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Category Archives: Fancy Friday

Look-of-the-Day

The ever-lovely Keira Knightley wore a particularly elegant Burberry Prorsum gown last winter at the London premiere of A Dangerous Method.  The conservative burgundy dress features a black bow at the waist and cap sleeves, yet reveals a much sexier side from another angle… Much like the twisted psychological tale Knightley was promoting.  She accessorized it perfectly with a simple black clutch, cocktail ring, a swept-back bun, with dramatic dark eyes and a perfect pink pout.  She is perfection.

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Look-of-the-Day

I am not pretty. I am not beautiful. I am as radiant as the sun.”  In The Hunger Games, Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) leaves her coal-mining district to compete in a battle to the death in Panem’s Capitol.  But she’ll have to make an impression to earn sponsors before she enters the arena.  Instead of showing the dark coal of District 12, Katniss’s stylist, Cinna, decides to show the fire.  Costume designer Judianna Makovsky used orange silk taffeta and organza with crystal embroidery when creating Katniss’s gown for her interview with TV host Caesar Flickerman (played by Stanley Tucci).  Makovsky told Entertainment Weekly, “In the book, it’s described as being covered in flame-like jewels.  Well, to me, that’s very dangerous, because it could be like a Dancing With the Stars dress… I just wanted this image of what I call ‘the Gypsy moment,’ when Natalie Wood comes out in the blue dress in Gypsy. She’s only been in these boys’ clothes before that, and you go, ‘Oh my God, she’s actually gorgeous.'”  Makovsky certainly achieved that vision – Katniss goes from the plain girl in the Seam to the “girl on fire” in this stunning sequence.  And the Capitol will soon realize it’s a flame that’s inextinguishable…


Look-of-the-Day

In the 1970 drama Ryan’s Daughter, Sarah Miles plays a spoiled Irish girl named Rosy in a small village who falls for a British officer – a big no-no, especially considering her character is married!  Here, Rosy looks particularly lovely in an apricot gown with a satin ribbon around her waist, white gloves, and a pearl choker.  Her parasol and hat are various shades of lavender, soft pinks and blues, and adorned with large white roses to match her dress (and her name!)  The film was outfitted by Australian-born costume designer Jocelyn Richards, whose brilliant work also appears in Blow-Up and From Russia with Love.  The sexy Christopher Jones may look good in that uniform, but falling for him only causes tragedy for Ryan’s daughter…


Look-of-the-Day

Costume designer Sandy Powell is nominated this year for her work on Hugo, and won her second Academy Award for the 2004 film The Aviator.  Singer Gwen Stefani made her screen debut as platinum blonde actress Jean Harlow in the Martin Scorsese movie.  Stefani looked right at home as a young starlet attending a film premiere with Howard Hughes (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) in this shimmering white gown with art-deco diamonds and a fur-lined cream-colored satin opera coat that’s adorned with orchids and pearls.  It’s simply divine. No wonder Powell won!


Look-of-the-Day

Hmm, what’s the perfect gown to feature on the “Fancy Friday” before Valentine’s Day?  This scarlet stunner in Pretty Woman of course!  (Plus, wearing red on Fridays shows your support for the troops!)  Julia Roberts plays a modern-day Cinderella named Vivian Ward who gets wooed by a wealthy businessman (Richard Gere) in this 1990 flick.  Here, her suitor surprises her with a gorgeous red gown, evening gloves and one hell of a diamond necklace!  (Fun Fact: The necklace did actually cost $250,000.  An armed security guard from its jewelry store was constantly standing behind director Garry Marshall while they filmed the scenes it appears in.)  It’s no secret we here at theSkinnyStiletto just love the clothing in this movie.  We were stunned to learn that costume designer Marilyn Vance made all of Vivian’s outfits, including the ruby red gown above, her polka-dotted fantasy, and even the famous hooker dress!  Vance is famous for costuming hit teen flicks, including The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink, and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, but the Pretty Woman wardrobe is anything but high school!  In this scene, Gere’s character takes Vivian to see La Traviata at the opera, which tells the story of a prostitute who falls in love with a rich man.  (Life imitating art, no?)  It’s hard to believe the elegant Roberts was only 22-years-old when she made this film.  A shocking number of leading ladies turned town the role of Vivian, including Sandra Bullock, Demi Moore, Jennifer Connelly and Sarah Jessica Parker, but it’s hard to imagine the fiery-haired heroine played by anyone but Roberts.


Look-of-the-Day

We’ve mentioned that one of our editors was almost named for this 1954 classic, but we’re amazed that we’ve only featured Sabrina one time over the last year, when nearly every look in this film could be walked down a runway!  Here is our idol, Audrey Hepburn, playing the title character, with the object of her affection, William Holden as David Larrabee.  Sabrina is the daughter of the Larrabees’ chauffeur on Long Island.  After studying culinary arts in Paris (and becoming a woman along the way), Sabrina returns to New York barely unrecognizable to her childhood crush.  David invites her to a party at his home, and she sports this stunning strapless black and white gown with long white gloves and black pumps.  The column dress has a detachable overskirt with an underlay of black tulle, and was hand-embroidered with silk thread and jet beads.  Hubert de Givenchy personally created most of the outfits for Hepburn, yet Edith Head went on to receive the Academy Award for Best Costume Design (which was not without controversy, since Givenchy did not receive due credit for his spectacular work.  Although Givenchy has been the one forever associated with the gorgeous wardrobe in the film.)  Fun Fact: The relationship that developed between Hepburn and Givenchy on the set of Sabrina resulted in a lifelong friendship, and Audrey became the French designer’s muse!  This work of art has to be one of our favorite fashion moments in history, and the perfect “Fancy Friday” tribute to romance this February.


Look-of-the-Day

This editor just returned from a mid-January vacation to London and Paris, and hasn’t yet shaken her Anglophile mood (who am I kidding – it’s been 20 years, I’m always going to be obsessed with the Brits.)  Here is Natalie Portman as the infamous Anne Boleyn in the 2008 film The Other Boleyn Girl.  As an admitted Elizabethan geek, I was very excited when Hollywood took such an interest in the Tudor family a couple of years ago (not that they were always accurate…)  Costume designer Sandy Powell, who has outfitted other royal movies, such as The Young Victoria and Edward II, is the winner of three Academy Awards for her beautiful work.  This movie tells the tale of the Queen of Thousand Days and her sister, Mary, who was actually King Henry VIII’s mistress before her.  Anne’s stunning silk emerald gown is possibly an intimation that is she is certainly green with envy for the attention her sister gets.  Powell has stated, “There is not a great deal of variety in the shape or silhouette of a Tudor dress, and the girls shared the same life and moved mainly in the same circles, at home or at Court, so I used a difference in tone and shade to separate them.  Mary’s character is slightly softer and more romantic than Anne, who is seen as stronger and more forceful.  So, without being as obvious as one girl in red and one in blue, I’ve dressed them in different hues.”  Powell got her inspiration from Tudor painter Hans Holbein, whose paintings hang in the National Portrait Gallery in London.  The most noticeable similarity is Anne’s “B” necklace on a string of pearls and gold that she sports in both art and film (pictured, below.)  She may have only been queen for a thousand days, but she certainly earned her place in history, and still continues to inspire today.