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12 December, 2013

a stroll along the danube

This set for me tells tales of air and seduction.
It is lightness incarnated, while being a bit heady at the same time.
There is Sofia Coppola's constant companion, the slim clutch. A trusty throw-on jacket & a shy girls' lipstick.
The scarf and the pearls, for me, set this scene somewhere close to the water. Be that the Seine or the Danube. She would be reading The Hare with Amber Eyes at the café down the road & getting dressed to Emilie Simon.
And all of that, she would do without her very own prince charmant.

03 December, 2013

la dolce vita: fendi & valentino

Growing up in this day & age one keeps reading about all the classics one should read and watch.
Compared to today's movies, however, the classics can seem a bit slow, a bit languid. 

And La Dolce Vita certainly couldn't be classified as a fast paced movie, but it's a joy watching the scenes unfold & following Marcello Mastroianna down the Via Venetomeeting one character more interesting than the other.

The movie is also most certainly a festival for the visually starved eye. As Kate Hudson says in Nine (the musical is based on Frederico Fellini's life): "Every frame is like a postcard!"
And interestingly enough - despite the availability of color film, Fellini opted to shoot the movie in black & white. Kate Hudson's character goes on to say that he "care[s] as much about the suit, as the man wearing it" & Piero Gherardi, the film's costume designer, did actually go on to win an Academy Award for Best Costume Design. The movie as a whole is such a stylish feat, one that is rarely seen in today's world of movies.

Below follow a couple of my notes - especially in regard to how Valentino & Fendi, two of the foremost Italian brands, tie into the movie.

Swimwear for the rooftop pool, back when armpit hair wasn't yet déclassé.

Unusual for movies, Gherardi focused as much on the men's clothing as on the women's.
And unlike its American counterpart, the Italian suit was slim fitting with narrow legs & single breasted. (x)
Sharp & flattering - it was masculine sophistication at its height.

For all of you cool cats who have read Bonjour Tristesse - isn't this exactly how you imagined Anne?
(Let's ignore the movie version of the book, where Anne is blonde and not half as wonderfully affected.)

If your life is a Fellini movie sunglasses are appropriate at every time of the day (& night).

I feel like the idea of Maddalene (Anouk Aimée) is very much what Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli have partly been trying to achieve over at Maison Valentino. After all, the muse behind the perfume Valentina (the ad is a must-watch) is described as "beautiful, radiant with charms belonging to a modern heiress. She sets home in a classical Roman Palazzo but there is nothing she likes more than feeling the heart beat of the vivid city of Rome. She is the only protagonist of a hypnotic, bewitching story full of references and allusions to legendary figures of Italian fashion and cinema." 

Maddalene, the moody heiress, who is tired of Rome and its charms & has too much money for her own good, could definitely have served as inspiration. Valentina, portrayed by Freja Beha Erichsen in the ads, the heiress of today certainly resembles her a lot in spirit, when skipping out on a lavish ball & instead wandering through the streets of Rome & making out with a beautiful male model.

Valentino Garavani is, in fact, often referred to as the coutierer of Rome's Dolce Vita years. (x)
While Valentino has always drawn heiresses as clientele, Chiuri and Piccioli have been trying to steer the brand in a more modern, cool and sophisticated direction - something Maddalene definitely embodies.
They once also described one of their collections as "very uptown goes downtown", which is what Maddalene quite literally is all about. (x)

The modern woman: driving barefoot & then putting on the heels afterwards.

Marcello Mastroianni being is usual hot self in Persol sunglasses.

“I sleep only in two drops of French perfume. And there are three things I like: love, love and love.”
Marilyn says hello. Clearly Anita Ekberg's character was supposed to be a sort of Marilyn Monroe.

The film is, of course, most famous for Ekberg & Mastroianna's frolicking in the Trevi fountain.

It seems, however, the scene has drawn one or two too many tourists to the sight seeing as in the last couple of years the fountain has been falling apart. Not just the fountain, but Italy as a whole. As such the restoration of an Italian monument isn't exactly a top priority.

Room enough for Fendi to swoop in & save the day: "eager to reposition the company at the heart of the Eternal City" Fendi has pledged €2.2 million for the Trevi fountain's restoration. (x)
While their contribution will only be marked with a small plaque on the side, the company has already benefited from its link to the infamous movie scene.
"But the company’s intervention has already gained it publicity money can’t buy: headlines around the world accompanied by a sultry picture of Anita Ekberg, cavorting in the fountain in full evening dress in a scene from Federico Fellini’s 1960 film La Dolce Vita." (x)

Roger Ebert, the famous movie critic, certainly counted the movie amongst his favorites &
ended his review of the movie with:
"There may be no such thing as the sweet life. But it is necessary to find that out for yourself."