I’ve always been a cinema addicted since I was a teenager: I love going to the cinema (especially alone ) and I adore watching some of my favourite movies again and again. This is the case of Alice by Woody Allen, a film released on December 25th, 1990, quite an unusual Christmas film, but fascinating nonetheless. Alice is part of the top three of my favourite Allen movies, along with Another Woman and Crimes and Misdemeanours. I’ve always been intrigued by the sharp world of contrasts it introduces and by the many similarities it has with Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (the name of the protagonist – and the title – is not coincidental).
Alice Tate (Mia Farrow) is the epitome of the Upper East Side princess: she’s married to a very wealthy and handsome man (who betrays her); she’s got two adorable children; she spends her days shopping at luxury stores and getting expensive haircuts and beauty treatments. Despite this apparently perfect life, she’s unhappy: she feels passion and dedication are missing in her life, and she’s tortured by an annoying backache she doesn’t know how to heal. Two encounters – one with Joe (Joe Mantegna), a saxophonist she meets at her children’s posh school; the other with Dr. Yang (Keye Luke), a Chinese doctor who gives her “magic” herbs - completely change her life. She’s stronger than what she looks like and is eventually able to turn her life around thanks to no one but herself.
In most of the movie she spends her rich life (the metamorphosis happens in the very end of the movie, reported by her former friends as a piece of gossip) and wears expensive clothes: she sports outfits in primary colours – white, black and red – symbolizing a world of inner contrasts (she would like to betray her husband with Joe, but her Christian upbringing makes her feel guilty), with a fiery touch of that passion she is longing for. She usually wears cardigans or sweaters with below-the-knee pencil skirts or plaid skirts, but the recurring details of her style are a long mink coat, velvet headbands and Chanel bags. I’ve always been obsessed by her Chanel obsession: these bags are the ultimate detail of her look. They speak of refinement, luxury, a prim-and-proper attitude to fashion which her sister Dorothy (Blythe Danner) considers shallow.
Here she is in one of the opening scenes, while doing shopping at the Krizia boutique in Fifth Avenue. One of her first appearances on screen presents her social persona, contrasting – in style, at least - with her private one. She’s wearing her trademark long mink coat, low-heeled shoes, her trusty black velvet headband (totally reminiscent of the ones that Hillary Clinton sported in the early 90s) and a quilted bag on a chain, a Chanel bag. She sports two different styles in the movie, but there are more Chanel sightings to take note of. Continue reading →
Even if I’ve never fully understood the media’s obsession with celebrities, I must admit it’s funny to identify what they are wearing. The web is packed with sites devoted to this, and I gave my contribution to this craze, being – for some years – the main contributor of Star Style. For a meticulous person like me, identifying as many items as possible of an outfit was really addictive (which is the reason why, at a certain point, I decided to quit). Now I’m not a contributor, but this doesn’t mean I don’t like it anymore: besides writing about Christina Aguilera and Lily Van der Woodsen‘s styles, I sometimes like focusing on a particular feature of a celebrity’s style, as this post shows.
The evolution of Nicole Richie’s style sounds like the story of Cinderella. When she first became famous as Paris Hilton’s best friend, she definitely had some problems with her style (and her hair), but a fairy godmother (Rachel Zoe) soon turned her into the stick-thin icon of boho-chic style, thus sparking rumors about possible eating disorders she may have suffered with. Her first pregnancy (in 2007) and the wise decision to ditch Zoe meant she was ready to fly with her own wings, as her jewelry and clothing lines (House of Harlow 1960 and Winter Kate) have demonstrated. I’ve started to admire her style since she was pregnant with Harlow: she was born a couple of months before my daughter, so her style during those nine months inspired me a lot. She usually sports very simple outfits, which include basic clothes in primary or neutral colours (lots of black and white, dark green or brown) and amazing accessories. Among those, her astonishing collection of Chanel has always left me speechless: most of the vintage pieces come from her mother’s closet, but others come from more recent collections.
Would you like to take a ride through the massive number of Chanel bags she owns? In a recent interview with Lucky, she has declared she owns at least 30 Chanel bags. I’ve found 16 of them, here they are .
1. A timeless piece: the Jumbo size of the classic 2.55 flap bag in red. It’s the perfect pop of colour for any outfit, but it looks great with black and white (in this picture, Nicole – who was pregnant with her son Sparrow – was wearing a simple tank and black overalls). Continue reading →
I love having some habits when it comes to my blog. No, I’m not referring to recurring themes only. I’m talking of the “rule” of writing about current collections, since I like living and writing according to the current season. I know a fashion blog should always be updated, should always report the currents trends, and possibly anticipate them, but you know I’m a fashion nerd, who prefers the past: in my mind, the future is what comes next, not something which is happening now. I usually respect this rule, but this post is an exception: when I last wrote about Hermès A/I 2010 collection, I couldn’t help but peeking at the S/S 2011 show. I loved it so much, that I decided to write about it now, even if it’s autumn and summer is just a promise for the future.
The Kelly bag, in different sizes, colours and materials, was again the queen of the catwalk. I guess it’s Jean-Paul Gaultier’s favourite Hermès bag style, so he probably wanted to pay homage to such a classic accessory before leaving the creative direction of the Parisian maison. I would never buy a Kelly bag made of wicker, but it’s a funny variation, perfect in summertime. Continue reading →
Have you ever experienced the inability to relax? You desperately want to chill out and think of nothing, but your mind doesn’t agree, and keeps on working. I experience this all the time, probably because I am used to doing different things at the same time, so stopping is very hard. In particular, what I would like to stop doing is establishing connections among things. I sometimes feel like John Nash (hey, I’m not a genius, but I hope you’ve got what I mean): I am not dealing with numbers, but with images.
When I first saw the fall/winter 2010 advertising campaign by Hermès, my mind soon started spinning, activated by a mood screaming Victorian London. I don’t know where the shooting by Paolo Roversi was set, but the foggy atmosphere pervading all the pictures surely pays homage to one of my favourite historical periods.
The horse-car without a coachman, riding the paved streets of a lonely town, is a mysterious image filled with charm: I am sure many of you are wondering about the content of that load of Orange potiron boxes, just like I did. This fascinating image has lead to two possible sources, movies set in London during the Victorian Age, that is in the second half of the 19th century. Continue reading →
Just a few days ago I was quietly complaining about Christina’s apparent disappearance from the social scene; then new candids have surfaced and my crave for new outfits has calmed. She was spotted arriving at Cecconi’s restaurant in West Hollywood, where she celebrated her 29th birthday with her husband Jordan. I’ve already expressed my appreciation for her new hairstyle, she looks lovely with this side-parted short bob.
The first two things that have immediately caught my attention are the amazing silver over-the-knee boots and the Union Jack box clutch, peculiar accessories she wore to complete what looks like an all-black outfit. Unfortunately it is still unknown what she wore under the double-breasted coat – something very short, for sure – but in any case she looked gorgeous.
Lorelei Lee, the adorable character played by Marilyn Monroe in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes by Howard Hawks (1953), had an obsession for diamond jewellery and she was lucky enough to marry a her very rich fiancè, who surely fostered this passion. Nowadays girls still love diamonds, but sometimes they can also be pleased by equally glittering and precious objects, Judith Leiber‘s amazing crystal minaudieres. The brand, founded by the Hungarian Leiber in 1963, means incomparable quality and craftsmanship, because all the pieces are hand-crafted and decorated by Swarovski crystals.
Generations of American ladies (and First Ladies) have carried these minaudieres since the launch of the brand, but Leiber became really famous thanks to Sex and the City and its costume designer, Patricia Field. I cannot count all the trends launched by the iconic tv show (just think of Fendi Baguette and HermèsBirkin bags, ChristianLouboutin and ManoloBlahnik shoes, nameplate necklaces, flower corsages and leather opera gloves), but the unique style of its characters is still lingering everywhere. For this reason, anytime I spot a celebrity carrying a Leiber clutch, Carrie’s swan-shaped bag comes to my mind.
I am referring to The Caste System, the tenth episode of the second season, where Mr Big gives Carrie what he thinks is the it bag par excellence, a Leiber animal-shaped clutch.
Carrie is literally puzzled by this present (and so we are),but she fakes a smile for him, doesn’t know what to say about the bag and says she loves him instead.
Funny how fast fashion builds and destroys its myths. Do you remember the Balenciaga Motorcycle bag collection craze in 2005/2006? ANY celebrity sported one (or more) of those gorgeous colourful bags, Nicole Richie, Nicky Hilton and Lindsay Lohan being the ones who heaped B bags in their closets. Nicole Richie still uses her trusty black City bag, but all the others have turned to other designer bags. It’s a pity, because I can honestly say Balenciaga bags are among the best out there , but I am sure they’ll soon become trendy again.
One celebrity who still loves Balenciaga and has a very nice collection of B bags is Christina Aguilera. She started carrying them in 2005 and since then she hasn’t stopped yet. What I love about her collection is that she usually chooses special pieces, bags I’ve never seen on anybody else. Her style is often casual, but B bags are extremely versatile, perfect with almost any outfit.
In 2005 she carried her first Balenciaga, a white First bag. I don’t like this style very much: it’s not roomy enough, in my opinion. Her outfit is very informal – cropped jeans, a long-sleeved t-shirt, big sunglasses, a red cap and Havaianas Heart pink flip-flops.
It’s a hot hot summer in New York: the cast of Gossip Girl is back at filming the third series of the show, and the Net goes crazy for Blair and Serena’s outfits. I haven’t been able to spot a pic of Kelly Rutherford on the set, probably because she has just had her second baby (Helena Grace) and is not ready to go back to work yet. In any case, though looking forward to having her back in action, I’d like to speak in depth about what seems to be a true obsession for her – Hermès bags and accessories. I have already noted she named her first son after the French maison, but now I can honestly say she’s a Hermès collector .
The most classic Hermès bag is the Kelly, named after Princess Grace of Monaco, a timeless example of luxury. Kelly owns two Kelly bags, one of which is black, made of Barenia leather, with gold hardware. Kelly has been using it since 2005. From the pics above, it is clear the bag is perfect with a formal/cocktail dress.
A status symbol is a visible indicator of social status. Many luxury goods are often considered status symbols – jewellery, cars, clothes and fashion accessories. Try and focus on the bags which are true symbols of elegance and luxury. Two come to my mind: the classic Chanel 2.55 quilted bag and Hermès bags. As for Hermès bags, they are unaffordable for most women, but celebrities love them, so it’s not rare to see a Hermès bag hanging from a famous arm. Unfortunately, what happened to Lèger dresses (from sexy to trashy) can be referred to these bags, too. In 2006 I wrote a long post about H bags: at the time, only celebs like Victoria Beckham, Sarah Jessica Parker, Carolyn Bessette Kennedy and Rachel Roy were spotted toting a H bag; a few young celebrities (Nicky Hilton, Ashley Olsen, Nicole Richie and Lindsay Lohan) owned one or more, but that was all. Nowadays, H bags come as the first sign of notoriety (even HeidiMontagowns a few of them), and this reinforces their state of symbols.
The most coveted styles are Birkin and Kelly bags, but some celebs have chosen rare styles, thus demonstrating the complex combinations of shapes, leathers and colours behind the Hèrmes name. The queen of celebs carrying Hermès bags is, of course, Victoria Beckham: she has an incredibly extensive collections of H bags, most of them in exotic leathers and bright colours. She loves the complete range of H bags, from the smallest to the biggest styles. She was the first to carry Kelly Pochettes and Kelly Longues, styles spawning from the iconic Kelly bag.
Isn’t this Kelly Pochette in green lizard lovely? It’s a very small bag but I don’t think Victoria needs big bags when she’s out for dinner. In 2007 she paired this bag with a Marc Jacobs dress and Lanvin gladiator sandals.