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{STYLE WISE} LAUREN BACALL PRESENTS 1987 COSTUME DESIGN OSCAR

With the 88th Annual Academy Awards just around the corner, we can’t help but indulge in some Oscar nostalgia in this key periods of waiting…

One fantastic find is this clip from Oscar.com of the costume design portion of the 1987 ceremony which celebrated the best films of 1986; a fantastic year which include Roland Joffe’s “The Mission”, Woody Allen’s “Hannah and her Sisters”, Oliver Stone’s “Platoon”, and of course, my boy David Lynch’s iconic modern masterwork “Blue Velvet”*.

*one nomination for David Lynch in the category of Best Director (should have been many more).

Presenting the award is none other than style divinity Lauren Bacall in all her sultry, sophisticated glory….MAN! THEY DON’T MAKE THEM LIKE THEY USED TO!

What began as the most innocent unassuming presentation turned into full-on 80s fashion MADNESS!!!

Basically, the jist was that the costumes of films have always and will always directly influence fashion so with the help of legendary costume designer Theoni V. Aldredge ( 1974’s ‘The Great Gatsby’ ) who used the year’s nominees (“The Mission”, “Otello”, “Peggy Sue Got Married”, “Pirates”, and that year’s winner “A Room With a View”) as inspiration for contemporary fashions a la 1987 through the eyes of one magnificently creative and visionary mind.

They just couldn’t help themselves, and be prepared to be dazzled by some super enthusiastic dancers and some really exciting fashion that probably never actually made it to the streets, but at least opens the eye to the possibilities of inspiration.

In a not very surprising instance of history repeating itself, Jenny Beaven, the winner of the Oscar that year for James Ivory’s stunning, classic film “A Room With a View” (starring young and fresh faces Helena Bonham Carter and Denholm Elliot), is nominated again this year for George Miller’s visionary epic “Mad Max: Fury Road” and is primed to taking home the Golden Boy once again!

What is so fantastic about Jenny Beaven’s contribution to “Mad Max: Fury Road”, personally, is that it is such a different kind of project than her past films which have garnered nominations such as “Gosford Park“, “The King’s Speech“, and “Howards End“, which makes it so cool to see her creating such raw and original and truly contemporary visions for this latest masterwork, and getting much deserved recognition for it.

If you haven’t seen “Mad Max: Fury Road” do so. It is a magnificently conjured film by true veterans of the craft. To be honest, I had my doubts about it, as I am getting so tired of these Hollywood remakes, but with the original director at the helm it truly is a treat to see what could be done with a story like Mad Max if given the treatment it deserves.

And if you wonder how possibly could we see the tattered and extreme costumes of “Fury Road” translate to today’s fashion scene. Look no further than say Kanye West’s label “Yeezy” and his latest collection SEASON 3 . . .apparently dystopia is tres chic these days, and that’s just a single example.  Go figure!

We hope to delve a bit more into the Costume Design category in the coming week, so stay tuned!

And don’t forget to watch on the big night (Feb. 28) to see history in the making!

How rich it is to find the threads of our {past}, {present}, and {future}

entangling us so  . . .

Until next time,

{theEye}

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KILLER STYLE: Cinema’s Most Stylish Villains

We’re giving a whole new meaning to the phrase “Killer Style“!

Here at The Eye of Faith we do much musing over things that shock and fascinate the mind, soul, and spirit. We, like many, love to get down to the deep, dark, and dirty of life for a far richer experience.

As you probably know, our taste for movies is definitely no exception. Best of all, as you skim through the catalog of the past, not only might you find something surprising or of interest to your mind, body, and spirit, but you have an opportunity to surf the waves of the past.

Whether it is on your T.V., or on this shining bright computer screen, with the click of a button you can travel through time and visit remarkable new worlds…This you must already know, and perhaps this is what has brought you here. Well, we have devised a treat for you (no surprises)…

The past week we have been diving head first into the wicked world of well, the wicked. While the world is often milling over the heroes we meet in the movies, we thought it was only appropriate for us to showcase the undeniable efforts of the deluded, damned, violent, brewing with evil, cruel and candid characters who without we wouldn’t be having half as much fun…

So despite their shortcomings, we can’t help but uphold these characters for their undeniable style sense when it comes to getting dressed. If society can’t stop them from killing, you better believe it isn’t going to stop them from looking damn cool while doing it.

Enjoy this virtuoso of style inspiration dedicated to

Cinema’s 13 Most Stylish Villains!

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13. The Joker from “THE DARK KNIGHT”

Purple Blazer. Need I say more? With a penchant for bold color choices, and a seriously sick sensibility for mixing pattern, The Joker kicks off the list.

Looking at his outfit head to toe, one is impressed by his attention to fit, along with an impressive full piece suit complete with green vest, blazer, and that purple overcoat. Finishing it off with a dandy pair of leather gloves in purple to match, I’d say The Joker must be one serious style aficionado in his spare time, as he’s right ahead of the trend with his acid colored hair.

However, there’s no doubt he’s taken the male makeup trend just a bit too far. I’ll admit it’s hard to stop once you start going at it, but to take it that far is going to cost quite a bit of money in the long run. Then again, maybe that’s why he needs to rob those banks. It’s all making sense now…

12. Amon Goeth from “SCHINDLER’S LIST”

Amon Goeth takes the word sociopath to a completely new level. Ralph Fiennes portrayed the evil Nazi commander in the film completely captured the vain, erratic, and narcissistic Goeth in one of film history’s greatest performances.

Snapping at close to anything, there’s no getting on this villain’s bad side. Perhaps one of the cruelest characters you will ever see, Goeth is poised,slick, and above-all, evil.

Military is always in style, and while the Nazi party didn’t really have a knack for other people, they really clean up well and have an insatiable attention to detail. His obsessive compulsiveness makes him strive for his own perfection.

While his actions are downright criminal, his sense of style could only be described as having that killer instinct.

11. Sweeney Todd from “SWEENEY TODD: THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET”

You really can’t fault Sweeney Todd. Other than his insatiable thirst for revenge, and extreme tendency for murder he really is one helluva guy!

After all, before developing his criminal reputation he was the finest barber in London, which today would make him kind of an urban rock star of sorts. Just add a full tattoo sleeve, and you could totally picture it! Indeed – he is but a Victorian hipster with a grudge against “The Man”, but who isn’t?

Mr. Todd sports some wicked looks throughout the film, like his classic striped slim leg trousers, leather razor blade buckle, canvas button up, and distressed corduroy vest with some serious scarf action; the kind that looks simple, but you know took at least a few minutes…

Can’t forget to mention his leather trench. The trench of trenches. Every guy should have a nice distressed brown leather trench, simple as that. Even if only because Sweeney Todd has one; because you know he’s gonna slit your throat if you piss him off somehow . . .

10. Frank Booth from “BLUE VELVET”


So Frank Booth is crazy….So what?! Even with all his issues he manages to make it out of the house dressed to impress. And if a schizophrenic maniac can do it, we all should be able to.

We love the black leather blazer with striped shirt ensemble. Notice the cool metal detail on the collar of that shirt, plus one of today’s biggest crazes – the bolo tie. He’s definitely doing it up bad. All it takes is having some great blazers on hand and the shirts to compliment them, and you’re well on your way. Make sure to pay attention to texture and pattern – mix them, but don’t let one or the other take away – instead let them sing…together.

Frank’s style can be perfectly summed up in his famous quote: “Heineken? Fuck that shit! PABST. BLUE. RIBBON!!!” …in other words, he doesn’t need anything fancy, just keep it simple. That’s what Frank would want. So just keep it simple, classic, and true….like Frank.

9. Charlie Rakes from “LAWLESS”


I don’t think there’s ever been a creepier and outrageously ghastly character who is as finely dressed as Mr. Charlie Rakes from this year’s Lawless.

Rakes’ city sensibilities are easily spotted in the rural Virginia backdrop, and it is his dapper and proper demeanor which completely characterize the level of this nut job’s craziness!

For the film, costume designer Margot Wilson had different leather gloves specifically made for each new scene. His suits are approachable and classic and display an innate sensibility to style. Being from Chicago, he must have spent many afternoons perusing the department stores and pampering his wallet.

But what has everyone talking is the now infamous plucked brow that Guy Pearce put himself through to play the character, as well as the shaved part in his head. Meticulously Charlie Rakes has plucked each and every hair on his brow, while shaving a large line down the middle of his head. Is this a branding experiment gone wrong? Vanity Insanity?

You can’t help but question it, and whatever it is, it makes for a truly terrifying character that makes it easy to question his humanity.

8. Alex De Large from “A CLOCKWORK ORANGE”


Inhabiting a strange fantasy dystopia imagined with a vivid psychedelic futurism that could have only been developed as a product of its time, the film has inspired and influenced millions of style enthusiasts in the worlds of fashion, film, interior design, and the millions of Halloween costumes worn around the world every year.

Alex De Large resonates because he isn’t really a mainstream trend follower in any sense. Instead, him and his anti-establishment friends mix and match cool vintage pieces in a strict all white combination (that’s called edgy). Their canes and top hats allude to the upper crust, while their army boots and famous codpieces say they’re strictly at war. And the fake eyelash? Just another touch of sinister to round the whole thing out.

Belonging to a discreet underground society, these avant-garde style choices are no surprise. Sometimes style is the best way to get your point across, and Mr. De Large definitely proves that!

7. Alex Forrest from “FATAL ATTRACTION”


 Our first femme fatale on the list! Alex Forrest is one of those characters who will forever haunt and permeate the public consciousness for her direct approach at dealing with the heartaches and breaks of being the other woman in an affair.

Set in the 1980s, Alex quickly seduces with her vivacious attitude which is perfectly matched by some equally vivacious hair (so vivacious, that even if she didn’t have that attitude, you’d still mistake her for the most vivacious lady in the room). Big hair which takes plenty of work, and forethought.

And since she’s gone through all that pain for beauty, her minimalist looks in black or white not only characterize her unstable persona, but her sophisticated downtown coolness. She’s one of those women who just always know – they have the best tastes, and know how to pair it down to let their personality shine.

Unfortunately, her good intentions always seem to get overshadowed by violent outbursts spawned by jealous rage. Nobody’s perfect.

6. Ravenna from “SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN”

When it comes to violent outbursts spawned by jealous rage, not many people do it better than Alex Forrest – until she met Ravenna, the most recent incarnation of the evil queen from Snow White, in “Snow White and the Huntsman”.

Brilliantly portrayed by Charlize Theron, the character’s sense of style is a beautiful and grotesque exploration of the character. With gowns made from beetles, birds bones, skulls, feathers, leathers, suede, and fur- it makes you wonder how many animals let alone people has this lady really killed to get herself looking so good!

So if you can’t give her credit for being a nice girl, the least we can do is say she’s got a great way of feeling fine. A little over the top and gloomy, but someone’s got to do it…

5. Cruella De Vil from “101 DALMATIONS”

For many, Cruella De Vil hits far too close to home. A sinister and corrupt fashion magnate with an addiction to fur, Cruella De Vil is near flabbergasting for her plot to kidnap and murder 101 innocent dalmatian puppies to make the perfect fur coat  (they don’t call her Cruella De Vil for nothing).

We’ll give it to her though, and despite her cruelty towards animals, her pure love for fashion simply cannot be ignored. A true sophisticate propelled by vanity, Cruella showcases style choices that compliment her slender fashion figure while taking style to higher heights in all levels. She is a style maven who touches base on all elements of her wardrobe. There also isn’t a better example of how to rock white hair and truly make it a statement.

Perhaps she was just ahead of her time, after all, many fashion gurus of today are calling for furs on the racks and runways everywhere.

4. Phyllis Dietrichson from “DOUBLE INDEMNITY”


The slinky sultry styles of true noir femme fatale Phyllis Dietrichson just couldn’t be ignored for this list. Sure she doesn’t personally kill anybody, and she isn’t necessarily your typical movie monster but it is through her careful manipulation she is able to convince a naive insurance man into her diabolical plot to murder her husband.

With movie star good looks (provided by true movie star, Barbara Stanwyck), Phyllis is a character whose style is of utmost importance to pulling off her plan. It is only through temptation and her quick wit that she is able to get her way, and with an impeccable wardrobe to show herself off in, it really doesn’t hurt.

Phyllis displays confidence in skirts, blazers, tight sweaters, slinky robes, and voluminous blouses, as well as a stylish pair of shades many had mistaken for something only of the future.

So, does Phyllis Dietrichson express killer style? Most definitely!

3. Patrick Bateman from “AMERICAN PSYCHO”


Patrick Bateman is another character you really can’t leave out in a discussion of villains with style. In fact, you could argue style as one of Patrick Bateman’s only redeeming qualities. After all, it is something he completely obsesses over (when he’s not obsessing over sex and murder).

Bateman is the iconoclastic image of Wall Street in the 80s – smart, slim, and slick, but also vicious, soulless, and full of schizophrenic rage.

Patrick is fully up to date with every new gadget, gizmo, and luxury designer garment on the market. With a low attention span, he is constantly refueling his psychopathic need for the best, paired with a beauty regiment that rivals Joan Crawford, and a constantly growing bank account, it’s no wonder Patrick Bateman is that All-American ideal – that guy you still find on the pages of Esquire and GQ. Perfect suit. Perfect tie. Perfect hair. Perfect smile. Perfect everything- and it’s all really expensive.

When you take this in, the story really begins; it’s like they say “don’t judge a book by it’s cover”…
2. Count Dracula from “BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA”


We’ve dedicated an entire post to Dracula’s dandier side before on The Eye of Faith
, so there was no way our favourite fiend of the night would escape us when it came to villains who really showed an edge when it comes to style.

Indeed, this Prince of Darkness is far cry from the classic vampire in popular culture. This Dracula trades his black cape for an epic blood red silk overcoat with oriental details embroidered in gold threads, and his signature tuxedo is a lusciously luruxious silvery taupe day suit complete with cane and top hat. This is the devilishly dapper demon we have come to know and love.

Taking influence from the art scene of the time, Dracula reworks these inspirations into beautiful clothes turned works of art that make a solid armor from bare flesh, or bring a painting by Klimt to life.

It is this studied and fearless dedicated to style, both classic and artful, and the balance between the two, that make Count Dracula signature to villains who have a supernatural knack for getting dressed in the morning.

1. Baby Jane Hudson from “WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE?”


Our number one most stylish villain of all time might come as a surprise for many, but fashion has been musing over this deadly diva for a while now, and it’s time her one-of-a-kind sensibilities get brought to the forefront!

Clad in silk, chiffon, laces, tulle, and ribbons, Baby Jane Hudson is one of those characters who found herself early in life, and sticks to what she knows best. Not that this is a detriment at all, if anything it shows a strong sense of self, and an early inclination towards beautiful textiles and fabrics.

The lesson to be learned from Baby Jane Hudson is having confidence and conviction (something Baby Jane never lost throughout her life, in fact, it might have been the only thing holding her together). Vintage items are made uniquely her own by her lackadaisical approach to wearing her beautifully feminine and opulent pieces that are now a bit dusty and tattered. I hate to say it, but Baby Jane Hudson is kind of a rock star!

Publications like Italian Vogue and Elle have been musing with the classic tale, while influences can be seen on the runways of Prada & Chanel. Perhaps it’s her youthful energy, or perhaps it’s her unresolved resentment towards her sister, this push and pull between having a hard edge and vital youth make the look worth while. Bold make up choices on her part are also greatly appreciated.

So don’t be afraid that lace and ribbon will make you seem weak, if you can pull it off like Baby Jane does, well you might just have a killer look on your hand. And with that, I’m sure Baby Jane would be happy to know that she takes the title of Cinema’s Most Stylish Villain with honor and respect.

My guess is she’s written a letter to daddy…


{HONORABLE MENTIONS:
Norma Desmond from “Sunset Boulevard”

Roy Batty from “Blade Runner”

The Heathers from “Heathers”

Nancy Downs from “The Craft”

Bill “The Butcher” Cutting from “Gangs of New York”}

Share this with you friends, and let us know if you have any favorite fashion film fiends of your own! Leave a comment below.

Until next time,

{theEye}

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{Style Wise} – Feathered Frenzy: Where Were You “Last Year at Marienbad” ?

Fresh off our post featuring an interview with Colleen Atwood and her immaculate creations for the new film “Snow White and the Huntsman“, {the Eye} began thinking of Charlize Theron’s haunting black raven feather “Transforming Cape” and how much it reminded me of Delphine Seyrig’s amazing feathered dress from the ambiguous and elusive 1961 French art house classic, “Last Year At Marienbad“.

Print This Out and Frame It!

Since it’s release in 1961, the film has captivated it’s viewers with it’s sleek black and white photography, decadent Hotel backdrop (Marienbad), and it’s mysterious plot, which involves a Man named “X” and a woman named “A” who may or may not have met the last year a Marienbad. It’s a wild ride through flashbacks, memories, dreams, faded thoughts, and blurred desires that remains the pinnacle of the New Novel movement.

 X

Empty salons. Corridors. Salons. Doors. Doors. Salons. Empty chairs, deep armchairs, thick carpets. Heavy hangings. Stairs, steps. Steps, one after the other. Glass objects, objects still intact, empty glasses. A glass that falls, three, two, one, zero. Glass partition, letters.

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Written by the renowned French author Alain Robbe-Grillet, and directed by Alain Resnais, the film hoped to break the bounds of narrative and conventional film style all together, and in exchange offer us, the audience, the chance to shape our own perception of the story being unfolded before us.

We may never get an answer from Resnais or Robbe-Grillet on what the film truly is or isn’t about, but it truly is a remarkable and powerful thing to have complete control over our own perception – don’t you think?

From a style perspective, it only takes one look at Delphine Seyrig‘s iconic black feathered cape to understand its staying power in our style consciousness.  Chic and elegant, it would take some serious rock ‘n’ roll attitude to pull this kind of look off today. This didn’t stop Karl Lagerfeld from using the film as the jump point for his collection last Spring/Summer 2011 for Chanel.

While the collection captured some of the signatures of Bernard Evein‘s enigmatic costume designs – feathers, sequins, sheer, black – there’s something masterful in the simplicity and cleanliness of the film’s sumptuous designs.

Here at {the Eye}, we’re going to sit back and let this mystery of a film continue to confuse and delight, as the demons of fashion plant the seeds of inspiration from sea to sea. What Resnais and Robbe-Grillet attempted was to reject accepted notions of time in telling a story- they step forward, backward, under, and sideways creating a timeless lingering legacy.

Inspiration is a strange thing going on and on, snowballing on through time non-stop. Between Charlize, Delphine, and Chanel it might be safe to say, if you’re feeling a little frenzied by feathers – you may just be on the right track!

We love a good mystery, and know you do too, so check out “Last Year At Marienbad” at Criterion today!

++UPDATE++ “Last Year at Marienabd” is part of the TIFF Cinematheque Summer in France programme at the TIFF Lightbox. So if you are in Toronto, and want to enjoy this grand mystery on the big screen, get your ticket today. We will see you there.

Sincerely,

{the Eye}

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{STYLE WISE} Colleen Atwood Speaks: “Snow White and the Hunstman” Costume Featurette

Colleen Atwood is a genius. If her three Academy Awards aren’t enough for you, make sure you check out her latest endeavor “Snow White and the Hunstman“. People often disassociate costume design from the world of fashion and style, but there’s no doubt in my mind’s eye the staying power of Atwood’s latest vision.

This isn’t your normal fairytale, folks – it’s chalk full of mud, blood, fire, sorcery, and evil birds! Definitely not the Disney version you grew up with. On top of that, Charlize Theron really delivers the punch, with her ultra-evil, corrupted, and malevolent Ravenna – the Evil Queen! Never before have I seen an evil queen so mean, and that was half the fun of the entire picture.

No doubt, the other half of the equation goes to Colleen Atwood’s luscious and intricate costume designs for the film. It’s surprising to find such brilliant “haute-couture” in a film, you’d almost think you were watching a fashion video for Alexander McQueen. Playing off motifs of birds, bugs, and bones (again, not your average fairy-tale) – Atwood’s costumes truly help bring to life a new life for this classic tale of love, revenge, and vanity.

This video guides us on a tour through the different challenges Atwood faced as a designer, and the solutions she came up with. Sit back and enjoy her beautifully subdued voice as she says words like “iconic“, “bad-ass“, “Romanesque“, and “non-classic“.

This video was provided by clevverTV, so a big E.O.F. THANK YOU!

Hope you enjoy! {And go check out the movie!}

{the Eye}

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