The Talented Mr. Ripley

The Talented Mr. Ripley film stillsSpring has sprung(ish..), so while we all begin to dream about our summer holiday, what better way to indulge in a little getaway fantasy than with the beautiful scenery of Italy in The Talented Mr Ripley. Although it’s the gripping storyline and incredible acting that are the main points of this film, you can’t help but wish you could flit along the Italian coast – albeit without Tom Ripley’s wake of destruction. This psychological thriller follows Matt Damon as Tom, a young man who is mistakenly welcomed into the world of wealth and privilege, and who will do anything to remain there. The brilliant supporting cast of Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, Cate Blanchett and Philip Seymour Hoffman are all caught up in Ripley’s web of deceit, as he juggles them, loves them, and tries to avoid their ever-growing suspicions.

Set in the late 1950s, Paltrow’s Marge and Blanchett’s Meredith are incredibly elegant, providing perfect inspiration for a chic, retro spring-summer look. Co-ordinating separates play on the lady-like feel, and Marge’s tie-up shirt with a full midi skirt is very on trend. Add nautical prints and accessories for a touch of the Italian Riviera glamour.

Zoom in on:

  • Light fabrics
  • Nautical details
  • Retro shapes
  • Fresh colours

The Talented Mr. Ripley fashion

 

For the film: 5/5

For the fashion: 4/5

Charlie’s Angels

Charlie's Angels film stillsDisguises, romantic entanglements, and a whole lot of girl power, the 2000 reboot of Charlie’s Angels is the perfect film for a night in with your mates. Lucy Liu, Cameron Diaz, and Drew Barrymore are the ultimate trio, even if we all have our favourite (totally got to be Liu’s whip-smart Alex). This film is pure, unadulterated fun with dance numbers, sassy comebacks, and over-the-top acting – not to mention the physics-defying fight sequences.

Although the Angels all have different styles, there are some key items you’ll need if you want to join them: a pair of ass-kicking trousers, a killer dress, and some classic noughties tinted sunglasses. A slogan tee or a crop top is also an essential for all Independent Women, and throw on a faded denim jacket for a pinch of Drew’s grungier edge. Complete with a full training in martial arts, bomb disposal, and acrobatics, then you’ll be ready to join America’s most glamorous sleuthing trio…

Zoom in on:

  • Leather trousers
  • Sleek cocktail dresses
  • Pops of colour
  • Bold slogans and shapes

Charlie's Angels fashionFor the film: 3/5

For the fashion: 4/5

Blue Jasmine

Blue Jasmine film stills

Woody Allen’s latest offering follows Cate Blanchett as Jasmine, a high society wife who finds her life turned upside-down after her husband’s dodgy business dealings are revealed. Through this it cleverly works in elements of the financial crisis, including its effect on her sister Ginger (flawlessly played by Sally Hawkins), as well as debating what happiness really is as we watch Jasmine struggle to re-enter the world of work and love. Comic and unsettling, Blanchett gives a wonderfully nuanced performance as a woman on the verge of total breakdown whilst still trying to prove that she is better than everyone else. She is backed by an amazing supporting cast: Alec Baldwin is great as the slick business man, fooling his wife with diamonds in one hand and a mistress behind her back, and Louis C.K. and Bobby Cannavale are particularly funny as Ginger’s romantic entanglements. A wonderfully charming, but thought-provoking film, I expect it will clean up in awards season – Blanchett and Hawkins definitely deserve nominations.

Jasmine’s designer wardrobe is best seen during her flashbacks and her fling with Dwight (Peter Sarsgaard). A classic palette of monochrome and pastels in tailored cuts, it’s great inspiration for upgrading your workwear. A large leather tote bag will be your new best friend – so much space, and will go with anything. Add some luxe accessories like metallic heels and sparkling wrist candy to finish the look – as most of us can’t quite afford Jasmine’s incredible diamonds, opt for crystals.

Zoom in on:

  • Classic pieces
  • Luxurious accessories
  • Pastel touches
  • Elegant cuts

Blue Jasmine fashion

 

For the film: 5/5

For the fashion: 3/5

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

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 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