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Annie - San Francisco, CA

I don't live-blog from the tents.

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Entries in film (60)

Sunday
Apr082012

San Francisco Fashion Film Festival - Day 2!

Please come out and join the fun at the Roxie Theater for the final day of the San Francisco Fashion Film Festival! Today's lineup will be AMAZING!

We start out with The City of Lost Children from 1995, a film by Marc Caro & Jean-Pierre Jeunet, with costumes by Jean Paul Gaultier. Presented in partnership with the de Young Museum and their current exhibition Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk.

Then, we will screen local director (and former San Francisco First Lady)'s film Miss Representation, which we are all excited to see on the big screen.

After this, we will watch Julie Benasra's wonderful documentary God Save My Shoes, and we'll follow-up the screening with a conversation between the director and festival co-founder, Kim Mitchell Stokes.

Finally, we will end the night with Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette.

Who's excited???

Friday
Mar092012

Get Your Tickets Now!!!

 

That's right...we're live! (And now that we are live I promise to be a better blogger.) The San Francisco Fashion Film Festival is off to a running start and our tickets are now available for purchase over on Eventbrite! Individual showings are on sale for $10 and $15 each, while full festival passes are going for just $75 each!

We are also very happy to announce our lineup of films which we think includes something for everyone:

Saturday, April 7th, 2012

1:00 PM - Ziegfeld Girl - $15 (Costumes by Adrian)

3:30 PM - How I Get Dressed/The Way I Dress - $10

4:15 PM - Jack Taylor of Beverly Hills - $15

6:30 PM – Fashion Shorts - $10

7:15 PM – Barbarella - $15 (Costumes by Jacques Fonteray & Paco Rabanne)

 

9:45 PM - The Matrix - $15 (Costumes by Kym Barrett)

Sunday, April 8th, 2012

2:00 PM - City of Lost Children - $15 (Costumes by Jean Paul Gaultier)

4:45 PM - Miss Representation - $15

6:45 PM – Fashion Shorts - $10

7:30 PM - God Save My Shoes - $15

9:00 PM - Marie Antoinette - $15 (Costumes by Milena Canonero)

Please visit the "Films" section of our website to read more about these titles, why we chose them, and how we grouped them.

Also...we're offering two events to lead-up to the festival!

On Sunday, March 25th we are partnering with the Disposable Film Festival in their latest class of "Disposable Film 101". This class will have a fashion focus, and we'll talk about ways to make engaging and fun fashion shorts.

On Friday, April 6th, yours truly will be introducing a rare French film from Jacques Becker entitled Falbalas at the de Young Museum as part of its Friday Nights at the de Young. The de Young's highly anticipated exhibition Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk opens on March 23rd, and the San Francisco Fashion Film Festival is pleased to be partnering with the museum to support this exhibition.

Falbalas was made in 1945 in Paris just after the end of World War II. It tells the fictional story of a couturier, and shows the most realistic view of a Parisian couture house of the era on film. When Jean Paul Gaultier saw this film as a young man, it was what prompted him to become a designer...

For more details and information, please visit the "Schedule" page of our website...in fact, just visit our website - it will tell you absoltuely everything you want to know! http://fashfilmfest.org

Looking forward to seeing everyone in April - please say introduce yourself and say hello!

SF Fashion Film Festival poster by Alice Lam.

Thursday
Jan192012

Influences: Last Year at Marienbad

 Two posters for Last Year at Marienbad, 1961

As we approach the final list of films for the FashFilmFest, I’ve been screening and re-screening a number of different films to hopefully narrow some selections. One film I’ve always had in mind is Alain Resnais’ 1961 film, Last Year at Marienbad. It’s under consideration, but I’m hesitant. Certain films you love without question; this is a film I’m always forced to question. What is happening here? Do I understand anything that’s happening? What is this place? Why am I so uncomfortable? Do I even like it? When it comes to Last Year at Marienbad, at any given time the answer could be either yes or no. Even when considering writing about this film (which I have many times in the past) I've also hesitated. Is there anything new to say that hasn't already been said? Perhaps not, but I can still state the facts of this film as a significant influencer of style, film, and fashion.

Delphine Seyrig in Chanel in Last Year at Marienbad

One of the more obscure French New Wave films of the early 1960s, Last Year at Marienbad has none of the color or humor of a Godard film, nor the youthful angst of a Truffaut, but it’s a film that designers and cinemaphiles come back to again and again for its style and unconventional narrative. It’s lengthy hallway shots, endless interiors, strange landscapes, and languorous story line have influenced everyone from Stanly Kubrick (especially in The Shining) to David Lynch (especially in Inland Empire). Peter Greenaway cites Marienbad as the film that had the most important influence on his body of work. In the fashion world, everyone from Marc Jacobs to Diane von Furstenberg have expressed their love of film, and as recently as Spring 2011, Karl Lagerfeld used the film as the theme for his collection for Chanel.

For his Spring 2011 show, Karl Lagerfeld re-created the black & white gardens of Last Year at Marienbad in the Grand Palais, Paris.

Stella Tennant in Chanel, Spring 2011. Inspired by Last Year at Marienbad. (Image from Style.com)

Of course this is fitting because it was Mademoiselle Chanel who dressed Delphine Seyrig in the character of the woman, apart from two feathered gowns by production designer Bernard Evein. The clothing is impeccable. Alternating between light and dark, the dresses are either ephemeral or funereal. Resnais looked to the style of Louise Brooks in G.W. Pabst’s 1929 film Pandora’s Box for the woman, and even sought a special “silent film” film stock from Kodak in order to enchance the look of 1920s silent cinema. The look of the 1920s mixes well with the contemporary 1960s (both heydays of Chanel), or the 1960s looks are suited to the 1920s – either way, the seamless transition between eras creates some of the disorientation.

The famous mirror shot from Last Year at Marienbad.

Louise Brooks in Pandora's Box.

When re-watching this film, I gave myself over to the uneasiness that begins almost immediately. The whining organ music, empty hallways, sonorous voice-overs that fade in and out – the effect is like being drawn into someone nightmare from moment one, and in moment two you’re already looking for a way to wake up. The setting is elaborate and labyrinthine and the people posed here and there make them seem like bas relief figures on the side of a temple. People are silent or intensely focused, gossiping or watching. There seems to be a love triangle, but no one's actually very loving. There has always been a lot of discussion about a "rape" scene, and possibly a murder, but it's still difficult to tell what's really happening between the three main characters. Everyone else is socializing but no one’s really interacting. Drinks are imbibed, games are played, but it all has a menacing quality to it. There seems to be a lot of money around, but no one is happy and everyone is bored. Indeed, Last Year at Marienbad has been called one of the “most boring films ever made”, even as others hail it as a masterpiece for those very same reasons.

Seyrig in the white feather gown by Bernard Evein.

Carmen Kass in a blush-colored feathered dress from Chanel, Spring 2011. (Image from Style.com)

Beyond the time-warp-surrealist narrative and down-the-rabbit-hole-and-into-Hotel-California feel, this is a beautiful film to simply look at. Every frame is considered and composed, almost like paintings in their stillness and precision. A recent editorial spread by Outumuro in Spanish Marie Claire magazine capitalized on the look of Last Year at Marienbad in a gorgeous homage to the film. It's no stretch to see how the famous "broken shoe" scene translates to our modern love of footwear...

 

The famous "broken shoe" scene from Last Year at Marienbad, and...

...recreated in Spanish Marie Claire by Outumuro.

Outumuro images from Spanish Marie Claire from The Terrier and Lobster

I think it is this visual appeal that keeps drawing designers, photographers, art directors, and yes, film directors, back to Last Year at Marienbad. Strange and misunderstood, it’s confusing mix of narratives keep generations of people conjuring their own opinions, while its eternal Gothic style provides its own frisson that’s difficult to ignore…no matter how much you may want to.

So will it be showing at the San Francisco Fashion Film Festival? I'm still unsure. As much as it's influential and intriguing, my vote is still undecided.

Monday
Jan022012

Last Day to Support the SF Fashion Film Festival!

Marlene Dietrich in The Devil is a Woman, Paramount Pictures, 1935

If you were thinking of supporting the San Francisco Fashion Film Festival with a Kickstarter donation, now is the time to do it!!! There's about 40 hours left on our Kickstarter, which ends on January 4th!

Here's the link to the Kickstarter: San Francisco Fashion Film Festival

We have reached our initial goal of $6000, but we would like to make a little bit more so we can expand our festival and bring in some truly fabulous events, panels, lectures, and surprises!

ALSO, be sure to follow the Film Festival here:

Twitter: @fashfilmfest

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/FashFilmFest

Tumblr: http://fashfilmfest.tumblr.com/

We're really working hard to find some amazing images and anecdotes for the Tumblr, appropriately entitled P.O.V., so please be sure to follow us!

Norma Shearer in a fitting with designer Adrian and an assistant, 1930s.

Friday
Dec302011

Goodbye Eleven, Hello Twelve!

Just like everyone else, this week has been about looking back at the past year and giving it some thought. In my case, I was reminded once again of what a banner year 2011 has been for me and Poetic & Chic. I am still amazed at all of the wonderful opportunities and people that came my way this year, and which have developed into more good things to come in the next year! I'm filled with gratitude for all of it.

In 2011, I continued my intermittent series of Bang Envy posts, P&C Questionnaires, and of course the Postcard of the Week. Of all of them, I was surprised to learn that the postcards mean the most to my readers. At a recent gathering, I was told time and again about how much people look forward to the postcards and the little stories I dig up about them. Nothing could have been more enlightening! The postcards rarely seem to get comments, but I was told this was because they go "too deep" and bring up so many things that it's difficult to put together a response. To me, they are a little bit of ephemera - a little journey to take at mid-week. It's always interesting where they lead me, which I suppose makes them equally interesting to all of you. I'm so happy to learn that they are appreciated.

The year began with a bang for me, as I interviewed two very famous people on THE SAME DAY. What are the chances? The first was Vogue Magazine's European Editor at Large, Hamish Bowles, about his exhibit, Balenciaga & Spain at the de Young Museum. This was a privilege that I will cherish and remember forever. I sincerely hope our paths cross again some day.

My second interview that day was with the very talented Darren Criss, who plays Blaine on Glee. Darren and I are alumni of the same high school, so the interview was ostensibly for our alumni magazine but premiered on my blog. All I can say is this: if you ever want an explosion of blog traffic, write about a teen idol. Suddenly my interview was copied and posted all over the internet (without permission), and now I'm even one of the links on Darren Criss' Wikipedia page. Oh my.

Riding the momentum form these two wonderful interviews, I ended up getting nominated, and even reaching the top 3 fashion blogs on the SF Weekly Web Awards. This honor was totally unexpected and I still feel undeserving, but it was so nice to be recognized in this way! Because of this, I was invited to host a little Fashion's Night Out gathering at Jonathan Adler, which was such fun for the gang of bloggers and stylists I have come to know and love this year. Likewise, I was equally honored to have my first feature story in Matchbook Magazine this December, as a lead-in for the San Francisco Fashion Film Festival which will happen next Spring. All of these things were more than I ever expected this year.

Of course, the main even of the year for me was the 5th anniversary of Poetic & Chic. When I launched this site in 2006 I had no idea I'd still be here this many years later. I cannot even believe it myself! So, when some friends suggested that I throw a party for this milestone, I could only agree. What a wonderful night! I'm so happy so many people came out to celebrate, and honored that so many of my creative friends sent me their "fives" for the blog... The whole occasion is something I will treasure.

Here are some of my other favorite posts of the year...

The Best of 2011:

Coachella Style: Does Anyone Care?

Speculation: Miss Middleton's Wedding Dress

Life Lessons From Working Girl

Picasso, The Steins, and Modern Art in San Francisco

Cheetah Chic

On the Make: Glitter Reduxed

Influences: The Winged Messenger

Fashion's Night Out at Jonathan Adler

Influences: Cleopatra

Here's to an equally fulfilling 2012 with more challenges and opportunities, new work, creativity, fun, and friendship! Once again, I feel that this quote bears repeating, especially at the top of a new year! Sending lots of love and best wishes to everyone for the New Year!

Monday
Dec122011

San Francisco Fashion Film Festival

Hedy Lamarr in Ziegfeld Girl, MGM 1941

"I remember Ziegfeld Girl...Hedy Lamarr, Lana Turner, Judy Garland, Jimmy Stewart... You know for me, a young guy of 13, to see this sort of beauty. I think from that moment I decide: I want to create clothes for ladies." -Valentino Garavani in Valentino: The Last Emperor

As some of you may already know, I'm working with Kim of J'Adore Couture and Adelle of FashionistaLab to put together the first annual San Francisco Fashion Film Festival! We have been working on this for weeks, sorting out the venue, film permissions, and other logistics. We have lots of ideas of talks and panels, not to mention the possible special guest!

We don't have a final list of titles yet, but we will be screening films from the indie sector, documentaries, and yes, feature films too. We have a short list of what we'd like to show, but I'm sure there will be a lot of discussion before we come to any final selections. What I can tell you is that the titles may be surprising and unexpected. We want this festival to dig deeper and explore all different aspects of design on film, not just the usual Audrey Hepburn films, for lack of a better example. Not that there's anything wrong with those (we love Audrey!), but we just want to offer something different and more exciting than what's been done before.

What are the films that fashion designers watch over and over again? What films are referenced on the runway and why? How have filmmakers celebrated fashion in their work? What films tell the stories of the creative powerhouses that define our trends, our style, our culture? These are the questions we want to explore at the San Francisco Fashion Film Festival.

Are you a filmmaker? Do you have a film that would be a good fit for our festival? Please visit our site to make a submission!

How can you help? Please visit our Kickstarter page and make a donation, however big or small. We have a number of fabulous rewards on offer, but the main reward will be getting the festival to happen! We can't do that without your fundraising support.

Follow us on Twitter: @fashfilmfest, and on Facebook: http://facebook.com/FashFilmFest, and visit our website to see our blog and read all about us! http://www.fashfilmfest.org.

Image from Doctor Macro.

Thursday
Dec012011

Oh Hi Matchbook Mag!

I'm THRILLED to announce to everyone that I have a feature story in this month's Matchbook Magazine which went live this mornng! My piece entitled "Frocks on Film" talks about my favorite party dresses from the movies. By some sort of wonderful poeticism, the cover feature is on Janie Bryant - the incredible costume designer behind Mad Men. There are also beautiful articles on the unsinkable Molly Brown, Dick Avedon, and the Assoulines, as well as truly inspired gift wrap ideas, gift suggestions, and festive tidbits throughout. Every page is a beauty, and I'm so tickled pink to be a part of it! Wow!

Visit Matchbook Magazine online!

Special thanks to the wonderful Katie Armour for letting me ply her with Blue Bottle coffee & toast and letting me convince her that this story contribution would work! Huge gratitude.

Of course, this whole article leads to a big announcement about the upcoming San Francisco Fashion Film Festival which I'm working on with Adelle from FashionistaLab and Kim from J'Adore Couture. More details are coming on Monday, but in the meantime, you can check us out at fashfilmfest.org!

Monday
Nov072011

Influences: Cleopatra

Cleopatra Testing Poisons on Condemed Prisoners by Alexandre Cabanel, 1887.

Over the past few weeks I've been deeply immersed in Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff. Having finished its detailed, dense, and scholarly 300 pages, I'm intrigued by this powerful Egyptian queen, who wasn't really Egyptian but Greek. Not merely a seductress, as Schiff demonstrates beautifully, Cleopatra was a politician, a living goddess, a mother, a diplomat, a generous patron, a scholar, a strategist, a lady, and yes, a passionate lover. What is even more intriguing is her lasting influence over the millenia. From Plutarch to Shakespeare to Cecil B. DeMille, this woman's political savvy, allure, and style have inspired art, film, music, dance, and fashion.

Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra in 1964. Massive sets, location changes, budget overruns, a solid gold dress, and Le Scandale - did anyone actually think this movie would turn out okay?

Claudette Colbert at Cleopatra in 1934. I don't care for Colbert's Cleopatra - she's entirely too smiling and too saucy to really be right for the role. Indeed, as one of the last pre-code films, Colbert plays up the "Cleopatra as sex vixen" aspect. However, her costumes are spectacular.

As Chip Brown mentions in his National Geographic article "The Search for Cleopatra" from July, 2011: "When not serving as a Rorschach test of male fixations, Cleopatra is an inexhaustible muse. To a recent best-selling biography add—from 1540 to 1905—five ballets, 45 operas, and 77 plays. She starred in at least seven films; an upcoming version will feature Angelina Jolie." Along with all of this are the many paintings and drawings of the queen, many of which date from the academic period of the late 19th Century, when all things ancient came back into vogue. The most famous film depictions of Cleopatra are of course the Elizabeth Taylor version from 1964, but also the Claudette Colbert version from 1934. Before filming, DeMille reportedly asked Colbert "How would you like to be wickedest woman in history?" It is this myth of wickedness that Schiff's book helps to dispel. Rather than relying on her feminine wiles, one can see that Cleopatra had true intelligence and an inherent diplomacy needed to calculate political risk, assert herself as a world leader, and protect her kingdom. The long-lauded affairs with Julis Caesar and Mark Antony are in truth, merely sidenotes to the real political intrigues.

The coveted Pegasus Necklace from Stella & Dot. $198

Cleopatra was also a calculated image-maker. She knew how to orchestrate opulence in order to woo a crowd, or even a Roman general. She knew what to wear, how to speak, and she spoke multiple languages. Her image as a wealthy queen, and as the living embodiment of the Goddess Isis, was part of her power, and one that was carefully maintained. Even the city of Alexandria maintained the standard with its libraries, technological advances, golden statuary, marble walkways, perfumes, and lavish meals. Schiff describes her dress as being bedecked with "plenty of pearls, the diamonds of the day."

She coiled long ropes of pearls around her neck and braided more into her hair. She wore others sewn into the fabric of her tunics. Those were ankle-length and lavishly colored, of fine Chinese silk or gauzy linen, traditionally worn belted, or with a brooch or ribbon. Over the tunic went an often transparent mantle, through which the bright folds of fabric were clearly visible. On her feet Cleopatra wore jeweled sandals with patterned soles.

But other than this, what Cleopatra looked like remains a mystery. The cover of Schiff's book shows a woman with her face turned away - perfectly appropriate considering there are no frontal views of Cleopatra's likeness. All of her portraits are in profile, showing a somewhat large nose and prominent features. It is understood that while Cleopatra was not beautiful, her allure, charisma, and intelligence developed enough attraction to hold many in her thrall.

Louis Vuitton's "Desert Goddesses" ad campaign from 2004, featuring Naomi Campbell and shot by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott.

Perhaps it is this alluring mystery that has inspired so many for so long. That, and the luxury of ancient Alexandria whose gold, silver, and pearls seemed to flow through the streets. Indeed, luxury fashion designers often return to Cleopatra and Egyptian iconography for inspiration. In 2004, Marc Jacobs at Louis Vuitton developed his "Desert Goddesses" collection, with an array of black, gold, and turquoise looking like warm sands meeting the Meditterranean. In more recent seasons, Gareth Pugh sent gold and black striped looks down his runway for Fall 2011, offering a tough, almost robotic take on Egyptian motifs and headdresses.

Gareth Pugh, Fall 2011 collection.

Even more than mere fashion, the history of the age of Cleopatra lives on. HBO's series Rome offered a lush take on the relationships between the Egyptian queen and both Julius Caesar and Mark Antony, while also showing a vivid portrayal of Octavian - the man destined to end the Ptolemaic Empire forever. Through many marriages and inter-marriages, both Octavian and Mark Antony's descendants were future Roman emperors including Tiberius, Claudius, Caligula, and Nero. The histories of these emperors are celebrated in all their gory machinations in I, Claudius from 1976. Mark Antony's Roman wife, Octavia - sister to Octavian, comes out as the kindest and most generous of all, taking guardianship of not only her own children (3 by a first marriage), and her two children with Mark Antony, but also of the three children Mark Antony and Cleopatra had together.

At the end of Schiff's account of Cleopatra, she dispels the notion that the queen committed suicide by being bitten by an asp. Instead, she suggests that it was poisoned figs that did the job, killing Cleopatra and her two attendants almost immediately. Poisoned figs serve as a leitmotif for Octavian, who, 40 years later, after securing his empire and launching the Pax Romana, was rumored to be killed by his own wife Livia Drusilla with poisoned figs. (Peter Greenaway picked up on the poisoned figs in the 1980s in one of my favorite films, The Belly of an Architect. Apart from the main character Storley Kracklite's obsession with Octavian Augustus' tomb, he shows his growing insanity by accusing his wife of poisoning some figs.)

The famous Cleopatra Earrings by Wendy Brandes. 18K gold with 1.36 carats of diamonds. $9,000

So what can we expect as a trend response from Schiff's wonderful biography and the upcoming film with Angelina Jolie? Probably a lot of gold, pearls, and Grecian sandals, but perhaps with even more regal jewels. As with all bio-pics, there is usually a strong fascination that results in the general public. It was the same with Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette, and it will likely be the same here, with designers adapting classic Grecian draping to modern tastes. One of the best parts of the Cecil B. DeMille-Claudette Colbert version of Cleopatra was the way the film's designers adapted the look for the sleek shapes of the Art Deco period of the 1930s. Not exactly historically accurate, but really great style.

Cleopatra on the Terraces of Philae by Frederick Arthur Bridgman, 1896

One thing that will certainly change with upcoming depictions of Cleopatra is the charge that she was merely a seductress, not a leader. As Schiff concludes: "It has always been preferable to attribute a woman's success to her beauty rather than to her brains, to reduce her to the sum of her sex life...Cleopatra unsettles more as sage than as seductress; it is less threatening to believe her fatally attractive than fatally intelligent."

Images: 1) Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp 2) Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra, 1963 by 20th Century Fox 3) Claudette Colber in Cleopatra, 1934 by Paramount Pictures - from Doctor Macro 4) Stella & Dot 5) 6) Fashion Gone Rogue 7) Wendy Brandes Jewelry 8) Public Domain

Tuesday
Oct182011

What I've Been Doing...

I know posting's been a little sparse these days and I apologize. I'm trying to work my way through some back pain, which if you've ever known back pain you'll know, that it's a full-time distraction. Luckily, I think I'm on the road to recovery! Time will tell...

In the meantime, I've been trying to keep my apartment up, making some changes here and there. It's hard, because all I really want to do is rest, but at a certain point you just can't stand it any more and have to do something... But there's been a lot of planning going on. I have a new gallery wall concept which I'll post about, but I've somehow lost my hammer so the hanging of said gallery is temprarily delayed. If you see a random hammer lying around, it's probably mine.

I did find my itty-bitty craft hammer though, which was enough to hang my new vintage poster in the bathroom. It's an old lobby poster for It Should Happen to You - one of my favorite films of the 1950s. If you've never seen it, put it on your list because it's a treat. Judy Holliday and Jack Lemmon are perfectly matched - comedically and romantically. And then there's Peter Lawford being Peter Lawford... But it's Holliday who is a laugh-riot in this movie, playing the dizzy blonde to perfection. She's charming and endearing and full of the ambitions all of us have longed for at some point.

When I came across this poster, I thought it was the perfect thing to bring out the vintage pink pottery I have in my bathroom...and it always reminds me of the film too.

Yesterday's grocery run found some great flowers at Trader Joe's. Sometimes when you hit it at the right time, you can get really good stuff. I got black dahlias for $4.99 per bunch, and a mixed bouquet of gerber daisies, roses, and hypericum berries for $3.99 per bunch. I thought the deep plum of the dahlias would work well with the pinks and burgundies in the mixed bouquet, so I put the two together in some of my favorite vases from Jonathan Adler. In the end, I think they look a lot more expensive than a $10 bouquet!

Who'd have thought that a trip to Trader Joe's would inspire like this?

Wednesday
Sep072011

The Elizabethan Fashion Moment?

Taylor & Burton in a relaxed moment, 1960s.

I know that everyone has been thinking of Elizabeth Taylor since her death last spring, so I suppose an expectation for Taylor-flavored styles this fashion week isn’t too surprising. The fashion world loves an icon, and a recently-deceased icon surely needs her homage. But having just finished reading Sam Kashner & Nancy Schoenberger’s biography of the Taylor-Burton romance, Furious Love, I find the rumors of a Taylor-flavored influence a little interesting.

It began with Vanessa Friedman’s piece for the FT two weeks ago entitled "Liz Taylor's Gift of Glamour", calling out the particular brand of Elizabeth Taylor’s style & glamour as a likely fashion influence for this Fall. Even V Magazine is sending out its September issue (on newsstands this coming Thursday,) with an homage to Taylor in over 70 pages of images styled by Carine Roitfeld. It seems the Elizabethan moment is verified, so I wonder if the predictions for this week’s runways will be true. I also wonder if these fashion insiders will get it right.

Cathy Horyn’s piece "An Alluring Beauty Exempt from Fashion’s Rules", from the New York Times last March 23rd - the day Taylor died, is the best (and truest) summation of Taylor’s relationship to fashion.

"Because of Ms. Taylor’s physical effect, which audiences surely registered in “Butterfield 8” and “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” when she appeared at her most dangerous, in a slip or a stolen fur coat or an unchaste white sheath dress, you tended not to notice the particulars of her wardrobe.

Instead you noticed the heavily penciled brows, the lipsticked mouth, the riot of hair crowned with fresh flowers or jewels (typically the work of Alexandre of Paris) or the head scarf when she was on a beach or relaxing with her family, oblivious of the chaos her star presence was causing."

Given this, I found it odd that while discussing the V Magazine spread, Carine Roitfeld is quoted as saying “She [Taylor] had the kind of elegance that went far beyond clothes.” Elegance? I don’t think that’s correct. That is so like the French to call everyone "elegant", even when they don't deserve it.

Elegance is a “refined quality of gracefulness and good taste” whereas glamour is “an attractive or exciting quality that makes certain people seem appealing.” I don’t know that anyone has ever described Elizabeth Taylor as having good taste in anything but jewelry.

Elizabeth Taylor wears the 69.42 carat Taylor-Burton diamond (Krupp diamond) with Richard Burton at the 1970 Academy Awards.

While Taylor truly enjoyed the finer things, excess, food, drink, and a general fun frolic, she didn’t put much in mind for clothing. She did take a lot of chances (for better or worse), but between the furs and jewelry and extravagant hairstyles, the end result was mostly loud, distracting frivolity. It is almost as though she pursued a vulgarity in her look so that people would no longer see her ever-present beauty. This was certainly the case in her private language and manner. According to Furious Love, Taylor loved to swig beer, belch, and swear with the best of them, thereby downplaying her beauty and femininity by pointedly not acting like a lady.

Taylor (with Burton) challenges the notion of "good taste" with white hot pants and go-go boots. 1971

She was consciously vulgar; she tried to be, and succeeded. She knew that flaunting millions of dollars in jewelry was a bit outré, but she appreciated their beauty for themselves and wanted to share it with the world. According to Furious Love, she wrote: "One day somebody else will have them...and I hope that new person will love the jewelry and respect it as much as I do...I've never, never thought of my jewelry as trophies. I'm here to take care of them and to love them."

As Vanessa Friedman said in her article:

“…She was the id unleashed, with an unapologetic joy in consumption that those tired of today’s hair-shirted mea culpas may find truly thrilling…Her sense that fashion and sparkles are for fun, and that there is value in that fun, helped make her so compelling as a style icon, then and now. She didn’t ask for anyone’s approval and she wore her diamonds with great joy, even in her hair.”

This earthiness contributed to her allure, because instead of being ephemeral and untouchable (and elegant) like her contemporary Grace Kelly, Taylor was firmly planted on solid ground; it was just the looks that were goddess-like. (According to Furious Love, Burton “usually felt awkward around Princess Grace, whom he described as rather dull and in the class of people who are ‘in a somewhat false position and know it…’”)

The taste of Taylor: In the world's most expensive fur coat & a bikini, with Burton, Look Magazine, 1970.

Taylor’s fiery glamour and passion is what is more appropriate than any “elegance” she may have shown. Her love of jewelry far outweighed any love for fashion. In fact, I would go so far as to say that fashion maybe made her feel a bit insecure. Taylor always reverted to classic designers such as Halston, but for her red-carpet events she usually asked Edith Head to design something for her. Other than a designer, she chose a costume designer – she was dressing to fit the part of a movie star and went right to the top. But a costume is not fashion.

Vanessa Friedman asserts that the Taylor influence will translate into jewel tones, belts, metallics, and touches of tweed and fur. To me, this doesn’t sound too far away from what's normal, but we’ll see what happens. Aren't we already expecting an emerald-green trend for Fall?

An Elizabeth Taylor trend in beauty, makeup, and styling is one thing, but fashion? Beyond an increase in furs and bosomy-necklines (which we’ve already seen swelling, ahem, in the past few seasons,) I’m not sure that a true style influence that translates to the runway is entirely apt. If it can be done creatively and with Taylor's own brand of shock and humor (and even a touch of vulgarity?) then perhaps it will be correct. But designers are so very conscious of what's in good taste that I think it will be stretch for them to let loose and take a cue from La Taylor.

Cathy Horyn said it best at the conclusion of her piece on Taylor, saying “this kind of style had nothing to do with luxury or imprisoning taste, but it had a great deal to do with living.”

Images: 1) from Movie Morlocks, 2) Vanity Fair, 3) Shoe Blogs, 4) Internet