Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The Fashion of Fred and Ginger's Characters.

Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers had to be two of the most stylish people to be captured on celluloid. Impressively, their fabulous looks weren't always the result of the studio's wardrobe department -- Rogers and Astaire were both fashion-conscious and took particular care in their style, on the screen and off. Not only did the team become famous for their dancing, they also became icons through their look. I'm pretty sure the universal sign for the duo is a man in top hat and tails and a woman in a feather-covered dress.

If Fred had had his way, though, those tails wouldn't have been a part of the equation. In his 1959 autobiography Steps in Time, he recalled how fond he was of doing films that put him in military uniforms, saying "Some people objected to me in these [military] outfits, thinking I should always be decked out in those damned tails, I guess, but I liked it." Fred's personal fashion sense was well-known in Hollywood, with impeccably-dressed stars such as Cary Grant and Frank Sinatra praising the dancer's consummate style. My favorite look of Astaire's is when he would wear a scarf as a belt for his slacks, something he did on film and in real life. His socks were always perfect complements to his outfit, too.

Besides being influential in the world of musical film, Astaire was also highly regarded in the fashion world -- indeed, he still is today, with designers such as Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger still trying to emulate his style. Most of the clothes you see on Fred were picked by the man himself. After all, he had to make sure he could move in them and not be restricted. Fred's style is so amazing that it actually caused Forbes male fashion editor G. Bruce Boyer to write a book on the subject! You can find it here.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

A Second Sunshine Blogger Award!

Just when I thought I couldn't get any luckier, Carol from The Old Hollywood Garden nominated me for my second Sunshine Blogger Award! Thank you, Carol! It was very sweet of you!

Once again, the rules are this:
- Answer the 11 questions posed by the blog that nominated you.
- Nominate 11 other blogs.
- Ask 11 questions of my own for my nominees to answer.

Friday, October 14, 2016

How to be a World-Class Detective, Courtesy of Inspector Clouseau

Watching Humphrey Bogart and Dick Powell, you realize that being a detective looks hard. You have to constantly smoke, you need to be able to brood but still crack jokes, you probably need to be able to throw a punch, and you have to be witty all the time. Sounds exhausting, no? Well, luckily, the movies have given us Inspector Jacques Clouseau, a man who knows how to make detecting look as easy as pie and as fun as eating said pie. Follow his lead and you're sure to be on your way to becoming one of the greatest detectives the free world has ever seen!

Do whatever you can to follow a lead.
Do you need to go to a nudist colony to check out what your suspect is up to? Take off everything and do it! Need to impersonate a dentist to infiltrate the villain's lair? Go for it! Nothing is too crazy if it means solving your case.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

To the Women of Classic Hollywood.

I'm at a loss as to how to begin this letter. I have a million things to say, trust me, but organizing my thoughts is difficult when it comes to confessing my adoration for the people I call my heroes. And trust me, you gals are my heroes. I've always been proud to be a woman, but watching you on the screen consistently makes me hold my head up a little higher. We have a camaraderie, despite coming from different places, cultures, and time periods, and there has never been a time when I felt disconnected from you. Can I relate to you snuggling with blindingly handsome leading men? No. Can I recall a moment where I was dressed in Adrian, Irene, or Givenchy creations, looking stunning with my Bud Westmore-applied makeup and Sydney Guilaroff hairstyle? Absolutely not. But can I giggle when you make a funny face at that leading man? Can I do the most horrific sobbing when the plot deals you an undeserved hand? Can I cheer when you finish a complicated dance or complete a beautiful song? Definitely.

I've been very lucky because all of my life, I've been surrounded by the strongest and most amazing women imaginable. I've never been lacking in that department, and when I happened upon classic Hollywood, things only got better. I don't think I could ever picture myself as an actress, with the relentless publicity and premieres and working under hot lights and the media's constant obsession with appearances. That's not why I try to emulate you ladies. I try to follow in your footsteps because you were shrewd, ambitious, hardworking, warm, utterly wonderful, and so many more adjectives, all in your own ways. Things are about to get real sappy here...

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Spending September with Gene Wilder.

When I found out Gene Wilder passed away a month ago, I was thrown for a loop. Although it makes absolutely no sense, I had always assumed he would be around. A world without Gene Wilder? That's insane -- but it's what we have now, and because I'm a sentimental fool, I've been trying to fill my life with as much Wilder as I could. Reading all of the dedications to him made me realize that I had only seen a small portion of his filmography, the usual suspects if you will: Bonnie and ClydeWilly Wonka..., and his three with Mel Brooks. The only outlier was Haunted Honeymoon, a flick I had checked out of my local library years ago when I had finished Wilder's autobiography and was curious to see what he and Gilda Radner were like together. Practically all of my September has been devoted to Gene's films and the big takeaway is this: I love Mr. Wilder more than ever. Below are short reviews of all of the movies I watched, plus where I found them if you want to host your own Gene marathon (which I highly recommend).

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

The Sunshine Blogger Award.

Well, bust my buttons! I just got another award! One day after getting the One Lovely Blog Award from one lovely Simoa, the wonderful Virginie over at The Wonderful World of Cinema (I'm so clever) nominated me for the Sunshine Blogger Award. Thank you, Virginie! You're much too generous!

The Sunshine Blogger Award is pretty similar to the Liebster. The rules are:
- Answer the 11 questions posed by the blog that nominated you.
- Nominate 11 other blogs.
- Ask 11 questions of my own for my nominees to answer.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

The One Lovely Blog Award.


Darling Simoa from Champagne for Lunch has nominated me for the One Lovely Blog Award! Thank you to Simoa for giving me my first one of these! And to my readers, please go check out her blog. It's pretty wonderful.

The rules for this award are as follows:
1. Write a blog post accepting your nomination.
2. Show the blogger who nominated you how much you love them by thanking them in the post and linking to their blog.
3. Tell us seven things about yourself.
4. Nominate other blogs that you love.
5. Let the bloggers you’ve nominated know about they’ve received an award.
6. Post the rules again to let those bloggers know how it works.