The Blue Gardenia
Love Carey Mulligan's glamorous sheaths? Then get the look. August 21, 2010 19:10
I shall keep this brief, dear readers, because you are probably as sleepy as I am and just as eager to cuddle up in bed with a warm glass of milk, a trashy novel and an organic bon-bon. Or two. But. I had to share before pulling back the covers and nestling inside.
I watched An Education tonight. Loved it. Loved it. Loved it. Indeed, so much I had to wonder why I didn't see it in the theater. Oh. Yes. No theater in my lovely little town. I would have to drive twelve miles to the next town. We simply can't have that. Not when I can wait a month or two or three and drive a mere two miles to the locally-owned video store.
So. I won't spoil the plot for those of you who haven't seen it. Because. I am kind. I am considerate. I am all that. But here are a few details — just a few: The year is 1961. There's an innocent. There's a cad — whoops! Have I gone too far?
At any rate, dear readers, the clothes are luscious. Carey Mulligan as Jenny sheds her schoolgirl duds for elegant sheaths. Odile Dicks-Mireaux designed the clothes for the movie. And they are so right, from the dull bookish uniforms to the smoky nightclub brocade sheaths.
If you want to emulate Jenny's sophisticated chicklet-about-town look, might I suggest McCall's 7007? It can be yours, and you can make it for day, for night, again and again. And did I mention it's a Quickie? How marvelous is that? And, yes, we do have it at The Blue Gardenia. You guessed. Didn't you?
Let this be more than food for thought. I beg you. August 25, 2009 15:44
Today, I'll keep it simple, straightforward, succinct: See Food, Inc. For me. For yourself. For the planet.
OK. I'm stepping off my soapbox now and going back to A Closed Eye.
Shameless plug: Dunne. Tierney. Moreau. You decide. May 3, 2009 14:41
You deserve a treat. In fact, you deserve many. So. Just for you (and, for me, too, because I have a fondness for a roof over my head and food in my larder), it is update time at The Blue Gardenia. Nearly 70 fabulous, amazing vintage patterns have been added for your viewing and shopping pleasure. May I tempt you with a few choice morsels?
Little Edie may not dance, but oh how swell she dresses! April 22, 2009 09:55 2 Comments
That Touch of Fashion: Day's the boss, but her clothes deny it March 26, 2009 15:40 1 Comment
Gee. I can't get enough film fashion these days. Can you tell? March 19, 2009 15:27 1 Comment
Ahh, period movies. The clothes so often make me cringe. They make me cry. They make me sneer. They make me whine. You know it, girls and boys.
But, today, a pleasant surprise: Cadillac Records. Costume designer Johnetta Boone nailed the period. Totally. She did not strive for the lowest common denominator. She did not go for that generic Monkey Ward look that mars Mad Men, that had me grinding my teeth as I watched Far From Heaven. Ms. Boone reached for the stars, and she caught a handful.
The clothes are fabulous. Sexy. Beautiful. Authentic. Of the time. And yet, classic. Gorgeous. For the ages.
And Beyonce, as songstress Etta James, has never looked better. Sorry, Weight Watchers. Ms. Knowles is a luscious advertisement for packing on twenty pounds. And for wearing a curly blonde wig. Not to mention feline eyeliner. (Alas, I have never once skillfully applied frisky kitty liner. Mine always looks more like the work of a rogue kindergartner left alone with fingerpaint.)
And what is it about Adrien Brody? So irresistible on the big screen, even when his character is a wee bit sleazy, yet so skinny, so limp on the small screen.
That Touch of Fashion: Doris works the skirt and blouse March 16, 2009 10:28
I am in the mood for skirts and blouses. This frame of mind could be inspired by Doris Day's wardrobe in the 1950 movieYoung Man with a Horn. Could be. But then, she also wears form-fitting yet ladylike suits and frilly evening gowns as big band singer Jo Jordan. They leave me cold. They leave me frigid. Indeed. Do I still have a pulse? Mmmmm . . . it's fading.
Of course. Doris is a good girl. (That goes without saying. I suppose.) In fact, she's such a trusting, devoted, clueless gal pal that she introduces her alleged buddy Amy North, played in slinky psycho fashion by Lauren Bacall, to the man she quietly, silently loves. Girlfriend, bad move. Very. Be a good girl. If you must. But a sap? No. Amy isn't worth it. Her soul is fuzzy green with mold.
So. If I had been a good girl — and you know I haven't been. Alas — then I would stitch up McCall 5082, copyright 1959, and Woman's Day 5001, View C, copyright 1951. This is the Jo Jordan look that gets my whistle blowing. It's sexy. Classic. Hard-working. Ever so.
Have Rick Martin (played by Kirk Douglas, muscles abulge, skin aglow, complete with jazz-dot dimple) check my pulse. Please. Right now. This minute. There is no time to waste.
Oh, Oscar! Inspire me. Please. You owe me after Sunday night. February 23, 2009 14:42
I refuse to restrain my inner Ms. Snippy. She yearns to be free. She begs for release. And who I am I to tell her no? I won't I won't I won't. Especially after that boring Ambien-equivalent Oscar program last night. It seemed endless. Positively. And as dull as a sack of dirt. Oh. Yes. A heavy sack, indeed.
Where were the movie clips? The Oscar is — last time I checked - a movie award. I want to see clips. And what was up with the silly, time-wasting presentation of the acting awards by five former winners? And Hugh Jackman? Please. I want Jon Stewart. I want Steven Colbert.
But enough. On to the clothes. (Most of them were snore-inducing as well. Alas.)
Actually, now that I think about it, there were only two gowns I consider worthy of mention.
Marisa Tomei's pleated, architectural Versace. Astounding. Beautiful. Sexy. This is the way to bare a shoulder. Absolutely.
Beyonce's gown has been the object of much derision. Seems some fashionistas decry it as worthy only of draping one's windows. I disagree. Totally. I love the leaf print and its reference to the 1940s. I love the bodice. I love the 1950s sexy chanteuse silhouette.
And, by the way, just so you know: I do not want to see any more headlines that tout the revival of old Hollywood glamour. So overused. So worn out. So done. No more. News outlets, you should know better. For shame.
We all make mistakes. Don't we? Even Ella. January 19, 2009 08:55 2 Comments
Oh. My. God. And that, my internet buds, is a prayer. A prayer for organization. A prayer to stop clipping. A prayer to recycle Paul Krugman columns instead of saving them. (I could, after all, just read his blog, The Conscience of a Liberal. ) A prayer to find CD jewel cases. Where do they go? Are they like that one sock in a pair? That one sock that scampers off when I'm not looking. Egads!
And speaking of deities: Thank God for Ella Fitzgerald. She calms me down. She reminds me that I should reach for perfection. Absolutely. Even if I never attain it. Even if I don't get past the first step on that particular stairway.
But. Chaos is not what I intended to blog about. Let me rein myself in. Whoa. Come back, Denise, come back. Your topic awaits you.
And that topic is . . . drumroll, boys and girls . . . Renee Zellweger's frocks. This, inspired by Amanda, she of the evocative sense of place, she of Still Life in South America.
Frankly. I hated Renee's Golden Globes gown. It shocked me. Completely. I did a double take. She's usually picture perfect. Elegant. Sleek. Perfection. (To use that impossible word again. I refuse to ban it from my vocab. Despite its unpopularity these days.) As is, for that matter, Carolina Herrera, who designed both of these dresses. The black one — the miss by several miles, heck, the miss by several solar systems — is the Golden Globes nightmare. The blue one, well, I'd love to have it in my closet. Love it. It's floaty. Dreamy. Flattering. To the nth.
So. What was Ms. Zellweger thinking? She obviously misplaced her unerring sense of style. Perhaps it's run off to join my socks, my Best of Julie London and Squirrel Nut Zippers Perennial Favorites jewel cases. Anyway. I hope she finds it soon. Perhaps she can also tell my socks to come back home. And the jewel cases.
Meanwhile. I'll let Ella's Harold Arlen Songbook console me. But. I've got a right to hang around down around the river. I've got a right to moan and sigh. Mr. Arlen says so. And he wouldn't lie. I know it.
The Un-Martha Chronicles. Or a Day or Two in My Life. September 16, 2008 18:02 1 Comment
Martha Stewart, I fear, would be most unhappy with my progress at putting the house back together after the carpet installation. Most. She might take me out behind the woodshed, in fact. Because. I took yesterday off to see The Women with a girlfriend. (Contrary to what one snippy critic said, I thought Annette Bening looked fabulous. But couldn’t Mary Haines have said “thanks, but no thanks” when that unfaithful lout of a husband begged for her hand again? And couldn’t the director have said a loud, emphatic “no, thanks” to that silly, manipulative birthing scene? Heavens to Betsy, it was endless. Absolutely.)
But back to my Monday and what I did and did not accomplish. (Because I know
your day won’t be complete if I don’t share these scintillating details.) I did
a yoga class. I finished an Ann Rule book. I made tuna salad. (When I said scintillating,
I meant scintillating. Really.)
Today, I did a yoga class. And I did do a bit of work on restoring order to our home. A bit. A tiny bit. Not enough to win Martha’s smile of approval, though. Not enough for a gold star. Oh, well, there’s always tomorrow. Just ask Ms. O’Hara. Or perhaps I could beg Ms. Stewart to sprinkle some magic dust on me. Please, Martha. Please. Please. Please. I beseech you. I'm on my knees.
I made my muslin in a past life, and then my dog ate it July 27, 2008 16:43 1 Comment
It’s happened. My life today was so devoid of focus that I am writing about it. That dreaded and overused blog subject: What I Did Today. Yes, that is my topic. I'm not pulling your leg. Is that total, complete conceit or what? No need to answer that. I can do it for you. Yes. A loud, bellowing yes. But what is, is. And there ya go.
So, I was actually, once upon a time, going to tell you about my muslin. I was going to show it to you. See? Isn’t it pretty? Isn’t it the most lovely muslin you’ve ever seen? And so on and so on. But I got scared. Make that sca-a-a-y-errrd. Many syllables. Draw it out. Way out.
And what does a good Southern girl do when she’s sca-a-a-y-errrd? Well, she goes to church. And then, feeling somewhat uplifted, she goes to see a friend who sews. Someone conversant with that strange and intimidating language of pattern instructions. Someone who could interpret. Someone who could tell me whether I should cut facings when crafting a muslin. Someone who could reassure me that my chosen pattern, which I know y'all remember is Simplicity 2925, http://thebluegardenia.typepad.com/the_diary_of_the_blue_gar/2008/07/and-the-winner.html was indeed easy. Someone who was wearing a pair of slacks that were the most. Slightly updated Carole Lombard. Sassy yet comfortable. Slacks that she herself made from Simplicity 4237. Slacks that she assures me are very easy to make. We’ll see. I remain unconvinced. Ever so.
I could also tell you about the rest of my day: cooking potatoes freshly dug from a bud’s garden; learning about past life-regression from another friend (I told you I was blue, didn’t I?), and going to see the latest Batman movie (isn’t it grand that Morgan Freeman is working so much these days?). I could tell you I added fresh dill to the potatoes. I could tell you I’m considering past-life regression, something that a few months ago I would have considered as likely as serving a platter of wriggling earthworms at a dinner party. I could tell you I find the blond good guy in The Dark Knight as abrasive as a brand-new emery board. I could give you even more details about my day. I could. But I think I’ll moisturize my skin instead. And think about tomorrow. When perhaps I will be less scattered and most certainly have softer skin.