Thursday, January 31, 2013

Les Miserables: Red, Black and Barks

via tobiasmastgrave

via movieposter
Unlike many people who love musical theater, I don't hold movie versions to the same standard.  That is, I don't expect to have the same experience from a movie that I would with live theater.  There is no way to compare the two, nor should we (in my opinion).  I believe that both should create in us a strong emotional response even if they go about it in different ways.  On Broadway, we are blown away by a strong and powerful voice and an equally strong acting performance.  As you may know, acting  from a stage and acting for a camera require different techniques.  What am I getting at?  Only this:  I LOVED the movie version of Les Miserables because it did what a movie version of the musical should do.  It told the story in a stunningly effective way even while keeping the musical score.  The acting performances are up-most here, the music secondary, or, supportive.  The opposite is true in theater.  It drives me batty to hear people compare the movie to the Broadway version!  Were you moved by how the movie told the story or not?  Do you believe that it is artistically faithful and that the music worked to support all of that?  Anne Hathaway will never be big on Broadway, yet her sympathetic portrayal of Fantine is wonderful and true to the requirements of a movie.  Don't even get me started on Hugh Jackman's success as Jean Valjean.  Now, if you want to hear me complain (just a little) I will say I was a bit disappointed with Russel Crowe's performance.  Sorry, but he seemed a bit stone- faced for all the internal turmoil of the character.  I know he did it on purpose; it just didn't work, especially during Javert's suicide song.  Good God man!  Show some emotion!  

via demookie

I'm not saying that some of the stars of Broadway wouldn't do well in movies--I'm sure many of them could adapt; which brings me to my subject (finally!): Samantha Barks.  She is a true example of one bright, new, Broadway star with a big voice and [movie] acting ability!  She blew me away as Eponine.  I also just saw her on TV (not in person, darnit-all)  in the 25th anniversary concert of Les Miserables.  She is currently touring with OLIVER!   This young woman (22, from the Isle of Man, UK) has a tremendous career ahead of her.  

Image via Glamour Samantha Barks 

Image via Amanda Seyfried, Anne Hathaway, and Samantha Barks.

These fabulous lyrics allude to my next source of inspiration: "Red, the blood of angry men.  Black, the dark of ages past.  Red, a world about to dawn.  Black, the night that ends at last."

{another side note: the best CD to get for your car? The 10th anniversary concert of Les Miserables.  That's where it's at in terms of musical cast}

I don't want to go off subject too much...but I have to mention that I have done a little research on the Lyricist Herbert Kretzmer, (because I believe the words of  Les Mis to be deeply compelling and I wanted to know more about the man who wrote them).  He is a South-African born English Journalist, besides being an award winning Lyiricist.  One fabulous career is not enough for some people, I guess.  He wrote for the Daily Express as a feature writer and then became Senior Drama critic for the same publication, holding that post for 18 years.  The man as been to 3,000 opening nights!  (source) He adapted Les Miserables, when asked by Cameron Macintosh, from the French version of the musical by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schonberg.  He extended it from 2 hours to 3! 
If I've lost you I am very sorry...back to Red and Black! 
via brightboldbeautiful.  Amazing
google via pinterest

image via DGV via pinterest .  Originally pinned from Debbi Drybala.

via christineringenbach








James Abbott McNiell Whistler via Wikimedia


Jonathan Adler via Cococozy

Hope you are inspired by these images of classic and chic red and black.  I usually shy away from any pairing this strong, but I am loving these spaces and I definitely want to wear more red and black.

P.S.  I can belt the heck out of "On My Own!"  Bet only a few people know that about me:)

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Hop On!

Here's my meager contribution to the monochromatic trend that seems to be popping up everywhere.  I have had the subject of this post, black and white, floating around in my head for what seems like forever, but have not had time to do anything with it.
I, for one, am glad that b&w is heading into spring on a strong note.  What's not to love with this crisp, classic color scheme?!  It doesn't ever have to be boring, either, because it is so easy to add a pop of color with accessories.
All of these items are from Dorothy Perkins, so that means they are all affordable.  I especially love that collared dress.  I am in love with peplum tops, too, and have even purchased one, but I haven't worn it yet- my torso is soooo long, and with the wrong bottoms it just looks like it is too small.  So, until I find the rest of the outfit to go with it, it sits in my closet, where I gaze it on it now and then, waiting for the perfect piece to present itself.


Dorothy Perkins cream dress / Dorothy Perkins flare dress / Dorothy Perkins black dress / Dorothy Perkins peplum top / Dorothy Perkins

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Film Inspiration: Bonjour Tristesse

via oldschoolwardrobe
A few years ago, on some lazy Saturday afternoon, I came across a film called Bonjour Tristesse, 1958 (French, "Hello Sadness."  Novel by Francoise Sagan, 1954) starring Debora Kerr, David Niven and, this pretty little actress I didn't know, Jean Seberg.  It is a rather artsy film about a flimsy, do nothing, father-daughter duo with plenty of money and no drive.   Their lives consist of laying in the sun, and dancing the night away with their latest conquests.  The realization of their pointless existence is not the tragedy; the real catastrophe exists in their inability to change their own pattern of living. 
 It is the kind of film that never leaves you once you see it.
Jean Seberg is not a noted actress, yet her beauty seems to be enough in her roles.  American critics gave her very poor reviews (including this second attempt, Bonjour Tristesse) but when she moved to France and began making foreign films, the press there loved her and she had a fairly successful career for awhile.  
It is odd to think that this beauty, who is the picture of gamine European style, was actually from Marshaltown, Iowa!  She still inspires all of us today with her minimalist, summery, devil- may- care look.  

I am already dreaming of summer with Seberg as my style inspiration.  Here are some things I found that I am going to need.

Jean Seberg

Topshop chambray top / Mango oversized t shirt, $16 / Esther Williams red one piece bathing suit / Warehouse skater skirt, $40 / Chloé ankle strap flat / Charlotte Russe summer straw hat / Alexander Wang cat eye sunglasses, $380

Monday, January 28, 2013

Monday, Monday...

It's Monday.  Boo.

But not really, because the weekend was pretty good, and there are these exciting changes happening to the blog (thanks to Gloria of Little White Whale Design Studio).

image via
Here's a random recap of our weekend:

I scored a pretty fantastic Banana Republic dress for $4 (which will be perfect once spring and summer roll around).

And I finally found a fisherman sweater (at Marshall's).

available here
And I got a book called Christopher Isherwood: Lost Years- A Memoir, 1945-1951.
I am excited to read this one, as it promises to be full of lots of juicy gossip about well known writers, artists, and actors.  Yes, gossip, I know... so debasing, but it is what it is!  I don't really care about celebrity gossip nowadays, but I'm eager to eat up info about the past.  Maybe because even though these past figures were sometimes leading scandalous lives, they were often portrayed as darlings to the public?  Now with twitter and facebook and internet and reality tv, everyone's dirty laundry is aired as soon as it becomes dirty, but back then, there was such a thing as keeping up an image.

Oh, and I was told I had legs as long as January.  (Neither here nor there, but nice to hear!)

Anyway, I hope you have a fantastic week; I will leave you with a bit of advice:
image via Sparkles and Pretending

And a pretty close up detail of Oscar de la Renta, spring/summer 2013, just because it is pretty:
image via Sparkles and Pretending

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sweet Spot Sunday: Tasty Kitchens

Where could there be a sweeter spot than in the kitchen?  Nothing can stir in us the desire for culinary creativity than a beautiful and homey kitchen.
I believe that good design should cause us to have an emotional response.  Since we are all in our kitchens so often (and most of us have vivid  memories of being in our parents' kitchen growing up) I think this emotional reaction is strongest to kitchens.
I typically prefer a clean, classic, white kitchen, but these rustic yet modern spaces are compelling.  I love how they balance old- world nostalgia with contemporary convenience.  
country kitchen
Katherine Hodge at Sage Design
Lori and I are so excited to tell you that DGV is in the process of being re-designed.  We look forward to your reactions to the new look.  Have a wonderful Sunday!

Saturday, January 26, 2013


Royal Tenenbaums

Scalamandre Zebras 5-Piece Place Setting / Scalamandre Zebras Oval Platter / Scalamandre Zebra Decanter / Scalamandre Black Zebra Large Vase / Scalamandre Zebra Double Old-Fashioned Glass, Set Of 2

Hmmm, my second dish post of the week, I know, but I love this print from Scalamandre, and I love that those happy little zebras are now galavanting around on Lenox dishes.  This seems a little more doable than the wallpaper (though in the right setting, I love that too, thanks to the good old Tenenbaums).  I love, love, love that vase; I think it would look fabulous in my den/office.  It's gorgeous.

Hope you all have a lovely weekend!


Friday, January 25, 2013

Freaky Find Friday: Mint Lips

I have to say that I am in love with all things mint green right now...at least I thought I was.  I know some will disagree with me (this image has been re-pinned a lot on pinterest) but I just think this look is wrong beyond the runway or editorial print.  I can safely say that I will not be sporting mint green lips this Spring.  I think it would look, well, freaky!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

What I Want, Faux Real.

I want a pair of (faux) leather leggings.  I have seen them styled a couple of different places, and I have decided that I could pull a pair off.  Normally, I would think they are a little too rock and roll for me, what with me being a teacher and all, but I have come to the conclusion that if I style them right, I could totally get away with them.  They aren't just meant for girls like my friend Jenn whose boyfriend is a musician and who spends the majority of her time backstage with other musicians, living the rocker musician life.  (Her boyfriend is Jared Blake, who was on the first season of the The Voice, in case you're wondering.)  So Jenn wears things like leather leggings, and she looks totally natural in them.  I, however, have always shied away from said leggings.  Until now. Now, in my head at least, I can totally pull these off.  And I only waited until spring is just around the corner to decide on this.

Zara faux leather leggings

Zara, Faux Leather Jeggings
Besides a chunk of change, what is the difference between the leggings and the jeggings?!

I keep picturing myself wearing these with big, cozy sweaters (I recently bought such a sweater at the Buffalo Exchange).
La Garconne Gamine Pullover
(a steal at $450)
Sadly, this is not the sweater I bought.

I think things could go very wrong very fast with a pair of pants like this (as evidenced if you type "leather leggings" into pinterest), but I also think that if done right (usually with a much heavier/flow-ier/longer top), then they can be pretty fantastic.  I also like the black leggings that have just touches of leather, like these:

just a touch
image via pinterest

If the whole, "Look!  I'm a 5th grade teacher wearing leather leggings and pretending to be a rock star!" thing doesn't work, I may try a pair of coated skinny jeans instead.  Over on the blog Kacie's Kloset, she wears a pair of J Brand coated skinny jeans and they are the perfect fit/style.  

Anyhoo, it's almost the weekend, and I have to admit I will be glad when it gets here!  I hope you enjoy the rest of your week.


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