Sunday, May 1, 2011

Royal Wedding, Public Fashion Disaster, Claude Chabrol and Yves Saint Laurent

Wow, that was some wedding, huh?  Kate and Will made a stunning couple, and her dress was perfect!  I read that it took 4 hours to do her hair:  2 hours to prepare and 2 hours to do it.  Since I'm a klutz at doing my makeup, I really admire her for doing her own.  I wonder how early she had to get up and how many hours of sleep she got the night before.  It's a good thing I'm not dating any princes, because the stress would kill me.

Speaking of stress, and this is why a big wedding for me is out of the question, I had a really bad anxiety attack when I tried to do my grocery shopping at ShopRite this past Thursday.  I had to attend jury duty in the morning, but I was excused because I'm disabled - I just have to fax them proof in 90 days, and I'm off the hook.  Then I went to the bank, then I attempted to go shopping for food and sundries, but freaked out completely at the entrance to the store.  I was on my way out and thought to myself, "Maybe they have a home delivery service I could use?"  So I went to Customer Service, and the nice lady told me, yes, they have home delivery, you just have to order online.  So I left feeling slightly better.  Outside, it was hot, like REALLY, REALLY hot, too hot for me with my raincoat, white button-down shirt and khaki pants.  The way home was a long odyssey.  I took the bus to Hylan Blvd. and Tysens Lane (I realize that means nothing to you, or maybe those of you from SI know what I'm talking about?)  I caught a glimpse of myself in a reflection and I looked a hot mess.  Disheveled is the word that comes to mind.  My pants were falling down around my hips, my shirt was popping out of my pants and my raincoat was flapping in the breeze.  In short, as my brother would say, I looked like the men with the butterfly nets were going to come get me. Since I was overheated, uncomfortable and needed cooling off, I decided I needed a Starbucks break.  There's one in the Stop & Shop right on Hylan and Tysens, so I decided to go in.  Crossing the street, I flashed some motorists as I ripped my shirt out of my pants and adjusted my pants.  I probably still looked like a fantecheringe (I have no idea how to spell that, it's Norwegian slang for wild woman, and believe me I looked it up) but at least I was a little more comfortable.  I got my Venti Mocha Frappuccino and continued on my way home.

To my dismay, my Aersoles shoes did not hold up well.  They were uncomfortable.  Granted, the terrain on Staten Island is not exactly flat or easy to walk on (the sidewalks slope, there are minimal sidewalks in my neighborhood, and frankly it can get kinda dirty).  Clearly, I need better walking shoes.  The dress code for the day was to be "neat and respectful of the court."  I shouldn't have bothered - most everyone showed up in jeans, leggings and sweatshirts or t-shirts, which I didn't think was neat or respectful of the court, but I'm getting up in years ... then again, some of these people were my age, and really should've known better.  Whatever.  Until my little striptease while crossing the street, I was fairly respectable.

In other fashion news, I've been watching Claude Chabrol's movies.  So far I've seen "This Man Must Die," "Nightcap," "The Butcher," and most recently, "Innocents with Dirty Hands," which starred the ill-fated Romy Schneider and Rod Steiger as a couple doomed by their love (because it wouldn't be a French film if there wasn't a Love storyline in there somewhere).  Well, the plot had a lot of twists and turns, and really was pretty confusing - if you walked away for a second, you'd be lost - but!  Yves St. Laurent designed the costumes for Romy Schneider, who really was pretty glorious looking.  The movie was made in 1975, so it was the height of 70's elegance - spare and minimal.  The setting was St. Tropez, the playground of the incredibly wealthy, and Romy Schneider played a bored housewife who gets entangled in a romantic triangle between her husband, Rod Steiger, and Sexy Neighbor Man, Jeff Marle (the actor's name escapes me).  Claude Chabrol was deeply influenced by Alfred Hitchcock, but I think he was also influenced by film noir of the 40's and 50's, because this film had some elements of that - a certain mounting claustrophobia, double-crosses and betrayals, fake-outs and charades and lies, lies, lies. Yves St. Laurent's costumes for Ms. Schneider underscored her character's "Black Widow" tendencies.  The elegant simplicity of her outfits provided a perfect backdrop for the intricate drama of the plot, and Ms. Schneider's radiant natural beauty.

You can see a trailer of the movie here:

http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/innocents_with_dirty_hands/

She had a sad, short life, dying at age 44 of an overdose, which was ruled an accident, but which some said was suicide.

It's a common misconception that beauty brings happiness; it doesn't.

Yves St. Laurent also did the costumes for Isabelle Huppert in "Nightcap."  I believe that was filmed in the late 90's.  Even though the styles had changed, and it was a different character, there were the same clean lines, neutral palette and minimalism that marked St. Laurent's work in the earlier film.  Yet it's interesting to note that the flowing gowns that indicated the Romy Schneider character's sensuality, gave way to a use of fabrics with more body and texture to indicate Isabelle Huppert's character's rigidity.  Even though the clothes were created by the same designer, you would never mistake one character for the other.

That's it.  Have a good night, and a pleasant tomorrow!