Happy Thanksgivukkah! I hope you’re enjoying a great weekend full of celebrations, food, friends, and family. I have a really fun Sew & Tell for you today: in honor of BTR’s Screen Week theme, I thought it would be fitting to take a look at some fashion from the silver screen. Now, fashion in film is a huge, broad topic, so I called in my good friend and fellow sartorially-minded cinephile Anthony Platipodis to help me break it down. Each of us chose a favorite vintage fashion film and a favorite contemporary example, and on today’s show, we’ll be discussing the style in four movies: “Top Hat” (1935), “Leave Her To Heaven” (1945), “Great Expectations” (1998), and “The Fifth Element” (1997).
Plus, I’ve got some great new music in the mix – fresh tracks from the new solo debut by The Babies frontman Kevin Morby, and Cali garage group Pure Bliss, as well as a track off one of the most critically acclaimed albums of the year to date, Blood Orange’s sophomore release “Cupid Deluxe.” All that, plus a ton more goodies (some fashion film recommendations from fellow Sew & Tell listeners, a great Thanksgiving leftovers recipe, more gorgeous gift ideas!), so whether you’re fighting the Black Friday crowds or curled up at home, tune in and join us for a stylishly entertaining hour here on BreakThru Radio!
Select styles from films discussed:
Top Hat (1935)
*Fun fact: Top Hat costume designer Bernard Newman was also head designer for Bergdorf Goodman at the time. You can read a retelling of the infamous feather dress dispute here on TCM.
Leave Her To Heaven (1945)
*Read more about legendary designer Oleg Cassini in his NY Times obituary; while his label is now synonymous with wedding dresses, the designer created looks for public style personalities from Joan Crawford to Jackie O. (when she was first lady).
Great Expectations (1998)
*Check out this cool academic paper on the cinematic style of Miss Havisham, as interpreted by three different teams of directors/designers.
The Fifth Element (1997)
More Stylish Movies!
*Paris Is Burning – heartrending documentary profile of the minority drag and “Vogue” scene in NYC during the 80s. Necessity is the mother of invention for these men looking for community and high fashion. These marginalized men created a bedrock for Madonnas and Gagas to build upon in years following.
*Blade Runner – A dystopian future LA offers up a clash of cyberpunk against traditional 1940s lines. A disorienting mashup of looks that serve the story, and often act as foil to the characters wearing them.
*Harlan County USA – Ready-to-wear polyester housecoats and beehive hairdos hide everything from bobby pins to handguns in this arresting documentary set in southeast Kentucky coal miner towns during the early 70s.
*Out of the Past – 1947 Film noir with is a catalog of wish-list casual and formalwear played against the backdrops of Mexico, Tahoe, San Francisco, and Anytown USA. Betrayal and triple crossing is easy on the eyes and suitable for framing in this classic film.
*Out of Africa – Streep and Redford, young and gorgeous, dressed in Banana Republic circa 1982 (when it was still a shoppable safari-centric collection.) Beautifully rustic linens, leathers, and cotton done up into classic trench coats, button downs and trousers – need I say more?
*The Philadelphia Story – Katharine Hepburn was infamously opinionated and particular about her costume designs, and often worked along with the designers to create a collaborative vision. In this, she plays a proud and patrician heiress who dresses the part flawlessly in gowns with dramatic Greecian silhouettes by Hollywood designer Adrian.
*The Sacrifice – Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky’s final film, this is a sumptuously designed Apocalyptic tale from 1986. Set in Sweden, the costumes and overall visual aesthetic blend Victorian silhouettes with contemporary details, all constructed from luxe silks, wools, linens, and embroidered fabrics. Simultaneously stark and rich, this is one of my favorite movies ever to watch for visual inspiration.
*The Royal Tenenbaums – I know, I know, I know, I know. I know. Kind of cliche to cite Wes Anderson, but one of my favorite things about his characters in every movie is that each of them wears a very specific uniform. In Tenenbaums, Gwenyth Paltrow’s Margot singlehandedly brought back polo dresses, plastic barrettes, and Egyptian eyeliner. And all the gent’s suits are sharp as a tack and tailored to a T.
*Breakfast At Tiffany’s
*Gone With The Wind
*The Painted Veil
*Great Gatsby (1974 NOT 2013!)
*Devil Wears Prada
*How To Marry a Millionaire
*The Magnificent Seven (everything but the hats)
Odds & Ends
*Wondering what to do with all those Thanksgiving leftovers? The Kitchn’s got your back with 10 great recipes!
*It’s heeeeeeeere! BTR staffers’ list of Favorite Things!
*Yes, it’s Black Friday, but nowadays, thankfully, you can shop those deals without leaving your armchair. Amazon’s stellar boot sale ends tonight, Steven Alan is offering steep discounts a bunch of great styles, Ethica online boutique is offering 35% off through Tuesday, and resale site Tradesy is offering an additional 10% off on its already great designer deals!
*If you’re in NYC this weekend, don’t miss the Of a Kind Holiday Spectacular pop-up shop! The perfect place to snag a few unique, limited-edition holiday gifts.
(Photo by Ruthie Swanson)
Dec 3 – Rickshaw Stop – San Francisco, CA
Dec 5 – Doug Fir Lounge – Portland, OR
Dec 6 – Barboza – Seattle, WA
Dec 7 – Neurolux – Boise, ID
Dec 9 – Kilby Court – Salt Lake City, UT
Dec 11 – Larimer Lounge – Denver, CO
Dec 13 – Pub Rock Live – Scottsdale, AZ
Dec 14 – Bootleg Bar – Los Angeles, CA
Jan 7 – Three Links – Dallas, TX
Jan 8 – Fitzgerald’s – Houston, TX
Jan 9 – The New Orleans Mint – New Orleans, LA
Jan 10 – Bottle Tree – Birmingham, AL
Jan 11 – Eddie’s Attic – Decatur, GA
Jan 12 – Cat’s Cradle Back Room – Carrboro, NC
Jan 14 – The Southern Cafe and Music Hall – Charlottesville, VA
Jan 15 – DC9 – Washington, D.C.
Jan 16 – Mercury Lounge – New York, NY
Jan 17 – Boot & Saddle – Philadelphia, PA
Jan 18 – The Middle East Downstairs – Cambridge, MA
Jan 20 – Il Motore – Montreal, Quebec
Jan 21 – The Drake Hotel – Toronto, Ontario
Jan 22 – Pike Room at the Crofoot – Pontiac, MI
Jan 23 – Schuba’s Tavern – Chicago, IL
Jan 24 – The Frequency – Madison, WI
Jan 25 – 7th Street Entry – Minneapolis, MN
Jan 27 – The Record Bar – Kansas City, MO
Jan 28 – Opolis – Norman, OK
Jan 29 – Mohawk – Austin, TX
Jan 31 – Club Congress – Tucson, AZ
(Photo by David Armstrong)
Dec 31 – The Chapel – San Francisco, CA
Jan 30 – Brick & Mortar Music Hall – San Francisco, CA
Feb 4 – Rickshaw Stop – San Francisco, CA
Little Green Cars
(Photo by Lauren Slusher)
Nov 29 & 30 – Roisin Dubh – Galway, Ireland
Dec 7 & 8 – Vicar Street – Dublin, Ireland
Dec 13 – Dolans Warehouse – Limerick, Ireland
Dec 14 – Pavilion Bar & Nightclub – Cork, Ireland
Dec 22 – Set Theatre – Kilkenny, Ireland
Dec 23 – Pavilion Theatre – Dun Laoghaire, Ireland
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