Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Fashion in Films: The Classics -- From the Pages to the Big Screen

     The relationship between books and films has always been symbiotic. When done right in every aspect of the production -- from the screenplay, the casting, the costumes, and the set -- some of the greatest movies of all time usually arise from the stories that were derived from books (with the exception of original screenplays, of course.) With holiday films rolling in and the big summer blockbusters looming ahead, I'm more excited than ever by all of the trailers that are being released each day. And I'm not just excited because they're some of my favorite books that I've read when I was growing up and I love nothing more than watching those movies come to life in film, but mainly because of the clothes (obviously.) Period piece movies have always been awe inspiring because the costume design in such productions have a certain intricateness and grandeur to them. I mean, they kind of have to have grandeur because people didn't particularly lounge around in their jeans and t-shirts in those days. Aside from the fantastic dresses, stunning jewelry, and grand headpieces, I've also noticed a common theme in the plot of all of these movies: Love. I've always believed that the greatest stories of all time are the ones about love. Read these books and watch these movies to see for yourself (or in this case, watch the movie trailers for now) then let's discuss. 

Love, KB

p.s. I think casting Helena Bonham Carter as Miss Havisham in the Great Expectations is the most brilliant beyond brilliant idea. I've always had this image of Miss Havisham in my head when I read the book in middle school and her eccentricity is the perfect match for the role. 

Anna Karenina book written by Leo Tolstoy 
release date: November 10, 2012
director: Joe Wright
costume designer: Jacqueline Durran
Kiera Knightley as Anna Karenina
Jude Law as Karenin
Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Vronsky

Les Miserables book written by Victor Hugo
release date: December 25, 2012
director: Tom Hooper
costume designer: Paco Delgado
Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean
Anne Hathaway as Fantine
Russell Crowe as Javert
Amanda Seyfried as Cosette
Eddie Redmayne as Marius
Helena Bonham Carter as Madame Thenardier
Sacha Baron Cohen as Thenardier

Great Expectations book written by Charles Dickens
release date: Winter 2012/2013
director: Mike Newell
costume designer: Beatrix Aruna Pasztor
Jeremy Irvine as Pip
Ralph Fiennes as Magwitch
Helena Bonham Carter as Miss Havisham
Robbie Coltrane as Mr. Jaggers 
Holliday Grainger as Estella

The Great Gatsby book written by F. Scott Fitzgerald
release date: May 10, 2013
director: Baz Luhrmann
costume designer: Catherine Martin
Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby 
Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchannan
Tobey Maguire as Nick Carraway
Joel Edgerton as Tom Buchannan
Isla Fisher as Myrtle Wilson

The Wizard of Oz book written by L. Frank Baum
Oz: The Great and Powerful
release date: March 8, 2013
director: Sam Raimi
costume designer: Gary Jones
James Franco as Oz
Mila Kunis as Theodora
Rachel Weisz as Evanora
Michelle Williams as Glinda

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Video Obsession: Barneys New York Disney Electric Holiday

     Barneys New York officially launched their holiday collaboration with Disney yesterday called Electric Holiday and premiered the much anticipated short film featuring Minnie Mouse in this fantastical dream as a runway model in Paris wearing Lanvin. The five minute short featured famous faces such as photographer Steven Meisel, Bridget Foley (executive editor of Women's Wear DailyNicolas Ghesquiere (who recently left his post at Balenciaga) Lady Gaga (wearing that one-of-a-kind Marc Jacobs dress that she wore on the September 2012 issue of Vogue) Sarah Jessica Parker (who wore a very adorable L'wren Scott Mickey ears at the launch last night in New York City) Naomi Campbell (who looks a lot more like Tyra Banks?) and a very adorable Alber Elbaz of Lanvin (my absolute favorite part of the film!

     The short is pure Disney: it's fun, adorable, and brings to life a very colorful dream and fantasy that the company giant is known for so why the backlash against the "skinny Minnie?" When Minnie hits the runway, Tinkerbell taps the entrance to the runway and out comes a Minnie in a sample size supermodel proportions. This apparently prompted an Internet outrage and online petition among those who thought that turning Minnie into such a skinny model sets a bad example to bad young girls. Uhm . . . what? OKAY. I rarely voice my opinion on this blog about so called 'controversial issues' like this, but I feel very strongly about this opposition so here it goes: 

     First of all, Minnie Mouse is a cartoon character. Which plainly means, she's not real. She's fictional. She's an illustration. On top of that, she's a mouse, she's not even human. As much as she is adored by little girls all around the world, I think those children, who despite their age might not know much about the world around them, certainly can distinguish between the obvious difference in her appearance and a cartoon who has two huge mouse ears. I can't imagine a little girl standing around her dress up trunk at home saying "Aww, I wish I was as skinny as Minnie Mouse in her dream sequence as a Parisian supermodel so I can fit in that Lanvin dress." It's just not possible. This video was supposed to celebrate something fun! It was solely created to celebrate the holidays which is synonymous with everything that is good and cheerful this time of the year. A lot of it is based on dreams and fantasies (HELLO it's Disney, people) despite the fact that real people appear in the film -- it's about fashion so naturally actual people in the industry appear in it. Get over it. I really HATE it when someone somewhere always finds the negativity in everything. There are more pressing issues going on in the world right now to have to worry about than getting your knickers in a twist over something that's so harmless. If you see supermodel Minnie and your initial reaction is that it will set a bad example for young girls, you need NOT put together an online petition to rally up support, you need to go see a therapist because it sounds like you're the one with the body image issues (among other things.) Don't ruin something like this for the rest of us. 

     With that said, please ENJOY this video short and name all of the famous faces that appear in them before the credits roll in at the end! Happy Holidays everyone! 

Love, KB

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A Very Fashionable Holiday 2012 Gift Guide

     Since Thanksgiving is fast approaching we're already bombarded in every direction by all of the upcoming holiday deals and shopping events. From Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday, there are an ample amount of opportunities before December 25th to find something special for that special someone in your life -- in this case a very fashionable and fashion savvy someone. If there is someone on your list who speaks style and fashion fluently, then look no further than this ultimate gift guide that I've put together, which is personally inspired by my Christmas wish list this year. 

     First of all, even though this seems like an obvious move, unless otherwise indicated or asked for by the person receiving the gift, I would stay away from clothes. Clothes are tricky in terms of taste, fit, and all the disastrous factors that goes into giving someone a dress, skirt, blouse, sweater, etc etc. Unless you know that person's style very well (or giving them Chanel, you can NEVER go wrong with Chanel) I wouldn't blindly go in that gift-giving direction. As for everything else, it's fair game so see my list below: 

Fashion Books 
Fashion coffee table books are guaranteed winners. I've never met a fashionista before who didn't like receiving a hard cover fashion book to add to his or her ever expanding fashion library. 

Barneys New York Electric Holiday Disney Collaboration 
EVERYONE loves Disney. If you don't, you have something inherently wrong with you. With that said, for their holiday shop this year, Barneys collaborated with Disney to create Electric Holiday which includes gifts like a 9" Diane Von Furstenberg Vinylmation figurine (my personal favorite) to Mickey patchwork plaid ears and Christmas ornaments, there is something for everyone. To read about the collaboration click here and to shop the collection click here

Movies and TV Box Sets
Blu Rays, DVDs, and Television Box Sets also make great gifts. If you watch a lot of fashion savvy television shows and movies like I do, coming up with gift ideas in this category is easy. Sex and the City, Gossip GirlMad Men and Downton Abbey are just a few shows that have an acclaimed praise for their costume design and styling. I also loved the clothes in movies that I recently watched such as Midnight in Paris, My Week with Marilyn, and Moonrise Kingdom

Handbags & Shoes 
If diamonds are a girl's best friend, so are her handbags and collection of shoes. I know you might think that this falls under the apparel category, but here is where it differs: for handbags, all sizes fits all, and as for shoes.. well shoes are just fabulous and always make great gifts. Take a note from Carrie Bradshaw and Cinderella. You're welcome. 

A lot of fashion houses have embraced this new category in their fashion line. From iPhone cases to iPad cases and cool headphones (and even texting friendly gloves! genius!) there is something for every single thing you own that requires an Apple charger. 

     But if there is something that I absolutely know, it's that it's so much easier to shop for a fashion savvy girl on my list than anyone else (and I'm not just talking about myself.) And while you're on your Christmas shopping quest, don't forget the Christmas music. May I suggest A Very She & Him Christmas. Sing it, Zooey. 

Love, KB

Monday, November 12, 2012

Current Craving: Romanticism

     As cynical and sarcastic as I am, I'm a total romantic at heart. I still cry to the endings of romantic comedies (The Five Year Engagement was the latest culprit) and listen to songs that just melts and breaks my heart (Taylor Swift's new album RED is currently on repeat on my iPod.) And as the holiday season quickly approaches I'm beginning to put together my holiday ensembles -- from Thanksgiving, Christmas parties, Christmas, New Years Eve, and everything in between -- I only had one theme in mind: Romanticism. I've always believed that there is something very romantic about the holidays *cue Love is All Around you from Love Actually. I found this beautiful gold brocade-like dress for Christmas and I didn't have to look far for styling inspirations because it's so easy to be inspired this time of the year. The dress is such a statement piece (flowers of gold embroidered on bronze-dappled black mesh with a back cutout) that I want to keep everything very minimal and simple with the exception of a fantastic headpiece. There is nothing I hate more than knowing exactly what I want and not being able to find it anywhere. And then a lightbulb lit up in my head and remembered those celestial star headpieces in the Rodarte F/W 2012 runway show that everyone was raving about (almost more than the clothes!) PERFECT! But now where to get them? Thanks to the age and rage of DIY tutorials on the internet I found the solution to my styling problems with a simple Google search and came across this fantastic video by Refinery29. Now all I need is a chic updo and a red pout and I'm ready to celebrate one of my favorite holidays. Only snow would make this moment truly romantic.  

Love, KB