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Tag Archives: Jessica Pare

Out of the Box: Look of the Week

5 Jan

Happy New Year! And welcome to the first “Out of the Box” of 2018. Strap in as it is a long one.

The first week in January is not a time to quietly slip into things because award season is well and truly here. The Golden Globes are this weekend, but before that we have sartorial highs from the NYFCC Awards and the Palm Springs International Film Festival Film Awards Gala, among other shindigs.

It is also Winter TCA! So much TV news to digest. Plus new magazines are hitting newsstands. For a deep dive into the super candid Michelle Williams conversation with Harper’s Bazaar head here.

But first watch Tiffany Haddish give an amazing 17-minute speech at the NYFCC Awards as filmed/uploaded by Buzzfeed’s Alison Willmore.

Golden Globes, this is what you are missing out on. Oscar voters please consider your options carefully. Haddish’s Girls Trip performance deserves celebrating.The Armie/Timothée interesting outfit tour continues. And once again they are playing off each other in much the same way that Elio and Oliver do in Call Me By Your Name; in one scene Elio wears horizontal stripes while Oliver is in vertical. Complimentary, but also at odds.

At the NYFCC Awards Chalamet opts for pinstripes while Hammer goes for purple check Etro. Looking forward to more from this pair throughout this awards cycle.Get Out’s Betty Gabriel leans into a ’80s rom-com vibe in pink ombré Pamella Roland. Let’s also take this moment to rage over how dumb the SAG Awards rules are when it comes to the ensemble category. So, so dumb. As part of the Palm Springs International Film Festival, Jessica Chastain attended Variety’s Creative Impact Awards and 10 Directors to Watch, in day event Givenchy dress perfection. Plus it has pockets. I saw Molly’s Game this week and whoa was this is a good reminder of the bandage dress and super cleavy trends of the mid to late ’00s. And there those bandage dresses should stay.

Chastain is incredible in this film, but the last act is a mess. As I mentioned on Twitter, when there is good Sorkin there comes bad Sorkin. And that bench therapy scene is definitely the latter. I know I should hate the cropped palazzo pants aspect and beige strappy sandals, but I love the overall bold pink/red combo. The scarlet bustier is fabulous and Wonder Woman adjacent. Gal Gadot looks effortlessly cool in this Oscar da la Renta ensemble that would threaten to swap others. A whole lot of swoon at the Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards from both Sebastian Stan and Allison Janney. Janney is crushing it in green Lela Rose.
How to do sophisticated and comfy elegance the Jessica Paré way. Megan Draper would definitely approve.  Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon featured on our Best of 2017 “Out of the Box” rundown and they are already kicking the new year off in style. Mustard plus a cape element makes this a dream dress and I’m all for a plaid dinner jacket. Going for gold in Dolce & Gabbana. Tick. Another strong look for Armie Hammer courtesy of Ilaria Urbinati.

At the Palm Springs after party Saoirse Ronan in striking pink and gold Gucci caught up with her Lady Bird co-star, Timothée Chalamet. This photo is delightful.An early contender for best airport style. The only thing I would change about Emilia Clarke’s outfit is those shoes. Switch them out for the Adidas sneakers would really make this look. Coveting this blazer hard.Fox kicked off Winter 2018 TCA yesterday including a panel from new show 9-1-1. Aisha Hinds is giving great pattern clashing and bold lipstick. And people rarely work a pair of specs as fun as these. The thing to remember about TCA is to pick an outfit that looks great sitting down and Hinds does just this. Matt Czuchry is back on TV in The Resident and now he has facial hair! Because he is a doctor with no time to shave. Also a dream chunky knit sweater and leather coat is giving me strong feelings. Bruce Greenwood is working those silver fox vibes, but is Shaunette Renée Wilson in beautiful velvet that is really drawing my sartorial drooling. Not going to get bored of seeing these two. Nope. Never. This is great cover; simple and striking.W’s Best Performers of the Year issue is always super fun. This cover has me writing a script for an ’80s set movie starring Saoirse Ronan and Andrew Garfield, where they play rich siblings who start off as assholes but then have an important lesson to learn. There will be a dance scene.

This also might be the first time someone has appeared in three separate shots on “Out of the Box.”Warming my soul and causing me to write a rom-com starring Tom Hanks and Mary J. Blige, in a second chance at love scenario. Glamour needs to stop with this coverline design. It is too much and not in a good way. What they don’t need to stop with is cover images like this one and I love everything about this shot of Tracee Ellis Ross.

Ross also has some super wise words, particularly on the discussion that is happening and not just in Hollywood, after the Harvey fallout:

“Yes, it is so simple. Of course people want to be complimented, but you want to be complimented in a way that respects who you are—maybe you don’t want to be complimented on your clothing. You have that right to say to your coworker, “That’s not a thing that I enjoy.” “Oh, no problem. I won’t do that anymore.” It is all about respect and giving people a choice about how we are touching and talking about their body. Historically, women have not had ownership of our own bodies. And it is enough. It is enough. You do not get to touch my body or comment on my body as you please. Period.”

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Behind the Insta-Scenes: Photos from the Set

3 Feb

Another award show this week and that means more behind the scenes action from getting ready to after the after parties. Plus Grease: Live live, X-Files props, Empire sleep wars and some high levels of cute in our Insta round-up.

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Sorry boys. I'm off the market

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Sophie Turner is all of us in this situation at the SAG Awards.

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Buds

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Standard reaction to a picture of this pair is one that involves experiencing a lot of feelings.

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Ladies 💗 #SAGawards

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Ultimate #SquadGoals

 

Marisa Tomei was one of our best dressed at the SAGs and her pre-show ritual looks like a whole lot of fun.

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Traffic. #SAGAwards2016

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Getting stuck in awards traffic doesn’t seem so bad when Pedro Pascal and Sarah Paulson are around.

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R E A D Y @sagawards

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Oh, hello.

 

From the stage Laverne Cox gives us a view from the other side of the amazing OITNB winning cast.

 

And OITNB’s Emma Myles shows what the end of a SAG winning night looks like.

 

Kether Donohue crushed it in Grease: Live as Jan and I got a whole lot of IRL bestie feels from this post. Plus I am coveting Aya Cash’s outfit hard.

 

From the actual opening of the show (which was a feat of technical brilliance) and Vanessa Hudgens deserves all the kudos she is getting for her incredible performance. Great lipstick too.

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SUPERGIRL X GREASELIVE

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Support for Grease: Live across the networks and a crossover I now want to see.

 

A slightly different shot of Jenna Dewan-Tatum on her way to the Hail, Caesar! premiere and the classic ‘lying down to avoid creases’ situation. 

 

Last night’s episode of New Girl was directed by none other than Nick Miller himself; Jake Johnson and Max Greenfield posted a shot that captures him in all his glory.

 

The Empire sleep wars continue.

 

This one ends a little more violently.

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TV family swim lessons… #chapter35 #janethevirgin

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Adorable overload.

 

JDM smolder, Will Patton, bagels and a dog make for a good Good Wife set day.

 

This brow contest is too close to call.

 

This week’s episode of The X-Files set my giddy levels to new highs and being a huge fan of Kumail Nanjiani podcast, The X Files Files it was so great to see him in this super fun episode. This is the file Nanjiani was given and Gillian Anderson’s reaction to this gift is hilarious.

Best of the Emmy 2015 Red Carpet – Pretty in Pink

21 Sep

So much color on the Emmy red carpet this year and while the yellow trend was trying to happen, the pink frocks caused a much bigger impact.

Elisabeth MossStarting with the boldest of pink tones with Elisabeth Moss in a magenta Oscar de la Renta gown and somehow she has not and will not win an Emmy for Mad Men. Glad to see her going for a lip color which is just as strong as her dress.

Samira Wiley EmmysSamira Wiley looks like a fabulous superhero in caped fuchsia Jill Stuart.

Christine BaranskiChristine Baranski forever slaying in hot pink Zac Posen.

Uzo AdubaMore hot pink offerings and this time a dash of navy breaks things up on Uzo Aduba’s charming custom Jonathan Cohen halter neck gown.

Jessica PareThe Mad Men cast were out in force and celebrating in style with Jessica Pare joining the pink ladies in an ethereal draped frock.

Maisie WilliamsMaisie Williams is a lady after my own heart as she adores a dress with pockets and I adore this pink quilted dress paired with heels; so many Clueless related feelings. Cher would be all over this.

Jane KrawkowskiGiving us much needed posing drama in Bibhu Mohapatra is Jane Krakowski.

Yael StoneThe problem with posing in front of light backboards is lighter dress tones such as Yael Stone’s kinda disappear, but thankfully she is giving good twirl to show off this super pretty frock.

Joanne FroggattOne final pink and Joanne Froggatt looks like she is beating the heat in this floaty and romantic J. Mendel dress with a dash of train extravagance.

More Emmy red carpet coverage can be found here and here.

Femininity, Menswear and Pattern on Mad Men

13 Apr

It’s May 1970 on Mad Men and the message is that some things change, some stay the same. Don’s penchant for brunettes in pain is one staple you can rely on and “New Business” opens with the exception to this rule. Yes Betty has been in pain, but she is never going to admit it and now she’s going to be studying psychology. Betty is smart remember (“I speak Italian“) and there’s part of me that would love her to be my therapist. No, really.

The tableau Don looks upon is the family he once had and he can’t go home as this family has moved on. So has Betty’s style as there is a softness here with frills and pattern.

Mad Men 7.09 Betty kitchen“New Business” showcases the women of Don Draper including Megan as she is in town to finalize their divorce and get the rest of her things from the apartment. Megan is as stylish as she has ever been doing Cali cool in a hoodie peasant blouse and flared jeans looking nothing like her more traditionally dressed mother and sister.

Mad Men 7.09 MeganFor her meeting with Harry, Megan dresses up in her “Welcome to LA” blue baby doll number prompting Harry to call her every man’s fantasy and that she looks like Ali MacGraw and Bridget Bardot had a baby. Harry does what Harry does and is the worst by hitting on her and then running to Don to call Megan crazy. Megan is incredibly fashion forward so it is strange to see her wearing something from a year ago, but it is obviously a look she feels confident in despite her lack of good acting fortune recently.

Mad Men 7.09 Megan and HarryPast and present collide for Don with elevator awkwardness and I don’t think Arnold would be cracking so many jokes if he knew what his wife Sylvia, had done with Don. Here we see sadness through the prism of the wealthy and the not so financially secure as Di has nowhere near the amount of money, but just as much pain. Di remarks to Don that he can’t know the amount of heartbreak and boy he should dish out the Dick Whitman routine. Don later gives Megan $1 million dollars and the feeling of ennui can’t be cure by money alone and there’s a whole lot of dissatisfaction running throughout this show.

Mad Men 7.09 awkward elevatorAnnie Hall before Annie Hall and celebrity photograph Pima Ryan sashays in with all her sexuality and confidence in a range of amazing tailored menswear. Pima seduces Stan after he is rude and abrupt when he first meets her and she tries her hand at Peggy delivering the super cheesy ‘I want to photograph you’ line. Mimi Rogers is incredible in this role as she plays Stan and Peggy sees through the hustle. On both occasions Peggy wears bold colors with strong patterns and while her style isn’t ever going to match the sartorial highs of her colleagues it is definitely improving. Peggy is still in control and showing her femininity at the same time.

Mad Men 7.09 Peggy and Pima

Mad Men 7.09 Pima and PeggyAnd because I can’t resist Pete Campbell in sportswear I will leave you with this beauty to round things off.

Mad Men 7.09 Pete and DonFrom these first two episodes alone I am so happy to see what Janie Bryant has already managed to do with the end of 60s fashion with a push into my favorite clothing decade.

New York Fashion Week: 10 Spring 2015 Looks for Mad Men’s Megan Draper

8 Sep

Welcome to the first Fantasy Costuming from this New York Fashion Week showcasing the ready-to-wear looks for Spring 2015. Rather than starting with one designer we are instead going to focus on a variety of collections that would look right at home on Mad Men’s Megan Draper. Of course none of these designs are vintage, instead we wanted to find items that represent Megan’s fashion forward style and how she is always dressed straight out of the pages of Vogue while never coming across as try hard or a fashion victim. The pieces we have chosen have some elements of how we saw her last season as she attempts to live out her acting dream in LA so Cali boho sneaks in as well as both micro hemlines and longer, floaty hippy inspired ones.

This is not meant to reflect where the story is heading as we have no idea how much Megan is going to feature in the final episodes, particularly when you factor in how we left things in a seemingly final state with Don.

DVFStarting short and even though Mad Men is set before the introduction of Diane von Furstenberg’s iconic wrap dress in 1974, Megan would have looked very at home with this style and in this leafy patterned micro version.

DVF MeganThis is also from Diane von Furstenberg’s Spring 2015 RTW collection and the long sleeves/short skirt element is on trend with how Megan dressed in 1969 last season. Megan would definitely be a DVF woman.

Victoria BeckhamSticking with patterns but moving into the floor length gown area with Victoria Beckham and this reminds me of the optical art print which were very popular in the 60s. It’s like a less hypnotic/vomit inducing version and Jessica Paré certainly is statuesque enough to pull this off.

Honor 70sSticking with the length and going a bit more boho with this Honor frock.

Honour plungeAnother gown from Honor and this goes a little deeper with the plunging neckline and adds some color flare with the rainbow dotty belt.

Tadashi Shoji NYFW FallMore relaxed elegance and this time from Tadashi Shoji. Perfect for those times when Megan isn’t awkwardly approaching producers to find out why she didn’t get the part.

BCBGThis is the longer, less in your face movie star sexy version of the baby doll mini dress Megan wore in the season 6 premiere. This is from BCBG Max Azria and she could totally make it work in just as funky fashion.

BCBG FallAnother billowy dress from BCBG Max Azria in a beautiful pattern clashing design that exudes sexiness thanks to a well placed high leg slit.

Escada jumpsuit

Megan is totally going to work the jumpsuit phase as it gets more popular in the 70s and this one from Escada is a simple yet effective version of this enduring trend.

Rebecca MinkoffOne aspect that ties most of these looks together is they are all pretty effortless and even when Megan is wearing something high fashion she pulls it off with ease. Her off duty style also reflects this and I’ve always been a fan of seeing Megan in pants; this Rebecca Minkoff ensemble is set off with the wide brimmed floppy hat and is ideal for the warmer LA climate.

Look out for more NYFW Fantasy Costuming posts this week!

Best of the 2014 Emmy Red Carpet: Black and White Gowns

26 Aug

Welcome to the 2014 Emmy red carpet ‘Best of’ coverage and in a year when bold color was on trend, black and white gowns still made their mark.

Lizzy Caplan Emmys V2Lizzy Caplan in Donna Karan Atelier is the TV Ate My Wardrobe look of the night and this gown is stunning. When Caplan arrived the brief shots on E! were enough to know she was shutting the red carpet down. Then this photo of the back began to circulate on Twitter and it became clear this gown is the stuff that dreams are made of; it didn’t disappoint from any other angle either.

Laverne Cox EmmysIn a custom Marc Bouwer Laverne Cox is the height of elegance and she has a train, which I adore. Perfection on this night from the Orange is the New Black star.

Lean HeadeyLena Headey always comes across super cool and on Emmy night it is no different with Headey in a black Rubin Singer asymmetric ensemble. It’s always a jolt seeing the Game of Thrones cast with their regular hair – Kit Harington changed his up with a man bun – and Headey’s short do is as far removed from Cersei as you can get and I love it.

Anna Chlumsky EmmyAnother white gown winner (although sadly none of the ladies featured here took home their respective prizes) from Anna Chlumsky in Zac Posen. The gold clutch is the ideal glitzy addition to this outfit.

Jessica PareGoing for a slightly different length is Jessica Paré in an exquisitely beaded Lanvin dress. Tulip skirts are hard to pull off as they’re an awkward silhouette; Paré manages to do this with aplomb.

Angela BassettAngela Bassett demonstrating once again that she must have a painting in the attic in a beautiful wrap gown with just the right amount of gold accessories; the belt and cuff detailing ties the whole look together.

Carrie BrownsteinWhile not as fun as Carrie Brownstein’s Emmy dress from last weekend, I salute this Halston Heritage dress that’s giving off fancy sci-fi uniform vibes.

Michelle Monaghan EmmysCombining two of the night’s trends as dramatic leg slits were also prominent is Michelle Monaghan in white Giambattista Valli Couture. Also stunning.

Not Letting Go of the Bad Ex: How Don Draper Changed in Season 7 of Mad Men

2 Jul

Last year there was Don Draper fatigue here at TV Ate My Wardrobe and I was joined by Kerensa Cadenas to discuss Don Draper’s bad habits and tiresome antics. Kerensa is back to talk about the more optimistic first half of this final season of Mad Men as we take a look at this excellent run of episodes and how both Don and this season surprised us with its generally optimistic outlook. We also address how this season compares to the previous one and how our predictions matched up (I don’t think they did). In a similar vain we talk about the second half of the final season and where we would like to see these characters end up.

Mad Men 7.06 Burger ChefEmma: I had a quick look back at our last Mad Men discussion and boy was the end of season 6 bleak as Don bottomed out in the Hershey’s pitch going a bit to far into the old memory bank. Nope, no one wants to see a grown man cry over chocolate in 1968 (the same can probably be said for now). One thing we both said we wanted for the final season was to see Joan and Peggy running the show, now while that hasn’t happened entirely, “Waterloo” included a huge professional victory for Peggy and Joan is going to be getting a sizable amount from the deal Roger has struck, so they’re both doing rather well.

Now, before I get into specifics of either of their storylines (and I could basically spend this entire time talking about Peggy and I already have) I want to ask about your general overall feelings about this season. How are you finding Don now as I know we both had reservations about his super shitty behavior last season. Has this season panned out how you expected? Or are you like me and go into Mad Men with no preconceived notions or expectations?

Mad Men 7.07 Peggy and Don hotelKerensa: I think, as we could tell, from last season’s discussion, I was having a bit of a Mad Men burnout. I was frustrated with Don, his actions and his inability to change. And I try to go into a season without expectations but I totally went into this season with completely expecting that Don would be continuing the same old shit that we’ve become accustomed with. And I was totally wrong!

I don’t think Don is totally vindicated yet (which I’m sure we’ll discuss) but overall I enjoyed this season and especially these last two episodes more than I’ve enjoyed Mad Men in a while. And a lot of that does have to do with the character development that Don had–which was not what I expected from this season at all. I really thought I would get more of the same and I’m so glad I was wrong.

What did you think?

Mad Men 7.04 DonEmma: I should add a slight caveat to my no expectations proclamation as Don screwing around was something I fully expected to happen, especially with Megan out in LA. Instead we see Don turn down offers from Neve Campbell – please show keep casting from the 90s teen pool, Rayanne would be my next choice – and a woman in a bar who claims to know him. This is not the Don Draper we have seen in any of the previous seasons and I wonder just why he can suddenly keep it in his pants. He could be trying to make it work with Megan, but I actually think it has more to do with Sally walking in on him with Sylvia and exposing him for the man he is. There is one non-Megan dalliance, however Megan is also there as he responds to a threesome in the most lackluster way I think I have ever seen on TV going from “I’m tired” to “I guess.”

We’ve seen Don hit rock bottom on multiple occasions, this is a whole new subterranean level of shit as he’s been put on leave and is essentially living his life vicariously through Freddie Rumsen. Not that Freddie is the rock bottom signifier and he is the exact person who Don needs in his life. It’s a big surprise seeing Freddie in this role and it is something Mad Men excels at as there is such a wealth of supporting characters from the previous 6 seasons and I like the idea that any of them can pop up at any one time. The opening scene of the premiere is so jarring with Freddie in the pitching seat and yet I never clued in that he had become Don’s mouthpiece.

Freddie plays a pivotal role when Don acts like a big baby when he first goes back to SC&P and this is the episode where Don has been at his most loathsome and pathetic all season – there’s nothing quite like the sight of him emptying out his coke and pouring vodka in to replace it. Freddie has been in Don’s position and like anyone else who has been put on leave he never returned, Don is a special case and it’s when his dick swinging and inability to quit works in his favor. I’ve really enjoyed seeing Don both falter and walk into a room like he owns everything, finally he has some humility and yet the cocksure attitude is also an important attribute. We needed to see him truly fall to appreciate those often unsavory parts of his character.

The first half of this first half of season 7 (or 7a which is less of a mouthful) deals with bridge mending. On the surface everything is fine with Megan and their reunion at LAX is gorgeously shot and she looks amazing in the blue mini baby doll dress. It’s a marriage that has always been superficially fine, underneath it’s like they’re strangers. I do want to talk more about Don and Megan, but first I’d like to take a look at one of the fractured relationships and that’s with Sally.

Oh Sally, what to do with you and your supremely disaffected view on everything. Actually, to be honest Sally is well more adjusted and together than I was expecting and I figured there would be a lot more spiraling and teen rebellion. There’s smoking of course and holy shit is her stance the exact same as her mother, it’s uncanny and once again I would like to bestow all the plaudits on Kiernan Shipka – I would also like to see the Sally college spinoff that Molly Lambert suggested on Twitter. Other than that her greatest act of defiance has been shopping after the funeral (or during maybe) of her roommate’s mom, getting a nearly broken nose while ‘sword fighting’ which leads to some incredible Sally sass at her mother – “It’s a nose job, not an abortion” – and probably her biggest rebellious moment is smooching the nerdy kid instead of the stud. Her mother would not be happy with that last one, though I did worry they were heading towards a Betty going for the young guy story. Maybe Sean’s stripy pants (which are so Felix from Orphan Black) and moon landing bad mouthing put her off. Or she realized how gross it would be.

Wow that was a tangent and what I really wanted to discuss is the Don/Sally road trip that finally allowed Sally to rail against her father. Don finally showed his children where he came from at the end of season 6 and Sally is still justifiably angry at him for all those other secrets he kept. The anger and hurt in her voice as she spits out the word hairspray in reference to Sylvia is another astonishing delivery from Shipka and Sally’s rage at this shattering moment – I would say it took her innocence but seeing Roger getting a blowjob gets this unfortunate crowing glory – is what Don needs to hear to wake up to the asshole he has become. After the good, but not great season premiere this second episode delivered and Sally telling Don that she loves him at the end of the episode is one of the several scenes over this season that I suddenly found myself tearing up at. Before I dive too far down the Sally/Don rabbit hole, I want to ask what your thoughts are regarding this sequence of Don and Sally scenes?

Mad Men 7.02 Sally and DonKerensa: I think that after the last season–Sally’s come to see her father in a much different light. I think especially after seeing his childhood home, that it puts some of Don’s behavior in a context to her. I think Sally (and Kiernan’s always awesome performance) is at that point in teenager-dom where you being to recognize that your parents aren’t infallible which is always a cocktail of emotions–angst, respect, disbelief–and I think that’s where Sally is at with Don. Which I think echos in that final “I love you,” is that she appreciates that he’s opened up but does that change that much?

Mad Men 7.06 Megan and DonEmma: Yeah I think you’re very right and in a way Peggy’s experience with Don has echoed that of his daughter; realizing how fallible he is and how at times he can be downright awful. This season has been about Don proving to those closest to him that he isn’t a lost cause and he has certainly won me over. Contrition is important and it’s why his whiny baby drunk antics when he first went back to SC&P felt like an ‘uh oh’ moment. Luckily Don does have some capacity for change and Freddie Rumsen has been vital in Don coming to terms with his limitations and bull shit.

With Megan, the dissolution of their marriage seemed inevitable as no matter how hard either of them tried and how great they look together (and the shot of them on the balcony together is stunning). It’s all a facade and it always has been in a way; was the only time they were happy on screen when they were on their first trip to Hollywood and have they been trying to mimic that ever since? As a self-confessed Megan lover (and I’m pretty sure you feel the same way) I’m going to be sad if this is the last we see of her (in part because think of all the outfits we’re going to miss out on), but I’m also glad to see how they ended things. Not with shouting and screaming, instead with quiet resolution and acceptance this over. Or as Pete affirms that marriage is “a racket.”

We’ve barely seen Don interact with Betty all season, she refers to him as being like a bad ex-boyfriend and a fleeting memory and the strongest relationship he has with a woman is Peggy and to be honest I quite like it like this.

How do you feel about Don and Peggy this season?

Mad Men 7.06 Don and PeggyKerensa: I’m going to really miss Megan as well. I do kinda think that it will be the last time we see her though. I mean, what ties other than being Don’s wife does she really have with him now? She’s in LA, he’s in NYC. They don’t have kids. I’d be very happy to see her, but I think the resolution that their relationship came to felt perfect and in the changing scope of Don, felt adult.

I think your thoughts about the Peggy/Don relationship echoing the Sally/Don one are spot on. Don lashes out and Peggy and she to him because they know that deep down they are the two who truly understand one another. You can see that in the ways they both work, live and even love to a degree. I think that Don, especially during Peggy’s pregnancy, functioned as such a formative figure in shaping who she has ended up becoming. I think we can argue that at times that can be detrimental, but when you see her give her pitch to Burger Shack, it’s great to see that she’s beat the king.

Mad Men 7.07 hugEmma: I’m so glad we got to see Peggy get a win this big after how she started the season on her hands and knees crying in her apartment. When season 6 ended with that glorious pantsuit it seemed set for Peggy’s moment of triumph, but of course this isn’t that show and she still has many hoops to jump through. So to see someone like Lou in Don’s office rather than Peggy wasn’t a surprise and yet it was still disheartening.

Peggy hasn’t been completely innocent this season and I’m glad they haven’t shied away from how difficult and even awful she can be at times – the Valentine’s incident with Shirley is the best and most cringy example of this – she is Don Draper-esque in quite a lot of ways. Peggy pushes everyone away and her closest relationship is with a 10-year-old boy, which is incredibly depressing considering the child she gave up and just how alone she is. And yes I really want her to hook up with Stan still. We got that very cool scene of Joan joining Peggy for a drink and a Don bitching session and as always I want these two to rule the world.

What did you think about the power shift in the office first with Don’s absence and then with his return? Oh and Ginsberg’s breakdown – did you see that coming?

Mad Men 7.05 Peggy and GinsbergKerensa: I’m not totally surprised re: the power shift. Part of me obviously hoped that they would put Peggy in charge but of course Lou was brought in. And he’s the worst.

With Don’s return the skittishness of the office towards him made a lot of sense, especially for Peggy, cause I know I’d live in continual fear that Don would outshine me yet again which I felt a lot of her contempt stemmed from. But Peggy is really Don’s girl–so many of her actions echo his behaviors.

I actually wasn’t expecting Ginsberg’s breakdown. At first, I actually read it as he was trying to come out? But that SCENE, totally shocked me. It was very upsetting. Were you expecting it?

Mad Men 7.07 PeteEmma: The work place set up and power shift has been one of my favorite aspects this season even if the bi-coastal set up meant a whole lot less Pete Campbell as I love the weasel that he is. The conference calls and technology issues with this was fun as was seeing how well Pete took to the LA lifestyle as he always seemed like such an East Coast guy. Every outfit he wore in LA pretty much made me scream (with joy) as did his receding hairline and awful tan. Just how did he get a woman like Bonnie? (this of course also applies to Trudy and every other woman he has hooked up with, aside from hookers as the answer there is obvious)

Roger taking the death of Bert to step up and get his scheme on is magnificent as is how much disdain everyone has for Harry Crane and I was so happy that his path to power was cut down – even if he has good ideas and tipped Don off I can’t help but despise him.

My Twitter feed was full of a lot of “Holy shit, Ginsberg” before I saw the episode so I knew something was going to happen and as the episode progressed I figured he was going to trash the computer and cost SC&P a whole lot of money. Never did I expect what actually happened and my first reaction upon seeing the box was of course horror, but I also thought it was his ear at first because in terms of what people cut off that seems like the logical (if you can call it that) answer. It’s yet another occasion this season where Elisabeth Moss nails her reaction as she is terrified, shocked and heartbroken.

Hats off to Ben Feldman who has given Ginsberg this skittish energy since day one and didn’t play it as an “I’m so kooky” quirk or go way over the top with these moments of madness. I also got major character whiplash going from his performance in Mad Men to his one on Silicon Valley and even though it looks kinda terrible from the preview I will be watching A to Z purely for Cristin Milioti and Feldman. Like the lawnmower incident this is going to go down as one of those incredibly weird and fucked up Mad Men moments.

Last year we talked about how Betty got her groove back and this season Betty got the best line of the season – “I’m not stupid, I speak Italian” (closely followed by Sally’s “It’s a nose job, not an abortion”) – what did you think of Betty this year?

Mad Men 7.03 BettyKerensa: Ben Feldman has always been so great as Ginsberg and I’m totally looking forward to A to Z–even if it does look kinda terrible. He always played Ginsberg from a place of compassion when he, like you mentioned, could have gone the “I’m kooky” route.

Betty was Betty as always for me. Her trip with Bobby made me feel so bad for him. And I felt for her when she felt like she was being underestimated. But I would argue that her best line of the season was when she was looking back as Don as a “bad boyfriend” someone a “teen anthropologist would marry.” I feel like we didn’t get enough of her for me to fully form anything. What about you?

Mad Men 7.07 Sally as BettyEmma: The problem with the Betty storylines is that other than their shared children, the link to Don and the overarching story is tenuous and so it doesn’t always make sense to see what’s going on with Betty other than the fact that she’s a fascinating character. You’re right about that line, it is fantastic. The trip to the farm was heartbreaking because she really doesn’t understand anything when it comes to her own children; Bobby clearly adores her and yet she thinks the only one who still loves her is Gene. Bobby’s sandwich trade was a dumb move, but then again his mother’s relationship with food is a complicated one that he doesn’t understand. He probably thinks that cigarettes are her lunch now that she is thin again.

Betty’s standard position is envy – of her children, friends, neighbors, husband and ex – and while she can be unpleasant I never tire of seeing how she reacts to these situations. So with Francine (yay!) she sets out to show she’s a fantastic mom by going on a school trip she had absolutely no interest in previously, with Sally they bicker about everything and I was convinced she was going to go after Sean and his stripy pants just because Sally had shown an interest in him. Luckily Sally went for the more age appropriate Neil after he showed her the stars and went against the type of dude her dad is (which is not a surprise after the Sylvia incident last season).

For me, Betty’s crowning moment was standing up for herself against Henry – no she doesn’t want to go outside just because he does and yes she will give her opinions on Vietnam if she is asked. Betty had a habit of repressing everything when she was with Don in true WASP fashion and throwing up on her pretty dress was the way she showed her sadness and dissatisfaction. With Henry she’s not going to be a shrinking violet.

Have you got anything else to add about the first half of season 7? What would you like to see happen in the final 7 episodes?

Mad Men 7.06 Bob and KevinKerensa: I appreciate her standing up for herself with Henry as well which I think also speaks to the type of relationship that they have.

For the final 7, I want all the best things to happen for Peggy, Joan and Megan. I’d love to see the show actually explore what was happening with Stonewall and the beginnings of the LGBT rights movement but I don’t think that will happen. I’d love to see Don continue to grow but I don’t know if I think that will happen either, I really think he’s gonna backslide.

What are you hoping for?

Mad Men 7.05 SallyEmma: With the portrayal of the LGBT rights movement I wonder if the Bob Benson stuff in “The Strategy” is all we’re going to get when it comes to that. Hopefully Bob will be back for the final 7 for this reason and James Wolk reasons. His proposal to Joan was so ill-advised but I do understand where he was coming from and there’s no fairy tale ending for him in 1969 sadly, Joan still believes in love which is something I  didn’t necessarily expect considering how pragmatic she has become since having Kevin. Like you I want all the good things for the women of this show. I want to see Sally rule the world or at least get through school without a drug addiction; I have high hopes considering how well she is doing at the moment and how her rebellions have been pretty atypical of a teenager without veering into excess territory. Don’t fuck with Sally, Weiner.

This season ended on such a hopeful note that it’s making me feel somewhat optimistic for Don and I’m not sure if Matt Weiner is lulling us into a false sense of security with this. He is always teetering on the edge of oblivion and I have a friend who is convinced he will kill himself. I think this is maybe too nihilistic and I have hope that Don Draper will be alive at the end of the final episode. I’m not sure what state he will be in, but what I’m picturing is similar to how it started – a dude smoking and drinking alone.

I’d like to see some folks return, but I also don’t want it to turn into a blast from the past parade. Sal would be number one on that list, just to see where this character is now (and this also fits in with the LGTB rights movement) and yet I do understand why they might shy away from bringing back certain people just because they’re a fan favorite.

I’m also very excited to see more psychedelic styling and all things polyester from the end of this decade. It’s going to be pretty sad when this show is over and while I was ready to let Breaking Bad go because of how draining that show is to watch, I’m not sure I’m ready to say goodbye to these characters and for that reason I’m somewhat glad they split the two seasons up.

Kerensa:  Looking forward to what’s next–and I agree. Don’t fuck with Sally, Weiner!

Kerensa Cadenas is a writer living in Los Angeles. She is an Editor for Snakkle. She also writes for Women and HollywoodThe WeekThis Was TelevisionForever Young Adult, and Bitch magazine. She was the Research Editor for Tomorrow magazine. You can follow her on Twitter and read her ridiculous thoughts about teen television at her website.

The Hollywood Reporter’s Women in Drama Roundtable

2 Jun

Roundtable season is here and I was waiting for the full video to be available on YouTube before I discussed the drama actress Hollywood Reporter session. The full transcript can be read here, but some of the points don’t come across in the same amusing tone and you’ll also miss out on Sarah Paulson’s John Travolta impression.

One aspect I find fascinating is seeing who out of the group is the most vocal and who only really speaks when specifically addressed. This isn’t to say that some of these women are trying to steal the spotlight from others, it’s just some of them are much more experienced when taking part in these types of discussions or they are naturally more talkative. Having a balance between those who take charge and the more shy participants is a good roundtable attribute as it means there is always going to be someone sharing, but it doesn’t descend into talking over each other chaos.

THR drama actress

The lack of diversity on the cover is troubling and as this excellent piece points out, Jessica Paré (who I adore, definitely not a Megan hater here) is far from being a lead actress on Mad Men. Of course these roundtables are subject to who is available and this automatically rules out Kerry Washington (new baby). Washington shouldn’t be the only flag bearer of diversity and other figures such as Nicole Beharie, Lucy Liu, Danai Gurira and Archie Panjabi are a few that spring to mind. This isn’t just a Hollywood Reporter issue as the forthcoming Variety drama actress panel has a similar problem.

THRLet’s get the other negative talking point out of the way and there is an insistence when it comes to the styling of drama actress covers to go for a pastel color palette (Vanity Fair is another offender), neutrals or monochrome; bold color is seemingly reserved for comedic actresses and this coding is rather tired Also why are they all looking so timid? They all portray women who would not stand for this nervous approach so it’s disappointing to see The Hollywood Reporter go for a shot like this.

Oh and Keri Russell somehow makes the Burberry Prorsum lace and granny panties look work; this is an incredible skill as I recoiled when I first saw this on the runway last September.

*End of rant*

The actual conversation manages to skirt around the “having it all” trap – a man will never get asked about juggling family and work – with children only coming up while they discuss paparazzi intrusion and scenes that have been difficult to shoot. Julianna Margulies’ tip to get rid of paps is to wear the same outfit to the gym as it looks like the photos are from the same day and Claire Danes talks about how aggressive they are when she is with her son, which is super shitty. The difficult scene Danes shot on Homeland occurred when she was seven and a half months pregnant and she was portraying a kidnapped Carrie Mathison. Also shooting love scenes while pregnant are as awkward as you can imagine, especially when the baby is kicking super hard. Baby Danes is not a Carrie/Brody shipper.

One fascinating part of the conversation deals with career lows and while this could end up being rather trite, there is a good cross section of success/failure stories. Both Keri Russell and Claire Danes experienced success in their first shows at a young age (and both won Golden Globes for these performances) and have followed a similar career trajectory. Although Russell doesn’t seem to have experienced the same low points as Danes and seems rather content with how it’s all turned out so far. Danes talks about her acting transition period and how doing Temple Grandin changed her acting outlook “I really didn’t have any tolerance for a limited kind of secondary role. I had to wait for Carrie on Homeland. She was the first character who could match Temple’s dynamism. It was the first time I was scared into action, and that felt great.”

Julianna Margulies has also been on not one, but two hit shows and also had a large period of time between both. Whereas Sarah Paulson was on a show that was expected to do well (Studio 60) and it was canceled after one season “It was not only my expectations I was dealing with; I was dealing with everybody else’s expectations about something that was disappointing for them, too.” Jessica Paré is currently experiencing what it feels like to be on a cultural phenomenon that is coming to an end and it sounds like she’s pretty terrified at the prospect as “I’m going back to that place of not having work and not knowing what’s next.”

Awards success doesn’t always translate into an influx of fascinating offers as Vera Farmiga can attest and after her Oscar nomination for Up in the Air she didn’t get a whole lot of work. With Bates Motel she initially resisted, but after reading the script she realized there was something to the part and reimagining of this story. Later on Farmiga refers to the “sophistication in the writing of female characters on TV” and this group reinforces the notion that there are far stronger and varied roles for women on TV as opposed to film. This also translates to the creative forces behind the camera with Julianna Margulies listing all the women who work on The Good Wife “My unit production manager is a woman, two of my executive producers are women and three of the writers.” Female directors have worked on all of these shows with the exception of American Horror Story.

As I’m currently watching Felicity for the first time and I’ve written about the love triangle in a pre-social media era, a question about this show and how its defining moment in pop culture would have been received on social media is going to peak my interest. Of course it is haircut related and Keri Russell is pretty shoulder shrug about the whole thing as a shocking TV moment “You think a haircut’s going to beat out blow jobs? That’s so tame compared to what’s going on now.”

For more including a bakery venture I want to happen and unfiltered thoughts on John Travolta’s Oscar mispronunciation watch the whole discussion below.

 

Out of the Box: Look of the Week

30 May

Switching things up this week for “Out of the Box” with a Mad Men mid-season finale special. My favorite look from this episode is what Peggy wore for her triumphant Burger Chef pitch and you can see that here. Janie Bryant continues to deliver a range of exceptional costumes that stay true to a particular character’s evolution and here are my other standouts from “Waterloo.” These include some ensembles that I’d like to have in my own closet and not just for a 1960s fancy dress party.

Mad Men 7.07 Peggy mint greenStarting with Peggy and I adore this mint green crew neck dress. The horizontal pattern is vibrant without ever edging into anything ‘typically’ 1969 and Peggy’s never going to go down the psychedelic route. Peggy’s worn some great things in the office this season and this is a dress that wouldn’t look out of place in 2014.

Mad Men 7.07 MeredithMeredith’s two piece is far less contemporary and her attempts at comforting Don are hilariously off the mark. The zigzag trim is very distracting, but the daisy pin can stay.

Mad Men 7.07 MeganIt’s the mint green phone which has played such a pivotal role in this long distance relationship and this is now coming to an end. Megan as always looks like no other character on this show and all season she has been embracing LA style distancing herself further from her life with Don. She’s relaxing in a super cool blue and orange bikini with a floral bathrobe that reads way more casual than her previous pink one – I guess bathrobes can fall into fancy and non-fancy categories.* I love that their relationship ends not with fireworks, but with a sad and accepting realization that this is dunzo. They’ve been done for a long time really and this season has been about going through the motions. This could in all likelihood be the last time we see Megan and yet as a fan of her character there’s part of me that hopes there will be an organic reason for an appearance during the final seven episodes.

*Update! It’s not a bathrobe, but a bathing suit cover up over the turquoise blue bikini with orange vinyl trim that Janie Bryant designed for Megan. Thanks to Janie Bryant for clarifying this on Twitter and solving my robe quandary.

Mad Men 7.07 Betty and SallyMoving onto summer suburban fashion back on the East Coast and Betty is as polished as she ever was. Sally’s plaid shirt and khaki shorts rejects her mother’s feminine style and it’s another example of plaid persevering through the ages; turn those shorts into denim and cut them a little higher – no underbutt please – and you’ve got a perfect summer look for now.

Mad Men 7.07 Sally as BettySally can’t escape her mother that easily and while Betty would never wear something like this as it’s far too modern, Sally’s hair and especially her smoking pose have an eerily similar quality to the person she has been sassing all season. The purple ensemble is cute and flirty without straying too far into ‘sexy sexy’ territory and all I want from this show is a happy ending for Sally. OK, add Peggy and Joan to that list.

Mad Men 7.07 PeteBack to the office and Pete’s tie perfectly matches the coffee cup that will always remind me of Bob Benson. Pete, you can’t escape the memory of Bob that easily.

Mad Men 7.07 Mad JoanThe red of Joan’s dress matches the anger on her face. It’s a great dress and I think I finally understood why Joan has been so mad at Don all season as her priorities as a single mother are different to the other partners. Plus when you factor in what she had to do to get a seat at the table her rage is explainable, I just wish they had done a better job with laying this out.

Mad Men 7.07 Ted and JimThis is more for the giant light bulb lamp in the background and Roger’s office is an interior design delight. Look at those curtains!

For more on this season of Mad Men head here.

 

Out of the Box: Look of the Week

4 Apr

PaleyFest is over and we’re keeping a focus on red carpet events with this edition of Out of the Box as a How I Met Your Mother star balances the series finale week with the release of Captain America: The Winter SoldierMad Men has its seventh season premiere and Rashida Jones celebrates a new writing venture.

Cobie Smulders Captain AmericaCobie Smulders looks like she knows how pissed off you are about the How I Met Your Mother finale at the Captain America premiere and putting aside all those feelings momentarily – I’m a very casual viewer and I’m annoyed by that ending – to bask in this fantastic red carpet look. The navy blue asymmetrical Sportmax gown throws in peplum and plunge detail that together look super elegant. Almost bonus points for the fantastic clutch and earrings, losing those points as she could do with another accessory or two. Smulders nails the role of Maria Hill once again and this Captain America sequel lets the female characters be good at their jobs, in appropriate non cleavy costuming and they don’t fall down the ‘damsel in distress’ incredibly lazy trope. All of these things made me very happy indeed, more of this please Marvel.

Mad Men castAs with the four women of Mad Men featured last week – this time Jon Hamm and January Jones enter the mix – there are many different style choices on display and I kinda love all of them. Kiernan Shipka continues to be on point and age appropriate in a metallic floral long sleeved, but super funky Nina Ricci frock. Also working the metallic angle is Christina Hendricks in a Wes Gordon silver skirt, paired to perfection with a simple but elegant black blouse.

The current and former Mrs Draper, Jessica Paré and January Jones are working the fashion forward angle; Paré rocking Antonio Berardi which for some reason made me think of the kind of gown Johanna in Catching Fire would have preferred to symbolize a tree. Jones is in Roksanda Ilincic and the bold gold belting detail brings it all together, not so sure about the side braid for this event. It’s a softer look for Jones who has a habit of going severe on the red carpet; maybe she’s less intense when it’s a Mad Men event rather than an awards show.

Elisabeth Moss has opted for an Alexander McQueen skirt with a super high daring thigh slit and while she looks pretty rock and roll, swapping the dramatically dark eyes for red lip color would really set this look alight. Jon Hamm’s blue suit makes a change from the influx of grey that has been dominating red carpets recently, but the women are the ones who stand out. This cast is still one of the best dressed and I can’t wait for all the costuming treats this year as we head into polyester and clashing patterns territory.

Rashida JonesRashida Jones is at event celebrating her new column for Glamour magazine (she is one busy lady) and this Adeam dress perfectly straddles the party/professional line. The shell pattern adds whimsy to the look and the silver heels help make this outfit pop, as does the dash of pink lipstick.

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