An Education

An Education film stills

I remember this coming out at the time and the magazines being full of Carey Mulligan, who is undoubtedly the star of this coming-of-age story. Mulligan plays Jenny, an Oxford hopeful whose aspirations towards Parisian glamour, concerts, and culture, come into conflict with her well-made plan when it is all offered to her by sophisticated older man David. Set against the backdrop of the early 1960s, the film explores the options open to women at the time, contrasting Rosamund Pike as the glamorous, but vacuous kept-woman and Jenny’s plain, but erudite English teacher. Nick Hornby’s screenplay is wonderfully nuanced, capturing Jenny’s move away from innocence, underlying social issues, as well as humorous scenes with her father that compare the older and younger generation.

Taking inspiration from Jenny’s schoolgirl wardrobe fits in perfectly to this season’s trends: kilts, plain jumpers and a statement satchel make for a fashionable, but practical day look. By blending in some of Jenny’s more luxurious accessories from the second half of the film you can add a touch of extra glamour to your outfit. A lady-like dress is a great investment, especially in a timeless pattern, as it can be dressed up or down for most occasions – you’ll be ready to be whisked away at any moment…

Zoom in on:

  • Pleated skirts
  • A good basic jumper
  • Statement satchel
  • Lady-like accessories
  • Timeless cocktail dressAn Education fashion

For the film: 4/5

For the fashion: 5/5

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Jennifer’s Body – Halloween Special

Jennifer's Body film stills

Written by Diablo Cody, Jennifer’s Body does have a hint of the wit and quirky humour of Juno – just a lot more gore. In this horror-comedy Megan Fox plays crazy-hot cheerleader Jennifer, who becomes a bloodthirsty demon that preys on boys. Her best friend Needy (Amanda Seyfried) is the only one that knows the truth behind Jennifer’s bouncy hair and glowing complexion, but it does take her quite a while to do anything – basically leaving it until Jennifer goes after her own boyfriend, Chip. Whilst it provides a fun, trashy Halloween flick, I wouldn’t rush back to watch Jennifer’s Body, as there’s something a bit disconnected about the plot. I think there should have been more made of Needy’s doubts about her sanity, and I’m not quite sure whether the fire was necessary.

Using Jennifer’s look from the movie poster, you can create a great Halloween costume with pieces that can be mixed into your everyday wardrobe when you don’t feel like looking like a demon cheerleader. Splashes of red, a varsity jacket, and a pleated skirt, as well as sexy accessories, will give you Jennifer’s killer look – smear some fake blood around the mouth to look like a real maneater…

Zoom in on:

  • Preppy pieces
  • Red accents
  • Suggestive accessories

Jennifer's Body fashionFor the film: 3/5

For the fashion: 3/5

Black Swan – Halloween Special

Black Swan film stills

I am the worst with scary movies: any ghosts, serial killers or zombies and I’ll be jumping for a week… So, when Halloween rolls around I tend to shy away from all slasher flicks and anything with exorcism in the title. However, I think that Black Swan is a great psychological thriller, with just the right amount of gore to make your skin crawl – without making you scared of your own shadow. Plus it provides a perfect chic Halloween costume – also works great for pairs.

Natalie Portman gives an incredibly convincing performance as perfectionist Nina, the new ballet star struggling to embody both the innocent White Swan, as well as the passionate Black Swan. Her gradual descent into madness as she becomes more and more involved in the role is gripping. Surrounded by mischievous Lily (Mila Kunis), the lecherous company director (Vincent Cassel) and her obsessive mother (Barbara Hershey), Nina’s paranoia and hallucinations rise to disturbing levels – watch out for a particularly alarming scene with Winona Ryder and a pair of nail scissors.

This costume is the perfect excuse to embrace your inner ballerina with tulle and as many feathers as you can get your hands on. Whilst the black swan costume embraces dramatic gothic accessories, keep the innocence of the white swan with nude shoes and lace. For both looks, the make-up is very important: a white base is needed for both, then change up the eye make-up depending on the swan (here is a great tutorial for the black swan look). Finish with a high ballet bun or simple up do, and you’re ready to take your place centre stage…

Zoom in on:

  • Tutu skirts
  • Feathers
  • Contrasting colour palettes

Black Swan fashionFor the film: 4/5

For the fashion: 4/5

500 Days of Summer

Film Stills from 500 Days of Summer

500 Days of Summer is a charmingly kooky anti-rom-com – as the narrator tells us at the beginning “This is a story of boy meets girl. But you should know up front, this is not a love story.” Shot with a non-chronological sequence, we see the story of quirky Summer (Zooey Deschanel) and love-struck Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt ) in pieces which provides an appealing twist on traditional rom-com structure, contrasting ridiculously cute scenes – like their trip to Ikea – with Tom smashing plates in his kitchen. The film also uses interesting techniques, like dividing the screen between shots of Tom’s expectations and his reality at Summer’s party. It also has a great musical sequence set to the best song to wake up to ever. However, there’s something about it that means that – even though I love Gordon-Levitt and Deschanel – it isn’t one of my favourites… It might be just that goes on a little too long, or there’s something off to me about Summer’s ending (won’t spoil it). On the other hand, 80% of the film is really enjoyable and a refreshing take on love.

Summer’s style is very blue. She loves it – and you should too! It’s a great alternative to black, and there’s a shade to complement every complexion. She works it with vintage shapes, mixing 50s and 60s playfully with waisted dresses and sweet collared shirts. Contrasting her flowing clothes with more structured accessories keeps the look together.

 Zoom in on:

  • Prom dresses
  • Blues
  • Lady-like accessories
  • Tailored waists

500 Days of Summer Fashion

For the film: 4/5

For the fashion: 4/5

Frances Ha

francesha

Frances Ha is the only black and white film I’ve watched in a while – and it’s pretty beautiful. Given that most films nowadays are shot with bright colours, special effects, and maybe some 3D, I was a bit worried that I’d find the black and white disconcerting, but within seconds I’d completely forgotten. Telling the story of 20-something Frances (the talented Greta Gerwig) living in New York, Frances Ha brilliantly captures her struggles to become an official grown up: dealing with constant money worries, finding somewhere to settle down, and turning her love of modern dance into an actual career. It also explores the world of female friendships, including how relationships, traumas, and salary can all create divisions. The script, co-written by Gerwig and director Noah Baumbach, is witty and pertinent – although Frances’ ability to blurt out the wrong thing can make you cringe, we’ve all been there…

 

Although you can only imagine the colours of Frances’ clothing, her style is an indie mix of ditzy florals, check shirts, and layers. Her looks can definitely provide inspiration for daytime casual cool, and her shearling jacket would be a great addition to any winter wardrobe. Team with a messy bun and a strong brow for the perfect outfit for struggling with your quarter-life crisis…

Zoom in on:

  • Floral dresses
  • Oversized jackets
  • Layered shirts
  • Relaxed accessories

frances ha

For the film: 4/5

For the fashion: 2/5

The Bling Ring

Bling Ring Stills

The Bling Ring is another stylishly shot flick from Sofia Coppola, but, although it was glossier than Paris Hilton’s lips, I wouldn’t rush to see it again. Based on the real life story of Hollywood’s teen burglars, The Bling Ring follows new boy Marc (Israel Broussard) as his friendship with celebrity-obsessed Rebecca (Katie Chang) leads him into a wild life of break-ins, drugs, clubbing, and designer sunglasses. Unfortunately, once you get the initial exciting feeling that you’re raiding a superstar’s closet, the film has little more to give. Although we get a glimpse at the main characters’ motivation, a little more backstory may have made it easier to empathise with them. Emma Watson is probably the highlight of this film, delivering some wonderfully un-Hermione lines, and looking like you’ve never seen her before.

Based around the glamorous belongings of the LA elite, this film was bound to have some pretty lust-worthy pieces – Paris Hilton’s shoe closet is just beyond ridiculous. Think big heels, big shades and little dresses. Here are my picks for achieving your own Hollywood Hills look, without doing time.

Zoom in on:

  • Luxurious accessories
  • Glamorous dresses
  • Dressed up basics

The Bling Ring Fashion

For the film: 3/5

For the fashion: 4/5

The Heat

The Heat Stills

From the director of Bridesmaids (Paul Feig), The Heat is another outrageous comedy with strong female leads, and the funniest film I’ve seen this summer. The film follows an uptight FBI agent (Sandra Bullock) who must partner-up with foul-mouthed, rule-breaker Detective Mullins (Melissa McCarthy) to take down a drug-lord. If you’ve seen Miss Congeniality – which I have about 70 million times – you’ll know that Bullock has this role down, and the chemistry between her and McCarthy makes for really enjoyable viewing. Although it takes a little while to really get going, The Heat had my whole screen laughing out-loud – and squealing about the memorable tracheotomy scene – especially over McCarthy’s comebacks. The supporting cast are also really good, especially Mullins’ argumentative family, and the albino DEA officer. As well as this, like Bridesmaids, it skilfully explores female friendship in a way that isn’t seen that much on screen. It may not be the best comedy of all time, but it certainly is one to see.

The fashion in the film is actually not that great, although does give handy directions on how to turn your pantsuit into a clubbing outfit if you’re not afraid of scissors… But, it does tap into the army, tough girl trend that is set to continue into AW ’13. Keep colours muted, and stick to non-shiny fabrics, but don’t be afraid to add some glam touches like heavy bracelets or a pair of earrings. So, soak up that girl power vibe and get ready to bring the heat.

Zoom in on:

  • Camouflage
  • Muted tones
  • Studs and zips
  • Statement jewellery

The Heat FashionFor the film: 4/5

For the fashion: 2/5

Priceless (Hors de Prix)

Priceless Stills

So, my exciting news is that I finally joined most of the internet-having world and got Netflix. Which it turns out is great for watching films that you kind of wanted to see, but didn’t get round to at the time, but will watch now because the one you really want to watch isn’t actually on Netflix… In this case, I wanted to watch Heartbreaker (L’Arnacoeur) which is a really enjoyable French rom-com, but – as I’m finding increasingly unsurprising – they didn’t have it, but did suggest the similarly charming Priceless.

Priceless follows the ridiculously gorgeous Audrey Tautou as a gold-digger trying to secure herself a life of Chanel dresses and champagne. On holiday with her much older boyfriend, she mistakes a sweetly socially inept bartender (Gad Elmaleh) for a younger, richer target, and through a series of amusing circumstances the two find themselves battling to out-do each other in the world of ‘old money’. Although predictable, this light-hearted comedy is funny and stylish enough, set in stunning hotels along the French Riviera, but I found it difficult to feel a connection with any of the openly manipulative – or naïve – characters, which means I probably won’t go back and re-watch it.

Tautou’s character is all about slinky dresses, heels, and a chicly dishevelled up-do. In-keeping with the Riviera glamour, she is never underdressed, and, although not practical for every day, does inspire some eye-catching evening looks. So, if you’re not afraid of a low neckline, or making an entrance, here are my pick of the best high-street dresses to help you bag yourself a billionaire – or just the cute bartender…

Zoom in on:

  • Gold accessories
  • Chain details
  • One colour
  • Plunging neckline, or bare shoulders

Priceless Fashion

For the film: 3/5

For the fashion: 3/5

Special request

jemWell this is very off topic, but I’d like to ask a little favour of all you film and fashion lovers… My friend Jem (who is awesome and lovely) is in the running for an amazing opportunity as an MTV intern – but she needs our help! She’s one of the finalists, but now it is down to our votes…

Here is her hilarious video application, as well as her vote page

http://studentoftheyear.mtv.co.uk/student/jaiminee-patel

Please click through the link and take two seconds to vote for the sunniest girl I know!

 

 

The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby Stills

I love Baz Luhrmann films, so was very excited for his new adaptation of The Great Gatsby – and who better to direct a film of excess, passion, and heartbreak? The hype has been building for ages about this film, and everyone seems to be swept away by Gatsby-fever (myself included), and believe me, Luhrmann delivers. This film is a visual feast, with each scene full to the brim with gorgeous details – from the costumes to the settings, The Great Gatsby immerses you in an age of precarious decadence, with the lights of Gatsby’s castle reaching out to the hellish Valley of Ashes. The cast are also stellar – Leo is exactly how I imagine Jay Gatsby, and the unexpected touches of humour he brings to the role give the film touching charm. I’m writing this whilst listening to the incredible soundtrack which has been on repeat since Friday… My highlights are definitely Florence + The Machine’s Over the Love, as well as Fergie’s ridiculously catchy A Little Party Never Killed Nobody.

Based on one of the most glamorous periods, with Tiffany’s jewellery, and collaborations with Prada, The Great Gatsby has pieces that can be stared at for hours. The incredible amount of work into Daisy’s dress for Gatsby’s party earned it the nickname of ‘chandelier dress’ – apparently it was so heavy that Carey had to put Party Feet cushions on her shoulders in between takes! This is definitely the time to invest in an embellished flapper dress, and there are so many beautiful ones out there on the high street, and in vintage shops, which they will get you so many compliments at summer garden parties… Another of my favourite looks from the film is when Daisy visits Gatsby’s house for the first time – the scarf around her hair is very chic, and can easily be worn today with jeans.

Zoom in on:

  • Heavy embellishment
  • Hair accessories
  • Nudes
  • Ruffles
  • Drop waists

The Great Gatsby Fashion

For the film: 5/5

For the fashion: 5/5