Fashion Favorite: Ron Howard Films

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55ea2b75efbcf10f487ad21d75ff805fIf there’s anything that defines a genius writer, director, or actor, it is the ability to be a changeling. Ron Howard, a.k.a. Opie Taylor, Richie Cunningham, Steve Bolander, and the narrator of Arrested Development, has gone through so many transformations that it is often difficult to remember that his longest – and most successful – career has been as an award-winning director. From old favorites to instant classics, Ron Howard has crafted incredible characters, showcased impeccable scenes and demonstrated some first-rate fashion moments. Here are some of my favorite R.H. films and the looks that make me want to shop:

Night Shift (1982)

Night-Shift-shelley-long-13509603-720-480The Gist: A truly under-appreciated 80’s movie that never fails to induce hours of laughter, Howard’s full-length directorial debut stars his Happy Days co-star Henry Winkler in full anti-Fonzie mode as a hapless morgue worker who falls in love with a heart of gold hooker (you know…that old story). Watch out for a young Michael Keaton at his improv-laden best.

The Look: Shelly Long’s Belinda looks exactly how you would imagine a 1980’s prostitute to look – big hair, big (fake) fur coat, glitzy costume jewelry, and brightly revealing dresses. Luckily, she’s also the cutest thing ever, so the look works for her.

Splash (1984)

984SPL_Daryl_Hannah_024The Gist: Young Tom Hanks falls in love with a beautiful stranger who turns out to be a mermaid – and it. is. fantastic.

The Look: Daryl Hannah’s saccharine Madison is no Ariel, but she does look pretty fabulous. She is introduced with a nude scene that probably wore out a few VHS tapes but without her fins (which, seriously, I’m a little jealous of), she rocks puffy ’80s dresses, perfect beach-worthy waves and even an early version of the menswear trend.

Apollo 13 (1995)

Apollo_13_movie_2The Gist: My all-time favorite Ron Howard movie brings back Tom Hanks for a much deeper role. He stars as Jim Lovell, the captain of the ill-fated Apollo 13 space shuttle that never made it to the moon and almost never made it back to Earth. Cue the tears.

The Look: The spacesuits may not get my sartorial pulse racing, but the fashions back on this planet sure do. It’s true early-70’s best with bright jumpers, hot pants, florals and amazing accessories – it’s almost enough to detract from the drama of the movie. What? I said almost!

A Beautiful Mind (2001)

urlThe Gist: Ron Howard’s first and only Academy Award came from this masterpiece about John Nash, a brilliant mathematician confronting paranoid schizophrenia and myriad forces who he believes are out to get him.

The Look: As John’s strong, smart and willful wife Alicia, Jennifer Connelly delivers a beautiful performance and she looks stunning while doing it. Taking place in the 50’s and 60’s, Alicia wears classic silhouettes, feminine colors and her signature amazing eyebrows.

Frost/Nixon (2008)

19012240.jpg-r_640_600-b_1_D6D6D6-f_jpg-q_x-xxyxxThe Gist: Another incredible Howard film based on a true story, this one features the underestimated journalist David Frost given the task to interview recently abdicated president Richard Nixon – the last twenty minutes of the movie are some of the most powerful in recent filmmaking (in my humble movie-loving opinion).

The Look: Rebecca Hall’s Caroline, the beguiling foil for Michael Sheen’s Frost, is all kinds of fabulous in mid-70’s plunging necklines, brow-skimming bangs, and knee-high boots.

Guest Post: Weddings of the 1960’s

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Spring is in the air, and as the dreary colors of the winter begin to make way for the lush, lively palette of spring, we’re bound to see weddings pop up all across the country. Reports by USA Today show that many of today’s brides are now ditching tradition in favor of more modern wedding practices, but how exactly are they different from weddings of old?

For this comparison, we look at the wonderful Grace Kelly, whose marriage to Prince Rainier III of Monaco in 1956 set the tone for weddings in the next few decades.

The Dress

Princess-Grace-Kelley-Wedding-Dress-made-of-chiffon-and-lace-with-tightly-accentuated-waist-with-overlays-embellishments-and-embroideryw-weddinggowns.com_-698x900Grace Kelly’s dress was the epitome of prim and proper: full-length lace sleeves, a beautiful veil with delicate lace detailing and trimmings, and a full bodice that complimented her hourglass-shaped body. The whole length of the gown was embroidered with fine lace details, giving the image of the perfect bride.

grace-kelley1We put that into contrast with today’s wedding dresses, which are now trending towards the casual, and laid-back. We no longer see the detailing that had been present in the dresses of the 1960s, and we now sometimes see even two-piece dresses with detachable trains.

simple-modern-wedding-dresses-for-minimalist-111865jason-wu-bridal-line-2011-wedding-dresses-short-mini-for-wedding-reception-feathers-scoop-neck.originalThe Bridal Bouquet

grace kelly wedding flowersGrace Kelly’s bridal bouquet was quite simple: an elegant drape of lily of the valley. While this had been a trend for decades and continues to be popular in high-end weddings (Kate Middleton was seen holding a similar bouquet at her wedding), this trend has, for the most part, dissipated.

Nowadays, a simple, plain white bouquet is quite rare. Many brides have taken M&S floral product developer Simon Richards’ advice and opted for bouquets in colors that they believe work well together, resulting in brightly-colored bouquets of different structures.

vibrant-bright-bridal-bouquets-colorful-mix-and-match-bridesmaid-dresses.originalThe Ceremony

Of course, Grace Kelly’s wedding took place in a time when women were expected to be nothing but prim and proper, and often, weddings became a place to show their husbands-to-be how well-mannered they were. Grace Kelly’s wedding, like many of the weddings in the 1960s, was all about class and sophistication.

Today’s weddings, however, have wedding guests participating in all sorts of modern practices. While the guests of old were expected to stay in their seats and preserve the solemnity of the wedding, today’s guests are even encouraged to snap photos of the whole ceremony to upload to social media.

Weddings surely have changed since the time of Grace Kelly’s wedding to Prince Rainier III. What vintage wedding trend do you miss the most?

Retro Round-Up: Don Draper, Star Wars & More

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641d30f9d108d37460e5e42957339b1cHappy May! Or, as we call it in Chicago, happy-yes-I-know-I-can’t-believe-it’s-still-cold-and-raining…month. I can’t be the only one who feels like spring is really dragging its feet and don’t EVEN get me started on summer. It’s too hard. So, in the meantime, I’ll be blissfully distracting myself by reading up on as much vintage goodness as I can! Here are a few stories this week for the retro aficionado in us all:

MAD: This theory about Don Draper is one of the most interesting I’ve read in awhile.

INTERGALACTIC: New Star Wars > Old Star Wars? Never. But it still sounds pretty exciting.

ROCK: Why should one EVER have to choose between the Bee Gees and AC/DC?!

COCO: Two words; Vintage. Chanel.

Spotlight: Supermodels

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vintage_models_1960s_poster-p228780376762932899t5ta_400I’m back! Don’t worry, to make up for my long absence I brought presents. My gifts of choice are these gorgeous ladies, one from every decade. These are the women who inspired ad campaigns, infused creativity into fashion, and created a new way of looking at the world all through their beauty. I’m no feminist (please open that door for me), but these ladies make me happy to be a woman and happy to have access to a plethora of vintage fashion to mimic their looks. Get inspired here, lovelies! xo

jinxf454Jinx Falkenburg // 1940’s

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Dovima // 1950’s

twiggyTwiggy // 1960’s

1969-cheryl-tiegs-by-j--ro-copia-2869146_0x420Cheryl Tiegs // 1970’s

Grace-Jones6Grace Jones // 1980’s

kate-mossKate Moss // 1990’s

B-ndchen-gisele-bundchen-27935273-1024-768Gisele Bundchen // 2000’s

Spotlight: Goldie Hawn

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Most Famous Role: Cactus Flower, 1969url

Most Fashionable Role: Cactus Flower, 1969

Memorable Movie Quote: “He was charming, good looking, sophisticated, no sweatshirts.”

The Look: As a young spurned lover going through her first heartbreak, Toni Sullivan is spunky, feisty and adorable. Her fitting habiliment is colorful and exciting in all of it’s mod ’60s glory. Pink ruffled nightgowns, yellow turtlenecks, large jewelry and psychedelically printed shift dresses help Toni stand out as a young but effervescent character as she comes to terms with the type of man she’s supposed to be with.

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Playlist: Vintage Romance

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vintage romance

Of all the months of the year, February is definitely my favorite. It may or may not be because it’s my birthday month (hint: it is), but it’s also a month for romance. I’m a complete sucker for classic love stories; the swelling song at the end of the movie, the violescent hearts on a homemade valentine, even Claire kissing Bender in a utility closet. So, here, in honor of this month of love, are my favorite vintage romantic songs, from first seductions to lasting love – some evoke emotions of lust and longing, while others bring up the feelings of first love (even if it was just for your guitar):

  1. “Someone Like You” by Van Morrison (Vintage Double Pearl Necklace)
  2. “Till The Next Goodbye” by The Rolling Stones (1960’s Black Velvet Dress)
  3. “Darling Nikki” by Prince (1950’s Demi Lace Bra)
  4. “Long Ago (And Far Away)” by Jo Stafford (Long Brown Leather Gloves)
  5. “Blue in Green” by Miles Davis (1950’s New Look Fox Fur + Wool Suit)
  6. “Faithfully” by Journey (1980’s Cartier Envelope Clutch)
  7. “Summer of ’42” by Peter Nero (1970’s Indian Feather Silk Ensemble)
  8. “Juke Box Hero” by Foreigner (Vintage Printed Handkerchief Dress)
  9. “Try A Little Tenderness” by Aretha Franklin (1970’s Boyfriend Cardigan)
  10. “‘Til You Love Somebody” by Michael Henderson (1970’s Missoni Necklace)

What to Wear: Holiday Party

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vintage-dinner-party

It’s here, it’s here – the holidays are here! Eggnog, songs, lights and my favorite movies all make this a magical time of year. One of the best parts of the holiday season is that it brings you together with your friends and family – and any party with mistletoe, champagne and the potential for presents is my kind of shindig. Here are some of my favorite red, white, silver and gold pieces to add a bit of vintage glam to your next holiday party – shop away!

Monthly Mood Ring: December

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vintage christmas shoppingAre you there readers? It’s me, Dana! I’m so sorry for the length between posts, but time (and by that, I mean work and American Horror Story) has gotten away from me. But…Happy December! Despite the cold, and the snow, and the slush, a part of me really does love winter, especially that magical time right before Christmas when everything is still white and sparkling. So, in honor of this majestic month, I thought I’d put together a vintage shopping guide in lieu of a traditional Monthly Mood Ring. These are all pieces that would be perfect for the vintage-lover in your life or, you know, me.

  1. This bag is perfect for traveling to a warm (i.e. not Chicago) climate.
  2. But really, is there anyone who wouldn’t be psyched to get a vintage tee?
  3. Well this 1950’s opera coat is just amazing, isn’t it.
  4. As a purse addict, I can attest to the 100% necessity of a little black bag.
  5. Remember what I said about purses? Well, shoes are just as important.
  6. The only time I think labels are truly acceptable are on vintage wallets.
  7. I firmly believe that scarves are for decoration, not warmth.

Retro Recommendation: The English Patient

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the english patient posterDoes it get more wonderful than the beauty and elegance of the 1930’s? I’m clearly having an era crush right now. Throw in a torrid, doomed-from-the-start love affair and a stunning cast and I’m sold! That’s what makes The English Patient so wonderful (and, in the flashback scenes, so disturbing) – everything is too beautiful and too damned that it can’t possibly last forever, giving the whole film a painful and lovely glow. The Best Picture winner is definitely not for the faint of heart, but if you’re looking to escape into a passionate world for a few hours – and shed some tears, I definitely recommend it!

the english patient danceThe film centers around Count Laszlo de Almásy (the eternally gorgeous Ralph Fiennes) and his affair with the beautiful Katherine Clifton (one of my favorites, Kristin Scott Thomas). She is married, he is a tortured soul ennobled by her love – you know the story. Watching their love and heat play out amidst the smoky and elegant world of 1930’s Egypt is an unsettling experience, made all the more intense by the intermittent flash-forwards to WWII and the destruction it inevitably brings to everything in its path.

the english patient fashionI won’t ruin the whole movie, except to say that it made me cry, sob and immediately go searching for a bias-cut silk gown and ivory hair clip. The fashion is absolutely incredible, mainly courtesy of Katherine, with her breezy blouses, slinky dresses and perfectly curled hair. The Egyptian backdrop causes everyone to be overtaken by the heat at some point or another, so shirts are rarely fully buttoned – which, upon seeing this cast, is fine by me.

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Exceptional Era: 1930’s

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1930sWhen I think of the 1930’s, my mind tends to float to the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, the blissful 10 years between the Roaring ’20s and WWII. But, deep down, I know that the era was so much more than that. It was a decade characterized by The Great Depression, by great poverty and despair, by the power of the American spirit. The cultural progresses of the decade continued well into the rest of the 20th century, and I’d like to think that this one decade proved that we can overcome a great deal when we put our minds to it. Here were some of the most lasting creations:

The Movies

1930s moviesIt is no surprise that, with the economy the way it was, people only went to the movies in order to escape their situations. Similar to the way that current pop culture tends to be big, loud and supernatural, the entertainment of the 1930’s skewed towards monsters. King KongDracula and Frankenstein were all big hits during the first few years of the decade but it is 1939 that is considered by many to be the greatest year ever in film, rolling out such classics as The Wizard of Oz and Gone With The Wind.

The Music

Many people lump the Twenties and Thirties together because of jazz music, but the genre actually took a major turn during the middle of the decade. The classic beats and rhythms gradually became bigger, more danceable, and more eurhythmic which gave us what we now know as ‘Swing’ music. Big band musicians filled banquets and dance halls as kids flipped, flitted and flew around the floor.

The Stars

1930s stars

The Fashion

1930s fashionThe 1920’s had revolutionized the way men and women dressed, bringing up hemlines and bringing down fringe. This same frivolous attitude lasted through the 1930’s, but the Depression slowly began to affect fashion and create a more somber and conservative style. For movie stars, however, things only became more glittering and glamorous. Film costumes were bold and stylish, and women in the real world attempted to recreate the look with sparkly accessories and ladylike gloves.

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