Sunday, November 20, 2016

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Spotted: Lily Cole in The Moth Diaries

When you dye your hair black, 
you need to deal with the Goth-chick look that comes with it.

If you're naturally blonde, ginger, or even a light-shaded brunette, dying your hair black (or even dark brown) will have massive consequences to your everyday wardrobe decisions.

How can you go to classes/the store/work dressed normally? It's a dead giveaway that you've just dyed your hair and don't know what you're doing with it. If you're pale, with black hair, it's pretty much mandatory to channel a Gothic look.

Take Ernessa (Cole) in The Moth Diaries (2011). The film may be painfully mediocre, but at least Ernessa is there to give you style tips on how to work the non-Goth-Goth-look.

Let's review:

1) Stick to the basics; whilst she may have to wear a uniform at boarding school, the crisp white shirt paired with a navy cardigan provides just enough Goth-chick influence without making you look as if you're going to an Evanescence concert.

2) A parka should really be your only coat of choice.

3) Knits are your best friends.

However, an all out Goth-look can be quite fun, especially if you want to make people feel a little uncomfortable around you. For the best results, team your look with a "who's that creepy girl sitting in the corner all by herself?"-attitude.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Cult Status: The Women of Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

Sin City: where women's sexuality is the most powerful of weapons.

Picture the most exaggerated rendering of a classic film noir femme fatale. Now add a dash of extreme homicidal tendencies, some distaste for men, and a hint of stripper/prostitute attire and you will have the perfect formula for most of, if not all, the women of Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (2014).  

After nearly a decade of anticipation, we have finally been treated to a follow up of Frank Miller's hugely popular Sin City (2005). With Robert Rodriguez back as co-director, expectations were incredibly high for the latest adaptation of Miller's bloody violent graphic novels. Although the film may not have surpassed its predecessor in terms of quality, it undoubtedly provided audiences with an array of darkly twisted and intriguing female characters. 

Contrary to the first film, A Dame to Kill For appeared to portray the women of Sin City as more complex beings than your standard damsels in distress. Whereas returning characters such as Nancy Callahan (Jessica Alba) and Gail (Rosario Dawson) had to previously be rescued from desperate situations by men, they now took their own initiative, and either enlisted the help of men for their own missions or worked alongside them as equals. Considerably one of the standout moments of this film, we witness the frustrated stripper Nancy take a shard of broken mirror to her face, in an alcohol-fueled plan to prove to herself and others that she is no longer simply a "pretty" face, that she can and will avenge the man she loved. 

Which she did, in a studded leather jacket.

Like Nancy, almost all of the women of Sin City took on a more hardcore role when it came to clothing. Whilst dominatrix prostitute Gail may only have evolved further in her badass ensembles, the change in Old Town was very noticeable (although somewhat confusing - wasn't this storyline a prequel to the first film?). 

The only character who did not adhere to the dark and dangerous dresscode was newcomer Ava (Eva Green). Her wardrobe mainly consisted of sultry lingerie, a sheer dressing gown and a very impressive blue satin coat - that is, when she wasn't completely naked, which was most of the time.

Unlike Rodriguez's previous action film, which also featured a female-heavy cast, A Dame to Kill For manages to avoid offending and problematizing the representation of female sexuality. Sin City is a place where strippers are strippers, prostitutes are prostitutes and nobody judges. 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Icon: Lauren Bacall in The Big Sleep

They don't make screen icons like they used to.

Who is considered a modern-day iconic actress? What defines a stylish screen icon?

It's difficult to say for certain, but what can be said is that none will ever compare to the legendary Lauren Bacall (1924-2014). This beautiful, talented and outrageously witty woman defined what it was to be a femme fatale in film noir in the 1940s.

Her portrayal of Vivian, alongside her first husband Humphrey Bogart, in The Big Sleep (1946) was not only wickedly entertaining, but also incredibly stylish.

Bacall's influence will continue to make an impact for many decades to come.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Love Fest: Natalie Portman in Closer

"Lying's the most fun a girl can have without taking her clothes off - 
but it's better if you do."

Life. Love. London.

If I were to apply the lessons learned from Closer (2004) to my current situation in life, what I would take from it is this: moving to London can be dangerous for the soul.

Without even getting into the damages of the detrimental love-square that these characters experience, my main concern is almost entirely concentrated on aesthetics. The thought of being run over by a taxi on a busy street wearing that coat and having that hair gives me chills.

Alice/Jane (Portman) may be a slightly naive free-spirit, but when the best part of your wardrobe is your stripper uniform, it's time to take a step back and re-prioritise your life. 

Costume designer extraordinaire Ann Roth definitely missed the mark with Natalie Portman in this film. Having previously done such a great job with Dressed to Kill (1980), Working Girl (1988), The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999), The Stepford Wives (2004), Mamma Mia! (2008) and others, I am rather disappointed.

Although, here's a slightly worrying thought: Alice's look when she eventually returns to New York is rather effortlessly chic. Is this because she's in New York or because she's single? Some women do seem to dress better when they've broken up with someone.