Archive | December, 2017

Best of 2017 – Work in Other Places

30 Dec

Welcome to the Best of 2017! Today I am going to do a Greatest Hits rundown of my work in other places.

2017 is the year I decided to spread my pitching wings. It has been a year of ups and downs. Articles that have been percolating that were fully realized. Figuring out how to not take rejection too personally. Sometimes ideas are not great. Sometimes they need more work. I’m in a better position than I have ever been in before in my writing career, there is still a long way to go. But my confidence level when it comes to pitching is higher. I’m no longer terrified when I hit ‘send.’ Well, not always. I also expanded beyond just TV; below you will also find fashion history and essays on film.

Here are the pieces I am most proud of from this year. As always I am thankful to the editors that make me a better writer and to friends and family that are there for me through the triumphs and tears. And everyone reading, you make it all worth it.

How Wonder Woman Subverts the Makeover Montage

I have been reading Elle magazine since I was 13-years-old. I am a subscriber to both the UK and US editions. This was by far the coolest thing that happened to me writing wise. Getting to talk about Wonder Woman and the makeover montage trope was a dream come true. This was also one of my favorite movies of the year. Lindy Hemming’s costume design from both the actual Wonder Woman costume to the London garb is incredible and deserves celebrating. Plus I got to talk CluelessShe’s All ThatNot Another Teen Movie and The Americans.

How the Henley Shirt Went From Workman’s Undershirt to CW Staple 

My relationship with Racked does not go back as far as my one with Elle, but I have been a big fan of this site for a long time; I love the mix of historical pieces, fashion industry deep dives and shopping advice. Often I’ll remark when a dude is wearing a henley on Twitter and after semi-jokingly mentioning that I should write an article looking into why, I decided to put my money where my mouth is. And it turned into one of my favorite pieces of the year.

The Bloody Consequences of Wearing a Straw Hat After Summer

Fashion history with an unexpected twist is what this straw hat essay is all about. After reading about the Straw Hat Riots of 1922 in Neil Steinberg’s “Hatless Jack” I knew I had to find out more. This led to one of many New York Times archive deep dives—the access to the archives is worth the subscription fee alone—and this article for Racked.

Is The Americans Setting Paige Up as a Classic “Final Girl”?

For Collider I got to write one of my most out there theories this year, where I explored the idea of Paige from The Americans through the lens of the horror movie “Final Girl” trope. It will make sense when you read it.

Why Game of Thrones Is Stuck in the Past with a Manufactured Stark Sibling Rivalry

The season 7 finale of Game of Thrones redeemed some of the Sansa/Arya issues with a moment that made me scream “fuck yes!” at my TV. But it doesn’t make up for how sloppy their plot trajectory was before this point. At Collider I vented about why this storyline missed the mark by a long way.

‘Halt and Catch Fire’ Series Finale: Legacy, Hope, and Getting Us to the People

Something that definitely did not miss the mark was the final season of Halt and Catch Fire. I wept my way through the finale and somehow turned those emotions into this goodbye to Cam, Donna, Gordon and Joe.

The Power of Love and White Costuming on The Leftovers

Another finale that broke me into a million pieces was The Leftovers. My weekly column at The Observer gave me the chance to deep dive into the use of white costuming and the overall love story aspect of my favorite show of 2017.

The Handmaid’s Tale Costume Designer on the Series’ Wardrobe Influences

This was also a year that involved a lot of interviews with a variety of costume designers covering both film and TV. Also a learning curve, including grappling with technology. This is now the third time I have interviewed Ane Crabtree (previously for Westworld and Masters of Sex). I am so glad I got to discuss the iconic costumes from The Handmaid’s Tale and the way this look has been adopted by political resistance movements IRL.

Disguises to Adidas: The Americans Costume Designer Shares Tricks of the Spy Trade

Another repeat interview subject for me is Katie Irish, The Americans costume designer. This time we discussed retro sports apparel, using high school year books for research and her personal connection to one particular disguise from season 5.

TV For All Seasons: Costumes Across Climates on The Americans and Girls

The idea of summer and winter shows is something I have been obsessing about for a long time. I wrote about it for The Observer.

How Call Me By Your Name Dispels the “Beard” Stereotype By Portraying Sexuality As Fluid

I haven’t stopped thinking about Call Me By Your Name, it is my favorite film of 2017. So I am very pleased that in my first piece for Bustle, I explored the portrayal of different forms of desire and how this film didn’t lean into ‘beard’ stereotypes.

What Princess Margaret’s Love Story on The Crown Can Teach Us About Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Relationship

Another piece that allowed me to fall down a New York Times archive hole while looking at the parallels between a romance on The Crown and the recent Prince Harry/Meghan Markle courtship (going old school). Things haven’t really changed a great deal since 1960 when it comes to the way tabloids discuss Royal romance.

For all Best of 2017 pieces including my personal essay on The Americans head here.

Happy New Year! And thanks for reading.


Best of 2017 – Out of the Box: Look of the Week (Part 2)

29 Dec


Welcome to the Best of 2017! Today we are celebrating the outfits that lit up “Out of the Box” on a weekly basis.

The one consistent column here at TV Ate My Wardrobe is “Out of the Box,” a weekly round-up of the outfits that make my jaw drop, inspire or just look really fucking cool. We have already celebrated magazine covers—which can be found here—so now it is time for other public appearances, with a few magazine editorials thrown in.

The only rule is that the outfits in question had to appear as part of an “Out of the Box” column, so a lot of awards, TCA and other major moments are missing as they had their own articles dedicated to them. But it was hard enough to narrow down a reasonable list so this post didn’t sprawl for days. In order of what month they appeared, here are my fave Look of Week entries.  Best Leopard Print

Every award season there are a handful of actors who light up the red carpet/talk shows/magazines at every single turn. One such person during the last awards cycle was Ruth Negga. Negga kicks off the rundown in a MOVIE STAR outfit that looks straight out of Carol, causing so many dreamy sighs. Leopard print and olive green leather never looked better. Best Stripes

Sundance always delivers on the knit front (and you can see more excellent winter lewks here). Armie Hammer is working two of my favorite things—no not an arm sling—stripes and sweaters. This also shows how long the promotional/awards life of a movie can be as Call Me By Your Name was a big hit at this festival in January and it has now only just been released wide across the U.S. I know I am not unique when I say it is my fave film of 2017. Best Oscar Outfit Change

As I mention above, the outfits that appear here all featured on “Out of the Box” so no Oscar dresses. But the Vanity Fair party is fair game. Viola Davis crushed it with her red Armani gown and then again in a white Brandon Maxwell ladysuit paired with Stella McCartney platforms. The Oscar statue makes a great accessory, but my eyes are on Davis. Best Casual Talk Show Arrival

The talk show exit/arrival will often feature the outfit that will be worn on the show as this acts as a great low-key runway. But not always (see also Tatiana Maslany) and here Yara Shahidi goes casual cool giving me so many strong mustard cardigan feelings. Shahidi has been a repeat “Out of the Box” fixture in 2017 and I imagine this will be the case next year too. Best Introduction 

Back in April, Kelly Marie Tran was introduced as a new Star Wars cast member and she did so in style. This ruffled shirt dress is the kind of spin on a classic outfit that I am here for (none of this deconstructed shirt business). Plus those sparkly shoes add a touch of fun glitz to proceedings. Tran continued to thrill on the red carpet, particularly very recently.Best Fancy Sequins

At the MTV Movie and now TV Awards nothing made me happier than this photo of Taraji P. Henson and Tracee Ellis Ross in a prom pose covered in sequins.Best Airport Style

When flying in for the Cannes Film Festival expect cameras at the airport. Kirsten Dunst has picked the perfect outfit leaning into ’70s casual, even if high-waisted jeans don’t make the most comfortable sitting.

Bonus Jesse Plemons kicks off this mini Best IRL Couples of TV Ate My Wardrobe section. Best Polo

Every year the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic delivers on the crisp collars, sunglasses and general chic summer attire. 2017 was no different with Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys switching out ’80s spy garb for stripes, ruffles and straw hats. Best Fancy Tiling Adjacent Patterns

The Big Sick is another film that makes my Top 10 from this year. At the premiere in June, Emily V. Gordon looked stunning in a dress that also doubles as a pattern for fancy tiling in the bathroom of my dream house. Great lipstick choice too. Kumail Nanjiani also scrubs up well. Best Putting A Bird On It

Also in the same week in June, Zendaya at one of the many Spider-Man events, continued to show what a strong sartorial presence she is in this Delpozo ensemble. Best Colorful Strips

At the BET Awards, Issa Rae went bold in a rainbow Balmain blazer and formal shorts. Insecure costume designer Ayanna James also doubles Rae’s stylist and she gives her great outfits both on and off screen. Best Ladysuit (Part 1)

The Cut has done some of my favorite profiles of the year including this one with Insecure’s Yvonne Orji. The fact that she is wearing this fabulous ladysuit is an editorial bonus.
Best Ladysuit (Part 2)

Ditching the jacket and striking a pose for Interview that makes me want to frame this photo of Tatiana Maslany. Giving me Cosima in a tux vibes while also wearing some serious eyeliner flicks, which even the best YouTube tutorial, would still be impossible for me to recreate. Best Matching

At the Ingrid Goes West premiere, Aubrey Plaza and Elizabeth Olsen both wear almost matching Marc Jacobs in a spin on the plot of the movie they are promoting. A cute twist I am definitely on board. I loved Ingrid Goes West and other than some third act issues; it is the best look at Insta culture on film so far.Best Jester 

Harry Styles upped his style (sorry) game in 2017 leaning into some fun and decadent suits, often Gucci (such as the one above). One of the best deep dives into Styles’ style (sorry) story comes from Twitter pal Fiona and her ongoing thread noting the similarities between Styles and Cate Blanchett’s red carpet looks.Best Casual Sequins 

More Gucci treats with Lupita Nyong’o showing she is just as strong at casual red carpet style as she is with the fancy pants events.Best Botanics 

There has been a lot of florals on the red carpet this year. My favorite came late in the year from Zoe Kazan. It is a complete coincidence that there are three very different Gucci looks in a row, but it also shows just how strong (and leaning to my twee adjacent taste) this brand has been in 2017.Best Striking a Pose

Ending out of calendar sequence because this is the perfect shot to celebrate the style highs of 2017. Embracing the fanfare and decadence of Cannes are Elle Fanning, Nicole Kidman and Kirsten Dunst. All wearing dresses that look just as fabulous from behind as they do from the front.

Here’s to more sartorial wonders in 2018!

Best of TV 2017: The Best Songs

28 Dec

Welcome to TV Ate My Wardrobe’s Best of 2017! Today we are celebrating the best music. 

It is an annual tradition in these parts to celebrate the songs that made an impact on TV. Most of the music I listen to is a band I have discovered via television or a playlist from particular show. This year has been dominated by Big Little LiesThe LeftoversHalt and Catch Fire and Master of None, but there are a number of other shows that crushed it on the music supervision front.

As with the 2016 playlist, I have compiled this one for Collider and it has stretched to 35-tracks from 27 different shows. Covering drama, comedy and reality television; from network, cable and streaming platforms. There are songs that will make you cry, ones to get you dancing, sing along to and tracks that will be stuck in your head for days/weeks (looking at you Crazy Ex-Girlfriend). Music can really shape a scene; enhancing emotions and later causing you to flashback to that moment as soon as you hear a few bars from the song. Any song that has been in The Leftovers will pretty much make me well up in a Pavlovian response. I have danced in my kitchen while making pasta to the “Guarda come dondolo” by Edoardo Vianello from Master of None. And just like Gretchen from “You’re the Worst,” I will bellow at the top of my lungs to “Zombie.”

There are also those tracks that are memorable for other reasons, including this jaw dropping moment from Ru Paul’s Drag Race with reactions caught on camera at Flaming Saddles in LA.

An even more iconic moment occurred in the Drag Race finale. Over at The AV Club, Allison Shoemaker goes deep with her analysis of Sasha Velour’s incredible performance, instantly becoming one of my favorite pieces of writing from this year.


There are a lot of individual tracks that I could highlight in the playlist and over at Collider I do go into more detail, but just know that each has been picked because it left its mark in one way or another.

To listen to the whole playlist head here.

Best of 2017 – Out of the Box: Look of the Week (Part 1)

22 Dec

Welcome to the TV Ate My Wardrobe Best of 2017 coverage! As with”Out of the Box” highlights from previous years everything that features here has already appeared in “Look of the Week.”

There have been a lot of amazing magazine covers this year featured on “Out of the Box.” The first part of this 2017 rundown is dedicated to these striking images. Twelve covers from twelve different magazines. Ruth Negga was a constant fixture this year on “Out of the Box,” particularly during award season. Another Magazine delivered the first stunning issue of the year back in February. Ten months later and it is still on my coffee table. Pride of place. Mahershala Ali was another star of award season, so when GQ unveiled this cover in June it was met with much joy. Considering how grey and miserable it is right now, it is also the boost December needs.Vanity Fair celebrates Serena Williams and motherhood in a beautifully stripped down manner. A nod to Demi Moore’s VF cover from fifteen years ago, while being completely about Serena.
The heritage print revival of 2017 has been one of my fashion highlights. Lena Headey’s walk through the highlands for The Edit was just the way to showcase this sartorial spin. I have strong positive feelings about Kirsten Dunst and polka dots. The two combined on this Nylon cover is the dream. Plus this profile is by glass brick aficionado and one of my culture writer faves, Molly Lambert. Another ‘still on the coffee table’ issue. Best use of millennial pink goes to The Hollywood Reporter with their profile of multi-hyphenate Donald Glover.Everything about Sterling K. Brown’s Emmy win makes me happy. Including Variety’s celebration of this. And Brown’s fabulous socks. Usually the clothes worn on covers cost at least a few months rent, not so with Samira Wiley’s Stylist shot. Here she wears Urban Outfitters and Uniqlo in the most autumnal colors. This is another magazine that is still on my coffee table. Sometimes all you need to make you stop and stare at a magazine cover is a simple beauty shot. The November issue of Allure does just this; Kerry Washington looks like is staring into your soul.What a fun, striking cover from Entertainment Weekly featuring Constance Wu and Henry Golding. And I am already super excited to see Crazy Rich Asians. The costuming is extravagant, plus that velvet suit is bang on trend. The last couple of months has been dominated by Lady Bird chat, the woman of the hour Greta Gerwig deservedly getting a lot of attention. This black and white Bust cover is giving me a lot of Frances Ha feelings. My favorite kind.This is how to do a debut issue. New British Vogue Editor-In-Chief, Edward Enniful made a huge splash with a striking cover starring Model of the Year, Adwoa Aboah. Evoking classic ’80s cover shots without feeling derivative.

Best of TV 2017: ‘The Americans’ and the Meaning of Marriage  

20 Dec

Welcome to TV Ate My Wardrobe’s Best of 2017 Coverage. As with previous years I am looking at the last 12 months through the lens of costume design. The below essay is a little different to the usual costume focused essays, this one goes deep on the personal angle. It is also become an annual tradition to deep dive into The Americans at this time of year. One of my favorite episodes of 2017 was “Darkroom” which brought together so many compelling elements. Out of all the headwear, I never quite expected this Philip and Elizabeth to wear crowns, but they did and it was delightful.Two months before my wedding day, my dad died. It wasn’t out of the blue, but it was a shock nonetheless. He’d been in hospital for a couple of months and despite the cheery assertions that he would still walk me down the aisle by my mother, I think I already knew this wouldn’t be the case. When he was first admitted and it didn’t seem like there was too much cause for concern the calls and texts were constant, at all times of the day and night. He was bored. But I was busy; writing during the day and an evening job. Plus wedding prep.

I was impatient and quick to get him off the phone because I didn’t want to hear his overly detailed descriptions of the way his body was betraying him or that his neighbor was really loud—my dad wasn’t wrong as I could hear his roommate over the phone. When we were at the local register office giving notice—equivalent to a marriage license—prior to the wedding, I had to step out to take a call from him. Standing on a loud street with cars whizzing by made it near-impossible to hear him, when I told him what we were doing he got teary. It was in this moment that it became clear he wasn’t getting better. And the lure of giving his youngest daughter away wasn’t a motivator, but an emotional burden. Continuing to pretend that he would make it was probably something my mother needed, she cheerfully told me he would be there. The lies our parents tell to reassure. The promises they make that are outside of their control.

Giving notice in the UK involves answering a few questions about your betrothed—name, occupation, parents occupation, date of birth—all things that shouldn’t trip you up. All the details that will appear on your legal binding marriage certificate. On The Americans, Philip and Elizabeth are married. They have the paperwork. But up until the season five episode “Darkroom” this union is based on a lie. There was no wedding ceremony, their real names aren’t Philip and Elizabeth Jennings. Only revealing their real names to each other after almost twenty years together because their instructions upon meeting was to discount anything and everything from their previous lives. They are Russian spies on a deep cover long-term operation infiltrating various governmental organizations on behalf of the motherland. A previously unaired flashback shows them getting this paperwork sans ceremony. You don’t need the pomp and flair if it is a work arrangement and not the real deal.

Lines between truth and fiction blur at every turn on The Americans and ultimately this fake marriage is the very foundation of this show. The penultimate season went deep on the introspective side as the consequences of the spy business continue to take their emotional toll. It wasn’t as revered critically and it suffered from the preamble to the big final season, as Breaking Bad did before it. And yet there are moments I haven’t stopped thinking about since it aired; Elizabeth passing down self-defense lessons to her daughter, a showdown with someone who had committed war crimes under the most complicated circumstance and the ultimate marriage/work compromise. Big explosive moments haven’t included a gunfight for some time, but the sense of dread lingers. The body count continues to rise and it is hard to imagine a happy ending for many of these characters when the series ends in 2018.But there was a brief glimmer of joy and a moment that so unexpected it took my breath away. Weddings come in all shapes and sizes; I’ve been to one with only seven guests, another with over two hundred—mine was down the middle of these two extremes. In season one Philip married Martha, the secretary he had seduced under the guise of an Internal Affairs agent called Clark. Vows were exchanged in front of their nearest and dearest, but Clark Westerfeld doesn’t really exist. And not in the same way Philip Jennings doesn’t really exist. Martha meant every word, unaware that this ceremony was a means to an end. One person present was Elizabeth, and at this point they had recently separated after a lie so devastating pushed them apart. While dressed as Clark’s sister Jenny, she asked Philip if these marital words would have kept them together. A point that becomes moot soon after when she asks him to come home in the season one finale. And using their mother-tongue. One of the handful of times Elizabeth or Philip revert to their first language.

One of the smartest decisions The Americans showrunners Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields made after this request from Elizabeth was to refrain from using breaking up as a Philip and Elizabeth plot point. Television often makes the mistake of thinking friction can only come in shades of relationship disintegration and getting back together. Conflict still swirls around them in the extremes; their daughter is targeted to become a next-gen spy and ideological differences still threaten this unit. Both of them sleep with other people as part of the job, little jealousies niggle. In season four Elizabeth wondered if circumstances were different, then would Philip leave with Martha as a means to escape “this whole life.” His emphatic “I love you” was a resounding answer to this rare moment of visible emotional vulnerability from a character that is often mislabeled as ‘cold.’ A promise made only to Elizabeth.

Marriage vows come in many forms; some write their own, others repeat the words said before them. My husband is Catholic, I am not. His uncle is a Bishop, we were married in a cathedral. I am not particularly religious—I was raised very relaxed Church of England—but I knew how important it was to my then-fiancé that we got married in a Catholic ceremony. The Pinterest quote business is full of declarations on marriage and compromise, so while I’m not going to frame one in my kitchen or cross-stitch a pillow with this sentiment, I do endorse this notion. The ceremony that took place on The Americans this season also includes a big religious compromise due to limitations regarding their real identities.

A Russian Orthodox ceremony isn’t what you would expect a Soviet KGB Agent to participate in, but wedding planners, the dream dress and a room filled with their friends and family is not an option. Instead, wearing light disguise—hats/glasses and no wigs—Philip drives Elizabeth to secluded warehouse location. Elizabeth “doesn’t like surprises” because what spy does, this nighttime drive to a sketchy looking building isn’t exactly top of her list of ways to relax after a long day of espionage.

Romantic overtures don’t just fall by the wayside because Elizabeth isn’t a fan of spontaneity  and a half-giddy smile from Philip at this complaint is enough to prove this isn’t work related peril. A lot of the best work on The Americans is done in the silent moments; reading people’s faces is part of their job and wordless exchanges between the pair often say so much more than a page of dialogue ever could. Often it feels like Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys have entire conversations without uttering a word, it is a testament to their acting that this never feels labored or like we’re missing the big picture. An oath can be made with a look of the eye. Producing their fake marriage license and asking “You want to make it official?” is The Americans version of holding a boombox over Philip’s head and we don’t need to hear Elizabeth’s response to know it is a yes. It’s not a cathedral, but the basement of this abandoned warehouse looks romantic and intimate because candlelight will do that. There’s no change into a surprise gown; the pleather jacket and jeans will do. There’s no one to walk Elizabeth down the aisle or friends in pews to witness this exchange. Everything they have been and done as adults has been for country and cause—including their children—this is wholly theirs. A secret that no one can steal or use against them. Philip mentions his lack of options, hence the priest, but notes “he’s from home” as an extra selling point. Adding in a whisper, “I know it’s not perfect, with God and everything” but being met with the kind of smile that shows this doesn’t matter.

The rings they have been wearing for two decades are removed and what follows is five minutes of a Russian Orthodox ceremony using their birth names of Mikhail and Nadezhda. Phrases such as “servant of God” and “handmaiden of God” don’t fit with their staunch atheist backgrounds, switch this out for country and it sounds like their vows to the cause they are fighting for. Subtitles reveal the meaning behind the words spoken including the phrase “indestructible union of love,” the notion of free will, not being promised to another. There is no one to object even if someone like Martha would lay claim to Philip’s heart. It only belongs to one person.

Matrimonial ceremonies differ in the words they use, but ultimately they all contain the same platitudes; honor, a promise to this one person. Not all ceremonies include crowns to mark the bond. After years of witnessing these two characters in endless hats and wigs, it is fitting to see elaborate headwear. And after years of witnessing bloody weddings on a show where crowns feature prominently, it is nice to experience one that doesn’t come with a body count or threats of sexual violence.

Music swirls, more smiles are exchanged, they return home and their new rings are placed in a hiding place in the laundry room. An embrace that looks like the kind you could live in happens before the light gets turned out on their secret stash of things of great importance—this is also where Elizabeth stored cassette tapes from her mother. There’s no honeymoon period as they get back to work; first doing some travel agency business at home. It might be a cover job, but it still requires actual work. Followed by showing their daughter Paige, the home darkroom they can set up when photographs of a sensitive nature need developing. Marriage is the foundation of The Americans, family is its heart. The impact of this world on their children is something that has been troubling Philip as he explores his own childhood experiences with the help of est—a pop-psychology program that focused on self actualization—and tries to work through the awful things he has done in service to his country. The awful things his father did in service to his country. If the wedding ceremony was a brief respite from the problems that have been plaguing Philip, then the revelation in Paige’s photographs is another in a series of chipping away at Philip’s ability to do his job effectively. What these pictures reveal are the thoughts of Pastor Tim in his private journal; he wonders if they are monsters, the damage they have done to Paige mentally. As this family unit is bathed in red light and the words flash up on screen, Philip’s worst fears have been verbalized by an outsider.

Sitcoms and soaps often use a wedding as a way to add conflict and as a cliffhanger; someone objects, another couple gets together, an unexpected pregnancy is revealed, wrong names are spoken. A wedding is often a culmination of a multi episode story arc, in a way The Americans has been leading to this moment from the pilot. From fake married to an unbreakable bond.

My wedding took place just over six months prior to this episode, but I have been thinking a lot about the way this social construct is discussed in relation to these characters and their motivations. Whenever Matthew Rhys or Keri Russell are asked about what drew them to this project or what they relish about working on this show the central marriage is always the answer. It is a marriage show that also happens to be about KGB spies. Now, I’m not a spy, nor is my husband (that I know of) and the real triumph of The Americans is how it navigates the relationship waters. We were together for ten years before he proposed, twelve before we were married. As with Philip and Elizabeth, the reason we got married was for us and not because of external pressure.

Again weddings and reasons for getting married or not vary from couple to couple. This exchange between Philip and Elizabeth is an act of defiance, a declaration that this union is more than a tie to their homeland. Earlier in the penultimate season after an innocent man is killed, Elizabeth offers to do these operations alone, but Philip responds with “It’s us.” There’s no way he can picture this scenario despite how much it is tearing him up; they have sworn to do this together. But circumstances change and compromises are made. It is what leads to the season five climax as Philip doesn’t destroy the tape that could set them free, if only he didn’t tell Elizabeth its contents. This action allows her to say she’ll go alone as a spy, to save him from breaking into a million pieces. All while staying true to the country she loves.

Parents can’t always protect their children from harsh realities, sometimes things don’t work out the way you hoped. A promise isn’t always an unbroken pact. It is hard to ignore the many forces working against them and the final season is likely to shatter any illusion that they’ll all make it out unscathed. But in that basement wearing crowns in candlelight, speaking their native tongue an incandescent glow briefly takes them out of the spy world and back to where they came from.

Out of the Box: Look of the Week – A Star Wars Special

15 Dec

I have seen The Last Jedi. I love The Last Jedi. I’m not going to go into detail so don’t worry about spoilers here, but there are so many satisfying moments.

Instead, this is an all Star Wars “Out of the Box” and as with The Force Awakens this has been a very fun and sartorially pleasing promotional tour.Kicking off where the premieres began with the huge LA red carpet event. When in a Star Wars movie and you’re the lead, wear stars. Daisy Ridley does just this in a sparkly sequin Monse.A stunning Vogue cover last week, a very fun and super sexy Halpern frock at the Last Jedi premiere for Lupita Nyong’o this week. This is part underwater sea goddess, part festive feeling with all those sequins.Also causing me to use all the flames and heart eyes emojis is Laura Dern, wearing lace Vivienne Westwood.When it is your first major red carpet event for the HUGE movie you are in go big. Kelly Marie Tran did just this custom Thai Nguyen Atelier. From her first appearance at a Star Wars event she has made a strong style impact. This is beyond adorable.John Boyega gives great turtleneck paired with a suit, Gwendoline Christie’s silver Gucci is a stunner and Domhnall Gleeson just makes me feel things.

And there is this, which gets even better the more I watch it.Now to London, where it is was really, really cold and Kelly Marie Tran sensibly opted for long sleeves and whole lot of fabric in Bibhu Mohapatra. And I love how happy she looks here.  Caption this.

Photographer Jason Bell took a series of portraits of the cast for British Vogue in their premiere getup and Oscar Isaac is giving off so much Old Hollywood style. Super smoldering.

Bell also took the super steamy Crown photos including the one that is currently my phone lock screen image

This cast really seems to like each other a lot and at a London photocall we get this Boyega/Ridley/Hamill treat. Great Mulger ladysuit action from Daisy Ridley.

And while we’re on the ladysuit love train; Laura Dern crushing it back in New York and in the snow.


Out of the Box: Look of the Week

8 Dec

This column has recently turned into more than just the ‘Look of the Week’ and is part rundown of my week in pop culture. There are of course still plenty of sartorial moments featured; this time of year is always a very fun and busy one. Award season continues, the Last Jedi press tour is in full swing and magazine covers continue to deliver.

This week I wrote about the shift in season between summer and winter on Broad City including where to get similar (and affordable) outfits.This was the first year I partook in the Fug Girls ‘Guess the Vogue cover star game’ and I got 2/12—Zendaya and Daisy Ridley—a pretty bad strike rate. I did not guess Lupita Nyong’o, but I do love this cover shot. And I am more than impressed with Lupita’s balancing act in that dress.

I cannot wait to see the Gina Rodriguez article and Rodriguez’s Instagram Stories are super inspiring on the fitness front. Yes I tried the walking up the wall/push ups thing. No it did not go well. Sarah Paulson in sequins is alwayswinning combination, this cover of The Edit featuring a dress by Ashish continues this trend. The all-red editorial is a stunner and I was particularly taken by this quote from Paulson

“I am a woman of a certain age who chose not to have children, and who has made my career my priority. I am the captain of my own ship, and I’ve never looked to anyone else to validate that, or tell me it’s okay.”

I am very much looking forward to seeing Paulson alongside other TV faves in The Post.Star Wars: The Last Jedi is now less than a week away. The promo tour continues and pretty much all of the core cast appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! last Friday. Daisy Ridley has turned the backstage area into her own personal catwalk and looks stunning in Carolina Herrera and super sparkly Louboutins—giving me wedding shoe flashbacks.

The talk show preamble often features the outfit a guest is going to wear on the show. Something that Star Wars newbie Kelly Marie Tran wasn’t aware of.

This is a delightful post (and for the record I think her casual outfit is great).Also to be filed under delightful; at the Last Jedi press conference Oscar Isaac wore a cardigan that I now want to live in. And keeping it bright in a color block jacket is John Boyega.At the GQ ‘Men of the Year’ party the Call Me By Your Name team all scrub up well. Michael Stuhlbarg looks like the dad of the group—which makes sense— and director Luca Guadagnino has toned it down from the Gotham Awards, but still has a fun collar detail. What I love is that Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet are both going for plaid in very different ways. How very Oliver and Elio of them.

You can read my take on the portrayal of sexual fluidity in CMBYN here.This award season has been lacking the Ruth Negga factor, so it was wonderful to see her at the London Evening Standard Theatre Awards looking a dream in red Valentino.Another TV Ate My Wardrobe fave, Cush Jumbo looks suitably festive in Michael Kors. I cannot wait for The Good Fight to come back.Showing how to do formal sweater is Winnie Harlow in Brandon Maxwell. Considering I am currently wrapped in knitwear, this is something I very much appreciate. Harlow is going full ‘Jolie Leg’ but so would I if my shoes were that sparkly.What better way to spend breakfast than the Hollywood Reporter’s 2017 Women In Entertainment. Kathryn Hahn ticks all the fabulous ladysuit boxes, even if she has gone for beige pumps.  This is more like it in the shoe department! And Gillian Jacobs has also gone for the ladysuit option with a pink Sandro ensemble.A fun game of ‘Is this Dior?’ on Jennifer Lawrence is usually determined by how much I like it. If it is a hit then the answer is usually no. And in this case that instinct is spot on, as this dreamy frock is Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini.Yara Shahidi is also wearing Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini in a dress that I would definitely spill my coffee and eggs down, but also looks lovely on the soon to be Grown-ish star.More striking white, This is Us fave Susan Kelechi Watson gives great peplum in Zeena Zaki.Gabrielle Union in a pair of pants that look a little like the French Connection pair I wore non-stop in 2000 (until they were ruined with an accidental cigarette burn of my own making) at the Refinery29 29Rooms Los Angeles: Turn It Into Art Opening Night.

This New York Times profile of Union, her book and doing a promotional tour of this raw, personal material over the last couple of months is a must read. It left me in tears and the last two months has been intense. But Union has been talking about this long before the #metoo movement and she discusses this in the profile. And now for the Time ‘Person of the Year’ issue. As I mentioned above the last couple of months have been rough. This reckoning has been coming for a long time, it is obviously a good thing that these horrific acts are coming to light and the women and men that have come forward are honored in this way. This cover is incredibly striking.

There has been much debate about Taylor Swift’s placement and I think she should definitely have been included in the piece, but someone like Kesha (if they wanted a pop person in that place) would have been a better choice for the front cover. But also I get that Time wants to sell magazines.Summing up 2017 in one expression from Nicole Kidman; the Great Performers issue of New York Times Magazine is always amazing. This year is no exception.

Out of the Box: Look of the Week

1 Dec

The Gotham Awards dominates the sartorial coverage this week with Call Me By Your Name and Lady Bird taking home some of the big prizes in both the style and film stakes. There are lots of looks to drool over. I also wrote my first piece for Bustle about Call Me By Your Name and you can read it here.

A big style theme of the week is velvet and the red color spectrum. Dive in below for a lot of both.Zoe Kazan is looking at Timothée Chalamet, how I imagine I would look at Timothée Chalamet at the Gotham Awards, where he picked up Breakthrough Actor.

Every year there is an actor who really brings it suit wise, sometimes it is a kid (see Jacob Tremblay), often it is an Ilaria Urbinati client (see Rami Malek/Riz Ahmed/Donald Glover) and now it looks like Chalamet could be set to join them. Velvet is a good place to start and this Berluit Fall suit is a cracking addition. Velvet is very on trend as you will see as you scroll through. Kazan looks delightful as ever.The Gotham Awards delivered on the fun pairings and this photo is hilarious. Armie Hammer scrubs up well, as always and Saoirse Ronan looks resplendent in Rodarte. This is surely one of many gongs she will be picking up for Lady Bird.Greta Gerwig is pretty in pink in Gucci and I am so happy with all the love she is getting. The year started off with 20th Century Women and the fact it is ending with all these nominations is amazing. More Call Me By Your Name/Big Sick hangouts and more velvet dreams. Critic Tomris Laffly caught the moment Chalamet and Kumail Nanjiani hugged it out while comparing their similar styling choices.

Plus, the couple that wears velvet together stays together and Emily V. Gordon is crushing it. Leopard print pumps are the perfect shoe choice. Meanwhile, CMBYN director Luca Guadagnino takes it to the next level with his jacket and shirt combo. I just found out that Dominique Fishback is playing Kenya in The Hate U Give (one of the best books I have read this year) and I can’t think of a better person to plat this part. Fishback crushed it recently in The Deuce and she was equally magnetic in Show Me a Hero.

I don’t always love a mullet hem, but this metallic Zac Posen frock looks stunning on her. Mudbound director Dee Rees continues to give great coats and she is also wearing the color that is dominating this week’s column. I plan on finally watching this movie at the weekend. At the AOL Build series for Mr. Roosevelt, Noël Wells looks cute af in an outfit I would definitely wear. In fact I have a very similar turtleneck.With just two weeks to go until The Last Jedi opens, the Star Wars cast is beginning to make late night appearances. Here is Daisy Ridley on The Tonight Show in an Ulla Johnson Tess jumpsuit and yep, it is velvet.  A simple, but striking outfit and no doubt Ridley will be making more appearances on here before 2017 is over. What’s that? You want more velvet?! Well, InStyle does not disappoint and neither does Zendaya in matching turquoise horse print.

Addressing the current onslaught of sexual harassment and assault allegations that has besieged Hollywood, Zendaya offers up a thoughtful point about those who have opened up about their horrific experiences:

“The bravery of the women who came forward is a huge step toward making sure it’s safer for me and other young women who are just coming. I’m at that prime age right now. Twenty-one. Starting off. That’s when people take advantage and abuse their power and do terrible shit. I think it’s definitely a sisterhood.”The second annual ‘Women in TV’ issue from The Edit is here! HBO is very well represented by Evan Rachel Wood, Yvonne Orji and Maggie Gyllenhaal. Network and streaming don’t miss out either thanks to Nicole Richie and Sarah Silverman. This is also a good mix of comedy and drama. The all-black outfits are pretty standard fair for this kind of cover, but each woman looks comfortable and fabulous in their ensemble.

Interviews cover everything from being a producer, diversity, to why it is so good to be working in TV at the moment. Evan Rachel Wood answers the latter rather succinctly and it is a point that is often made:

“I feel like [in film] after 23-ish, you go into this dead zone where you can’t play the little ingénue sexpot anymore, but you’re not quite playing mothers or doctors or lawyers yet. On TV, I see well-rounded female characters, their flaws [and] triumphs.”

TV is great, y’all.


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