This week the world lost one of the greatest musicians of our lifetime, David Bowie. He and his supermodel wife, Iman, were one of the long-lasting celebrity couples and one of the most stylish pairings, as well. Here is the lovely couple leaving their hotel in Paris in 1991. Iman looks amazing – she’s rocking her natural curls, perfectly Parisian black ballet flats and a matching purse, with oversized houndstooth printed pants and a matching jacket in black and white gingham. She is the definition of a chic model, while Mr. Bowie looks classic in white pants, a mock turtleneck and a navy blazer. Both manage to look preppy, without looking stuffy, and still maintain their personal styles. Mr. Bowie’s effortless cool was one of many elegant attributes. He will surely be missed. RIP Ziggy Stardust.
The last 365 days flew by, but the following ladies proved they knew how to rock a dress! Here are our editors’ favorite fashion looks of the past year:
6. Zendaya’s Unreal Cuteness Results in a Recreated Barbie7. Sienna Miller Sports “Oscar” to the Oscars
Happy New Year! For the first “Fancy Friday” of 2016 we’re featuring Gloria Swanson in her iconic role in Sunset Boulevard. She stars as a washed-up actress in Hollywood named Norma Desmond, who is slowly losing her grip on reality more and more each day. What a dazzling way to start the new year! We picked this look more for the way Norma looks in the photos below – definitely how we usually feel the day after December 31st! In the 1950 film, she throws herself a New Year’s Eve party with a full orchestra for her kept man of sorts Joe Gillis (played by William Holden). She buys him a tux, dolls herself up in this fabulous creation by costume designer Edith Head, and then informs Joe it’s just the two of them at this gala… Oh, boy. It obviously goes great – don’t worry Joe! Norma seems totally fine… Head’s outfit is the perfect analogy for Norma Desmond’s mental state: she sports a dark glamorous chiffon gown, but varying pieces of fabric are sticking out and trying to hang on (much like Norma and her career), while she saturates herself in accessories – a creepy black veil and headpiece, doused with dozens of diamonds, attempting to cover up her age and the fact that she’s done for. Her look is beautiful, but clearly crumbling. The night goes about as well as can be expected – Norma attempts to kill herself because Joe goes to a different party. Here’s hoping your new year is better than Norma’s!
The last time we featured Meg Ryan also happened to be a New Year’s Eve post – guess America’s sweetheart gets kissed a lot! In the 1989 romantic comedy When Harry Met Sally, Ryan plays an uptight New Yorker whose best friend happens to be a man (played by Billy Crystal), and the two spend years together without realizing they’re absolutely perfect for each other. The movie laid the groundwork for a lot other rom-coms, and while Meg Ryan’s clothing is preppy and pristine throughout the whole film (outfitted by costume designer Gloria Gresham), the dresses she sports are actually pretty dated. Doesn’t mean she’s any less cute in them! Here, Harry & Sally spend New Year’s Eve together, which foreshadows the importance of the holiday for them later in the movie… Our editors had trouble finding a photo of the final New Year’s scene, but we did find these cute pics from Mirror80, which did an adorable feature on Sally’s earlier NYE dress and how to update the off-the shoulder, ruffled look! Later, these two realize they’re right for each other on Dec. 31st, which is probably why this holiday is so over hyped – everyone’s waiting for a declaration of love that doesn’t come lol! Have a very Happy New Year’s anyway! <3
“Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas…” Judy Garland swoons in Meet Me in St. Louis, which ended up becoming a very popular holiday carol. What better dress to feature than Miss Garland’s gorgeous red gown from the 1944 classic for a “Fancy Friday” that landed on December 25th?! Judy Garland stars as the main sister of a large St. Louis family who attends a local Christmas ball in this stunning scarlet velvet gown. After returning home from the party, she sings the beautiful carol to her baby sister, Tootie (played by Margaret O’Brien). To be honest, I never saw the film until falling in love with the 2005 flick The Family Stone, in which oldest sister Susannah watches the movie alone on Christmas Eve. It’s a melancholy scene in both films, as both leading ladies reflect on how their next Christmases will sadly not be like their past holidays. It’s heartbreaking, but a thoughtful reminder of how seasons really do change, for better or for worse. Merry Christmas! <3
“I believe… I believe… It’s silly, but I believe.” On Thanksgiving, our editors eat turkey, watch football, pound pie, but we also always watch this 1947 classic – Miracle on 34th Street. Last month we lost one of our all-time favorite tough girls, Maureen O’Hara. In this film, she stars as Doris Walker, mother to Susan (played by the late Natalie Wood), a smart and mature little girl who doesn’t believe in Santa Claus. Doris is a no-nonsense Manhattan woman who works for Macy’s Department Store. The movie opens on the Thanksgiving Day Parade (Fun Fact: The footage in the film was actually from the 1946 Macy’s Parade! According to imdb.com, “retakes were obviously out of the question!”) An older gentlemen who looks suspiciously like Kris Kringle and a handsome lawyer (played by John Payne) try to change the two Walker ladies’ minds about Santa Claus and the Christmas spirit. It’s adorable, and much better than the horrible remake. O’Hara sports some very sophisticated clothing in the film, but this little buttoned black dress with a matching white collar and cuffs is a particular favorite of ours. Costume designer Kay Nelson outfitted the film, and did a wonderful job capturing an elegant NYC girl in the post-WWII era. Maybe our editors love it so much, since it reminds us of our own mother, who appeared in the Macy’s Day Parade 30 years later. <3
“Lost time is never found again.” – Benjamin Franklin. At first glance, a wristwatch made of wood evokes a certain amount of masculinity, but its sophisticated nature (and JORD’s precise sizing) made a perfectly chic addition to my wardrobe! The best thing about a wooden watch? It goes with everything! It adds a dapper feel to any frock, and dresses up any sweater and jeans combo. This edition is part of the Dover series, and is made of zebrawood and dark sandalwood. Created of sustainable products, it was also remarkable to discover JORD is eco-friendly! Upon opening the lovely wooden box it came in, I felt like a kid on Christmas morning – inside, the timepiece sits upon a little pillow just waiting for you to wear it! Watches have always been a favorite accessory of this editor, because it’s essentially a piece of jewelry that serves a utilitarian purpose. (It’s also more elegant to simply raise your wrist to tell the time than rifling through your bag to look for your cell phone!) The gorgeous craftsmanship of JORD conjures images of chopping cabin wood, going yachting or walking down Madison Avenue. At the same time, it makes us want to eat breakfast at Tiffany’s, and go for a hike with Teddy Roosevelt. It’s both classic and rustic: the perfect culmination of American style. Wood Watch
- DO ask witches their anti-aging secrets! (Some are hundreds of years old!)
- But, DO NOT suck the youth out of little children to stay young…
- DO use kitty cats to bring out your eyes (& keep warm)!
- DO NOT use mirrors to trap your twin sister in!
- DO support your local witches’ beauty business!
- DO NOT insult your hairdresser!
- DO rock a dark manicure.
- DO NOT set fire to buildings, just so you can make a smoky entrance.
- DO encourage the use of natural products!
- DO NOT doubt yourself or your beauty. 😉
- But DO summon intense weather for a killer background. 😉
- DO rock blue eyeshadow!
- DO NOT underestimate the power of a cat eye.
- When it comes to hair, DO remember more is more!
- DO remember the impression a redhead can make!
- DO NOT stress over a bad hair day – wear a wrap!
- DO mix magic & hair!
- DO NOT flatten those natural waves.
- DO experiment with unnatural hair colors, no matter your age!
- DO NOT let your skin succumb to the ravages of the sun!
- DO shield your eyes from too much sun, too!
- DO NOT smoke cigarettes!
- DO know the importance of mood lighting.
- DO NOT lie! It’s bad for your skin.
- Finally, DO wear something black…
- And, DO NOT underestimate the power of a bold hat.
In the 1942 flick I Married A Witch, Fredric March’s character Wallace Wooley states, “Mere physical beauty isn’t everything.” That may be true, but did he even LOOK at this dress? In the classic film, Veronica Lake plays Jennifer, a Salem witch who’s been stuck in a tree for hundreds of years, until a bolt of lightning sets her spirit free! She’s put a curse on the family of the man who burned her at the stake, and after wandering around the modern world, accidentally drinks her own love potion meant for one of her enemy’s descendants! It’s the definition of a screwball comedy from that era, and an adorable one to boot! We had always pictured Veronica Lake as a tall, sultry actress, but she was barely 5’0, and the little cutie runs around this movie creating all sorts of havoc (apparently, not far off from the real life set either!) In the book Vintage Fashion, Ottilie Godfrey describes in detail how Jennifer’s infamous black dress was made: “For Lake’s wardrobe in I Married a Witch (1942), Edith Head and her fellow costume designers were allowed to use acres of extravagant fabric to enhance the actress’s glamour and help boost public morale. This black chiffon over nude silk evening dress with Guipre lace bodice detail and bishop sleeves is a perfect foil for Lake’s smoldering beauty.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. Happy Halloween to all our bewitching beauties!
“There’s a little witch in all of us.” In the 1998 film Practical Magic, Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman play very close, but very different sisters that share the same secret – they’re witches! Sandra Bullock plays the “good” sister, Sally Owens, who just wants to fit in and have a normal life, while her counterpart, Gillian (played by Kidman), just wants to have fun and ignore the townspeople that have judged them for so long. Their styles are as different as they are from Day One: Sally is soft and innocent (played by a young – and still gorgeous – Camilla Belle, pictured above left), while Gillian (played by Lora Anne Criswell, pictured above right) dresses “edgy” for a kid in feathers and shear fabrics, although here she’s practically “angelic.” 😉 Besides being blessed with special powers, the Owens women all face the same curse that their ancestor Maria accidentally cast upon them: their beloved husbands tend to die! After being impregnated by a married villager in colonial times, Maria is sentenced to hang but snaps the rope with her abilities, and puts a spell on herself that she will never fall in love again. Instead the spell has more power than she realizes, and after a few centuries it’s a full-fledged curse, and all the men the Owens women love are “doomed to die.” After their father is killed, Sally and Gillian’s mother dies of a broken heart, and they are left to be raised by their crazy aunts Jet and Frances (played by the incredibly talented Stockard Channing and Dianne Wiest, pictured above and below). The aunts have a different parenting style than most, but they focus on the basics: eating dessert for breakfast, getting drunk in backyard picnics while discussing dead boyfriends, and making their nieces wildly uncomfortable (HELL YES!) The aunts also dress like freaking queens: they love lots of over sized accessories, BIG hats, long necklaces, antiquated parasols and luxurious fabrics. As the movie progresses, the writer hints the aunts don’t age, so it’s hard to guess what time period they’re dressing from… jewelry from the turn of the century, dainty lace gloves from the 50s, exotic silks from the orient, and embroidery from the 19th century… maybe ALL of the decades they have lived through! Aside from being fiercely stylish, they also teach the girls to hone their craft. Even at a young age, it’s clear Sally is the more naturally-gifted witch, but as the girls grow up, it’s Sally who wants to hide her talents, while Gillian wants to be noticed for who they really are. After the Owens sisters grow up, Sally stays in town, gets married to a nice local boy (who unfortunately meets the same untimely demise as her dad), has babies and opens a botanical shop, while Gillian takes off for an “exotic” lifestyle (really just drugs, bad parties and terrible boyfriends…) After one of Gillian’s beaus beats her and then attempts to kill her, Sally accidentally poisons him and the sisters are forced back together to try and cover up his murder! (Or bring him back to life… Whichever plan works first!) The film was costumed by Judainna Makovsky, the extremely talented visionary who brought The Hunger Games to life onscreen. The movie was made in 1998, and while you can recognize some of the 90s fashion, Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman wear the clothes so well, it makes us want to break out our middle school wardrobes! (Although, my long floral skirts and cropped sweaters did not look that cute…) Since the Owens women are sorceresses of the earth, it makes sense that they wear clothing indicative of their natures: Sally is light and pure, while Gillian is dark and mysterious (much like their aunts, too). Sally wears beautiful, subtle florals, while Gillian wears rich earth tones. Both styles are bewitching in completely different fashions. Historically, witches of the same family supposedly do not look like each other, which is why the filmmakers chose Bullock and Kidman, who look nothing alike (same for Channing and Wiest). But their opposite hair colors also tell a tale: Sally’s warm, chocolate locks fit her girl-next-door sweetness, while Gillian’s fiery red indicates her wild personality. After the aunts decide to leave, and let the younger Owens sisters solve their own problems (the not-so-dead, abusive boyfriend might be back from the grave?!), Sally and Gillian have to make some major decisions. A gorgeous sheriff (played by the impossibly cute Aidan Quinn – just look at those eyes, pictured below) investigating Jimmy’s disappearance rolls into town and for some reason, Sally can’t lie to him – or about her true self any longer! Gillian tries to get rid of Officer Gary Hallet with her adorable nieces (pictured, above) who also have opposite hair hues. (Fun Fact: A very young Evan Rachel Wood plays Sally’s oldest girl!) But the daughters soon realize Sally cast a spell for the perfect man as a little girl, and the sheriff fits every item on her list! Now it’s time for the Owens women to all stick together, banish the curse and save Sally from herself! Sally’s hair tells another tale, too… it shows her character arc: her hair starts out straight, and the more she accepts herself, the wavier her locks get. It’s a subtle metaphor for the sweet witch – she’s been trying to conform her whole life, but when she eventually admits who she is and how she really feels, she lets the true Sally show. Gillian’s style also changes throughout the duration of the film – it starts out a little skanky, but by the end, she’s wearing more conservative and sophisticated clothing (pictured, left). Both sisters, however different they are, rub off on each other in good ways, but they are always strongest when they are together!