Three Coins in the Fountain (1954)

Maggie McNarmara, Dorothy McGuire, and Jean Peters star in this Academy Award nominated film about three American secretaries working abroad in Rome, Italy.

Charade (1963)

Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant star in this delightful romantic comedy involving spies and missing money. Set in Paris. Walter Matthau also makes an appearance as a CIA agent.

The Best of Everything (1959)

Original tagline: "These are the girls who want the best of everything...but often settle for a lot less!" Mid-century drama following the lives of three young career women living in New York City.

High Society (1956)

Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly and Frank Sinatra star in this delightful musical comedy remake of the beloved classic The Philadelphia Story (1940).

Far From Heaven (2002)

Set against a spectacular autumn palette, Juilanne Moore, Dennis Quaid, and Dennis Haysbert star in this compelling drama which grapples with issues of race and homosexuality in conservative 1950s Connecticut.

Death In Venice (1971)

An aging German music composer sojourns to Venice in hopes of improving his health and finds himself enraptured by the beauty of a young adolescent boy. A visually mesmerizing film.

Cracks (2009)

Based on the novel of the same name, Eva Green stars as a young, charismatic teacher at an all-girls English boarding school.

Mrs. Henderson Presents (2005)

Based on the true story of the Windmill Theatre in London, Judi Dench stars as a wealthy, eccentric widow who purchases a theatre and turns it into a somewhat Moulin Rouge-esque venue that featured nude performers.

Desk Set (1957)

The introduction of computer technology renders the reference jobs of three women potentially useless. Stars Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy.

Sylvia (2003)

A biopic of writer Sylvia Plath set in the 1950s starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Daniel Craig.

Howard's End (1992)

Emma Thompson, Anthony Hopkins and Helena Bonham Carter star in this E.M. Forster classic set in turn-of-the-century England.

January 11, 2014

Lady Felicia's outfits in BBC's Father Brown (2012-13)

Having not read the books on which the television show is based, I had no expectations of BBC's adaptation of Father Brown and chose to dismiss the negative reviews before I had a chance to judge it for myself. And I'm glad I did because after ploughing through fifteen episodes in the course of an equally long flight, I've decided that it's not nearly as inane or poorly produced as some naysayers claim. Granted, it can't measure up to the caliber of detective-show heavyweights like Poirot, Marple, Morse, among others, but it does satisfy the sleuthing itch when one is devoid of better alternatives.

father.brown.title I haven't taken to Father Brown like I did to the aforementioned characters - he's just not all that interesting nor unique and at times, can come off exceedingly annoying. The murder cases are not complicated and the characters appear even less so; the show can't seem to decide if it wants to be a comedy or a drama series and often veers into the unfortunate territory of "camp." BUT despite all of that, I still find myself enjoying it, if only for the gorgeous costumes, particularly the dresses donned by Lady Felicia, a minor character who pops in and out on occasion, usually just at the moment when a handsome stranger strolls into town. And it is Lady Felicia's wardrobe that is the focus of today's post! As a wealthy socialite with a wandering eye and a frequently-absent husband, Lady Felicia is actually my favorite out of all the characters on the show. And yes, her clothes are responsible for the majority of this bias. Just look at these!

Light green and blue striped satin dress. 
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Bold red dress, black gloves, oversize clutch, and straw hat father.brown.lady.felicia.red.dress1

father.brown.lady.felicia.red.dress2

The scarf is timeless. father.brown.lady.felicia.green.scarf1

Light olive green satin dress with damask stripes. I want this fabric for my curtains...father.brown.lady.felicia.light.green.stripes1

father.brown.lady.felicia.light.green.stripes2


Beautiful green patterned dress with a fur stole, black gloves and large clutch father.brown.lady.felicia.green.dress.fur.stole1

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Here's the same dress without the fur stole covering up the lovely scalloped neckline. father.brown.lady.felicia.green.dress2

Burnt red-orange sundress with cute button details.
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Lady Felicia is often found with drinks in hand, sometimes two...Very pretty lace dress topped with a light yellow fur capelet. father.brown.lady.felicia.white.lace.dress

Here's the same lace dress without the capelet. father.brown.lady.felicia.white.lace.dress2

Oh, look, more champagne! father.brown.lady.felicia.cropped.yellow.fur2

Cute red belt buckle. father.brown.lady.felicia.cropped.yellow.fur1

You can't see this dress all that well but it's a gorgeous and iridescent dark redddish brown satin with small polka dots. father.brown.lady.felicia.iridescent.brown

A cream coloured ensemble. I like how the belt is made from the same material as the dress. father.brown.lady.felicia.ivory.dress.coat

Love the bright yellow shoes! And the cream/light blue/yellow colour combination. father.brown.lady.felicia.yellow.coat

A close-up of the top half of the previous outfit. Love the ribbed texture of the yellow coat.father.brown.lady.felicia.yellow.jacket.teacup

She likes to wear red a lot! father.brown.lady.felicia.red.suit.dress

I love the lapels on this suit jacket. And the white blouse underneath (which we don't get to see unfortunately). father.brown.lady.felicia.beige.pinstriped

A full-length view of the beige suit dress. father.brown.lady.felicia.beige.pinstriped2

Mauve dress with white polka dots, gloves & clutch. (Once again she spots a handsome stranger). father.brown.lady.felicia.pink.white.dress

Armed with flowers and a raunchy classic, Lady Felicia shows up at the hospital to visit the handsome, bedridden stranger who, according to the nurses, is "quite dashing under the sheets." father.brown.lady.felicia.chatterley.book2

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Even though this blog entry is mostly about Lady Felicia, I wanted to include some miscellaneous images of a few of the other characters whose outfits I also loved.

Loved this lavender dress with the tiny white polka dots. Notice the small bow at the bottom of the bustline. She wore it with white gloves and carried a small white handbag (which isn't pictured). Very Grace Kelly-like. father.brown.mayors.wife.lavender.polka.dot.dress1
The bottom skirt was poofy, with many layers underneath. It fluttered beautifully every time the wind blew. father.brown.mayors.wife.lavender.polka.dot.dress2

I like the button detail in the front of Suzie's dress here. father.brown.suzie.floral.dress

Let's go a bit artsy bohemian, shall we? father.brown.girl.artsy.beret

What adorable curls. father.brown.girl.blond.curls

Lovely way to dress up the lapels on a cardigan sweater. father.brown.woman.cardigan.lapels

Even though the Father Brown stories written by G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936) were originally set during the 1920s, the show seems to have taken a more lenient attitude regarding the clothes historically accurate to that period. (Not to mention the manner of speech....) In all, it's as if the characters were living and speaking in the modern era but dressed in vintage inspired clothes. [update: I'm told the show changed the era to the 1950s...which now makes more sense and the clothing styles more appropriate!]

Hope you enjoyed these images. Have a wonderful [belated] New Year's and stay warm! 

July 6, 2013

Miss Marple: A Carribbean Mystery (2013)

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There are fewer things more comforting than settling down to a good Agatha Christie mystery at the end of a long day so it was to my great delight when ITV finally started doling out new episodes of both Miss Marple and Poirot last month. And since I just bought a fancy new TV, it has been an even greater treat to see the wonderful costumes and interior sets in their full hi-def glory. So far, only two episodes of the new Miss Marple series have aired - Greenshaw's Folly and A Caribbean Mystery, the latter which has previously twice been adapted for the screen. I'm also choosing to do a recap of it here because the new production is absolutely gorgeous in the visual sense and it would be remiss of me not to share the beautiful images with y'all!  (*for those unable to view iTV player, the above titles are linked to the corresponding youtube videos)

miss.marple.caribbean.mys_beach.4.lounging.back

This time around, we accompany Miss Marple (Julie McKenzie) on a long deserved holiday in a far-off tropical paradise. But no matter where she goes, interesting events are bound to follow and once again we find ourselves embroiled in a murder mystery involving the guests of the small island B&B at which Miss Marple is lodging. An old garrulous Major is killed, the young resort owner is plagued with ghastly visions, and whispers of voodoo and intrigue waft in and out like a cool breeze in the night.

June 16, 2013

A New Kind of Love (1963)

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A New Kind of Love is a silly but endearing film starring two of my favorite on-screen/off-screen couples, Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, where Newman takes on the role of a womanizing, playboy journalist while Woodward dons on the trousers of a tomboy fashion designer. Both are sent to Paris by their employers for work-related reasons and wind up meeting each other under falsified pretenses and what follows is a sequence of farcical events involving mistaken identities, misguided emotions and outrageous lies that ultimately end with the couple falling in love. (naturellement! )

December 19, 2012

Downton Abbey (Costumes & Sets from Series 1 & 2)


Much like the rest of the western television watching world, I was quickly gripped by Downton Abbey fever after the series premiered two years ago in 2010 (has it really been so long since?!). The lovely 
Mrs. Michelle Obama made headlines recently for requesting ITV to provide her with DVDs of the new Series 3 a couple months ahead of the scheduled January 2013 U.S. release and I can totally understand why! But fortunately I've been across the pond this half of the year and was able to actually watch series 3 as it aired on in real time. But out of respect for those who haven't seen it, I am holding off posting images from the latest episodes until later and instead present to you some selected ones from the first two series below. I hope you enjoy them!

August 21, 2012

Rosemary & Thyme: Full-time gardeners, part-time sleuths

While I prepare my next massive post on Poirot, I just wanted to quickly drop in and say "Hello!" and briefly mention this lovely little British TV series that I stumbled upon on Netflix. Having consumed all there is to watch when it comes to screen adaptations of Agatha Christie's detective novels, I needed something else to scratch my itch for crime mysteries and Rosemary & Thyme did just the trick! What I love most about this delightful series is that although each episode involves murder, the scenes themselves are not graphic and the overall tone is that of a light-hearted one. So if you're a fan of shows featuring elderly female sleuths such as Miss Marple, Hetty Wainthropp Investigates, or Mr. She Wrote, you might consider checking out Rosemary & Thyme. 

rosemary+thyme_angelica_microscope

The pilot starts off with horticultural professor Rosemary Boxer (Felicity Kendal) getting sacked from her university due to budget cuts and ex-policewoman turned housewife with a penchant for gardening Laura Thyme (Pam Ferris) in the throes of a divorce after discovering that her husband of 20-something years had been cheating on her with a 23-year old blond who "is as thin as a bloody rail." The two middle aged women meet under coincidental circumstances and after solving homicide together, realize that they make quite the team and thus decide to start a new chapter in both of their lives by becoming business partners (as landscapers).

The chemistry between Laura and Rosemary is great and the duo prove to be a delight to watch but this show might be particularly enchanting for the gardening enthusiast because you are treated to breathtaking settings such as these below:

the perfect seating area
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rosemary+thyme_cupofsilence2

grand English estate with beautifully manicured lawns
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rosemary+thyme_ep1_lawn2

rosemary+thyme_ep1_circular

such gorgeous brick archways!
rosemary+thyme_ep1_arches

rosemary+thyme_ep1_hedges

the private gardens behind the large row houses in the Notting Hill neighborhood of London
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rosemary+thyme_nottinghill2

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Because Rosemary was previously an academic and traveled far and wide in the spirit of research, she has friends and colleagues all over the world and the wealthier ones always seem to be in need of a garden over-haul. Thus, Rosemary and Laura are frequently invited to France, Italy and Spain and we as viewers get to indulge in locales such as this one below:

somewhere along the French coast
rosemary+thyme_france1

an drool-worthy villa with a magnificent set of stairs leading up to the main entrance
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pool-house/green-house
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a Moorish-influenced garden in southern Spain:
rosemary+thyme_spain1

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I haven't written a post featuring noteworthy locations/settings in a long time but this one was too wonderful to pass up. I hope you enjoy the images! Rosemary & Thyme is available on Netflix.

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