Category Archives: Iconic Idols

Natalie Portman’s Lanvin Dress

The moment Natalie Portman posed on the Golden Globes’ red carpet in that fabulous two-toned Lanvin dress I was immediately reminded of the red dress worn by Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face  and the iconic dress worn by Marilyn Monroe in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes when she sang “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend.” Some fifty years later and Natalie Portman wears a similar dress but still looks like a modern yet timeless movie star.

      

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Filed under Fashion Fixation, Fashion's Finest, Iconic Idols, Memorable Movies

The Most Memorable Fashion Moments in Film

Today TMC showed Rebel Without a Cause. I had thousands of channels at my disposal, but when a good film comes on, I just can’t pass it up. I called to my 20 year old sister who was making lunch in the kitchen and asked her if she’d ever seen a James Dean film. After she replied “no,” I got the idea to make a list of the films that have had iconic fashion moments and that still inspire fashion designers today. Everyone should watch these movies, they have come to define our American culture after all!

When coming up with my list of most memorable fashion in film, it seems that the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s has dominated the era of great style, great designers, and great moments.

So what are the most beautiful fashion films? Here’s a list of 12 great films with greater fashion moments (in no particular order).

1. A Single Man — With fashion designer Tom Ford as the director, A Single Man was bound to be heavily influenced by fashion. And guess what? He didn’t disappoint. From the saturated images to the crisp white button downs, Tom Ford is meticulous about color and style. For a first time film maker, he not only impressed but surpassed everyone’s expectations. After watching the movie you wonder why a man wouldn’t wear anything but a Tom Ford suit!

2. Rebel Without a Cause (1955)–The movie that made James Dean an icon. The troubled story of three teenagers searching for a greater meaning in their life has become a story that outlasted the 1950s. The famous line when Jimmy Stark cries out to his parents, “you’re tearing me apart!” is a line that most teenagers can relate to regardless of the decade they grew up in. But what is most remembered is James Dean’s rebellious outfit: jeans, a white tee, and his red jacket. You can’t get much cooler than that! An outfit that symbolizes his inner rebellion.

3. Sabrina, Funny Face, Breakfast at Tiffany’s– Every movie Audrey Hepburn is in is worthy of being on this list. Designers like Edith Head and Hubert de Givenchy saw film as an opportunity of dressing Hepburn in beautiful clothes making film her own personal runway. Making a “cinderella transformation” turning from an ordinary “funny faced” girl to a sophisticated posh woman, Audrey Hepburn shows that clothes do not make the person brings out the inner confidence of any women.


4. Rear Window–My first inkling when I saw Lisa Fredmont (Grace Kelly) strut into Jeff’s (Jimmy Stewart) apartment in a dress with a black bodice and a white tulle full skirt, I was sure Dior had designed the costumes for the movie. His “New Look” collection had debuted just weeks before. To my surprise, it was none other than legendary iconic costume designer Edith Head who was responsible for such elegant ensembles. Whether it be a daytime suit or silk negligee, all five pieces will grab your utmost attention in detail, color, and the overall grace that Grace Kelly exhibits.

5. To Catch A Thief — It would be unfair to include Rear Window without acknowledging Edith Head’s continued work in dressing Grace Kelly for Alfred Hitchock films. Grace Kelly continues to enamor audiences with such stunning outfits. The simplicity of Edith Head’s design is complimented by the acute attention to detail.

6. Annie Hall– Well La-Di-Da La-Di-Da, Annie Hall in menswear heated up the screen by making it sexy to don a pair of jeans and a flannel. It’s not just a film that broke almost every mold of how a Hollywood film should be made (i.e speaking directly to the camera, and the famous balcony screen), but the fashion was just as taboo. Diane Keaton (as Annie Hall) menswear revolutionized and catalyzed a change in mainstream culture that is still prevalent today. I currently sit in my flannel button up and corduroys while I write this post to you. So thank you Annie Hall for making it acceptable and sexy to wear man’s clothing.

7. Atonement– Although it did not win an Oscar for Best Costume Design, Atonement was nominated for the category. With roles like The Dutchess and Pride & Prejudice, Atonement seems more modern for Knightley, but there is no denying that films that take place in the past is where Knightley feels most in her element. And to really cement Atonement as a film with great fashion, Kiera Knightley posed for numerous magazines wearing that famous green dress, which further marks its place in film fashion history.

8. An English Patient–Another movie centered around World War II, An English Patient captures audiences not only by its flashback sequences and a riveting love story, but through the beautiful safari clothing–crisp white tops with beautifully-made khaki jackets and earth-toned pants. The English Patient won the Oscar for Best Costume Design in 1996.

9. Blow-Up–In London during the Swinging Sixties of sexual liberation and freedom of expression, a photographer takes a beautiful model to a desolate park and believes he witnessed a murder. With mod sixties dresses and Twiggy inspired looks,Blow Up is full of great fashion moments and Italian director Antonioni is credited with making the thin model as muse.

10. La Dolce Vita– You may not think there is anything sweet about La Dolce Vita after watching it, but the clothes sure look good. A film about the temptations of a rich and famous life takes Marcello (played by Marcello Mastroianni) into a life of cheating, lying, and deceiving resulting in an incomplete quest for happiness and love. However winning costume designer, Piero Gherardi, makes sure everyone looks fabulous, making it hard to resist a life of such superficiality. La Dolce Vita is also a cultural movie–full of Alfa Romeos, vespas, Latin Lovers and most importantly the fitted Italian made suit with the skinny black tie that remains a timeless suit.

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Filed under Fashion Fixation, Film Fridays, Iconic Idols, Memorable Movies

Didier Ludot To Design for Petit Bateau

You can’t get more French than that! While in Paris this summer I made it a goal to buy as much vintage as I could. I don’t know what it was but to me French and vintage go hand-in-hand. It could be because everyone wants a vintage Kelley or Burkin, a vintage Chanel bag, or anything vintage to mimic the bobo (bourgeois bohemian) french bloggers.

Anyway, I did end up with some vintage gems although none from the world-renowned Didier Ludot. But that wouldn’t stop me from at least checking out arguably the most famous vintage store in the world, and possibly the most expensive. You can’t buy anything for under 1000 euros, at least!

But the Didier Ludot/ Petit Bateau collaboration changes everything! Ludot has designed two black dresses for the french label Petit Bateau (both shown below). The one with the collar, The Catherine,  is inspired by  Catherine Deneuve and the other one, with the two hip pockets was influenced by Twiggy.

Available online Dec. 5th.

Petite Bateau/Didier Ludot pictures c/o Elle.com

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Filed under City Culture, Fashion Fixation, Fashion's Finest, Iconic Idols, Little Black Dresses

Viva Elvis

I first saw Viva Las Vegas last year over winter break. After studying for finals for days on end I was ready to give my brain a break, grab a blanket, stay in my pajamas all day, and turn on TMC. What was on was Elvis’ Viva Las Vegas

I was actually quite surprised at what I found. The movie was thoroughly entertaining and the music is phenomenal the entire way through. And you can’t help but sing along to “Viva Las Vegas.” You can try refraining from singing, but your foot will begin tapping. Just wait and see.

I also just need to stress the attractiveness of the cast. Ann Margaret, most famously known for her leading role in Bye Bye Birdie, is out of this world beautiful. Her gorgeous green eyes and strawberry blond hair is a dynamite combination. Not to mention she has that seductive sultry voice that has men eating in the palm of her hand.

 Elvis, you’re not too bad looking either. And their chemistry is so undeniable that it came as no surprise to find out that their relationship transcended the screen.  They had a rumored relationship that continued after shooting. That fact along was enough information to entice me to watch.

But if you need further information to convince you that watching Viva Las Vegas is not a waist of time, I’ll give you the plot. Lucky Jackson (Elvis Presley) is set on competing at the Las Vegas Grand Prix but needs to get his engine fixed. He easily attains the money but is also easily distracted by the hotel lifeguard Rusty Martin (Ann-Margaret) (what a name huh?) and misplaces the money. Rusty gives him no time of day and it looks like he’ll lose winning the girl and the Grand Prix. 

Its the movie that made Elvis the King of Las Vegas. Why wouldn’t you watch it!  

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Hats Off to Breakfast At Tiffany’s

Audrey Hepburn and Givenchy single handedly popularized the LBD when Givenchy was asked to dress Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. When I watched it again over the weekend, it wasn’t the dresses that caught my attention this time, it was the amazing array of hats. Don’t get me wrong, the dresses in Breakfast at Tiffany’s are simply gorgeous, but I just couldn’t stop thinking about why we don’t wear hats anymore. Although I must admit, over the last couple of years we’ve been getting a little better. The fedora has been a common accessory as well as the floppy brim hat. But the ones in Breakfast at Tiffany’s are timeless. I’d wear every one of them today, especially that red turban. I can’t believe the movie came out exactly half a century ago this year, and I’d still wear everything in this movie. Just goes to show that style is timeless.

   

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My Fashion Inspiration: My Grandmother

For as long as I can remember, going into the city to see my grandma was always a big ordeal. The morning of, I would be yelling down the hallway for my mom to help me figure out the perfect outfit to wear. Everything had to look perfect. Hair straight, outfit coordinated, and make up flawless to cover every blemish of my adolescent ached face. This primping was not done out of fear about my grandma’s opinions, but out of love. I always wanted to impress the women that has had such a tremendous influence on my style. Well to be honest, also because she hated my curly dark brown hair. She always liked how the sun lightly highlighted my hair a golden brown.

My grandma’s traveled the world as a fast fashion buyer in her forties. She would look at what Bergdorf’s and Barney’s were selling and find ways to replicate designers at a much more affordable price. Besides looking at glamorous clothes all day long, her job came with another perk. She was able to travel to London, Milan, and her favorite city, Paris see what European designers were offering and most importantly what European women were wearing. She’ll now tell you fashion today is a disgrace and is nothing like the elegant clothing of the 1950s and 1960s. I happen to agree.

Her career in and love for fashion has rubbed off on me. As a child I played in her closet with my sister every time we visited. I’d put on her Chanel bag and my sister would frolic around in her Fendi. We’d wear her gaudy earrings and parade around in her Upper West Side apartment in her scarfs and vintage jackets. Well let’s be honest, I’m now 22 and still play in her closet. Its fun being the granddaughter of Beatrice, or B for short.

This year my grandma turned 90. To dinner (at the Cafe Luxemburg where Old Hollywood starlets like Laura Bacall like to grab dinner) my grandma was as stylish as ever. Age does not deter that woman. She wore a tailored vintage Prada jacket with a crisp white blouse, black pants and gold vintage bangles. Her hair was immaculate having just gotten her gray scalp touched up to match her dyed-blond locks. Dark green eye liner complimented her gorgeous green eyes and pink lipstick was the cherry on top of the decadent cake.

I have an immense admiration for my grandma. She’s the cutest, most adorable grandma in the world and I am the luckiest granddaughter on earth. Happy Birthday Grandma, my fashion icon.

The pictures I took at dinner from my blackberry are awful but here she is two weeks earlier having drinks with my mom and her best friend Faith (right).

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The Dynamic Duo: Hepburn and Givenchy

There’s something you should know about me before we take this blog relationship any further. I’ve always believed I was born in the wrong decade. Yep, despite being addicted to facebook, twitter, wordpress, tumblr, my blackberry and any other 21st century social media tool, I’d give it all up to live the simple life. You can say it, I’m old fashioned. Gimme my 20s in the mid 1950s and I’d be more excited than Doc traveling back to the years of the western frontier in Back to the Future III. The reason being? I just love the movies and fashion of the time, and I love great fashion in great movies. Plus its just fun to know these little bits of cultural trivia.

There are just so many instances of iconic moments of stunning outfits on beautiful women in great Hollywood classics. But the lifelong partnership and friendship of Hurbert du Givenchy and Audrey Hepburn is perhaps the most celebrated alliance in fashion/film history. It all started when Audrey Hepburn flew to Paris to meet with the busy twenty-six year old designer but when she showed up at his workplace, he was too busy to give her his full attention. He told her if she wanted costumes for her new movie, Sabrina, she would be more than welcome to pick from the collection he was working on now. And that’s exactly what she did. He would go on to create all of her movie costumes and even her wedding dress.

Audrey with the help of Givenchy became a style icon. She possessed poise and grace along with a new approach to femininity. And what was possibility the most alluring aspect to her look was it all came from Paris, the city of sophistication, luxury, and haute couture! Her outfits in Sabrina and Funny Face, two stories in which her experience in Paris transformed her from ordinary to extraordinary, are some of Givenchy’s most prized work. 

But Audrey isn’t just known for looking like a modern day Cinderella at the ball playing dress up in Givenchy’s most impeccable evening wear, she is perhaps most known for her “casual” look in Funny Face. The iconic look I’m talking about is the outfit she wears when she preforms her solo dance in the basement of a Beatnik hang out–the skinny black pant, black shirt, and black flats look.  It redefined femininity and the notion of the ideal woman. And it’s proven to be a timeless look almost fifty years later. 

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