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Tag Archives: Keri Russell

‘The Americans’ Final Season Teasers and Key Art: Spying on the Spy

13 Feb

Everything looks set to fall apart for Philip and Elizabeth in the final season of The Americans, if these two new teasers are anything to go by. Philip quit the spy biz at the end of season five, but that doesn’t mean wigs and fake mustaches are no longer in his life.

A time jump means we’re also missing out on that transition period and ramping up toward the end of the Cold War. It also means seeing just how much the solo spy mission life has taken its toll on Elizabeth. Teaching Paige the ways of the spy world is one thing, frantically scrubbing blood off her hands a la Lady Macbeth is another.

Oh yeah it also looks like Philip is now meeting up with a beardy Oleg to discuss Elizabeth’s work.

All is probably not quite as the teaser makes it seem, but this is not going to go down well with our now officially married spy couple if Philip is indeed reporting on his wife.  Just like riding a bike, Philip still those casually eating, when actually spying skills ready to utilize when needed.

Both teasers are incredibly ominous, but it wouldn’t be the show I love if there wasn’t a feeling of dread in my stomach.

Season 6 Key Art Update! 

The Americans artwork is always a visual treat (the season two all red affair is still my iPad lock screen all these years later) and this year is no different. But unlike last year’s disarming stare toward camera, this is all suspicious side eye. Hinting at the dischord between the pair (and the factions within the Soviet Union) that is featured in the teasers.

The dominating use of blue in the background suggests the peace that is about to come (kinda) between these two countries. But it all feels very ominous to me. 

The Americans returns for its sixth and final season Wednesday, March 28.

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Out of the Box: Look of the Week

12 Jan

Last week felt like a busy “Out of the Box,” then the Golden Globes and so many other events took place. Coverage of the very different Golden Globes can be found across three posts including the activists that attended and why it is important to credit designers. Being a feminist and caring about fashion are two concepts that don’t have to exist separately.

Post Globes parties, other awards, premieres and looks from TCA panels are featured. For the Critics’ Choice awards—which were held last night—there will be a rundown post soon. Busy Philipps is usually Michelle Williams’ award show date. But after discussing using her place of privilege in respect to what has been going on in Hollywood in her Harper’s Bazaar interview, Williams came up with the idea of bringing activists as guests. Williams was accompanied by Tarana Burke, the woman who created #MeToo over a decade ago and seven other A-list actresses followed suit.

Don’t even get me started on the shit Marky Mark pulled with regard to the reshoots.

Later in the night the pair did hangout, Busy’s Stories included the ridiculous question a paparazzi dude asked Michelle “What’s next for women?” But if Busy did decide to put this Q on a tee or sweatshirt and donate the money to #TimesUp I would be first in line.

Blurry mirror selfie with my bb.

A post shared by Busy Philipps (@busyphilipps) on

Black iridescent Jeffrey Dodd looks great on Busy, but I am also very much a fan of their day after outfits. This is such a fun spin on the ladysuit by Sonequa Martin-Green; cropped/high-waisted Vitor Zerbinato suit with high ruffled collar Elisabetta Franchi shirt. The latter is making me feel like my Alienist as a style influence prediction isn’t totally off.Amy Brenneman looks cool af at the HBO Golden Globes after party and I am still mad Leftovers got no love. I never thought I would be this enamored with a sheer turtleneck, but holy wow is Tessa Thompson working another fabulous twist on menswear inspiration in Alexandre Vauthier.

And after calling out Lena Dunham for doing the most Lena Dunham thing, Thompson got embroiled in an apology/not apology news cycle. She handled it well and with eloquence, even though her first statement didn’t need explaining or walking back as it sounded pretty accurate. But, Hollywood. Or as Ira would say, “Keep It” (check out his new podcast, which is also great).Including this photo mostly because of how great Gaten Matarazzo and Joe Keery are together in season 2 of Stranger Things. Also because I just remembered Keery was in Molly’s Game. His hair was just as impressive. Gillian Anderson got a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame this week. Her new shorter, blonder do has been getting quite the workout this week, much to my delight. This silver number by Sophia Kah is my favorite of the three dresses she has worn this week. The specs with the glitz are excellent and X-Files co-star Annabeth Gish is also crushing the style stakes.

Oh, and this week’s episode of The X-Files was incredible, especially in comparison with last week’s mythology mess. So many fun Mulder and Scully scenes. Their chemistry is still off the charts and enough to make me feel like I am fourteen again. Lots of giggling.  There’s been a lot of dressed up Greta Gerwig this week, but here she is at a SAG-AFTRA Foundation Conversation event in a super cozy sweater just to mix it up.

After Lady Bird won at the Golden Globes, Gerwig was asked about her position on Woody Allen as someone that has worked with him in the past. She fumbled with a non-answer; it was disappointing even if I could recognize that it was once again a woman being asked to justify another man’s abuse. But, she did follow up with a response that is far more definitive on her position and also acknowledges why it is important to speak up.At the 2018 Film Society Of Lincoln Center & Film Comment luncheon, Greta Gerwig got daytime dressed up in this fabulous pop of floral color. Get Out’s Lil Rel Howery took the suit/turtleneck pairing to new levels in this amazing color combination. At the National Board of Review Awards, Gal Gadot wears an Elie Saab dress that is reminiscent of her blue frock from Wonder Woman. Minus the giant sword of course.The Black Panther press tour is approaching and I am so ready. Lupita Nyong’o looks in command of a space ship in a sparkly Balmain ensemble.I finished Maureen Orth’s Vulgar Favors this week, the book the new American Crime Story is based on so my anticipation levels for the show are now even higher. Penelope Cruz gives Versace-adjacent vibes in velvet custom Stella McCartney.Queen Judith Light has been cast in the perfect part for her and she lights up the red carpet as always.As far as I can tell, Anna Chancellor is not in American Crime Story, but I wish she was. But I do love this patterned frock and ankle boots combo even if it looks more Sundance attire.

This is also a good time to mention how much I miss The Hour. If any show deserves another season it is this one.TCA is still going, but it is the FX panels from last Friday that I am mostly interested in. Including Edgar Ramirez wearing a lovely sweater while discussing American Crime Story. I would love to know what Darren Criss is reacting to. The last TCA panel for The Americans and Keri Russell brought out the polka dot pussy-bow blouse big guns. I’m still in denial that it is ending. And their TV family was rather well coordinated, all getting the black/grey/white memo. I mentioned this on Twitter, but Keidrich Sellati looks like he should be hanging out with the Stranger Things teens in star collared Givenchy. Holly Taylor’s long jacket/legs out is the perfect spin on panel attire and I am still super impressed with how The Americans broke the teens in a prestige drama curse.Atlanta returns for season 2 in March and I am so ready. At the TCA panel Zazie Beetz brought all the floral ensemble glory, while Donald Glover and Brain Tyree Henry worked the more casual versions of their red carpet style.At yesterday’s HBO session, Phoebe Robinson and Jessica Williams were there to discuss 2 Dope Queens. And Phoebe is offering up another fun take on the ladysuit including a faux fur sash. I am very much looking forward to these specials.

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

29 Dec

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here’s to more sartorial wonders in 2018!

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

20 Dec

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Out of the Box: Look of the Week

29 Sep

For all the ’70s inspired looks—of which there are still are many—the decade that follows is inching its way back in the style stakes. I am less thrilled about this turn of events because the ’80s feels a little overplayed, but that doesn’t mean I am completely immune.

September is almost at an end, but there is still A LOT going on including galas, premieres and other various events. This week there is also dominated by pattern, which I am so here for. Speaking of which, here is my interview with costume designer Lorraine Calvert talking all things 1970s menswear and Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House. Garish patterns are my fave.  Lupita Nyong’o gives great red carpet no matter the style code and at the 2017 Global Citizen Festival in Central Park she looks cool af in Gucci pink metallic bomber jacket, loafers and super round sunglasses. Also working the tee of the event to great effect. Vampire’s Wife is a brand that continues to deliver on the romantic infused ruffled delights and now January Jones is getting in on the action. This mini metallic floral number is one of the reasons I’m thinking a ’80s revival isn’t so bad. Also, Last Man on Earth is back on Sunday (October 1) and I cannot wait. Airbnb is getting into the tour business and for the ultimate SATC experience they’ve enlisted Carrie Bradshaw herself, for this one-off event. It is of course sold out (there were only four spaces) and at the launch, SJP gives the best in fall fashion in a floral frock and contrasting belt. Sparkly pumps are always a winner too.

And while I am on the topic of perfect floral frocks for fall; here is Yvette Nicole Brown looking fabulous at a screening of The Mayor, in a dress from Anthropologie that is the most autumn of color palettes. Anna Chlumsky is doing some wonderful things on a wonderful season of Halt and Catch Fire and at the Metropolitan Opera Opening Night she looks incredible in Christian Siriano. The peplum structure and window pane detail makes this a standout frock and the orange tone lipstick and nails are the perfect boost of color.From the opera to the ballet and Keri Russell in a look that is very Americans era appropriate and while Philip and Elizabeth don’t get to go undercover at fancy events, if they did then it would look a bit like this. But with more wigs. This is another frilled number from Johanna Ortiz and I was surprised that she didn’t wear this designer to the Emmys.More from the ballet and Michelle Monaghan ups the drama levels in a colorful and floaty Prabal Gurung dress.

 

Maggie Gyllenhall is up there with Tracee Ellis Ross and Elisabeth Moss for the best Instagram BTS shots of outfits she has been wearing and this red dress by Ryan Roche is a stunner. Also, I finally started watching The Deuce and Maggie does not disappoint. Also here is an interesting piece about why this show is getting it right. The thread that has given me the most joy on Twitter over the last few months is Fiona’s deep dive into the style similarities between Cate Blanchett and Harry Styles. It is truly the gift that keeps on giving and we haven’t even had the Thor promo tour yet.

Harry has of course been wearing some A+ suits this year and there isn’t a pattern he isn’t afraid to wear. Case in point; this very jester like Gucci (of course) ensemble at the iHeartRadio Music Festival is perfect for a performance and nod to the New Romantics.

Best of the Emmys 2017 Style: Awards, Couples and More

18 Sep

Another year, another Emmys and there was not a whole lot to be mad about when it comes to the winners. The same cannot be said for one particular part of the opening.

But, I am here to talk red carpet and for the first post I’m going in reverse with some outfits getting an extra special boost by some hardware, a few moments from the show, feathers, some of our fave couples and some classic black ensembles.

For the best in sparkles and more bold color, head here. No award or speech made me happier than Lena Waithe winning for writing with Aziz Ansari for the Master of None Thanksgiving episode. She is the first black woman to win for writing in a comedy category and in the speech she thanked her LGBTQIA family:

“I see each and every one of you. The things that make us different – those are our superpowers. Every day when you walk out the door and put on your imaginary cape and go out there and conquer the world, because the world would not be as beautiful as it is if we weren’t in it. And for everybody out there that showed us so much love for this episode, thank you for embracing a little Indian boy from South Carolina and a queer black girl from the South Side of Chicago.”

Waithe always gives great ladysuit and this custom Alba is incredible. In other Emmy firsts; Donald Glover is the first black person to win in the comedy directing category. And Ira Madison III has written about why we should we way beyond these diversity milestones in 2017. He also deservedly won in the acting category for Atlanta and was also the best dressed guy of the night in purple Gucci.

Oh and he also gave the best “we’re pregnant” announcement while accepting his second award of the night.

We here

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This is also a very special and also super swoony photo. Sterling K. Brown won for Best Actor in a drama and he was giving a great speech until he got cut off. Luckily he got to continue backstage and finish what he started. Looking super suave while doing so. The Handmaid’s Tale was one of the big winners of the night scoring actress, supporting and guest star (which Alexis Bledel won last week). They all look lovely and Elisabeth Moss’ Prabal Gurung has the all important pocket factor.

Ann Dowd gave one of the loveliest speeches and I am also feeling a lot of things thanks to this Justin Theroux’s Instagram post. Yes I am pretending she also won this for The Leftovers.Three Queens getting their rightful standing O.Sparkly tuxedo delights for Rachel Bloom as she performed and she really needs to host this thing.On the red carpet Rachel Bloom wore Gucci and mentioned that she bought it herself. Again, it is very dumb that a lot of designers don’t cater for actresses who are not a sample size. Bloom looks great and she mentioned that she can afford it. And yet it is still a frustrating part of this whole awards circus.There were a lot of feathers this year and while some were sadly a big miss, everything about Zoë Kravitz in Dior is divine. From every single angle of this dress is different and amazing.

And such a great night for Big Little Lies.Keri Russell gives great witchy vibes in ostrich feathered J. Mendel—I do prefer her red J. Mendel look from the previous night—and alas, it was another awardless Emmys for The Americans.

But at least Russell and Matthew Rhys have each other so they have already won, really. Next year. Otherwise that gif from the pilot is getting used again. Tiers of black and white tulle for Mandy Moore in Carolina Herrera and this is where a bold pink lipstick really works wonders.Judith Light, always.They were an Emmy couple fave last year and while Orphan Black missed the nomination window, last year’s winner Tatiana Maslany was on hand to present this year and I love everything about her very classic Reem Acra gown. The blue GLAAD ampersand pin is available here.

Emmys Round 2

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Maslany and Tom Cullen also gave great pre-Emmys and a nod to last year.

Best of the Pre 2017 Emmy Awards Parties 

17 Sep

Happy Emmy Awards Day! Tonight is the big event, but first there are a lot of pre parties with FX, BAFTA and Variety among those celebrating the nominees.

This has been a very busy couple of weeks for red carpet style and come back tomorrow morning when we will be showcasing the best looks from the Emmy red carpet. The biggest trends so far are bold prints, pants and shimmer.More ruffled J. Mendel delights and Keri Russell’s red frock is giving off some ’70s vibes, which I am of course here for. Matthew Rhys mixes casual in jeans and white sneakers with a blazer and while I don’t think it is going to happen, I would love to see them both win tonight.But if Rhys is going to get beaten by anyone, then I hope it is Sterling K. Brown. And here is Brown with wife Ryan Michelle Bathe looking all kinds of couple goals. Hoping for some A+ Insta material from this pair tonight.IRL bestie of Sterling K. Brown and Atlanta star Bryan Tyree Henry delivers sartorially with some fabulous snake slippers and palm tree print shirt.Lakeith Stanfield in a leather shirt is amazing, but also I would very much like those shoes for myself. FX really is home to some of the most stylish casts, as this party proves.
Dreamy swoony sighs because Stanley Tucci is wearing a three-piece suit. Switching out her very Carrie Bradshaw Delpozo for this dream of print Valentino dress and this might be the most Mad Men thing I’ve seen Kiernan Shipka in—aside from her Sally Draper costumes. Alison Pill goes classic in black and red in a less ’50s version of this Elisabeth Moss ensemble.Holy pattern, Martha! I am in love with everything about this Alison Wright ladysuit take.Tween and teen boys continue to outshine the grown-ups and Stranger Things’ Noah Schnapp in custom Laboratoire is doing just that. Florals and velvet is always going to be a winner. Queen Judith Light crushing it in pants and matching blouse in an outfit that wouldn’t look out of place in the recent (and underrated) Man from U.N.C.L.E. movie.And at the Variety party, Judith Light looks fucking fabulous in a gold ladysuit. Bowing down, forever.More metallic wonders and Viola Davis in sequin and floral Alice + Olivia with a black top is pre-party chic at its best. Tracee Ellis Ross in leopard print and that lipstick is enough to make me ignore the random tassels at the bottom of this Michael Kors Collection dress.

I DON'T DRINK BEER ~ emmy weekend

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I love her.

💜~ @preenbythorntonbregazzi

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Also, every flame and heart eye emoji ever.This is a great print dress and the only thing I would change about Abbi Jacobson’s look is the boots. Not that there is anything wrong with boots and a dress—it is my go to—but I’d opt for something a little more ankle/less calf length and possibly a darker color. Or my fave green ones.Claire Foy is looking very un-Queen Elizabeth as she turns her attention to Girl with the Dragon Tattoo; lipstick and hair are a darker shade and this Gucci is goth whimsy. I always do a double take with Vanessa Kirby because she looks nothing like Margaret IRL—even though I saw her looking a lot like this in The Hour long before The Crown. Going for the opposite approach to her screen sister and the length combined with the bell sleeves gives a strong ’60s vibe.
More from The Crown cast looking very different to how they do on the show and also a whole lot of feelings because I’m still not over Jared Harris’ devastating performance. Also that flash of pink is delightful and this looks like a fun cast to party with. Someone make this rom-com.

Out of the Box: Look of the Week

15 Sep

After I talked up last week’s bumper “Out of the Box” this one is slightly longer and all the events, they keep on coming; TIFF, NYFW and the Creative Arts Emmys. We have a fun mix of fancy red carpet, daytime attire and even an airport look.

Plus, The X-Files celebrated its 24th anniversary and I wrote about Dana Scully’s influence on TV work wardrobes for The ObserverYou should know by now how I feel about Tatiana Maslany’s style—strongly positive—and she gives great casual and fancy. At the Stronger TIFF premiere, this J. Mendel is of course the latter and the color/ruffles are fantastic. As is Maslany’s dark lipstick choice.

And as I mentioned on Twitter the other day, I am so excited to see her post-Orphan Black career and that her extraordinary talent will reach a wider audience. Mohair sweaters are a quiet obsession of mine and everything about Elisabeth Moss in Rochas, at a screening for The Square is ’50s inspired perfection.

Another fabulous pick from super stylist Karla Welch and I cannot wait to see what Moss will be wearing at the Emmys on Sunday.

Under HER Eye! Executive Producer / Star of @handmaidsonhulu @elisabethmossofficial #tap

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See also this incredible tailored look.

Even if Brie Larson’s directorial debut wasn’t called Unicorn Store, I would applaud her airport ensemble—fluffy whimsical sandals aside—and both Larson and fiancé Alex Greenwald look cool af.

The Vampire’s Wife is a brand that has been doing very good things of late and Maggie Gyllenhaal’s silver frock continues this trend. Maggie has been crushing it during this press tour for The Deuce.

Also, Maggie addressed one of the important issues of our time (and you get to see how great the sleeves are in this Watch What Happens Live clip).At the New York mother! premiere before this happened with a T-shirt swap, there was a whole lot of couples coordinating between Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys. Also on the highly anticipated Emmy red carpet list.
The prelude to the main event and the Creative Arts Emmys—for costume wins head here—delivered with Niecy Nash looking divine in a figure hugging and puffed sleeve scarlet dream.Also in red and giving me so much life is Angela Bassett in Romona Keveza. I’m sad she didn’t win her guest actress in a comedy category for the amazing Thanksgiving episode of Master of None.Serving up super sexy drama in gold and black Mikael D is Laverne Cox. Currently fantasy casting a movie with Cox and Margot Robbie based on their red carpet looks.I was already enamored by Emily V. Gordon’s style and then I watched The Big Sick and fell further in love—the red brain sweater was based on something Emily wore. This is another great red carpet look in floral Self-Portrait and Kumail Namjiani scrubs up well in a midnight blue tux.Moving on to NYFW and it has been a very busy week/month/year for Elisabeth Moss. And another 50s-adjacent look at Kate Spade New York. A brand I very much enjoy (and can almost afford).Florals continue to dominate and at the Refinery29 29Rooms: Turn It Into Art event, Issa Rae and Gabby Sidibe looks like they are having a blast.

Insecure wrapped up its second season with a very strong finale and it has been another season full of great costuming.Obligatory “I still miss The Carrie Diaries” mention because here is Austin Butler—wearing a Radiohead tee—at Jeremy Scott with girlfriend, Vanessa Hudgens. Two mohair sweaters in one week! Skai Jackson pairs hers with a burgundy pleated skirt and this outfit at Libertine is pretty much an ideal fall ensemble. Jackson is only 15 and definitely way cooler than me.The Outlander premiere was an emotional watch for me, but I am very glad to have it back and switching out ’50s Boston maternity style for a very cool and colorful look at Delpozo is Caitriona Balfe. Balfe has been having a very good NYFW.Chunky ankle/calf boots are here to stay it would seem and I am more than fine with this dip back to the ’90s trend as previously seen from Louis Vuitton last year. Michelle Monaghan is at Oscar de la Renta and I love the edged up glam of this look.Obligatory “I still miss Selfie” mention and Karen Gillan’s super cute romper at Self-Portrait looks like something Eliza would wear. Plus, more ankle boots to covet.The Christian Siriano front row looked the most fun and I want to have a boozy lunch with all four of these women. And if Leslie Jones could lend me her cape then that would be a bonus.

I’m looking forward to seeing who will be wearing Siriano on Sunday. I’m all about the Emmys right now.In more great fabulous front row news; Nicole Kidman and Naomi Watts in coordinating and yet contrasting florals at Michael Kors. Naomi Watts continues to be an Instagram fave.

We found a dock. WHERE YOU AT DAWSON? #wedontwanttowaitforourlivestobeover

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It is no secret that I am a long time Michelle and Busy fan and I was very excited when Michelle popped up on Busy’s Insta last week. Even more so when they did a whole Dawson’s Creek thing a couple of days after. Which also included this amazing photo.

 

2017 Emmy Nomination Acting Wish List

12 Jul

It is almost here! Emmy nomination day is tomorrow (Thursday, July 13) and as has become tradition here is a rundown of who I would love to see getting recognized by the Television Academy.

Every year this wish list keeps on growing and of course there are some repeat names featured. Some previous staples are not featured due to missing the window of eligibility including last year’s Best Actress in a Drama winner, Tatiana Maslany. Maslany is crushing this final season of Orphan Black and while it is unlikely, hopefully memories will last that long so she is included next year.

As with the 2016 wish list, I have split this into drama, mini-series and comedy and includes a mix of locks, first timers and outside bets. In this time of Peak TV there is no time to watch everything so if your fave is not included this might be why.

DramaKeri Russell and Matthew Rhys

Kicking off as I have done each of my previous wish lists with Americans leads Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys. The big surprise of last year was not having to use the gif for when they didn’t nominated, as voters came on through by finally recognizing the incredible performances Russell and Rhys give on a weekly basis.

Season 5 of The Americans was more introspective as the action turned inward dealing with the toll of spy life and the things Rhys and Russell do with their faces when there is no/minimal dialogue constantly has me in awe. It wasn’t all doom and gloom for this pair of spies and a surprise wedding delivered a much needed romantic respite. Plus it is good to see a wedding with crowns that doesn’t end in murder. Carrie Coon and Justin Theroux (and the rest of The Leftovers cast)

As with Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys, the things Carrie Coon and Justin Theroux do with their face parts is astounding on every level. This final season of The Leftovers delivered the love story aspect I was hoping for and incredible performances we have come to expect from this exceptional cast. It is why this is the third year I have been hoping to see this show get recognized.

Carrie Coon gif at the ready for if/when it doesn’t.Elisabeth Moss and Samira Wiley 

Keeping with this theme of the best in face parts acting comes Elisabeth Moss and Samira Wiley in The Handmaid’s Tale. Both women crush it in their abilities to wear a mask and then revealing the real devastating emotion of the character. They are pretty much the reason why I sobbed my way through the finale.

Bonus shout out to Samira Wiley because season 4 of OITNB is the one that voters can nominate and she should def get one for once again turning me into a chin quiver wreck. Also her smile lights up the screen like no other.Sterling K. Brown and Ron Cephas Jones 

A lot of TV makes me cry as you can tell from the previous entry, but I’m pretty sure that This is Us wins the prize for episode that made me ugly cry the most. Taking a break from the Pearson family drama to go on a road trip with Randall and his dying father William; “Memphis” showcases the talents of both Sterling K. Brown and Ron Cephas Jones. Christine Baranski 

After the disappointing end of The Good Wife I wasn’t sure if I wanted more from this world. And then I remembered how much I love Diane Lockhart and how much fun this show could be without the Alicia baggage (looking at you Peter). And it is fun! Christine Baranski steps into the lead position and of course she is as amazing as Diane’s collection of fancy blazers and statement necklacesClaire Foy and Jared Harris

The Crown gives great Royal family dramz and even though Liz has to maintain a sense of decorum, it is very fun seeing throw stuff at husband when he is being terrible (my alt name for this show is Shut Up, Philip). Foy is great at both aspects and I’m throwing in Jared Harris into the nomination wish list hat for his impact in such a small amount of screen time. And yes he made me sob, which is maybe a prerequisite for a lot of this wish list.

Mini-SeriesBig Little Lies Cast – Laura Dern, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley, Zoë Kravitz and Reese Witherspoon

Months after and I am still thinking about Big Little Lies and I would love to see these women dominate the mini-series acting categories.

The scene at the top of the stairs in the finale is another great example of communicating with no words and the bonus Audrey Hepburn getup factor adds something to this scene. Also got to give them props for all the delicious gifs they have given us. Reactions for all scenarios.

BTW – I swear I am not basing this list on how much I use a gif from something, but if I did BLL would win every category. Even ones they can’t be nominated in.Susan Sarandon and Jessica Lange 

Jessica Lange gets the showier part of the two in Feud and considering a lot of time is dedicated to whether Bette or Joan has the best material; it feels kinda meta talking about these performances in this way. Best dramatic use of a cigarette and sunglasses definitely goes to Susan Sarandon though. Carrie Coon and Mary Elizabeth Winstead

Season 3 of Fargo didn’t really come together until the last few episodes, but Carrie Coon had a great standout moment early in the season when she traveled to California as part of the investigation. She really does give fabulous hotel/motel staying.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead got to show off her survival skills once again (see both BrainDead and 10 Cloverfield Lane for more) and if it wasn’t for these two women I would’ve probably quit this season early on.

ComedyPhoebe Waller-Bridge 

One thread running through most of this comedy acting wish list is that the star(s) of the show is also the creator. This adds a personal element to the material, which I guess I am drawn to.

First up Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Fleabag, which delivered on smut, laughs, great lipstick and yep, you guessed it, tears. I am nothing if not consistent. Donald Glover and Zazie Beetz

Atlanta is like nothing else on TV right now and one example of this is the relationship between Earn and Van. Exes who go out for dinner – in an episode which showed just how difficult dinner out can be on a budget – sleep over and are raising a daughter together. The spotlight shines on Zazie Beetz in one of the episodes of this very good season; focusing on Van, her career and a drug test mishap. Issa Rae

Like I said, it is a really great year for the multi-hyphenates and Issa Rae’s Insecure is another strong example of this trend. Also giving another different perspective on relationships and the fuck ups we make along the way and Rae shines in the friendship aspects (even when they’re in a fight), career struggles and why a couch is sometimes much more than somewhere to sit and watch TV.Aziz Ansari and Lena Waithe 

It might be because I have friends who are in Italy right now so Instagram is awash with great food and architecture pics or that season 2 of Master of None started here, but all I want to do is go to Italy and eat pasta right now.

Season 2 had Aziz Ansari mixing things up including a stellar episode about modern dating and the Thanksgiving spectacular that dealt with Denise’s coming out story based on Lena Waithe’s experiences.

One other standout moment was a scene in “The Dinner Party” that played to the entirety of Marc Almond’s “Say Hello, Wave Goodbye” with Dev sitting in the back of the car. It was mesmerizing in ways I didn’t expect. Rachel Bloom

Songs of a different kind and I can’t tell you how often I get “Period Sex” stuck in my head.

Rachel Bloom once again gifts us with so many great tracks including “The Math of Love Triangles,” “So Maternal,” “We Tapped That Ass,” “Remember That We Suffered,” “It Was a Shit Show” and “Friendtopia.” And this season of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend shattered the love triangle (miss you, Greg), explored love, friendships and took a deeper dive into Rebecca’s past. Lena Dunham and Matthew Rhys 

This season of Girls was definitely the strongest for Lena Dunham from an acting perspective with the scene between Hannah and Adam in the diner as the standout moment. Again everything that had to be said was done with a look and it was subtly moving.

The two-hander with Matthew Rhys was another highlight and the wolfish grin Rhys gives towards the episode after the incident is wonderfully terrifying. It would be great to see Rhys and Carrie Coon getting double nominations.Gina Rodriguez

Yeah I’m gonna talk about crying again and Jane the Virgin has always caused some waterworks on my end. Season 3 took it to new levels and Gina Rodriguez’s reactions to THAT phone call was especially devastating. But the show didn’t wallow in misery and it was good to see Rodriguez getting to play many different things with Jane this season. DeRon Horton 

While “Chapter V” (directed by Barry Jenkins) is the Dear White People episode standout, it is DeRon Horton as Lionel who gives the performance of the season. Lionel is super shy and trying to fit in; both things we have seen many times, but he is also coming to terms with his sexuality (including being attracted to his roommate) and he doesn’t feel like a character we have seen on TV before. This is important and Horton’s gives a nuanced take of a young black gay man. Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney 

The messiness of Sharon and Rob’s relationship hits new heights in season 3 as they keep secrets from the other, giving both Horgan and Delaney new levels to play with. Yes this is another series that had me sobbing and laughing. Kleenex should probs sponsor this blog.

Speak Singing the Spice Girls with Nicole Kidman, Riz Ahmed, Keri Russell and More

6 Jul

The August issue of W Magazine features a portfolio of some of the hottest stars from recent and forthcoming TV shows including Riz Ahmed, Nicole Kidman, Keri Russell, Claire Foy, Millie Bobby Brown and Milo Ventimiglia. So far they have released several video interviews from the various profiles that you can see below and today delivers this Spice Girls themed ‘Lyric Improv’ delight. This is in a similar vein to the Clueless speech version from film award season.

To give some context and to make you feel as old as I do right now, the song “Wannabe” was released in 1996 and Millie Bobby Brown was not born until 2004. I remember being at a friend’s 13th birthday sleepover just after this song had come out as we danced around her garden singing this song before settling down to the mandatory horror movie selection (that night included Candy Man and I still won’t say his name into the mirror). We were mostly into indie music (see anything Britpop/grunge), but on this night we let those pretenses drop and enjoyed this now pop music classic.

So yeah, now I’m feeling old and also this is why Claire Foy’s little bit in this video really speaks to me. Nicole Kidman has gone for an interesting choice of seductive tones for this song.

Also here is Riz:

And Nicole:

TV award season is my fave.

In this week’s work in other places, here is my love letter to all things Ruth Negga and Tulip on Preacher.

Ex-aspirational

Depression, creativity and the pressures of growing up, as told by a twenty-something not living her best life

Julie Hammerle

Nerds Need Love Too

Sofa and Remote

I love talking about TV as much as I love watching it

Ellie Writes Stuff

About this and that

Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan

Authors, Bloggers, Fashion Assassins

Twitter Music Club

A rotation curation music club, based on Twitter, mainly for Kiwis

INTO ROW Z

If you enjoy a challenge, like Claude Makélélé, read my blog. Its about sport.

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Cultural Learnings

Television Reviews and Analysis

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film, tv, popular culture, higher ed, unicorns

Rookie

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TV show news, reviews, recaps, spoilers, and photos

The Frisky

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