Dressing Elementary’s Joan Watson with Spring 2015 London Fashion Week Collections

16 Sep

Fashion Week continues in London as more RTW Spring 2015 collections are unveiled and so it must be time for more Fantasy Costuming. Joan Watson on Elementary manages to look casual, stylish and professional all while putting up with Sherlock and whatever crime they are tasked with solving. Shift dresses, a-line skirts paired with tights, boots and an endless stream of incredible coats to protect against the New York City elements are all Joan staples; now she won’t have Sherlock throwing outfits at her when she wakes up as she’ll be in her own place.

Joan’s costuming tends to be on the white/grey/black scale, but it doesn’t mean this is a bold color free zone and Joan does wear color and especially print on many occasion. Hemlines tend to be short and so most of these choices reflect that and as always the Fantasy Costuming selections are inspired by the costume design from the show in question and are in no way suggesting this character should wear a specific item mentioned.

Topshop UniqueCasual cool from Topshop Unique with a mustard yellow coat, leather skirt and white sweater. Throw on some tights and boots and it’s Joan (as these are Spring collections replace all the sandals with the kind of footwear we typically see Joan in).

J. JS LeeFrom J. JS Lee here is the first of several shift dresses. Going to start with the more muted palette and work our way up to the bolder entries.

MCQMcQ Alexander McQueen; simple and effective.

Jasper ConranDropped waist, slightly longer and in navy from Jasper Conran.

Orla KielyHere comes the color; pink and textured from Orla Kiely. I’d like to think that is one big pocket, but alas it’s probably just seam detail.

MulberryColor and pattern with this Mulberry dress (plus an all nature backdrop). Love the slightly longer sleeves.

Paul CostelloeSo here is the color apex and I might have been swung by two of my favorite things – yellow and pockets – but the silhouette on this Paul Costelloe frock is all Joan.

Tom FordThis is more for Joan going on a date (and yes she will be getting a love interest in season 3) and Lucy Liu would look fantastic in this retro-futuristic Tom Ford.

SaloniPockets, patterns and texture from Saloni in another super cute casual frock for Joan.

Giles LFWWhen I think of peplum on TV I think of Alicia Florrick long before Joan Watson, but this Giles ensemble is far more Joan than Alicia playing with peplum, pockets and pattern in a funky manner.

Antipodium

A lighter looking coat (this is a Spring collection after all) and an all Joan outfit from Antipodium (as long as we ditch the sandals).

For more on Joan Watson’s costuming head here and here.

Elementary returns Thursday, October 30.

 

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Masters of Sex 2.10 “Below the Belt” Review: “What is Wrong with Me?”

15 Sep

On Masters of Sex Bill Masters spends so long trying to ignore the past and listing off the things he either refuses to do (beg) or acknowledge as a potential reason behind his current condition (rejection) so even when he does admit there is a problem it is hard to feel sympathetic. There is something about Bill that draws Virginia to him even when he is pushing her away and it’s this push/pull that is compelling both to us an audience and the PR man who thinks Bill and Virginia would be great on TV. The back and forth between them continues to shift the power dynamic and Virginia is remarkably similar to Bill in how little of herself she gives up; even in the therapy session where she is admits deceit, she is still holding back anything that resembles her true feelings. Only giving snippets here and there when she is pressed and the psychologist can see through her defense mechanisms.

“Below the Belt” explores both those things physically below this item of clothing and confrontations that take things to an uncomfortable level; the success of these different storylines varies and it’s another case of an episode trying to address too much in one hour.

Masters of Sex 2.10 BillStarting where we left off last week with Bill and we get to see the rest of the post-confession conversation between Bill and Virginia while at her therapy/coming clean session. Virginia explains this isn’t an affair as an affair is primarily about sex and this isn’t happening right now (although Virginia doesn’t include those times Bill has recently ‘taken care of her,’ how very Bill Clinton of her). The doctor doesn’t not buy this for a second and neither do I; Virginia and Bill both recoil from the word ‘affair’ as it taints what they are doing, but it is clear that this goes way beyond the work even if curing Bill’s impotence is work related. In this scene we see Bill reiterate once again the importance of finding a cure without looking at the why, despite the fact that they are probably intrinsically linked. This would involve too much soul searching and as we know Bill is not so good at looking inward. Bill admits to being “broken” so this is something I guess and then explains how Virginia is the only one who can help him.

Circling back to this point at the end of the episode and after a huge blowout with his brother, Bill comes to the hotel room and admits everything to Virginia that he should have said to his brother and it appears that this unburdening has possibly solved the problem at hand (pun intended). Not sure how enticing the blood face marking and generally pulpiness of his face is, but I guess Virginia doesn’t have an issue with this. He really should clean up first, but bearing the outward signs of this fight is maybe Bill’s way of exhibiting manliness. That’s what a lot of this has to do with really and Bill considers not begging for pain to stop to be an exhibitor of being strong. It is incredibly fuzzy logic and a sign that Bill probably really needs to be in therapy to get beyond this particular sticking point. He taunts his brother into beating him by calling him weak and a coward in response to Frank’s assertion that the reason their family is broken can be traced back to alcohol.

Frank believes alcohol is why their father was a monster, Bill recollects things different stating that Frank Sr. only had one drink a night (like their mother’s one Tom Collins) and his despicable treatment of his family had nothing to do with alcohol. So who is right? Well Bill doesn’t know what the drink intake was after he left so they could both be right as Frank Sr. could have drank more in those later years. Bill is so convinced that his brother is stealing his story that he can’t admit his guilt in his presence, even if they had a variation of this conversation last week that didn’t end in a fist fight. Essie’s assertion earlier when she’s talking about Frank with Bill is an accurate take on this scenario “Everyone has their own version of everything that’s ever happened.”

Masters of Sex 2.10 lobbyThe precarious financial situation continues as the power is shut off for a brief moment and Betty reinforces the point that they need to rent out more office space. The lobby looks majestic and with ice rinks and roller skating jokingly mentioned – Michael Sheen’s reaction to the roller skating question is hilarious and I’m glad we got to see a hint of his comedic side – but really it ends up as a boxing ring. Frank and Bill spar first with words and then with fists as Bill ignores Libby’s plea to “summon your better nature.”

Only in the safe haven of the hotel room can Bill admit that he is at fault; it’s not Bill’s fault for leaving home as he was forced out, but it is for pushing him in this manner. Bill asks “What is wrong with me?” and rather than getting an actual answer it is in this moment where things appear to be working for him. This could turn into a whole Freudian thing, but really what it comes down to is acknowledging how he feels complicit in abandoning his brother and this weight being lifted even if his question doesn’t come with an answer. Rejection played into the origin of his problem and this could easily go beyond what he saw as Virginia’s abandonment. It might also be a post fight adrenaline thing and I worry that Bill hasn’t really come to terms with anything as he’s only saying these things to Virginia.

Masters of Sex 2.10 VirginiaFrank’s return has helped repair one family connection, though he might not be happy with the how as Bill and his mother bond over their disdain for the 12-step program mocking certain aspects suggesting that accusations are dressed up as an apology. They refer to it as being like “policeman” and “amateur psychiatrists” using it to spin the past in the way that benefits them. There’s a clear divide here with Essie and Bill on one side and Frank on the other with an argument erupting while Frank is giving their mother stitches after she got involved in a car accident after having one drink. There is an element of projecting here and while I think Frank’s got a very real problem with alcohol, he might also be looking too hard for a solution as to why their family is so broken and landing at a shared alcoholism. Through his prism this is the answer; Bill and Essie feel very differently and while they both do drink I can’t see it being to the degree that Frank fears. Bill’s secrecy and impulsive decision making comes from a whole other place and that is this one of trying to do great things and make his mark on the scientific community as a whole.

Hubris is a strength for Bill as much as it is a weakness when it comes to their work and he feels challenged by Dr. Kaufman’s published study of which they are simply a footnote. Bill wants to be much more than this, he wants to be first and so he sets about doing this by seeking the advice of a PR guy. Shep Tally (played by episode director Adam Arkin) sees potential in Bill and Virginia for television throwing Bill completely. Virginia is very much into this idea of showing off their work to the world in this manner, for Bill TV does not have the same gravitas as a medical journal even if they would be reaching a much more substantial amount of people.

Masters of Sex 2.10 Virginia and LibbyElsewhere Libby continues to volunteer for CORE despite Bill’s reservations – Bill is put out as he has lost the stability of knowing Libby is at home preparing his dinner, instead she is getting lunch for other dudes, ugh Bill – and she’s striving to make a difference. She complains to Virginia that people think she’s just a bored housewife and she wants to show she is more than that. In a way she is just this and yet her desire for purpose makes so much sense, I just still get the sense that she would have picked any cause and this just happened to be the one in the building her husband works in.

Robert’s initial concerns about her coming to help with flyering seem genuine and I can understand why her presence could be an issue, but she’s just as stubborn as her husband can be and she goes regardless. Libby ends up being a help and so Robert doesn’t dissuade her from coming next time. Libby asks Virginia to lie to Bill for her (while fixing her tights with the classic clear nail polish trick) and Virginia agrees to this. Feelings of guilt are probably why and Virginia also notes potential flirting between Robert and Libby; if Libby has an affair this will surely ease her conscience of the ‘non-affair’ she is having with Bill.

Masters of Sex 2.10 BettyOne theme that runs through this episode is the notion of giving up and Betty* tells the story of a former customer and impotence sufferer who she ended up avoiding through a variety of excuses because she couldn’t stand the look of agony on his face coupled with a plea of why aren’t you fixing this? There is a similar expression on Bill’s face when an attempt at arousal almost hits the mark through a technique of withholding as he can look, but not touch. Virginia has tied Bill’s hands behind his back – her dress embellishment doubles as seduction tool – putting him in a submissive position, but as soon as she stops talking he loses what he had.

*In this scene Betty is wearing the stunning dress that is featured on the Masters of Style feature and I’ve been waiting all season to see this frock. It looks just as good on screen as it did in the behind the scenes segment. 

There’s another submissive/dominant relationship going on and it is one that might not be quite hitting the mark. Austin is now working full time for Cal-o-Metric and after turning down Flo’s advances in the past she is now telling him that if he doesn’t do as she says then he will be fired. This is of course sexual harassment and while I get what they are going for the tone of these scenes is off. Quite often Austin has been the comic relief and so these scenes, particularly with the cat still have what seems like a light and jokey edge for something that shouldn’t be funny at all. Maybe I’m reading into it too much, but for me there is something troubling about this storyline.

Masters of Sex 2.10 Barb and LesterA different kind of connection is made elsewhere between Lester and Barb with an overt discussion about giving as they talk about their dysfunctions. This meet cute doesn’t get off to a good start as Lester accidentally insults Barb regarding her religious beliefs. Later Lester apologizes and they acknowledge they both share in despair and giving up; maybe they should not give up together? It’s a little neat bringing these two characters together in this way, however I am all for them finding happiness and if it is with each other then I can’t argue with that.

The breakthrough at the end of “Below the Belt” could be temporary or if Bill is willing to look deeper beyond just the desire to find a cure, then perhaps he will be prepared to respond to his own “what is wrong with me?” conundrum. When Masters of Sex focuses on Bill and Virginia the narrative feels like there is a strong narrative, as soon as it goes elsewhere it becomes a bit of sprawling mess and I hope in the last two episodes these elements are reconciled. Performances remain as strong as ever, as do the costumes which I continue to draw inspiration from.

Out of the Box: Look of the Week

12 Sep

A busy week with a whole host of events such as the Toronto International Film Festival, New York Fashion Week, the US Open and fall TV shindigs. We’ve got the best looks from these events – except for NYFW runway watching style which has separate posts here and here – and there’s been a lot of game stepping up fashion wise. It’s not surprising then that this is TV Ate My Wardrobe’s biggest “Out of the Box” post since we started over a year ago.

Tina FeyStarting with Tina Fey at TIFF in a gorgeous midnight-blue Temperley London frock at the This is Where I Leave You press conference and she is serving up a whole lot of confidence and glam. A pretty dress is a pretty dress, however one thing a lot of these dresses have in common this week is fabric that is textured in a manner that makes them stand out beyond the print or cut of the silhouette.

Tina Fey TIFFI couldn’t choose between the two Tina Fey TIFF dresses and this Christian Siriano number is doing the play on texture in an even more striking and overt manner. As with the Temperley London this is very much in the Tina Fey wheelhouse, but it stands out thanks to the embossing. Both the hair up retro style and the more relaxed hair down approach work for their respective outfits.

Kristen WiigThe dude in the background seems like he is way into this Suno dress Kristen Wiig is wearing at the Welcome to Me premiere at TIFF and so am I. The mixture of stripes and florals is not something everyone can pull off and Wiig is hitting the mark on this occasion (I can also picture it on Diane Kruger, because Diane Kruger). The print is giving off an impression of pleating on the skirt and this is one of my current clothing obsessions.

Greta GerwigSo How I Met Your Dad didn’t happen and while I would have loved to see Greta Gerwig on TV in a way I am glad it isn’t this particular project, I hope it doesn’t make her run from future TV ventures. Appearing at the While We Were Young TIFF premiere Gerwig looks super cute in a swirly metallic patterned Prabal Gurung frock.

Chelsea PerettiMoving on to the Fox Fall Eco-Casino party and first up Chelsea Peretti in charcoal grey. I really love this and I’m extra excited that I will get to talk about Gina’s top notch sweater game on Brooklyn Nine-Nine very soon.

Hannah SimonePockets! Hannah Simone has had a busy week so while this dress is not setting the world on fire, it’s perfectly lovely and the pockets give it an extra edge.

Zooey DeschanelIt is after Labor Day and Zooey Deschanel continues to wear white *gasp* Eh, I don’t know if anyone really pays attention to that ‘rule’ anymore and this is another example of casual, but cute attire from the New Girl star. I especially like the black waist detail – though I really want to see what it looks like from the back – and I applaud the kitten heel choice. A bold lip color would really set the whole thing off.

Jess WeixlerInStyle celebrated 20 years with a lavish and appropriately stylish bash including Jess Weixler in a beautiful silk gown (plus pockets) with contrasting prints. This is also the ideal time to mention The Good Wife returns in a week (Sunday, 21) and Robyn is another character who makes me want all the sweaters.

Yvonne StrahovskiIn textured dress trend triumph is Yvonne Strahovski; I love how unique this with the leather accents and the blue ring detail. Strahovski also had one of my favorite runway watching looks earlier this week at the Naeem Khan show.

Keke PalmerIt’s been a big week for Keke Palmer as she became the first African-American Cinderella on Broadway and here she is at the InStyle party looking super chic in a Etre Cécile tank top paired with a beautiful icy (and you guessed it textured/pocketed) Mantu skirt.

Lizzy CaplanAfter all that glitz and glam we will leave you with the best relaxed look of the week with Lizzy Caplan at the US Open in jeans and a stripy tank with a grey jumper tied around her waist. Red lip color really is the best way to make even the most chilled outfit pop.

 

The Most Angela Chase Dress at NYFW

11 Sep

The ’90s inspired fashion cycle continues and while the crop top explosion is something I’m enjoying just as much now as I did back then (and there continued to be a lot of stomach slivers on the Spring 2015 NYFW runway); the happiness I get from relating something back to My So-Called Life far outweighs my fear of showing my midriff. And you know Rayanne Graff could rock a bralette like no other, particularly when layered with multiple shirts and jackets.

Scrolling through endless shots and what leaps out? That’s right a dress from the Creatures of the Wind collection that is a combination of every Angela Chase plaid shirt/dress ever worn with a black plunging vest underneath.

Creatures Angela ChaseHere is some Angela in plaid examples just in case you don’t spot the connection:

MSCL the plaid dressThe ‘trying not to be obvious while looking at Jordan Catalano’ plaid.

MSCL A and R bedroomThe ‘squeezing a zit even though you know it’s a bad idea’ plaid.

MSCL 6 A, P, GThe ‘hanging with your parents and wearing over dungarees’ plaid.

MSCL ep13 Sharon and Angela bedThe ‘watching a sex manual VHS with your former BFF’ plaid.

MSCL ep 11 Angela JordanThe ‘talking to Jordan Catalano all cool and casual like’ plaid.

MSCL bathroom make upThe ‘what the hell is Rayanne wearing?’ plaid.

MSCL ep9 DangelaThe ‘my little sister doing a spot on impression of me’ plaid.

MSCL ep12 bathroomThe ‘off the shoulder what is my former BFF talking to my current BFF about?’ plaid.

where's angelaThe ‘can you spot me while I’m hiding out in a fort made of plaid’ plaid.

And finally…

Lake BellThe ‘Angela Chase tribute outfit as worn by Lake Bell in the excellent In a World…‘ plaid.

 

 

 

TV Rewind: Felicity, “Final Answer” & “The Biggest Deal There Is”

11 Sep

Felicity, Episodes 2.22 & 2.23
“Final Answer” & “The Biggest Deal There Is”
Original Air Dates: May 17 & 24, 2000

Felicity 2.24 super cheeseEmma: Continuing the fun from our last discussion the penultimate episode deals with finals and the many couples who are distracted by elements of their love life from awkward flirtations, lustful beginnings and unsuccessfully avoiding hurt feelings. As with the season 1 midterms episode “Finally,” where Felicity and Noel were in the early heavy make out stage of their relationship, “Final Answer” had a farcical element that played on both the anxiety of exams and the variety of entanglements that are occurring. Plus Noel wigged out because of beets and it was just as hilarious as it was the first time. More comedy for Scott Foley please, Scandal.

There are lots of couples to address but it makes sense to start with Felicity and Ben. The cold open was bizarre and kinda cute/expectedly creepy from Richard and Sean as they’re trying to peek into Ben’s room. Apparently there is some mooning/flashing and while we see no evidence of this at this point Felicity and Ben haven’t slept together, but that doesn’t mean nudity is out of the question. Meghan’s “that’s my girl” response to this made my heart swell and I’m so happy she’s now very much part of this group.

Felicity and Ben can’t keep their hands off each other which would be fine but they have to study. There’s also the matter of a summer internship that will keep Felicity in New York, whereas Ben is going home to a construction job that will pay for his tuition next year – in contrivance points Ben’s mom can’t afford his tuition so he has to do this job, though because his dad really is awful, this plot doesn’t feel like a reach. This becomes the sticking point/obstacle that takes up a lot of the Ben/Felicity conversations for the last two episodes when they’re not sucking face. I never expected it to be easy between these two but it would have been good to have one episode to enjoy it before the drama, maybe I’m asking too much.

So even though they agree to wait until after their finals before they can hang out again, Ben gets a hotel room – there is a theme of this on this show and like when Noel got a room for shenanigans things go awry – for after Felicity’s art history test and she’s all “fuck it” let’s get some smooching, over the clothes action in beforehand. Ben has been given a watch by Javier as a gift for being an usher at his wedding and this starts my favorite running gag of the episode demonstrating that the watch runs on kinetic energy. Of course the watch stops mid make out and Felicity misses the exam. I am a fan of the title cards informing us how long it is until the exam and when it is way over.

Missing the exam doesn’t mean failing the class, it just means she won’t get the internship and so she initially blames Ben for intentionally sabotaging her with his body. He rightly points out that the hotel room was meant for after her exam, not before and it was her idea to go there first. Big gesture time and Ben’s pleas to the professor (plus using his campus security connection) is adorable and honest getting Felicity a second chance. Essentially he helps her get the intern gig and it’s super cute that they refer to her essay as “our paper.” It’s just a shame that they spend the last episode in this push/pull between her taking the internship or going home. She really is the most flaky at times.

There’s a lot more Felicity and Ben stuff to deal with in the finale, before I get to that I want to see what you thought of them in this first episode we watched this week and how it compared to the other couples dramaz in this episode.

Felicity 2.24 another bad outfitJulie: These final four episodes were so great. They weren’t bottle episodes, by any means, but they sort of had that feel of this group of people being kind of stuck together because of circumstances (the flood in the dorm and Tracy painting Elena’s apartment). Obviously the writers (or writer, J.J. Abrams) had a fantastic time navigating the relationships and trying out new pairings, because these episodes are full of new duos. Again, we’ll get to all that later. Because Felicity and Ben.

At this point, I’m all, “How was I ever on Team Noel?” Ben is super cute, super supportive, and super trying-so-hard. The two of them seem so happy together, and I love how dead on the writers were in dealing with the overwhelming need to smooch when you start dating someone new in college.

Felicity, you’re right, needs to stop being so wishy-washy. And she needs to get some self-control. She tends to completely lose herself when she’s with a guy (or at least when she’s with Ben or Noel; she never really put herself on hold for David or Greg). She was too hot for Noel during finals freshman year and she’s the same way with Ben now.

Regarding the internship, it was realistic, but also disappointing how it was always Felicity who was going to have to give up what she wanted in order for her and Ben to be together during the summer. I get that Ben had a good job lined up and that he needed to make money for school, but he could’ve offered to have taken out loans and/or accept a lower paying job and work more during the school year. The guy never once offered to put his life on hold for the girl.

But then, yay, Felicity does (after much, much, much hemming and hawing; how did her professor not tell her to shove it after all that) take the internship. She, as Dr. Pavone says, chooses herself over the guy, and it’s great. She and Ben appear ready to stick it out for the summer, and Felicity will never hold it against Ben that she denied herself a great opportunity because of him.

All is well, right? Everything’s perfect? Show over?

Felicity 2.24 bedEmma: Dr. Pavone giving her best advice in the bathroom was of course a high point and I’m so glad Felicity chose herself over the boy. And she still gets the boy so win/win, but as you mention it is disappointing that the onus is entirely on her. Also can’t they visit at weekends? I know it’s not the closest of journeys, they can still make do. Alas no Skype back then.

One concern I had with Ben and Felicity is how they were going to approach the sex stuff, they skirted the issue first time even though they shared a bed. Not that sharing a bed means they should sleep together, but the attraction is strong. This might have been to do with the sex block after that art dude, but as she’s been in two other relationships since, that reason was no longer on the table. I just didn’t want it to be this whole big thing and have Ben be all Noel like and glad they didn’t sleep together or some such philosophical nonsense.

They didn’t get to use the hotel room for a magical night as they had the paper to write and the finale opens with Felicity telling Sally that sex is a big deal and while I’m glad they acknowledge this sentiment, I was also very happy they didn’t drag it out and it happened in a moment of spontaneity. Even if it happened at a point where they were both being horribly self absorbed, they still managed to make it funny/hot/sweet. Even if Felicity was wearing yet another matching disaster. It also occurred to me that Keri Russell is lucky enough to go sans bra making the whole undressing thing a lot less fumbly. The weird thing is that both Ben and Felicity’s exes are in the next room and can totally hear everything. And all their friends. Awkward.

Speaking of exes these two episode really do highlight the incestuous nature of this group and I did indeed draw a diagram to show the various entanglements. It felt necessary. Also in the key that says “dating/ex” despite my terrible handwriting.

The Julie/Noel storyline was not dropped, nope instead Julie used it as a deflection and a way to sabotage the thing with Sean. Julie felt bad and didn’t want to let Sean down, however when you live with the dude it’s probably best to be upfront and not show it with sofa smooches with your friend’s ex. Not that Felicity is remotely surprised or bothered by Julie’s crush as witnessed in the sharing session between the ladies on the campus steps. To me it feels like there is deleted scene that covered this as I’m sure Julie would talk to Felicity first as a result of their rift at the start of the season.

The big development here is that Meghan is into Sean; and even though he was completely bummed out by Julie’s Noel kissing, he gets over it pretty fast thanks to expensive mini bar candy and a hook up with Meghan. What do you think of this latest coupling?

Felicity 2.24 Noel, Julie and SeanJulie: Well, I love Meghan and Sean. I couldn’t remember if they hooked up during sophomore or junior year, but I’ve been waiting for this moment. I love how she’s all, “Sean’s cute,” and you can see the wheels turning. I think they’re kind of great together. She’s experienced and self-confident and you feel okay with her “settling down” because she’s already done it all. She knows what she wants, and what she wants is Sean. And Meghan is great for Sean, because I think she’s fiercely loyal, but she’ll also call you on your bullshit. Sean needs to be called on his bullshit.

And, while she gave up teaching at Wicca camp for the summer to go to Tuscany with Sean, who can blame her? This act feels less like choosing the boy over herself and more like, “I’m young and I want to have a fun time in Europe instead of spending my summer dealing with bratty kids.” Again, anyone would’ve made that decision.

I just feel awkward for Julie anytime Felicity and Ben are getting smoochy in close proximity. Julie and Ben had a pretty intense relationship. It wasn’t just a fling. He got her through some very tough times. I have a hard time believing that she’s 100% fine with everything, but it’s TV, so she kind of has to be.

And Noel? He’s in his own world right now. I don’t even think Felicity’s on his radar. It’s all Ruby and Julie and beets and now Natalie. Noel has gone rogue. He went to Europe last summer and had a pretty tame time (and he spent all year pining away for/assisting a pregnant woman), but now he’s run off with Javier’s cousin and he’s finally going to be the irresponsible Noel he needs to be. Good for him.

I love your diagram. I think Richard now needs to squeeze himself in here somewhere. Maybe he and Julie should hook up. I could actually see that. They’d be aesthetically cute together, and she needs someone less moody, and someone to drag her out of this birth parents mess. What did you think about the return of Carol?

Felicity 2.24 JavierEmma: I like that there’s nothing labored about Meghan and Sean as neither of them have been pining over the other for a substantial period of time and as you mention it’s a simple case of Meghan mentioning out loud that she thinks Sean is cute. There’s an ease to their hook up and even though Meghan is all whatever to Sean at first, there’s nothing about it that comes across as forced. Even when Sean does the jewelry gesture it could be a “too soon” moment but I love that it turns into a gag about what kinds of items Meghan has received in the past. Ditto her revelation to Felicity that sleeping with Sean is the first time she has done it on her back. Felicity’s reaction is hilarious, though I was also distracted by Felicity’s teeny tiny top knot or whatever the hell hairstyle you would call that. It was bad and you can tell they really regret this hair choice, thought they shouldn’t.

I also agree that the Megan/Sean summer plans thing is a very different situation and hell yeah to a fabulous vacation over Wicca camp. Maybe they will run into Noel and Natalie while on their travels.

Noel hasn’t had the best year when it comes to relationships, though I think it is best for everyone that Ruby is going back to her parents (I’m including us in this too). She can still go to college with a kid, but it sounds like a good plan to get settled with the baby first and rushing into marriage is no way to go. Noel can’t offer the same security and I genuinely believe that he wants to do the best for Ruby and the best is letting her go and sending the odd care package. So long Ruby, you annoyed me a lot less by the end but I certainly won’t miss you either.

I wasn’t too keen on Noel’s sick of being the nice guy speech as it verges on expecting everything to come his way just because he’s the nice guy, but I am all for him having a silly adventure rather than baby daddy drama.

The backdrop of the season finale is the Javier/Samuel wedding and I’m wondering just how rare gay marriage (or rather a civil union at this time) was on TV at this point. I feel like SATC had covered gay weddings by this point and Friends definitely had. The thing these all have in common is the New York location.

Ah yes the return of Julie’s birth mother Carol who only comes back on the scene as a result of her husband/Julie’s dad’s ill health. Julie has a right to be angry and feel used, but as Ben points out – and I love that Ben is the one who has this conversation with her considering how involved he was in this part of her life – her dad isn’t to blame for her mom keeping her a secret. It’s pretty shitty for Julie at the moment and she’s the only one not paired off at the wedding, I’m hoping for a lot more for Julie next season. Maybe Richard is an answer.

Elena and Tracy seem pretty solid and considering what Elena wore to the wedding – when she was looking at it on the mannequin I maybe yelled “why?” at the screen – I’m impressed they are still together. All jokes aside, I do find the Elena/Tracy union to be a rather lovely thing. What did you make of their almost sleeping together moment. Are they in it for the long haul?

Felicity 2.24 Tracy and ElenaJulie: How cute was Ben about “ushering” at Javier and Samuel’s wedding? He’s really winning me over, that boy.

This had to have been a pretty early gay wedding. We had definitely seen Susan and Carol’s wedding by this point, but TV was still skirting around the issue, I believe. And I’m pretty sure gay marriage wasn’t even legal at this point. I’m assuming everyone was getting a “civil union.”

Ugh, I completely feel for Julie in this. Yes, Ben is right that it’s not her dad’s fault (and, yes, I loved that they gave the two of them this moment), but giving a kidney is a pretty ding, dang big deal, and Carol totally sucks right now. She has put Julie in the awful position of either endangering her own health to save someone who doesn’t even know she exists or letting her biological father and the father of a couple more kids die. I do think the best thing for her is if she forces Carol to introduce the two of them. That way she can make an informed decision and she might feel less used. Plus, Bradley Whitford!

Elena and Tracy are wonderful together (and what was her outfit?). I hope they can work it out. Maybe Tracy can be an “everything but” boy. That’s not so bad, right, Elena? He’s worth it.

Speaking of fashion: Felicity’s morning hair topknot is awful and she should check that at the door before Ben sees her and dumps her for it. The short hair isn’t inherently bad. In fact, there have been times where it was downright cute. But this growing out phase is not good. It gets worse during junior year, just look at the boxed set.

I did love Felicity’s red dress for the wedding, though. Classic ’90s, gorgeous color.

Felicity 2.24 F hair horrorEmma: Ben really is the cutest. That super dorky/adorable smile is ridiculous.

Yeah I Wikipedia’d and same-sex marriage wasn’t legal in New York until 2011 so it must have been a civil union. Glad to see Felicity celebrating Javier and Samuel without making it a huge deal that they’re getting married; it’s pretty much like every other wedding on TV. Well except for Javier’s announcement that’s he’s going to NYU next year mid speech, but that’s just Javier. An interesting move for sure, but one they laid the groundwork for when he mentioned in a previous episode that he was applying.

Yeah I want more Bradley Whitford.

Tracy and Elena are really great together and I can see them being an “everything but” couple. Maybe they will sleep together eventually, but at the moment it’s probably for the best that they don’t. Meghan’s hilarious tale of getting between a guy and his religion is hilarious and it stopped Elena from doing something Tracy might have regretted. Basically I dig them and I want to see a lot more of Tracy next season. Please stay, Donald Faison.

The red dress reminded me of what she wore at the start of the season, it’s a really great color on her (though she should never wear the red jeans/jean jacket combo ever again).

Now let’s talk season 3! What do you want to see?

A brief moment of happiness for Ben and Felicity is top of my list and I hope the summer apart isn’t going to derail things quickly. Drama I get, but it took so long to get them where they are now that I will be disappointed if they break up in the first 6 episodes.

Fun Noel! He’s a had a shitty year as he mentioned so I hope his summer of frolics hasn’t left him broken. Also if they’re going to do the love triangle again I still want some Ben/Noel friend time, even if that’s highly unlikely.

Something good for Julie and a story that doesn’t link back to her rape or adoption.

More Elena and Tracy.

Girls’ night out – that episode was really fun and having the four ladies as friends is way better than disputes and bitching.

Felicity 2.23 Meghan and RichardMeghan. Just more of her.

A less flaky Felicity – just make a decision and stick with it this time.

Less parent drama – Felicity mentions that her parents might get back together and if this means no more dad in NY then let it happen.

One thing I continue to be impressed with is how this show deals with sexual health stories, more of this please.

Julie: I second everything you’ve mentioned. I think you’ve hit on everything. I definitely want more Meghan and more girlfriends’ time.

Most of all, I just want the group together, having fun. College is fun, Felicity!

Julie Hammerle is, according to Klout, an expert in the areas of both Morgan Freeman and glasses. Her writing can be found at chicagonow.com/hammervision and you can holler at her on Twitter as well.

New York Fashion Week: Best of the Runway Watching Looks Part 2

10 Sep

New York Fashion Week continues to draw a plethora of famous faces to the front rows of runway shows and this gives us a whole lot of new looks to pour over. This is the second “Best of the Runway Watching” column and you can find the OITNB cast heavy first take here.

The Alice + Olivia show was a particularly big draw for TV/film starlets with a lot of them wearing items that have just hit Alicia + Olivia stores/online. We will be linking to those as you might want to add them to your wish list.

NYFW YvonneAt Naeem Khan the front row is all intricate pattern and bold designs much like the intricate beading and color on display on the runway. All decked out in Naeem Khan are Jamie Chung (she has been a heavy presence this week and she’s the only person to feature on both ‘Best of’ lists), Jenna Dewan-Tatum, Yvonne Strahovski, Connie Britton, and Padma Lakshmi. I am especially drawn to Strahovski’s stunning blue and yellow kaleidoscope-print frock and of course Connie Britton in general.

Kiernan Shipka in pantsIt’s a rare sight to see Kiernan Shipka at an event in pants, but here she is at Zac Posen in another sartorial delight. The structure of the top is unusual in its angles and yet it works with the patterned detail of her bottom half.

Kiernan ShipkaAt Tory Burch, Kiernan Shipka wore something more in line with her usual red carpet styling in a cute floral frock. Even though it’s entirely age appropriate I do have to remind myself that she is only 14 years old and then I feel all protective; Hollywood be good to her.

Anna ChlumskyIt might be due to the colors and pattern, but there is a little something Flamenco dancer about Anna Chlumsky’s outfit at Zac Posen. I’m swung by the texture of the red sweater (SO excited for sweater season) and Chlumsky’s striking red lip color. Plus she’ s pretty great so that helps me get passed the aspects of the outfit that are less pleasing.

Willow ShieldsThe rest of the “Best of” entries come from the Alice + Olivia event; up first is another teen delight with Willow Shields (Prim from The Hunger Games) striking a pose worthy of Wonder Woman in a very cute ballerina button down. The black and white patterned shoes peaking out are a cool touch.

Lynsey FonsecaThis might be my favorite from the Alice + Olivia clothes on display at this show and Lyndsy Fonseca deserves a dress this pretty after being subjected to the longest tale of how someone met their spouse (Fonseca is one of Ted’s kids on HIMYM). The bold green jacquard design also has the all important pocket detail.

Katie ChungAnother dress you could wear for day/night events and the only thing not quite working with Katie Chang’s outfit is her meh shoe color. The gold and black design of this gown and the cinched in waist make this another standout from Alice + Olivia.

Jamie ChungJamie Chung pairs an edgy leather cropped fitting tank  with the super girly lip covered skirt and scarlet ankle strap heals. It’s a fun, flirty outfit and I’m half expecting to see this skirt show up on either The Mindy Project or New Girl.

Holland RodenDoing classic black and white is Teen Wolf’s Holland Roden, adding flare with a pair of winking heels. Yep her shoes have faces on them and they are pretty awesome (and maybe 1% creepy).

Jennifer MorrisonA few weeks ago I went into a ridiculous amount of stores (10+) looking for a red belt like the one Jennifer Morrison is wearing and I did not find a single thin red belt. Luckily I got one for my birthday otherwise I would be giving this photo all the coveting side eye. I’m glad I don’t have to do this as it’s a really lovely outfit and another chance to see the red heels that I’m now after.

Jessica Lowndes A+OThis is one ornate gown complete with tassels, lace, beading and taffeta; while it might overwhelm the wearer, Jessica Lowndes looks resplendent.

For more on NYFW including Fantasy Costuming be sure to click the tag.

Scandal Season 4 Promo Photos: Going Back to Work?

10 Sep

The rain fell down on the cast of Scandal for their season 3 promo shots featuring the incredible Burberry trench Olivia wore in the premiere; this time no one is getting soaked, but they have still delivered a striking image with everyone dressed in their fanciest threads. Yep even Quinn and Huck have ditched the plaid and leather for ball gowns and tuxedos.

For a closer look click on the image (which first appeared exclusively at TV Guide).

BELLAMY YOUNG, DARBY STANCHFIELD, JEFF PERRY, TONY GOLDWYN, KERRY WASHINGTON, SCOTT FOLEY, JOSHUA MALINA, GUILLERMO DIAZ, KATIE LOWESOlivia is of course at the center of the group wearing a beautiful black and white ball gown with the guys mirroring this color palette in dashing white tie. The other women stand out with Mellie in ultra feminine bubblegum pink giving off princess vibes, Abby in an olive green fishtail frock and Quinn wearing the deep blue that we tend to see in her costuming. This cast sure scrubs up well.

It’s not all fun and frolics. Far from it and at the end of season 3 Olivia flew into the sunset accompanied by Jake after everything has gone to hell thanks to Olivia’s mother Mia. It was a bumpy year and one that got weighed down by its own conspiracy; hopefully after a break away from Washington D.C, and the mess her parents have created Olivia will return to a scene that is less convoluted and more like the fast paced fun of the second year.

The individual photos suggest a less lavish affair with everyone in their standard day ‘uniform’ and it looks like Olivia might be ready to get back to work in a tailored grey jacket and black pants. The lack of white is worth noting in this shot as this is the color she tends to wear when she is feeling in control and defiant, grey is her more muddled/conflicted choice.

Scandal Olivia PopeMellie in red. Standard Mellie projecting a strong image garb; the new season is set two months after the events of the finale and while Mellie is an expert in hiding her heartbreak I’m not sure she will be able to pretend everything is okay after the death of her son.

Scandal MellieShonda Rhimes has promised that season 4 will finally shed more light on Abby’s backstory and while we already know that she was married to an abusive and powerful man there are still plenty of narrative blanks to fill in. Abby’s dressed a little darker in her individual shot and the peplum is slightly more fitted than the wrap dresses, draped cardigans, billowy blouses and palazzo pants we’re used to seeing her in.

Scandal AbbyScandal returns Thursday, September 25. For the rest of the cast shots click on the gallery below.

 

Bold Color/Print for New Girl’s Jess from the Kate Spade New York NYFW Spring 2015 Collection

9 Sep

New Girl returns in a week (Tuesday, September 16) and TV screens will get a little brighter with Jessica Day’s colorful costuming. Primary colors, stripes, polka dots and prints are all part of the Jess wardrobe and the Spring 2015 RTW Kate Spade New York collection is bursting at the seams with the kind of style you can expect to see on New Girl.

It’s a fun NYFW offering that has a whole host of cute novelty bags from hearts to plant pots all of which practically scream Jess and it is a brand that this character has worn on multiple occasions in the past. Cinched in waists, shirt dresses and stripes are all on the menu. These designs are suitable for Jess’ new role as vice principal at school or lounging around the loft; a balance of work and leisure wear while not losing the signature Jess whimsy.

There’s also one slightly fancier dress for any potential dates that Jess will be going on now that she is single again and while it might be darker than the rest of the color palette the tulle and collar detail up the cute Jess factor. Add a red bowed belt like this Kate Spade one for extra pop.

Kate Spade floral

Kate SpadeClick on the images below for more looks for Jess from the Kate Spade New York RTW Spring 2015 collection featuring some very fun looking bags.

First Look at Shonda Rhimes on The Mindy Project

9 Sep

Last week it was Chris Messina in a tux and now Mindy Kaling is sharing a sneak peek on Instagram of Shonda Rhimes on the set of The Mindy Project. It was announced last month that the Scandal/Grey’s Anatomy creator would be making a cameo as herself in a season 3 episode and photo speculation suggests it will involve a trip to Dartmouth. Rhimes not only went to Dartmouth, but also gave the commencement day speech back in June and Mindy Kaling also went to this school (Kaling also got in on the speech action this summer at Harvard).

Pete played by Adam Pally on The Mindy Project also went to this school and he is in this photo along with fellow Dartmouth apparel wearing Ed Weeks (Jeremy) and Ike Barinholtz breaks the trend in an excellent Beastie Boys tee (quite possibly not in costume and on set in a writing capacity). There’s no sign of Kaling and if her character misses out on the opportunity to ask those all important Olivia Pope questions – how does she keep her lounge wear free from red wine stains and popcorn grease? – Mindy Lahiri is going to kick herself.

And because he’s not in the shot above here is some Chris Messina related adorableness from Kaling’s Instagram (like I said before it is the gift that keeps on giving):

The Mindy Project returns in one week (Tuesday, September 16) and for more Mindy Project related stories check out Fantasy Costuming and the Season 3 artwork.

New York Fashion Week: Best of the Runway Watching Looks Part 1

8 Sep

The new TV season is about to start and a good way to get word out about these shows is to have the stars attend New York Fashion week or as with the women from Orange is the New Black they are still enjoying their well deserved victory lap. Whatever the reason there are plenty of famous attendants showing off their own style (good or bad) while also taking in what they will be wearing in the future.

Rather than waiting until the end of the week with “Out of the Box” here are some of the best looks from the first half of NYFW.

SJPSarah Jessica Parker goes with NYFW like Carrie Bradshaw does with Manolo Blahniks and SJP wore this is beautiful Preen dress to the Lexus Design Disrupted event. The metallic pumps from her own SJP collection work like a charm against the bold color of this frock.

Allison Williams DVFAt the Diane von Furstenberg show Allison Williams was lucky enough to wear something from the Spring 2015 RTW collection; this white dress with a gingham detail is of the usual Allison Williams girly styling without being too on the nose a la her Emmys dress. Bonus lip color points.

Uzo Aduba Christian SirianoUzo Aduba continues her style streak moving away from 70s secretary bowed chic (which I love) to this shimmery art deco looking delight at the Christian Siriano show.

Jackie Cruz, Selenis Leyva, amanda WarrenAduba’s OITNB co-stars Selenis Leyva, Jackie Cruz, Kimiko Glenn along with The Leftovers’ Amanda Warren showed off a range of bold styles at Nicole Miller. Kimiko Glenn kept things simple chic in a grey pencil skirt and crop sweater, while Cruz and Leyva went for the bold patterned look and Warren had a chest of feathers.

Margarita LevievaAt the same event former Revenge star Margarita Levieva wore some really meh nude pumps, but made up for it in a vermillion color dress with cut out side panels.

Katie CassidyThe Nicole Miller show was the place to be and Katie Cassidy demonstrates how to do runway watching in a super casual comfy manner (ok those shoes probably hurt) while still looking chic.

AnnaSophia RobbHere’s a guide to wearing your jacket on your shoulders as told in two parts at the Rebecca Minkoff runway show. First up AnnaSophia Robb and I’m still not over the Carrie Diaries cancellation even if Austin Butler and his hair will be making their way to Arrow. I am beyond in love with this geometric multicolored pleated skirt.

Jamie ChungJamie Chung could be a Pink Lady with this jacket slung over her shoulders, but it’s her print dress and blue bag that I’m coveting while ignoring whatever clunky strappy shoes she is wearing.

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