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Tag Archives: Allison Janney

Out of the Box: Look of the Week

17 Nov

Award season is truly here and both the Oscars and the Golden Globes hosted pre-nominations fancy shindigs in the last week. The latter was awash with color and pattern; if you want to see Armie Hammer in florals head here.

Botanics also make an appearance here and if these red carpets are anything to go by then we’re in for a treat come January. The second week in a row where I have kicked things off with Zoe Kazan and another stunning ensemble. At the Governors Awards, Kazan wore an ethereal Prada gown. This is something I have noted on a number of occasions, but one thing I love about Zoe Kazan is that she always mentions and credits her stylist Leith Clark when posting about these events on social media. The team effort that goes into the red carpet part of this business has really been made visible thanks to platforms like Instagram and Twitter.

Also I appreciate Kazan answering my lipstick related query and putting me in touch with her makeup artist Kirin Bhatty on Twitter. Because I am still preoccupied with a question from the early days of this blog.Ditching Dior for Alexander McQueen and this is my favorite Jennifer Lawrence look in an age. This is telling with regards to that Dior deal. Although I do find myself drawn to the print ads Lawrence does for the brand. It just doesn’t translate on the red carpet.Sarah Paulson is serving up witchy glam in Miu Miu and a berry lip. Reader, I am here for it.Tessa Thompson’s rainbow pleated dream from the Emmys is definitely one of 2017’s best gowns and while this Altuzarra doesn’t hit that mark, it is a beautiful gown and looks like a tapestry that would normally hang in a fancy manor house/castle/palace.

Guys. She keeps asking and I keep telling her, I'm ALREADY MARRIED! ❤️

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Michelle Williams was at the Governors Awards while Busy Philipps attended the Baby2Baby fundraiser on Saturday night. Later they found each other and news that will not shock you, I yelped with delight when this photo popped up on my Insta feed. See also when Michelle made an appearance in Busy’s Saturday night Stories. Serena Williams has had a very busy week; she attended Glamour’s 2017 Women of The Year Awards and looked stunning in a Versace mini-dress. Then she got married yesterday to Alexis Ohanian in New Orleans. And I cannot wait to see the photos. The party favors alone are incredible. Congratulations! Zazie Beetz puts a really fun spin on the ladysuit trend. I now want to see her starring in a 1920s-set vehicle. Mr. Robot has got really good again and while season 2 was hit and miss, the women were super compelling. Portia Doubleday’s ability to switch from super steely to eyeliner smudged shakiness has been a pleasure to watch. On the show I am enamored with her high-neck white blouses, but it good to see an injection of color IRL. And I am a sucker for all things pleated skirts.This Dolce & Gabbana dress feels like the embodiment of the design aesthetic from Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet and Anne Hathaway looks great in it.Dior sponsored the Guggenheim International Gala Pre-Party and Rebecca Hall escapes all things sheer that this brand has been indulging in recently. I do appreciate a tuxedo inspired frock and the star ankle boots are a strong contender for the covet list.

I saw Professor Marston and the Wonder Woman at the weekend and Hall gave a blistering performance (as she always does) in a film that I thoroughly enjoyed. There was a high level of drooling over Donna Maloney’s costume design—especially the jackets—and that both Wonder Woman featuring movies (not including Justice League in this) were directed by women, warms my soul.  

The Get Out cast is working the pre-nominations circuit and it would please me no end if this movie was to get recognized. Allison Williams notes that there was some accidental outfit coordinating with co-star Daniel Kaluuya. Both are crushing it on the stripes front. GRETA! This Bust cover is every heart emoji.

❤ ❤ ❤

Feeling all the things.
It does look like the #OscarsSoWhite tag will sadly not be retired if this Hollywood Reporter cover is anything to go by and Mary J. Blige gets put to the side of all the group shots. Optics wise it is hard not to notice.

The interview itself gets to the heart of the topic that has dominated entertainment news for the last six weeks and they don’t back away from the conversation. It is important and a topic that will surely be the first question on any of these roundtables going forward.

As a headline, this one is striking and the extract below gets to the heart of the ‘difficult actress’ label:

LAWRENCE Sometimes — I’ve had this happen: I finally made the decision to stand up for myself, and then I went to go to the bathroom at work and one of the producers stopped me and was like, “You know, we can hear you on the microphone, you’ve been really unruly.” Which was not true, but basically my job was threatened because the director said something fucked up to me and I said, “That’s sick, you can’t talk to me like that,” and then I was punished, and I got afraid that I wasn’t going to be hired again.

STONE Yeah, you were “difficult.”

LAWRENCE Yeah, I was called difficult and a nightmare. I think a lot of people aren’t coming forward because they’re afraid they’re not going to work again. You need to be able to say, “This is wrong” and have somebody do something about it instead of saying, “Oh, it’s wrong? Well, you’re fired.”

Read the whole thing at The Hollywood Reporter.

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Out of the Box: Look of the Week

10 Nov

The trickle of film celebrations has turned into a stream and this is a bumper Look of the Week. Fabulous frocks, ladysuits and stunning December issues celebrating the good things about this year. Yes, there are some good things among the garbage.  At the 21st annual Hollywood Awards, Zoe Kazan’s Gucci botanical frock is a delight. I can see Kazan in a lot of the new Gucci pieces and this is right in my style wheelhouse. Also to file under outfits that I adore; the ladysuit! Noomi Rapace mixes a lace cami with menswear inspiration and not only picks a great color suit, but doubles down with her pumps.And for an entirely different take on the ladysuit. Kate Mara’s metallic Burberry number is giving futuristic retro vibes.I can’t see a slip dress and not think about the ’90s. Throw a white baby doll tee under it/cardigan over it with Cons for that season 1 Felicity vibe and then heat things up without one a la Felicity in the season 2 premiere.

Tatiana Maslany has opted for the latter at the Hollywood Film Awards in Diane von Furstenberg. Throwing all the flame emojis in Viola Davis’ direction because this iridescent Alberta Ferretti gown is smoking hot.Emily V. Gordon continues to impress with her range of floral frocks and this Saloni London number is another hit. As are her shoes. And as a fan of a suit outside of the usual black/grey/brown/navy spectrum, I am very much here for Kumail Nanjiani’s choice here.

Hopefully we will continue to see the Big Sick team getting fêted and it is one of my favorite films of 2017. Wearing vintage Balmain to the SAG-AFTRA Foundation Patron of the Artists Awards is Tracee Ellis Ross and once again her love of fashion goes deep and far back. Love the pop of red on her bag and pumps.
The LACMA Art + Film Gala was presented by Gucci so it is ruffles and lace for Kerry Washington, in a distinctive look. I continue to be enamored with everything Gucci is doing right now.

Also a good time to mention that I spoke to Scandal costume designer Lyn Paolo last week and you can read that here.

Love ya NY NY 🌈 rg @weallwantsomeone #yeahyeahyeahs

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Karen O spits rainbows and this Yeah Yeah Yeahs reunion is giving me all those undergraduate feelings. *digs out “Pin” poster*Drawing hearts around this photo of Greta Gerwig and Saoirse Ronan at a screening of Lady Bird and Ronan is driving my desire to get some velvet pants.

I mentioned on Twitter that when I saw this photo of Allison Janney, my jaw hit the floor. Two days later and it is still having the same effect. Everything I love about a women in a tuxedo is on display here. The Cut continues their run of excellent profiles of women I find very interesting and this Aidy Bryant one is now different. The shoot itself is also fabulous and just because Bryant is not a sample size; it doesn’t mean she shouldn’t look as high fashion as anyone else who appears in these editorials. Something she discusses in the interview and she recalls having to wear her own clothes when she did a shoot with her SNL co-stars:

“It was just humiliating. The other girls had racks of clothes to choose from and were wearing these thousand-dollar dresses, and I had two sacks or like one matronly mother-of-the-bride dress. Those were the first times where I was like, Something is different here and this isn’t fair. This is a fucked-up situation, and it’s purely because of my body. Not because I’m less funny — it’s my body. It’s the only reason that I’m treated differently right now. And it lit a fucking fire in me.”

The original reason behind starting this blog was to discuss costume influence on my own style and Bryant’s costuming in The Big Sick ticks all those boxes. Fuck having to compromise on what you wear just because you’re not a size 6. Teen Vogue will cease to have a print copy next year and while it is the digital platform that has made this magazine one to watch for, I am still sad to see this one depart the print landscape. Over the years there have been some stunning covers (this Amandla Stenberg made a huge impact on me) and this Hillary Clinton cover (HRC is also the guest-editor of this issue) is pure art.
Another case of my jaw hitting the floor this week and Edward Enniful’s first edition of UK Vogue as the new editor-in-chief, is making a huge impression with this stunning shot of Adwoa Aboah. I can’t stop staring and I cannot wait until I get my hands on a copy.

There is a scene in Call My By Your Name that takes place in front of a bunch of magazines and I ended up in a Google image hole of Vogue Italia covers from 1983 and it reminds me of that period. The Samira Wiley Out 100 cover from three years ago is still one I think about. Such a stunning image and again this annual issue delivers. Jonathan Groff has had another really strong year and he gives great casual sweater pose.Also having an incredible year is Emmy award winning Lena Waithe. This cover is fabulous and I love how confident her gaze is here.

Out of the Box: Look of the Week

3 Nov

Some of the big trends dominating the latter half of the year are showcased in this week’s “Out of the Box” and a fun mix of fancy/casual events delivers sartorially. Plus talking the Stranger Things publicity tour, movie premieres and striking magazines editorials.We are so lucky that Michelle Pfeiffer has been having a huge 2017, culminating in Murder on the Orient Express. I am a big Poirot/Agatha Christie adaptation fan so I am cautiously excited about this movie—I really love David Suchet’s Poirot.

But something that does not need to be debated or cautiously excited about is Pfeiffer at the London premiere in a stunning silver Prada gown.
Daisy Ridley is going to be wearing a lot of fancy frocks over the next couple of months and she is kicking things off in glamorous style in jade-green Vivienne Westwood Couture. For more from Ridley scroll to the bottom of this post.Thor: Ragnarok is great and it is the rare Marvel film where you can hear the director’s voice—both literally and figuratively. Here is Taika Waititi hamming it up at a screening of his new movie and this is another case where he’s giving great style. And white denim jackets are not the easiest thing to pull off.It is that time of year when awards start coming thick and fast; the start of a very long season for those actors that might get an Oscar nomination. Allison Janney is one such person and here she is at the third annual Carney Awards starting things low-key, but jazzing it up enough with her choice of jewelry.
Cold-shoulders and deconstructed shirts were the two (terrible) trends of 2017. Now it seems that every sweater, top and dress is finding it necessary to have some kind of lace/tie/ribbon on it. I am not mad about all of it, but I think I might be in a few months time.

Kathryn Hahn at the A Bad Moms Christmas premiere gets the good end of the ribbon deal in Alberta Ferretti.

Jessica Williams mixes two of my fave thing—preppy and twee—in Creatures of Comfort at the opening of The Wing in Soho.  The Stranger Things teens are still everywhere promoting the second season and the boys continue to do the casual thing with aplomb. There has been concern about Millie Bobby Brown’s schedule and any regular reader of Lainey Gossip will be very aware of this. There have been so many child/teen stars that have burned out far too young and hopefully Brown will not be another cautionary tale.

In terms of styling before this promo tour Brown’s look was pretty age appropriate and as the Fug Girls point out it is now veering into the other end of this scale. Here, I think her Giamba outfit is a good mix of high fashion/fun and Sadie Sink’s ensemble is doing it, but without doing the most. Dressing when you are a regular teen is hard enough and I can’t imagine going through this awkward stage with this many eyes on you.  Frances Ha was my favorite film of 2013 and suffice to say I couldn’t be more excited about Lady Bird. There are a lot of Greta Gerwig profiles out this week and I couldn’t be more thrilled; both the New York Magazine and New York Times ones are excellent. The above photo is courtesy of Interview and regular readers will know how much I adore their editorial style.

Gerwig is interviewed by Francis Ford Coppola and it is an insightful conversation about Gerwig’s childhood, influences and process including this gem about the rehearsal process. I also love 20th Century Women so this anecdote really speaks to me. And this gif is a necessary accompaniment to her tale.

[source]

“It wasn’t just working with the lines; it was also a lot of talking and investigation. I would have them all dance together, because when I worked with Mike Mills, he had us do that. I found it useful because it makes you less embarrassed of your body and less embarrassed in front of other people, so I stole that from him.”

The below sentiment also applies to how I pitch. I am so bad at explaining an idea in its initial stage.

“I’ve found that if I can explain it to someone early, it’s going to be terrible. You have to give the hunch time to grow in the dark, because otherwise—let’s say you pitch it to a friend really early—it dies.”Solange shines bright for Glamour as one of their Women of the Year in matching sequined Gucci top/pants and Stuart Weitzman boots. Perfect level of sparkle for this time of year.

The whole essay is super inspiring, but this really resonates:

“There’s such a dated, tired narrative that women are taking a risk by standing up for themselves, writing their own narratives, and having control over their bodies. But I felt so much freedom in speaking my truth. I no longer wanted to stay silent. I didn’t care what I had to lose. I started to weigh what the risks of not telling my truth were versus burning bridges that needed to be burned.”The best cover Entertainment Weekly has done in an age; the colors/clothes/everything about it. Constance Wu and Henry Golding look fabulous. I really need to read this book before the movie comes out. As I mentioned near the top of this week’s “Out of the Box,” Daisy Ridley is going to be everywhere for the next two months—much to my delight—with both Murder on the Orient Express and The Last Jedi. I really love this cover and the whole ’80s direction of this editorial. Also, the interview is conducted by none other than Adam Driver and it is delightful.

Best of the 2016 Creative Arts Emmys Red Carpet

12 Sep

The Creative Arts Emmys were held over two nights this weekend (September 10 and 11) kicking off this year’s TV celebrating festivities. Game of Thrones dominated – including costume design – with 9 wins and The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story won 5. Amy Poehler received her first ever (yep, ever) for guest hosting SNL with Tina Fey, but alas neither of them were there to pick up their award. Here is the full list of winners.

Below are some of the best looks from the red carpet over the two nights and this is lovely prelude to the main event coming.allison-janneyAllison Janney crushes it always in both the amount of nominations she has received and her choice of frock; this is no exception. Full marks for accessories with a standout necklace, bracelet and earrings, which accentuate the outfit without overwhelming it.joanne-froggattWhat Joanne Froggatt needs is to probably borrow some of Allison Janney’s jewelry ideas, but otherwise this is a good warm-up before the main event and Downton Abbey’s last hurrah. rachel-bloomRachel Bloom goes for a bit of whimsy with a keyboard tie on Saturday, but it is her shoes that are giving me full on heart eyes. Excellent red lipstick choice too.

I was disappointed Bloom didn’t get nominated in the comedy actress category; however Crazy Ex-Girlfriend won two Emmys over the weekend for Outstanding Choreography and Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Comedy Series.ellen-pageNow to the Sunday night and Ellen Page adds a bit of edge to the ladysuit with leather pants and a pair of boots. lake-bellGame of Thrones won the costume design award and Lake Bell’s chain mail looking Naeem Khan dress is worthy of Cersei in full battle mode. chelsea-peretti-and-jordan-peeleFavorite celeb couple alert! I’m a big fan of the blue tux and loafers that look like slippers so Jordan Peele is crushing it for me and Chelsea Peretti’s frock ticks all the floral boxes. kristen-schaalThere’s a 1920s bride vibe that I am so here for (maybe because my wedding is now less than two weeks away – eek) and Kristen Schaal’s got the whole red lipstick thing working for her.rupaulRocking a lot of polka dots in a joyful pink suit is RuPaul and after 8 seasons of Drag Race this is the first Emmy win for RuPaul; he definitely picked an excellent outfit for the occasion.

 

Stay tuned for all our Emmy red carpet coverage this time next week!

The 2016 Comedy Actress Emmy Roundtable

15 Jun

Emmy roundtable season continues and The Hollywood Reporter has unveiled the comedy actress panel featuring an amazing lineup of Lily Tomlin, Gina Rodriguez, Ilana Glazer, Niecy Nash, Allison Janney and Rachel Bloom.

Emmy voting is now open and you can see the full list of submissions here; once again Allison Janney has a chance of picking up two awards in comedy (Mom) and drama (Masters of Sex). I’m going to be taking a closer look at the costume design submissions in the not too distant future as a specific episode is listed for each one so keep an eye out for that.THRStyling wise I prefer this (click on image for a closer look) to the drama actress pastels and satin (or bridesmaids as Kirsten Dunst accurately referred to it) with Ilana Glazer’s tuxedo dress and Rachel Bloom’s white ladysuit being my personal favorites.

The actual roundtable (which you can read here) is unsurprisingly great and continues the theme of people I would love to have a boozy lunch/dinner with.THRSo far there’s only a couple of clips on YouTube – there are more on THR – including this fantastic Rachel Bloom video which makes me feel bad that I still haven’t watched Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and it is  also a good reminder that Bloom used to live with Ilana Glazer.

And Allison Janney gives a good lesson in things you shouldn’t say to a famous person or when you think a person looks like a famous person. Just don’t do it.

This has been a really good THR roundtable season also extending to the equally wonderful Tony actress discussion and there will be more Emmy chat on TV Ate My Wardrobe in the coming weeks. Emmy nomination day is July 14 and the Emmys will be held Sunday, September 18.

Knitwear, Boots and Coats Galore at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival

25 Jan

In a sea of red carpets at this time of year Sundance stands out because heels are replaced by boots and wool is a predominant fabric. Plus the chance of sheer ruining an ensemble is dramatically reduced. Award season indulges in wish fulfillment aspects of fashion and the fancy pants levels are high; while I love the decadent and intricate details of gowns galore, there is something rather wonderful about the casual cool at the Sundance Film Festival.

What this boils down to is a combination of a several things including a love of all things winter wear – yes I have snow FOMO right now – with a dash of ‘stars they’re just like us’ and the kind of movies that are being showcased. Considering how many different knitted I am wearing right now (including leggings and long bootie socks) combined with how many sweater posts we have produced on TV Ate My Wardrobe it will come as no big surprise that I am in style heaven right now.

Aubrey Plaza and Jenny SlateApril Ludgate was an ultimate sweater queen and there was no doubt that Aubrey Plaza would not disappear from these pages when Parks and Recreation ended. At the Joshy premiere Plaza goes for a cozy ribbed sweater delight paired with skinny jeans, black boots and the always wonderful Jenny Slate. Also killing it with her boots choice, pleated skirt and sweater tee.

Amandla StenbergCeleb style lounges pretty much sound like the best thing especially when warm coats and boots are up for grabs so Sundance has this perk in the bag too. At Kari Feinstein’s Style Lounge Amandla Stenberg gives a good style lesson in long dress chunky knits; performing the double of super cozy and funky all at once.

Alison Brie SundanceAlso at the Kari Feinstein Style Lounge Alison Brie shows off fur hooded and toggle coat excellence demonstrating exactly why this is the ideal place for a freebie haul.

Chloe Sevigny and Natasha LyonneGetting whiffs of Grey Gardens and now picturing Chloë Sevigny and Natasha Lyonne as Big and Little Edie as they attend Lena Dunham and Planned Parenthood’s ‘Sex, Politics & Film’ cocktail reception. I mean this as a huge compliment. Sweater heaven continues.

Allison Janney and Sian HederWhere else would you see Allison Janney in green leather pants?! Extra points for the chunky roll neck sweater at the Tallulah premiere. Tallulah writer/director Sian Heder is pretty much wearing my platonic ideal of a casual outfit – boots/tights/striped dress – and I am very much looking forward to seeing this film.

Brianna HildebrandBrianna Hildebrand covers all the coat and patterned shirt bases at the First Girl I Loved premiere. Jeans are once again the pants of choice paired with – you guessed it – black boots.

To avoid this post being an endless scrolling exercise we’ve put the rest of our favorite Sundance looks in the gallery below. Just click on the image for a better look and so many more sweater, outerwear, boots and winter casual attire offerings.

For more Sundance be sure to check back for “Out of the Box: Look of the Week” on Friday and here are some highlights from last year including THAT Coach sweater I am still coveting.

Out of the Box: Look of the Week

14 Aug

Summer TCA continued this week with the Showtime ladies coming out in style. Plus more magazine delights and other various events.

Ruth WilsonRuth Wilson put a bird on it in this fabulous flamingo Valentino caped sleeve mini frock at the CBS, CW and Showtime TCA party. Insert all the heart eye emojis here while I go sip on a margarita and dream of this dress.

Lizzy CaplanOpting for the same Valentino Resort 2016 collection is Lizzy Caplan with those same flamingos appearing in a moodier setting. The skirt looks like a painting and Caplan red carpet styling is always such a revelation. It is a shame either Caplan or Wilson have been nominated for an Emmy this year because they both always bring it whether it is a big or small occasions.

Allison JanneyAllison Janney has been nominated for two Emmys this year (for Mom and Masters of Sex) and she is serving up simple chic vibes at the TCA event where she was also pulling double duty for these two shows. Her arc on Masters of Sex has been quietly devastating for the third year in a row.

Keri Russell TCAThere is a Keri Russell shaped hole in my viewing now that the Felicity watch is over and The Americans won’t be back until the start of next year; I was thrilled to see her at the TCA Awards where The Americans was deservedly being honored (pay attention Emmys). Russell does effortless cool with a twist so well and this beaded kimono inspired Zuhair Murad gown does just that.

Amandla Stenberg#LadySuitWatch2015 alert! Amandla Stenberg covers the new autumn issue of Dazed and I can’t wait to pick up an issue. Stenberg talks about taking teens seriously (continuing the current Dazed trend of talking to smart teens like Maisie Williams and Lorde) saying “I think people discredit teenagers and how wise they can be. Sometimes I meet teenagers who are much wiser than many adults I’ve met, because they haven’t let any insecurities or doubts about themselves get in the way of their thoughts.” Plus she also discusses Tumblr as a social justice platform after her powerful “Don’t Cash Crop My Cornrows” video.

Great GerwigMistress America is out today and I am so unbelievably excited for this film and all things Greta Gerwig including this Time Out New York cover.

Aubrey PlazaI need this Ann Taylor* jacket in my life and it will come to the shock of pretty much no one that I have strong positive feelings about an Aubrey Plaza outfit (except those shoes). This is perfect panel attire for a Sundance NEXT FEST event which Plaza co-moderated with Silicon Valley’s Thomas Middleditch.

*Instantly reminded of the Parks episode “Ann’s Decision” where April borrows Leslie’s clothes and says “I don’t know who Ann Taylor is, but I hate her and want to kill her.”

Uzo AdubaEnding the week with Uzo Aduba looking radiant in so much bold color in a knockout Carmen Marc Valvo dress and thankfully there is not a nude pump in sight; opting for these amazing blue Manolo Balinik heels instead.

Masters of Sex 3.05 “Masters of Gravity” Review: Polish Until it is Perfect

10 Aug

Bill Masters has a point to prove and an audience he can’t wait to show how wrong they are. This battle is one which dates back long before the time period covered on Masters of Sex and his relationship with his father has informed how he reacts to the people he perceives as bullies. This covers those at Washington University who branded him a pervert and kicked him out to the several other institutions he was fired from last season. Now is the time he can perform a victory lap and laud it over the doubters and naysayers. Except it isn’t quite this simple or satisfying and an incident with Bill’s son Johnny dredges up feelings of inadequacy from his own childhood.

The Philip Larkin poem “This Be the Verse” repeatedly popped into my mind – “They fuck you up, your mum and dad” – throughout “Masters of Gravity” as we finally get to meet Virginia’s parents. This season is delving deeper into her past as she alluded to her first love last week and why her heart is so carefully guarded. With Bill we have seen in some detail the difficult relationship he has with his mother and the traumatic events from his childhood at the hands of his father was explored in the exceptional “Fight.” Bill doesn’t like to share too much and yet circumstances have led to him revealing far more about himself than Virginia. The surprise visit organized by Tessa – on the one night where she knows her mother will have company – offers up plenty of opportunity to see what drives Virginia and gives Lizzy Caplan so many occasions to use her best exasperated expression, which she does so well.

Masters of Sex 3.05 VirginiaFrances Fisher plays Virginia’s picky mother Edna – like a less snooty version of her Titanic character – and she is queen of the backhand compliment mentioning how great Virginia looks and how she only has a few more lbs to lose. She doubles down on the weight hints over breakfast by pointing out how fattening margarine is just as Virginia takes a bite of her marg covered toast.

Nothing trumps the humdinger she delivers after Bill’s ‘illuminating’ speech “Here I thought you’d made a mess of your life, but now I see that you are this close to being able to fix things.” Virginia hopes the evening has given her mother insight into the importance of their research and instead Edna sees this as an opportunity for Virginia to be the ideal man, all she has to do is get Libby out of the way. The entire thing has been lost on her and the pride her mother feels has nothing to with this achievement as all she can think about is her daughter scoring the perfect husband.

This seed has been planted by the meddling Tessa who has placed one of Bill’s signature bow ties in with Virginia’s laundry and Edna correctly assumes they are having an affair. I doubt Tessa wants her grandmother to approve this relationship so she would be just as horrified by this comment as her mother is.

Masters of Sex 3.05 Virginia and her motherThe episode opens with Virginia and Bill in the afterglow of a hookup, which for once has not been interrupted by the baby and instead they get disturbed by the arrival of Virginia’s parents. Despite the difficulty they have in finding alone time together everything is good between them, until Edna sticks her oar in. The expected reaction would be one of horror that Virginia is sleeping with a married man, instead Edna sees this as an opportunity and Virginia’s immediate response is to ask out Charming Dan Logan. Really, Josh Charles is charming all over the place and his character has a well earned nickname.

Masters of Sex 3.05 Virginia shocked faceThis is how happy Virginia is by her mother’s comments.

Appearances are what count and Virginia’s chief complaint about Edna is how she tries to polish something until it is perfect. This dates back to being made to hold a Popsicle on her teeth before a beauty pageant to try and combat her overbite. Just how accurate these memories are is called into question as her dad points out that she was the one who entered herself. Even if this is the case it sure seems like her mother was a rather enthusiastic supporter to the point of pushing her too hard. In Virginia’s mind there is nothing she can do to live up to the standards her mother sets and even being part of a pioneering scientific research team is not enough if she doesn’t have the love life to match. Her mother wants her to have it all, but maybe isn’t so bothered by the career aspect.

The desire to prove something is also deeply embedded in Bill’s psyche and even though Chancellor Fitzhugh comes cap in hand to Bill needing a favor and offering a platform to show off his success; the resulting feeling is not the gloating or fulfilling one he expected. Instead all Bill can see as he gets his standing O is the time he bought his father’s birthday gift while wearing a gift of his own from his father’s fists. In a moment of openness and vulnerability with Libby he tells her “making that man happy was like trying to walk to the horizon.” His father is dead and it doesn’t matter what he does because he will never experience making his father proud. All he has are the physical and psychological scars he imparted on him.

Masters of Sex 3.05 Bill and JohnnyBill’s a pretty absent father himself and he finds it hard to engage with his children in a meaningful way. The opportunity presents itself this week as his eldest Johnny has been beaten up at school. Bill knows the feeling of being beaten by someone bigger all too well and isn’t going to stand for it happening to his kid. Luckily for the bully Dennis he didn’t go for the Ray Velcoro route (knuckleduster/threatening to fuck his dead with his headless mom’s corpse) and while he possibly went a smidge too far as he later admits to Libby, he didn’t lay a hand on him. He just scared him to the point of pissing himself.

When Johnny has tried to reach out to his father we have seen him dismissed or ignored so it is not surprising when Johnny rejects Bill’s attempts to bond over the book he is reading. First of all Bill, Johnny does not confirm he has got to the part in the book which you then go into detail about. Spoilers, Bill. Maybe if Bill had revealed the real reason he went up to the attic to read Johnny might have stuck around to watch TV, instead he leaves his father alone and they are just as distant as before. One awkward conversation does not lead to a new found bond, but it is a step and hopefully Bill won’t completely retreat from his son after this.

Masters of Sex 3.05 Johnny and BillAlso maybe Johnny just wants to read his book.

After his successful and prepared speech which didn’t go into the bitter depths I feared it might he takes audience questions and he is asked “Where is the love?” as the book goes into so much detail without discussing emotions. Bill’s response is masterful (I’ll see myself out) as he uses another scientific discovery to explain why love is absent from their work. Gravity is the shape of space itself and “the apple falls to the ground because it is following the lines and grooves that gravity has carved into space.” In the same respect love “is the very fabric of those bodies. Love is that which carves the lines and grooves; the curvature of our desire.” It can’t be “rendered into columns and graphs.”

Masters of Sex 3.05 Virginia and LibbyThe crowd as a whole responds with emphatic applause and yet not all are thrilled by this eloquent sentiment. Libby looks downcast probably because she has never experienced such a thing with her husband, while Virginia beams with pride and joy (and looks a little turned on). There is an awkward unspoken exchange between the two women and when Bill returns to the table his body language shows his closeness to Virginia; Edna is perceptive enough to spot all of this.

Time for another round of poor Libby. This is no consolation of course, but Libby as always is impeccably turned out and I bet Edna likes this about her, even while she encourages her daughter to break up her marriage.

Masters of Sex 3.05 LibbyThere’s a whole lot of denial wrapped up in truth telling in Margaret’s relationship with Jimmy Cooper (okay Graham) and his other girlfriend Jo. Margaret is so focused on fixing the sex related issues with Graham she doesn’t want to confront what the real problem is.

The session with Bill and Virginia includes helpful demonstrations – which are interrupted by the protesting religious group and I have a feeling they will keep being a nuisance – and the instructions they give prove to be fruitful.

Masters of Sex 3.05 Bill and VirginiaMargaret has not been living in her truth, instead she has been living in Graham’s and he happens to be a guy who is everything Barton isn’t. While this season hasn’t quite been hitting those high notes, “Masters of Gravity” manages to do just that with every storyline and even though I have left the Scully’s until the end they are just as vital to the success of this episode. The intimacy and vulnerability here is so striking; Allison Janney and Beau Bridges are so good at portraying all the pain and love that exists between them.

Masters of Sex 3.05 Margaret and BartonWhen Margaret asks “Where is home?” it is devastating and yet Barton knows exactly what he must do to give his ex-wife the resolution she deserves and he makes the difficult call to his daughter to reveal the truth behind their marriage breakdown. Maybe it would be better in person, but this is likely due to actor availability and the image of them holding hands is perfect. 

The truth can set you free and yet it can also complicate matters tremendously; confessions are spilling all over the place and the denial is just as free flowing.

Betty Watch 

Masters of Sex 3.05 Bill and Betty Masters of Sex 3.05 Betty and BillOnce again Betty doesn’t have a crazy amount to do sadly and the scenes she is are of course a delight. This includes giving Virginia a break from her parents and helping with Dan’s research. She also fixes Bill’s back, which he hurt while sneaking out of Virginia’s first floor window. There are quite a few farcical elements this week and this injection of humor is welcome. As are Michael Sheen and Annaleigh Ashford’s expressions in the above shots. Betty mentions Helen and this gives me hope for Sarah Silverman and a juicy Betty storyline.

Outfit I Would Wear in 2015

Masters of Sex 3.05 Virginia bretton stripesThere are many clothes I would wear from this show and this is a feature I do on The Americans reviews and as soon as this Breton striped long sleeve tee and pants pairing made me realize I need to add this to these reviews. This really is my Platonic ideal of a casual outfit.

 

Masters of Sex 3.04 “Undue Influence” Review: Self Help

3 Aug

Bill Masters is not a charismatic guy; something he recognized earlier this season when he tried to promote Human Sexual Response solo. Bill understands Virginia is a vital component in both the creation of this book and selling it to the general public and it is why a book tour without Virginia would be a disaster. Virginia however has other things on her mind namely her baby, her wayward daughter and her son who is thousands of miles away in Vietnam and has written to tell her he is sick.

Her plate is already full and there is no room for anything else and so when Bill idly starts reading Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People while he is on a bookstore stakeout he attempts to adopt some of Carnegie’s methods throughout the episode.

Masters of Sex 3.04 BillIt would do Bill good to take a moment and consider the needs of others, particularly the long suffering women in his life, but Dale Carnegie’s self-help best seller* might not be the place start because it is essentially about getting what you want. One of Carnegie’s methods involves getting what you want by making the other person think it was their idea in the first place. It is all about exerting your influence undetected, but Bill is not so good with this aspect because he lacks the charm of someone like Dan Logan. Bill is good at referencing and quoting other people to prove a point and yet the subtleties evade him. When he tells his neighbor Paul that he understands how he feels in a gesture of kindness it comes across hollow, but the back pat and semi hug is a lot more human; even if Bill looks like he would rather crawl out if his skin in that moment.

*’You Must Remember This,’ the fantastic podcast detailing Hollywood’s first century is currently doing a Charles Manson series. ‘How to Win Friends’ has come up on numerous occasions as Manson read this book in jail and used the methods to get his ‘family’ to do his bidding. Not that Bill is a Charles Manson type, but it is hard not to think about how Manson manipulated plenty of people with the help of Carnegie’s teachings.

Betty can see straight through Bill’s new approach and has even had personal encounters with Carnegie himself; she doesn’t need to read an advice book to know why Virginia is shying away from the book tour and Bill could have saved himself both time and money if he just went to Betty in the first place. What Masters of Sex needs to do this season is give Betty more screen time because a) she lights up the screen whenever she is on and b) she shouldn’t be used just as the wise and worldly woman narrative device. Currently Betty is the Kalinda Sharma case solving magical unicorn.

Masters of Sex 3.04 TessaExtending to agony aunt as Tessa is spending the day at the office after being suspended from school and Betty’s other vital scene in the episode highlights the above points. Tessa wonders why people need to understand sex in this much detail anyway and she’s feeling shitty for a number of reasons; her first sexual encounter was traumatic and even though she acts like this is a good approach to not getting pregnant she is clearly in a lot of despair. She has also found out that her mother and Bill are involved thanks to the aftershave in both her mother’s bathroom and Bill’s desk drawer – is this not a common brand? way to jump to an accurate conclusion – and all she can smell is hypocrisy.

This brings us to another bleak scene between Tessa and Matt in his car. Talking isn’t making her feel better about her awful day and so she opts for the one thing which will make her numb. This time the act is consensual, but it doesn’t make it okay. I’m struggling with the Tessa stuff this week and while I mentioned how the last episode felt like a compelling/relevant teenage storyline in an adult drama rather than being shoehorned in, it is not without growing pains.

Masters of Sex 3.04 Libby and BillBeing honest is something that comes up on several occasions throughout “Undue Influence” with Carnegie’s tome suggesting things that sound truthful, but are really subtle manipulations. I believe Bill when he says those words to Virginia at the end regarding how important she is because it mirrors how he spoke to Libby when he felt like that toward his wife. But the gentle prodding with getting Virginia to take the fur coat feels like book reading Bill. He even points out that it is an uncharacteristic move and this is classic getting someone to do something by thinking it was their idea. I don’t think Bill is shady, but I am shaking my head in a disapproving way as he has taken a personal moment Libby has brought up and pretty much transferred it onto Virginia in this moment. Virginia is the “dazzling girl” and Bill is caught between real life and well, real life.

The discussion which really homes in on this idea of honesty comes from the returning Margaret Scully who encounters her husband for the first time since they signed their divorce papers three years previous. Margaret has a happy(ish) sex life in that she is having sex with someone who she knows is into her and yet there are underlining issues; premature ejaculation and the burden of Barton’s secret. Margaret and her daughter are no longer on speaking terms as Margaret bore the responsibility for the divorce and she believes she can’t be truly happy unless she can tell Graham about the real reason behind her split. Allison Janney sells this line of thought so beautifully as she tells Bill “it haunts me carrying around a secret that doesn’t belong to me and it isn’t mine to tell.”

Masters of Sex 3.04 Virginia and MargaretGraham doesn’t understand why they must look to the past to try and fix the present because he practices William Glasser’s Reality Therapy and this deals with living in the moment; however the past informs so much about who we are. Margaret’s experience with Barton has profoundly impacted her relationship with sex and love. For Virginia she guards her heart in box because of how heartbroken she was at 18 when she fell madly in love with a soldier who then returned to his fiance – in the book this show is based on Thomas Maier goes into detail about this relationship and its impact – and her conversation with charming Dan reveals just a little bit more of the romantic George referenced a couple of weeks ago.

Libby clings to the few happy moments in her marriage where it felt like Bill needed her, but also fretting about the fate of her neighbor who was about to break free. When Libby sees Barton on the sly (how did she get in undetected?) and he asks her about the pill she comes up with a decent excuse, but as a man who has lied to his wife many times he can see straight through her ‘keep the mystery’ reason. Being queen of denial comes in handy, but it doesn’t lead to the happy life she pretends she has.

An emotionally devastating outing, but thankfully there are humorous encounters peppering proceedings as Bill attempts to play out Carnegie’s advice with some eyebrow raising moments giving Michael Sheen a chance to flex his excellent comedic muscle. The brown paper is quite a good metaphor for what is happening on Masters of Sex at the moment as the show is still intriguing, but when you peel it back it isn’t quite what was expected as certain storylines like Libby’s have stalled and she’s stuck in the ‘Poor Libby’ life that she escaped from last season. Other plot points like Virginia’s ‘too much on her plate’ cycle is fine until we get these constant bickering “we’re a team” discussions and even though time has moved on by quite a margin some of the characters feel like they have stopped still.

And now to leave you with a few costume highlights including the Betty pattern treats.

Masters of Sex 3.04 Betty Masters of Sex 3.04 Betty patternsPlus Virginia’s buttons and scarf delight.

Picture1No Virginia in her fur as the screen went to black before she put it on.

Behind the Insta-Scenes: Photos from the Set

1 Jul

A whole lot of celebrating going on this week with both Pride and the Supreme Court ruling in favor of marriage equality across all 50 states. Plus reunions, returning to work, lipstick inspiration and a dream holiday location.

 

The Orange is the New Black cast partied at New York Pride on the Netflix float and there is some excellent cross show promotion from Danielle Brooks; I really need this vest top in my life.

#happypride. The energy here is amazing! #lovewins #love Wearing: @zelieforshe

A post shared by Adrienne Moore (@acmoore9) on

 

A perfectly timed leap for joy.

@msjackiecruz @yaelstone @acmoore9 HAPPY. FUCKING GAY PRIDE, bitches!!!! @netflix @oitnb #refusetobeinvisible

A post shared by Lea DeLaria (@realleadelaria) on

 

More OITNB lovely ladies at Pride.

 

And then back to work.

 

Landry grew a moustache and if only Allison Tolman could be in the late 70s set Fargo season 2.

Soon the be reunited with my #jonathangroff on @lookinghbo #looking #hbo #sanfrancisco

A post shared by Russelltovey (@russelltovey) on

 

All the Looking and Patrick/Kevin related feelings from this photo. I know Kevin is ultimately bad for Patrick, but I can’t help but ship them a teeny tiny bit.

 

Tracee Ellis Ross looked stunning at the BET Awards including this excellent lip color and now we know what shade/brand it is – Nars ‘Damned’ lip pencil. Also giving a much closer look at all the amazing jewelry she accessorized her first outfit of the night with.

😌😌😌😌😌😌😌😌😌😌😌😌😌 #eatcraylove #dailyshow

A post shared by Jessica Williams (@msjwilly) on

 

Everything Jessica Williams, always.

Allison is not afraid of babies at all!!

A post shared by @ellenpage on

 

Ellen Page has been shooting her new movie Tallulah in New York and she has been documenting this on Instagram including many photos of her co-star Allison Janney. I cannot wait to see them together again on screen.

Dry lips up in heeeere…. #Glastonbury15 #TentLife

A post shared by Maisie Williams (@maisie_williams) on

 

Braids aplenty for Maisie Williams at Glastonbury last weekend. Lip balm is as much as must as wellies are at this festival.

Eerie. #TheAffair We've shot almost 4 episodes of Season 2 & I love them so much. Can't wait for you to see.

A post shared by Julia Goldani Telles (@juliagtelles1) on

 

Yesterday we posted the new teaser for The Affair and Julia Goldani Telles gives us a glimpse of this idyllic location. A vacation in a place like this (but with far less drama and anguish) would be wonderful.

Love wins #fallenangelsareangelstoo

A post shared by Diane Kruger (@dianekruger) on

 

Rounding things off with patchwork style jeans which Diane Kruger is pulling off (she is a magical fashion unicorn) and the all important Love Wins message.

 

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