Skyfall

Skyfall film stillsSkyfall takes the James Bond film franchise to the next level. The film goes deeper into the psychology of the ageing spy (Daniel Craig) as he faces the most frighteningly intelligent and powerful villain yet (Javier Bardem). It also explores M’s mysterious past, and the difficulties of personal relationships in MI6. Sam Mendes direction creates stunning scenes, particularly the Shanghai skyscrapers and shots of the Highlands, but keeps the exhilarating stunts and fights that you want from 007. The additions of Ralph Fiennes and Ben Whishaw add fresh dynamics to the team, as does the beautiful Naomie Harris as Eve, the woman that Bond films were waiting for. More than just a femme fatale or damsel in distress, I really look forward to seeing her character develop in further films. This brings me to my only problem with Skyfall; I don’t quite understand the role of Severine (played by the gorgeous Bérénice Marlohe), although she fulfils the typical ‘Bond-girl’ slot wonderfully, her character does seem quite expendable. That said, I can certainly see why it is the highest-grossing film in the UK, and very much look forward to the next instalment.

Whatever my issue with Severine’s character, her wardrobe is stunning – particularly her lust-worthy embellished evening dress. For a range of head-turners, I suggest Forever Unique or Coast’s gowns. Let the oriental settings inspire you with rich colours and intricate patterns, while Eve’s beautifully tailored wardrobe demonstrates a chic, modern look. Accessorise with a Martini – shaken, not stirred.

Zoom in on:

  • Statement evening dress
  • Rich colours
  • Oriental influence
  • Form-fitting tailoring

Skyfall fashion

 

For the film: 5/5

For the fashion: 5/5

Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes film stillsWe all love a bit of Sherlock. Even 100 years after his creation by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, new incarnations are still popping up (am almost bursting with excitement for the new season of BBC’s Sherlock), and this slick Hollywood reworking Guy Ritchie is a very enjoyable adaptation. Chasing down the ominous Lord Blackwood, Robert Downey Jr. adds a more ‘action man’ side to Holmes, as well as keeping the eccentric genius that continues to draw us back to the character. Jude Law and Rachel McAdams provide great support as Dr. Watson, and Sherlock’s love interest, Irene Adler. Although set in Victorian London, this film is full of big bangs, high-octane chases, and blood-pumping fights, and the mystery of Blackwood’s dark magic will keep you guessing. It may not be the best retelling, but it is very good fun.

For the fashion, dip into the drama of Victorian frocks and pattern with touches of lace and ruffles. Invest in an elegant black coat and a pair of leather brogue ankle boots for a timeless winter look. Picking up on Irene Adler’s flashes of bold colour, flowers, and the drama of the black magic in the accessories, will give captivating finishing touches that you won’t need to be a detective to notice…

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  • Tailored coat
  • Intricate patterns
  • Pops of colour
  • Gothic touches

Sherlock Holmes 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…

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  • Tutu skirts
  • Feathers
  • Contrasting colour palettes

Black Swan fashionFor the film: 4/5

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.

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

The Heat FashionFor the film: 4/5

For the fashion: 2/5

Marie Antoinette

Marie Antoinette Stills

Sofia Coppola’s distinctive retelling of the life of the iconic Queen of France feels a little like a historical teen movie, with Marie Antoinette as the 18th century version of misfit-turned-it girl – only with less of the happily ever after… That said, although perhaps a little fluffy for some, this film is beautifully crafted with stunning views of Versailles, sumptuous sets and props, and more frills than you can shake a stick at. I also think that Kirsten Dunst does a great job portraying a vulnerable young girl’s transformation into one of the most infamous figures of history.

However, the costumes have to be the star of the show: big hats, big hair, and very big dresses. Coppola maintains a gorgeous palette of sugary pastels throughout which is perfect inspiration for pepping up your spring wardrobe. Look out especially for Marie’s increasingly theatrical accessories as well – particularly her updo that contains a replica ship!

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  • Macaroon colours
  • Extravagant accessories
  • Playing with volume

Marie Antoinette Fashion

For the film: 3/5

For the fashion: 5/5

Hitchcock

Hitchcock Stills

Following the ups and downs of the marriage of Alfred and Alma Hitchcock during the making of Psycho, this film benefits from outstanding performances from Helen Mirren as Hitchcock’s vivacious and sharp wife, and Anthony Hopkins portraying the eccentric director. Although I can’t tell how true to life the film is, the cast certainly persuade you that this is how it all happened – including that infamous shower scene. It may not be as full of suspense and twists as Psycho itself (which if you haven’t watched, you must do), but Hitchcock does show the difficulties of an ageing partnership, temptation, and the search for something original against a backdrop of censorship and doubt, with a script full of wit and truth.

With over 10 nominations so far, this film is well worth a watch, as are the late 50s costumes. Scarlett Johansson oozes glamour as Psycho’s star Janet Leigh with pencil skirts, blonde curls, and a gorgeous cream evening dress. The lady-like accessories and tailored shapes provide great inspiration for a work or evening look, and could be dressed-down for day-time by swapping a blouse for a t-shirt.

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  • Pencil skirts
  • Structured accessories
  • Hourglass shapes
  • 50s glamour

Hitchcock Fashion

For the film: 4/5

For the fashion: 4/5

Moulin Rouge – Valentine’s Inspiration

moulin

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, there’s a range of emotions going around: excitement, anticipation, dread… But whether you are in a relationship or not, Moulin Rouge is one of the ultimate romantic films and a great idea for a night in with your partner, or friends. Plus, the costumes provide excellent inspiration for that show-stopping outfit for a big date, or a girl’s night out.

As with Les Misérables, Moulin Rouge contains more Hollywood stars singing their hearts out and requires a man-sized box of tissues. On the other hand, the bright lights of the show and Baz Luhrmann’s hedonistic aesthetic create a feast for the senses, and the film is peppered with comedy, as well as amazing reinterpretations of well-known songs (my favourite being Ewan McGregor’s version of ‘Your Song’). It follows the trials of a young writer (McGregor) and Moulin Rouge star Satine (Nicole Kidman) as they fall in love, set against the background of Bohemian Paris, an evil Duke, and a giant elephant…

Nicole Kidman has a decadent wardrobe throughout, and Satine is perfect inspiration for revealing your seductive side for the 14th! My favourite costume has to be the red, satin gown – prepare to be envious…

Zoom in on:

  • Sultry colours
  • Dramatic shapes
  • Sparkles
  • Parisian charm

moulinrouge

For the film: 5/5

For the fashion: 5/5

The Boat That Rocked

The Boat That Rocked Stills

An all-star cast, a swinging soundtrack, and groovy 60s fashion – what more could you ask for? Oh that’s right, only the wonderful Richard Curtis who gave us the likes of Love Actually and Notting Hill… With all this comes bundles of charm, quotable lines, and more emotional pull than a monkey befriending a tiger cub (and that’s cute – google it).
The plot follows the attempts of a steely-eyed Kenneth Branagh to kill pirate radio, especially the station under the management of Bill Nighy – and of course, all does not go to plan. Throw in some love triangles, inter-DJ rivalry, and a sweet boy growing up on a crazy boat, and you’ll see why this is one of mine, and my family’s, favourites.
It also includes one of my favourite songs, beautifully performed by the talented Chris O’Dowd:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14U1pRUbMmw

The costumes throughout really evoke the fun, originality of the sixties and provide inspiration for looks to perk up your everyday style. Stick on your false eyelashes, turn up The Beach Boys and leave the winter blues behind…

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  • Pops of colour
  • Mini lengths
  • Quirky accessories
  • A-line shapes
  • Snazzy patterns

The Boat That Rocked Fashion

For the film: 5/5

For the fashion: 5/5