Archive for October, 2013

On Sunset Boulevard

Posted by Winifred on October 29th, 2013  •  No Comments »

Recently, we decided to, again, watch Sunset Boulevard, the 1950 classic film, considered the 12th best film in American history. This time, however, we gave it fresh eyes. Scanning for all the little things we may have overlooked or taken for granted in past viewings. It was satisfying to affirm why this has always been our favorite classic film and why we feel its magic everytime.

image

Upon our recent viewing we also felt lucky. Sunset Boulevard was the classic film that launched us into the world that continues to fascinate and inform our refined style. It is a stunning commentary on the opportunism of Hollywood and the poison that fame can be. A message not only completely relevant to today but even essential. But Sunset Boulevard is stunning in its details. Transporting in a way that we feel few other, even excellent films are. It is to be savored, all senses at the ready.

First the early scenes of the cars driving down Sunset Boulevard, then the view of Norma Desmond’s 1920s Spanish colonial style home and the look of old Los Angeles that we love;

image

Arches and sweeping hallways, framed spaces…

Diane Keaton House in AD

Diane Keaton House in AD

image

image

Then comes Gloria Swanson as Norma Desmond, entering the picture in a leopard print turban, sunglasses, red lacquered nails (even in black and white, you see red), the stacks of bracelets on her wrists and oversize charms dangling from them taking us captive immediately. She delivers one of many great lines, “I am big, it’s the pictures that got small,” and you become small and she remains big through the entire film.

Echoes of this,

image

surely set the stage for this,

Karolina kurkova met gala Rachel Zoe rose gold gown turban

Karolina Kurkova Met gala

And still inspires the bold look of this,

image

There is the gold lame coat and chandelier necklace, casual dress in which Norma Desmond watches her own silent films.

image

Dries van Noten, took note, the powerful punch of gold ruling his Spring runways,

image

Only needing a bit of this,

Monique Pean

Monique Pean

There are beautiful touches to devour everywhere; Joe wearing a Vicuna hair coat, his gold cigarette case, the car rides they take in the Isotta Fraschini. There is the sley bed in Norma’s bedroom and the mirrored room divider, the tiled floors in the ball room, the seminal staircase and great lines delivered with the kind of theatrical flair consistent with the best of the silent movie screen.

Nancy Olson tells of being on set and watching the set designers crush pumice between their hands and blow the dust over the film set’s living room to create the feel of aging splendor – the home as well as the star herself. The eye cannot pick up the dust,

image

image

but can sense the attention to detail that made absolutely every frame divine. This is a film that one slathers oneself in, marinates in, absorbing a richer experience than words can even describe. While the message may be bitter, the tale is decadent and sweet, current and of great style…

Images via film-grab, apartment therapy, citizens of fashion, broke snob, style

Posted in : Classic Films, Head wear, Jewelry, Vintage Fashion  •  Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

In the Air: Art Deco

Posted by Winifred on October 16th, 2013  •  No Comments »

Gucci did it for Spring, inspired by the Chrysler Building, Versace on the red carpet, and along with Tiffany, everyone was made giddy by the release of Baz Luhrmann’s ‘The Great Gatsby.’ Before the recent wave of roaring 20s excitement, long beating them to the punch was Terence Winter, the creator of HBO’S Boardwalk Empire, now in its 4th season. But luxury, glamour and exuberance will never be passing trends, these are always going to have it’s aficionados and enthusiasts and remain associated with great style.

The term, Art Deco, derived from the Exposition internationale des arts décoratifs et industriels modernes, was first used by the architect Le Corbusier to describe the colors, geometric shapes and lavish ornamentation of what was in the 1920s a new design style. Created by the French, Art Deco represented luxury, glamour, exuberance, and a belief in technological change. From interiors to architecture, fashion and its accessories, and of course art, hints of this style, particularly the geometric shapes still make the most beautiful of decoration, at once a celebration of the modern, still best expressed in a classic way.

Art Deco Bathroom in 'The Women' 1939

Art Deco Bathroom in ‘The Women’ 1939

Tamara de Lempicka 1931

Tamara de Lempicka 1931

Gucci S2012

Gucci

Versace

Versace

Hirschell

Hirschell

Angel Jakson

Angel Jackson

Images Via Silver Screen Modiste, deLempicka.org, Gotham Magazine, Twigs n Honey, Vogue.Fr, Citizens of Fashion

Posted in : A Taste Refined, Classic Films, Jewelry, Vintage Fashion  •  Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Dar al Masyaf

Posted by Winifred on October 16th, 2013  •  No Comments »

As we start to ponder Winter destinations, already prepared for that time of year when the city will be overrun by tourists, 5th Avenue will be a claustrophobic sea of shopping bags and we will invariably have to point someone toward Serendipity, we naturally think of where we might replicate our time at Dar al Masyaf, the Jumeirah resort in Dubai. Essentially meaning, Summer Houses, Dar al Masyaf is a luxurious yet authentic Arab Courtyard inspired hideaway.

image

The stand alone two story houses overlooking the waterways are quiet and serene and offer the kind of privacy incomparable to the standard hotel style of rooms stacked on rooms towering into the sky. Even when you just have to leave the comforts of your peaceful nest for other parts of the resort, gondolas can be found at all times gliding along the waterways, still offering serenity, a quiet courtyard tour.

image

Of course there is great service, private butlers for the house, attendants everywhere, golf carts ferrying the lazy (that would be us) to any area of the resort. A staff hailing from 21 different countries each with their own story of leaving home, family and children, for Dubai to make a better life. Each more gentle, kind and more courteous than the next and willing to steer the unknowing to a most delightfully simple and flavorful breakfast called fools medames.

image

Every detail hit the highest note. What we could do to improve upon perfection; being armed with the proper essentials. Leather goods for organization,

Valextra Passport Holder

Valextra Passport Holder

Quiet poolside moments with an epic Persian poem,

Shahnameh (The Book of Kings)

Shahnameh (The Book of Kings)

The scent of sandalwood and rose,

image

Always a hand fan,

image

And loose silhouettes for balmy desert nights….

Donna Karan SS14

Donna Karan SS14

Images via Dar Al Masyaf, WSJ, Design Sponge, Basenotes, Barneys, Fashionology

Posted in : In an Ideal World..., On Style, Travel  •  Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Isabella Blow

Posted by Winifred on October 3rd, 2013  •  No Comments »

They could not be less alike. One a hollywood legend, graceful, quiet, a reclusive film star; the other an exuberant, over-the-top, highly visible, visionary promoter of talent. They were of different eras, different walks of life, of a different style. We watched Irene Dunne in ‘The Awful Truth,’ her hats big dramatic, commanding, and original statements,

image

but worn with the effortlessness and nonchalance of a baseball cap. As if they were a mere coincidence or an afterthought. And we immediately thought of the one person who could pull off even bigger, more commanding creations. Not just a wearer of hats, Isabella Blow was the signature of the hat. She was self expression through hats.

image

And as we look more closely, Isabella Blow and Irene Dunne shared not just an ability to own a theatrical hat, but they shared generosity, a commitment to ideas and causes they believed in and a spirit that for those who knew them, had impact and endured. Hats off to that…

Images via Buzzfeed

Posted in : Classic Films, Head wear, Vintage Fashion  •  Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Dressing for ‘Dinner at Eight…’

Posted by Winifred on October 1st, 2013  •  No Comments »

Dinner at Eight 1933

Dinner at Eight 1933

Author of “The Lowland” Jhumpa Lahiri, in a recent New York Times interview confessed if she could be any character from literature she would be Sebastian Flyte from “Brideshead Revisited.” She chose him, for the early parts of his life, because she has always wanted to dress for dinner. In an interview with Vanity Fair, Andre Leon Talley lamented the casualness of today’s dress. Repeatedly coming back to the theme of gloves. “It’s about gloves, O.K., darling?” “It’s about gloves. Listen.”

We’re listening, we were drawn to vintage fashion because we too desired to inject more theatre and spectacle into our lives. We were disappointed that Andre Leon Talley had emerald green boots made by Manolo Blahnik to match an emerald green spanish cape made by Nicolas Ghesquière, but did not wear them. He had nowhere to wear them to he said. We felt sure that he was to kind to create the occassion, rather than awaiting it to come.

Rest assured, there is hope for elegant dress yet. The cut out dress by Adrian in the 1933 film Dinner at Eight still has reach on the Fall lineup and even Spring. We will have to do more work to see which gloves to pair with what…

Via Fashion Gone Rogue

Versace F2013

Via Red Carpet Fashion

Carolina Herrera

Style.com

Badgley Miscka

Emilio Pucci

Emilio Pucci

Images Via Fashion Gone Rogue, Red Carpet Fashion, Style

Posted in : Classic Films, On Style, Vintage Fashion  •  Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,