Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Last-Minute Halloween Inspiration

This piece was originally featured here.

Halloween is without a doubt my favorite time of year. There’s an almost magical quality to it. It’s the one night where everyone can be someone completely different from who they normally are. If I had it my way, it would be Halloween every day. But since I do not live inside the Disney Channel movie “Halloweentown,” I have to settle for one night a year (or in college, a couple of nights a year) to live out my weirdest, wildest and silliest fantasies. My costume ideas range from the dark (a thoroughly non-“Twilight” vampire) to the political (I have a feeling that Big Bird costumes will be popular this year) to pop culturally appropriate (Honey Boo Boo, anyone?). If you still haven’t thought of a costume for this weekend, check out my suggestions below and get inspired.

Edith “Little Edie” Bouvier Beale
One of the stars of the 1975 documentary “Grey Gardens,” Little Edie was an unconventional, reclusive socialite whose wild behavior (and even wilder personal style) was at odds with the classic taste of her cousin Jackie Kennedy Onassis. To master Edie’s signature eccen­tric style, gather the strangest stuff in your closet and then put them all on at once. Edie was known for making outfits out of bathing suits and fashioning skirts out of cardigans. If that’s too much, just put a skirt on your head and call it a day.
Thanks to the blockbuster successes of “The Avengers,” “The Amazing Spider-Man” and “The Dark Knight Rises,” superheroes are terribly in fashion this year. Consider channeling Anne Hathaway (or Eartha Kitt or Julie Newmar) as Catwoman in a slinky leather suit and mask, or upping the ante and going as the Dark Knight himself (question is: will you be able to top Andy Warhol?). Dressing up as Bane, however, is not recommended for those who would like to breathe easily throughout the night.
Choupette Lagerfeld
Don’t be mistaken – this is not your average cat costume. In case you don’t know, Choupette is the overly-pampered kitten belonging to designer Karl LagerfeldChoupette is only 1 year old, but she already has two maids and an iPad at her disposal, as well as a Chanel handbag, countless editorial photo shoots and a hilarious Twitter account devoted to her (check out @ChoupettesDiary for the genius). To go as the luckiest feline in the world, wear all white and have a snobby attitude.
Katniss Everdeen
Pay tribute (harhar) to the hero­ine from District 12 this Halloween with a “Hunger Games”- themed costume. Don’t attempt to recreate the fire dress, because that’s dangerous and you don’t have Cinna on your side to help you out in case your cos­tume goes completely up in flames. Channel Katniss during the games and pair dark, earth-toned pants, jacket and shirt with lace-up boots, a gold bird pin (extra points if it’s actually a Mockingjay pin) and bow and arrow. Look up one of the many online tutorials on how to do a sick Katniss braid, and you’ll be set to win any costume contest. But, of course (and it goes without saying), may the odds be ever in your favor.
Fairy Tale Character
Credit the ABC show “Once Upon a Time” for this phenomenon, but fairy tales are no longer just for the young. The cool thing about the characters from “Once” is that while all of your favorites are there – Snow White, Belle, Red Riding Hood – they have gone through an edgy mod­ernization. Red still has her cloak, but she also has killer hair and rocks the smoky eye. Or consider another fairy tale retelling from this year, “Snow White and the Huntsman.” Recreate Charlize Theron’s supremely cool look as the wicked Queen Ravenna by wearing a dramatic monochromatic dress and tons of sparkly jewelry (don’t forget the crown). Or channel Kristen Stewart’s Snow White and wear a floaty empire waist dress and a lot of red lipstick. Put on some costume armor to look as battle-ready as K-Stew. Rupert Sanders not included.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Jane Birkin's Wonderwall Wedding Style

Even though I feel quite old most of the time, I must acknowledge that at this stage in my life I am really still too young to participate in a lot of life-changing experiences in this modern day and age. Times have indeed a-changed, and it’s no longer as culturally acceptable or even possible to do things that young folks were doing a century – or even a decade – ago. (I try not to think about the accomplishments made by famous people of years past that I noted in my tragic post on my 20th birthday). Just a few decades ago, it was expected that girls ought to be married right after graduation. By that logic, twenty-five years of age was approaching spinster territory. That's not really the case anymore. 
I, at the tender age of twenty-one, am not thinking about marriage. I should not be thinking about marriage -- only girls named Juliet Capulet or Miley Cyrus can get away with that without experiencing horrid backlash. But for us normal gals who are neither heroines of romantic tragedies or peroxide pixie pop stars, we probably shouldn’t be thinking about marriage until we’re out of school, living independently, and are stable financially, emotionally, mentally, and a myriad of other –ly words. 
That being said, I think about weddings. A lot. Not in a weird crazy girls of Pinterest sort of way, but whenever I see gorgeous wedding pics (Pamela Love. Seriously stop it), or a beautiful wedding cake that my mother has made (she’s a baker, FYI, not a nutjob who just makes wedding cakes for fun) or an amazing bridal gown (my fave Stone Cold Fox has been Instagram-ing pics of totally drop-dead dresses), I can’t help but swoon. 
Last week, I wrote an article for my university newspaper about the genius of Jane Birkin (a post with that article is soon to follow). Looking through the many images I have saved on my computer of Jane, I of course eventually gravitated to one of my favorite of her films, Wonderwall

The film is true sixties psychedelic genius and Jane is so incredibly beautiful as the mod model Penny Lane. Her style in the film is gorgeous and absolutely lustworthy, but the lasting image I have from that film is of Jane in her wedding attire. No other look has so epitomized the idea of the sixties sentiment to wear ‘flowers in your hair’ quite like this moment. A floral crown adorns her head and even more wild flowers are wrapped through her locks and around her billowing white gown. 
This look is the ultimate wedding style in my opinion, and I’m not the only one to think so. Leandra Medine of the Man Repeller seems to have taken a cue from Jane for her own wedding from earlier this year by pairing her princess-like Marchesa designer gown with a floral crown, and adding her own man repeller-y touch of Dannijo jewels and a satin moto jacket. Jane herself even seems to have been inspired by her Wonderwall look, wearing a toned down version of the outfit with Serge Gainsbourg a few years later. 

What do you think of Jane's Wonderwall bridal look -- would you ever wear it for your wedding?