Style?!

First 100-Year-Old In Vogue

Bo Gilbert is a British model who recently appeared in the UK issue of Vogue. What sets her apart from her colleagues doing the same thing? She is 100 years old.

Posing in the centenary issue, she looks happy, spunky and lovely. “I always liked keeping myself looking quite decent, even if I wasn’t going out. I try to keep the standards up.” Watching the film about her photoshoot, I can’t help blinking back a tear, removing myself for a second from the uplifting, positive message and serious thoughts the video provokes.

In my mind’s eye I see my Granny, dilligently applying her pearly red lipstick with a slightly trembling hand, even during the years when her eyesight had almost completely disappeared. I remember how happy she was about the fabulously cut flower-patterned summer dress my mother had given her as a present from a family trip we had taken, when she could still see. I remember posing with her and my siblings at my grandparents’ home shortly after, on a summer afternoon, all of us with happy lipstick smiles and wearing flower-print dresses to match.

So besides saying kudos to (a hopefully ongoing) diversity in the ages represented among fashion models, kudos as well to not making it an issue and simply showing women, people living their lives and having interesting experiences. We have friends our own age, we have siblings, cousins, maybe nephews and nieces. We have aquaintances, colleagues. We also have mothers, aunts, grandmothers and women in our lives who have been at this longer than we have, and who have a history and a whole land of memory to share. I would love to see more of those women in the media throwing on a bright coat or a funky scarf of their choosing and smiling at what they see in the mirror, or on a screen.

 

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Seen/Heard/Read

Beauty and the Beast Teaser Trailer

“For who could ever learn to love a beast?”

As far as I’m concerned, the feverish anticipation phase of waiting for Disney’s further upcoming live-action remake of well-known and well-watched animated classic Beauty and the Beast has officially begun. And it began for me the moment I read yesterday that the teaser trailer for the movie was out. A glimpse it is, but oh, what a glimpse!

As far as teaser trailers go, it is gorgeous. A hint of stunning, sweeping cinematography, and doesn’t that castle in the beginning, with the snow swirling around it, remind you just a bit of scenes with Hogwarts in the winter time in the Harry Potter films? I don’t mind at all. And then the sounds from the piano keys one knows so well from the opening score of the soundtrack begin to weave around the images, and my heart almost skips a beat. Such a illuminating blend of the sure-to-come drama, the sadness in the sleeping grandeur of the castle and Belle’s mix of curiousity and caution as she steps inside.

Nothing will ever be the same!

To say I’m looking forward to this is an understatement. To say I’m wildly curious myself doesn’t begin to describe my feelings. One thing is for sure – Emma Watson is one of her generation’s best actresses to portray a young woman with “her nose stuck in a book”, and she is certainly well on her way to creating memorable film portrayals of iconic characters. She can also hold her own with acting based on material that has won millions of fans the world over and continues to endure through time. Playing Hermione, and now Belle, is more than enough pressure. But Hermione is firmly established as a character in her own right, and I hope the same will be true for this new Belle. Emma Watson’s own attentiveness and intelligence will hopefully contribute in the best way to put her own stamp on Belle, yet keep the essential qualities which make Belle who she is.

Remembering Dan Steven’s piercing blue eyes and wonderful diction in Downton Abbey, I also have high hopes for the Beast, aka Prince Adam.

To be released in spring 2017…

 

 

 

 

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When at Home

Painting Words on Your Wall

Now, I hate painting, based on the one and only time I did it after shamelessly procrastinating. But if I were to do it, this could tempt me.

Author Meredith McCardle painted the first page of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone on her wall in three weeks. There is something about the sheer purity and the simultaneous richness of words on a white page that is accessible as an art object, especially if it’s words from a beloved book that still makes your skin tingle.

Speaking as a fellow Harry Potter fan, great choice of wall coverage! Glancing over at my own shelves, I confess I would take a page out of the same book (pun!) My own choice would possibly be the passage describing Harry finally casting his first, real Patronus in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: “And then it hit him – he understood. He hadn’t seen his father – he had seen himself

Harry flung himself  out from behind the bush and pulled out his wand.

“EXPECTO PATRONUM!” he yelled.

And out of the end of his wand burst, not a shapeless cloud of mist, but a blinding, dazzling, silver animal.”

The memories make me tear up. Another choice would be Jane Austen’s immortal Pride and Prejudice, which I feel I can open at any page. Actually, I just opened it at Mr. Collins’ proposal to Lizzy – no, not for my wall. How about this: “They walked on, without knowing in what direction. There was too much to be thought, and felt, and said, for attention to any other objects.”

Ray Bradbury’s special prose from The Halloween Tree is also a good idea for some word painting: “And Ghost and Mummy and Skeleton and Witch and all the rest were back at their own homes, on their own porches, and each turned to look at the town and remember this special night they would never in all their lives ever forget and they looked across the town at one another’s porches but especially on and over across the ravine to that great House where at the very top Mr. Moundshroud stood on his spike-railinged roof.”

I’m so lucky that the works I’ve quoted here so far also have great film adaptations to underline their brilliance. How about playing an audiobook or the movie in the background as you paint?

I am very tempted. Very.

 

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Seen/Heard/Read

Imagine Dragons. Blank Space

A friend recently reminded me about this and it took me right back. Imagine Dragons played in Hamburg in October 2015, and while I was suffering from acute post-concert nostalgia a few weeks later, I stumbled upon this gem on YouTube. Do Imagine Dragons and Taylor Swift work? Yes, they do.

The band covers her hit single Blank Space in the BBC Radio1 Live Lounge and the result is basically enchanting. And kind of adorable.

It’s interesting to hear a song attached so firmly to one distinctive voice and style executed by other musicians, especially if it’s men singing what was originally performed by a woman and the other way around.

The band is visibly comfortable playing anywhere, being just as at home in a smaller, more intimate setting as in an arena teeming with thousands of fans. Clearly well-prepared as always and obviously enjoying their instruments and vocal contributions, their cover starts out in a pretty relaxed, but still playful, tempo that made me think of summer, looking back on what was and what was to come.

The seamless transition to Stand by Me surprised me initially, as I hadn’t known it was coming, but it is integrated perfectly in to the song and blends well with the story. “So, darling, darling, stand by me” sounds just a bit more rock as Dan Reynold’s voice gets louder and more gravelly, then calms down again. Imagine Dragons handles this cover with delicate precision, Wayne Sermon submerged in playing his guitar like only he can be, Ben McKee hitting all the right bass notes, Daniel Platzman giving it his all on the drums even if they are quieter and Dan Reynolds draping the lyrics “‘Cause we’re young and we’re reckless” with a new wistful energy. And they all sing.

At least after this everyone should know the oft-discussed lyric is definitely “Got a long list of ex-lovers”.

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Style?!

Things That Make Me Nervous about Clothes Shopping

Obviously there are worse things to worry about, but actually, that kind of shopping doesn’t make me nervous, though when it does, this goes through my mind:

“I thought I had everything and now I need to do this again!”

“Do I even know what I want? They probably don’t sell that anymore. Where should I go? I’m tired already, I don’t want to go anywhere. Where do I even start? That other outfit doesn’t feel like ME. I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO.”

“Everyone else looks so goal-oriented and purposeful. Where did that girl find that top? Why didn’t I see it? Her pile of clothes looks so much better than mine. I bet she can tell what I’m thinking. Why is it so crowded in here? I want to leave and I’m not even finished. Maybe some telepathic sarcasm will help, how about this?”

“Oh, God, I will not get out of not trying this on, because if I buy it and it doesn’t fit, I will have to come back here, and I don’t want to come back, I’m barely dealing as it is. When did this become my current reality? I have to go to the changing room. I don’t want to go to the changing room. There’s a line. There’s loud shouts of the ever classic, “Does my butt look big in this?” from behind partly open curtains. There’s endless standing in socks in front of the full-length mirror at the end of the hall, tags danling everywhere. There’s long-suffering boyfriends and husbands not quite knowing what to say and still valiantly trying to say something. It’s A MESS. Go to the changing room?”

“Three different assistants have asked me if I they could help me. I need to get out of here right now.”

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