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Empire and The Mindy Project Premiere Red Carpet Highlights

13 Sep

New York Fashion Week, Creative Arts Emmys, film festivals galore and fall TV premieres continue this weekend as the busy September calendar produces plenty of red carpet moments to talk about. Both Empire and The Mindy Project had their premieres this weekend with both showing off stylish outfits from beyond the screen.

Taraji P. HensonBlunt bangs and a striped take on the LBD for Empire’s Taraji P. Henson at Carnegie Hall and Cookie Lyon is up there for most anticipated character wardrobe for the new season.Taraji P. Henson purseThis Les Petits Joueurs Lego piano key clutch is everything. 

Naomi CampbellMetallic cool for Naomi Campbell and a super high sexy skirt slit.Mary J BligeQueen Mary J. Blige in a silver studded long sleeve black mini dress working one of the big trends of the evening.Mindy Kaling  Mindy premiereMoving onto The Mindy Project and Mindy Kaling switched out her super fancy red custom Salvador Perez for sparkly black Diane von Furstenberg. Xosha RoquemoreStriking red and black plaid, which is perfect for fall from Xosha Roquemore. And it is once again making me long for Freddie Lounds inspired knitwear. 

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The Wish List: Mindy’s Star Jumpsuit

11 Aug

The Mindy Project isn’t back yet, but it does have a premiere date! Making the move from Fox to Hulu and season 4 returns September 15; it is a busy month for Mindy Kaling as her book comes out September 29.

On Instagram Kaling has been posting plenty of behind the scenes photos which means we get an early look at the many incredible costumes she will be wearing this year from fabulous maternity attire to Sliding Doors inspired alt-world party dresses. Kaling is excellent at mentioning where the clothes are from pointing out when they are custom made by Mindy costume designer Salvador Perez or which brand they are; making the Wish List hunt all the easier (if not all that affordable).

A baby is coming and Kaling posted a photo of Mindy’s bringing home baby look with super cute braided pigtails, a Vivienne Westwood Anglomania star print jumpsuit and Isabel Marant sneakers.

This jumpsuit ticks many boxes reminding me that this was the year I said I would try this garment. Well I tried one on in a store which was an instant no, but I should really attempt it again. Star print is a fave and not just for sweaters. Plus as you can see from the model photo below it also has the all important pocket factor.

VW jumpsuitIn terms of being a bit practical as a coming home with baby outfit the buttons will also help with any breastfeeding needs.

The Mindy Project is a Wish List staple so expect plenty more costume chat and where to buy them from in the coming months.

 

Mindy Kaling’s Amazing Cannes Film Festival Fashion Parade

21 May

Mindy Kaling is a regular TV Ate My Wardrobe style fixture for both her on and off screen attire (and The Mindy Project will return) so Kaling’s recent overseas adventure has made me all a fashion fluster. This week Kaling has been showcasing her sartorial flare at the Cannes Film Festival in a variety of daytime pretty and stunning evening frocks documenting all these wardrobe changes on Instagram.

Appearing as the voice of Disgust, Kaling has been promoting the new Pixar movie Inside Out along with former Office co-star Phyllis Smith and Amy Poehler; the film has been getting a tremendous reception with plenty of tear inducing moments (I am so screwed if recent reactions are anything to go by).

Inside OutI love this photo so much with Poehler and Smith going for striking patterns while Kaling opts for a Roksanda Ilincic color block sleeve dress.

The detail is in the accessories with a fantastic Les Petits Joueurs clutch and Kimberly McDonald jewelry.

#insideout press conference in @kimberlymcdonaldjewelry

A post shared by Mindy Kaling (@mindykaling) on

 

And for some close up Poehler/Kaling giving good sunglasses face (with a surprise appearance from John Lasseter).

Poehler & Me with John Lasseter in deep BG #insideout

A post shared by Mindy Kaling (@mindykaling) on

Same day and a quick change as the ladies are joined by their Inside Out co-star Lewis Black all wearing 3D glasses to match the color of their character. More bold choices across the board embracing the sunny climate with Kaling killing it in matching Alexander McQueen flower collage jacquard skirt and crop top.

Inside Out CannesFor the big evening event Mindy opts for someone who knows her very well in custom Salavador Perez. Perez is the costume designer on The Mindy Project and he has created several other beautiful gowns in the past for these big events; it is clear why she trusts him.

Mindy KalingSimple, elegant and striking; working bold color blocking in a way her earlier dress choice hinted at.

Continuing fun fashion choices the following day in a floral mesh Sachin & Babi Noir F/W15 frock. Later on Kaling switched out her heels for Cons (as you can see in the video below maybe as a nod to Emily Blunt’s comments on the whole Cannes shoe controversy).

In @sachinandbabi and @ldezen for day two of #insideout press in Cannes

A post shared by Mindy Kaling (@mindykaling) on

And finally while Kaling has generally been playing in the red/pink/purple wheelhouse she ends things with jeans, black top and a splash of yellow in Tory Burch doing the cool chic jacket slung over her shoulders thing. The Edie Parker clutch from earlier in the day also works wonders.

In @toryburch

A post shared by Mindy Kaling (@mindykaling) on

Rounding this all off with the aforementioned Cons and a chat via The Hollywood Reporter about why you shouldn’t try and erase things from your past (you might end up in a sticky Back to the Future situation). Amy Poehler’s glasses are also excellent, as is her new hair color. Basically this has been a very good Cannes for Inside Out and its cast.

Good News/Bad News for The Mindy Project – Now Just Good News (Update)

7 May

Let’s get the bad news out of the way first and Fox has decided to not go ahead with a fourth season of The Mindy Project. However and here is the good news for Mindy fans (myself included) as it has been suggested that Hulu will be its new home with The Hollywood Reporter suggesting there will be a two-season order.

Last season ended on a cliffhanger with another big Danny gesture and there is still plenty of story left to tell with the central pairing (including how they both deal with parenthood). Plus where else are we going to see so many colorful and pattern clashing incredible outfits?! I need my Mindy fashion fix.

The Mindy Project 3.01So the ratings have not been good and it makes complete sense from a business perspective why Fox has cut the cord, plus unlike New Girl Fox doesn’t own the show, Universal does. It does perform well with streaming so Hulu is the ideal platform to take the reins. The Mindy Project has never been a ratings smash and the constant changes to the cast is not a good way to reinforce stability; however one aspect has been consistently brilliant throughout and this is the central relationship between Mindy and Danny. I have written many posts on the whole ‘will they/won’t they‘ aspect followed by how they successfully navigate the ‘what next?‘ and The Mindy Project is always at its best when it deconstructs/plays with/pays homage to the rom-com genre both Mindy Kaling and Mindy Lahiri adore.

So far Mindy Kaling hasn’t commented on this development aside from posting a video to her Instagram from Montana where she currently is. The wink and smile at the end would suggest this is not the end for The Mindy Project.

Hey guys, I'm in Montana, is anything happening in LA? #themindyproject

A post shared by Mindy Kaling (@mindykaling) on

 

In other Mindy Kaling news we now have a release date, cover photo and synopsis for her next book Why Not Me? I loved Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (even if it is a title which is hard to say out loud) and this one sounds just as good:

In Why Not Me?, Kaling shares her ongoing journey to find contentment and excitement in her adult life, whether its falling in love at work, seeking new friendships in lonely places, attempting to be the first person in history to lose weight without any behavior modification whatsoever, or most important, believing that you have a place in Hollywood when youre constantly reminded that no one looks like you.

In How to Look Spectacular: A Starlets Confessions, Kaling gives her tongue-in-cheek secrets for surefire on-camera beauty, (Your natural hair color may be appropriate for your skin tone, but this isn’t the land of appropriate–this is Hollywood, baby. Out here, a dark-skinned womans traditional hair color is honey blonde.) Player tells the story of Kaling being seduced and dumped by a female friend in L.A. (I had been replaced by a younger model. And now they had matching bangs.) In Unlikely Leading Lady, she muses on Americas fixation with the weight of actresses, (Most women we see onscreen are either so thin that they’re walking clavicles or so huge that their only scenes involve them breaking furniture.) And in Soup Snakes, Kaling spills some secrets on her relationship with her ex-boyfriend and close friend, B.J. Novak (I will freely admit: my relationship with B.J. Novak is weird as hell.)

Mindy turns the anxieties, the glamour, and the celebrations of her second coming-of-age into a laugh-out-loud funny collection of essays that anyone whos ever been at a turning point in their life or career can relate to. And those whove never been at a turning point can skip to the parts where she talks about meeting Bradley Cooper.

You can head to the Why Not Me? site for updates plus a look at the cover and it will hit bookstores September 29.

❤️

A post shared by Mindy Kaling (@mindykaling) on

Update!

Not surprising is the wonderful news that Mindy Project lives and will air its fourth season on Hulu. One big surprise is the amount of episodes Hulu has ordered as instead of a speculated 2 seasons they have instead gone for a whopping 26-episodes for this new season. Plenty of time for shenanigans.

Let’s start a dance party now.

 [source]

The Mindy Project, Nora Ephron and the Many Roads Traveled  

22 Mar

Commenting on Nora Ephron’s influence on Mindy Kaling is not like cracking an undiscovered code as the references to Ephron’s work in style and tone weaves its way through The Mindy Project. The nods come in a variety of ways and yet this is no copycat as Kaling’s voice is clear and her own; instead she uses what are now considered rom-com tropes (some of which Ephron pioneered) as jumping off points to subvert or celebrate.

The Mindy ProjectMindy Kaling’s love of this sadly currently much maligned genre (good rom-coms still exist with indie dominating in the decent stakes) is worn on her sleeve, sometimes also covered in hearts. With The Mindy Project this season we have seen what happens after the credits normally roll on a rom-com movie, as the couple has beaten whatever obstacle split them up mid story and they ask “What next?” This entails crossing into potentially creative choppy waters by turning a “will they/won’t they” couple into Facebook official and with whole new set of plot points to keep the tension high. Other shows have tried and failed with curses being cited to explain why others should be wary of attempting this shift. And of course we know the curse talk is bs; there are plenty of shows which have proved this and The Mindy Project is a shining example of why a “will they/won’t they” couple should take the plunge rather than forever dancing around maybe.

Returning to the influence factor and I recently bought The Most of Nora Ephron – an anthology of Ephron’s writing both fiction and non-fiction – and while I’ve previously read a lot of these pieces (and they’re so worth rereading) some are completely new to me. Quotes stand out with “Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim” being one of the defining Ephron sentiments, but it was while I burned my way through this book that I realized I had never read or seen the speech it came from in full. It is Nora Ephron’s commencement address to the Wellesley Class of 1996 which unleashed this inspiring notion (I say this in all sincerity while also eye rolling at myself) and one which is particularly relevant to Mindy’s journey this season.

In it Ephron discusses the dreaded ‘having it all’ debate and she manages to do it in a way which elicits fist pumps, giving the kind of confidence boost I mentioned in reference to Broad City last week. Here is a big, fabulous section which feels like it rather successfully points to Mindy Lahiri’s journey this season.

“Maybe young women don’t wonder whether they can have it all any longer, but in case any of you are wondering, of course you can have it all. What are you going to do? Everything, is my guess. It will be a little messy, but embrace the mess. It will be complicated, but rejoice in the complications. It will not be anything like what you think it will be like, but surprises are good for you. And don’t be frightened: you can always change your mind. I know: I’ve had four careers and three husbands. And this is something else I want to tell you, one of the hundreds of things I didn’t know when I was sitting here so many years ago: you are not going to be you, fixed and immutable you, forever.”

Mindy faced messiness and triumph in both her personal and professional life this season; she moved to San Francisco to further her career and moved back to New York to create something of her own. With Danny there have been bumps along the way and a bump of another kind changes this dynamic in an unplanned way for the couple. While everything is moving with some haste – which could be attributed to uncertainty about renewal – the confidence with how The Mindy Project has plotted the Mindy/Danny arc reads like the message in Ephron’s address.

For most of this season TV Ate My Wardrobe has focussed on the amazing costume design elements and along with the Mindy/Danny pairing this is where Mindy really shines. Yes there are other elements which are still on the messy side including the supporting cast revolving door – miss you, Adam Pally – and Jeremy’s been through so many tweaks it’s hard to remember which version of this character we are now viewing.

The season 3 finale is tonight, hopefully not the series finale because I want to see how Mindy and Danny will handle the next stage in their life and I want to see how this show will deal with having a baby. Their work place is babies, not their home life and we don’t tend to see any even there. Plus I like the idea of Mindy playing Ephron’s five things game:

“We have a game we play when we’re waiting for tables in restaurants, where you have to write the five things that describe yourself on a piece of paper. When I was your age, I would have put: ambitious, Wellesley graduate, daughter, Democrat, single. Ten years later not one of those five things turned up on my list. I was: journalist, feminist, New Yorker, divorced, funny. Today not one of those five things turns up in my list: writer, director, mother, sister, happy. Whatever those five things are for you today, they won’t make the list in ten years—not that you still won’t be some of those things, but they won’t be the five most important things about you.”

Confidence will bleed through and I’m pretty sure hot will definitely be on there no matter how many different roads present themselves for Mindy Lahiri; I just really want to see this next part of her journey.

Sundance Film Festival “Power of Story: Serious Ladies” Panel (Full Video)

27 Jan

The Sundance Film Festival is in full swing and at the weekend this fascinating panel featuring Mindy Kaling, Lena Dunham, Jenji Kohan and Kristen Wiig with New Yorker TV critic Emily Nussbaum moderating took place and they discussed their work within the current television and film climate.

Sundance panelThis is the kind of panel that I would love to see live or just go to a bar with these amazing women; this isn’t quite the dream hangout but hey I am so happy to see the Sundance Film Festival YouTube channel sharing the whole chat.

Topics covered include all the lazy gender specific questions that get thrown at them as writers who happen to be women, opportunities on TV, working with men who are feminists and using humor as a tool for debate. Likability vs. relatability – this is Emily Nussbaum’s essay on the topic – comes up as well as the idea that some viewers have trouble separating their character from who they actually are.

Romantic comedies and the recent attempts at this genre on film and TV including The Mindy Project get referenced and what kind of rom-coms they like. The all important “What next?” when a couple gets together is also mentioned and adding to ‘this panel is pretty much my everything’ feelings Jenji Kohan then cites You’re the Worst. This is further fueled by a sex scene question that stems from this episode of The Comeback.

And amazing Sundance style from all panelists. Jenji Kohan’s boots are next level. Excellent knitwear across the board. Plus Kristen Wiig further endears herself to me by revealing herself to be a spiller. Spiller solidarity.

The Wish List: Mindy’s Dinner Date Dress

2 Dec

Pattern and color is Mindy Lahiri’s signature on The Mindy Project with multiple prints being a staple style choice. Sometimes all you need is a pop of sparkle and in “How to Lose a Mom in 10 Days” Mindy went for a slightly more demure look. The dinner date intervention required a toned down approach and Mindy opted for an LBD.

Mindy 3.09This is an LBD with a twist and the Ted Baker ‘Reevah’ frock has a Mindy color pop with sparkly pink capped sleeves.

Mindy Ted Baker dressYesterday we gave you holiday party tips from the Broad City ladies and here is a dress that goes way beyond a dinner date; it is an ideal spin on LBD styling for a festive shindig.

The Wish List: Electric Animal Prints on The Mindy Project

5 Nov

Mindy Lahiri hasn’t met a pattern* she doesn’t like and it is one of the reasons why TV Ate My Wardrobe loves the costume design on The Mindy Project. Before the start of season 3 we gave Mindy the Fantasy Costuming treatment and The focus was on both clashing prints and bold color featuring outfits for the office, dates and lounging around.

One such item for a days off is the Kate Spade New York ‘Cyber Cheetah’ sweater in emperor blue and while we picked the right design, Mindy went for the more work appropriate ‘Cyber Cheetah Dawson‘ dress version in the same color from this collection. Pairing it with a leather jacket gives it an edge and the matching thin blue headband adds a simple touch of femininity without going full Blair Waldorf hair accessorizing.

*The Cut has produced an extensive rundown of the “100 Most Insane Patterns on The Mindy Project in Order of Insanity” that is well worth checking out. 

The Mindy Project 3.06 blue dressPlus bonus Danny in short shorts running towards Mindy in the background. There is disconnect between them at this moment in “Caramel Princess Time” due to a difference in how they view punctuality, but the matching blues shows some symmetry.

Plaid and Polka Dots: Get the Mindy Project Pattern Clash

7 Oct

The Mindy Project always delivers when it comes to costume design as there is a strong sense of who Mindy is when it comes to her clothing choices. Mindy very much dresses for herself and this is part of her charm as she’s not going to shy away from something because it is too bold or sparkly. The confidence Mindy exudes in her attitude towards fashion is infectious and this is a character who embraces pattern clashing with open arms. Mindy Lahiri is not Mindy Kaling, however they do share similar style pointers and when discussing clothes in Vogue, Kaling explains “It’s really tempting to not take chances. But I don’t want to be fearful” and I think this is a sentiment her character shares.

In “Crimes & Misdemeanors & Ex-Boyfriends” Mindy wore an array of patterns including floral, houndstooth and diamonds, but it was the combination of plaid and polka dots that really caught my eye.

IMG_1014Plaid and polka dots rolls nicely off the tongue, however it is a pattern combination that doesn’t necessarily suggest compatibility. Mindy shows they can be worn together and the impact is heightened even further as a result of her plaid color choice. The shirt is by Michael Kors and I think they made the right decision to tuck it in and thereby lose the tie-front detail. Fall is the ideal time for plaid shirts and thanks to Scandal I’ve been practically drooling over the many shirts Rails has on offer. Gap is also a pretty good alternative for something more affordable.

Skirt wise Mindy is wearing Ann Taylor and when it comes to plaid and polka dots there is an endless amount of size and color combinations; if you want to ease yourself into pattern clashing of this kind then it doesn’t have to be as bold as Mindy’s ensemble.

We’ve picked out a few different black and white polka dot skirts ranging in polka dot size, style and price.

Uniqlo polka dotFirst up miniature polka dots from Uniqlo and a skirt I actually own (I’m going through a pleated phase at the moment) and this is a good way to start print clashing as the pattern is so small.

Alice + OliviaNow for something more dramatic in both hemline and polka dot size from Alice + Olivia; even the model is embracing the pattern clashing with checks. Monochromatic top and bottom produces an arresting and somewhat hypnotic image.

Giambattista ValliAnother thing about polka dots other than size/color is the arrangement as they can be in precise rows like the Alice + Olivia skirt or as with this Giambattista Valli the design is more chaotic. The box pleat detail gives a slightly flared appearance and it’s a fun take on this style.

For more pattern clashing on The Mindy Project including Fantasy Costuming and one of my favorite Mindy outfits head here and here.

The Mindy Project and the Rom-Com Narrative Part 5

18 Sep

A year has passed since the first Mindy Project and the Rom-Com Narrative column and what started as a standalone piece has produced multiple parts and spinoffs (incorporating New Girl and the “What Next?”). The Mindy Project plays with the rom-com formula with direct references to Nora Ephron classics like When Harry Met Sally while using traditional rom-com devices such as voiceover and subverting the genre through a strong awareness of the common tropes. In the first episode of season 3 big steps have been made as Danny and Mindy have progressed from friends, to lovers to exes and now to a couple who are not hiding their relationship from their co-workers. Smooth sailing from here then, right?

The Mindy Project 3.01Well that wouldn’t be interesting would it? There are plenty of obstacles and conflicts ahead for this new couple; the biggest one being how diametrically opposite they are about pretty much everything besides how they feel about each other. Last season Danny went through a stage of not wanting anyone to know about their relationship and then he tried to use the ‘you’re my best friend and I don’t want to lose you’ excuse as a reason to split up. Mindy saw through Danny’s scared BS and she didn’t just take him back when he simply tried to kiss her. This was one heartbreak that really hurt and so it required a little more than Danny simply responding in a possessive manner to the new dude in Mindy’s life.

They are a couple now, haters (bitches) and as I have mentioned throughout this rom-com series the “will they/won’t they” then turns into a “What next?” as they have to deal with what normally comes after the credits of a movie. The story doesn’t just end with smooching at the top of the Empire State Building.

The new season opens with Danny as the narrator mentioning the unlikelihood of this coupling when the show started and his assertion that they are very different is backed up with Mindy’s portion of the voiceover. Mindy likes to share and this is what lies at the heart of their first fight this season; it doesn’t matter that Mindy is very complimentary about Danny’s technique as it still makes him incredibly uncomfortable. Throw in a secret stripping past plus a piece of office gossip and we’ve got our first Mindy and Danny raging argument of season 3 as Danny tells Mindy that he can’t trust her. Trust is a relationship dealbreaker so are things looking precarious already?

[Source]

Far from it and while I am sure that somewhere down the line there will be a string of misunderstandings that might lead to something more contentious, this disagreement ends up with Danny spilling a lot more about himself including his Diamond Dan stripping past (which not only paid for medical school, but also allowed him to pay the mortgage on his mother’s house) and that he does have a middle name. His middle name is Alan after his dad and last season we found out more about his fractured relationship with his father with Mindy getting to witness Danny’s emotionally vulnerable side. The first time Danny kissed Mindy was on the plane ride home after this trip to see Danny’s father; boundaries got dropped all over the place.

Part of the appeal of this couple is the back and forth banter, which on occasion crosses the line with a derogatory remark about appearance such as Danny telling Mindy “get your big ass in there now” in the season 3 premiere. Comments like this cause much furrowing of the brow; Danny does refer to himself “as kind of a dick back then” in his opening narration and these moments do still slip in and on this occasion his annoyance at Mindy’s inability to keep secrets causes this unpleasant outburst. Danny is rough around the edges – not an excuse for his behavior, but an observation – and yet those edges have softened.

The list he has prepared is a big step, as is Mindy’s confession explaining why she has been so vocal about their relationship “I want it to be real and the more real it seems, the less likely it is that it could all get taken away from me.” Mindy wears her romantic temperament on her sleeve, but this level of honesty and vulnerability is rare from this character too. This statement solidifies their commitment to each other and it also signifies to the audience that we shouldn’t expect a break up in the next few episodes; they are at least in this for some sort of long haul. It is a welcome gesture as sometimes with a “will they/won’t they” couple it is easy to feel emotionally manipulated if there is a constant stream of “oh we’re almost a couple, now we’re not, now we are, oops broken up again” shenanigans. You know what else is a welcome gesture? This.

[Source – includes whole sequence]

As I said at the start of this piece conflict and obstacles should continue, but there has to be a reason for it. Danny and Mindy as an opposites attract coupling should provide plenty of material for this, however scenes like the one on the fire escape are important and still offer opportunity for absurdist/dark humor such as the kitchen knife Mindy accidentally drops followed by the sound of sirens. This first episode back is promising and this pairing is the strongest/most consistent on The Mindy Project; now they are a couple there are a new series of challenges and I am hopeful that this creative team will blast any Moonlighting curse nonsense out of the water so we can stop citing this a reason why a “will they/won’t they” shouldn’t progress to “What next?”

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