26 July 2014

Malèna & polka dots

Sometimes a simple detail makes me fall in love with a garment : a special colour, a beautiful fabric, a seductive print. With this polka dot skirt I had my little heart time and caught a glimpse of Monica Bellucci's Southern Italian style in Malèna. Directed by Giuseppe Tornatore, the film is set during WW2 in a rural Italian town; Monica Bellucci plays an impossible vision of beauty, a woman so striking she is immediately sexualised by all who lay eyes on her. Malèna’s reaction to the leering male gaze and subsequent scorn of jealous women is expressed through her hair, make-up and clothing.

Our introduction to the character occurs with Malèna wearing a just-below-the-knee white dress, lightly padded shoulders, deep neckline incorporating dotted bow detail (this fabric being reused later for another outfit) to match black and white edging on the revers. Its tubular fit is reminiscent of the form-fitting 1930's; Bellucci’s figure is emphasized within the story world, aligning our viewpoint with young protagonist Renato and not his leering friends. Renato sees Malèna as the perfect – if not the only – embodiment of  a woman. 
Feminine, sophisticated and evocative of 1930's-1950's elegance, polka dots perk you up pretty much instantly. A playful pattern not only turns you into a sultry femme, but gives off an energetic, fresh vibe that's appropriate no matter how many candles you're blowing out this summer. 

~Now all that's missing is a delightful jazzy tune, gelato & a few drops of exquisite perfume.~


Photos: Maria M.



20 July 2014

*HEY LoLiTa, HEY*

I think everyone knows about my obsession with Lolita. Not only with the book or films, but with everything that alludes to one. The novel is challenging, subversive, perverse, beautiful, nostalgic, darkly funny & poetic. Beneath the skin of the novel, there is so much more, a whole complex living organism. You can lose yourself within its arms for days, weeks, months, a lifetime; as long as your love of words and play, will allow you. Again, at a superficial level, there is an almighty conflict between morality and aesthetics happening between the pages. Lolita lingers in my mind, like an accidental glance at the mid-day sun. I believe this book will always have an effect on me. I’m thankful, but cautious. It’s a book that I experienced, not so much as read. 

As for the films, there have been two based on the book. The first, filmed in 1962 was directed by Stanley Kubrick and the screenplay was written by Nabokov himself (or so it was claimed, Nabokov having been seen later to not exactly enjoy the film or the finished screenplay). It's an absolute classic, and is where that iconic image of Lo wearing the heart-shaped sunglasses comes from.

The other version is the one from 1997, directed by Adrian Lyne, starring Dominique Swain as Dolores/Lo/Lola/Lolita and Jeremy Irons as Humbert. Even though it's not as critically acclaimed, I personally feel that the whole hazy vibe of the movie feels much closer to the romanticised, lyrical quality of Nabokov's prose. It has been accused of not containing as much black comedy as in the novel, but I disagree - most of the scenes with Lo trying to impress Humbert and gain points over her mother (Lo's modern dance creation is a favourite) or being rude (rolling restless & bored on the hotel bed) are both hilarious & uncomfortable.
However, I will always prefer the book over any film based on it. Part of what I find fascinating about the novel is that Humbert is such a great character that you almost forget at times what he's done - he's completely believable as an unreliable narrator, and it's in the small moments that we get a glimpse of Lolita's true unhappiness.

I also love Lo's wardrobe in Lyne's version of the movie. It's soft, girlish and feminine yet grown-up and flirtatious, helping to convey how Lo is stuck in a weird limbo between wanting to be a woman, yet still needing to be a girl.
A Lolita-inspired wardrobe is full of 40's delicate silhouettes and colours. What I decided to wear though is a small step away from the Lolita vibe, but with Lana Del Rey-type Americana overtones of gas stations, Vegas and sultriness. 
Pink lipstick, cherry cola, Lana's tunes & red heart-shaped sunglasses is all you need for a little touch of a XXI century Lolita.
Photos: Maria M.



Hey, Lolita, hey
I know what the boys want, I'm not gonna play
Hey, Lolita, hey
Whistle all you want but I'm not gonna say

2 July 2014

Bijou Du Jour

Les pendants d'oreilles haute couture de Versace

Asymmetrical earrings have been extremely popular this year. Versace's haute couture pendant earrings in complementary citrine and peridot are a great take on the trend. Entwined yellow gold and diamonds, this pair of 17 carat carries the desirable claw of the Italian house. Perfect to be worn together or one at a time!