Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A Creative Honeymoon...

Just saw this over at Snippet and Ink and it put the biggest smile on my face. Doesn't this look like the most fun ever! So much better than a cruise or a random island.

I know it's just a car commercial, but it is oh-so-sweet. Haven't figured out yet what the song is so if you know please tell me!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Girls With Glasses Show

Loving these girls!

I also think they have just inspired my Halloween costume for this year,
but I won't be more specific lest I spoil the surprise!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

A Breath of Fresh Gabardine...

So this is not the post I was setting out to write a few days ago, but my thoughts have been interrupted by a piece of costuming work so gorgeous I'm having trouble doing anything other than trying to recreate a specific vest.

Namely this one...

Dorcas Lane, Postmistress and Bonne Vivante

Now, pretty much everyone I know is aware that I love Costume Drama's, especially those based on literature. I do tend to go on about them. Now there is something kind of fun about these productions that not a lot of people are aware of unless they are addicts like myself. There is a whole group of people who like to try and spot all of the costumes that get reused from movie to movie. )See this article for an idea of what I'm talking about...

One of my favorite examples is a Black and White pinstriped traveling gown worn in by main characters Lady Dedlock in the newer production of Dicken's "Bleak House" and also Margaret Hale in Elizabeth Gaskell's "North and South" (my personal favorite.)

My point I guess is this; while Costume Drama's are lovely and obviously the costumes themselves are part of the point, it is rare in my experience to be really blown away by the inventiveness or clever spirit of a design, rather than simply the historical accuracy.

I have only just begun watching the BBC series "Lark Rise to Candleford." I'm only 3 episodes into the first season (and waiting very impatiently for the next disc from Netflix,) but within the very first episode I was so wowed by the costuming to the point where there are individual pieces I am determined to adapt for myself, the vest at the top of this post being the first. I only wish I could find a picture of the back to show you as it is just as fantastic as the front.

For me the genius of these pieces lies in the color, and the cleverness. The palette is so different from what we normally see for this period, and the designs appear to be so informed by the character wearing them instead of merely by their social class. (Though social class and it's distinctions are the driving force of the story.) They also seemed to be truly informed by "fashion", both that of the time and of the present.

Thus far Dorcas Lane, the local postmistress, is wearing the things I would want for myself, but here are a few other examples...

Laura Timmins is the main protagonist, a poor village girl who is sent from her home in Lark Rise to work and study in the middleclass town of Candleford. Her clothing is perfect for her age of 16, but very much conveys her coming of age, and more importantly the transition she is making to a life of slightly higher standing. Some of the things she wears are a little outdated and awkward, but I would bet that this becomes much less pronounced the longer the show continues and the longer she is in Candleford.

Seen here in their Sunday best, sisters Pearl and Ruby run the local haberdashery in Candleford. They are your run of the mill busybodies and town gossips.Their matching outfits are a scream, and the thing they remind me of the most are the shopgirls in Pretty Woman who are less than charitable toward Julia Roberts. They are also a bit fashion victimy which I love.

Lady Adelaide is the well bred London wife of the local Squire Sir Timothy. She is tall and willowy and as Dorcas first describes her, impossibly beautiful. More than anything she consistently looks like a very realistic version of one of the elaborate china dolls my Grandmother loved so much. A bit carved from marble. I'm certainly interested to see where they take her character. I'm desperately trying not to give too much away! She has one full lace dress that I wish I could find a photo of. Absolutely to die for.

And finally, the inimitable Dawn French as the spendthrift and usually drunken Mrs. Arless. Forever wandering about with her stays exposed, she is perhaps one of the best examples of why this show is so different for me. In most productions set in the Victorian era, a character like Mrs. Arless would look quite different. She is incredibly poor, uneducated, with 6 children and a husband at sea. In addition she spends all the money she does have on beer and frivolities and then has to beg her neighbors for food for her children. If this were Dicken's, she might retain the comic aspect of her character, but she'd certainly have a more drab appearance and wouldn't have a prayer of escaping with such ease the many scrapes she gets herself into. The fact that she is so colorful and that her poverty is acknowledged in such a different way (the lack of an overbodice, the rips in her indian shawl) is a refreshing delight.

I've also recently watched the miniseries "Desperate Romantics" which explored the lives and loves of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. While I didn't enjoy it as much as I had hoped, it is another example of really interesting and different Victorian design, this time with a focus on the men and a more Bohemian aspect of Victorian London than we normally see.

John Millais, Gabriel Rosetti, William Hunt, and Fred Walters

Well, I suppose that's all for now. I have proved that I CAN blog again! Look for the post I was originally working on to be here soon!

Happy Labor Day Weekend!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

And She's Back!

...tap tap....

...testing 1...2...3........

I don't know if anyone is still out there, but about 13 months I think I'm ready to be back. I suppose I'll give you all an update on the last year of my life at some point, but right now I'm just glad that I'm feeling inspired to be back in this space.

I hope that everyone is having a wonderful wrap-up to your summer. I for one am beyond ready for a beautiful fall here in New York.

I'm going to start posting again this week once I decide where the blog is headed, so I hope to be seeing you all soon!

Pumpkin Apple Streusel Cake Kisses!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Coming soon from the BBC... The Final NEW Jane!

So in January of 2008 when PBS did their "The Complete Jane Austen" broadcast, I only had one beef. We got brilliant new productions of everything but Pride and Prejudice (they showed the 1995 Colin Firth), and Emma (they went for the 1996 Kate Beckinsale). Now, to reshoot Pride and Prejudice is obviously unnecessary, but to my mind there has never been a great film adaptation of Emma. So why not try and fix it, no?

Well thank goodness the BBC decided not to wait too long, and there will be a new 4 hour miniseries of Emma broadcast on the BBC in October of this year. We should expect an airing on PBS here in the states soon after. The cast look pretty good to me with Romola Garai as Emma, Jonny Lee Miller as Mr. Knightley, and Michael Gambon as Mr. Woodhouse. Hopefully this will live up to the beauty of the other recent adaptations, (Sense and Sensibility and Persuasion in particular.)

Here's a sneak peek from the BBC...

Also, I don't normally go in for the video mash-ups on youtube, but I do find this one rather amusing. Seems like a perfect modern song for all the old romantic novels.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Trust is quicksand...

I've been working on a new project lately that has involved a lot of musical research. This week I discovered the band Sleeping at Last, and after downloading their album I've fallen in love with the lyrics to this song. They may end up being fairly instrumental to the project.

I shiver every time I read this:

Quicksand by Sleeping at Last

There are wires in between
Human heart and machine.
I will wait for mountains
To tell me you’re okay…

On paper my future will lay.
I’ll fold every failure into a crane.

Trust is quicksand,
Claiming everything I have,
All to give me life, all to give me life.

Slow down, hide your eyes!
The sun is setting fire
Through glass, branches deep.
I cough only to breathe.

Trust is quicksand,
Claiming everything I have,
All to give me life, all to give me life.
One thousand more to go,
I’ll send every prayer from below.
I was swallowed by a whale.

Slow down, you’re all words
And love is made of yarn.
A slip of the hand, a slip of the tongue;
God knows I meant no harm, I meant no harm.

In between every promise and lie there is a kiss.
In between tempers and suitcases there is a kiss.

In between medicine and the sick there is a kiss.
In between arrows, aim, and release, there is a kiss.

(Anchors in reverse
Lead us back to birth.)

Friday, April 17, 2009