Celebrating Rita Hayworth: Cover Girl (1944)

Today (or yesterday, depending on what your timezone tells you) on October 17th, we celebrate 101 year from birth of one of the Old Hollywood screen goddesses, the unforgettable Rita Hayworth. And it’s worth mentioning that October the 17th also marks the would-be birthday of Montgomery Clift, another one of my Old Hollywood favorites, but I chose to dedicate this day to Rita (sorry, Monty!).

For this occasion, I decided to watch a cheery musical with Rita Hayworth – something a tad bit different than smoky film noirs we ususally associate her with. The film in question is Cover Girl, 1944 musical directed by Charles Vidor (who also directed Gilda, two years later). Besides Rita Hayworth, it also stars Gene Kelly (!) way before he made his most celebrated musical, Singin’ in the Rain.

The star of the film is Rusty Parker (played by no one other than Rita Hayworth!) a chorus girl in a nightclub run by her boyfriend Danny McGuire (Gene Kelly). When Rusty decides to apply for a contest to be on the cover of the new Vanity magazine, things start to get awkward… will she choose wealth and fame and pursue her career on Broadway and give in to the courting of a prominent playboy, or come back to the dusty but dear old club and return to her lover? In the meantime, there is playful music and wonderful costumes to entertain us; the fact that film is in Technicolor makes it visually opulent and a little magical…

And for those of you who, like me, love a good side-story, there is a thing going on with Vanity magazine editor John Coudair, a dear old fellow who happens to have been in love with Rusty’s grandmother… their history will prove crucial for Rusty’s decision in the end, however it’s rather a bittersweet romance. And there’s character of the irresitible Cornelia (played by Eve Arden) whose job is to pick models for magazine covers… and I sensed a great chemistry between her and John Coudair, despite the fact that they remain only co-workers and nothing more.

Then there’s dashing Jess Barker in the role of young John Coudair. One of most entertaining musical numbers from the film, in my opinion, is Poor John, sung by Rusty’s grandma Maribelle Hicks (watch it here) to mock John whose mother humiliated her, but also showed her that her heart doesn’t belong to the glitz of the Fifth Avenue after all…

Maybe it’s the presence of Gene Kelly, but Cover Girl does remind me slightly of Singinin the Rain (or shall I say vice versa, for Cover Girl was made eight years earlier). The music, the trio consisting of two lovers and the ever-present outsider friend, and even the ending shot… seems like these two classics do have a lot in common.

So if you’re looking for a way to cherish Rita Hayworth, on her birthday or any other day, and be swept off your feet with her charm and energy, I’d recommend grabbing a version of Cover Girl. That is, except if you hate musicals (a disliking I’ll never understand, but oh well, everyone has their taste). In which case, you can opt for her most well-known, sultry film noir, Gilda. Well you cannot fo wrong with a film noir on a misty autumn’s day, after all…

And here’s a photo of Rita in a more relaxed setting. We tend to associate her with scandalous femme fatales, but after all she was a human being like all of us. As she herself put it: “All I wanted was just what everybody else wants, you know, to be loved.

Happy birthday, Rita!


Bits of Inspiration (Aka a Pile of Randomness) #2

I’ve been in somewhat of a slump regarding this blog recently – I’m thinking a bit of changing the concept in some ways or spicing things up a little on my little corner of the internet… long story short, this post is just to break my “blogger’s block” and to share what’s been inspiring me recently – it seems like inspiration posts are my favorite and most frequent ones. And yes, I pretentiously made a series of my inspiration finds – see that I did a similar post back in April? So, let’s jump right into this untidy bunch of my recent finds (mostly from Pinterest, to be honest…)

First off, this kitten. It looks like its fur was made of velvet! I still wonder what’s with all the black cat superstition? How could you not love these furry friends?

Seems like my October moodboard in a single photograph. Too bad there aren’t any pumpkin patches near me…

To curl up with a book and a warm drink, to forget the daily life for a moment – that’s something I often think about, and I intend to do more often these months.

Fitzgerald has some of the best quotes, in my opinion. He speaks directly from my heart…

No words needed here. ❤

On a brighter note: I’m obsessing over red lipstick lately. And who could pull it off better than one of my greatest fashion icons, Lauren Bacall?

Or the French actress Anna Karina. Just give me all the reds, okay?

Red in a cake? Oh my. ‘Tis pure heaven.

I’m in love with fairytale-like photography right now.

Something darker and deeper to end with… Poe is another writer I want to discover more of, which makes sense since I’ve been stumbling upon a lot of his quotes recently. Some are simply intriguing, but a few manage to speak right to my soul…

This is what’s inspiring me recently. Consider it a sort of an inspiration board if you will, and feel free to be inspired as well. 🙂

Style in Film: Mood Indigo (2013)

Have you seen the movie Mood Indigo by Michel Gondry? It’s actually an adaptation of the novel “Froth of the Daydream” by Boris Vian. The film is quite surrealistic, quite weird, and visually, very pleasing… talk about a surrealistic world where you can wear as silly clothing as you want and not feel self-conscious about it! Also, main roles are played by Audrey Tautou and Romain Duris, two French film stars I seem to have affection for. So when I caught a glimpse of the movie on TV some time ago, it sparked my interest enough to actually watch the whole thing! Why yes, I do like the surrealistic stuff, but to a certain extent – I just don’t like it when things get so surreal they make you physically sick… but oh well, that’s just my taste. Anyhow, here I won’t discuss the film but rather its costumes. So let’s just skip the plot and dive into the wonderful world of characters’ wardrobe…

Sometimes I wish getting dressed was that easy, but then where would the satisfaction of the process be?

When I talk about costumes, I mean mostly the clothes worn by Chloe (Audrey Tautou) who has this beautiful fashion sense of vintage inspired (well, I suppose clothes had to look “vintage” since the film takes place in the mid-century) mixed with quirky, which becomes more simple and classic as the film progresses. But there are some interesting pieces worn by other characters as well, such as lovely pastel dresses with bows, plaid suits and even a costume which looks like it was made from a snake’s scale…

As the film goes further and the story develops from a light-hearted to a sad one, the colors begin to fade as well as the clothes the characters are wearing. Trench coat in nude is Chloe’s repeated outfit as the color palette fades into beiges and whites, with only an occasional pop of color here and there.

I also love Chloe’s use of white tights, which she wears repeatedly – firstly in the dance scene, then on the ice rink, and on her wedding day – where she paired her wedding dress with a bright furry jacket, which not only works but looks really cute in this weird fantastic world.

All in all, the film is quite silly – and sad in the end, which may or may not please you, but it’s definitely worth watching if only for the wonderful wardrobe. I may take notes from Chloe and add some whimsical elements into my style this fall, because after all, life is too short not to own adorable fawn shoes with a matching mustard dress, right?

My Fall Reading List

Source: Tumblr

I had a hard time deciding whether I should title this post “My Fall Reading List” or “My Autumn Reading List”. Oh, the dilemma! You see, in recent times I’ve been using the term “fall” more frequently, yet I sometimes want to stay true to my love of British culture and use the word “autumn” instead… however, as English is not my mother tongue it’s not that important which version of the word I will use, after all.
But fast forward to the subject: I’ve been burning to write another blogpost with a clear idea in mind that it had to be something about books. Fall is an inspring season for reading: snuggle up with a hot drink and immerse yourself in a fictional world while wind is whistling outside your door…
Although I didn’t have much time to dedicate to my blog recently – September’s been somewhat of a hustle so far – I have encountered (and planned) some interesting reads this month. I’ve read Hamlet once again and and I’m still under the impression. Second reading maybe isn’t the most exciting, but it can definitely be a more interesting one because it makes you notice all the little details you’ve missed before.
So let’s dip our toes into my autumnal reading list…
The Castle by Franz Kafka I’ve already started reading this one so it’s not very “fresh”, but I’m including it anyway. Only now do I realize that this novel was on my previous reading list as well – you can tell I’m very organized and always check things off my lists… but as ridiculous as it is, I don’t think that reading should be a chore and I’m not really upset that I’m reading this book only now. I just couldn’t find the time for it, yet I have read many other amazing books during summertime. To tell the truth, I actually think that the overall atmosphere in The Castle is very well suited for fall, so it must’ve been destiny that I’m only reading it now, right?
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë This is actually a reread, but I’m still excited to tackle it once again. I also believe that it’s a very appropriate book for this cold, gloomy season (which I love – don’t get me wrong) and I can’t wait to see what I’ve missed and what I still remember from my first reading… whether my views on the story and the characters have changed or if they’ve stayed the same.

Source: Pinterest

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë I’m still debating if I should read this one or Wuthering Heights first. A problem worthy of Hamlet, I know. But since both are re-reads and I’ve read both of them around the same time ago, it doesn’t matter that much which I read first. I feel like Jane Eyre is way more complex than I used to think and that there are some details that didn’t catch my attention with first reading, so obviously I’m very much willing to read it again.

Source: Pinterest

That’s it! My rather short but sweet reading list which I am very excited to tackle this autumn… hopefully I’ll find the time to dedicate to reading as well. Here’s to hoping, then! ☺

Raindrops on Roses and Whiskers on Kittens…

The title of this post draws inspiration, obviously, from Maria’s song in The Sound of Music. While I was making Sunday’s post it occured to me that I could make a similar “moodboard” inspired by this lovely song. As I’ve said, early autumn has me thinking about simple pleasures and little things that make life easier during the cold season, and since I’m collecting inspiration from everywhere, this song seemed like a perfect fit.

As you can see, here I’ve put everything that Maria mentions in the song – nothing has been left out. 😛 Meanwhile, I advise you to surround yourself with your favorite things, snuggle down and prepare for hibernating… although weather is still quite warm and it’s a long-ish way until we bring out the cosiest coats from our wardrobes, you can already smell autumn in the chilly evening air and days that are getting shorter and shorter…

Raindrops on roses
And whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite thingsCream-colored ponies and crisp apple strudels
Doorbells and sleigh bells
And schnitzel with noodles
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings
These are a few of my favorite thingsGirls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes
Silver-white winters that melt into springs
These are a few of my favorite things!

My September Moodboard

It’s been a long time since I’ve done a moodboard post – precisely, I haven’t done one since April, which is a long time. However, lately I felt inspired to make some collages that reflect my current inspiration (mostly fashion-wise, but also lifestyle-wise). For some reason, start of autumn always has me contemplating my personal style; perhaps it’s beginning of colder, shorter days that makes us think more about different topics…

There’s a lot of plaids on those collages, as I find them to be an inevitable part of autumn. Lifestyle-wise, I’d just like to sit by the window, read, drink tea and bake delicious cakes as the colder season approaches. On the first collage there is also a slight Brontësque, English countryisde vibe; this summer got me dreaming about Italy and sunny Mediterranean cities, but this fall I’d give everything to go to England and settle in a snug, cosy cottage in the country… (which is not going to happen anytime soon, unless my Fairy Godmother magically appears).

“Would You Rather” Book Tag

Yes, something more light-hearted and fun for today’s blogpost. I feel slightly pretentious answering a “would you rather” – after all I’ve been blogging for less than six months – but I haven’t been feeling my best and wanted to do something fun, so I’ll give this tag a go! Also, I’ve noticed that my posts recently focused mainly on films/other random stuff, so that books have been unfairly left out from my blog. I’ll try to make up for this now!

Note: this tag is not my creation, but I stole it from this blog, which I stumbled upon acccidentally. I’m crediting them so you don’t think I am a stealer. Thanks for the tag, Bookish Friendship!

Source: Pinterest

Read only series or stand-alone books?

Stand alone books. I honestly cannot think of many series that I loved, the exception being Sherlock Holmes series, of course – these I completely adored. I also love Narnia and Harry Potter, of course, but stand-alone books are more of my jam. There’s also a wider variety of authors and characters in stand-alone books, so that’s another plus.

… Read a book whose main character is male or female?

Wow, that’s an interesting one. I would say female character, since they’re usually easier for me to relate to. Although there are many male characters I love, but I find myself enjoying character development and complexity of female characters way more.

… Want all books become movies or TV shows?

Movies, obviously! Although I’m always suspicious of screen adaptations of my favorite novels (“You mean they left out that scene in the movie? That iconic scene?”). Still, I prefer movies to TV shows and watch them way more often than the latter.

Onegin (1999)

… Read five pages a day or five books per week?

Five pages a day. The other option would be too confusing & I’m not really a fast reader.

… Be a professional book reviewer or an author?

I have always dreamt of being an author, so I’ll choose the latter without thinking.

… Only read the same 20 books over and over or read a new book every six months?

I don’t even have the slightest idea of which 20 books I’d choose, so definitely a new book every six months.

… Be a librarian or own a bookshop?

The toughest question so far, I must admit. After all I choose librarian, since as a bookshop owner I’d have to worry about way too many things, and I’m not sure I could handle it… although I’d probably earn more if I owned a bookshop, right? Not that money’s everything, though. Anyway, both professions sound exciting to me.

… Only read your favourite genre or your favourite author?

I don’t think I have a specific favorite genre or even author – there are too many to choose just one – but I think I’d go with favorite genre. It sounds more exciting and is more various, plus I wouldn’t run out of books to read so easily.

… Only read physical books or e-books?

Physical books, of course. I’m not against e-books or anything, I actually use them regularly for shorter stories or plays, but physical books are… physical books. You can touch them, smell them, look at them and admire from afar. Sounds weird? It’s not. Also, I want to share here this witty quote by Stephen Fry: “Books are no more threatened by Kindle than stairs by elevators”. You see? There’s nothing to be worried about. 😉