Tag Archives: beautydart

Beauty in the Movies: Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead

Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitters Dead is one of the best movies ever, please don’t be misled by the title. Sure, if you like super serious movies where you get knocked over the head by meaning and intense emotion and all that, then fine, you might not agree, but if you were a girl who was growing up in the 90s, you probably love this film—and there’s no shame in that, only pride!

DTMTBD is like Working Girl for the 90s teen set, only kind of better because the fashion is way more fun. When Sue Ellen (or “Swell” for short) Crandell’s mom decides to jet off to Australia with her new boyfriend leaving her five children alone for the summer, at first they think they’re going to have the time of their lives. So it comes as quite a surprise when an old woman shows up at the door proclaiming to be their babysitter. It’s even more of a surprise when she drops dead leaving the kids with no money.

Sue Ellen soon realizes that, being the oldest, she’s in charge of her ramshackle gang of siblings for the rest of the summer. She and her burn-out brother Kenny (Keith Coogan) toss a frozen pizza to decide who will get a job and who will stay home with the kids. Sue Ellen loses the pizza toss, and soon finds herself cleaning fat vats at fast food joint Clown Dog. She quits pretty quickly, but not before meeting Brian (Josh Charles), a cute delivery-guy.

As a result of copying her resume straight from a book, Sue Ellen lands a coveted position as Executive Administrative Assistant at General Apparel West, making an enemy of the original candidate for the position, bitchy receptionist Carolyn (Jayne Brook).

Swell’s killer interview outfit and fake resume may have won her the job, but now Carolyn and her boyfriend (a greasy pre-X-Files David Duchovny) are determined to take her down.

Luckily Sue Ellen has the best boss ever, Rose (Joanna Cassidy) who not only can’t stand Carolyn but also gives us viewers the delightful phrase “I’m right on top of that Rose”, which to this day I still hear in my head when given an important task at work. Unfortunately 17-year-old Sue Ellen is in a bit over her head and things soon unravel, but not before an amazing work montage, beach romance, and some truly amazing 90s fashion.

DTMTBD has stuck around and remained in our hearts because it’s atypical for a teen movie. I love that Sue Ellen has a power-suit wearing female boss who is awesome and supportive instead of evil. It’s also great that while she gives herself her own “business” makeover, her younger brother is really the one who ends up going through a typical physical transformation—haircut, clean clothes, etc.

Swell was a fashion icon for me in my formative years, I still marvel at how she made harem pants and over-sized blazers look so effortlessly hip. Her awesome early 90s friends are also an inspiration, they remind me of the babysitters I had as a kid who I though were just the coolest. girls. ever. Side ponytails, teased hair, chunky jewelry, as far as I’m concerned they still look damn amazing.

Don’t be betrayed by the name, if for some reason you’ve never had the delight of watching DTMTBD, give it a try. It’s great this time of year if you’re working your butt off in business wear and feeling bitter about the tourists and day-trippers that surround you on your commute (I speak from very strong personal experience). It’s worth it alone to watch for the fashion show at the end, but really, whether she is wearing doc martens or shoulder-pads, Christina Applegate is just so damn wonderful. So crank up the AC, microwave some popcorn, and revisit a teen movie with style and charm that far exceed its title.

Beauty in the Movies: Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead

Maxi dress
$38 – topshop.com

Diane von Furstenberg sheer blouse
250 – net-a-porter.com

Off the shoulder shirt
$15 – alloy.com

Viktor Rolf slim fit blazer
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Freda blue jacket
144 – matchesfashion.com

River Island long jacket
50 – riverisland.com

French Connection harem pants
women.fashionbeans.com

Forzieri black leather briefcase
$659 – forzieri.com

Dannijo silver cuff bracelet
238 – net-a-porter.com

Black earrings
$7.99 – amazon.com

NERIDA FRAIMAN vintage hat
259 – harrods.com

Ray-Ban ray ban sunglasses
€71 – my-wardrobe.com

Calvin Klein wide leather belt
$38 – zappos.com

Cuteberry floral scarve
$16 – yesstyle.com

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Beauty in the Movies: The Devil Wears Prada

I had a job interview this week, and on my way I couldn’t help thinking of The Devil Wears Prada. That might sound silly, but it was reassuring to know that even if the interview went badly, it couldn’t possibly be as bad as finding Miranda Priestly (or Anna Wintour) sitting at that desk across from you.

The Devil Wears Prada is the story of Andy Sachs (Anne Hathaway), a Midwesterner in New York, fresh out of college and desperate for experience. Andy wants to be a journalist, but she finds herself at the world’s top fashion magazine, Runway, interviewing to be the assistant of Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep), a job a thousand girls would kill for. Miranda isn’t just an editor at a fashion magazine, she is the voice of fashion. Her word is the last word, and all other opinions be damned. She is cold, brutal, and unsympathetic, but also elegant, successful and respected beyond compare.

Miranda hires Andy despite her “frumpy” (ahem, I have the j. crew coat she wears in the opening sequence—it’s cute, ok?) appearance in the hopes that she is different from the fashion obsessed girls who usually land the job. While Andy is up for the challenge, the demands of her new position put her relationship with her family, best friend (Tracie Thoms), and boyfriend (Adrian Grenier) into jeopardy. Andy has to choose what’s important to her, but in the process of self discovery there’s also a bunch of montages, a few Madonna songs, a makeover, and some great designer clothes.

This is not the most unpredictable film, but it certainly has its charms, most specifically Meryl Streep’s perfectly frightening portrayal of Miranda. It’s hard to take your eyes off her, everything from the way she enunciates her words, to the cruel flicker in her eyes while torturing Andy with impossible tasks, further propels the believability of her character. Miranda Priestly makes Working Girl‘s Catherine Parker look like a whiny, disheveled brat. Rumor has it the character was based on Anna Wintour, the notoriously steely editor-in-chief of American Vogue, but Streep creates her own Miranda and delivers a woman who is both vicious and awe-inspiring in her approach to life and business.

Emily Blunt is fantastic and funny as Miranda’s other assistant (the 1st assistant), she is the stand-out among the supporting cast and steals all her scenes right out from under Anne Hathaway. Stanley Tucci is also charming, while stereotypical as Nigel Runway’s Art director who is adored by both Miranda and Andy. Simon Baker plays a roguish writer and Valentino and Giselle (proving she shouldn’t quit her day job) make appearances as well.


Most people have had a boss or supervisor whom they’ve found less than pleasing, but this film takes it to new levels. Miranda’s treatment of Andy could be seen as character building—a tough love of sorts, after all she does learn a lot and come out on top in many ways. Unfortunately the ugly side of that coin is that her sadistic treatment virtually ruins Andy’s life, and as we learn, Miranda’s personal life isn’t all roses and sunshine either, leading the viewer to believe that great success comes only with great sacrifice. It’s an issue I wish the movie explored a bit more, because it feels like we’re meant to believe Miranda must be evil in order to be respected, which forgives her cruelty just a tad too much. There is too much of a shine put on everything in this film and the minute you think you might get to look deeper, you’re placated by pretty clothes, which is fine and can be really enjoyable, but it doesn’t make you think too hard either.

The Devil Wear Prada is a fun, entertaining, possibly unrealistic look at the fashion world. It’s also a coming of age film, and a film about figuring out who you want to be as a professional and as a person—but most of all it’s about really pretty clothes, Chanel and Dolce & Gabbana and Patricia Field’s beautiful styling. I’d take a film like this over a bland rom-com with Jennifer Aniston or Katherine Heigl any day, because while it might not be groundbreaking, it’s about something other than just men and cliches. Don’t expect to be surprised by the twisting plot or unconventional characters, just get lost in the brilliance of Meryl Streep and the beauty of Chanel while you sit back and wish you could afford designer clothes.

The Devil Wears Prada

The Devil Wears Prada by justinez featuring peep toe shoes

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Wrap blouses »

Trimmed Cardigan by D&G Dolce&Gabbana
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Knit cardigans »

Whyred Pasca pleated mini skirt
145 GBP – brownsfashion.com
Pleated mini skirts »

Lanvin T-Strap Sandal
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Bianca Patent Platform Pump
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Christian louboutin pump »

Christian louboutin shoes BLACK
535 GBP – matchesfashion.com
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Gepa Vitello Daino Tote
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Prada handbags »

Marc by marc jacobs bags DARK BLUE
440 GBP – matchesfashion.com
Leather totes »

Susan caplan vintage jewellery GOLD
475 GBP – matchesfashion.com
Gold jewelries »

CA & LOU Bracelet
315 EUR – colette.fr
Couture bracelets »

Chanel Gold Medallion Chain Belt
$900 – cmadeleines.com
Chanel belts »

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Fabulous Hats

I’ve been meaning to do a post on hats for a long time now, and after watching Glee last week and seeing Kurt’s fabulous church hat, I decided I had to pull it together and make this post happen—so thanks for the inspiration Kurt!

I’ve always admired people who can really pull off an amazing hat. I’ve tried before but I always end up feeling awkward and obstructed somehow. Winter hats are a different story, they’re much-needed and practical, what I’m talking about are statement hats, they draw attention, they express an attitude, and they require a special kind of confidence to pull off.

I put together this collage of fabulous hats worn by fabulous women as inspiration for myself, and maybe for all of you too. Nothing shows off your confidence like an amazing hat.

(Click to enlarge—you want to see these hats!)

I consider this to be the ultimate fabulous hat, so it gets its own picture. If you haven’t seen the film My Fair Lady, it’s worth it just for Cecil Beaton’s costumes and this hat.

One of the reasons I wanted to do this post is because at my wedding in 17 days (Ahhh!!) I will be wearing a hat. I kind of love the idea of a “wedding hat”, it seems so old-fashioned somehow. I had it made at a great little hat shop on Thompson street in the village, they did the purple bow, feathers, and lavender veil custom for me, which I love! Since most bridal salons charge upwards of $200 for a row of Swarovski crystals pinned to a piece of tulle, having a custom wedding hat made doesn’t seem extravagant—it seems like a lot more bang for your buck.


I can’t wait to wear it—it goes perfect with my purple shoes!

Wedding hats—and any statement hat, are a great way to add some pizazz to an outfit, and unlike other fashion risks, you can always just take the hat off if you decide you don’t like it.

Anyone have pictures of themselves in fabulous hats? I’d love to see them!

*Sorry my posting has been so sporadic, this whole wedding thing takes up a lot of time.

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A Wedding Miscellany

I’m sorry to do another wedding post, but I have them on the brain. I am breathing, eating, and sleeping weddings recently. Whether it’s putting together my wedding play-list, ordering candy for our wedding candy bar, or painting bridal card boxes for others with upcoming nuptials, it’s a huge part of my life right now.

I’ve written before about the stress of planning a wedding, but there are so many things to keep track of that you can’t keep your mind from running all over the place, so this post might be a bit scattered, and I apologize for that.

All of the illustrations featured below are from an adorable little book my mom bought for me when I got engaged—it’s called The Little Big Book for Brides, and it has all sorts of cute advice, customs, and strange facts you never knew about weddings, here are some examples:

“Feed a cat out of your wedding shoe for good luck”—hmm, kind a gross, but I could try it!

“If in October you do marry , love will come but riches tarry”—this doesn’t surprise me at all, sounds about right actually. Darn.

My favorite part of this book is a whole long excerpt from an article entitled “The Instruction and Advice for the Young Bride”, it was published in an 1894 newsletter and it will blow your mind! For example:

“One cardinal rule of marriage should never be forgotten: GIVE LITTLE, GIVE SELDOM, AND ABOVE ALL, GIVE GRUDGINGLY. Otherwise, what could have been a proper marriage could become an orgy of sexual lust.”

Cracks. me. up. Here’s some more sage advice:

“Clever wives are ever on the alert for new and better methods of denying and discouraging the amorous overtures of the husband. A good wife should expect to have reduced sexual contacts to once a week by the end of the first year of marriage and to once a month by the end of the fifth year of marriage.”

I hope you’re listening ladies!

Moving on, today I am officially starting my pre-wedding diet. I know, I wrote a whole post about how I wasn’t going to let the pressure get to me and I wasn’t going to starve myself, but here’s the thing; I went for my final dress fitting and things changed. The good news is that the dress fits perfectly—too perfectly. It fits so perfectly that breathing is a bit of a problem. If I had money to spare I’d probably just let it out a little, but money is an issue, and the cost of alterations on bridal gowns are astronomical. So in the interest of saving a few hundred dollars, I have to cut back on my beloved cheese, ice cream, fried anything, and all the rest of my favorite foods. It’s just for a month, so I can handle it, and I just need to keep thinking about all the food I won’t be able to eat on my wedding day and my inability to dance if there is no room to move in my dress as motivation. So for the next month I’m counting points, snacking on carrot sticks and praying that come October 29th, I can breathe, move, dance,—and eat comfortably.

To those of you who are getting married soon, or planning on getting married soon, or have some kind of big party or event to plan in general, here is some advice—start planning now. Months ago, even a year ago, I kept poo-pooing things “oh, we have time” I’d say, and now I wish I could go back in time and knock myself upside the head. Not only do I wish I had taken care of some things earlier, but also, spending money in small bursts over a year is far easier than doling out large amounts all at once. So, if you see something you like—whether it be a wedding dress or favors, buy it, or at least bookmark it now, you’ll thank yourself later.

So, right now I have to order my favors, and research hairstyles and follow-up with the florist, the hotel, the venue, and so much more, and every phone call will hopefully soothe a bit of the madness, but really all I can hope is that I fit into that dress and actually get to eat some of my wedding cake, and of course, cheese.

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Beauty on Television: Veronica Mars

This week I’m changing things up. Instead of a movie, I’m featuring one of my favorite TV shows—the sadly canceled Veronica Mars. I’ve often been teased for watching it, but I stand by Veronica Mars as being one of the best things on television—ever. A lot of people don’t know what Veronica Mars is, perhaps you’re like me and had the idea it’s about a teen psychic (maybe I got it mixed up with That’s So Raven?) or maybe you think it’s a UPN teen soap-opera in the same vein as The OC, or maybe you’ve just never heard of it at all. Whatever you thought, it’s worth giving a chance, because you might just end up as obsessed with it as I am.

Veronica Mars is a television series about a teenage girl (Kristen Bell) living in one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in Southern California, the fictional town of Neptune—but Veronica lives on the wrong side of the tracks. She used to live on the right side, she used to be one of the popular kids, and she used to be the daughter of the local sheriff, but things change. We meet Veronica a year after she has lost everything, and we watch as she tries to sort out what happened to her life. A year earlier Veronica was happily attending the homecoming dance and pep squad meetings with her best friend Lilly Kane (Amanda Seyfried), she was also dating Lilly’s younger brother Duncan (Teddy Dunne), and living in a big house with her mom and dad. But when Lilly is found dead on her parent’s estate, (they’re the wealthiest family in Neptune) her murder sets off a series of events that will change all the character’s lives forever.

Veronica’s father Keith Mars, (Enrico Colantoni) the sheriff of Neptune, investigates Lilly’s death and believes the wrong man has been arrested for the crime. When Keith accuses the Kane family of foul play in the murder of their own daughter, the town (and the nation) turn against him. Keith is removed from office, leaving the Mars family with no money and no status. After her mom leaves town, Veronica and her dad set up “Mars Investigations” and move into a small apartment on the other side of Neptune.

Veronica Mars recalls another dark television mystery—Twin Peaks, the question on everyone’s mind (especially Veronica’s) being “who killed Lilly Kane?”.

The first season (there are two more) of this series is the best mystery I’ve ever seen played out on TV—and maybe ever. After the first episode you’re hooked, and from then on it’s a ripping yarn to the finale. Each episode follows its own storyline in which Veronica solves a mystery, but the season-wide arch involving Lilly Kane’s murder, keeps you eagerly watching as things unfold.

This show features some heavy issues not often seen on television, let alone a teen show; classism, racism, rape, and violence are all dealt with often throughout the series. Despite the high school setting and the focus on hefty subjects, there is nothing sappy or “after-school special” about this series. The writing is incredible, the characters are diverse and well-developed, and the result is an extraordinarily mature show that was unfortunately sold to a teen audience on UPN. The marketing plan was just all wrong. I used to cringe at the commercials for Veronica Mars, even while I loved it, because it was edited to look like an overly dramatic, cheesy, high school series. I just don’t think they knew how to market it, or who to market it to.

This is one of those rare shows, like My So-Called Life, where the parents and teens are equal characters, fleshed-out and sympathetic, they interact with one another in a believable way. I’d watch a whole show just about Keith Mars, but the bond between Veronica and Keith is what turns this show to gold. Maybe it’s just that Kristen Bell and Enrico Colantoni have incredible chemistry, or maybe they’re both simply great actors, but the father-daughter relationship is what gives the series heart. Their love for each-other is so tangible it has brought me to tears many times (not that it’s hard to make me cry).

The show is packed with great actors, some known and some unknown, but they’re all well cast and each one adds something to the story. There are appearances by well-known actors such as Alyson Hannigan (from Buffy and How I Met Your Mother), Harry Hamlin and wife Lisa Rinna, Ken Marino (from The State), Tina Majorino (Napoleon Dynamite) and lots more. Joss Whedon and Kevin Smith have also made guest appearances because they were both huge fans of the show. The unknown actors are just as skilled as the veterans, rounding out the cast is Percy Daggs III as Veronica’s best friend Wallace, Jason Dohring as the school’s “psychotic jackass” Logan Echolls, and Francis Capra (although to anyone who has seen Kazaam he is hardly unknown) as the leader of high school motorcycle gang the PCHers.

I don’t want to give anything else away—it is a detective series after all. So, I am commanding you to watch this show. Seriously, you should, if you like mysteries, if you like good stories, cliff hangers, and twisting plot lines, you’ll love it. Kristen Bell is excellent, sometimes I still get sad when I realize she is just an actress and not Veronica. I can’t emphasize how refreshing the character of Veronica Mars feels, and it’s a shame we don’t see more female characters like her on television. She is smart as a whip, tough as nails, and full of surprises. Veronica is a role model for all women because of her strength and determination, and she doesn’t let anyone push her around—she will tase you if she has to. She doesn’t have super powers like Buffy, but she does have tons of awesome gadgets and a dog named “backup”. Veronica always does whatever is necessary to find the information she needs, and usually gets herself into heaps of trouble, but more often than not she beats the bad guy, saves the victim, and she always, always, solves the mystery.

So come on, aren’t you just dying to know who killed Lilly Kane?

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281 GBP – my-wardrobe.com
Pea coat »

Denim Mini Skirt
$50 – topshop.com
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Old Navy Womens Skinny Cords
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Frye Veronica Slouch
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Ankle boots »

Remembrancer Bracelet
$18 – modcloth.com
Leather bracelets »

V. Fraas Pinstripe Scarf
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Striped scarves »

Gap Hoodie cardigan
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bobby pins set
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Flip Notepad with Sleek Emerald Case –
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Beauty in the Movies: Whip It

I wasn’t expecting to like this movie as much as I did. I’ve had moments where I’ve found Drew Barrymore incredibly annoying, but recently I’ve been liking her. It could be that she is one of the few people in Hollywood who has the pull, and the desire, to make more films about women.

Whip It is the story of Bliss Cavendar (Ellen Page), a high school outcast in her Texas town of Bodeen. Her beauty pageant obsessed mother (Marcia Gay Harden) keeps Bliss on a tight leash and is mortified when Bliss seems less than thrilled about the world of pageants. Bliss and her best friend Pash (Alia Shawkat) dream of escaping their “hick town” while working at local eatery—”The Oink Joint” where they wear aprons with pigs on them. After discovering a Roller Derby flier while shopping with her mom in Austin, Bliss and Pash trick their parents into letting them attend. By the end of the night Bliss has a new dream, and despite being only 17 (the league’s only requirement is that you be 21) she sneaks out to the auditions for the team and makes the cut.

Bliss joins the Hurl Scouts, the league’s underdog team who have never won a game. The team also includes Smashley Simpson (Drew Barrymore), Maggie Mayhem (Kristen Wiig), Rosa Sparks (Eve), and Bloody Holly (Zoe Bell), their frustrated coach is played by Andrew Wilson (he’s the third Wilson Brother, as in Luke and Owen). As you can imagine there are some great sports montages and team bonding. There is also a boy, (Landon Pigg) and a great soundtrack. Juliette Lewis captains the league champions, and the Scouts biggest competition, the Holy Rollers, she is pitch perfect as the bitchy, mean, cool-girl you love to hate, but can’t actually hate at all because it’s Juliette Lewis and she’s awesome. There is also a charming performance by Daniel Stern, looking much changed from his Home Alone days, as Bliss’s dopey, but sweet dad.

What’s really freaking great about this movie is that it portrays female relationships with honesty, in a completely un-sappy way. Pash and Bliss have a relationship that reminded me of the ones I had with my close friends in high school. You do stupid things to each other, and then it hurts really bad, but you know you messed up—and then you cry a lot. In this film you understand the characters motivations, you care about them and they feel convincing too, which is a triumph because Ellen Page as a Rolly Derby girl could easily be hard to believe.

This film handles the mother daughter relationship in a way I haven’t seen in too many movies. In a lot of films there are moments where a mother and daughter who fail to see eye to eye have a moment of understanding, but you never really believe they love and care about each other in a profound way. Often, the mother especially, is a cardboard cut-out of an overbearing mother. In this film, you feel the pain on both ends of the conflict, and you see how a mother and daughter can be completely different, and yet need and love one another even when it’s hard to. This isn’t Gordon Bombay dealing with his daddy issues as it relates to the sports competition at hand (I had to get a Mighty Ducks reference in there). This isn’t just a sports movie, it’s also a coming of age story, and it’s about family, friends, and the search to find what you love.

There is also a pretty cool underwater make-out scene.

While my Fiancé and I were watching this movie he turned to me and said “You know, Drew Barrymore makes movies about girls having fun”, and as Cyndi Lauper taught us, that’s really all we want isn’t it? There are a lot of movies where women are trying to find love, or trying to be sexy, but there aren’t too many where they’re trying to find themselves and having a whole lot of fun while doing it. You can tell everyone involved in this movie had a good time, and it really shows through and gives it a great energy. I hope Drew Barrymore continues to make films like this, whether she produces them or directs them, because there is a sad lack of fun female movies available, and us girls really do just want to have fun don’t we?

Put this film on your Netflix queue people, it’s a good time—if you don’t like it, I give you full permission to send me angry e-mails.

Have a GREAT Labor day weekend everyone!! Have some fun, hang out with good people and eat some tasty food, and I’ll see you back here next week!

Tiger Tiger Tee
$5.99 – delias.com
Tiger t shirt »

Green stabstitch plain collar top
14 GBP – debenhams.com
Green tops »

(3-Pack) Full Woven Skirt
$114 – americanapparel.net
American Apparel skirts »

Star Pleat Skirt
$335 – lagarconne.com
Print skirt »

Burton Boot in Black
$250 – blackbirdballard.com
Wolverine boots »

Funky Bangle (Stars)
4.99 GBP – phixclothing.com
Bracelets »

CLOSED 100032 GREEN COTTON M.JACKET
249 GBP – farfetch.com


MAC ‘Greasepaint’ Stick
$18 – nordstrom.com



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Beauty in the Movies: A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Sadly summer is coming to a close. This is the last Friday in August, so I thought (although it’s long since midsummer) featuring A Midsummer Night’s Dream would be a nice way to close out the past few months.

(click any image to enlarge)

I’m not going to get into the specific plot, because as with most Shakespeare, it’s complicated. Basically four mortals and a band of actors end up in the woods on a summer evening and have their loves lives unknowingly played with by fairies. If you want to know more specifics about it, read the play, or go here.

The two couples are played by Calista Flockhart (Helena), Anna Friel (Hermia), Christian Bale (Demetrius), and Dominic West (Lysander). The queen of Fairies, Titania, is played by Michelle Pfeiffer, and the king, Oberon, by Rupert Everett.  I personally think Oberon should be a bit more masculine and intimidating despite the title “king of fairies”, but Mr. Everett certainly doesn’t achieve either of those things in this role, so to each his own.  Playing his tricksy sidekick, Puck, is Stanley Tucci. And rounding out the cast supremely well as Bottom the ass, is Kevin Kline. Oh and if all those actors aren’t enough, the dad from Alf (Max Wright) is also in it.

All the performances are decent, some stand-out more than others, but honestly, I saw a production of this by Gorilla Shakespeare in Washington Square park in the 90s and those actors blew all these guys out of the water. Maybe seeing Shakespeare live is just always better. I don’t love this movie for the outstanding performances though, I love it because it’s effing gorgeous and I never get sick of the beautiful sets, costumes, lighting, and music. This is one of those movies I put on just for background noise, because it’s makes me happy and it’s beautiful.

This adaptation is set in Edwardian Tuscany, a bit strange, but it works in its own way. Some die-hard Shakespeare devotees were surely annoyed by it, but it actually suits the story pretty well. The plot involves escaping into the woods, outside the rules of the city, where there are no laws and no propriety, just nature and mischief. The Edwardian and Victorian eras were incredibly repressed and obsessed with decency and modesty, so juxtaposing the refined life of the characters with the wild world of the fairies works nicely. Why Tuscany? I guess because it’s pretty. The original play is set in Athens, Greece.

This adaptation also works because the play itself was incredibly popular during this era. The play was acted out as a major spectacle and the music, written by Mendelssohn, became wildly popular as well. In fact The Wedding March, used in most western weddings is from Mendelssohn’s overture for A Midsummer Night’s Dream. It makes sense, because Shakespeare wrote this play as a wedding gift for a close friend of Queen Elizabeth I, and it was during the turn of the century that much of what we consider western wedding traditions came into practice, like the white dress.

I know this movie only kinda sorta passes the Bechdel test—but whatever. The test has flaws, and when a movie is completely about relationships and all anyone talks about is love, the whole test falls apart. There are many movies that should pass the test in spirit, but don’t technically pass it. The real purpose for the test is to get us thinking, not to limit the movies we watch and enjoy. It’s god-damn Shakespeare for cripes-sakes, even if the parts were originally played by men impersonating women, they still stand up as good female characters, far better spoken and developed then some of the cardboard cutouts we see in romantic comedies today.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream, like most of Shakespeare’s plays, is overflowing with beautiful quotations, but I’ll just choose one and leave you with that. May you all have weekends (and lives) filled with fairy magic!

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Slip dress »

Sleeveless Tiered Dress
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Summer dresses »

Sheerlock Holmes Top
$36 – modcloth.com
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Victorianna Lace Insert Blouse
15 GBP – oasis-stores.com
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Victorian Bloomers – White
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