Cate Blanchett Is Dressed for Seduction as Carol

carolThere are some films where the fashion feels like a full-on character in it’s own right. Sex and The City, Great Gatsby, Atonement, they’re some of the biggies which all have fashion in them creating this other pull, this other thing which holds your gaze and stands up as a major part of the viewing experience. Carol, the new film directed by Todd Haynes, starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara is a film set to join those ranks. A subtle but enthralling love story -based on the book ‘The Price of Salt’ by Patricia Highsmith- Carol, is set in New York city in 1952 and follows the sincere romance between two women. The costumes, designed by Sandy Powell, are EXSQUISTE! Blanchett as Carol is pretty much effervescent, with her high glamour, elegance and sophistication, compared to the more discreetly and casually dressed Therese, played by Mara. Carol is the impeccable type of woman you would see in a magazine while Therese is the working class girl on the street. This styling plays a huge part in Carol’s seduction of Therese, her look, her poise and presence are an aspiration, she is transfixing, and that, well, it’s massively down to her fashion. With her simple elongated silhouette, the smooth tones and perfectly placed accessories, the costume here screams of neatness and constraint, much like the character herself; poised and possibly a little suppressed. To get the look as perfect as it is designer Powell used a lot of era specific underwear to exaggerate Blanchett’s shape; padding on the hips and the classic 50’s pointed bras! With authentic vintage bags and shoes made by Ferragamo to be exact copies of old shoes, the clothing here is just as alluring as the women and the story. Absolutely sublime.

Carol-3carol-movie-poster-cate-blanchett-rooney-mara-5Carol is in UK theatres from 27th November 2015


Prada Dresses Daisy; The Great Gatsby Costumes



‘Cant repeat the past?…..Why, of course you can.’  The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald

Great Gatsby


Whoopie-dooo! I am so excited to see Baz Lurhman’s The Great Gatsby, and the release date is very nearly here! I adore the F Scott Fitzgerald book, it is quite possibly my favourite book ever, and Lurhman is one of the most sumptuously beautiful directors of our time, so I am pretty damn certain the wait shall be worth it.

For many of Lurhman’s films, including Romeo & Juliet and Moulin Rouge, the costume designer was the supremely talented Catherine Martin. For this film, set in New York in the 1920’s, Martin has teamed up with the legendary Miuccia Prada. Super; we are in for a treat. Transforming over 40 dresses from the archive collections of Miu Miu and Prada, Miuccia says she was fascinated by how little adaptation many of them needed, even though none had originally been designed with the 20’s era in mind. These costumes are about character and the story of those characters lives, rather than blatant glamour.

Great Gatsby

Great GatsbyGG1

With this yellow sequin dress from a past Prada collection, we can see how easily suited the original design was for this film, the perfect choice of costume collaborator.

Great Gatsby


The centre piece dress in the film is Daisy Buchanan’s party dress, which is a gently revised version of Prada’s Chandelier dress from their 2010 collection, as seen here on Miss Moss. The dress was originally designed around the idea of light, but in this film it is about wealth; Lurhman wanted Daisy to be the ‘most beautiful and rich woman in the world’.


Great GatsbyAn exhibition showcasing the costumes is currently showing in the New York Prada store, to coincide with the anticipation of the film’s release, then the exhibition goes to Tokyo and Shanghai.The movie hits UK movie theatres on May 16th. 

For more information visit The Great Gatsby and Prada.


Hooray for Hollywood Costume

Most people who like fashion and galleries, are probably aware of the current exhibition at London’s V&A; Hollywood Costume. Billed as a ‘once in a lifetime opportunity to see over 100 of the most iconic costumes in the history of film-making’, my Mother and I arrived with pretty high expectations. And by heck, it certainly didn’t disappoint, this exhibition is nothing short of epic. We arrived in Kensington, had a long lazy coffee and mooched over to the V&A. My goodness it was busy, my lovely Mama is a member of the V&A which is amazing value and gets you into the exhibitions free and ahead of the queues, phew! It was bustling! I knew the exhibition had three main rooms but I had no idea how huge this show was. All three rooms were grand in size and both the curation and the styling was beyond superb. Every costume was given room to breathe, they were not behind glass which was great to see, but the security was understandably hot, no photos and no touching! The lighting was perfection, pretty dark with just the outfits given the spotlights. The information on each movie, character, designer, director and actor was really thorough and the time it took to go through the whole exhibition made us feel, at the end, as if we had been on a magical movie journey. We went into the V&A in crisp autumn daylight, and came out into the dark of the evening. Wow. We were totally absorbed and were completely unaware of time, exactly like that wonderful feeling you get after being in the movie theatre, you come back outside to real life, having just spent time in another world, gorgeous.

The amount, the variety and the provenance of all the costumes on display was literally awesome. Seeing a dress worn by Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, or Vivien Leigh on it’s own would be a great delight, but this exhibition houses pretty much every iconic outfit you could think of. From the beginning of movie history, up to the most recent Hollywood blockbuster, this has everything. It’s great for girls, guys, kids and older people, every single person who visits will undoubtedly see a costume that they have always loved.

One of the main draws of this show was the legendary costume from The Wizard of OZ, most especially the ruby slippers that Judy Garland wore in the film. This was the first time the shoes had ever been on display outside of the USA. Exhibition curator Deborah Nadoolman took 5 years to secure the loan of the shoes from the Smithsonian Museum of American History in Washington. Even then, they were only loaned for a very limited time, so that they could be back in their original home in time for Thanksgiving. The Wizard of Oz is shown every year in the USA as a Thanksgiving tradition. My Mother and I saw the shoes on their last day at the V&A, yay! At the very end of the gigantic exhibition, there they were, in a small glass case all on their own. Oh my, how we gazed upon them. Not as bright and vivid as they appear in the film, the deep red shoes made my heart skip a beat, so much history and value right there in a little pair of beaten up shoes. The shoes in the movie were originally going to be silver, but got changed to red at the last moment so they would be a bolder contrast to the yellow brick road. The ones we saw have since been replaced with replica shoes-made by the same company who made the originals-for the remainder of the exhibition.

With so very many amazing costumes on display and without wanting to spoil the fun for those who are yet to visit, it’s hard to choose which ones delighted me the most, but here is my pick of the exhibition.

Below is the green velvet dress that Vivian Leigh wore in ‘Gone with the Wind’, 1939.

Tippi Hedren’s suit from Hitchcock’s ‘The Birds’, 1963.

My absolute favourite dress in the show, Joan Crawford’s rich red beaded gown from ‘The Bride Wore Red’, 1937.

I was pretty much mostly loving the 1930’s looks, both the original and this silk green modern one from ‘Atonement’, 2007, worn by Kiera Knightly.

Similar to thr red Joan Crawford gown, also designed by Hollywood costumier Adrian, this silver caped and beaded 1930’s dress was another one I fell in love with. From the movie, ‘My Man Godfrey’, 1936, worn by Carole Lombard.

And of course, the classic, simple, and most iconic movie outfit worn by Judy Garland in ‘The Wizard of Oz’, 1939.

Go see this exhibition, it is gob smackingly beautiful, dreamy, nostalgic, stunning, exciting, glamorous and wonderful. It is on until 27th January 2013.

 For more information visit


The 10 Best Movies I Grew Up To

Flashdance, 1983.

This movie is just ace. My sister is the dancer in our family, but this movie about a female welder, who achieves her dancing dream with no training, was enough to allow me to dream! This is such a sexy movie, the early 80’s fashion and music is perfect; off the shoulder sweat tops, killer red heels, perms and trashy electro girls dancing at the bar. Jennifer Beals as Alex, is gorgeous, and the fact that the famous dance at the end was danced by a man in a wig makes this movie even more super!

Dogs In Space, 1986.

Starring the late Michael Hutchence, who was, possibly one of the most handsome men ever to walk the planet, this indie film is gritty but beautiful. The lead characters played by Hutchence and Saskia Post are just stunning, the film has a really romantic undercurrent beneath the melancholy and drama of these social misfits in Melbourne.

St Elmo’s Fire, 1985.

Without question, a classic of the 80’s. This is a true American ‘Coming of Age’ movie and I adore it. The characters, the story line and the aesthetics are so of its era. Demi Moore is sexy as hell in it and I cannot get enough of the young Andrew McCarthy. The pink apartment with an over sized painting of Billy Idol on the wall makes this film just about as perfect as it gets.

True Romance, 1993.

The word sexy does not even come close when describing this movie. Christian Slater and Patricia Arquette are mesmerizing, and Dennis Hopper and Christopher Walken are just about the coolest thing ever. Arquette’s character, Alabama Whirly is one of my biggest icons in life, she’s just about the most cutest, feistiest and sexiest girl that my eyes ever saw, and the love story in this is heart thumpingly good. The early 90’s fashion with kitsch pops of colour is beauuutiful, the whole styling of this movie rocks my ruddy world.

Pretty In Pink, 1986.

I don’t know how any girl could not love this movie. So perfectly 80’s, this film started off my love affair with thrift and vintage. Molly Ringwald’s character is the poor girl in a school full of ‘rich kids’ and she hangs with the indie crowd. Her fashion is thrifty, lacy, pink and eclectic. She remakes an old second hand dress into her prom dress and her individuality and refusal to conform was a big inspiration to me as a young girl. Again, this stars the superbly handsome Andrew McCarthy and the love story running through the movie is genuinely sweet. One of a whole heap of John Hughes movies from this era, his movies were perfect at capturing the American idea of growing up; high school stereotypes, rich kids, poor kids, proms and American suburbia. When I lived in USA as a student years later, I was quite thrilled to find that many of these fictitious facts were actually very real. America was just like in the movies, the parties we went to made me feel like I was in a John Hughes movie for real! The character Iona, played by Annie Potts, seen with a beehive in these pictures, had a massive influence on me. I loved her quirkiness and I think she made me wanna grow up to be like her; to have my own business and be able to wear 50’s prom dresses whenever I liked. Yay, dream achieved.

The Doom Generation, 1995.

An American boyfriend in the late 1990’s introduced me to this movie and I fell in love with it straight away. So frickin sassy, Rose McGowan is so cool in this, the styling is sexy and a perfect example of the time. Twisted and weird, this film has heaps of style and abstract nonsense. It kinda parodies the horror genre whilst at the same time meaning what it says. Just ace.

Desperately Seeking Susan, 1985.

Aesthetics are equally as important to me as the plot when I watch a movie, I have to find beauty in the actors and actresses and the fashion and the styling. All these movies here are beautiful to me, my eyes literally spin with glee at the coolness, sexiness and gorgeousness of them. Desperately Seeking Susan is up there with the best of them for me. I’m not a massive Madonna fan by any means but, in the 80’s she was amazing, and the character she plays here is so effortlessly cool. Her fashion is superb, she’s a bubble-gum chewing, thrift wearing girl with the best attitude and I love it. I still, to this day wanna find a pair of ankle boots exactly like hers. This is 80’s fashion at it’s utter best.

Natural Born Killers, 1994.

One of THE best movies ever made. Based on a screenplay written by Tarantino, this movie, directed by Oliver Stone is stunning. I consider it an out and out love story. A bloody, gun shooting, mass murdering, drug addled love story. Juliette Lewis and Woody Harrelson are two of my most favourite actors and they are spellbinding in this. I can never get bored of this 90’s classic. The trippy cartoon sections and the underlying message of mass media overdose is amazing. This is a film I will always count as a masterpiece.

The Breakfast Club, 1985.

Another classic from John Hughes, this movie is heartwarming and hilarious. Great characters, and I love the fact that it’s set in one time and one place. Again, the fashion and music is 80’s through and through, as a girl growing up in a small English town, movies like this were thrilling to escape into.

Clerks, 1994.

This is still one of the films I have most laughed at. I love all of Kevin Smith’s films, but this is just the best. Perfectly acted, such a dry and sarcastic script which is hard to get in American movies. Filmed in black and white and set in one place, on one day, Clerks is a work of genius.