Tag Archives: style

Beauty in the Movies: Clueless

This week for Beauty in the Movies I’m featuring the best ’90s teen film ever, Clueless, which in many ways defined a generation and proved that not all teen movies are created equal.

Clueless catapulted Alicia Silverstone to fame overnight (she was previously referred to as simply “Aerosmith girl”) in the role of Cher Horowitz, the wealthiest, most popular and prettiest airhead in her Beverly Hills high school. Cher is based on the title character in Jane Austen’s novel Emma, and while you can definitely enjoy Clueless without knowing the plot of Emma, it’s pretty fun to draw comparisons.

Cher, like Emma is well-intentioned but completely oblivious to the feelings of those around her—even her own. With the help of her best friend Dionne (Stacey Dash), Cher plays matchmaker to a pair of lonely teachers and then sets about making over new-girl Tai (Brittany Murphy), who is the equivalent of ugly duckling Harriet Smith in Emma.

It takes a while for Cher to realize you can’t force people to be something they’re not, and that in trying to help Tai, she has actually created a monster of sorts. The adaptation was pretty brilliant of Amy Heckerling since Emma really is a clueless teenage girl (ok, she’s 20, but still). Clueless proves the versatility and timelessness of Austen, but also that teen movies don’t all have to be about sex and stupid antics, they can be smart, funny and enjoyed by all ages. Clueless paved the way for films like Mean Girls and (another update of a literary classic) 10 Things I Hate About You.

I saw this film in theaters when it was released in the summer of 1995. I was 11 years old and not yet a teen myself, but the impact it had on all the girls my age (whether you were a popular girl or an outcast) was massive. I remember going back to school that September and suddenly all the girls were wearing knee socks and mini-skirts. Clueless changed fashion almost instantly.

It was the age of grunge, Nirvana, My-So-Called-Life and doc martens, but Clueless brought an infusion of color, of girlishness that was in total opposition to the style that was dominant. I myself, maintained Angela Chase as my role model, but secretly loved the ’60s revival that took hold in the mid ’90s—though at the time I wouldn’t have been caught dead in a pair of knee socks.

The amazing thing about Heckerling’s writing is that she takes the stereotype of the rich, spoiled, popular girl and instead of making her a bitch (like we expect) she makes her endearing and likable, even if she’s shallow at times.

As much as costume designer Mona May deserves credit for changing the face of ’90s fashion, Heckerling has to be praised for the effect she had on ’90s language—specifically slang. “Whatever”, “as if”, “not even”, “I’m Audi”, Heckerling didn’t come up with these phrases (she hung out with teens at Beverly High to get an idea of the language they used) but featuring them in Clueless made them part of American teenage (and general) vernacular.

Hidden among the snappy dialogue and the colorful outfits, Clueless has a pretty important message about acceptance, self-awareness and peer pressure. Not pressure in relation to sex or drugs, but the pressure to be a certain way, to hang out with the right people (even if they’re jerks) and to wear the right clothes. Clueless is as relevant today as ever, the kids who were born the year it came out are exactly the age of these characters now, which makes me feel really old, but I hope they’ve all seen this movie, it’s a modern classic that remains as funny and honest today as it did 16 years ago.

Also, RIP Brittany Murphy, and may you forever be rollin’ with the homies.

Clueless

Clueless by justinez featuring cotton blouses

Dolce Gabbana white cut out dress
875 GBP – matchesfashion.com

Calvin Klein spaghetti strap dress
314 GBP – farfetch.com

Clemens en August cotton blouse
$98 – theoutnet.com

Sheer top
$65 – modcloth.com

H by Henry Holland yellow cardigan
18 GBP – debenhams.com

Petite Collection cotton cardigan
18 GBP – debenhams.com

Dolce Gabbana plaid skirt
$361 – theoutnet.com

D G pleated skirt
329 GBP – profilebrighton.co.uk

Acne ripped jeans
172 GBP – net-a-porter.com

Vanessa bruno
26 GBP – theoutnet.com

A P C Madras mini skirt
$68 – lagarconne.com

Fogal cashmere tight
80 EUR – pret-a-beaute.com

Plaid skirt
$35 – modcloth.com

Mini skirt
$26 – chloelovescharlie.com

Knee high socks
$15 – topshop.com

Over the knee socks
$13 – delias.com

Old Navy plaid skirt
$9.97 – oldnavy.gap.com

Delighter
6.90 GBP – irregularchoice.com

Ernesto Esposito mary jane pumps
208 EUR – luisaviaroma.com

Biviel t strap pumps
$99 – endless.com

Christian Dior fur handbag
bagborroworsteal.com

Aspinal of London vintage handbag
495 GBP – johnlewis.com

Leatherbay leather bag
$130 – endless.com

Tarina Tarantino lucite necklace
$70 – tarinatarantino.com

Forever21 flower necklace
$7.80 – canada.forever21.com

Jewelry
$4.99 – debshops.com

John Lewis Women black hat
29 GBP – johnlewis.com

Gucci Classic Logo Rucksack
570 GBP – profilebrighton.co.uk

Ivy & Moon Long Camisole (Big Girls)
$12 – nordstrom.com

Hair Scrunchie (optional)
3.95 GBP – harrods.com

MARLENA GREY+SILVER -ARMOR LAMPER
$120 – dmusastore.com

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Guest Post: Maria’s 5 Fashionable Female Leads in Film

In place of ‘Beauty in the Movies’ this week I present to you a guest post in which the lovely and talented Maria Rainier shares her ‘top five favorite fashionable films’—now that’s a mouthful! Enjoy, and many thanks to Maria.

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Disclaimer: I am no expert on fashion.  In fact, one of the last things I notice in a movie—after cinematography, script, acting, editing, what other movies the actors and actresses were in—is what said actors and actresses are wearing.  If their acting is impressive and they have nice smiles, that’s usually as deep as I’ll go.

See, that’s what makes the following list special: I don’t pay much attention to fashion, but the following actresses had something going on strong enough to make me remember to look at my own closet after the movie was done.

Marion Cotillard in Public Enemies

Marion plays Billie Frechette, who, until meeting the dangerous and dashing John Dillinger, hasn’t had much opportunity to wear anything nice.  She pulls off Depression Era glam like few actresses could.

I find myself envying her circa 1930s bob and fur-lined coats because a) I could never get my hair to look like that and b) I’m an animal lover and even prefer not to wear faux fur.  So much for that.

Audrey Tautou in Amélie

A girl as sweet, childlike, and silly as Amélie could only wear light, delicate, feminine fabrics.  She’s the girl who can effortlessly pull off polka-dots or stripes, lots of red and green, and a (circa 5th grade) my-mom-cut-my-hair trim without looking like, well, a 5th grader.

Everything she wears is endearing and simple—old-fashioned camisoles, mandarin collars, a-line skirts, and a simple retro flair.

Much of it says that Amélie doesn’t really care how she looks as long as it’s comfortable and fits—she’s too busy trying to make the world a nicer place, anyway.

Angelina Jolie in Mr. & Mrs. Smith

If I have a girl-crush on anyone, it’s Angie, if nothing for the fact that she can pull off a leather S&M outfit, a classy black dress, and a suit jacket in the same movie.  Anyone would agree that although Angelina’s perfect bone structure and pouty lips are her claim to fame, it’s her confidence that really screams, “I’ll wear what I want.”

I mean, what does she have to be insecure about (besides her failing marriage, of course)?  She’s a successful spy, she works in a skyscraper with high-tech computers and pressed suits, and she can escape a sticky situation with a zipline and a handgun.

Okay, most of us don’t have these things or the kind of confidence that goes with them.  Still, if all of us were half as comfortable in our own skins as Angelina appears to be, at least in this film as Mrs. Smith, the world would be a much sexier place.

Mila Kunis in Book of Eli

No, I don’t think we should all stop washing our clothes and wear overalls everywhere.

If anyone convinced me to buy a pair of Oakleys, though, it was Mila Kunis (and everyone else in Book of Eli).

Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s

If you ever wondered where the idea of the “little black dress” came from, you’re looking at her now.

Lovely Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly embodies timeless glam in this Hollywood classic, complete with huge pearls, thick sunglasses, and simple makeup choices.

 

 

Maria Rainier is a freelance writer and blog junkie. She is currently a resident blogger at First in Education where she writes about education, online degrees, and what it takes to succeed as a student getting an online associates degree remotely from home. In her spare time, she enjoys square-foot gardening, swimming, and avoiding her laptop.

 

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Beauty in the Movies: Mystic Pizza

I’d planned to feature this movie three weeks ago when it would have been more seasonally apropos, but sometimes Netflix disks malfunction and you just have to deal with it. It’s technically still Fall though, so I ask you to hold off on your holiday mood for a moment (I promise a more seasonally appropriate film next week, barring any Netflix complications) while you celebrate the last of the fallen leaves with a 1980s classic, Mystic Pizza.

Mystic Pizza is one of the few coming of age stories about women, and despite being a “chick flick” (god I’m sick of that label) it doesn’t follow the typical formula. Although many critics falsely state that Mystic Pizza is about three high school girls, or three girls who’ve just graduated from high school, it actually takes place during that limbo period after high school, in your late teens and early twenties, where you’re trying to figure out your place in the world as an adult.


The story centers on three women in the port town of Mystic Connecticut where they work at a pizza parlor known for it’s mysteriously delicious sauce and owned by mother figure Leona (Conchata Ferrell). Daisy Arujo (Julia Roberts) is a free spirit, she is sexy and sassy and looking for a way out of Mystic, any way she can. Her younger sister Kat (Annabeth Gish) is slinging pizzas to save money for tuition at Yale, where she has recently been accepted. Kat is bookish and lacks the big hair and chunky jewelry of her peers—that’s how you know she’s smart. She also likes astronomy and wears pleated pants. Jojo Barboza (Lili Taylor), is practically a third sister, and just as confused about her future as Daisy, especially after fainting at her wedding, much to the surprise of her fiancée (Vincent D’Onofrio).

The three girls, and most of the town, are Portuguese, which plays largely into the story. During the off-season Mystic is blissfully free of the wealthy folks who “summer” in the quaint seaside town. So when Charles Gordon Windsor, Jr. (Adam Storke) shows up at a local bar having been exiled to his parents beach house after getting kicked out of law school, Daisy can’t help but take notice. The two then embark on a whirlwind romance, despite the hindrance of their economic and class differences. The relationship is a far more convincing portrayal of cross-class love than has been explored in other films (ahem, Pretty in Pink, ahem).

At the same time, Kat finds herself in a seemingly doomed relationship of her own. In an effort to score more tuition money she takes a babysitting job watching the child of Yale-educated, ginger-haired architect Tim Travers (William R. Moses). From the minute he steps on-screen you know this pairing is a bad idea, but Kat is naive enough to think a babysitter-employer romance can turn out well.  Although it’s a clichéd situation, it is acted with such conviction by Gish that your heart goes out to her. After all, the reason clichés exist is because they happen often in real life. Everyone likes to think they’re the exception, but rarely is it true. It’s an incredibly common disappointment which requires a willing blindness that so many of us have been guilty of—but it’s learning from our mistakes and experiences which signifies a coming-of-age.

Unlike the others, Jojo and her fisherman fiancée Bill’s relationship, is a cliché turned on its head. Jojo loves Bill but would rather have sex than talk about marriage. When Bill renames his boat “nympho” after her, Jojo screams at him from the dock “you can’t force me to do something I’m not ready to do…and until I am, if I am, the answer is NO!”. It’s an empowering moment, and one that should be equally noted by men who are hesitant to walk down the aisle. Forcing anyone to get married is a bad idea, and if it comes to that, it’s probably best that both parties step back and think about what they’re willing to compromise for the happiness of the person they love, sometimes it’s worth the compromise, and sometimes it’s not—yet another major life lesson thrown into this atypical “chick flick”.

Based on the reviews on IMDB (an fascinating way to see how differently people see the world) a lot of men seem utterly confused by Jojo’s character, as if the idea of a woman who didn’t want to get married but wanted to have sex was entirely fictional. What that says to me is that some men really don’t know women at all, maybe that’s why we keep getting the same tired “chick flicks”. It’s also pretty enlightened that, despite being called a nympho by her fiancée, Jojo isn’t slut-shamed, or made into a caricature of a sex-crazed women (à la Samantha in SATC).

I have to point out Matt Damon’s brief film debut in which he plays a preppy rich kid by the name of “steamer” whose only line is “mom, do you want my green stuff?”. When Roger Ebert reviewed this film in 1988, he said “I have a feeling that “Mystic Pizza” may someday become known for the movie stars it showcased back before they became stars”. I don’t think he was talking about Matt Damon, but Ebert was correct in predicting a lot of big talent would get its start in this film. Obviously Julia Roberts, but also Lili Taylor, Vincent D’Onofrio and even the lesser known Gish (who has continued to work steadily) got their first leading roles in this film.

While Mystic Pizza might not be the most unpredictable or solidly written film, it has endured because of its honesty, which at times may seem saccharine (youth is often sweet as well as sour though isn’t it?). For a lighthearted romantic film, it deals with some big issues; racism, classism, sex, friendship, and figuring out who you are and who you want to be with. If the acting weren’t so earnest, if the clichés weren’t present, the story wouldn’t ring as true, because the most charming part of the film is its smallness. It sucks that when this movie is mentioned it’s emphasized that the characters are blue-collar, hard workers, blah, blah, blah, because what does that say about most films out there? Everyone is inexplicably rich, and how they came to be that way is casually thrown aside (especially in the “chick flick” genre). It’s sad that we don’t see more films about people like the rest of us, because there are just as many interesting stories to be told about everyday people living and working through their “little” lives.

MARILYN CABLE TUNIC
$30 – alloy.com
Pullover tops »

Melrose Heights Jacket
$105 – modcloth.com
Cropped jackets »

Acid Wash Jegging
$70 – metroparkusa.com
Denimocracy jeans »

15 Denier Sheer Tights
$8 – topshop.com
Sheer hosiery »

Cropped Leggings
6.99 GBP – uniqlo.co.uk
Cropped leggings »

HEPBURN
55 GBP – kurtgeiger.com
Peeptoe shoes »

Snake stretch waist belt Black
10 GBP – houseoffraser.co.uk
Snake skin belts »

Moncler Fairisle Sweater
$340 – barneys.com


Gap Keds Slip-On Shoes
$40 – gap.com


Black Lace Bow Scrunchie
3.50 GBP – missselfridge.com


pizza box
tumblr.com


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Filed under Beauty in the movies

Celebrating 100 Darts

Ok, so I guess it might not be all that exciting for anyone but me, but I was pretty surprised to see this was my 100th post. I thought a little celebration was in order—which really means taking a look back at some highlights from the last 100 posts. I’m sorry if this is like when TV shows have a “new” episode, which is really just clips from old episodes, but I always secretly kind of liked those shows.

My Lovable Lipsticks post still reminds me that I should wear lipstick more often, it can be a great way to change-up your everyday look and try something new. I’ve been planning a blush post for a while, so you can expect that somewhere in the next 100 posts.

My nail polish ode is one of my favorites, it was so much fun to do, and my collection has since been weeded out and replenished, so there will probably be another one of these in the future!

What else happened in the last 100 posts?

I got angry about fashion magazines calling me a fruit:

I talked about popstars:

…and body image/acceptance:

I admitted my deep fear of dressing rooms:

…and my frustration with finding an exercise routine I could stick to:

I got married and talked about it a lot:

I wondered what the hell a “conventional beauty” was:

…and what “good hair” was:

And in June I started the feature ‘Beauty in the Movies’ as a way to explore films that showcase prominent, interesting, female characters (since there unfortunately aren’t too many out there). Since it started, ‘Beauty in the Movies’ (and sometimes on Television) has featured some pretty great films, and I hope to feature many, many more. Check out the 25 ‘Beauty in the Movies’ posts by clicking on the thumbnails below!

 

 

 

I’m really looking forward to the next 100 posts, and I want YOU to help me! Send me your suggestions for posts, or movies, or questions that need answering (I am compiling a Q&A post and hope to do an eyeshadow tutorial once I reformat my persnickety Flip camera) remember—there are no stupid questions!


More than anything I want to thank all of you for reading, without you I don’t think I would have had the motivated to keep writing, so I bestow on all you readers the most magical and wholehearted of thanks and good wishes. This blog has introduced me to some awesome, beautiful, intelligent, amazing people and I can’t wait to hear from more of you! Here’s to all you readers!

Kisses!!

xo

Justine

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Filed under acceptance, cosmetics