Tag: film

Be My Valentine: Fifty Shades of Grey

k150_25heel iconI had to do it. I had to go see “Fifty Shades of Grey” on Valentine’s Day. The much anticipated film adapted from the books (yes, I read them), had been all the buzz leading up to the big release.

Thankfully my boyfriend (who didn’t read the books) was a good sport about it – he scored us tickets to a late night screening at the sold-out Arclight Cinema and even wore the skinny, grey tie I gave him.

50 Shades of Grey Review ,Fifty Shades of Grey Review

We stopped for dinner at the Arclight’s inside restaurant and they were workin’ the Fifty Shades angle with all the waiters wearing grey ties. The restaurant promoted a special Fifty Shades drink menu, so of course I had to try the “Lip Biter,” a delectable mix of vodka, sparking wine and peach schnapps. Other drink selections included the “Mr. Grey” with Earl Grey infused gin, “The Red Room” with white rum and Chambord, and the “Curious” with whiskey and apple spice bitters.

50 Shades of Grey Cocktails, Fifty Shades of Grey Cocktails

So I was nice and relaxed as we headed into the theatre. The audience was mostly women, out in groups for Valentine’s girls night out, and a few couples. The film itself is well done, nicely shot and Dakota Johnson is a perfect fit as the lead character of Anastasia Steele, the innocent college girl who meets one of the country’s most eligible young bachelors who just happens to have a dominant dark side.

I wasn’t that crazy about Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey – he looked great but his acting seemed forced, stiff and melodramatic. It was his lines, mostly the ones pulled right from the book, that drew roars of laughter from the crowd – at times not intended to be funny. Dornan drew more laughs at his acting than Anastasia did as the character who manages to crack a few sly jokes at Christian’s expense.

As for the sex scenes, there isn’t a lot sex exactly but more demonstrations of Christian’s need for “whipping” his women into shape. And hats off to Dakota for being able to carry out what must have been very difficult scenes to shoot.

All in all the film was enjoyable (my boyfriend even liked it) especially for those who have followed the books. It’s a classic romance story – rich, powerful guy who could have anyone he wants, falls for the girl who thinks of herself as a nobody. If only he didn’t have that pesky 50 shades that keeps them from having a normal relationship. While the extreme sexual behavior may be a too much for some, the conflict between the characters is enough to keep audiences enthralled – for a couple more sequels at least.

Laters baby,

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Tag: film

Learning Fashion: GlamAmor’s Style Essentials

k150_23SZDheel iconMost lovers of fashion know certain eras are represented by certain looks. But did you know that many fashion trends were influenced by films and their costume designers? Kimberly Truhler of GlamAmor made a career out of studying the history of film and fashion. She teaches a class on it at Woodbury University and offers her vast wealth of knowledge on her website GlamAmor and now in her “Style Essentials” series of lectures and webinars.

I attended her recent event, “The History of Fashion and Film 1960s-1970s” at the Annenberg Beach House in Santa Monica where she covered the some iconic looks from films from that period. It’s fascinating to learn what influenced the style of the characters and how the looks influenced future fashion. In order to know your fashion, it’s important to know its history. You might think a look is new but it might actually be something that came from a film, created by a costume designer. Kimberly knows her stuff, that’s why she’s often called upon as an expert consultant for Turner Classic Movies and Christie’s of London.


Kimberly’s lecture features a slideshow with image of movie stars in their stunning costumes and trends they sparked. She brings a clothing rack from her own carefully curated vintage collection to show similar pieces to those seen onscreen. She also joked that many of the iconic looks from film where featured on characters that were call girls and criminals – I guess those are the ones who could take a few more fashion risks!

Here are some highlights:

Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)
Designer Givenchy, Edith Head costume supervisor

“Every woman at some point in their life has tried to channel Audrey,” said Kimberly and she’s not wrong. The iconic sleek black dress and updo has been repeated in fashion over and over. Hepburn’s character of Holly Golightly may have been a call girl but her elegance and style made her an aspiration. See the full details on GlamAmor.

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958)
Costume designer Helen Rose

Elizabeth Taylor’s character of Maggie dresses in classic, tailored lines. Her double v-neckline white dress became a hot seller known as “The Cat” dress. And oh, that white slip! With a juxtaposition of innocent and sultry all in one, it became the signature look from the film. See the full details on GlamAmor.

Butterfield 8 (1960)
Costume designer Helen Rose

“The coats were their own character,” Kimberly commented on the style of this film with Liz playing yet another sophisticated call girl character. And we again see another sexy white slip that spoke volumes in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.” The little black dress she wore became so iconic, copies sold out and the cut became known as “The Butterfield 8 Dress.” See the full details on GlamAmor.


Love Story (1970)
Costume Designers Pearl Somner and Alice Manougian Martin 

Winter wear never looked so good! Ali MacGraw made school-girl prep a classic look with a salute to turtlenecks, mini-skirts with tights. Ali also added her own knit cap, which became an instant trendsetter. See the full details on GlamAmor.

Network  (1976)
Costume Designer Theoni V. Aldredge 

While the ‘70s ushered in extreme looks of hippies and disco, Network was drenched in the color brown, perhaps to offer a counter of conservativeness and ground the era of extremes. Faye Dunaway’s character, with her tie-neck look can still be seen in fashions of today. See the full details on GlamAmor.

So many iconic films, so little time. There were many, many more films and trends covered in this lecture. It’s such fun seeing the chain of influence in fashion. Check out GlamAmor’s events and Style Essentials series to get a quick education – you might be surprised where some of you favorite looks have come from!

To fashion,

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