Monday, February 28, 2011

Silver Screen Chic

So did you watch? Wasn't Colin Firth adorable? I thought red was Anne Hathaway's color, but Hailey Steinfeld was belle of the ball.


Part of the fun of the Oscars is all the hoopla and coverage that comes with it, both old and new media and before and after the show... From Vanity Fair's Hollywood issue, to the Fug Girls live blogging for New York Magazine to Sue's list of Oscar style favorites over at The Zhush, it's fun to look at film and fashion from all angles. I loved Style.com's slide show of "runway ready film moments" , a look at some of the best film fashion through the years. It got me thinking about what films had the biggest impact of me personally from a fashion perspective. The list was LONG... so I tried to edit it a bit, and kept it only to the ones that immediately jumped to mind. So here we go...


Funny Face. Picking a favorite from the Audrey movies is tough, but for me there's no question. Just look at that red dress. Favorite fashion film ever. When I visit the Louvre, I always imagine running down those steps, arms in the air a la Audrey. Fortunately, the number of people crowded around "Winged Victory" make it impossible, for surely I would break my neck.


Paris. Fred Astaire. Audrey. Kay Thompson. Givenchy and Edith Head... no wonder this film (nominated for Best Costume Design) is my favorite. Every costume change is a winner.




Looking through the images, though, what stands out is that the nipped in waste and full skirt silhouette of so many of Givenchy's glorious gowns is echoed by many favorites from my own closet. My guess is this movie made its mark on my personal style...as did my next pick...



Rear Window. Coming up with a fashion-favorite Albert Hitchock movie is almost as tough as choosing an Audrey favorite. But Grace Kelly. She's perfect. The film (nominated for four Academy Awards) didn't rate a Best Costume Design nomination for Edith Head -- she won for Sabrina that same year.


Ten years later, Catherine Deneuve took a star turn in The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. While Belle du Jour brought us Ms. Deneuve in Yves St. Laurent and Roger Vivier Pilgrim Pumps, I love Umbrellas for the luscious color.  



On Seattle's many rainy days, I never leave the house without my Burberry trench and a cheerful bright umbrella (favorite is a bright pink and orange one with a lucite handle from Marc Jacobs in the Palais Royal in Paris). And my go-to style staple -- a simple cashmere cardigan to throw over any dress.


But 20-something years ago it was a different story....


Desperately Seeking Susan. Somewhere at my parents' house...there is photographic evidence that I once loved nothing more than black lace in my permed hair, little short gloves, stacks of rubber bracelets... and neon. Enough said.


Thank goodness there was Cher in Clueless to get me to trade in the lace bow for wide, stretchy headband...


...and to teach me how to correctly pronounce "Alaїa."


When it comes to period films, The Age of Innocence is like watching a John Singer Sargent portrait come to life.


Works of art in their own right, Gabriella Pescucci's costumes won the 1993 Costume Design Oscar and captured the essence of the Gilded Age. 



And watching Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette is like eating brightly colored box of macarons.



Milena Canonero's frothy costumes took home the Oscar in 2006....


...the shoes alone were winners enough for me. But what about movies in the last five years?


It's hard to think of anything more ubiquitous than the blue and white Breton shirt since Coco Before Chanel.


From J.Crew to Jason Wu, Oscar de le Renta, Celine and Stella McCartney, those classic Breton stripes have popped back up just about everywhere--including my closet.

So what about you? What films have had the biggest impact on your closet? And did you watch last night? Who was your best dressed?

Friday, February 25, 2011

Sunshine For Pam

My friend Pam is a self-confessed gray and white girl. But this time of year, you can always find sweet yellow narcissus poking their heads out of gorgeous vintage containers all around her shop. It's her way of bringing some sunlight in during the cold last days of winter.




She's been on my mind this week, so I wanted to send her some virtual sunshine.


Pam, this little chair has your name on it! 

I think we could all use a little yellow in our lives while we wait for spring to arrive...like Pam, I prefer whites, grays and neutrals around the house... but a little spot of yellow here and there makes me happy.

Image from Carolyn Roehm 

How are you bringing the sunshine in while spring waits in the wings?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Inspired By...Mary Katrantzou

The fashion world has moved on to Milan (Prada shows today, you can watch it live on The Cut blog at noon EST). But my mind is still in London, where Mary Kantranzou moved to center stage with her breathtaking collection.

 Image from Vogue.com

She may only be four years out of Central St. Martins, but you can hardly tag her as an "up-and-coming" designer after the praise she's earning for her Fall 2011 show.

 Image from Vogue.com

The collection was inspired by objects of beauty--Fabergé Eggs, Meissen porcelain, cloisonné enamel, Ming vases. But the designer's remarkable accomplishment was that in spite of her forward-looking creative vision, she didn't produce merely decorative museum pieces--instead, she showed beautiful, wearable clothes. 

 Image from Vogue.com

As Vogue's Sarah Mower noted, "She’d started off looking at the homes of Diana Vreeland and Coco Chanel, and 'imagining a luxurious apartment inhabited by Babe Paley or the Duchess of Windsor.' With an extraordinary control of rich and delicate color—pale pinks, violet, aquamarine, carmine yellow, and red—she turned what could have risked being pure costume, or an irritating display of 'conceptual' art, into a real proposition that had the women in the audience on the edge of their seats wanting to buy into it."

 Image from Vogue.com

While some of the pieces may be for the more adventurous style setters--the Daphne Guinesses, Lisa Airens and Anna Dello Russos...

 Image from Style.com

Image from Style.com

...there were several that I would die to wear to a luncheon, cocktail party, or even the office. 

image from Style.com

image from Style.com

Mary designs all her prints herself by computer. It's not surprising that she was born in Athens to father who trained as a textile designer and an interior designer mother-- her Spring 2011 collection was inspired by homes and interiors, with fabric designed from pages from Architectural Digest and World of Interiors.

  Spring 2011 image from Style.com

Spring 2011 image from Style.com

As Sarah Mower put it, “Rarely does a fashion audience get to witness the career of a designer move onto a whole new plane before its very eyes…” 

 Image from Vogue.com

When asked to describe her customer, Mary says, “She has a liberated spirit and a strong sense of style.”  I think those words also describe the designer... and I sure hope that someday I'll have one of her pieces hanging in my closet (a girl can dream!)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A Night In Wonderland

I think I mentioned that my friend Heidi hosted a fabulous Valentine's dinner party last week, with an Alice and Wonderland "Queen of Hearts" theme. My photos don't even come close to doing it justice, but I just had to post a few to give you an idea of the style she brought to this delicious evening.


Her table was gorgeous, playful and fun, and featured a deck-of-cards mobile suspended -as if by magic- from the chandelier.


The meal was spectacular, seriously as good as you would get in many restaurants around the city, and included a grapefruit, avocado, mache and caviar salad (to die for), mussels, and a duck confit tart. Each course was paired with the perfect wine.



Heidi even left some of the egg custard off my tart since she knows eggs aren't my favorite, and made a special mushroom one for the vegetarian Mr. H! So thoughtful.


Heidi always knows the recipe for the perfect evening, and that the most important ingredient is bringing great people together...fantastic conversation always flows as freely as the wine.


But I think my favorite detail was that she served up this gourmet evening wearing a Spring 2007 runway Thakoon peony dress styled with a white chef's coat over it... and of course, she scored this frock at The Rack. Because that's just how Heidi rolls.

Hats off to the chef...and to her helpful sous chef Angel, and to Laurie who actually wore an Alice and Wonderland costume AND made not one, but two, perfect desserts. Thanks for a lovely night! Can't wait for next year.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Laura, Kate, Josie and Emma

My lovely friend Laura and I were out shopping the other night when she snagged this darling Kate Spade Josie dress.

 My illustration

Laura's spring and summer months will be full of fun and adventure, and I think Josie will make the perfect travel companion. I can just see her at a garden party...

Image from WWEPW.com

And low and behold, Emma Pillsbury and Laura must share the same terrific taste, because Glee's favorite stylish Guidance Counselor wore the same dress last week -- I like how she styled it with a turquoise cardigan, orange belt, matching bracelet and sweet vintage brooch... BTW, did you know there was a blog devoted to Emma Pillsbury's wardrobe? I love the internet!

Image from Kate Spade

I think Kate looks great for spring!

Image from Kate Spade

Image from Kate Spade

I'm smitten! How about you? Which would you like to throw into you suitcase for a little spring fling?

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