Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween 2012: Daisy Buchanan

     HAPPY HALLOWEEN everyone! As this great fall event comes to a close I'd like to share my Halloween costume this year as the Great Gatsby's Daisy Buchanan. To prepare for the release of Baz Luhrmann's rendition of this classic Fitzgerald story (coming out summer 2013), I thought dressing up as one of its complex characters is the best way to celebrate it. Not only do I love this 1922 novel, but I also love the style of the 20s (along with the 50s and 60s) and the costume design of the 1974 movie, starring Mia Farrow, and the collaborative genius of costume designer Catherine Martin and Miuccia Prada for the 2013 film. Instead of taking the predictable 1920s flapper route and buying a fringe dress in a bag from the costume store, I've decided from the very beginning to create this costume from scratch and make it as accurate as possible. I found this incredible dress with this intricate embroidery and sequin detail which was not as low waisted as I had hope (to stay true to the 20s fashion) but it worked perfectly for the occasion. Once I found the dress the accessories came easy: elbow length white gloves, pearls + pearls + more pearls (a gorgeous pearl necklace with the crystal bow), feather boa, and an amazing headpiece find which consisted of this amazing crystal pattern and feathers. PERFECT! I just added a classic red pout and gold heels and viola! I was instantly transformed into Daisy Buchanan and into the Jazz Age. To complete the costume I tried to play the part and say superficial things all night and made my voice sound like money.. 

Love, KB

1974 Great Gatsby

Friday, October 19, 2012

Fashion in Films: Hitchcock and Grace Kelly

     Today kicks off the first day of 13 Days of Halloween! Oh how I love Halloween. I love everything about this time of the year. From carving pumpkins to putting together a one-of-a-kind costume, this holiday calls for tradition. Although, I have to admit that when it comes to the mandated horror movies that this day requires, I'm not a very big fan of the typical blood and guts horror movie (or Paranormal Activity. F#&K that movie. I couldn't sleep for months.) Aside from The Addams Family (which, let's face it, doesn't really count as horror but is definitely Halloween appropriate) the most adventurous that I get with movies this time of the year is It's a Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. That is until I discovered the films of Alfred Hitchcock. I prefer the old school suspense and poor special effects. With the exception of the classic movie, Psycho, I personally think that the best Hitchcock films are the ones starring Grace Kelly: Dial M for Murder (1954), Rear Window (1954), To Catch a Thief (1955) -- all of which are featured in my annual list of Halloween movies . And yes, of course my opinion is completely biased. Any movie that combines the 50s, white gloves, Grace Kelly, and the talent of costume designer, Edith Head, becomes more of a fashion film to me than a classic Halloween appropriate thriller. Except for Dial M for Murder (Moss Mabry), Edith Head created all of the iconic looks for Rear Window and to Catch a Thief

     So this Halloween, if you're easily frightened and blood makes you squeamish (bonus points if you appreciate costume design in films and love fashion) I suggest looking into these three films. For a Stylist Fashion Blog-Hitchcock synopsis read below: 

(1) Dial M for Murder 
Plot: Husband (Ray Milland) discovers wife (Grace Kelly) guilty of infidelity and black mails another man to have her killed but murder plans not executed as planned. 
Watch out for: The red lace dress in one of the opening scenes with the full A-line midi skirt, sweetheart neckline, and 3/4 sleeves. 

(2) Rear Window
Plot: Photographer (James Stewart) stranded at home because of a broken leg witnesses suspected scenes of murder through the window of his New York City apartment and pieces it together with socialite and fashion savvy girlfriend (Grace Kelly.)
Watch out for
- The entrance scene of Grace Kelly in the black and white dress with deep V scoop neck (front and back) and full chiffon skirt. 
- Three piece pistachio green suit (with white halter dress shirt) and pillbox hat complete with a mesh veil. 
- Black dress ensemble with sheer shoulders and belted waist. 
- Brocade dress with full A-line skirt. 

(3) To Catch a Thief 
Plot: Reformed jewel thief (Cary Grant) suspected of returning to his old ways, meets the beautiful and rich Frances Stevens (Grace Kelly), but soon proves his innocence. 
Watch out for
- Grecian dress with delicate thin straps in varying colors of blue and sashays of light chiffon. 
- White strapless dress with sweetheart neckline and bandage-like strip detail in the bodice. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Television & Fashion

     The sixth and final season of Gossip Girl premiered on Monday which can only mean one thing: my favorite fall TV line up is finally here!!! Fall television premieres combine two of my most favorite things in the world -- television and fashion. Aside from the plot and drama, I'm particularly drawn to the wardrobe artistry of a show, which is why Patricia Field's work in Sex and the City will remain a classic, Gossip Girl is an obvious given, and Zooey Deschanel's feminine dresses and comedic styling as Jessica Day is an absolute must see. I'm also a huge fan of the fashions in time period television series like Mad Men and I recently got hooked on Masterpiece Classic's Downton Abbey whose third season is not being aired in the US until January 2013 (booooo) and the show is just about to enter the 1920s! 

     Obviously the clothes don't appear on the actors and actress themselves, which is why the role of a wardrobe stylist is very vital to the production of the show. Even though these wardrobe stylists don't appear on screen, they're as famous and important as the clothes themselves. Ardent Sex and the City fans sometimes get more excited at a Pat Field sighting, as you will see, than Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte, and Miranda combined. And who better to explain this creative and collaborative process than the stylists themselves? Watch and see for yourself how my favorite wardrobe stylists on my favorite shows of all time help interpret the story of the show through styling. 

Here's a list for future and continuous reference: 
Eric Daman for Gossip Girl 
Debbie McGuire for New Girl 
Patricia Field for Sex and the City 
Janie Bryant for Mad Men

Love, KB