I suspect this divides almost entirely along country lines. The Americans I was watching with and those on the forums and blogs I read seem to be saying, “Oh, but she’s ADORABLE, and she tried SO hard’. While all the Brits were going ‘pass the sick bag’.
This is why I will never be American. Also if the entirely best thing about your act are the costume changes then you' know you’re in trouble.
Take one of these (do sandwich boards exist in the US?)
Combine with one of these
Get out your glue gun and stick on lots of these, and these
And lo and behold, Cate Blanchett will wear it.
It’s been nearly 24 hours and I’m still trying to work out if I like this dress or not. What do you guys think? At the very least kudos to her for wearing one of the very few interesting dresses on display last night.
Annette Bening A Skeleton
She was my pick for Best Actress (though a lot because I can’t BEAR Natalie Portman) and she generally makes good red carpet choices, but there was something rather too anatomical about this rhinestone-encrusted dress. Though a 50 year old who can wear something that draws all eyes straight to her midsection is a brave woman indeed.
Well, we all know the movie’s crap – two of the best reviews here and here – but what did we think of the set design? Most specifically what about Carrie and Big’s new grown-up married folks apartment?
Carrie confesses in the film that over the past year or two she’s been ‘cheating on fashion for furniture’ and she’s been working with same designer, Lydia Marks, who also revamped her apartment in the first movie.
So let’s take a tour.
One of my main bugbears with this new apartment is the colour scheme, which is basically blue and brown. I know Carrie is trying to create an environment that Big will also feel at home in, but it just makes everything seem rather dark and depressing and yet again very not Carrie. I know she’s grown up now, but where’s the fun, the liveliness, the inventiveness, the eccentricity and the bohemia?
The entrance way sets the tone for the whole, some great pieces – love the wallpaper and green glass bottle - but just a little too fussy and cluttered and somehow old fashioned. Would Carrie really have a glass case of dead butterflies on display?
Entering the living room, I like this view of it. The Rug Company rug is beautiful, as is the coffee table, though, as in her old apartment, the sofa and chairs still seem rather more for 'perching’ than truly relaxing, though much is made in the movie of Big turning into a couch potato. I think I like the gold painting though I can’t help thinking that Big and Carrie would have a more striking piece of modern art.
Paul Smith got an excellent bit of product placement in here with his ‘Birdie Blossom’ cushion, which Carrie is seen cuddling like a new lover. It’s lovely, though I’m not sure the pattern really works here, but it does seem more authentically ‘Carrie’ than much of the rest of the stuff. It’s also great to see all the books everywhere. One of the things we all complained about last time was the lack of books in bookworm Carrie’s apartment.
From here though things go downhill faster than an Olympic skiier. This view of the sitting room is a cluttered and fussy as a pair of Queen Victoria’s bloomers. There are just too many little pieces of furniture, too many patterns and too many little splashes of colour against horribly dark and serious walls.
This little seating area seems especially ridiculous. Are Carrie and Big really going to sit here as if they were in doctor’s waiting room taking afternoon tea? Isn’t this the perfect spot for a huge comfortable reading chair facing out towards the view?
I like the lighter fresher feel in the formal dining area. The Lee Jofa fabric works well and the light fitting is wonderful, though shelves could do with a bit of editing. It goes through to what I think must be the kitchen, though it seems rather impractical to cook in, and I would never, ever, EVER put a rug, however pretty, in space for cooking. But maybe that’s just me.
Looking to the left from the entrance hall we catch a glimpse of the bedroom, with another fabulous light fitting in the small library and beautiful Cole & Son wallpaper on the bedroom walls, which echoes the paper in the hall.
Carrie makes a huge amount of fuss in this movie about Big’s purchase of a big TV for their bedroom, thus confirming a) that we were right that the big TV in Carrie’s old apartment was incongruous and out of character and b) the TV product placement people have a lot of money.
The bedroom feels a bit ‘hotelly’, but I do like the way they’ve echoed the pattern on the wallpaper with the headboard. And below we’ve got another lovely rug/useless seating area/boring artwork situation happening.
The piece de resistance is naturally the closet, with ridiculously twee ‘his and hers’ sides. I know people have been charmed by this conceit, but to me it looks as ludicrous as having two different his and hers sinks, one ‘feminine’ and one ‘masculine’ side by side in a bathroom.
Not bad shoe storage though.
(By the way Habitually Chic has put together a great post on where to source many of these pieces, including identifying the books that Carrie and Big are currently reading.)
So what do you think? Additional comments hugely encouraged.
Since I spent five hours sitting on my couch yesterday until my backside was literally numb, I might as well get a blog post out of it, so here are some random Oscar thoughts.
Best bits of the night were Kathryn Bigelow’s win for Best Director - yet another big crack in the glass ceiling – and Meryl Streep proudly announcing that she was wearing Chris March. Yes, cuddly Chris March, my all-time favourite Project Runway alum.
She looked radiant and much better than she often does on the red carpet – the dress looked comfortable, age appropriate (take note James Cameron’s wife) and she looked like she was having a blast wearing it. And unlike many fair people she can really carry off white – it makes her flawless skin look like alabaster.
I thought it might be by him as it was reminiscent of the dress he designed for her for the Golden Globes, so I hope this is the beginning of a long and fruitful collaboration for both of them.
Last night the over-40s really schooled the ingenue crowd in how to take the red carpet by storm.
Sparkly, glowy Helen Mirren once again made me proud to be British and was once again one of the best dressed of the night. Demi Moore proved that Rachel Zoe really does know what she’s talking about, though I think that dress would have been nicer in a colour that didn’t so exactly match her own skintone.
Unfortunately SJP, having heard my comment last year that she was too old to dress like an ingenue, went completely the other way and decided to channel Nancy Reagan circa 1976 wth Barbra Streisand hair.
I was conflicted about the dress as I wanted so much to like it – it was unusual and different and pretty from the back – but in the end it was just too shapeless for her and it wasn’t really helped by the bits of tin foil stuck randomly all over it, nor by the enormous char sui bun made from mismatched hair pieces that she stuck on her head.
J Lo’s dress has been getting a lot of inexplicable praise this morning. Personally I thought it looked as if it had been put together in a Project Runway-esque challenge out of miles and miles of bubble wrap and staples, in order to hide the unfortunate stunted conjoined twin she has joined to her hip (I kept expecting to see a little face peeking out from under that side bustle). And isn’t it the convention that you go a little more understated if you’re only presenting?
She is, however, the only woman on the planet who can almost pull something like this off. And she has the sparkliest eyes I’ve ever seen, as if they’ve been embedded with diamonds or something. If anyone knows the makeup trick she uses to achieve that then I’m all ears.
Sandra Bullock (who gave a charming and touching speech and who this weekend also went in person to pick up her Razzie for worst actress – giving her thousands of kudos points in my eyes) decided to come dressed as an Oscar and looked better on the red carpet than she usually does.
Her hair is spectacularly glossy and shiny too, but if you’ve got big ears then the last thing you want to do is tuck your hair behind them and really show them off (take note also Kara DioGuardi and Ellen DeGeneres on American Idol, who have turned that show into a mesmerising big ear fest). So I shall cross my fingers and pretend that Sandra pulled her hair into a simple updo and wiped that eyeball-searing gunk off her lips at the same time.
Speaking of unfortunate hair, I did tweet last night that it was a shame Mo’Nique was wearing a cauliflower on her head.
I take that all back this morning as I learn that her electric blue dress and GARDENIA in her hair was her personal tribute to Hattie McDaniel, who also wore blue and gardenias as the first ever African-American winner of an Oscar back in 1939. (She was apparently forced to sit alone at a table next to the kitchen during that Oscar awards ceremony. SO glad things have moved on a bit since then.)
Frankly I do think Hattie McDaniel (see her acceptance speech here) wore it better and Mo’Nique would have looked a lot less severe with looser hair.
Speaking of larger black ladies in blue. I adored Gabby Sidibe’s infectious exuberance and excitement at being a part of the whole shebang, but her dress was utterly ruined by sticking that cheap-looking applique right over her stomach. Proving once again that designers don’t have a clue how to dress anyone over a size 0. Her upper arms could have done with a tad more draping as well.
Oprah gave us all a lesson in how to be a ‘larger black lady in blue’ but I can’t find a decent picture of her anywhere.
As for real howlers, disappointingly there were no really bad dresses aside from Charlize.
Miley Cyrus – would someone get her off my screen PLEASE? – had me screaming at my television all night in an effort to get her to stop slouching. I think she was afraid that her boobs would just pop out if she pulled her shoulders back. And visible tan lines is not a particularly classy look.
Vera Farmiga’s dress looked it was single-handedly doing one of those fan dances that strippers do and I kept on expecting a nude woman to jump out from behind it. The colour was absolutely glorious though.
Diane Kruger looked like she’d been through a shredder and was on the verge of being throttled by a boa constrictor. A traumatic evening.
Zoe Saldana looked like she was emerging from one of those retro three-dimensional fold out Christmas decoration thingies. I liked the top of the dress but all the can-can flounces were far too much. This dress was one of the Minx’s favourites, and if you’re one of the Minx’s favourites then you know you’re indeed on shakey ground tastewise.
And finally dear old Kate Winslet. Why do you always have to dress like a dowager duchess? I know you’re on a quest to be Britain’s next national treasure, but you’re still young. Would it really kill you to have a little fun with your clothes? Another dress that looks like armour, another bad case of helmet hair. And this time it looked like you’ve been visiting Madonna’s colourist, and we all know that’s not a good thing.
One final note for the Oscar producers. The show itself was as lame as centipede that’s had all its legs cut off. Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin were utterly AWFUL. And I speak as someone who’s just started watching 30 Rock on DVD and has turned into a raving Alec Baldwin fan.
However, a star double-act was born before our very eyes. Tina Fey and Robert Downey Jr. were hilarious while dishing out the award for Best Original Screenplay and should have been hired on the spot to present next year. I’d pay to watch that one.
Oh and one very last aside. Whatever happened to these two? Grizzly Adams and his partially melted blow-up doll.
- Thrilled that Slumdog won. Such an amazing film.
- When they brought the little kids on at the end I cried. Sorry.
- Thrilled also that AR Rahman won Best Score and Best Song. Seriously the soundtrack is absolutely awesome and has been playing on a loop here at mirrormirror's intergalactic headquarters (aka my bedroom office)
- Also very glad about Sean Penn as I can't quite manage to look at Mickey Rourke's face.
- What am I not getting about Hugh Jackman? He leaves me stone cold.
- RDJ on the other hand was looking HAWT. Excessive drug taking is obviously good for the complexion.
- Speaking of acronym people, when is SJP going to realise that she is no longer an ingenue and that people with long faces shouldn't wear centre partings and hippie hair?
- Lots of lovely British accents on the podium tonight. How come Brits always looks so scruffy? Wouldn't you at least get a haircut if there was a chance you were going to win an Oscar?
- Except for Kate Winslet. I swear her hair was carved out of marble. And her dress looked like armour. Scary stuff.
- Kate Winslet's Dad should have won the 'Best Dad' and 'Best Hat' Oscars.
- 'Best Dressed' and 'Funniest Person' was Tina Fey. I adore her.
- Hated all the frothy fishtail pouffery. And Miley Cyrus. (Why was she even there?)
- Halle Berry is just insanely beautiful.
Last Saturday evening, I lit the scented candles, cracked open a bottle of Baileys, got out my knitting and settled down to watch Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day. We like to live fast and die young round these parts.
The film itself is slighter than slight, though perfect Saturday night fodder, and utterly redeemed by Frances McDormand's perfectly judged comic performance, the incredible Art Deco costumes and interiors and lots of lovely shots of Art Deco London.
It's not really my taste, but there's something about the sophisticated colour palette; the handpainted wallpaper; the sheen and glamour; the fur and the padding; the satin and chandeliers which makes you want to spend all day lying in bed eating oysters, drinking champagne and receiving gentlemen callers.
Here's the trailer so you can see the sets in action.
So there's been lots of chatter recently about Carrie's apartment makeover in the movie. It's not too much of a spoiler (and by now the the whole world and her girlfriends have seen the movie anyway) to say that Carrie is apparently earning enough from her books to be able to afford an interior decorator to makeover her apartment.
It's no secret that the producers of the show go to immense trouble to reflect the characters' personalities and lives in their clothes and surroundings, so it does make sense for Carrie's apartment to get an update as she becomes more successful and 'grown up'.
The most obvious change - which really stood out in the cinema - is the colour of the walls throughout the apartment (custom-mixed, but apparently a close relation of Benjamin Moore's Electric Blue). It's a pretty colour but I thought it was just a bit too much. I'd have gone for something very slightly more muted and soft and not quite so, er, electric. (It also looked brighter in the film I thought than it does here).
Her bedroom has been hugely smartened up. The blue walls and white trim really bring out the brown floors, which again unify the space throughout the apartment and stop the blue from being too overwhelming. I also really like the billowy curtains, which soften the space and, because they are hung to each side of the window, really make the windows seem more imposing. However I really don't like that bedspread, which looks like something you'd find in a seedy hotel.
I also don't like the artwall. Firstly aren't art walls a bit over done now? And where did all this art come from? Does Carrie have a secret Etsy/Ebay addiction which has never been mentioned? She's never shown any interest in interior decor before. Or, heaven forbid, did the decorator just buy up all this art in one day? And why is some of it tucked behind the headboard of the (rather uninspiring) bed?
Big kudos to the Rug Company - one of my favourite UK design companies - for providing the rugs. Such a good way of building up their profile in the US. A big thumbs up from me for the purple one they've used here, which is the Overleaf by Marni. However I don't think it really goes with either with the bedspread or with the little chintzy floral couches. I'm all for mixing patterns - and on their own the couches are lovely - but these patterns don't have any relationship to each other at all, and if you're mixing patterns I think there needs to be some sort of unifying thread (and throwing in a blue ikat pillow doesn't really help matters).
The huge TV seems hugely out of place here. When does Carrie ever watch telly? Unlike Miranda, when you see her on your own she's reading a book or magazine, which brings me to another bugbear. Where are Carrie's books? How is she going to reach her magazines? And where is the hugely comfortable chair/sofa for curling up and reading? Those floral couches are meant for perching, not snuggling. And if she is going to settle down and watch the enormous telly, is she really meant to sit bolt upright on that incredibly uncomfortable-looking white chair?
I also wished that they would have kept a few of Carrie's familiar old things around. One of the key components of her personal style has always been her ability to mix new and vintage stuff. So wouldn't she have kept that great coffee table and credenza? And was it callous or inevitable that she ditched Aidan's chair? And why not keep the fabulous Bakelite phone?
I suppose ultimately my complaint is that while it is definitely a much more beautiful apartment, it ends up not being Carrie's apartment. All the personality has been sucked out of the place and replaced with interesting decorator pieces (and product placement opportunities).
What did you think?
Things I Learned Last Night (Only Very Tiny Spoilers)
- The movie is like watching five previously undiscovered back-to-back episodes with a much bigger budget. No more. No less. Which is my idea of bliss. I note the reviewers who thought the movie was too long are mostly male.
- The plot is so creaky it should be in an old people's home. I have no idea how they're going to rehash things again to make a sequel. This doesn't actually matter.
- Judging by the packed-out cinema and queue for tickets (in fabulous monsoon-like conditions - how I love Seattle in June), there will definitely be a sequel
- As we suspected from the photos which have been all over the Internet, green feathers and bright red lipstick (especially lipstick which is feathering round the edges - too much smoking Carrie!) does not work
- The blue Manolos in the lead role are totally upstaged by these fabulous Dior Extreme Gladiator Platforms, which I would buy tomorrow if they a) didn't cost $770 b) wouldn't cripple me in about 5 secs c) wouldn't give me appalling cankles.
- J Hud is woefully underused
- As is Stanford. More Stanford please!
- Charlotte is fabulous when she's angry
- The movie included a completely gratuitous trip to Mexico which suited me just fine
- I still think Miranda could do better than Steve
- However, Miranda and Steve made me cry
- As did Charlotte
- Carrie didn't
- The interiors throughout the movie are fabbalicious. I may have to see the movie again to focus on them more closely :)
- Carrie's iconic apartment gets a makeover. I'm not sure about it, but it deserves a post all of its own
- Samantha is a fool
- Cynthia Nixon is looking stunning
- Smash in Wallingford was a surprisingly great place for a pre-match cosmopolitan
- For all the critics bitching and moaning about the lack of reality in the film, this is PORN, girl porn, pure unadulterated fashion, accessories and interiors porn (and some lingering shots of hot Italian male totty which were not exactly unpleasant). And since when have porn films been realistic?
So SATC - The Movie generated opening weekend receipts of $55.7 million in the US alone and a further $39.2 million overseas, which has apparently shocked movie execs everywhere, who were predicting an opening more in line with The Devil Wears Prada''s $27 million.
Well, colour me surprised. OF COURSE it was going to do well. Anyone who even reads blogs just a little bit would have hooked into the palpable anticipation surrounding the film and noticed just how many people were planning to go and see it.
If you read the news articles today it seems that finally all the male (of course!) moguls are acknowledging that maybe there is a market for films for grown-up women which deal, even obliquely, with grown-up issues and which are genuinely witty and funny; instead of the usual dreadful slapstick Cinderella remake starring J-Lo or Kate Hudson. Or heaven forbid all the CGI-ed superhero claptrap aimed at teenage boys.
Which has to be a good, if somewhat belated, news to start the week.
I know we've recently been very rude about US Vogue, but this month's issue features one of the most gorgeous photoshoots I've ever seen in honour of the upcoming release of Sex and the City - The Movie. (All photos by Annie Liebowitz for US Vogue from Vogue.com).
Even though the cover is still pretty crap.
The gorgeous boys at Project Rungay (one of the all time great blogs) have done some great detective work tracking down the catwalk origins of most of the frocks. (They are so going to LOVE my Heidi Klum holiday goss).
I have just two questions. Why don't we see epic dresses like these on the red carpet (including SJP to her own premieres) instead of all the boring fishtails we saw at the Oscars this year? (The green Nina Ricci is what I will wear when I win my Oscar and have extensive liposuction). And could Mr Big, whom I've always loved as a character, but who has never done it for me as a lustbunny, look any hotter?
Also check out this vid, via Perez Hilton, which conclusively proves that this is one of the biggest ever product placement opportunities for women (I've heard the movie called the 'Superbowl for women' in terms of its advertising potential). I just love how all the accessories are just piled up as if they were in the rummage bin at Primark.
The hot mamas of Seattle have booked out the evening of June 3rd to see the movie and drink too many cosmopolitans. Back with an actual film review then. (The only thing I don't like is the fugly ass decor in that hotel bedroom).
Yesterday I fed my inner geek and sat down to watch the film Helvetica - a documentary film about a font.
I got very into fonts when we were designing the mirrormirror logo and spent ages searching through font libraries to find something to convey the sense of feminine yet contemporary that we felt the brand was all about (and we didn't end up with Helvetica).
Still, it seemed difficult to imagine how on earth a single typeface could be the subject of a feature-length documentary, particularly when the documentary is very plainly shot, with no special effects or historical reconstructions, just lots of graphic designer talking heads and shot after shot of Helvetica logos and signage.
What I had never realised before is just ubiquitous Helvetica is, both in Europe and the US. It truly is the default font of the last half century.
Designed in the 50s in Switzerland, its spare lines and careful attention to proportion and negative space was very much a product of European modernism (the section about the font's history is absolutely fascinating).
After changing its name from the unattractive Das Neue Haas Grotesk, to an easily pronounced name which celebrated its Swiss roots, Helvetica became hugely popular with both major corporations seeking to give a 'modern' feel to their image and with governments and municipalities who valued its clarity and legibility. As the film proves, the font really is absolutely everywhere - from the Dutch telephone book to the American Apparel logo - and pops up in the unlikeliest places
What gives the film its edge is the passion with which the graphic designers interviewed were either for or against Helvetica. For some it is the ultimate, unimprovable font - as plain and beautiful and necessary to the visual culture as water or air is to life. For others it is the symbol of globalisation and corporate dominance - one engaging female designer thought it was the typeface of the Vietnam and Iraqi wars.
Some designers loved the restrictions inherent in using it,seeking to refresh it with different spacing and weights; while others condemned the lack of imagination needed to choose it, saying, 'if you're not a very good designer, just choose Helvetica Bold for your typeface and it will look OK.'
In fact who knew how fascinating and funny graphic designers could be? I loved the chap who designed his wedding invitations in Helvetica and wanted to credit creator Max Miedinger on the order of service until vetoed by his wife.
Go see this film and spend the next few days spotting Helvetica everywhere you go - it's not really about a font, but more a very entertaining conversation about how type and therefore visual culture affects our lives.
I thought I would write this post in Helvetica as a small homage. But Helvetica doesn't exist on Microsoft computers. Instead you will have to make do with Arial, which was conceived as a copy of Helvetica and now, thanks to Microsoft, is as ubiquitous online as Helvetica is off.