Stylish Cinema: An Education

I love movies. Good movies, bad movies, funny movies, old movies, NOT scary movies- I don't like those. But my favorite movies are always movies that have superb costume design, so I thought I'd pick a few and tell you why, beginning with An Education. 

Carey Mulligan is probably my favorite young actress, and she commands the role of a 17 year old London school girl, Jenny, in the early 60's, struggling to get enthused about University. To remedy her boredom, she gets entangled with Peter Sarsgaard's David, and his glamorous posse. Joining them on trips to Paris, where she buys French cigarettes and Chanel No. 5 for the other girls at school, art auctions, and horse races… and you can probably guess how things pan out for the couple… but I won't tell you here. 

But the WARDROBE. Oh the wardrobe. From Jenny's frumpy (but kind of chic!) school uniform, to her slow transformation into wanna-be-socialite, costume designer Odile Dicks-Mireaux shows the journey of the character through the clothes. When she realizes she needs to up her style game if she wants to fit in with the fast crowd, Jenny seeks a makeover from Rosamund Pike's uber-glam Helen. The result is a awkward glamour, Jenny looks great- but you can tell she's still kind of 'faking it'.  

An Education also speaks to the Savile Row boom of 60's London, and the men look smart in their navy suits, spread collars, and tie bars. Fun fact- Savile Row was the first place I had to see when I visited London- it's a menswear fanatic's Mecca. Another fun fact- the Beatle's Apple Record Studio is on Savile Row. 

Anyway… see An Education. 

New York Real Estate and Dating

I have this friend,  (no really, I'm not just saying that to cover the fact that this story is actually about me, I wish it were) we'll call her… Liz Lemmon. LL is a Jersey Girl, who started dating a great guy in New York City. After a few dates, Liz told me about his apartment: 

Gramercy Park, my greatest love thus far...

Gramercy Park, my greatest love thus far...

"Was it in Brooklyn?" - me

(Hi, we're 26, this is always the assumption. Or Queens… but NEVER date someone who lives in Queens) 

"No, it's in Manhattan, like, Upper East Side?"- LL 

"Oh, cool. Does he have roommates?" - me

"No, he lives alone."- LL

"WHAT." - me 

"Yea, it's really nice. There's like a doorman, and it's a one bedroom. He made dinner and we ate in his dining room, then sat on the couch and watched movies." -LL

Then I died. 

"LIZ. Do you understand what you have here? You have a 28 year old man with his OWN one bedroom apartment, on the UES, with a fucking dining room AND separate living room, and a DOORMAN?! Don't even tell me if he has central air." - me

"Yea, it's nice." - LL (Still not grasping the concept of having won the NY dating lottery)

"Liz. Tell me one more thing- is there… an in-unit washer and dryer?" - me

"Um… I think so, there's one closet that I haven't looked in yet." - LL

In the end, LL and Mr.Doorman didn't work out… but this did illuminate a ray of hope. Even in this shitty economy, 28 year old, well-employed, good-looking men DO exist...

but maybe only in New York. 

Chuck Bass: Man of Style

Gossip Girl may be an extinct guilty pleasure, but one thing lives on in my Pinterest boards forever… Chuck Bass's style. 

Click through for my thoughts 

Chuck must've been costume designer Eric Daman's favorite character to develop, I know he would've been mine! Coming from a film and costume design background, I always take note of the evolution of a character via their wardrobe. Thinking about what's going on in the character's life, why he would choose to wear a piece, where is he going in it? Thinking about a character's psyche is what makes costume design different, more challenging, and sometimes more fun, than styling. 

I am a keen observer of sharp tailoring. If I learned anything working with GQ, it was that the Russian tailors in LA are magicians. Daman is clearly also a fan of the tailor's chalk, and over seven seasons, we saw Chuck's armholes get higher, his waist whittled, and his pants taper. 

Chuck Bass is my Carrie Bradshaw. 

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F*cking Funny Read

Leandra Medine is obviously an important voice for our generation… she and Lena Dunham must hang out in some LES wine bar, typing out their hilarious stream of consciousness, praying to the altar of Liz Lemon, for all of us 20-something girls (and gays, lets be real) to relate to. I finally got around to reading her book, and not since Bossy Pants have I Laughed Out Loud on my couch, by myself.

While the Fashion Girl will appreciate the importance of the fact that the clutch she vomited into in Paris was vintage Hermès, any girl (or gay) can commiserate with having to many glasses of rosè at a strange party, right? But it's not all embarrassing stories and foibles, Leandra gets endearingly real with us, taking us through the ups and downs of her relationship with her now-husband, (the Man REPELLER got married! So can I!) and all the questionable suitors in-between. And let me tell you- girlfriend pulled off a chic wedding, look it up, it's my NYC wedding dream.

I love that she is open about her Jewish faith, and doesn't give a fuck if there's a fabulous party at The Box on Friday night- it's Shabbat dammit! We need more girls like Leandra in the media… I take that back, she and Lena are all we need. 

photo @manrepeller on insta 

photo @manrepeller on insta 

Tigers, Aaron Paul, and Blake Shelton: Tindering in Hollywood

Seriously, what's with the tigers? If we could find a way to collect the royalties for all the tigers in Tinder pictures, we could save the endangered cat. While the rare Bengal is for some bizarre reason the most popular Tinder pic companion amongst men the world over, in The City of Actors… eh hem… Angels… tigers are followed closely by the following:

Aaron Paul

Blake Shelton 

and the oh so popular "My niece in the pic! Not my kid!" 

I guess both of those guys are super friendly, beloved by men, and apparently, down for the photo op. I wish I had screen capped this evidence… but a recent hard drive meltdown has destroyed it.

PS, have you watched this show Online Dating Rituals of the American Male? You guys, when I tell you this hits too close to home, I mean, they've driven past my actual apartment building in several episodes. So, if you want to get an idea of dating in Hollyweird, check it out. 

My Unlikely Celebrity Crushes

Clooney? Sure, I get it, he's hot in that sugar daddy kind of way. Brad? Alright, aging questionably, but again, I get it. Leo? Well, Leo is a big fat YES for me. Love him so much I actually don't want to meet him; I've met a LOT of celebrities, and sometimes the person doesn't live up to the persona. But I have two unlikely celebrity crushes… which speak strongly of my character and for what I want in a mate. 

If only he liked women. 

If only he liked women. 

I have never wanted to shop at Banana more. 

I have never wanted to shop at Banana more. 

1. Nate Berkus 

Those who know me know that I get along best in life, with the gay male. It's a blessing and a curse. They've guided me through my professional and personal lives, and I believe myself to have been one in a past life. That said, it's no surprise that when I saw Nate Berkus at the Michael Bastian SS 13' runway show, my crush was confirmed. Everyone knows he's classically handsome, good with his hands, friends with Oprah, and has impeccable taste, but have you ever seen him in perfectly distressed jeans and a tee shirt? It was like he drove in from a day on the beach in Sag Harbor, in a vintage Jaguar convertible I imagine, just to attend the show, in the tee shirt he had worn all day while he refurbished bar carts with Ina Garten. To me, Nate represents the aesthetic ideal, or wait… does he represent me? I'm the creative spirit, the one with high taste, the one with an invite to the fashion shows… there can only be one.. which brings me to… 

No really, does anyone know his tailor? 

No really, does anyone know his tailor? 

I'm into it. 

I'm into it. 

2. Bill Rancic 

G,  you're a lucky lady. Tall, handsome, invests in real-estate, great hair, perfect teeth, Rancic is like a 21st century Disney prince. This man has an excellent tailor (in fact… who IS his tailor? Googling... I need that contact) and that Rogaine is working! And he's getting paid to hock it! Bingo. This guy is confident enough to live his life on camera, hair-loss, infertility, marital struggles, cancer, and he and Guiliana do it sans Kardashian-stupidity. Bill loves his wife, and all he wants is to have more Baby Dukes in their Chicago townhouse. Who doesn't want a man who rocks a Tom Ford suit by day, and a baseball hat on the weekends? 

So, I guess what I want is to be Nate Berkus, and find a Bill Rancic?

Who are your weird celebrity crushes?