Archive | March, 2017

Out of the Box: Look of the Week

24 Mar

Spring is in the air (kinda) and there are a lot of great outfit ideas for transitional seasons thing including chunky cardigans and sweaters. It is also PaleyFest and this means panel attire! Always one of my favorite categories as it is open for interpretation and there tends to be some fun looks.

There’s also some sparkle and a great magazine cover from Allure.Kicking things casual with TV Ate My Wardrobe fave Yara Shahidi on her way into Jimmy Kimmel Live! Mustard yellow cardigans along with all things stripes is my big clothing catnip so this look is instant heart eyes and coveting.

And here is Shahidi on Kimmel switching out mustard for Marni ruffles and talking college applications including what this means for her character on Black-ish.Kiernan Shipka in stripes is an instant hit (see earlier remark) at a screening of The Blackcoat’s Daughter and this tiger emblazoned Gucci sweater is super cute. This whole look is playful including pairing bold socks with strappy shoes and it works because we have seen on numerous occasions that Shipka likes to have fun with fashion.

On this week’s Feud, Shipka gave good bad actor acting as well as showing she is her (former onscreen) mother’s daughter in the manner in which she smokes.Tatiana Maslany looks great on a super fancy red carpet (see the Emmys), but where she really crushes it is at events like SDCCSXSW and heading into talk shows where she can add some laid back flair into proceedings. The same can be said for PaleyFest and at the Orphan Black panel she mixed stripes and ruffles with metallic sneakers.

One of the first things I saw this morning was an Instagram story showing Tatiana Maslany reacting to co-star Kristian Bruun wearing Snapchat Spectacles (there’s a lot of cross branding in this sentence) and it is delightful.

Don't think we forgot that it's #NationalPuppyDay.

A post shared by Orphan Black (@orphanblacktv) on

Keeping up the delightful theme at this Orphan Black panel with Tatiana Maslany and Evelyne Brochu; plus a good mix of black and white ensembles with Maslany wearing a suede/leather bomber jacket over her ruffled dress.More fun PaleyFest outfits and at the Walking Dead panel Lauren Cohan delivers on the high-waisted pants trend paired with a mix of stripes. The flash of red with both pumps and lipstick is a fabulous touch. At the Empire Awards, Ella Purnell gives great season transition awards wear in a different take on florals in a long-sleeved Chanel mini-dress with some fabulous Jimmy Choo sandals; chunky heels are in.If you’re playing the villain in the new Power Rangers movie then this super sparkly Zuhair Murad jumpsuit is exactly the way to go and once again Elizabeth Banks knows how to match her outfit to the film she is promoting (see The Hunger Games for more).Allure magazine shows how to do a diversity issue cover and this is a beautiful shot featuring models Dilone, Imaan Hammam and Aamito Lagum. Fashion magazines have not always had a good track record with diverse cover stars, but on the whole they did improve last year and this is a good sign that they are listening to readers and the very valid criticism being leveled at them.

Over at Lainey Gossip writer Kathleen Newman-Bremang goes in depth about colorism and this issue of Allure.

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The Americans 5.03 “The Midges” Review: Even Cowboys Get the Blues

22 Mar

When Philip and Elizabeth first told Paige their big spy secret towards the end of season 3 of The Americans they left out a lot of the details about what they did. How do you explain to your teenage daughter that not only are you a Russian spy, but that you also pretend to be other people to get the information your country requires?

This is already a confusing and difficult conversation and let’s not even consider the ramifications if Paige found out about all the other stuff they do all in the name of their country.Everything changed when Paige saw her mother act in self defense and kill a man in front of her; while she had already figured out that the breadcrumb details she was given didn’t tell the whole story, this was a real eye opener. The questions they keep on coming and by dating an FBI agent’s son Paige has put herself in an even more precarious position from an emotional point of view. Dealing with parents who are spies is one thing and throwing in all of these first boyfriend feelings just makes things even more complicated.

If I was talking about vampires on The Vampire Diaries I would be throwing around the phrase “heightened emotions” and this is exactly what Paige is experiencing. But instead of learning that she can live forever, Paige has found out that her parents are nothing like your regular mom and dad.

The reason why Paige confronted them in the first place was because she could sense that something was off with their behavior and by withholding they are still keeping her at an arm’s length. Of course there are things they can’t reveal and aspects such as sleeping with assets would not be the best way of keeping her on side. Or the fact that they have destroyed lives (see Young Hee and Martha *sob*) and killed a lot of people in the process. If Paige thinks it is gross lying to people with ease, can you image is she knew how often her parents have to resort to bullets and back breaking as a way to protect their identity/work.The latter happens at the end of “The Midges” after their investigation at the lab is interrupted by someone who works there. Another case of ‘wrong place, wrong time’ and Randy gets added to this growing list which also includes security guards, guys returning for a left behind wallet and delivery drivers. Randy at first attempts to lie about his position at the lab and while he’s high up, he also doesn’t know a whole lot about why they are breeding this type of pest. The information he does give shows that this is linked to Stan’s investigation and the FBI and KGB are going to be crossing paths again soon. As Elizabeth informs him “You should’ve asked.”

Philip has a bad track record with the cowboy hat and the last time this was part of his disguise his wig got ripped off and another innocent bystander paid the price. This time it is a double team effort and despite being much shorter than Randy, Philip and Elizabeth easily intimidate him. First Elizabeth hits him from behind against the glass and then she pushes him toward Philip who quickly ends things by breaking his back. Pretty fucked up date night and when Philip mentions telling Paige about this aspect of their work it is a super dark joke I was not expecting, but considering how much terrible stuff they have done as part of their job it isn’t surprising that morbid humor is the way to go. It is either that or go to the dark place that Philip has been circling since season 2. And I’m not even sure Philip intends it to be funny.It is his idea to tell Paige about what their current operation is because it clearly shows Russia as the victim; attacking food supply and starving a country is something Paige will understand as bad. What they also do is reveal part of their cover telling her about having fake identities while leaving out their fake son. They mention that they are pretending to be a pilot and flight attendant and how hard it can be. Throughout this scene Elizabeth looks pleased that they are sharing this with their daughter and there is a sense of pride that they can talk openly with her about this stuff. Well, not entirely and as with Elizabeth’s later conversation with Paige she talks about the importance of not sharing everything.

Not that Elizabeth is maybe the best at giving romantic advice considering how closed off things were with Philip when we first met them. They are of course a lot better at sharing with each other than they have ever been, but because of the nature of their arrangement and how they had to compartmentalize their original lives there is always going to be some aspect of holding back. They’re experts in emotional manipulation and yet they are often stumped at how to deal with their own feelings.

Communication has vastly improved and there is no one better than having a conversation without saying a word than Philip and Elizabeth; they say so much to each other in their glances and this is a point I could make on a weekly basis (and probably do) as Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell are so good at saying so much without saying anything at all. This brings me to the scene in the motel room where Elizabeth recognizes how much the weight of what they are doing is burdening Philip’s soul.

Targeting food has brought up a whole lot of shit about his childhood and as we saw in the very brief flashback as Philip stares into the bathroom mirror his upbringing was not an easy one and the thought of anyone going through that again back home is too much to think about. Philip ponders on the notion of why can’t they grow enough grain to not have to rely on the US when home looks similar to the fields of Oklahoma.So when Elizabeth turns on the radio and “Old Flame” by Alabama plays, she takes this as a moment to distract him from the big picture stuff. Plus they have time to kill and she takes the cowboy hat part of his disguise first wearing it herself making a joke about being queen of the rodeo and then places it on his head.

Instant thoughts of Philip in the pilot giving great embarrassing dad while dancing in the department store wearing cowboy boots and in the past Elizabeth has mocked him for liking this part of American life. Here she does the opposite and in an incredibly romantic moment she sees his hunched over sadness and turns this into a fantasy moment for him; she places the hat on his head and they slow dance to the song. For a moment everything else gets blocked out and it is just them in this motel room. It is also the first time I’ve realized just how tiny Keri Russell is height wise as in the wide shot you can see she is on bare foot tippy toes. But real life is coming for them and later these disguises turn from romance to just another day of an operation not quite going to plan and someone else paying the price.

Philip and Elizabeth’s relationship instantly improved when they were finally open with each other and the same can now be said for how they are with Paige; even if this burden is huge and it comes with a new set of worries. Those worries do not extend to where exactly Henry is and I have a feeling that Henry’s absence is going to bite them in some way this season. All of their focus is on Paige and Henry is getting the classic teen son in a prestige drama treatment right now. Chris Brody says hi BTW.

Meanwhile, Philip’s other son continues his long journey to meet his papa stopping off at an address in Yugoslavia where he finds his contact has been arrested and so the cost of crossing the border into Austria has gone up. Oh, Mischa.

And while we’re over in that part of the world; Oleg has started his corruption investigation while also finding out that he really should’ve gone to that secret meeting. Now he has a tape of the conversation with Stan and a map and it looks like Stan is not the one behind this attempted contact as I suspected. When Oleg walks through the supermarket with its barely stocked shelves – despite all the amazing produce out back – the camera lingers on someone looking at a can. It is none other than Martha! I’m very excited to see Alison Wright again. Will she somehow cross paths with Oleg?

All the pieces are slowly coming together and as crisis looms the Jennings family could be getting even closer – well, not Henry – but at what cost?

Outfit I Would Wear in 2017Very much in love with Elizabeth’s plaid jacket and considering my go to outerwear at the moment is a red and black Levi’s jacket this comes as no surprise. Great sweater game from Elizabeth this week in a purple turtleneck and the teal number you can see below.

Felicity Flashback

This isn’t Keri Russell’s first rodeo.

Bonus Wig Cave!

I love it when we see their place of disguise prep so I was very pleased to see their post Tuan dropping off changing back from Dee and Brad to Philip and Elizabeth.

Bonus Song Choice!

The musical moment of the episode is quite clearly the country slow dance, but I was also thrilled to hear the dreamy Roxy Music’s “More Than This” playing over the opening bowling scene and as things go to shit at the lab and they have to clear up their mess. It is also interesting to note that while this plays Philip goes to check on the woman keeping watch – their Hans replacement? – to make sure she was okay after seeing them bring out the body. She says she is, but the look as she sees them with her would suggest otherwise.

The Leftovers Season 3 Key Art and Trailer: The End of the World is Nigh

17 Mar

Existential dread and fear about what it means to be left behind turns into a fight against another potential big event happening on season 3 of The Leftovers. Or so I can gather from the teasers and trailers the HBO promo department has released from the forthcoming (and final) season of this incredible show.

Kevin went to some interesting places last season including singing for survival and experiencing several near death moments. Now they are headed to Australia and maybe the other side again for Kevin; this time his father is at his side rather than talking through the TV. The seventh anniversary of the sudden departure is quick approaching and it looks like there are fears it could happen again.

Religious iconography is strong and unlike the season 2 promo poster where Kevin is reaching, but not quite grabbing Nora’s hand she has his back here.  This can also be linked back to the season 1 key art with the cracks on the wall from Kevin’s punch and yet there is something far more hopeful at play here. And yes, Justin Theroux and his beard look very good. At a quick first glance it appears as if Nora is naked, but in actual fact Carrie Coon is wearing a dress; you can see both a crease in the skirt and a strap. The hand of his heart is an important reminder of how season 2 ended with Kevin returning home and the family being one.

Harmony comes at a price and as you will see in the full trailer, Nora is far from calm as she smokes alone and talks to Erika about feeling crazy. There’s also an interesting moment as she sits in a car with Kevin’s ex Laurie and a clip of her lying down in a coffin of sorts. Oh and while I’m on the subject of Nora; the final moment in this promo is eerie as hell.

As you might expect from The Leftovers there is a lot to unpack from this trailer and I will definitely be singing ABBA all day now.

The Leftovers returns Sunday, April 16 for its third and final season.

Out of the Box: Look of the Week

17 Mar

This week has seen the spotlight get turned on the amazing stylists who get actors red carpet ready with the annual Hollywood Reporter Top 25. We covered the issue here, but we’ve got party highlights and some treats from the number 1 name on that list throughout this post.

Plus SXSW delivers on the exact kind of outfits I am looking to now that spring is finally here (sorry for those who had snow this week). There’s also SNL musical performances and great late night outfits to enjoy.At the Hollywood Reporter Power Stylist dinner Sarah Paulson shows just why Karla Welch is a sartorial force to be reckoned with as she makes this peach Prada embellished frock look so much more low maintenance than it is. Love the Chinese style collar and strong brow.

Posing with the man of the hour – also wearing Prada – and showing that he’s also got the post-awards fashion sorted is Mahershala Ali. Such a strong shirt pattern choice and he’s making a statement that he’s fabulous.  Karla Welch is also good at dressing herself (which is a weird sentence to write) in this simple and summery long Rosie Assoulin gown. Also points for sensible flats for both Welch and Busy Philipps; who I am loving in all white. This night also provided A+ Busy Instagram stories with a guest appearance from Sarah Paulson who playfully mimicked Busy’s penchant for saying ‘guys.’In the way Sundance is to knits and coats, SXSW delivers on prints and super cute summer frocks. Jenny Slate is a SXSW regular and always delivers on the exact kind of outfits I would also want to wear (aside from the shoes his time). Bonus pocket points too! A busy SXSW for Noël Wells with premieres for Mr. Roosevelt and Infinity Baby. The above is at the latter and the matching star blast separates paired with black boots gives this look an edge. I really like Wells in season 1 of Master of None and I’m looking forward to seeing both of these projects, but especially Mr. Roosevelt as Wells writes, directs and stars in it.More Karla Welch picks showing just how versatile she is as a stylist as it isn’t all just award season and at the American Gods panel Emily Browning looks incredible in super floral Miu Miu and chunky Prada heels.

My intrigue levels for American Gods are set to high and while I don’t know the source material, the cast and creative team sell it to me alone. Plus this new trailer is giving me a whole lot of costume design thoughts already.At the Win it All premiere Stephanie Beatriz gives great wide-leg pants in stunning cobalt blue paired with a funky strapless top. I just bought some wide-leg pants and while I have no idea what shoes I’m gonna wear them with seeing Beatriz in this trend with this styling is giving me some ideas.Also going baggy is Lorde doing a full oversized suit thing at the Elvis Duran Z100 morning show and to keep with this week’s stylist theme she is another Karla Welch client.

Lorde performed on SNL and “Green Light” has been on repeat since it got released. More high-waisted/wide-leg and the backless sparkly top is everything.

Keri Russell loves a bit of leather for late night and much like myself she loves a bit of Grease 2 (it is the better movie, don’t @ me).

[Source]

For Seth Meyers she went all black with a splash of leopard print with her choice of Louboutins. And because I love all things celebrity real estate this sneak peek at her house (with bonus Matthew Rhys and baby in the background) is ticking those boxes. Makeup artist Tina Turnbow also gave a close up look of her work and I love a smoky eye.

There are two clips from the Seth Meyers interview; one is about the much talked about Matthew Rhys episode of Girls and this is the one that you can watch on a whole lot of entertainment/style websites. So we’ve opted for the second clip in which Keri Russell talks about the time she met Matthew Rhys ten years before The Americans and forgot about it until he reminded her.

Celebrating Stylists with The Hollywood Reporter’s Annual Issue

16 Mar

After months of dressing clients for award season it is now time to shine a light on the stylists who make the sartorial magic happen on red carpet with Hollywood Reporters annual celebration issue. Social media like Instagram has already opened up the world of the celebrity stylist to a much wider audience and these are the accounts I turn to throughout the very busy award season. So I am thrilled to see this level of focus from The Hollywood Reporter and it is one of my favorite issues of the year.

Names like Karla Welch and Ilaria Urbinati have appeared numerous times on here and I was thrilled to see both of these women on the cover of THR alongside the actors they have been dressing. Actors who have featured on many TV Ate My Wardrobe ‘Best of’ lists. What I also find incredible (and this is also thanks to access via Instagram) is how many clients they dress for multiple events across a very short amount of time. Oscar weekend would’ve included the Spirit Awards, the Oscars main show and all the parties that followed with many changing dresses between the two.

As you will see from those stylists and actors featured from the list is how many of them have appeared multiple times on these pages over the last year; The Hollywood Reporter picked well. Karla Welch appears alongside Sarah Paulson and Ruth Negga in a shot that makes me think they’re going to solve some crimes in the most stylish way possible. Welch was named number 1 by THR and Negga’s gold dripped Golden Globes Louis Vuitton dress and the stunning green Prada Emmys gown Paulson wore and won her Emmy in are enough to get my vote.

But wait there are so many more amazing red carpet looks from both women and Welch’s other clients such as Busy Philipps, Lorde and America Ferrera.

On that green Prada, Sarah Paulson jokes that “I would like to be buried in it, walk to Gelson’s in it, go to the movies in it.” If there is amazing menswear featured on “Out of the Box” or any ‘Best of’ list then nine times out of ten Ilaria Urbinati will be the woman behind the look. Urbinati is why Rami Malek is always on my anticipated list and she’s also probably the reason he score the Dior Homme contract. Color, pattern and materials such as velvet (see Donald Glover at the Golden Globes) are all up for grabs and Urbinati really knows how to make the guys standout from the usual tux fare.

Looking great in Gucci with Tom Hiddleston (who is always styled impeccably) and I am so glad that Urbinati has made menswear something to get excited about on the red carpet. Regular readers will all know how I feel about Michelle Williams (‘strongly positive’ if there was a box to tick) and I love this shot with Kate Young; that jacket on Young is giving me full heart eyes. Young is also great at the brand campaigns for her clients as THR notes with Louis Vuitton for Williams, Dior for Natalie Portman (and she also delivered on stylish maternity wear) and Selena Gomez scoring Coach. A great stylist can do many things including getting a client a bigger paycheck. Serving up all the drama with Celine Dion and Zendaya as they pose with their stylist Law Roach on a private jet. Everyone looks fabulous and Zendaya is someone who has appeared on these pages a lot. Looking forward to the Spiderman promo tour.Now for a look which has already graced these pages; Naomie Harris with Nola Singer in the patchwork Chanel getting ready to go to the Spirit Awards. One of the great things about Harris is she’s never boring on the red carpet and even when it doesn’t hit the mark there is always a playful element.Viola Davis has been crushing it in color all award season from three-tone blue Jenny Packham at the BAFTAs to her stunning red Armani at the Oscars switching to a fabulous Brandon Maxwell ladysuit for the Vanity Fair party.

The woman behind these sartorial picks is Elizabeth Stewart and the reason for the yellow sequin Michael Kors at the Golden Globes was “to find a dress that represented lightness and strength in dark times. I loved that Viola looked sunny on the carpet.”Rounding things out with the number one and another fabulous shot of Karla Welch with Sarah Paulson and Ruth Negga. Three excellent ways to wear bold lipstick and Dior’s “We Should All Be Feminists” tees.*

*This is a magazine spread of course and I am all here for this A+ message, but I will still raise an eyebrow at how much this T-shirt costs. 

 

The Americans 5.02 “Pests” Review: Playing By the Rules

15 Mar

Lines are blurry on The Americans and rules are constantly being broken with each side doing what they believe they have to do in order to protect their country; however there are certain things that neither would do, right? This is one of the main questions at hand with Russian grain supply (that comes from the U.S.) being at the heart of Philip and Elizabeth’s new operation as they move from biological weapons that could cause mass casualties to a potentially more insidious tactic by their enemy.

Targeting food is something Philip never thought the Americans would do and after a long night of digging and delivering both the sample and bad news about Hans, when Gabriel tells them what this new plan might be Philip can barely contain his horror through his exhaustion.There are rules in combat no matter how cold this war actually is and it seems like both sides are feeling at a loss with some of the tactics at play. For Stan he feels it is his duty to stop Oleg from getting caught in the cross hairs of another operation; the CIA wants to recruit him no matter what. If they were to just let him be then they might see that he is doing important work back home as he investigates the corruption that threatens to destroy Russia from within. Patience is a virtue and the CIA want something to work with now and they believe Oleg is their guy. To them he is another cog in the machine, but – and to borrow from Crazy Ex-Girlfriend – for Stan it is a lot more nuanced than that.

It also is not a coincidence that the establishing shots of the FBI and KGB buildings show just how similar each looks in all its concrete glory. Chris Long directs once again and he also gives the Jennings house exterior the same horror feeling as he did in the season 4 finale and last week’s premiere only this time it is daylight as the camera pushes in.

Stan has already lost one agent who he was working (in more ways than one) and Nina is the tie that binds him with Oleg. He pleads his case to the deputy AG and this is where the notion of rules and good/bad comes into play. Everyone has to have a code and he believes Oleg already gave them this huge gift and he should be allowed to go home and be free from the burden of that treason admitting recording. And it looks like his plan has worked to some extent as Oleg receives a message from Stan and a map of where to meet to discuss further. Although a big part of me thinks this isn’t really from Stan; instead it is the CIA using his name to secure this meeting and they will attempt their original plan that Stan so vehemently opposed.

Difficult conversations take place over friendly beers as Stan talks to Philip about his Paige concerns; concerns that he can’t quite verbalize beyond asking if everything is okay in Paige-land. The Beemans and Jennings are entangled in friendship and this burgeoning romance making this a ticking time bomb that Philip and Elizabeth know could go off at any minute. So far strong arming Paige to stay away from Matthew is of course doing the opposite; Philip has tried and now it is time for Elizabeth to have a go at explaining why this relationship cannot happen.
Elizabeth opts for talking while training and as with last week’s garage defense lesson scenario it is about giving Paige a sense of control while also emphasizing why Matthew as a boyfriend is a bad idea. The rhythmic sounds of Paige hitting her target as Elizabeth still dressed in her work attire coaches her adds to the tension and fraught nature of this conversation. This is also part one of ‘the talk’ and when Elizabeth asks if Paige is having sex she quickly follows up with pointing out that she doesn’t care if they are. Not what you would expect to hear from a mother as she talks to her daughter about sleeping with her first proper boyfriend, but Elizabeth has other concerns beyond the usual teen sex worries.

The Elizabeth/Paige dynamic continues to be fascinating as for the first time Elizabeth can be seen for who she is by her daughter. So much of Elizabeth’s decision to become a KGB officer and take on such a long deep cover mission is tied to her mother; the sacrifices she made (which were reiterated in terms of food last week) and her mother’s beliefs that mirror her own. With the training sessions she now gets to show her how to build on her strength and there is a deep sense of pride amidst the concern that Paige might inadvertently ruin everything by spilling their secret.

Tactics to keep Paige and Matthew apart are not working and when they return home from their digging expedition to find Paige’s bed empty, Philip and Elizabeth fear the worst. Where they find Paige is a concern for another reason as she was asleep in her closet as she continues to have post-stabbing sleep issues. There are no set parenting rules for dealing with first boyfriends and really they are no different from any other parent trying to work their way through first love. Except for that whole enemy spy thing.


Marriage strength between the pair comes in telling each other exactly what is going on; something Philip and Elizabeth have not always done and these bathroom confessions while applying night cream and brushing teeth reinforce just how good things are in this relationship even if everything else falls apart around them. This week’s conversation includes bonus heartbreaking Hans chat with Elizabeth telling Philip how excited Hans was about his sister’s forthcoming visit. The sighs and silences that punctuate all of their scenes speak just as much volume as any dialogue. Philip relays his chat with Stan while Elizabeth informs him of how unsuccessful her attempt at the Matthew problem was. The question of how long before Paige slips up hangs in the air with no immediate solution.

Babying Paige or even laying down threats (if only Paige knew how dangerous her parents are) is doing nothing and after a painful dinner out as the Eckerts with their new Russian defector friends – if Elizabeth could stab Alexei with her fork she would – Elizabeth comments that she is fed up with treating Paige like a “goddamn kid.” The scene that follows is up there with the stomach churning levels of when they first told Paige who they really are because Philip and Elizabeth aren’t your average parents and this isn’t your average sex talk.

In fact they approach this conversation as if Paige is an asset rather than their daughter and they are far more successful at relaying their message because of this change of tactic. They have both trained a lot of people especially when it comes to sex and while they’re inexperienced as parents in this particular arena they very much know how to manage feelings and not let them muddy things. It is a practical conversation and while we have seen just how fucked up the training they had was in this department there is a whole lot of compartmentalizing on their behalf.

This is also an incredibly sad scene because they’re viewing sex through this lens of their work, but it is also a weirdly bonding experience that gives Paige a practical tool and her parents’ piece of mind. In a weird way this is them teaching her about protection, but instead of a condom over a banana it is a way not to reveal their secret. Also I now want to go back and watch previous episodes to see if either of them ever use this technique.

In other big developments of the heart Stan finally mustered the courage to ask out the gym woman – Renee – and things are going well here. She’s the female version of Philip! Oh, Stan. It is also interesting to see Philip viewing her with suspicious eyes, but I guess he is always accustomed to looking at these things with spy eyes and Stan could be a target for this.


Also there are bugs aplenty in the greenhouse Elizabeth breaks into and because I’ve watched The X-Files my first thought went to bees that interrupted an all important Mulder and Scully moment. Thoughts of X-Files also courtesy of Stan’s new love interest. Instead Elizabeth ended up with a whole lot in her hair (despite the wig) and she tells Philip they need Alexei to help figure out what is going on with this agriculture business.

We also spend some more time with Tuan and find out that he really was adopted by an American family; a family who treated him well but who were also very pleased with themselves for this seemingly altruistic act. This might be where some of his resentment comes from along with the fact that his entire family (save his grandma) were killed by bombs in the Vietnam War. There’s a bit of a bond already with Philip and we see more of Tuan than both of Philip’s actual sons as Henry says he is at the library and the look on Elizabeth’s face when Paige tells her this is one of “yeah right.” Paige agrees and suggests he’s probably at the arcade. Meanwhile Mischa continues to make his voyage off screen.

Tension continues to build and deciding to open further to Paige will mean drawing her in closer; both to who they are and the job they do. The lines continue to blur.

Outfit I Would Wear in 2017

I’m so happy whenever Philip hits the court with Stan as this means retro sportswear. While not quite hitting the levels of this Dunlop tee, I would still be happy to have this stripe polo or Stan’s Adidas in my closet. Got to remember to keep an eye out on Etsy as costume designer Katie Irish suggested.

This is also another week of wanting to wear all the high-waisted pants and silk blouses a la Elizabeth and the outfit she’s wearing when they have the talk with Paige is the ideal version of this. And I have never related so much to Philip as him halfheartedly throwing his jacket in the direction of the coat hooks by the door.

Out of the Box: Look of the Week

9 Mar

In the first “Out of the Box” that comes after award season it isn’t surprising that it is a quieter and more eclectic week; there’s street style, ladysuits, Paris Fashion Week, magazine covers and other public appearances. The Timeless cast got together in Washington D.C. at the Smithsonian and NEH’s History Film Forum Event. I love this show and the chemistry between the three leads is what makes it a joy to watch; as I’ve already said I really hope it gets renewed and not just so I get new book recommendations and have plenty to write about costume wise.

Matt Lanter and Malcolm Barrett are doing standard panel attire and they look fine, but it is Abigail Spencer’s matching Creatures of The Wind ’60s inspired pattern ensemble that is mesmerizing me. Also please renew this show, NBC.

Ladysuit alert and a fabulous one from Jenny Slate as she goes shirtless and makes me want to use the flame emoji. The tequila confession feels very accurate and I had a friend who broke half her front tooth because of tequila. It is fun and also cannot be trusted.No one does street style while also being a walking advert for their brand quite like Reese Witherspoon. And unlike other celeb lifestyle products (not naming names) this is both wearable and semi-affordable. The Americans returned this week – click here for my review – and Keri Russell has been doing the press rounds including a very fun interview on Live with Kelly and on the same day wearing the same fabulous outfit Russell took part in the AOL Build series (which you can watch below).

Mixing casual cool in an oversized Céline turtleneck sweater – which we have talked about on here before and is definitely the kind of thing I would want to wear every day – with a retro looking houndstooth Prada skirt, sheer pink pop socks and hot pink Manolo Blahniks.

The interview itself is fun covering a range of things about the new season including digging that hole in the S5 finale, how she feels about Elizabeth, the recent political climate, the relationships on the show and what it is like to work with your IRL boyfriend. Entering the portion of this week’s column that is dedicated to black attire and this is the kind of outfit that few can pull off; Kristen Stewart is just the person to make corset pants look effortless. At the Personal Shopper LA premiere Kristen Stewart debuted a killer looking bleach blonde crop, which I have instantly fallen in love with.Also crushing it on the cool levels (as always) is Isabelle Huppert and I’m gonna go all Tyra as she’s doing this from H to T. Those silver tip pumps are a joy and as this is at the Louis Vuitton show at Paris Fashion Week, Huppert is wearing LV. Huppert is also reigniting my desire to own a leather jacket.Also at Louis Vuitton is Michelle Williams (as one of the faces of the brand this makes sense) and this is a far edgier look than we are used to seeing her in. I am all for a style switch up even if she looks a little stiff, but that might be the March chill rather than the outfit. Love the boots and as always I would suggest a bold red lip.Switching things up entirely at Valentino with all the delicate feminine frills. A trend that could go either way and much like KStew in all things edgy, Kate Mara is the perfect person to wear something that is drape adjacent. Also that is one fabulous collar and we all know how I feel about a detailed neckline. A striking and stripped down Chrissy Teigen cover and her piece on postpartum depression is so important. Chrissy is someone I have very strong good feelings about and it is not just because her cookbook has taught me how to make incredible bacon hash browns.

The Americans 5.01 “Amber Waves” Review: Protect Yourself

8 Mar

Home is meant to be where you feel safe, but at the end of The Americans season 4 finale the Jennings house loomed like a visage from a horror movie as Paige was escorted home and told she couldn’t see Matthew Beeman anymore. Chris Long directed both that finale and this premiere episode so it is not to see a repetition of this foreboding shot and for Paige there is no escaping the night she saw her mother stab a guy in the throat in self defense.

Paige is having nightmares and there is something comforting about hanging out across the street while her parents are out working doing who knows what (we know). She might not get food with any good nutritional value at Stan’s, but it is the only place she can go where the scary images don’t follow.“Amber Waves” throws us back into stories long established such as the Paige problem; how do they manage what she knows without destroying her a piece at a time? There is also a new mission, loose ends from an old one to tie up and the matter of what is going on back home. Ah home, you can never really go back and Philip and Elizabeth are forever caught between two worlds. Forcibly smiling through dinner with a defector who spouts on about how much he hates the homeland puts them to their acting test and of course they pass with flying colors. The car ride home provides plenty of time to spew venom about his treacherous opinions and reflect on their past lives.

It is rare to hear Philip and Elizabeth talking about when they were Mischa and Nadezhda and as with previous conversations this one reveals just how hard things were in post-war Russia for both of them. There is also a sense of guilt, particularly from Elizabeth with regard to how much her mother sacrificed for her and it goes a long way to explain why she is so hardened to everything. But they also haven’t been home in a long time and they don’t know just how bad it has got; the post credits montage shows just this by juxtaposing the impressive American crops with the disaster that is taking place in the USSR. Followed by those long lines for food that looks inedible. Philip might remember a time when onion soup tasted just like hot water, but as we are reminded of in this episode the amount of food available to them is endless.


Food is plentiful and it isn’t like The Americans is suddenly remembering that their characters eat; food scenes have played a big part as well as an everyday part with Stan often popping over for dinner (as we can see from his cooking skills there is a reason why). Elizabeth often offers to cook eggs for Philip when he has had a shitty day and there was also that time I found out that tuna noodle casserole is a thing people ate. Oh the ’80s. There was also that time Elizabeth ate bacon after Paige had walked in to her parents’ bedroom at an unfortunate time and a variety of kitchen items were used to conceal Keri Russell’s IRL bump last season including crock pots, unpacking groceries, salad bowls and the refrigerator door. What I’m saying is they aren’t changing the amount of produce being consumed, but by focusing on the issue Russians are facing it puts this endless supply of food into focus.

Oleg is now back in Moscow; returning at his mother’s request as she is still deep in grief about the son she lost at war and his new role within the KGB is also about the food supply issues at hand. Bribery is a huge part of the problem and his new boss wants him to get to the very top of the matter, which might include some very powerful people who know his very powerful father. Oleg is quick to accept and his guilt about what happened to Nina has already led to him helping the FBI; when he sees just how corrupt the whole system is will this further push him toward Stan? Stan for his part is concerned about why Oleg has flown back home and whether he has been burned with regard to his part in the William.


Speaking of William as he makes a surprise appearance in “Amber Waves” and he gave me a reason to yell “What’s in the box?” at the screen, which I am always happy to do. Before this comes Gabriel telling Philip and Elizabeth about William’s fate; how he wished he could’ve given him the fantasy ending of returning home and having a family. Instead he died a painful death and after Elizabeth calls him a hero, Philip bitterly responds that maybe they can put him on a stamp.

This isn’t the end of their association with William and deadly pathogens as the last quarter of “Amber Waves” involves a whole lot of digging in a dialogue free sequence that involves the biggest team we have seen them work with. They break into Fort Detrick and dig a very deep hole to retrieve an important tissue supply from the now deceased William – oh hey Dylan Baker in a bag – and the exhausting nature of the task is shown in how long it takes. The team is so big because this mission is so arduous; digging in February is not easy and between the beanie hats (which I talk about at length here) and their visible breath this only adds to the extremes they are going to. At one point when Philip and Elizabeth are taking a break and sharing a flask it looks like a bleak picnic.


Everything looks like it is going according to plan, but as this is The Americans something goes wrong and Hans slips and falls into the hole landing on the open metal coffin cutting himself and exposing his blood to the Lassa virus. I was going to tweet how happy I was to see Hans again as he is now a vital part of their team and it is a good job that I didn’t. After a wordless exchange between Philip and Elizabeth – Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys are incredible at saying so much to each other with just their eyes – Elizabeth pulls out her gun and shoots Hans in the back of the head. They then dispose of his body in the same metal box as William and that’s another death to add to their list of bad feelings. We have seen Elizabeth kill without hesitation in the past, but I think this one is going to take its toll. As we saw Philip grappling with the weight of their job in season 2 after a whole lot of collateral damage, Elizabeth could be headed in the same direction.

The fact their daughter now knows who they are and is continuing to ask questions about what they do could add to this burden of guilt. Elizabeth is also in full training spirit and while Philip is having no luck with detracting Paige from spending time with Matthew, Elizabeth is trying a different tactic. As they circle around the awkwardness of a sex chat, Elizabeth teaches Paige that she needs to know how to protect herself; spy training 101. The Esprit sweatshirt that made an appearance in the promo is worn by Paige in the premiere and it is fun seeing such a fashion touchstone moment like this (also for more costume details check out my interview with costume designer Katie Irish here).


Philip and Elizabeth also have a fake new son. Someone they spend more time with than their actual one (poor Henry). Posing as a couple who are an airline pilot and flight attendant with an adopted Vietnamese son, Tuan (who is also an agent) this new mission is all about crops. Whereas biological weapons and the insidious nature of threatening a population with a disease was at the heart of season 4, food and stopping the supply of it is the weapon of choice this year. At the heart of it is always family and protecting that unit at all costs.

Speaking of family as Philip’s son has made his way out of Russia on the first part of his journey to meet his father. Much like the biological weapons last season that posed a threat throughout; there is also something unnerving about what Mischa’s trip to the U.S. is going to do for Philip and Elizabeth’s whole cover. He is the ticking time bomb headed their way and it’s not like they already have a lot on their spy and parental plate already.

As with the season finale this is a slow burn and it does what The Americans does best; somehow raising the stakes and tension levels to new heights. Setting up new stories, while threading the ones from the past and all while adding another layer to this intricate and complicated world. As we head into the almost final stretch with this penultimate season it looks like there is a still a lot of story to be told and I am excited to see how Philip and Elizabeth will handle the new and deep rooted challenges.

Outfit I Would Wear in 2017


Henry got tall and he’s also wearing another ski like jacket that I am coveting hard. Elizabeth is still up their with her strong coat game and I’m glad to see a return to silk blouses and high waisted pants now there is no IRL bump to cover up. Also Philip’s still got the best dad sweaters in the business.

Out of the Box: Look of the Week

3 Mar

Award season has come to a close and every year it seems to get longer and longer. But I’m okay with that as it gives us plenty to talk about at TV Ate My Wardrobe. Before you know it there will be Emmy roundtable discussions occurring.

First we have the best of the post-Oscars looks from the Vanity Fair party including several switched outfits from the main show so they can party without worrying about anyone stepping on their train. There are also a couple of FX premieres and a flaming hot ad campaign to keep us busy. viola-davisSwitching from the stunning red Armani gown for a fantastic Brandon Maxwell white ladysuit and Stella McCartney platform shoes, which are probably way more comfy than stacked heels. Love this entire look and Viola Davis crushed both her sartorial choices. The Oscar also looks pretty great.emma-stoneI liked, but didn’t love Emma Stone’s gold embroidered Givenchy Art Deco adjacent gown for the main ceremony, which is why I didn’t include it in my gown rundown. But it is a very different story for this second Givenchy ensemble and this slip/blazer combo is giving me so many mid-90s feelings. This outfit is far from fancy enough for the main event and yet it is ideal for celebrating the big win without worrying about delicate beading of her first gown.

This is something I’ve spoken about in previous post-awards discussion as I love a good behind the scenes getting ready diary and Emma Stone did this one for Vogue with her makeup artist Rachel Goodwin. So many Nars products I now want in my makeup bag.ruth-negga

As with Viola Davis, Ruth Negga scored a double style win on Sunday night switching from dreamy red Valentino into a glitzy Oscar De La Renta. While the spill fear is high with all three of these dress changes – so much white – they all make a whole lot of sense in the ‘not having to worry about anyone stepping on the bottom of their dress’ thing.mindy-kalingMindy Kaling gives great floral in floor length Naeem Khan at the VF party and I’m feeling all set for spring (the rain that is pouring down also might have something to do with this).jon-hammJon Hamm in a tux is never not great.janelle-monaeA post Spirit Awards/pre Oscars night out for Janelle Monáe attending a Chanel party in West Hollywood and stepping outside her signature black and white zone in a very sparkly Chanel tuxedo dress. All the heart eyes for this outfit choice, lipstick and how much Monáe has lit up TV Ate My Wardrobe during award season.sarah-paulsonNow award season is over it is time to switch the focus back to all the good TV that is premiering in March and April. Sarah Paulson is back on a Ryan Murphy project and at the Feud premiere she looks the retro part in vintage gingham Valentino. keri-russell-and-matthew-rhysFX is having quite the premiere week and at The Americans season 5 event Keri Russell does super sexy ladysuit in lace Gucci and Matthew Rhys mixes casual cool in Rag & Bone (NYFW pays off). Russell’s makeup artist Tina Turnbow gives another fabulous behind the scenes getting ready photo diary and as I mention above I love these extra red carpet details. Also I can’t resist all that eyeliner.

The Americans returns next week (Tuesday, March 7) and you can read my interview with costume designer Katie Irish here.mahershala-aliSeveral of the Moonlight cast were wearing Calvin Klein on Sunday night and after seeing shots on the Calvin Klein Instagram I figured a campaign was imminent; in fact it was out by the time I hit post. These images kept popping up on my Twitter TL all Monday and each time there was a whole lot of face fanning. You can see more of this campaign here and this one of Oscar winning actor Mahershala Ali is a good place to start.

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