the discotheque crowd, of her lineage she's rightfully proud

I've had this collage for about over a year just sitting in my folders, but for some reason this seemed like the right time to write about it. Sometimes you just have a feeling about when to do certain things...

Despite the list of resolutions (and decisions and revisions, as T.S. would say) I have already compiled and will surely post here for the new year, all I really want in 2011 is to become Talitha Getty. While I'm not particularly eager to adopt the 'live fast, die young, and leave a beautiful corpse' ideology that has come to define Talitha's short life, I do admire her sense of savoir-vivre and free-spiritedness. 
Talitha was an original in so many senses: the original Poor Little Rich Girl (she was born three years before Edie, after all), bohemian goddess, socialite-turned-actress (then turned socialite again). 
Nowadays terms like 'bohemian queen' and 'rich hippie' are tossed around like the latest Matthew Williamson bag on the shoulder of whatever It-Girl with a paycheck to burn, but Talitha was true bohemian royalty. The daughter of Willem Jilts Pol, a painter, and the grand-daughter of painter Augustus John (himself a leading art figure in the world of Bohemianism), her DNA assured that she would have a creative life, at the very least. 
She married oil heir John Paul Getty Jr. in the mid-sixties and, with him, became the toast of Swingin' London. The duo hung out with Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithfull, Celia Birtwell and Ossie Clark. Yves Saint Laurent described the young couple as a living, breathing Fitzgerald novel. And indeed, no other couple besides F. Scott and Zelda themselves embodied "the Beautiful and the Damned" romantic relationship like the young Gettys.
An amazing thing about Talitha is that a singular photo has come to define not just her life, but an entire life style. And I'm sure you know the photo I'm talking about - Talitha, crouched down almost clutching the wall, in a brightly colored caftan and otherwise white outfit on a Moroccan rooftop with her husband John, a hooded figure in the distant background. The photo has remained timeless, encapsulating the glamour and privilege of a certain class: the gypsy jetsetters, decadent artists and their glamorous muses, the children of the aristocracy who chose to hang out with drug dealers and gangsters rather than the House of Lords. Though Talitha and John are both dressed in styles common among the streets, their clothing is immaculately designed and more detailed than the average tunic off the street. Talitha is able to wear an essentially all-white outfit, which for me means classy (probably because of a scene in Maid in Manhattan, a movie I saw once in sixth grade and never care to see or discuss ever again, that linked white pants to the upper class). 
I read an article that likened Rachel Zoe to the 21st century Talitha, which I very much disagree with. But hold your horses if you think that this is just an anti-Zoe rant - I love RZ (I own her book and I cheered her on in her reality show whenever she found a dress that Anne Hathaway loved and I swooned when ever she and Brad made fashion googly eyes at each other ... I really adore Brad, too). That being said, I really don't see Rachel and Talitha being at all alike. Beyond the penchant for thick gold bangles and rings, and maxidresses, caftans and various other ethnic-inspired garb, there is little connection between these two women that I can see. For me, it isn't just what is hanging in someone's closet that can relate them to a previous style icon, but they also have to share the same style ideology. Rachel is first and foremost a stylist - over years and years, she crafted her signature look of Studio 54-meets-Eastern adventurer. She talks a lot about making herself into a brand, and her look is a conscious part of that. Not to say that it isn't a natural part of her, but it's her job to look that way as well. 
Talitha, on the other hand, was part of the age of wealthy Londoners who were privileged enough to adventure and discover things on their own. She was able to party in London with Mick and Marianne, and live in Marrakech with her husband. Fashion was part of that discovery. We forget how fast the fads, fashions, and beliefs of the sixties changed for the youth dictating the movements. Though its her luxe hippie look that she is best known for, Talitha wasn't running around in harem pants all her life. When she married John Getty Jr. in December 1966 she was decked out in Mod finest: a white mini skirt trimmed with mink fur and go-go style boots. Within two years she was total boho mama. Her death in 1971 at the age of 30 solidified her image as decadent and exotic. Forgive me if I sound insensitive discussing her death in purely how it affected her status as a fashion symbol, but her death in mid-'71 trapped her in that image. Whereas Zoe has had the time to adopt and eliminate different influences in order to understand what works with her aesthetic, we don't really know if Talitha would have moved on in the seventies from the look she is so synonymous with. She was never allowed the chance to change with the times; she will forever be the young woman in the Morrocan threads posing on a rooftop. We can only imagine the woman she would have become - style-wise (fabulous club gal like Bianca or total 'Little House on the Prairie' chic like Stevie?), professionally and personally. But 'what ifs' are dirty words - there's no use pondering what can never be. All we can really do is think about what we know, and celebrate the life of a great woman like Talitha Getty, who was gone far too soon.

*Update - Oh yeah, AND she was in "Barbarella" ... which means she's pretty much golden.*

Friday, December 24, 2010

pretty pink hair, big brown dress hair eyes, gotta get to your pink house

I was inspired by my lovely friend Melissa over at Glamoretta to do a post about my strangely deep love of pink hair. I've known Melissa since we were eleven years old - she's one of the few girls in the blogosphere that I know in the 'real' world. She has really great style and is so gorge - I definitely recommend that you check out her blog. We've already decided we are going to take over the fashion world, so there's that. Plus she's really awesome.
Okay, enough fawning - onto the post. At the end of last school year, one of my best friends Meg and I decided on a whim to dye our hair streaks of color. I chose pink and Meg chose blue. We were stone cold sober, I might add. I don't know why, but people tend to assume that this was a drunken decision. But no. Actually, dyeing my hair was pretty much the extent of my teenage rebellion. Pretty pathetic in the scope of other kids my age "livin' on the edge," but adding a little Kool-Aid color (or kolor, if you will) was enough for me. (But to be fair, it's pretty much a fact that pink hair isn't for the faint of heart. As Rizzo said of Sandy in Grease, "she's too pure to be pink").
Of course, once I came home after semester's end, my mother made an appointment at our salon to have the pink situation 'corrected.' So here is an ode to pink hair. Because obviously nothing says Christmas quite like dyeing one's hair to resemble cotton candy.

Here's the image from Glamoretta that started it all 

Scarlett Johansson in Lost in Translation. And of course, who can forget the lovely pink tinted hair that ScarJo sported in the Louis Vuitton SS'07 ad campaign? 

One of my favorite modern-day models, Abbey Lee Kershaw

Anja Rubic, with hair resembling the color and texture of sugar-spun cotton candy

I don't really know what Audrey Kitching does ... except have hot hot pink hair and every Tarina Tarantino necklace that I've ever wanted

Avril Lavigne - I really love her eyelashes here too

Dree Hemingway does a subtle pink tint, a less dramatic version of the look she sported in the Valentino S'10 advertisements 

Pink hair doesn't always have to be a drastic statement of rebellion. This light pink shade looks the picture of ladylike perfection, with a hue that even matches tulip petals

Another sophisticated take on pink hair. This light shade hovers between pink and lavender, which is another beautiful color to do. I like that this model sports a bit of an Ombre look here - with the pink at its deepest color at the roots, moving to pure platinum blonde at the ends

Lustworthy pink hair and chubby (faux) fur coat - a union of my two great loves

Gwen Stefani sported bright pink hair during her early days in No Doubt and again when she first branched out in her solo career, in tandem with her launch of L.A.M.B.

John Galliano's runway models rock painted-on pink hair

Julia Roberts with a very subtle, mama-approved take on the look

Kate Moss, who has accomplished the amazing feat of matching her lipstick to her locks

With wigs that have touched on every color in the spectrum, it's no surprise that Lady Gaga has tried out pink hair

Lily Allen turned heads when she dyed her entire head Barbie pink

Mary-Kate Olsen does a dirty bohemian take on pink hair

Natalia Vodianova in W Magazine (September 2006), shot by Craig McDean 

I'm not well-acquainted with the stripper world, but I'm guessing that most of those ladies aren't nearly as lovely as Natalie Portman's alluring Alice in Closer

I remember being unhealthily in love with Rachel McAdams and her pink streaks when I was in high school. I distinctly remember pouring over her editorial in Elle Magazine where she wore the newest haute couture gowns instead of studying for my course exams during our March finals week. I studied her look so intensely, I can remember of the top of my head one of the dresses - a light seafoam color Chanel HC gown with feathers and sequins - that was worn by Kirsten Dunst to the Oscars (though I preferred Rachel, plus the pink)

Evan Rachel Wood and Nikki Reed in Thirteen

Post-shaved head and umbrella-gate, at least Britney could still make a few good decisions on her own: pink bobbed wig and a leopard print dress

Blog-stars Carolina Engman and Krystal Simpson

The lovely Sharon Tate with pink locks