What’s the deal with the dress up?

Boys in waistcoats, trilby hats, sharp suits, braces  and leather jackets. Hair in quiffs. Girls in polka dots, full circle skirts, neckerchiefs and stockings. Hair in waves. During a recent party at my place of residence I remember looking around the room thinking how stylish everybody looked (not sure these pics quite capture that vibe but for further proof of the chicness see Mars’ blog..)
It was, as is customary for our house parties, a fancy dress party. The theme? The rockin’ 1950s. My conclusion? Everyone looks better in old school dress up. And if you need further convincing of why a decade-themed party is necessary, here it is:
1. Great ice breaker to help with the initial mingling process- ‘love the Buddy Holly glasses! Who are you?…’
2. Perfect excuse to put together a vintage playlist of classic tunes. (Although these do tend to go out the window when various drunks decide they’d rather hear Meat Loaf)
3. Handy for identifying random out-of-era gate crashers.
4. Easy identification of individuals for post-party gossip sessions. ‘Oh you mean the one in the rubber elvis quiff? You didn’t?!’
5. The perfect excuse to put together a retro feast. In our case, candy coloured cupcakes and the haze-inducing Gin Daisy cocktail, which went down exceedingly well.
6. Aesthetics: For those concerned with such things at a house party and for some reason I am one of these people, a chic fifties or sixties themed party lends a little fantasy to what can otherwise be an ordinary  affair.
Now if only we could replicate the surrealism and humour of the notorious cake fight in the 1960s Nouvelle Vague classic Pierrot Le Fou!

April 3, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , . fashion, films, Me, nights out. Leave a comment.

Two films to make you feel better

Being ill, I didn’t do much today. What I did do was watch two simple and beautiful films. The first, Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter… and Spring, is set in breathtaking Korean landscape. Writing or reading the title gives an idea of what it is about: the way things change and how they remain the same. It follows the life of a boy and his master who live a strict Buddhist existence in a small cabin in the middle of a lake surrounded by mountains. In particular, we see how the boy, despite his pious upbringing, is not without human failings and is drawn to the chaotic secular world. Without giving too much away, the ending resembles the start as he comes to terms with the nature of life and finally takes on the role of master.

The other film I saw today is Whale Rider which is similar to Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter…and Spring in that it also takes place in a beautiful location, is very understated and draws parallels between the past and the present. It is about a Maori girl’s determination to fulfill her birthright as the leader of her tribe. The cliff tops and beaches are pleasing to look at, but the girl’s story of her efforts to win her grandfather’s acceptance is the real focus of this powerful narrative. The tradition of the people and the way it is almost forgotten, but comes back stronger also underpins the tale.

So why did these two films make me feel better? I guess because they are both beautiful, calming and reassuring. Added to that, neither of them has too many bells and whistles. (I say this as someone who hated Avatar). Either that or the lemsip had just done its job…

March 12, 2010. films. 1 comment.