This was actually one of the first photos our editors ever saved at theSkinnyStiletto as a fashion favorite – this “Tuesday Twosome” was one of the first reasons we even created the category! In the 2002 comedy, The Sweetest Thing, Cameron Diaz, Selma Blair and Christina Applegate play best friends and roommates in San Francisco. Instead of having the usual prude tone girly rom-coms tend to have, this film was aimed at women who had raunchy sense of humors! Needless to say, our editors loved this movie as teens entering womanhood – especially since the two leads (Applegate and Diaz) played buddies with the initials C & C. In this scene, Christina and Courtney are out clubbing: Diaz in a black, one-sleeved asymmetrical top, red shiny pants with matching stilettos, while Applegate has pinstriped pants, pink pointy-toe pumps, and a revealing denim halter with a cute belly chain (ahh, remnants of the 90s…) Costume designer Denise Wingate (who also worked with Blair on the impeccable Cruel Intentions) outfitted the film, and did a great job dressing women at the turn of the century. These girls were smart, cool, confident, sexually confident, and self-deprecating – I mean, who else could pull off those belly tops?!
This “Tuesday Twosome” is actually a trio of lovely “ladies” – Lady Mary, Lady Edith and Lady Sybil Crawley, to be exact. The British beauties play upper crust Edwardian sisters of the internationally acclaimed television show, Downton Abbey. Here they are in the very first episode of the series, after learning the Titanic has sunk, and as a result, they have lost two cousins in the disaster. Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) sits front and center in a high-waisted, long grey skirt, a cropped lilac blouse, a white lace camisole with a string of long pearls. Her youngest sister Sybil (Jessica Brown Findlay) certainly looks her match in a white-collared lavender dress with similar long, brunette locks swept back, just like her big sis. Middle sister, and usually the outsider, Edith (Laura Carmichael) stands alone in a high-waisted black skirt, a dark silk floral top with her strawberry blonde hair worn short. One of the editors at Damn, That’s Some Fine Tailoring noted that Edith is also the one mourning the death of their cousin the most (since she had romantic feelings for him), after attending a talk with the show’s costume designer, Susannah Buxton, at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. For Crawley beauty tips, check out this post by Daily Glow!
The Quiet Man may be the most noticeable movie in America about Ireland, and is always a St. Patrick’s Day favorite. John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara star in the 1952 film about an American boxer, Sean Thornton, that falls for a surly, sharp-tongued spinster named Mary Kate Danaher (love it!) Here, O’Hara is wearing a black-belted green floral dress, adorned with white buttons and a lace-trimmed collar. Without the wide collar, this would actually look pretty modern otherwise, and the material makes O’Hara’s emerald eyes pop (pictured, below). She tops it off with a wide-brimmed straw hat, which looks gorgeous against her red locks. According to IMDb, the national color of Ireland (green) is shown in nearly every shot of the film, but it only appears on one costume in the entire movie – this one. Which makes sense, since it’s the first instance in the film when Mary Kate and Sean kiss! Apparently bad weather and bickering is what gets the Irish going! Erin Go Bragh! <3
We had a little trouble coming up with an Irish gown for “Fancy Friday,” and then remembered the 1992 film Far and Away! Former spouses Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise star in the Ron Howard movie about Irish immigrants coming to America during the late 1800s, to stake their claim in American soil. Kidman plays Shannon Christie, a wealthy girl who grows dissatisfied with her parents’ traditional views, and leaves for the US with Cruise’s character, Joseph Donnelly. Shannon is accustomed to a cushier lifestyle than Joseph, so she emigrates across the ocean more dressed-up than her male companion. She’s wearing a royal blue gown with a velvet top, leather gloves and purse, and a couple of fancy hats. Shannon soon learns that rich clothing isn’t going to get her anywhere in this new land… Life is much tougher without money. But she and Joseph decide to take part in a race across the wide plains of the Oklahoma Territory, in which the victors win part of the vast land! Costume designer Joanna Johnston, who just celebrated her first Academy Award nomination for Lincoln, outfitted the film. Fun Fact: Three of Ron Howard’s great-grandparents actually rode in the Great Land Run of 1893!
“All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” Anna Karenina is an epic story written by famed novelist Leo Tolstoy. (Which was actually made popular again, due to its appearance on Oprah’s book list a couple of years ago… Oh, society.) Director Joe Wright, of Atonement and Pride & Prejudice, brought the Russian epic onscreen, and didn’t really do a good job of it. Although it took this editor three viewings just to get through the film, the only thing that kept me interested was Costume Designer Jacqueline Durran’s extraordinary work, and seeing it on one of our favorite girls, Keira Knightley. We actually featured Durran’s most famous creation, the stunning emerald number that Keira sports in Atonement, in our very first “Look-of-the-Day.” In an interview with Glamour, Durran said, “At the first meeting I had with the director, Joe Wright, he told me that he didn’t really want to make it historically accurate, costume wise: he wanted to stylize it. The way he wanted to stylize it was to concentrate on the silhouette of each character and to take an 1870s silhouette, but simplify the surface details so that it really had the architectural simplicity of 50s couture. What I had to do immediately was look at the 1870s shape then strip away all the surface detail and just be left with that pure shape.” The combination of the two eras resulted in a stunning wardrobe, with inspiration from vintage Balenciaga, Lanvin, and Christian Dior. Anna appears in an off-the-shoulder scarlet gown and strings of pearls in one of the opening scenes (pictured, above right) – the lady wore red alright, considering this scene marks the beginning of her affair with Vronsky (played by the miscast Aaron Taylor-Johnson). Her romantic competition, Kitty, is played by the young and innocent Alicia Vikander (pictured, above with Taylor-Johnson). Durran told the Daily News, “Kitty’s white dress really evolved from the idea of her being a debutante and being a child.” Especially, since it’s covered in little pink ribbons and roses. Knightley’s Anna Karenina is clearly the most striking individual at the party in red, while everyone surrounding her is in stark white. If there’s one thing we learned from this version of Anna Karenina, it’s that Keira Knightley can wear a hat. Be it a veiled topper adorned with a large rose (pictured, above left), or an embroidered stunner atop her curls (pictured, above right), or looking like she walked right off the set of Doctor Zhivago in a fur-trimmed Cossack hat (pictured, top), Miss Knightley looks purely stunning in any topper. Her bold brows, high cheekbones, and magnetic eyes are certainly a director’s (and a costumer’s) dream for closeups. At the dance where both Anna and Kitty dance with Count Vronsky, Anna is dressed in a black ballgown (pictured, below right). According to the New York Times, Durran said, “It is one of the most famous costumes in literature. The way the dress is described, and why it is the most perfect dress for that day, is because it frames Anna’s beauty.” Knightley sports a dark taffeta gown, and two million dollars’ worth of Chanel diamonds, against a sea of pastels, which “functions visually, because Anna is standing out against this society.” (Fun Fact: Keira Knightley is a spokeswoman for the famous French brand’s fragrance.) According to Vanity Fair, “As Anna falls in love with Vronsky, her clothes become lighter in hue to reflect her lighter mood, before returning to darker shades to complement her growing anxiety and paranoia.” After publicly divorcing her husband Alexei (played by a creepy Jude Law) for Count Vronsky, she appears at the opera in a beautiful, fluffy white gown, adorned in diamonds and a white fur stole (pictured, above). Anna causes quite a scandal by attending the society event, now that she’s a “ruined woman.” Jacqueline Durran’s favorite costume of the film is the asymmetrical ivory gown and pillbox hat Knightley sports in the tearoom scene (pictured, below). Our editors’ favorite costume is the gray gown with the black lace overlay that Keira wears toward the ending of the film. She looks distraught and depressed, but the gown is truly beautiful. Although, her best accessories obviously hail from her hatted scenes, or ones where she’s dripping in diamonds from Chanel. The movie may have stunk, but the costumes were some of the most stunning of 2013. Best of luck to Miss Durran!
Mirror Mirror is the other Snow White story up for the Academy Award for Best Costume this year, like Colleen Atwood’s work on Snow White and the Huntsman. Both films actually bombed at the box office, and while they tell the same tale, the two films have very different tones. While Huntsman tells the darker side of the legendary fairy tale, Mirror Mirror is its comedic complement, but it actually has the sad back story. Its costume designer, Eiko Ishioka died last year after a battle with pancreatic cancer. This was the last film she outfitted. She previously won an Oscar for her work on Francis Ford Coppola’s Dracula. According to The New York Times, famed director Coppola said their success was due, “90 percent because she was a genius, and 10 percent because she could not understand a word I said.” Ishioka was undergoing chemotherapy while working on Mirror Mirror. Director Tarsem Singh told The Hollywood Reporter, “You would never have known. She only had two speeds. Full throttle and stop. We never had to wait for costumes.” Ishioka’s incredible use of primary colors throughout the film was a stunning visual experience, especially against the beauty of the film’s two stars (and their tresses), famed redhead Julia Roberts (pictured, above), and the raven-haired Lily Collins (pictured, top right and below). Singh commented on Ishioka’s work while discussing the evil queen as, “a person who only cares about power… She turned the queen into a peacock, literally a red peacock. You can see her from a mile away.” (Pictured, top left). Lily Collins was ideal casting for the girl with, “skin white as snow, lips red as blood, hair black as night,” since that’s how pretty the actress is in day-to-day life! As Snow White onscreen, we see her first appear in a beautiful pastel pink, blue and yellow gown, decorated with tiny flowers. According to THR, “Ishioka’s only direction was that the princess was ‘connected to nature.’ Tarsem recalls, ‘She came back with a feminine gown with embroidered hummingbirds, butterflies and flowers that said it all.’” (Pictured, top right). When Snow attempts to flee, she sports a stunning sunflower-colored cape (pictured, above) that looks strikingly dramatic against Collins’ stark brunette locks. During the pivotal ball scene, Ishioka came up with the concept that every attendee would be dressed as a different animal (pictured, above). Prince Charming was played by up-and-comer Armie Hammer, who dressed as a rabbit, while Snow herself had a costume of another stunning white creature, famously known for starting out oppressed: an elegant swan. The author of the THR article believes the low neckline and wings she wears represents the princess’s desire to break free from the evil queen’s hold on her. Julia Roberts looks practically like a sister of Queen Elizabeth I, with extravagant ballgowns, high frilly white collars, and famous red hair (pictured, below right). The Queen’s nemesis becomes quite sporty when she is rescued by seven tiny friends, and hides in the local forest. In this version of the fairy tale, Snow White learns to sword fight, and dons pants! (Much more interesting than cleaning up and keeping house after seven small men, I guess…) Ishioka dressed Collins in a teal peasant blouse, billowy black bell pants, and a dark corseted vest decorated with gold leaves – another nod to the princess’s connection to nature (pictured, above left). It’s our favorite costume that Collins wears in the film, while the stunning wedding creation Julia Roberts dons is clearly the other winner (pictured, below). According to the Daily News, the queen “wore gowns with high collars and sharp shoulders to evoke the feeling of power and danger.” If you look closely, the bodice has intricate detailing that spreads into crawling vines over the skirt, just like poison ivy, indicating what a sneaky creep the queen is. The wedding gown weighed 60 pounds, measured eight feet in diameter, and needed seven people to move it! Fun Fact: Between the wedding dress, the peacock gown, and the peach and gold embroidered frock, Julia Roberts wore over 100,000 Swarovski crystals between the three costumes, and all three dresses were handmade! Snow White’s wedding gown is definitely different than her evil stepmother’s (pictured, bottom). She wears a bright blue gown with orange sleeves and a bow, supposedly a tribute to Disney’s classic cartoon version of Snow White. (Originally, the dress was red and blue, but it apparently looked too similar…) Ishioka wanted Snow White to look like a gift to the prince and the audience, wrapped up with a bow. Eiko Ishioka never saw the final film, but the real gift was her uncanny ability to tell a story through costume. Her work was truly the “fairest of them all.”
“Lips red as blood, hair black as night, bring me your heart, my dear, dear Snow White.” It seems fairy tales are back in a big way, with popular shows like Grimm and Once Upon a Time, and movies like Enchanted, inspiring a resurgence in the classic children’s fables. But director Rupert Sanders’ Snow White and the Huntsman is much darker than its comedic counterpart, Mirror Mirror, which is also a Best Costume competitor. But instead of vying for the princess roles, Hollywood’s megastars seem to be gobbling up the villain parts lately… Julia Roberts is the evil queen in the other Snow White flick, Angelina Jolie will play Maleficent next year, and Cate Blanchett has been cast as the evil stepmother in Cinderella. Academy Award winner Charlize Theron plays Ravenna, an utterly terrifying evil queen in this medieval Snow White story. Wimpy Kristen Stewart couldn’t hold a candle to this stepmother… Costumer Colleen Atwood is a three-time Academy Award winner and one of our all-time favorite designers here at theSkinnyStiletto. She earned her 10th nomination for her work on of Snow White and the Huntsman. Atwood told Entertainment Weekly, “We had things that were made from beetle wings, and pieces that were made out of parchment paper, which is an ancient technique not normally used in costuming. I had stuff made in India, in Turkey, I had fabrics woven.” In the beginning of the film, Ravenna seems like a sweet, new mother figure, but if her wedding gown is any sort of warning, the epaulettes on the gold and cream-colored gown were designed to look like a skeletal rib cage (pictured, above) – not exactly the romantic look you want on your new mom. While Snow White is supposed to be the star, it’s hard to keep your eyes off Charlize’s creepy and vain queen, along with her stunning outfits. Our favorite is the mirrored black and silver number (pictured, above left), which has a feathered high collar that matches the ravens she distracts her enemies with. Snow White really only wears two costumes: an earth-tone and scarlet gown (pictured, top), which the huntsman chops the skirt off of, so she can move easily in the forest, and her suit of armor (pictured, below left). Same for said Huntsman, played by the incredibly sexy Chris Hemsworth (pictured, below right), who Sanders decided was the real love interest in this revisioned fairy tale. Atwood said, “The Huntsman was a forest dweller, his clothes all leather and rough fabric he cobbled together, paired with weaponry that was his signature.” Matched was his alluring blue eyes, and Hamlet-like voice, he was quintessential casting for a strong, but broken, antihero. Unlike her costars’ simple looks, Charlize got to wear a bevy of intricate costumes. As discussed in The Hollywood Reporter, Atwood used elements of death, like spiderwebs and skeletons to show, “decay as a central theme in the castle, life being taken out of things. So I used what remains, or elements of that, in the costumes.” Her pointy, metal crowns, clawed jewelry, and the sharp edges of her clothing don’t exactly indicate she’s a loving person. Atwood also added of Ravenna, “Her costumes kind of crumble along with her. They go from light to dark to very dark at the end.” Ravenna’s reign may come to an end, but Atwood’s onscreen imagination is unforgettable.
“I must dress in costly materials. The people scrutinize every article that I wear with critical curiosity. The very fact of having grown up in the West, subjects me to more searching observation. To keep up appearances, I must have money – more than Mr. Lincoln can spare for me. He is too honest to make a penny outside of his salary; consequently I had, and still have, no alternative but to run in debt.” – Mary Todd Lincoln. It seems the creators of her husband’s 2012 biopic also didn’t want to overlook any details either, when recreating the tale of our national hero. The film’s outstanding wardrobe was put together by costume designer Joanna Johnston, who also outfitted some of our all-time favorite films, including Munich, Saving Private Ryan, The Sixth Sense, and Love Actually. She did an incredible job recreating the gowns First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln wore while living in the White House, as well as her legendary husband, President Abraham Lincoln. Johnston enlisted the help of dressmaker Erica Ciaglia and tailor Michael Sloan to bring the Lincolns back to life. Sally Field purposely put on extra weight, so that she would obtain Mary Todd’s actual waist size. Talk about dedication to a role! Johnston discusses Field’s weight gain, and what else she did to accomplish her fascinating costume design to Entertainment Weekly’s PopStyle. She explains, “They’re polar opposites, Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd Lincoln… She’s spending a lot of money, and he can’t be bothered by that.” Johnston referred to biographers, museums, the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian to complete her research of properly outfitting the First Family of the 1860s. Our personal favorite looks in Lincoln were Mary’s cream and black striped ballgown with little purple flowers (pictured, bottom), and the stunning electric blue number with black lace trim (pictured, top). Both had full ballgowns and boat necklines that made the petite Mary Todd look even shorter, but her fiery personality was not comparable to her small stature. Her girly accessories, including delicate lace hand gloves, pretty shawls, and pearl jewelry (by Tiffany & Co.!) also probably surprised the lucky few that ever ended up on her bad side; Mrs. Lincoln may have been feminine, but she never backed down from a fight. During this era, men’s formal coats were slmost always black, but the color is not easy to film onscreen, so Johnston broke the male costumes into shades of off-black and browns. Any American can tell you Abraham Lincoln’s most famous accessory was his stovepipe hat. According to Vanity Fair, Johnston sent the president’s actual head measurements to an Italian milliner to get the topper just right. It even included the Moroccan red leather lining, where the president stored his notes and speeches! Johnston’s attention to detail, including studying the Lincolns’ undergarments to get the all facts right, is flat-out astounding. Joanna deserves this nomination – we’re rooting for you!
Audrey Hepburn has donned the most famous little black dress, so it’s no surprise she’s probably worn the most iconic red dress, too! For our final Valentine’s week post, we’ve chosen Hepburn wearing this legendary strapless, column gown by Givenchy in the 1957 film, Funny Face. Her character, Jo Stockton, goes from a mousy bookworm to an international model, and this is her infamous arc – running down the steps of the Louvre in Paris, coming into her own, just like her sister statue at the top of the staircase, The Winged Victory. (FYI, it’s really hard to recreate this shot when visiting Paris, because this place is always crawling with tourists… Hehe.) The gorgeous clothing in this film is from the often-paired Edith Head and Hubert de Givenchy. Who knew their partnership, and sometimes rivalry, would appear in so many historical cinematic moments?! <3
Earlier this week, we featured the Top 10 WORST Bridesmaid Gowns from film and television (an adjective that is usually attached to attendants’ dresses), but in the beautiful gowns below, it seems the brides were much kinder to their friends!
1. Monica Geller & Rachel Green (Courteney Cox & Jennifer Aniston), Friends We wish we could find better photos of these stunning gowns by Michael Kors, because they’re our favorite bridesmaid dresses on film! It’s no surprise Phoebe is the most freethinking of the six characters we came to love over the ten seasons of Friends, but we were stunned at the glamorous choices she picked for her girlfriends to wear for her wedding to Mike (played by Paul Rudd). Her best friends, Rachel and Monica, put on two-tone gowns with sleeveless gold-accented antique lace tops, with different full skirts in muted amber and blue tied with satin ribbons around their waists. The wedding was surprisingly elegant for the go-to hippie of the group, but nothing is ever the norm for Phoebe, and the couple decides to get married in the middle of a freak snowstorm when they can’t make their original venue! Which is why the bridesmaids all have winter coats on! Even the pretty pink, soft blue and white coats look beautiful on the two-toned dresses complemented by bright wild flowers and falling snowflakes, which is why these dresses our #1 choice! It’s so romantic, you actually feel like you’re watching one of your best friend’s weddings! <3
2. Tracy (Sasha Barrese)’s Friends, The Hangover For a film about a dopey foursome of guys and the shenanigans they get into, the girls certainly looked elegant. The groom may be missing, but the bride and her maids look lovely while waiting. Black and white is how I’ve envisioned my wedding since I was a child, so obviously Tracy and Doug’s wedding appealed to me tremendously. It’s amazing how sophisticated the black dresses with white sashes look on the older bridesmaids, while the flower girls look angelic in white dresses with black sashes. The older girls sported Betsey Johnson Fall 2008 dresses, while the little girls wore J.Crew “Alison” dresses made of ivory silk. Black sashes were added to the flower girls’ outfits to match the bridesmaids. The women look like they’re out of a fairy tale in this raunchy comedy!
3. Charlotte York (Kristin Davis), Sex and the City Charlotte York was featured earlier this week with her three best friends for the worst bridesmaid dresses, but there was a time when Sex and the City was much simpler – like when it was on TV, hehe. Here is Kristin Davis as the prim and proper Charlotte in one sexy bridesmaid gown. In the episode, Charlotte exclaims how excited she is to wear a black halter gown to her friend’s wedding, instead of the usual hideous dresses she had to wear in the past. This is extremely elegant and subtly sexy – the perfect combination!
4. Jenny Perotti (Jennifer Garner), Ghosts of Girlfriends Past This movie got terrible reviews, but we thought it was pretty cute. There were some tender moments between siblings and some hilarious moments with Emma Stone as the lead’s first girlfriend haunting him. Here is Jennifer Garner as Jenny Perotti at her sister’s wedding in the 2009 film. This dress has been noted as burgundy in other articles, but we think it looks much closer to eggplant. Costume designer Denise Wingate got the stunning dresses from Jenny Yoo, and couldn’t say enough nice things about Yoo’s shop. The gowns are very sophisticated and feature the most beautiful necklines on the list.
5. Alicia & Charisse (Maggie Castle & Jane McClean), The Time Traveler’s Wife Her husband may travel through the ages, but Clare’s bridesmaids look timeless. Rachel McAdams is such a cutie in real life, it’s no surprise her onscreen alter egos are just as nice as she is, putting her friend, Charisse, and sister, Alicia, in lovely shades of sage for her nuptials. Costume designer Julie Weiss said, “The bridesmaid dresses were designed so that the bridesmaids felt like they were part of the wedding party but still individuals. And that’s the way it should be for an artist’s wedding.“ The group looks gorgeous, and altogether actually they look like they belong in a real bridal portrait!
6. Sarah Walker, Julia Walker & Rebecca Harper (Rachel Griffiths, Sarah Jane Morris & Emily VanCamp ), Brothers & Sisters This ABC drama about a large family in California was certainly addictive for our editors, but not that popular among other crowds. Anyhow, when Kitty Walker gets married, she asks her female relatives, Sarah and Julia Walker, along with possible half-sister Rebecca Harper, to act as her maids in these lovely white-piped chocolate gowns. Each woman dons a different style dress, but all look gorgeous and complement one another beautifully.7. Claire & Gloria Cleary (Rachel McAdams and Isla Fisher), Wedding Crashers Rachel McAdams and Isla Fisher are adorable to begin with, so it couldn’t have been too hard to pick out dresses for them in this 2005 flick. The two play sisters, Claire and Gloria, who hook up with a pair of best friends at their other sister’s nuptials, and it’s no wonder – those are some sexy dresses! We don’t love nude, but the backless, silk beige gowns look just lovely on McAdams and Fisher’s fair complexions. No wonder Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn fall so hard for these sensual siblings!
8. Casey & Tess (Judy Greer & Malin Akerman), 27 Dresses In this film, Katherine Heigl’s character, Jane Nichols, has to wear a lot of ugly gowns to please her friend’s many theme weddings (what was that about?) But when it comes her time to walk down the aisle, she’s very kind to her sister, Tess, and best friend, Casey, putting them in delicate, soft yellow gowns that go with the beach theme of her Long Island nuptials. But the rest of her bridesmaids aren’t so lucky – they have to sport the 27 gowns she saved for all those years (pictured, below)! Haha, revenge sure is sweet!
9. Alexis (Kate Hudson), My Best Friend’s Girl This is a raunchy comedy about a guy (played by Dane Cook) who falls for… well, his best friend’s girl. With zero expectations, our editors actually enjoyed it (despite parts of the montage at the end – it’s funny until that). Alexis (Kate Hudson) is in the girl in question, and when her sister gets married, she gets to wear one pretty frock – an off-the-shoulder scarlet Amsale gown. If the sleeves weren’t so slouchy, this dress would be closer to the top of our list, and probably more flattering on the bust. But it sure does float like a cloud!
10. Samantha Baker (Molly Ringwald), Sixteen Candles This dress is definitely a little dated, but man, it’s just so romantic! Samantha Baker is not having a good day. Her sister decided to get married the day after her sixteenth birthday, but it seems no one remembered whose day it was first! Molly Ringwald was the teen queen of the 1980s, and the shot of her in her bridesmaid gown after her love, Jake Ryan, brings her a birthday cake to celebrate with is iconic. While we’re not totally in love the floral wreath upon her lovely red hair, Molly still pulls it off. We love this light lavender chiffon gown, that actually photographs pink in other shots. Talk about a great birthday!