Monday, August 23, 2010

Dress Like a Cupcake Should Feel

I love this mantra, created by UK illustrator Hennie Haworth. When I think of dressing like a cupcake, I think of dressing like I was six years old again, pretending I was Eloise at the Plaza or Grace Kelly on the French Riviera. Flirty dresses with full skirts in shades of pink, lavender, yellow, and cream - made even better by layers of crinoline underneath. Hair that looks like frosting, decorated with pink streaks, glitter, feathers, or bows. Lace, silk, satin, and sparkle! The look should be romantic and innocent. The idea should be to live inside of a 1950s movie, I personally have always wanted to live in an Audrey Hepburn movie. For Audrey, the answer is always to go to Paris and reinvent herself. Or to buy a new Givenchy dress.
Never say no to champagne before breakfast, chocolate-covered strawberries for lunch, or macaroons for dinner, and always keep room for dessert. Wear shoes because they look delicious with frilly ankle socks; not just high heels, but sparkly oxfords and pink marabou mules. Sit in front of a vanity mirror for hours and primp while listening to your best girl friends Eartha Kitt, Julie London, and Peggy Lee on vinyl. Buy perfume with bottles or names that excite you. Names that come to mind are Lolita Lempicka, Pink Sugar (how delish does that sound?), Dolly Girl, Princess, Blush, Daisy, Maybe Baby.

Here are some images that inspire me to indulge my inner cupcake:
An image from the endlessly inspiring Miss Dior Cherie campaign, helmed by Sofia Coppola and photographed by Tim Walker. Imagine running around Paris, popping into Dior and Ladurée, all while Brigitte Bardot's "Moi Je Joue" plays in the background.

Another Sofia Coppola project, Marie Antoinette, was described by the director as "the essence of Marie Antoinette's spirit ... She was in a total silk and cake world." In the memory of the Queen of France, I say, Let Them Eat Cupcakes!

The real-life "California Gurl" Katy Perry looks cotton candy-licious with a lavender wig and glittery and glowing skin.

Nothing says girlie quite like a ruffly dress with a heart-shaped back.

Holly Golightly knew that a tiara was the perfect way to add a little icing on top of an outfit.

Ruffle perfection! Actresses Mia Wasikowska, Amanda Seyfried, and Rebecca Hall look lovely in layered chiffon numbers in Vanity Fair.

When tired of prancing through the streets of Paris, a true Miss Dior Cherie knows to catch a ride from a group of balloons.

Design label Ban.do is excellent at designing delicious headwear that is sure to satisfy your sartorial sweet tooth.

Michelle Williams is every inch a pixie princess in delicate lace and rhinestone hair accessories.

An over-the-top mix of stripes, polka dots, and every color in the rainbow is a great way to channel your inner cupcake.

Vogue Korea shows us how the modern-day Alice would look at a Wonderland tea party.

Style maven Susie Bubble takes a cue from raspberry macaroons.

In the documentary Valentino: The Last Emperor, the designer shows off his confectionary creation.

Dita von Teese dresses like the most luxurious cupcake in the world in an 'outfit' (if you can call it that) of baby pink, glittery rhinestones, and feathers.

Lily Allen is caught in a mod romance in the music video for "The Fear."

In Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day, Amy Adams swaths herself in silks, furs, feathers, and satins, focusing on a cheerful color palette of pale pink, Robin's Egg blue, and gold.

Princess Grace Kelly - need I say more?

Kelly Osbourne strikes a pose in a pink dress, accessorizing with sparkly jewels and lavender hair.

Mischa Barton looks like a romantic bohemian adorned with feathers galore.

Beautiful hair hues: baby pink and pale purple.

The Pink Ladies of Grease look like sweet treats in the final scene of the film.

When I hit retirement age, I hope I am one-eighth as cool as the pastel-toned ladies of Juicy Couture.

Amanda Seyfried looks darling in Miu Miu platforms (which I Die for) and a ballerina sweater.

Ann-Margret looks the polar opposite of the sex kitten she would become as she stars in Bye Bye Birdie as sweet-as-apple-pie teenager Kim MacAfee.

One of my favorite Vanity Fair covers featured the young starlets of Hollywood in retro-inspired outfits of a pastel palette.

Another image from Miss Dior Cherie finds our heroine in a bakery. How perfect to look at cupcakes while dressed like one!
Zooey Deschanel - a quirky cupcake in a dreamy creation by fairy tale enthusiast Erin Fetherston.

Doris Day knows better than to match her outfit to her pups - she matches her dogs to her outfit!

Gossip Girl's Blair (Leighton Meester) and Serena (Blake Lively) are the ultimate dream team in scruptious outfits perfect for strolling the Parisian streets.

Betsey Johnson, a wild cupcake if there ever was one, rechannels Eloise at the Plaza to include zebra rugs and hot pink boas.

So delightful you could just eat her up! Amy Adams gets smooched on the set of the Vanity Fair cover photo shoot.

Well-hearsed in the stories of princesses (from The Princess Diaries to Ella Enchanted), Anne Hathaway looks every bit a princess at the Met Ball.

What better way to channel your inner cupcake than to accessorize with large curls, oversized glittery sunnies, and pink flowers in your hair?

When the option to wear flowers in your hair is no longer available, feather headdresses in pastel hues is a more-that-suitable second option.

Grace Kelly looks sweet as a treat in her beach get-up in To Catch a Thief.

I cannot get over how delish Debbie Reynolds looks in this fab outfit in Singin' In The Rain.

Channeling Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face is a near impossible task, but when paired with a handful of pink balloons, it's easy to get in the mood to strike a pose.

I'm more than a bit obsessed with Miu Miu's newest collection, a gathering of pinks, whites, rhinestones, printed birds, and prairie-style shoulders. This would be my dream cupcake wardrobe.

I love this vintage-y photo of a group of gals in these delightfully delicious swim caps with bright lipstick and eye shadow to match.

Another image from Miss Dior Cherie. A girl can't help but be inspired by the sweet indulgence.

I think the important thing is to seek the sweetness of a cupcake everyday, and, if you can manage it, in everything. Life is much more fun to look at it through rose-tinted glasses, no?

Monday, August 16, 2010

two is a crowd, but three is a party

Just mere months after two Marilyn Monroe biopics were announced, starring Naomi Watts and Michelle Williams, respectively, news is breaking that Angelina Jolie will take a stab at the role of the late screen legend. Jolie is set to star in the film version of "The Life and Opinions of Maf the Bog, and of His Friend Marilyn Monroe," by Andrew O'Hagan.
O'Hagan's tale tells the story of the controversial last two years of Monroe's life, told through the eyes of her Maltese terrier Maf (short for Mafia). In real life, the pup was a gift from friend Frank Sinatra, who is to be played by George Clooney in the film. Monroe toted Maf around to the residences of her famous friends, and got his belly scratched by the Rat Pack and President Kennedy.
The 35-year-old Jolie is in the perfect age bracket to portray Monroe in her later years, as she died in August 1962 at the age of 36. But is Angelina - who allegedly beat out contenders such as Mad Men lovely Christina Hendricks (my personal swoon) and Monroe-lookalike Scarlett Johansson - best suited to play Marilyn? She will have to put on some serious curves if she wants to go from her svelte ass-kicker physique in Salt to the delicately feminine form of Monroe. And also, will a woman who made a career out of playing action heroes, assassins, and sociopaths be able to bring the charm and vulnerability to this role? Though her turn in Changeling is a good indication of her range, one has to consider that the careful direction of Clint Eastwood had to do with evoking those emotions.
And for George Clooney, whose acting empire includes his takeover of the role Danny Ocean, a role made legendary by Frank Sinatra in the original Ocean's Eleven, is an interesting choice to play the blue-eyed crooner. Though names like Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Harry Connick Jr. were danced around for the role, the charming leading man won the role of ... a charming leading man. But it's hard to form an opinion around this casting choice. First off (and perhaps most inconsequentially), George Clooney has hazel brown eyes. Frank Sinatra was known for his ice-blue eyes. Sure color contacts are no problem, but so much of Clooney's handsomeness is centered around his gently wrinkled sad brown eyes. Would color contacts change his physical appearance enough ... or too much? He's got the rough brash handsomeness that Sinatra had, but I don't know how to envision him as the late legend. I want to closely monitor Clooney's development of the Sinatra role, because Frank Sinatra is near and dear to my heart (as a six-year-old, I expected to marry him by 13. Sadly, he died before my teen years).
With the prospect of Angelina also taking on the role of Cleopatra, made famous by Elizabeth Taylor in the 1963 MGM megaproduction, it seems like a major 1960s redux in Angelina's career. While both Jolie and Elizabeth Taylor shot down rumors that Angie would be portraying Taylor in a biopic of her life with Richard Burton (with Liz even tweeting "No one is going to play Elizabeth Taylor, but Elizabeth Taylor. Not at least until I'm dead, and at the moment I'm having too much fun being alive"), rumors still swirl that Angie will take on one of Taylor's most famous roles. With at least 28 film depictions of Cleopatra, does the world need another Hollywood version of the life of the Egyptian queen? Producer Scott Rudin (No Country for Old Men, Revolutionary Road, Julie & Julia, and all of the Wes Anderson films) has the rights for the film version of the book Queen of the Nile, Cleopatra: A Life. The book's author, Stacy Schiff, who will be involved in the film adaptation of her biography has stated that she wishes to mirror the on-and-off screen love affair present in the 1963 version between Elizabeth and Richard Burton. Her perfect Marc Anthony: Brad Pitt.
Controversy over Jolie's casting in both life stories of Marilyn and Cleopatra is blasting over the internet. Though many say that Angelina is 'too white' to play the African queen, I think that the edginess of Queen Cleo's life is better suited for the acting talents of Angelina Jolie. I could much sooner envision Angie in gold bracelets, heavy cat eye liner, ruling a country and seducing the world's most powerful men than hear her impersonate the breathy girly voice and ditzy persona of Monroe. We can already kind of envision Jolie in each of the roles: she had a Monroe-esque platinum blonde cut in the romcom Life or Something Like It, and she was picture perfect as the Greek queen Olympias in Alexander.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

girl, you really got me goin’, you got me so i don’t know what i’m doin’

I've recently become obsessed with the films of the late Eric Rohmer. A fascinating filmmaker, Rohmer created an impressive body of work before he passed in January of this year. I am currently working my way through his "Six Moral Tales,"a collection of six films that explore man's struggle to uphold his inner morality when faced with an opportunity (most usually in the form of a beautiful young woman) to diverge from everything he believes in. Rohmer's films are very cerebral and slow-paced, but there is a beauty in his films that makes me come back for more.
My most recent venture into the moral tales was "Le genou de Claire" (or "Claire's Knee"), the fifth - and perhaps most accessible - of Rohmer's moral canon. Jerome, a French diplomat about to be married, goes on holiday to visit an old friend staying on the shore of Lake Annecy. While there, he meets two sisters: the intense and complex Laura, and the delicate and unattainable Claire. Though Laura pursues him aggressively, Jerome is consumed by thoughts of touching Claire's knee. According to him, "Every woman has her most vulnerable point. For some, it's the nape of the neck, the waist, the hands. For Claire, in that position, that light, it was her knee." Yes, it's a strange obsession to have, but he realizes this. His fear that being revealed as a fetishist would destroy his diplomatic designs, he struggles to suppress his obsession.
The scenic Southern France location is the perfect backdrop to the beautiful seventies fashions. Dressed in woven straw hats and shift dresses, Claire and Laura are the picture of French sexy sophistication.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

keeping an eye on the world going by my window, taking my time

I miss beauty. I miss the glamour of pink lipstick and sparkly eyes. False lashes so heavy that your eyelids droop. I miss wearing gorgeously impractical outfits to the grocery store, parading down the dairy aisle in five inch heels. I miss bubble baths and that first moment after you try a new perfume and you've fallen in love. I miss eating pink frosting off the tops of cupcakes and sipping champagne out of plastic glasses. I miss speaking French with girlfriends and listening to old Rolling Stones LPs in our parents' dens. I miss the glamour that was all around us. Even that suburban glamour that we didn't even recognize, the kind that you can only understand if you live in a cul-de-sac, and only see it when you're thinking back. When we watched our mothers get ready for a night out and breathed in the heavy scent of her vintage Diorissimo.
These are some images that make me long for beauty.