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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!

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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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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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