Tag Archives: costume design

+RARE+ JUDY GARLAND’S ‘VALLEY OF THE DOLLS’ WARDROBE SCREEN TEST

We love Valley of the Dolls…

And we love the myth and legend of Judy Garland, so to discover this rare gem on the interwebs, was to say the least, a huge score!

If you haven’t seen the film, “Valley of the Dolls” was based on Jacqueline Susann’s best selling novel about several young ladies entrapped in the tumultuous world of the entertainment industry.

It is camp, it is glamour, it is a bona fide classic piece of cinema starring the late Patty Duke as the self-sabotaging but talented Neely O’Hara, Barbara Perkins playing a naive small town girl trying to make it in the big city of New York, and Sharon Tate as their gorgeous pal who is forced to do some “shameful” business to make a little cash . . .

One of the antagonists of the film is the character of Helen Lawson, who is a big-shot Broadway star of the ages who Neely goes up to bat against during the production of a play. There are plenty of bitchy moments that incur, which make the film a true joy to behold.


With this in mind, we were shocked the find out that Helen Lawson had originally been given to none other than JUDY GARLAND!!!

This was big news at the time, with the contract being signed February 1967, and a press conference with Judy and Jacqueline Susann at the St. Regis Hotel on March 2, 1967.

“Lets face it; the role calls for an old pro over 40. That’s for me. It’s for sure I am no longer Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz…the part of Helen Lawson is no more me than the part in Judgement at Nuremberg. It doesn’t pertain to me…”

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Work on the film began shortly thereafter with songs being recorded, and scenes being shot. However, many of this footage hasn’t survived, and many claim the scenes that were shot were few and far between and mostly unusable, with Judy refusing to leave her dressing room.

Things reached a head on April 27, 1967.  Judy was fired.

Fox announced that she had resigned for “personal reasons”, which Judy quickly denied citing that she had showed up on set ready to film at 6am and had no idea!!! In the end, she admitted to objecting to certain obscenities in the film, and many fans agree that this film was far beneath her talents….so in the end, everything works out (I guess, minus the fact she died 2 years later from a heavy drug overdose)!!!

Oh, Hollywood….so strange. So weird. So mysterious and odd. And if you’re wondering what I’m talking about, lets get to the point of this all – the wardrobe tests!

You know we love fashion and style, and William Travilla’s glorious designs for Valley of the Dolls are one of the highlights of this film, and Helen Lawson’s costumes are no exception. In these clips, Judy does her thing showing off the designs, as only she could.

If that doesn’t shock you just a little, I’m not sure what will.  The legacy of Judy Garland is so odd and sad. So young and full of talent; thrown into a monstrous machine that only cared to crank out dollars from her…in the end, she lost her vitality, and her mind.

Let her be a lesson to us all to stay true to yourself, and never be a pawn to those in authority. It’s just not worth it. You live one life. Let it be the best life you can imagine!

In the end, the role of Helen Lawson would go to Susan Hayward, who was a legend in her own right, and had even won the coveted Best Actress Academy Award in 1958 playing a death row inmate in I Want to Live!

I guess, things happen for a reason..

Until we meet again,

{theEye}

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{MUSIC MINUTE} Galt MacDermot’s First Natural Hair Band ‘s “Walking in Space”

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+How dare they try to end this beauty+

In honour of our talented cast and crew of ‘HAIR’ and our three show weekend starting tonight, we are sending out this lovely {MUSIC MINUTE} to the universe featuring Galt MacDermot’s First Natural Hair Band, and one of our personal favourite songs of the show “Walking in Space”.

HAIR- Hamilton Theatre Inc- 2016 - Polaroid

It is alleged that Galt MacDermot wrote the entire score for ‘HAIR’ in only three weeks, and initially with at least 30 songs per act.

Galt Macdermot

+Bad Ass Galt MacDermot orchestrating the groovy revolution+

‘HAIR’ is labelled a rock musical, but according to MacDermot, he saw his music more alluding to the funk wave that was stirring through music at the time. And while we remember many of the show’s lustrous melodies, it is truly the powerful rhythms of the show that give the show its unique pulse.

If you ask us, it is the music in partnership with the timeless challenges of ‘HAIR’ that truly make it great.

All aboard the train to Mainline with stops in Pottsville and Moonville . . .

 Hope you enjoy!

Until we meet again,

{theEye}

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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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Dandy “Dracula” [an Ode to Ishioka]

“They say you are a man of good… taste. “

-Dracula, Bram Stoker’s Dracula

As fore mentioned in our last post, we are developing quite the affinity for a certain dreamboat of the dark side, and it seems like more and more of the masses have also come under the dandy wrath of Dracula.

With the passing of ultra-talented and internationally acclaimed costume designer Eiko Ishioka (passed on January 21 at the age of 73), we are finding our world more and more drenched with the dark nightmares and dreamscapes her fantasies conjured in designing for Coppola’s visionary 1991 film, Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

A nightmare fantasy realm of dark mystery, elaborate exoticism, blood, seduction, and intrigue which would not have been the same without the remarkable talents of Ishioka who would go on to win the 1992 Academy Award for Best Costume Design.

While her spirit will be missed, the designs she created are of constant value, for they provide much inspiration and insight into reinvention, and taking the reigns on one’s image. Choose a jump point, and really explore it.

That’s what we’ve been up to. Since we’ve been in this dark mode, and with Dracula on the brain, we pulled some pictures to explore OUR take on the Prince of Darkness explored in true E.O.F. style.

DEDICATED TO EIKO ISHIOKA [ R.I.P. 1938 – 2012 ]

Sincerely,

– The Eye x

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“STOKER” – The Life and Styles of the Rich and Sophisticated . . .

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“Stoker” is one of those films that only come out once in a blue moon; when we’ve all done our chores, and said our blessings to the universe – then we get a film like “Stoker”.

Complex, beautiful, provocative, wonderfully acted, great dialogue, and stylistically beyond are some words you could use to describe it, but its more the indescribable feelings you are left with after leaving the picture, that truly speak to its prestige in the grand scheme of world cinema.

The term world cinema couldn’t be more appropriate in this case, as Korean Director Park (Chang-Wook of “Oldboy” fame) has choreographed this exquisitely sinister plot in a language foreign to most of the cast and crew. Even while working with the film’s biggest stars, a translator was used to communicate between actor and director. And while this is his first English language film, it will definitely not be his last. As any film buff knows, the language of film is universal, and from the film’s opening shots the director’s eye for detail and acute sensibility sing a song harking back to film makers of a time long gone like Bergman, Hitchcock, and Kubrick.

India Stoker- Classic Vintage Inspired Look by Kurt and Bart

Many things spoke to us throughout the film, from Clint Mansell‘s (“Black Swan”) haunting score, the incredibly articulated and imaginative Production Design of Therese De Prez (another “Black Swan” veteran), Wentworth Miller (“Prison Break”) and Erin Wilson’s sophisticated script, as well as the acting chops of Matthew Goode ( playing against type as the mysterious Uncle with a dark past), Nicole Kidman (the lonely and vindictive mother), and most especially Mia Wasikowska, as India Stoker, the film’s protagonist.

This young starlet is always good in everything she is in, but almost expertly does she manage to tackle this role which requires her to be many things, most of the time without many words, making for a most appreciated and most memorable character in the past decade.

Surrounded by Saddle Shoes- India Stoker Style Stunner

But what stood out in particular for us here at The Eye of Faith, had to be the incredible costume design by designer duo Kurt & Bart, who put together the looks to fully realize these strange personalities.

Indeed, they are very rich and very sophisticated, and from the moment India walks onto the screen in her crocodile skinned LaBoutins, flowy skirt and floral silken blouse – you just knew you were in for a style treat with this one.

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In fact, throughout the film, the costumes play a great deal in helping enrich the story being told throughout. The designers point out a green Marni cardigan, worn during the film’s strange piano duet, noting how the colour of the cardigan matches the colours of the walls in her own house, symbolizing India’s captivity.

Also signature to the film’s main theme is a pair of shoes – saddle shoes, to be exact, which represent the more child-like and homely version of India, before she foregoes her inevitable transformation into womanhood.

India Stoker - Vintage Fashion Inspiration- Style Idol of Tomorrow

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India Stoker- The preraphaelite muse- nouveau gothic- style stunner inspiration- vintage fashion reinvention

While the film displays a nod to the 1950s with the styling of India, the duo point out that no vintage was harmed in the making of this film.

Instead, they studied day dressed and blouses from the era and used them as inspiration in the creation of India’s wardrobe, adding extra details, and unique clasps and fastenings that would indicate India’s obsessively detailed nature, as well as her rejection of the everyday – that’s my girl!

She is not of this world, but of her own, and throughout the film we are by her side in  her own elevated sense of reality.

The Spider Crawls Up Indias Saddle Shoes

I’m gonna bet there’s already been a rise in saddle shoe sales, and I’m hoping to see more girls unafraid to rock a pretty blouse and skirt combination. After all, its all in the attitude – the India Attitude.

She’s definitely a new idol of sorts; Nouveau-Gothic, in a way, with her pastel coloured blouses, and prim and proper way of dress, but grossly morose in her attitude and presentation to the world around her.

She is a representation of that breaking point from teen to adult, and that indefinite feeling of not belonging to the world that surrounds you, and doing everything you can to not fit into it. She’s a strange poster child for our generation, in that way.

There’s no doubting the staying power of this film, and in 25 years from now, we will still be looking back on this one as a great one on the level of psychological horrors like “The Shining” and “Rosemary’s Baby”. Even compared to those great classics, there is something very different here with “Stoker” that cannot be compared. Perhaps it is the contemporary nature of the story, and it taking place today that is very different.

These days American films don’t often delve into the lives of the rich and sophisticated to come out with a vision so twisted and maniacal, so perhaps it is the appropriateness of this action that really helps speak to the “nowness” of it all. There is no denying the conspiracies and secrets of the world’s most affluent families, and as history as shown us, they often hide the most terrible and terrifying secrets . . .

Finding The Letters She Never Received

“Stoker” is a glimpse on what might just be the truth behind the family with the mansion, the housekeeper, the beautifully kept lawn, the designer furniture, valuable antiques, most incredible designer clothing, and carved stone art just laying about in the garden. After all, you never know . . .

From the very beginning it will really keep you guessing, but be warned – its not for the faint of heart. This is a thriller, and while director Park describes his film as a modern fairy tale, don’t be expecting ponies and rainbows from this one. There is a glass slipper at the end of it all – though be them black crocodile LaBoutins at the end of it all, which maybe a few hours afterwards will really strike you as a funny “Happy Ever After” to this very modern Fairy Tale; a fairy tale that, unlike most,  challenges its audiences, and asks you to question the characters motives and uncover their vices to help us question ourselves and our own everyday anxieties.

So if there’s one thing you get up to this week its getting your butt out the door to see this film!

Stoker- Opening Shots

This is me. Just as a flower does not choose its colour, we are not responsible for what we come to be. Only once you realize this do you become free. And to become adult, is to become free.

-India, “Stoker” {2013}.

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Dying for the look? Stay Tuned to The Eye of Faith for the tools to recreate Stoker’s sensual 1950s reinvention!

Shotguns and Saddle Shoes - Stoker Style

Until we meet again!

Sincerely,

{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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Close Up: “Mad Men” Season 5 – Ties, Rings, and Things

They always say: “God is in the Details” and every time there is the opportunity to watch AMC‘s pinnacle of television drama, “Mad Men” we are boldly reminded of this fact! So here goes our “Close Up” of some of the ties, rings, and things the men are wearing this season.

Five episodes into the long awaited fifth season (almost a year and a half!) and Matthew Weiner and his talented team have already lifted the bar, and continue to raise it as the seconds count down on each new episode.

Full of all the racism, sexism, cigarette smoking, adultery, feminism, and homophobia that characterizes the era, Mad Men has made success from context and exploited it against our own. It’s fun to see the evolution of the characters, changing or not changing with the ticking of the clock.

The men of Sterling Cooper Draper Price (Say that three times fast) haven’t much changed, but the evolution is there in their wardrobe. We are beginning to see the times liberating the characters and their style. There is a casualness, a cool that stemmed in America from the Beat movement, and an undeniable pull from the European art flicks of Fellini and the French New Wave.

Speaking of French New Wave, we have the bright return of talented Canadian actress Jessica Paré as Megan, Don’s new 20-something wife. Pare is such a talent; so charismatic, and just strikingly gorgeous. She had her screen debut in Denys Arcand’s “Stardom” where she played a normal Canadian girl who becomes a high fashion supermodel. [FASHION LOVERS WATCH TRAILER]

On the other end of the scale, Betty is still around residing in her “haunted mansion” (a grim corner property definitely rivaling the Gothic grandeur of the house in American Horror Story ) with her politician husband, and three children. With a house that big, it’s no surprise Betty is feeling engulfed by this new marriage.

Everyone is worried about her, mostly because she’s fat.  Compared to the dainty used to be model Grace Kelly look-a-like, this Betty is shocking. It’s really fun to see her like this, though. Count on an Emmy Award for those prosthetics! Absolutely Freaky! My guess is she’ll stay this way for a while.

One of the other delights is definitely Sally Draper. She’s no little girl anymore. She’s in that fantastic age where your mind is opening to different facets of the life that surrounds you. Growing up is hard, and I’m guessing this isn’t going to come naturally to her. Especially between homes, the dynamic between her parents is definitely straining, and she’s managed to pick up some angst and attitude from them on the way.

Vanity Fair‘s James Wolcott made his case for T.V. over the movies of today in a recent article:

As movie theaters switch from film to digital projection, home flat-screens take up a wall, Blu-Ray discs exhume masterpiece-painting volumes of color and intricate detail from popular releases, and the unholy moviegoing experience cries out for human-pest control, cinema has lost its sanctuary allure and aesthetic edge over television, which as a medium has the evolutionary advantage. Movies will never die, not as long as a director like Terrence Malick can make every green blade of grass sway like the first dance of creation, but TV is where the action is, the addictions forged, the dream machine operating on all cylinders. As I write this, the Academy Awards are a few days away, with The Artist the odds-on best-picture winner. Does anyone think The Artist is better than Mad Men?

I guess everyone knows the answer to that… And if this season is any proof, Wolcott is definitely onto something! Mad Men indeed transports you, and the best part is it doesn’t ask you to go any farther than your living room to take a trip through time.

Mad Men is truly such a treat. It is really the perfect dichotomy of performance, writing, and production. After an episode, or entire day, there are definitely a million things you can take away. For a true vintage nut, this latest season of Mad Men is off to a great new start, and it’s hard to get enough!

[End Credits Song from Ep 4. “Mystery Date” – “He Hit Me (And It Felt Like A Kiss)” by Gerry Goffin & Carole King]

Until next time,

-The Eye

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Wallis and Edward, “W.E.” . . . Whatever?!

So the reviews have not been so pretty thus far for Madonna’s W.E.

Vogue Italia’s Emanuele Lugli posted a rather scathing review after the film’s premier at the Venice Film Festival in November, and hasn’t garned very much acclaim since (unfortunately) for Madonna as the next great auteur.

This is unfair since Madonna has definitely generated herself as a leader in style, and the art of catching our eye with generations of videos and unique fashions, so it’s easy to see where her interest in the subject lies.

Wallis Simpson was already a divorced American socialite who was subsequently married when the two crossed paths in 1930 at his home, Fort Belvedere in Windsor Great Park, where the Prince often entertained parties and a series of scandalous affairs. It would be almost a year after abdicating his throne before Wallis was officially divorced from her husband, and the two could finally be wed.


Talk about romantic. They quickly became the toast of cafe society around Europe with Wallis gracing the pages of Vogue, with an affinity for French couture including Christian Dior, Hubert de Givenchy, and most especially Madame Vionnet. Equally, Edward VIII had garnered quite a reputation for his outlandish Dandy lifestyle which had quickly fallen out of fashion after the Great War.

Nevertheless, a Dandy must do as a dandy does; with a long lineage of “Dandy-ism” in the family (stemming back to King George IV, legion for the British Regency, and best friends with Numero Uno Dandy Supremo, Beau Brummell) it seemed only natural for the handsome Prince to exploit his God-Given sensibilities.

This he did with thick Windsor knotted neckties, and various combinations of checks, plaids, tweeds, and stripes that would mark Edward VIII as the epitome of manly elegance. He enjoyed his “pants from across the sea”, trousers done in an American high-rise cut, and had matching jackets tailored in London, creating a new hybrid of classic style with an ifusion of American conservatism and British sophistication.

He was J.C. Leyendecker’s Arrow Collar Man personified, and Vogue’s editor-in-chief Diane Vreeland would describe the nonchalant elegance of the Duke as “Chic Fatigue”.All we know is, we’re not getting tired, we haven’t even gotten started!

Also worth mentioning is the Duke and Duchess’ controversial relationship with Hilter, and the Nazi party. Many history books portray the couple as sincere Nazi sympathizers, and this the most would continually taint the pair’s reputation.

And while Wallis recieved much attention for her bold, architectural fashion choices, critics often pointed to how plain a woman she was, and rumors quickly spread of her years in Shandhai and Peking where she recieved extensive training in the erotic arts.

Most recently it has been revealed that the Duke of Windsor had been a patient of psychiatrist Alexander Cannon, known as the “Yogi of Yorkshire”. Cannon was an expert occultist claiming to have levitated a chasm in Nepal, and administered exotic remedies for problems ranging from anxiety, to sex and confidence. Edward VIII was seeing the eccentric doctor for a “drinking problem”, and the two were becoming increasingly close, to the point others described Cannon as the King’s closest confidante (other than Simpson). Most interesting, no?

The tale of Wallis and Edward is full of as much controversy and ridicule as Madonna’s film it seems. Whatever their politics, it’s impossible to discredit the deep love the two obviously share for one another, and to abdicate the throne, be a martyr for love- it’s literally the stuff movies are made of, and I’ll give Madonna that for sinking her claws into such a juicy mother.

My hat goes off to Arianne Phillips and her spot on costume designs for the film. Phillips, who recieved an Academy Award Nomination for “Walk the Line” (2005), and was responsible for the tailored looks of Tom Ford’s “A Single Man” (2009), as well as taking care of Madonna’s costumes for both “The Confessions”, and the “Sticky & Sweet” tours, does an amazing job at recreating the glamour and decadence of the famous couple.

Photographs by Tom Munro for Vanity Fair, Quite Continental has featured a great interview with the designer and her many challenges dressing the film.

Her dynamic work include several recreation of Simpson’s most famous looks, and despite budget restrictions, Phillips’ work comes off as luxe and rich as ever. Most extraordinarily, the sophistication and elegance of Edward is equally imagined and captured, with James D’Arcy doing his best to pull off the Duke’s effortless swag.

The Academy Awards are just around the corner, and though we can safely set Madonna aside for a chance at Best Director, we’re expecting to see another Academy Award Nomination for the film’s exceptional costume designs.

There’s a reason behind the madness people! Madonna knows, she does kaballah…I came across this eloquent quote from Stan Hawkin’s “The British Pop Dandy” for some clarification on perhaps, Edward VIII’s own dandy motto or manifesto he might carry with himself…maybe a certain attitude that could attribute to him, the romantic hero, a true dandy, and Wallis herself, a dandy in her own right. Here goes:

“Someone whose transient tastes never shirk
from excess, protest or rebellion…the dandy
revels in artifice simply for style’s sake as
a mischievous play with masks of calculated
elegance….all the great dandies have been
outsiders…eager to
make themselves publicly visible through a
conceit that is deemed their birthright. Driven
by a desire to draw on a personal style, the
dandy unabashedly states who he is and what he wants
without giving a damn for what anyone cares”

-Stan Hawkins (author, The British Pop Dandy)

Could explain how they always seem to be up to something! Can definitely relate to the “masks of calculated elegance” vibe in regards to the pair. Check out the video below:

Whatever. “W.E.” is making it’s way to a theatre near you January 20. What do you think?
-The Eye


[UPDATE (01/19/2012): Congratulations Arianne Phillips for your Costume Designer Guild nomination for excellence in Period Costuming! ]
The Eye.

[UPDATE: OSCAR GLORY! Congratulations to Arianne Phillips for her 2012 Academy Award Nomination for Excellence in Costume Design!!! (01/24/2012)]

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