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.
“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!
In the week leading up to Halloween, we’re featuring our favorite looks from our favorite witches onscreen! This editor was OBSESSED with the 1996 film The Craft, which is basically just a runway of the ultimate goth girl looks from the mid-90s. It tells the story of a new girl in town, named Sarah (Robin Tunney), who befriends two shy girls named Rochelle (Robin True) and Bonnie (Neve Campbell), along with their intense friend Nancy Downs (Fairuza Balk), who to this day still scares the hell out of me. In this Halloween edition of Little Black List we’re counting down the “Top 10 Fashion Tips of a ’90s Teenage Witch,” as told by the girls of The Craft. Note: Sabrina wouldn’t agree with most of this. 😉
1. Put your own unique spin on your school uniforms. 2. Tinted sunglasses & floral frocks are essential for nature walks and bus rides.3. Oversized outerwear is very important when summoning Manon at the beach.4. You can never wear too much black. 5. Make sure to wear comfy overalls during levitation – you may fall!6. Refer to the classics: lace-up, pointed Victorian boots are must-haves!7. Chokers, crosses & rosaries are the only necklaces worth wearing.8. Vinyl plastic is the fabric of intimidation.9. Combine all of the lessons above when you’re about to have meltdown.10. Once the leader of your coven is committed, make sure to wear really terrible shiny clothing, so we know you’re safe.