Monday, March 15, 2010

H and G*

There's a lot to love about “Sleepless in Seattle” with Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks, and it's not just because it's a Nora Ephron film, which, by the way, means that it has smart writing:

Jonah: Thank you for dinner. I've never seen potatoes cooked that way.

Walter: It's Miss Scarlet in the broom closet with the radio!

Annie: Walter! I would give anything to marry Walter!

Sam: I certainly hope you don't plan to marry Jessica!

(If you're not also a big fan of the movie, then these one-line bits probably are doing very little for you, but stay with me, please...}

The interaction that Tom Hank's character (Sam) has with his pre-teen son Jonah is one of the most entertaining of the film, made even more hilarious by the complication that Jonah's friend, an almost blase-appearing girl named Jessica, presents. She is funny because she expresses herself a lot using abbreviations that nearly no one besides herself can decipher.

“M-F-E-O?” Made for each other.

There is a part of the movie when Meg Ryan's character (Annie) receives a letter from Sam, who she still hasn't met yet, but the letter is really written by young Jonah and Jessica. It reads that Sam is excited to meet Annie on Valentine's Day in New York City on the top of the Empire State Building so that the two of them can see if they are really “MFEO.” Annie's best friend (played by Rosie O'Donnell) shows that she doesn't understand this expression, but of course Annie gets it instantly! (Rosie O'Donnell is very funny when she then exclaims: “It's cute! It's like a little clue!”)

Anyway, I was thinking about abbreviation-as-style-concept, particularly in terms of my sister's style in these pictures.

Autumn's look is meant to suggest “Sleepless in Seattle,” but she is not necessarily meant to be Meg Ryan's Annie or any one of the other fabulous characters from that movie. If she were to dress like Annie, she would likely be wearing suits and other work clothes mostly in neutrals and muted blues and grays, and hair would less curly and more drape-y. But, a lot of the other characters have very curly hair like my sister has, and her pink, gray, and black is like Annie's kitchen and other domestic spaces that she inhabits. I must add, too, that Autumn in these pictures reminds me of the Valentine's Day window display that Annie admires! How else do you think that Autumn looks like "Sleepless in Seattle?"

Abbreviation for style is a good idea, because you don't have to follow your inspiration precisely but the right people will “get it” instantly!

Here is some music, if you like, and you might also like to look at Target's new Liberty of London collection.

* “H and G” is short for “Hi and Goodbye.”

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Oscar night

So, it’s the evening of the Academy Awards in Los Angeles, and as most everybody knows, what’s seen on the red carpet helps to determine the fashions of the warmer seasons—at least in part.

I read an interesting book review article this past week, and the book is The Art of Choosing by Sheena Iyengar, who seems to be very perceptive and who also happens to be blind. She comments:

Because I’m blind, I’m not emotionally invested in a particular color or color combination. I’m much more able to discern how invested sighted people are in what looks good and how enormously subjective it is. It was my struggle with color that made me pay so much attention to it. Names of shades of particular colors kept changing—along with the idea of what color should go with what others.

She continues:

Sighted people’s emotions are tied not just to what they’re seeing but what they’re feeling while they’re seeing.

These remarks made me stop to think: Color fascinates me, admittedly, and sometimes I like or dislike a certain color based on the way that it “makes” me feel. For instance, orange (or tangerine or persimmon or pumpkin!) is my favorite color because it’s “cheerful.”

Back to the Oscars. What do you think of the fashions this year? What do you think of the colors that the actresses are wearing this year? What’s your favorite gown from the red carpet?

For this blog post, my sister is back in “cheery-cherry,” and I think that she looks like a film siren of the 1940s.

(Hey! I’m like Zadie Smith, intellectualizing the Academy Awards rituals.)