What to Wear #22

“I think you should go with red. It’s the color of confidence.” I’ve watched Legally Blonde so many times that this line from the scene when Elle is shopping with her friends for what she thinks will be a very special dress inevitably pops up in my head whenever I look at a red item of clothing. Especially since, as I mentioned before, I’m a cautious redhead when it comes to…red! Ha! See what I did there?

But red somehow finds its way in to my outfit choices every week, be it in the form of lipstick, accessories or a garment (that sounds so nice). This week I feel “…bold and daring.” Considering I’ve seen Beauty and the Beast five times since it came out, it’s no surprise that a quote from the (animated) film flew in here.

The long glowing long, loose-fit blouse (similar to the cut of the possibly pink one I wore a while ago) almost removes itself from my closet. Maybe it’s not a blouse, maybe long button-down shirt is the correct term? The color might actually border on scarlet, which in turn makes me think of the Russian word for this, alyj (алый, yeah, probably no one will be able to pronounce it properly until they hear it), and then a little-known outside of Russia, but enchanting gem of a novel by Alexander Grin called Scarlet Sails, then the Russian fairytale Scarlet Flower and the cartoon based on it. The story could actually be viewed as the Russian version of Beauty and the Beast. I just can’t let go!

Where was I? As also mentioned previously on this blog, my go-to choices of colors to combine with red are either black, grey or various shades of blue, which still remain my tried and tested staples. But due to feeling bold and daring, I’d like to (successfully) contrast my scarlet top with some patterned legwear. One rummage in the leggings box later and I find what I’m looking for: white background, yellow, black, light-blue and green-blue flowers. Rain and even hail have visited Hamburg in the last few days, but it is still spring, and with the aid of those trusty leg-warmers I’m feeling not only bold and daring, but powerful. “…power, power! Forgive me a cruel chuckle, mmm, power.” Disney’s Robin Hood is another frequently used one for quotes.

Gold drop (I think) earrings and a matching ring with stones picking up the green-blue of some of the flowers on the leggings round up the accessories, as well as the very comfortable brown Chelsea boots. Neutral lipgloss et voilà.

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Beauty and the Beast: 5 Reasons Why I Loved Seeing It 5 Times

Minor spoiler alerts

…and enjoyed my visit to the movies every time as if it was the first. How does that work? It’s simply the mark of a very good film and excellent work from all those involved.

So what is it about this dazzling success of a live-action remake that’s got me enchanted?

  1. They kept the goosebump-inducing, heartstring-tugging, sweeping opening theme that takes us right in to the Beast’s castle and that “hidden heart of France”, and we never look back.

2. Casting Emma Watson as Belle was sheer genius, and she delivers in such a way that her Belle simultaneously takes the best from the original Disney story and becomes a fleshed-out, complete and winning heroine in this version. I cannot imagine any other actress in this role. The door of Belle and Maurice’s house opening on a morning in Villeneuve, as Belle steps out and launches in to Little Town was, for me, one of the many wonderful moments in the film. Oh yes, and there’s the fact of all that other brilliant casting – luminous Dan Stevens and all he gives to the Beast, Emma Thompson lovingly recreates Mrs. Potts, Kevin Kline conveys a father’s love with depth and dignity and Luke Evans brings all of Gaston’s brutal sociopathic tendencies to life.

3. All that bibliophilia, educated quoting  and reading of literary works while walking together on gorgeous castle grounds (or watching over a temperamental Beast as he convalesces), the joy that seems to light Belle up from inside when she first steps inside the castle’s mind-blowing library is indispensable in conveying one of the main messages in Beauty and the Beast – the transformative power of knowledge, stories and feeding the mind.

4. Belle’s face standing in front of an enchanted book as the Beast tells her, “Think of the one thing that you’ve always wanted. Now find it in your mind’s eye, and feel it in your heart…” shows in one look the burning longing and sadness that still exists within her, apart from wanting “adventure in the great wide somewhere”, the “one story Papa could never bring himself to tell.” In addition to disclosing a tragic secret and helping Belle move on in her life, the whole sequence was beautifully acted and significant in developing Belle and Beast’s trust in one another (after the magnitude of saving each other’s lives, of course). This part also containes another new musical bit sung by Emma Watson, and her voice perfectly carries both sadness and tenderness.

Easy to remember

Harder to move on

Knowing that the Paris of my childhood

Is gone

5. Well, it would be strange if I didn’t mention Tale as Old as Time here, wouldn’t it? No further words necessary.

Bittersweet and strange

Finding you can change

Learning you were wrong

What to Wear #20

All this Beauty and the Beast viewing has me hankering after red roses again, so I’ll put on this white sweatshirt with red roses. I got it in H&M (many will probably know which one I’m talking about) for 5 euros during a lovely weekend in Utrecht, a charming town I hope to come back to again.

Surprise, surprise, it’s still chilly, so I shall once again work with layers. A long black tank top goes underneath the sweatshirt – it extends from underneath it and adds proportion to the rest of the outfit, as the sweatshirt is a bit on the shorter side. I’m still inspired by the I’m-a-flower-green-bottoms-as-a-hypthetical-stem idea from yesterday, so not-quite-olive-green leggings join the crew. The black leg-warmers (yeah, I’ve kind of become a fan) compliment the black top and add the laid-back vibe I was also going for with this outfit. It is chillier, but it’s still too warm for boots, but I don’t want chilled ankles.

Red and green are another color combination I enjoy experimenting with, because this presents one constant challenge: not to end up looking like a Christmas tree when it’s not Christmas.

Not that I’m going to see Beauty and the Beast for the fourth time, or anything.

What to Wear #6

The first item I thought of were my dark(er) gold glittering sneakers (trainers for the lovely Brits among you) that I got last year on sale in Pimkie in Paris, when I said I wouldn’t and I did, so there!

I’m afraid I had to remove the original shoelaces, because with them the sneakers were making Donald Duck sounds everytime I walked.

Why these? I’m seeing Beauty and the Beast tonight for the third time. Even if Belle can’t see me, I feel like this occasion warrants a tribute implemented in my outfit. So in cases like these the jumping off point for me are the colors connected with the main heroine, or ones visible on the clothes she wears. Gold is clearly part of the concept, whether in the castle or in Belle’s ballroom gown, though of course there are many more colors and scenes to pick from. I think Belle would have approved of my choice – glitter and comfort combined. But I will leave any more talk about Beauty and the Beast at that, because I will write a proper blog post about the film once my visits to the cinema are done.

A while after settling on the gold sneakers, I was scrolling through video suggestions on YouTube and watched Lindsey Stirling’s violin cover of Boulevard of Broken Dreams by Green Day (with her drummer and keyboardist clearly enjoying themselves as well).

Ach, memories of my youth and my first trip to Prague, where I heard the song. Aside from the cover being a cool spin on the track that came out all the way back in 2003 (!) and which I know all the lyrics to (yeah…), Lindsey provided me with some major plaidspiration for the rest of my outfit, because as you can see she is also wearing shiny sneakers in the video. I don’t have a violin and I can’t play one, but I listen to her music while I put the rest of my outfit together, some of my favorite looks from her many music videos running through my mind like a slideshow.

My plaid shirt has more navy-blue in it than red, but it still works, paired with a black tank top and dark-blue jeans. You just can’t go wrong with the latter. Everything seems to both successfuly contrast with and balance out the glittering center of attention on my feet.

Gold shoes means gold accessories: small round stud earrings, larger gold ring with that dark gold bit of plastic or wrinkled metal that seems to go with almost anything. Some red-tangerine-ish lip crayon to pick up the red stripes in the shirt, and I’m done.

Sunday Diaries, Means I Watched YouTube Videos and Loved It (As Usual)

Sunday is the day of rest! Actually, it’s the day of YouTube. Especially during winter. The temperature dropped only a few degrees below zero and my hibernation instincts kicked in to full gear.

Thanks to some links sent to me, this day of YouTube went incredibly well, and as I can’t resist sharing, here goes with some short reviews.

Ever felt like this? Sure! While it’s not always advisable to rip up your notes and pull this approach during actual exam study time, keeping the seriousness of a situation within reasonable bounds isn’t a bad idea and this video helps along with the ride. It’s also just really funny and further confirmation of how Disney’s Frozen keeps blowing people’s minds. Oh, and there’s humorous and sarcastic rewriting of lyrics, which I do on a daily basis, yay, there are others out there!

Some more Frozen inspiration to laugh at and maybe laugh at yourself in the process, if you have memories from the past that might pop up after this video. For the record, knowing all the digits of pi is impressive. My favorite line among the laugh-out-loud rewritten lyrics: “Here’s a lock of my own hair/ Honestly, I think I’m made for you…”

Watching videos inspired by the release of the full-length movie trailer for Disney’s live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast (God, I cannot wait to see it) led me to this adorable gem. This was the trigger for the pure tears I may have needed to shed today. No words, just feels, all of them.

Has this day of YouTube been somewhat Disney-centric? Nah, come on.

Monday Diary: Rise Up Lights and Beauty and the Beast Trailer

Seriously, just try this, and see if you can ever stop thinking about this phrase in a new light (feeble pun!):

As shared on Girl Gone International Facebook

As shared on Girl Gone International Facebook

I first whispered and then just said this out loud to myself, and it works! Burning questions follow this entertaining linguistic trick. Do British people have an easier time switching to “razor blades” in their mind as soon as they hear themselves speak because of their accents? Do American accents still work nonetheless? Do various Aussie accents unwittingly get imitated as a result? If so, are they existing accents? Do we unconsciously try to Australian-ize our pronounciation (without really being able to, except after several episodes of McCleod’s Daughters in my case) as soon as we attempt to rise up lights? And most importantly: what will happen if an Australian simply says “rise up lights”? Life’s profound mysteries.

The internet was not done with us today, nor is it ever. A momentous event has taken place and I’m still fanning myself from excitement. Uploaded seven hours ago as of the time this is being typed and with close to half a million views already, I add my own click(s) to the official full-length movie trailer of Disney’s upcoming live-action version of the animated classic Beauty and the Beast. As soon as I hear those first piano bars from the opening track, despite having heard them thousands of times before, I’m gone.

If the teaser trailer already had me in pieces, this further gem makes me wriggle like an over-excited child and think, “OH MY GOD, this is real!” I can only hope that we will not be disappointed by the movie after the mood both trailers have successfully harnessed, and that Belle didn’t drop that candelabra after her first glimpse of the Beast. If there is one thing I’m certain of, it’s that I can’t imagine anyone other than Emma Watson playing our book-loving, plucky, dreaming heroine in this version.

“I want adventure in the great wide somewhere/ I want it more than I can tell…”

It was a Monday of joyful, thought-provoking discoveries, and with all this talk of the supermoon, which I currently can’t see because of foggy Hamburg conditions, I’m in a witchy mood and will look up scenes with Piper Halliwell from Charmed on YouTube.

 

More Beauty and the Beast

The French movie directed by Christophe Gans and released in 2014, that is. I remember the Disney animated classic practically by heart, and yes, of course I will watch it again, and again, and again. This version grabbed my curiousity and it coincided nicely with the reignited enthuasiasm for all things Beauty and all things Beast after the teaser trailer for the upcoming Disney live-action film came out.

So, first thing’s first, it’s very different from the Disney interpretation, as it should be. While the story is scary enough, touching on plenty of serious topics if you stop to think about it, this movie was still darker and sometimes gloomier than I expected. There are, of course, familiar sights – an overgrown, dank, forgotten castle. A sense of impending menace before we really know who or what lives there, which transfers from Belle.

It was much harder to relate to the Beast in this adaptation, and however hard I tried to tell myself he was “real”, with “flaws”, the character had some very unattractive qualities indeed, not to mention a very serious sin on his hands. I was constantly scared he would tear Belle to bits, even when she started falling for him. And that’s the crucial point of dissatisfaction with the movie for me, unfortunately. How Belle starts to open her heart to the Beast skipped my understanding. One moment she is resisting his attentions, even while steadfastly accepting her fate, the next all she wants is to remain with him forever, it is her “only wish”. OK, so he did redeem himself by saving her life, and he doesn’t hide who he is from her. Love is all-powerful etc etc.

Nope, still can’t convince myself.

But the cinematography and costumes are stunning. While Belle’s dresses are somewhat too opulent for all that running around she does, the design is amazing.

There are still many ways to tell stories, including well-known and long-established fairy tales, which is heartening and inspiring. The enduring fascination with this particular genre seems to be showing itself in a myriad of new interpretations in entertainment and culture, and I am constantly watching to see what else will come, how characters we have known forever will find their way in to creative projects.