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Best of the 2017 Met Gala: Go Big or Go Home

2 May

Award season has been over for long enough that I’m once again clamoring for big gowns and fancy attire. The Met Gala is here to answer this call and this year’s exhibit is a celebration of all things Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons and the Art Of The In-Between.

My Comme des Garçons experience is the wedding Cons I wore for the dancing portion of the reception and are now less pristine than they used to be. Walking around New York on honeymoon will do that. But here at the Met it is all about celebrating fashion and as with every theme there are those that get it and those that just want to wear a dress suitable for would the Oscars. The former are far more fun and part 1 of this rundown is focusing on those attendees who are doing just this.Everyone was waiting for Rihanna to show up and before she’d even turned up it was clear that she would win this extravagant event. Wearing a Comme des Garçons creation that is actually in the Met exhibit is one way to be very on theme and this is how you do the Met Gala.

Also a good reminder that Ocean’s 8 is coming in 2018 and its setting is this annual event.Also in Comme des Garçons is Tracee Ellis Ross and everything about this look is incredible; the color, shape and texture is a showstopper. Thank you for coming to play, Tracee.One more Comme des Garçons and co-host Caroline Kennedy wears a creation from the same collection as Rihanna’s giving a snapshot of what other attendees should be aiming for. Priyanka Chopra brought the trench dress drama in Ralph Lauren giving super sexy Columbo vibes. Love the pop sock super stacked heels combo.Like Rihanna, Solange is someone you can count on to lean into the theme and while she’s probably a little on the warm side there is no one else on this red carpet that looks like her. Wearing a custom Thom Browne puffer coat creation complete with train and teetering ice skate platforms.

One of the best things about the Met Gala is the stair posing (as you will see across both posts) and this is an incredible photo showing why Solange is one of the best at this.

Related because she always gives good Met, but where was SJP? More evidence of the stairs being a vital part of posing at this event and Zendaya brings it in Dolce & Gabbana; she put a bird on it.I am not a fan of the deconstructed shirt trend that is as prominent as that Fendi sweater and yet I am here for Claire Danes in Monse. This is likely a mixture of the Claire Danes goggles I tend to wear and because she is another attendee who pays attention to the theme; remember her light up Zac Posen last year?! Yeah you do. Diddy stole the show with his super casual staircase posing and Cassie looks great in On Aura Tout Vu.Sticking with her signature black and white palette and once again delivering something different is Janelle Monáe in custom Ralph and Russo. I’ve gone for a close-up shot because the detail of the gown and feathered neckline is too good to see from afar. Stunning hair styling from Nikki Nelms and she had a busy night crafting looks for Monáe, Solange and Zoë Kravitz.Thandie Newton works the theme with a floral headpiece and while I am not in love with her Monse gown (and red was very much on trend in a somewhat obvious way) her accessorizing is on point.I’m always going to be in love with a sparkly Chanel ladysuit and Cara Delevigne’s super metallic look would’ve been perfect for last year’s “Manus x Machina.” But as with Thandie Newton she has gone for it head wise and the whole silver painted hair is mesmerizing.

Cara also always gets Met bonus points for my fave ever Reese video.Kerry Washington in Michael Kors could also be remiss for looking to last year’s Met, but the patchwork element is great and she is serving Comme des Garçon influenced hair.Everything about Cynthia Erivo’s Thom Browne ensemble would’ve been perfect for the French portion of Outlander and this is the level the Met Gala needs too.I was going to lament that Ruth Negga wasn’t there as somehow she didn’t show up on my TL last night and I have no idea why as this Valentino is another Negga stunner.

(Oh hey Dominic Cooper standing off in the background. BTW I am excited for season 2 of Preacher)Particularly when you factor in the print on the back. She gets it.

Head here for more from the Met.

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Out of the Box: Look of the Week

28 Apr

After last week’s color and pattern extravaganza things are slightly more dialed back in this edition of “Out of the Box,” but that is not necessarily a bad thing. Plus there are still plenty of prints on display across various events this week and the Tribeca Film Festival is delivering on a number of sartorial levels.

Between award season faves and new shows getting the promotion treatment there’s a lot to celebrate this week. We also have 2/4 of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants cast, which seemed like something worth pointing out. Viola Davis shut everything down for the second week in a row and on the back of her incredible Time cover she wore this stunning purple Armani gown to the event celebrating this issue/list. Award season has not been over for long, but it is safe to say we’ve been missing the weekly dose of Ruth Negga in these parts. Luckily for us she took a break from filming the second season of Preacher (which I’m really looking forward to) and stopped by the Tiffany & Co 2017 Blue Collection Gala in New York wearing this fabulous Gucci ensemble.

This is ticking so many boxes including a strong collar and all things leopard print.Now entering the Tribeca Film Festival portion of the week and regular readers will know how much I love it when co-stars come out to support each others projects. The Mr. Robot crew seems pretty tight and Rami Malek was joined by his onscreen sister and sorta-BFF at the premiere of his film Buster’s Mal Heart.

They’re also doing a good job on the outfit coordination without being too matchy matchy with Carly Chaikin looking slightly more casual and I am coveting both her clutch and Portia Doubleday’s bag hard.Rami as ever is bringing it with his suit choice and what looks like a classic black take in the first shot is actually hiding the accents stripe down the sleeve; giving it that Rami edge. It is of course Dior Homme and Ilaria Urbinati is the stylist behind this great athleisure adjacent choice.How to do double polka dot by America Ferrera. While moderating a conversation with Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner as part of Tribeca Talks, America Ferrera delivers a great panel outfit and one with a fun 3D texture element. Great chunky silver platforms too. From fantastic shoes to ones I’m going to ignore as the rest of Rose Byrne’s Rag & Bone look is fabulous mixing feminine florals with leather. At the Flower premiere Zoey Deutch goes full Peter Pan collar in this super cute Chloé dress, which is everything I love about the ’70s influence that is still dominating.

I was just scrolling through the new arrivals at Chloé and I am maybe in love with these floral pants. Perhaps because this print is giving me flashbacks to a duvet cover my parents had. Another fun take on leopard print this week with Ruth Wilson in Alessandra Rich, which the belt helpfully points out and also nearly ruins this frock; can we do away with the very Calvin Klein ’90s actual labeling please. Thanks. Alexis Bledel doesn’t make a tonne of red carpet appearances, but when she does she hits all the right notes including this rainbow beaded halter Cushnie et Ochs frock at the premiere for The Handmaid’s Tale. Love, love, love the injection of even more color with the turquoise clutch and yellow sandals.

Go watch our show. Now. (But first, peep Margaret Atwood's pimp lean to the left 🙌🏾). #handmaidsonhulu

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While I’m on the subject of promotion for the incredible adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale here is a striking cast shot with a guest appearance by author Margaret Atwood via Samira Wiley’s Instagram.

The Americans 5.08 “Immersion” Review: What Do You Want to Be?

26 Apr

Elizabeth Jennings, international super spy has been many things over the years including a Mary Kay sales rep, fashion buyer, flight attendant, housewife, travel agent and countless other professions that have provided the details of the disguises required to complete the work of her actual job. That of KGB agent.

Even her role as a wife and mother is part of the bigger picture; the main difference here is that she’s not faking her way through most of these things as she really is a mother to two children and her relationship with Philip has evolved from doing the necessary to becoming the thing they were projecting.At its heart The Americans is a marriage/family show wrapped up in spy packaging and with the recent Paige developments home and work have become even harder to separate. Philip and Elizabeth have a lot on their plates right now with several operations running in tandem and now they’re most trusted adviser has upped and left them.

For Philip, Gabriel’s departure is more complicated because of how contentious their relationship was at times and because of his parting words about Paige being kept out of all of this. In fact Philip even questions Gabriel’s motives and whether it was simply because it was his job. Elizabeth believes otherwise and is certain he cared about them – caring was something she said she couldn’t do with their targets last week – and she’s stunned when Philip tells her he’s glad Gabriel has gone. A world where none of them have to do things like this is a repeated theme this week and Elizabeth is the first one to head down a wishful thinking channel. Bookending the episode with talk of a world without spying and Elizabeth seems genuinely surprised by this question of what she would’ve done as an alternative career. After a beat she says she would’ve been a doctor. Something that Paige finds amusing as her mother has terrible bedside manner. Much like Keri Russell’s other most famous TV role there is a push pull between two vocations; for Felicity it was between art and medicine and this is a far cry from Elizabeth’s two job opportunities. Ben Stobert has a whole Scott Speedman vibe and everything keeps coming up Felicity.

Placing focus on doing the things you wish you didn’t have to is something that this season keeps circling back on; in this career conversation Paige asks if Elizabeth likes what she does and Elizabeth sings the party line about being proud of her work,. She wishes she didn’t have to do the things she does, but there is a purpose. I wonder what Paige’s father would say if he was posed with the same question. Philip is of course going to do what he has to even through gritted teeth and the Topeka operation is indicative of this. So even when he kind of tanks his relationship with Deidre he finds a way to win her back; she wants someone who is more assertive so he tells her that he’s married.

It is interesting watching both Philip and Elizabeth cancel their Topeka plans on the phone. First because their both kind of going against the Centre by canceling with both claiming it is not because of the other, but the quick sideways glances in the office suggests otherwise. They both have their game faces on even though it is all through the phone and it is odd to see them as Brenda and Gus when they are not wigged up. Discussing their respective days in the Jennings bedroom is unlike most other marriages as Elizabeth shows off her new fondness for tai chi – “looks like slow kung-fu” quips Philip – as it is relaxing. There is a broad smile across her face until Philip mentions that he has been dumped. Elizabeth thinks that EST is to blame and that it has softened Philip; something he very much disagrees with and yet this conversation doesn’t end in an argument showing just how good things are between them right now. They’re sharing everything with each other and this includes what Elizabeth told Paige about her past.Keri Russell should probably use this episode as her Emmy submission for the training scene in the garage alone as she goes from badass fighting mom to revealing her deepest secret in a bid to show Paige how it is possible to move beyond being scared.

Elizabeth was raped when she was 18 by a superior officer – the superior officer who turned traitor in the pilot – and after that moment she trained hard so no one would hurt her like that again. She’s no longer afraid nor does she ever really think about it and by revealing this part of herself she is giving Paige something to cling to while she scrambles in the dark. For a long time this was something Elizabeth kept as her secret to bear the weight of by herself and by telling Philip this opened the door to where they are now. The power gets shifted from her attacker and what it did to her; by telling Paige about this she shows how fear doesn’t have to rule you. When Paige goes to hug her mother, Elizabeth stops her and reinforces the idea that she trained hard to combat being afraid. Elizabeth is never going to be a touchy feely mom, but this level of emotional intimacy is her way of being open with her daughter. Later when it comes up again Elizabeth lists the things that allowed her to focus; her job/her kids. Of course in this truth telling session she doesn’t tell Paige what became of her rapist and the time he spent in the trunk of their car in close proximity to them while they slept. And also in the location where this fight training is now taking place.

Claudia remarks that Paige is her mother’s daughter and asks some catch up questions now she is back to being their handler. This is met with reservations from Philip and Elizabeth, with Philip particularly having no time for her bullshit. She is the woman who split up his marriage back in season 1 after all. No need for polite chit chat and Philip pretty much wants to get whatever information she has to give them and get out.

Later on Elizabeth indulges in a drink and conversation and despite almost beating her to death there is an understanding between these two women beyond animosity. Unlike Philip, I am sad to see Gabriel go and yet I am thrilled Margo Martindale will get more screen time particularly as this dynamic is a lot more prickly. And because she’s Margo fucking Martindale. All hail the return of the squirrel pins.The last time they saw her would’ve been at the end of season 2 when Claudia informed them of the Centre’s plans for Paige. Plans that are very much in motion and Claudia asks for an update from Elizabeth and not for work reasons. Claudia it turns out has been back home in-between sessions with Gabriel spending time with her daughter and grandchildren and she sounds genuinely sad when she mentions that they didn’t remember her. Claudia asks what Elizabeth wants for Paige and it is all rather abstract as she just wants her to care about things that matter. This also echoes her conversation with Stobert as she references how much his work matters in comparison to what she does; flattering his ego to keep him on the line or showing respect for what he does?

She also mentions to Claudia that with Philip they will never see eye to eye on this Paige stuff, but despite that things have been good between them. She seems reluctant to go into detail and I wonder if this is in part related to the time Claudia drove a wedge between them. Philip still has his mind in the long ago past after learning about what Gabriel did in the bad times back home and he wonders what Claudia was up to during this period. We have seen how deadly she can be and I have a feeling she was doing something similar. Fear related to the past is something we see in Oleg’s story as his mother is terrified that her only surviving son is going to get taken away. When his room is searched she thinks they will find something even if there is nothing as that is how things used to operate.

More information is given regarding her time spent in the gulag as she was accused of sabotage, which back then could have been for something as innocuous as taking a pencil home from work. She was eventually pardoned and Oleg wonders if his trip to the archive brought on this home visit. His boss doesn’t think so and in a regime ruled by paranoia it could be anything. The surprise here is that because of his father’s position this search even happened and it is troubling. Also tipping into troubling territory is Tuan and so far this operation has been chugging along nicely in the background. Evgheniya has been a surprising source of opportunity for them with her job teaching Russian and the affair she is now having. Now they just need to get her to go back to Russia so they can utilize this to maximum effect. This will require Tuan to turn on his friend as they need Pascha to want to go home and Tuan thinks this should be easy.

The concern here should be their adopted son as this is the second time he has asked them to spend more time at this home and unlike their actual son he is showing signs of wanting their attention. Because they have so much going on I have a feeling this is the operation that will end up causing them the most bother in the long run. Meanwhile, Stan and Aderholt are gently coaxing their new source Sofia into feeling more comfortable. She is incredibly jumpy and they are using monetary incentives and her son’s future as a way to get her more on board. She talks about all the different things her young son wants to become and it once again points to this notion of growing up to be something and the hopes we have for our children.

Stan also has some good quality time at the Jennings house in which Renee’s name comes up and she wants to get him to go sky diving. He quips that he wants to be alive to see Matthew graduate college and cue raised eyebrows from everyone watching. They touch on the recent teen breakup while also quipping about Henry’s current girl situation and if he wasn’t so neglected I would say that Henry has it best out of anyone on The Americans.A sense of dread permeates all and there’s nothing to suggest that is all going to collapse as everything is moving along rather nicely. However we are entering the last third of the season and this implies that something is going to give soon; what this season has been doing a lot of is exploring the internal while moving the pieces for the final act.

It is a slow burn and it definitely feels like we’re heading toward something, but who is going to break first? My money for what it is worth is on the trifecta of sons being what leads to the dam breaking; Henry, Tuan and Mischa.

Outfit I Would Wear in 2017Another fabulous disguise and this season has been the gift that keeps on giving with Elizabeth. This jacket alone is on my covet list as I am always partial to vintage ski style and if I could also get Henry’s sweatshirt (that you can see near the top) then that would be great. Those glasses are fabulous and I’m looking forward to seeing Katie Irish’s inspiration board behind this one.

Updated to add the bio board for this disguise. Interesting to see what changes during this process. 

Out of the Box: Look of the Week

21 Apr

Bold print and florals dominate this week’s best style moments and despite the grey sky view I’m currently being treated to, it feels good to know spring has sprung. Fashion seems to agree and it is print central here at TV Ate My Wardrobe.

There’s a lot of different projects on the promotion train including smaller indie fare and probably the most anticipated blockbuster of the year. The latter being a franchise that sartorially delivered on its world tour two years ago. Plus all things TV including the premiere of HBO’s The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks and a TV Ate My Wardrobe fave that is appearing on two shows at the moment. Plus a couple of fabulous Time covers and some TV stars at Coachella, because of course.While promoting Colossal – a film I’m very excited for – Anne Hathaway wore this very lovely floral frock to Good Morning America and it didn’t come from a high end store/designer as you might expect. Hathaway explained that she is trying to be more sustainable with her fashion choices and wear vintage when she can; this $15 flea market find is an excellent start.The Star Wars celebration included a panel for The Last Jedi where they unveiled the new stunning teaser poster, a teaser trailer and a new cast member; Kelly Marie Tran is joining the Resistance and will play mechanic Rose.

Because this event was streamed worldwide it meant we got to see just how delightful Tran is and because you know I love good panel attire I was thrilled to see this mix of casual with dressy. A dress that infuses frills and layering in stunning cobalt with stacked sparkly shoes already puts Kelly Marie Tran on the Star Wars promo tour style list.Daisy Ridley is no longer the newcomer and she’s still making daring fashion choices including this block color orange and red Stella McCartney number, which I’m sure shouldn’t work but does. Tony Award winning Hamilton star and long suffering Good Wife ASA, Renée Elise Goldsberry is starring in the HBO movie The Immortal Life as Henrietta Lacks, which airs tomorrow (Saturday 22). At the premiere she looked stunning in bold Rosie Assoulin floral dress and while I’m not wild about the puffy shoulder detail it doesn’t detract from the rest of the ensemble. Great shoe choice too.

 

#RoseByrne with Kelly and @JussieSmollett! #LiveKelly

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Everything about Rose Byrne’s look on Live with Kelly (and on this occasion Jussie) is ideal as she also chats about The Immortal Life as Henrietta Lacks from the polka dots to the lipstick. Also Kelly Ripa frock is hitting all those spring notes and I would very much like it please. Coachella time and scrolling through the endless shorts and bad boot choices there are a couple of outfits that stood out for the right reasons. There’s something a little 80s and couch material about Yara Shahidi’s floral take, but she looks good and my only concern is she might be a little on the toasty side for daytime desert wearing.Sophie Turner leans more edgy in a very festival way and it is working for her and I love a star print tee. Even if I’m having Ross Geller in super tight leather pants concerns for Sophie when she goes to the bathroom because the toilet situation can be perilous at these kind of outdoor events (though probs not for the celebs attending).

More treats from the Elisabeth Moss hangs out in corridors in fabulous clothes series in a stunning green floral Prabal Gurung number.Armie Hammer takes a dip in the Rami Malek shirt box at the Free Fire premiere and it looks great on him. There is also talk of a Man From U.N.C.L.E. sequel and make it happen Hollywood.Carrie Coon is having a moment or rather two moments with The Leftovers and Fargo both returning this week and I am quite prepared to be devastated by her performance as Nora Durst. Giving great short hair and stripe styling for Backstage where she discusses in depth both her stage and screen career. Throw all these Carrie Coon profiles at me.Time’s 100 Most Influential annual issue list was unveiled yesterday and while there are some questionable choices I am instead going to focus on the covers that fill me with joy. Starting with this great Viola Davis shot and the perfect Mary Katrantzou to make her stand out even more. As with the Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony, Meryl Streep delivers on the Viola Davis testimony she deserves. Riz Ahmed has graced the red carpet Best of lists on numerous occasions recently and this is another case of a fantastic suit; great color palette choice from the Time team. Words by Lin-Manuel Miranda so enthusiasm levels are high. Just like they should be.

Kirsten Dunst, Rashida Jones and Lauren Hutton Star in this Dreamy Calvin Klein Underwear Ad

20 Apr

Calvin Klein is bringing it with another strong underwear campaign; first the Moonlight cast and now an ad directed by Sofia Coppola starring Kirsten Dunst, Lauren Hutton, Rashida Jones, Nathalie Love and newcomers Laura Harrier, Maya Thurman-Hawke and Chase Sui Wonders.

Celebrating women from the ages of 18-73 is a good look even if some of these models fall into the nepotism camp that we have come to expect from this industry of late. And really it is often more the who you know that springboards a career. Not everyone can be a Kate Moss discovered on an airplane.

The grainy black and white style is a mix of Coppola’s dreamy aesthetic and the imagery we most associate with CK campaigns of the past. I can also pick out at least four different sets that I will be adding to my underwear wishlist. I’ve never owned any Calvin underwear – the nearest I have is men’s pajama pants – as I was never that bothered about waistbands with brands emblazoned on them, but it looks like this will be changing soon.

Watch the ad below.

And because I’m in the mood for more Dunst and Coppola here is the new The Beguiled trailer, which also looks great.

And because Kirsten Dunst is very good at Instagram and all three of these looks are great.

#churchella

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Her hashtag game is always strong.

The Americans 5.07 “The Committee on Human Rights” Review: History Repeating

19 Apr

History has a habit of repeating and while the players/scenarios might change there are certain elements that remain the same. Gabriel’s departure on The Americans gives Philip the opportunity to ask questions he might normally let simmer, festering away in a mind that has been taught to compartmentalize. There is only so much that can pushed deep and season 5 is dealing with the consequences of years of manipulation.

Paige has only recently been brought into the fold, but things are weighing just as heavy on her and while on the surface it appears that things are getting better the reality is quite the opposite. Is it too late to stop the spy cycle from continuing?Gabriel’s goodbyes to his surrogate children couldn’t be more different; from the physical interactions to the set up of these scenes and the overall tone. Mirroring his relationship with the pair and Philip has always pushed back, which is why his farewell includes a real sense of finality and less warmth. Those niggles are still there and Philip can’t help but poke some more. Gabriel notes that at least they are ending on something positive with the plant sample they secured in Mississippi, but Philip isn’t satisfied with leaving things here. Instead he asks what the mini-operation Elizabeth is doing and from which this episode gets its title. Elizabeth has been vague and it is unclear how much she actually knows and Gabriel is just as withholding.

Switching gears to Gabriel’s past and this is something they touched on last week when Philip found out about his father’s real line of work. There’s a sense of pretending that some of this stuff didn’t happen and Gabriel asks what Philip thought about the stuff they did before and after the war “I didn’t. I didn’t ask questions.” Without going into too many specifics Gabriel emphasizes just how bad it was and the number of people who died including those who had done nothing wrong. Parallels between how Gabriel and Philip see things are clear in this conversation and Philip is looking for a reason to justify for the terrible things they have also done.Bear hugs are not how this duo say goodbye and instead Philip pisses him off in the way he always pisses him off; by pushing too far. His follow up question is about Stan and unlike Elizabeth, Philip cares. As far as Gabriel knows she is not one of them, but the Centre might not have told him for this very reason. And if this goodbye was going badly already Gabriel ends it all with a humdinger of a mic drop telling Philip that he was right about not wanting Paige to be part of this. That’s one hell of an exit.

With Elizabeth things are far less contentious; he praises her for how she raised Paige to not think the world owes her happiness. The plant sample sits between them with a red bow on it like a gift – which it is – and when he describes Paige as having a big heart and not being a quitter that is really a combination of both her parents. As the light streams in from outside it matches the warm and tender tone with Elizabeth asking why he is really leaving.

In the past I think he would’ve mentioned Mischa, but now he knows Elizabeth would tell Philip straight away. They are no longer a couple who keep secrets from each other. She questions what they will do without him and he flips it back on her as he barely has anyone back home. What will he do without them? They clasp each others hands and this is a stark difference to his Philip conversation. He could always be more honest with him.Justifying their actions can at times be hard to do. Especially as innocent people get hurt and when Gabriel references a higher purpose as a way to reason with his conscience it reflects this current cycle of intelligence collecting.

Paige still thinks that they are trying to stop the US from poisoning their crops and it would be far too complicated to explain that they got things wrong and it is lot more complicated than that. It’s been quite the 180 for them to get their heads around because of the death of the lab worker and it is much easier for Paige to think that they are the very good guys in this scenario. When she mentions going to the press she gets shut down quite quickly, but Chekhov’s newspaper expose has been thrown into the mix.  Also Philip’s not exactly having the best time with Deirdre and she called out his neediness all the while he is waiting for an opportunity to ask about super-wheat. Ben’s also not quite the MPDB that he seemed and there’s another lady in his life other than the Elizabeth. There’s a flicker of satisfaction from Philip when he sees him stepping out with this mystery blonde and he’s not beneath a little jealousy.

Paige’s conversation with Gabriel has him waxing lyrical about the heroes they are and the lives they have saved; heroes don’t tend to like this moniker or being praised in this way and for Philip and Elizabeth it is a lot more complicated than that. The positioning at the table at Gabriel’s is also interesting as Elizabeth sits by Gabriel beaming while Philip looks a lot more conflicted next to his daughter. Elizabeth isn’t the staunch soldier she once was and there is conflict brewing there, but she is still very much more about country first and ask questions later. Propaganda in any war is vital and Philip quips that he feels like he is on one of the posters when they are out in the field getting their sample. Not with that wig you wouldn’t be, but it is the most wistful he has been for a while. Gabriel referring to them as heroes doesn’t sit well and yet if this crop works out then they will be just that. Many lives will be saved and yet that can’t erase the horrific things they have done.

The emotional toll is also significant and the weight Gabriel feels is reflected back in Philip. This is another acting showcase from all the major players and this also happens to be Matthew Rhys’ second time behind the camera on The Americans. Not quite the same big levels of drama or forehead vein of anger and like a lot of season 5 the story is a slow burn and yet the consequences feel just as high.

As they manage Paige they’re still ignoring their other child and I’m still convinced Henry is going to be their potential downfall or be a better candidate for spy training. Paige is like her father in that she feels too much; when Philip tells Elizabeth that it is okay to care about the sources she is working she emphatically shuts him down. Not for her it isn’t. Otherwise she might end up with another Young Hee. Matthew Rhys uses lamps and light from widows to good effect showing the stark difference between Gabriel’s farewells to Elizabeth and Philip. It might seem cruel leaving Philip with that humdinger of a statement and from the look on Philip’s face he is pretty aghast at being told he has been right all along. Especially after all the reassuring that has been going on.

In a way it is Gabriel’s gift in trying to stop the continued cycle of the kids bearing the burdens of their parents. But he surely could’ve wrapped this up in a less thorny bow. And this all comes after Philip and Elizabeth had a not so convincing conversation about how the Paige situation has shifted for the better. In fact it is a whole lot worse. What it has done is bring Paige closer to her parents. There are moments of familial intimacy that would’ve been out of the question last year including Elizabeth warmly putting Paige’s legs across her lap and Philip moving from a kneeling position to getting her to scooch over on her bed.

She broke up with Matthew in a fraught scene and while Philip and Elizabeth are privately pleased about this, they both give good sympathy conversations. But I wonder how happy they would be if they knew just how gut wrenching the break up conversation was. Elizabeth talks about her own experiences (with Gregory I presume) and Philip reassures her that she will get used to this. This also gives Paige a chance to express how she always felt different and at least now she knows why. It is some of the better parenting they have done and yet they have also done this to her and they are more than complicit in her heartbreak.  Having honest conversations with parents occurs over the pond in Russia with Oleg and his bond with his mother is strong. He tells her about the CIA no-show and also discusses his brother; this closeness is not something he has with his father. Later on we see him getting his mother’s prison file and even though his story is separate from all things Jennings there are parallels. Again they are looking to the not talked about past to inform the present. A present that has far too many similarities to back then and those cannot be ignored.

Oleg doesn’t know Stan was behind the intervention and Stan finds out this week that his threats were taken seriously. His boss intervened in getting him reassigned thanks to his current operation, which has finally started providing some sense of results and the scene where he tells Renee everything without telling her anything is an impressive use of dialogue. It also once again does nothing to quell the theory Philip has suggested about her being KGB. Mail Robot also made a brief drive by in the FBI corridor. Good to see you again, old friend.Is this the last we’ve seen of Gabriel? It is hard to believe that Frank Langella won’t grace The Americans scenes again, but if this is the case then he has ended on a strong note and hopefully the Emmys will recognize his work. In terms of conflict if Philip and Elizabeth are back to dealing with Claudia this could prove to be rather difficult and therefore fun to watch.

She has far less patience for their bullshit and at the same time there is more likely to be some kind of push back particularly from Elizabeth. Claudia is not one for gifting stuffed toys or for their relationship dramas. They are far stronger as a unit now than when she was their handler last time and it will be interesting to see how she adapts to this change in dynamic. If Gabriel is very much like Philip then Claudia is the mirror of Elizabeth.

Book Club

Elizabeth did indeed get Paige some books to go with her copy of Marx and this is good collection of literature in understanding the whole history repeating notion I mentioned at the start. It also doesn’t look like Paige is returning this book to Pastor Tim anytime soon and she’s also questioning her faith. Not something he probably expected from this book lending sitch.

Fun Camera AnglesShooting through the wardrobe always makes me think of Halloween, but on this occasion Philip and Elizabeth are talking about his trip while he unpacks. Matthew Rhys makes use of familiar spaces from a different perspective.

Out of the Box: Look of the Week

14 Apr

As I mentioned last week award season is never truly over and this edition of “Out of the Box” backs up this theory with the Olivier Awards and events kicking off Emmy campaign season. The latter is what I am really excited about and even though the Emmys are months away the FYC screenings are starting now. And this means roundtable season is around the corner. We’ve also got magazine covers, editorials, IRL best friends and couples.

Oh and TV Ate My Wardrobe turned the grand old age of four this week! And I am so grateful to everyone for all your support over the years. There’s not so many posts on here now because I have been writing elsewhere, but this will always be the tiny corner I have carved out to talk costuming and red carpet style. So thank you to all the TV Ate My Wardrobe readers.

And while I’m talking work in other places here’s my first piece for Racked and it is a topic that is close to my heart; henley shirt wearing on The CW and the history of this garment.
Yara Shahidi continues her red carpet domination and at the Black-ish FYC screening she not only gave great ladysuit, but also fantastic collar detail in Marnie. Two of my favorite things. This is a cool af choice and a really fun spin on this trend.The sun was shining in London at the Olivier Awards and Chewing Gum’s – a show I still need to catch up on – Michaela Coel looked stunning in a floral print black halter neck. The best thing about this dress; her mother made it for her.Serving up great drama in this glorious weather is Amber Riley in Tony Ward and Riley has all the reasons to smile as she also won for her performance in Dreamgirls.

And you can see why she did from her performance of “And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going” at the Olivier Awards.

A really interesting Burberry frock for Cush Jumbo at the Olivier Awards and Jumbo has been a pattern queen on The Good Fight.

Cush Jumbo was also on The Late Show last month and somehow I only saw this delightful interview this week. Jumbo is bang on trend in gingham and after watching this I now want to see her perform Shakespeare with Stephen Colbert.While we’re discussing Stephen Colbert here’s this week’s Hollywood Reporter cover; my first thought is he’s gonna get street feet and also this is a fun shot. The Colbert resurgence is getting a lot of chat right now from wanting more to celebrating a return to form. I fall somewhere in the middle and I’m glad his monologues have become much more biting. However, Seth Meyers is still my first morning catch up of the daily late night shows with Colbert in second. The latter would not have been the case this time last year.

It is an interesting interview that discusses the state of things politically, David Letterman and pizza. It is this lovely story about his parents and New York that I wanted to highlight though:

“My mom and dad grew up here. My mom worked at Tiffany. This is in the 1940s; they were born in 1920. Mom would be 97 this year if she were still alive. To me this city is constantly running into locations where stories of their lives happened. Like, “Mom I’m outside the Chock full o’Nuts where you and Dad would meet after going to mass at St. Pat’s.” Or going into Tiffany and saying, “Can I go back into that back office there? My mom worked in there. I just want to stand there for a minute.” They’d see Lester Lanin or Benny Goodman at the Starlight Room of the [Waldorf] Astoria. And then they’d go to mass and then they’d go home on the 5 a.m. train.”This is a really great cover from Good Housekeeping and a good use of pink that isn’t sickly sweet. Tracee Ellis Ross is making lace and frills work; the Sandro top is a splurge item, but I love that the lipstick is the super affordable Rimmel.

In the piece Ross discusses everything from her mother to style and it is this bit on activism that stood out to me:

“I think that as a black woman, my beingness is a form of activism in and of itself. The fact that I am on a show called Black-ish, that I’m playing a woman who is both a wife and a doctor, a mother and a person, a partner and an individual, and that I am playing a joyful black woman on television who is not just surviving but thriving is by definition a form of activism. If I take that and ripple it out further in an amplified way, I can’t help, from my beingness, to not be a form of activism, because that is who I am.”

The show Borgen is an all time favorite of mine and I’m thrilled to see the three leads making strides especially on other TV shows now that it is over. Pilou Asbæk (or Danish Pacey as he is affectionately called in this neck of the woods) is now on Game of Thrones, which means much more exposure. In this Interview magazine chat he discusses his career from drama school to whether he will be returning to perform in his home country anytime soon. He also talks about his Borgen regrets:

“I signed on for two seasons and then they wanted to do a third one, and I thought it was a stupid idea because my character was already kind of developed—I’d finished him, I’d done him for two years, I didn’t want to do him anymore. So I said no to a third season so I could do theater, but I kind of regret it, because it was a great show. But the play was also good.”

Styling wise he’s working the pajama as an actual top look. The editorial also includes a trench coat and I really hope Asbæk gets to play a spy one day.

Then we died and went to @shopbando heaven! We ♥️you @jengotch!!!!!! ♥️

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Stripes, best best friends and fun novelty specs from my faves.

From power besties to a power couple. Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys appeared on Watch What Happens Live with Russell wearing pretty much my platonic ideal of a smart/casual outfit; tuxedo jacket, jeans and the all important striped tee.

They are ridiculously delightful and with a whole lot more laughter than your average episode of The Americans.

And don’t forget to check out my first piece for Racked.

The Americans 5.06 “Crossbreed” Review: Sins of the Father

12 Apr

Being deceptive is part of the spy life; it is how information is gathered and compartmentalizing is one way to mentally survive. How long someone can do this job for effectively comes into question this week on The Americans and Gabriel announces his plans for retirement, which in turn gives Philip an opportunity to ask the questions about his past that have been plaguing him this season. Nope, not about the son who came to America and has now been sent back to Russia, but regarding the father Philip never really knew and yet has recently been the main feature in Philip’s memories.

When Philip and Elizabeth signed up to the jobs that would become their lives they were told to forget everything about who they were and to keep this information to themselves. A mandate that they kept to until their faked union turned into something real; at the end of the pilot Elizabeth tells Philip her real name and from this point on a new layer of trust was introduced into this partnership. Since then there have been snippets of stories from icicles to caring for a parent and the barrier that once existed between past and present self has dropped. They are now a couple on every level and this includes who they once were.Philip is the one who has been preoccupied with thoughts of his parents and specifically the father he has all but forgotten; previously the only information the audience has been given is that he died when Philip was 6 and he was a logger. This also happens to be all Philip can remember until recently when he has been getting flashbacks of grainy images. In these moments we see his father bringing back clothes and food, which Elizabeth suggested was a good thing but Philip was hesitant. Other aspects have been playing on his mind including the way some of the local men would stare at him and his brother. As Gabriel is leaving soon it doesn’t give Philip much time to ask about his past and when he steels himself in the car this is another case of Matthew Rhys delivering in the ‘saying so much without saying a thing’ department.

“Crossbreed” is an acting master class from all the major players with Rhys, Keri Russell and Frank Langella delivering in the sighs and silences alone. When Gabriel first announces his departure plans there is a shift in Philip and Elizabeth’s stance that is reminiscent of their breakdown moment from last season. They haven’t hit this low point, but there is something childlike in their response; Philip immediately thinks he is to blame because he has been difficult and pushed back and Elizabeth looks distraught. Philip is part of the reason, but for something Gabriel can’t tell him and this lie about Mischa Jr. has hit Gabriel hard. Gabriel has been much more a father than either Philip or Elizabeth had when they were growing up and Philip finds out a difficult truth about his father’s occupation that has him questioning why the KGB chose him in the first place.The logging story was a lie cooked up by his mother and in reality he worked at a prison camp as a guard. It is likely that those items he brought home were from some of the prisoners and the bloody water from those boots is a very bad sign that there are more buried memories to come. Gabriel has no information on the kind of person Philip’s dad was and quashes Philip’s thoughts that because his dad killed people then that’s what they saw in Philip too. The sins of the father and all that.

In reality Philip’s father “was nobody. We were all nobodies.” A problem Philip now has is that because he is actually a somebody in the KGB and doing some very important work rather than just being a cog in the machine any concerns are noted in his file. And there has been cause for concern regarding his shaky standing in the past; they’re always going to be keeping an eye on him regarding his ability to effectively carry out the forever growing tasks and operations.

It is also interesting to note that while we don’t know how Philip’s dad really died – something to come? – he is referred to as coming from a trustworthy family whereas Elizabeth’s father was a deserter. In this relationship it was almost Philip who turned his back on his country and Elizabeth is the stauncher soldier, perhaps because she grew up with the stigma of what her dad did.Gabriel feels bad for lying to them about his reasons for going home and their other thought is that he must be sick. Instead he tells them that they don’t need him anymore as they have each other. But his guidance is valuable and the information he does divulge to Philip leads to a very big first meeting at the end of the episode. Philip sits dejected in the Camero after learning about the prison camp and tells Elizabeth that he didn’t know anything about who his parents really were. He was the most resistant about revealing their real identities to Paige and yet this is something he never got at home, which brings us to the end of “Crossbreed” and Paige meeting the closest thing to her grandfather.

Meanwhile, Henry the math genius is still very much on the outside sharing stuffed peppers – at first he thought they were gross until he realized they were pretty much cheeseburger – with Stan and talking potential girlfriends. Will this change their behavior toward their often forgotten son? Philip might be concerned that his troubled life will rub off on his pretty carefree child; there’s got to be one member of this family that isn’t plagued with guilt or doubt.

And will meeting Paige change Gabriel’s plans to return to the motherland? This moment also counts towards what I am guessing will be Frank Langella’s Emmy submission.This idea of home and how it has changed comes up between Paige and Elizabeth after seeing her reading the Marx that Pastor Tim lent her. Paige shares a similar thought to her father in that because they haven’t been home in so long then how does Elizabeth know it is still like that. There is this idea of how things have changed since they were kids; the prison camps no longer exist except we’ve seen through the treatment of Nina, Mischa Jr. and now the guy Oleg has put away that things are not fair and certain elements of mistreatment still exist. The idea of home that Elizabeth has is wrapped up in this ideology when in reality they had so little back then and now they have everything. Equality is preached by Marx and Elizabeth mentions that while there are problems in Russian society there is an element of everyone being in it together. Except for all that corruption.

Philip and Gabriel are not the only ones suffering from the things they have done and Elizabeth’s post-psychiatrist eye roll is exactly the kind of thing that covers her torment from the mission that has deeply impacted her psyche. For Philip the killing is what crushes his soul and while this also makes Elizabeth feel some kind of terrible it is what she did to Young Hee that bothers her deeply. A visit from a Mary Kay rep dredges up these usually well buried emotions and this leads to her driving to Young Hee’s house to see what her onetime BFF is doing. Except another family now live there and there’s no closure for Elizabeth or the audience; we are all left to wonder what became of this marriage but it can’t be good.In the psychiatrist session the doctor does not ask about her dreams – much to Philip’s disappointment – and instead she bases her comments in reality while scoping out the room. She discusses the mugging and I’d say this is something that isn’t playing on Elizabeth’s mind. But she isn’t at this session to get anything from it other than information and she thinks the whole process is eye roll worthy.

Elizabeth laughs off Ben’s questions about what lies beneath; she’s in fashion so she’s not that deep and she’s giving burns to the cosmetic and clothing industry all over the place this week as a way to deflect. He then teaches her the art of tai chi and this guy is a full MPDG right now. Or a real Miss America as Gabriel jokingly points out. They still have to pursue their Topeka targets as the super-wheat will be really useful to their concern about hunger. Elizabeth audibly sighs about this assignment with a simple reference that she gets this is the work while mentioning that things are different. In what is another parent like moment Elizabeth asks “Is there something wrong with me?” Gabriel responds like any father telling her never and the only thing that has changed is the status of her relationship with Philip; honey traps are no longer guilt or emotion free.Investigation wise the FBI have got their potential bite after Stan and Aderholt use the tactic of opportunity, whereas Oleg and his colleague are opting for something less fun, but just as persuasive and the parallels between Stan and Oleg keep on coming. Oleg is still unaware of Stan’s intervention and when the CIA don’t show up again he burns the tape and map on a snowy rooftop. The Americans production team has filmed some exteriors in Russia and it really pays off in how good these Oleg scenes look. No dodgy green screen here and some of the Lincoln Memorial stuff suffers from this (though not the above shot) and it is not on the Scandal level of bad Washington DC landmark CGI.

All the pieces continue to fall into place and there’s still that signature element of building tension and impending doom approaching. It wouldn’t be The Americans without it.

Outfit I Would Wear in 2017

The only Brenda we get this week is mostly naked Elizabeth, but she does look pretty smoking in just Ben’s t-shirt.Other than that Paige is giving great exaggerated sweater shoulders showing the slight shift in fashion. Yep even sweaters were shoulder pad adjacent. I think I could make it work.

Shots of the Week

The travel agency office is a small space where Philip and Elizabeth have had a lot important conversations about both work and their family. At times it has seen them at odds with each other and great distance has been felt in their positioning even when they are in such a close space. Here they are at opposite sides of the room at their own desks and at times not looking at each other, but they have never felt more in sync. This united front doesn’t have to be about physical closeness and the framing of them as Elizabeth encourages Philip to talk to the Gabriel about his father shows just how united they are.

This is Roxann Dawson’s first time behind the camera on The Americans and she crushed it.

Bowling at the FX All-Star Event with The Americans, You’re the Worst and Fargo

7 Apr

FX is having quite the year already and what better way to showcase talent than an all-star upfront bowling event. This is now a set annual tradition for FX as this is their 8th bowling outing and at Lucky Strike in New York, casts from shows such as You’re the WorstThe AmericansFargoAtlanta and Legion gathered all in the spirit of FX.

Outfit wise this means a whole lot of casual attire because bowling and then there are some stacked heels that should be going nowhere near these lanes.

The You’re the Worst cast and creator Stephen Falk give great posing with weighty balls.

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FX knows how to put on a shindig just as well as they make good TV if the size of Aya Cash’s beer is anything to go by.While these shoes might not be the best for this activity and look like they could easily slide off, Aya Cash’s jumpsuit is a great choice. Also her technique is going full Tom Haverford and as I found out when I last went bowling this is hit and miss. My terrible performance might have also been down to the amount of drinks we had while waiting for a lane to free up at The Gutter in Brooklyn. Also I am not a good bowler. Chris Geere gives great bowling stance. Still no bowling shoes though.We’ve seen that this is a favorite activity of the Jennings (and their covers) on The Americans and it is nice to see everyone out of the super tense environment of spy life in 1984. Also just how tall is Costa Ronin? It also looks like Henry found some Sun-In. It is really hard to write about this event without falling down an innuendo spiral (see the first photo). But what I will say is that it is nice to see Matthew Rhys with Costa Ronin as the pair have never shared a scene and probably won’t. But who knows.Great shoes for very different reasons from Margo Martindale and Keri Russell. Those heels are probably way too stacked for me – I can still love from afar – and Russell is leaning into the cool af thing she does so well at events like this mixing casual with some edge. Meanwhile I now very much want some silver Vans in my life.

Hanging at the bar is also my bowling speed (see early mention of my last bowling experience) and they’re with Christine Lahti. Lahti most recently popped up on The Good Fight as one of the many Good Wife actors who have made the jump and the depth of this guest star bench is outstanding.Ewan McGregor gives great bowling technique and he’s wearing bowling shoes. Yes he looks amazing.Jean Smart is doing that thing where you’re willing the ball to hit some pins, but in my case this doesn’t do much to help. Now I’m wondering which FX cast member is the best bowler.A couple from the red carpet and Legion’s Amber Midthunder – what a great name – will definitely need to switch out those amazing silver heels to bowl. Great dress choice that manages to swing between casual and fancy. A hooded henley is not something I’ve encountered a lot (or maybe ever?) and Atlanta’s Keith Stanfield pairs it with a great jacket and some classic Cons. Stanfield is straddling smart and casual in a way that I applaud.

Out of the Box: Look of the Week

7 Apr

Award season is never truly over and the GLAAD Media Awards delivers on some fantastic black and white ensembles. Plus a whole lot of stripes, IRL friendships and some heartbreak in this edition of “Out of the Box.”Judith Light serving up her usual red carpet domination thanks to the drama of the shoulders/abs and that fabulous ring at the GLAAD Media Awards.White gowns were on trend for the Transparent cast and Trace Lysette looks fabulous posing with Moonlight writer Tarell Alvin McCraney as he switches out his white Oscar tux for this dashing number. Moonlight won Outstanding Film and Transparent was awarded Outstanding Comedy Series. While we’re on the subject of dashing and Moonlight here is Trevante Rhodes giving great floral and patterned tie at the GLAAD Media Awards.Tatiana Maslany has done the post-show ending hair chop and I love this length on her. Going for a fun spin on the ladysuit with a tee and fancy shoes; plus some pins supporting great causes.

The ‘&’ pin is from GLAAD and was worn by many in attendance. The other is for Planned Parenthood and can be purchased here; there’s a lot of great pins at the moment and ones which raise awareness and funds are even better.

Conqueror. @tatianamaslany

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In keeping with the Planned Parenthood theme as this tank by Otherwild also includes a donation. This photo was taken by Tatiana Maslany’s Orphan Black co-star Kristian Bruun and is classic casual Maslany. Also her hair continues to look great.More in the co-stars hanging out department with the Mr Robot siblings at the Montblanc and UNICEF gala dinner at the New York Public Library (what a location to have a dinner). Rami Malek takes his shirt game to the next level and once again Ilaria Urbinati gives him a great suit to wear.

I also sometimes forget that Malek and Carly Chaikin aren’t really brother and sister because look at them. Good work Mr Robot casting team.

Big Little Lies is all I can think about (for my deep dive into the Audrey Hepburn costumes head here) and the IRL friendship between Reese Witherspoon and Laura Dern is everything. Reese gifted us with four different shots of them on the beach and yes this is my current phone lock screen photo.Sarah Steele makes everything better and I’m so glad they brought Marissa Gold back for the The Good Fight. At the Speech & Debate premiere Steele does the whole casual cool vibe and this is a fun take on stripes that I now definitely want in my closet.

You can think clearly only with your clothes on.-Margaret Atwood #handmaidstale

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I am very excited about The Handmaid’s Tale adaptation and all the Elisabeth Moss this is going to give us on the promo tour. Not to mention that we’ve got a second Top of the Lake season to look forward to. This Michael Kors ensemble gives great stripes and also showcases how great stylist Karla Welch’s eye is.At Kimmel (not in the outfit she wore on the show) and Jenny Slate is clearly loving her Rachel Comey shoes (the TV Ate My Wardrobe jury is still out). The rest of Slate’s outfit makes me want to drink cocktails somewhere in Cape Cod and I’m also thrilled to see a regular looking shirt after reading this recent Racked piece. And as the Fug Girls like to say; everyone looks hotter in sunglasses.The end of this week’s “Out of the Box” is sponsored by all the feelings and great outfits. Both in Dolce & Gabbana (they are both clients of other stylist fave Ilaria Urbinati) and both fantastic. Anyway, I’m gonna go reread Jada Yuan’s Vulture profile of Slate because it really is the best.

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