“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
Tonight, the 86th Academy Awards will air, and our final “Look-of-the-Day” from an Oscar-nominated film is Helen Hunt in As Good As It Gets. Hunt won Best Actress for her portrayal as Carol Connelly, a single mom who works as a waitress, and ends up romantically-involved with an high-maintenance, best-selling OCD author named Martin Udall (played by Jack Nicholson). It’s one of this editor’s all-time favorite movies. Here, Carol enters for their first date in a lovely, patent leather-belted red shirt dress with white polka dots and matching buttons. Ali Basye of On This Day in Fashion references costume designer Molly Maginnis’ comments about the outfit from the book Dressed: A Century of Hollywood Costume Design, “Jim Brooks told me repeatedly that this was the most important costume in the movie… It was important that the dress have the feel of a housedress and yet make Helen’s character feel like she looks great.” Martin, always charming, takes the wind right out of her, by commenting, “I don’t get this place. They make me buy a new outfit, and they let you in with a house dress.” Carol is ready to walk out on him, but he convinces her to stay, by revealing the best compliment of all. <3
For Valentine’s Day, we usually show our favorite looks from romances, and since the Day of Love fell on a “Fancy Friday,” it only made sense to feature a romantic gown. (Apparently, RED is the color we like for this holiday, considering it was last year’s choice and also our first Valentine’s post). Here is the magnificent Cate Blanchett with Brad Pitt in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. This is one of this editor’s all-time favorite cinematic dresses, and I’ve wanted to write about it since we started theSkinnyStiletto. Blanchett plays Daisy, a girl who falls in love with the boy next door, but the only problem is, he’s trapped in the body of an old man who ages backwards. Here, he’s come to admit his true feelings for her, but it’s a bit awkward as she’s a bright, youthful dancer and he’s still deep into middle-age (at least physically). Costume designer Jacqueline West (who was nominated for her work on this movie) described how it was her favorite look of the film to Elle: “The red dress has become kind of an icon piece. It was a compilation of some different Claire McCardell designs that I loved. The long ballerina-length skirt in 1947 – no one else was doing that really in America. It was strictly in Europe, in France. McCardell’s favorite color was red, and I put the hooks and eyes that she used on a lot of her clothing down the front as an homage to her.” West also went on to say it was also Blanchett’s favorite, and director David Fincher doesn’t like red, so Blanchett said having never worn a red dress himself, he “was perhaps not aware of its power.” The result was stunning, and the most memorable part of the film is the way Daisy performs her ballet sequence for Benjamin in the gown (pictured, below). It’s the moment when the viewer realizes that they’re destined for each other, even if they’re at opposite ends of their lives.
“And I’ll be happy for you; If you can be happy for me; Circles and triangles, and now we’re hanging out with your new girlfriend; So far from where we’ve been; I know we’re cool…” This week we’ve been saying goodbye to summer, by featuring Gwen Stefani’s many looks from her 2005 music video, “Cool.” As she reminisces about her past love in Italy, we’re reminiscing about the end of the sunny season. Here is Miss Stefani donning our favorite look of the video, a capped-sleeve red shift covered in white polka-dots with the jute cord wedges she’s been wearing throughout the whole video. Her flawless skin, beautiful eyes and flowing chocolate locks are a drop-dead stunning combination, and the best we’ve ever seen the famous blonde look. The Minnie Mouse print is timeless, and the hint of Gwen’s black bra makes her outfit both adorable and sexy. It’s time to say farewell to summer, but never forget the gorgeous clothes you wore, the places you went and young love you’ll always remember. <3
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
Here is Day 2 featuring our favorite non-bridal outfits from our favorite bridal movies for the week leading up to Valentine’s Day, and this red number is certainly a stunner and apropos for the holiday dedicated to love! Jennifer Lopez starred in the 2001 film, The Wedding Planner, as a single, Italian girl named Mary, just looking for love while working as… you guessed it – a wedding planner! (Considering she’s had three failed marriages, and two broken engagements, you think she’d be sick of planning weddings, but oh well…) The movie is entirely predictable, but man, does it feature some good-looking clothes. Here’s Lopez sporting a handcrafted capped-sleeved scarlet dress she wears while taking a prospective client Steve Edison (Matthew McConaughey) to dance lessons. The outfit looks fantastic on Lopez’s curves as she saunters across the dance floor with the future groom, who also happens to be her crush! The dress was created by the film’s costume designer Pamela Winters, and was auctioned off at Christie’s in 2003 for $1,195.00 (pictured, below). Winters said of the scene, “When they’re dancing the tango together, I put Mary in a red dress to symbolize anger and passion, and Steve wears a maroon shirt, which clashes just a little with her dress. Subconsciously, it jars you just a touch and shows the disconnectedness at that time in their relationship.” Indeed, it does!
Tonight was the series finale of the show Gossip Girl and what better holiday post than that of Chuck and Blair? As an enormous fan of the book series in my teens, I was a little too old for the show about Upper East Side high-schoolers when it finally was made into a TV program, but I watched anyway… Honestly, tonight was the first episode I’ve seen in probably three years, but I had to see how they were going to wrap everything up! I came across this photo of Leighton Meester in this gorgeous red plaid cocktail dress, and Ed Westwick in a navy suit and matching tartan tie, but have yet to determine officially what this picture is from. Clearly it’s an advertisement, and probably the perfect pairing I would conjure up if I was attempting to create the classiest coordinating couple Christmas outfit known to man. My detective skills believe this is Burberry, as the pair has modeled for the company before, and Ed seems to be sporting the British label’s equestrian knight logo on his lapel. (Fun Fact: In 1901, that symbol was created using the Latin word “Prorsum,” meaning “forwards,” and was registered as a Burberry trademark.) In the end, Gossip Girl’s bad boy and mean girl lived happily ever after, and they look just as pretty together off-set, but it’s time to say good-bye. You know you love me. XOXO.
Happy Holidays! We here at theSkinnyStiletto have been on hiatus since September. In the past few months, one of our editors moved across the country and has been in the midst of looking for jobs, and the other has been swamped with work, lost power to Hurricane Sandy, crashed a computer and had two weddings in two weeks, making it difficult for either of them to post. Now we’re back for our second edition of the “12 Days of Christmas Countdown!” For this “Fancy Friday,” we’re featuring Vera-Ellen and Rosemary Clooney as sisters Betty and Judy Haynes in White Christmas. In this 1954 film, the sisters, along with a pair of G.I.s, start a singing and dancing group at a Vermont Inn. This iconic holiday image shows the four famous faces adorned in Academy-Award costume designer Edith Head’s Christmas creations. Red satin and velvet gowns trimmed with white fur bring to mind some classy versions of Mrs. Claus costumes. It’s not our favorite Christmas movie, but it’s certainly one of the most famous.
Hmm, what’s the perfect gown to feature on the “Fancy Friday” before Valentine’s Day? This scarlet stunner in Pretty Woman of course! (Plus, wearing red on Fridays shows your support for the troops!) Julia Roberts plays a modern-day Cinderella named Vivian Ward who gets wooed by a wealthy businessman (Richard Gere) in this 1990 flick. Here, her suitor surprises her with a gorgeous red gown, evening gloves and one hell of a diamond necklace! (Fun Fact: The necklace did actually cost $250,000. An armed security guard from its jewelry store was constantly standing behind director Garry Marshall while they filmed the scenes it appears in.) It’s no secret we here at theSkinnyStiletto just love the clothing in this movie. We were stunned to learn that costume designer Marilyn Vance made all of Vivian’s outfits, including the ruby red gown above, her polka-dotted fantasy, and even the famous hooker dress! Vance is famous for costuming hit teen flicks, including The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink, and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, but the Pretty Woman wardrobe is anything but high school! In this scene, Gere’s character takes Vivian to see La Traviata at the opera, which tells the story of a prostitute who falls in love with a rich man. (Life imitating art, no?) It’s hard to believe the elegant Roberts was only 22-years-old when she made this film. A shocking number of leading ladies turned town the role of Vivian, including Sandra Bullock, Demi Moore, Jennifer Connelly and Sarah Jessica Parker, but it’s hard to imagine the fiery-haired heroine played by anyone but Roberts.
This “Tuesday Twosome” is a special day for one of our editors – it’s her 3rd wedding anniversary! Courtney and her husband, Ryan, were married three years ago in West Point, New York. Ryan returned home from Iraq several days ago, making it a very special holiday season for our family! Here is the happy couple at a friend’s wedding last December. Courtney looks lovely in this strapless, red satin gown, while Ryan looks very sharp in his dress blues! We wish all the happiness in the world to this terrific pair!