Reel Women: If a Man Answers: re-new your relationship

if a man answers

giambattista tweed dress | coral necklace | obi wrap belt | coral pump

There’s lots of new year resolutions to meet someone new, start dating, finally ask that person out, perhaps break up with this person and “find yourself.” But, there are hardly any resolutions to make a current relationship better. “If a Man Answers” is a one of Sandra Dee and Bobby Darin’s more obscure duos, but it honestly has the best plotline for a new year and a resolution to make a special someone even more special.

After a swift relationship, Sandra Dee’s character (Chantal) falls in love with and marries Bobby Darin’s character (Eugene), a photographer. Soon after the honeymoon wears off though, Darin’s character quickly moves his attention off his wife and onto his next beautiful photography model. When Chantal goes to her mother with her husband problems, her mum gives her a dog training book, telling her to use the tips in the book about training a dog on her husband. Though Chantal is slightly horrified, when she comes home to Eugene falling all over himself over a roomful of photography models, she begins to use the “tricks” in an attempt to transform him. After a few weeks, Eugene is a completely changed man: he’s attentive, willingly goes with her shopping, is romantic, and suddenly back to his old, devoted self.

Chantal quickly realizes however that her mother gave her the book not to train Eugene like a dog, but to train Chantal to treat him as well as she would a pet and transform her view of her marriage. Chantal began to intentionally seek out what Eugene’s needs were, she paid attention to his desires, went out of her way to make him comfortable, asked first where he wanted to go before dragging him to every errand on her list. Made his favorite dinner, greeted him with a smile, and welcomed every conversation they had together. Of course it’s not a Darin/Dee movie unless there is some mix-up to the plot–you’ll have to actually watch it to figure that one out–but even in the 1960’s they hit something right on the head: often we treat our pets better than we do our significant others and then we wonder why they aren’t drooling over our every word, longing to spend every moment with us, and jumping for joy when we walk through the door. Perhaps if we started treating them like our most beloved pup they may just figure out how much we really love them…try it, and see if this year your right now relationship doesn’t need to be switched out, re-newed, or rejected, perhaps it just needs both of you thinking less of yourself and more of the other person as the best dog you ever had.

– <3 A. 

Pulling Off Pumpkin

pulling off pumpkinpulling off pumpkin

images via That Funny Feeling | Breakfast at Tiffany’s | Pillow Talk | An Affair to Remember

Pulling off pumpkin is kind of tough! There’s a shade between Halloween-orange and garish-bright that is hard to find but doing sweaters like Sandra, Audrey’s bright coats, Doris’s accessories, or Deborah’s scarf is a pretty easy formula to follow for making this October color work. **I’m insanely jealous of that handbag behind Doris Day. Doris, where did you get that? Help a purse-desperate girl out?**

I’m going to ask all my lovely readers if they would be patient with me this weekend. I’m heading out of town and won’t be in the proximity of the wonderful world of the web to update VMMV. I could of course plan out some posts and have them timed and ready to publish in my absence, but I’m so looking forward to shutting every connection down that I’ve been sustaining for oh-so-long that I’m not even going to do that. I am planning on snapping as many pictures as I can though to document my expedition and I might be convinced to do a little Instagramming, so, if you’re a follower you can see where I’m off too and if you’re not, follow me!

I’m really really looking forward to the break. It’s going to be a serious mental health vacation and I’m rather looking forward to unplugging even though lately blogging hasn’t been high enough on my priority list. dang it. After work and homework are done, I haven’t yet figured out how to keep my brain creative enough to maintain my usual blog schedule. This break I’m hoping will jumpstart me again though and also will get me closer to when I can share something so very exciting that I’ve been keeping quiet. Stay tuned! I can’t wait  to share and if I wasn’t escaping I might just slip…

– <3 A. 

Reel Women: Come September

come septemberAlice and Olivia Colby Rolled Sleeve | Ikebana Full Skirt | Scarf in Mustard Dots | Michael Kors Crocodile Belt | Alice and Olivia Lizard Embellished Heel

There was never anything subtle about Gina Lollobrigida so her modern style translation had to be equally as colorful. In 1955, after her Italian film “The Most Beautiful Woman in the World” came out, the movie title stuck as her nickname and she became one of post World War II’s greatest sex symbols. It’s almost Autumn but summer colors still totally work. Sometimes full, A-line skirts are hard to pull off without looking a little too old. Gina did it because, well, look at her. But paired with some sleek heels and a form-fitting top and full skirts still look super chic.

 In Come September, Gina won a Golden Globe for her bombshell performance as the sultry and fiery mistress of Rock Hudson who returns to his Italian villa every September to visit her. Unfortunately for Rock, his butler has turned his house into a hotel and a brood of chaperoned college girls are rooming at his villa. His plans to romance Gina turn sour when the college girls attract their own brood of American boys on a European tour, and Rock Hudson begins to feel responsible for keeping them out of the boys’ clutches and desire “to divide and multiply.” Gina starts to catch on to what Rock is trying to teach the girls and begins to become dissatisfied with her own yearly visits from Rock…come every September. Several fabulous outfits later, a few Bobby Darin original songs, the usual 1960’s romantic-comedy cuteness, and a chase around Italy with Gina in a wedding dress and the couple (of course) gets married.

 Another adorable snippet about this film besides Gina’s gorgeous outfits is that Sandra Dee and Bobby Darin first met while filming Come September and shortly after married in real life. It’s the ultimate reel-to-real life romantic comedy satisfaction.

 – <3 A. 

Celebrations

I have lots to celebrate today. For one thing, its the first monthiversary of the blog! It seems both much longer and much sooner than a month ago that I began. Thank-you to everyone who has been reading along and commenting, its so great to hear feedback of what you’re enjoying most.

It is one of my main intentions with this blog to offer to all of you some examples of women who embody the definition of a classic woman: one who is graceful, kind, seeks to lead by example, is able to love and be loved, supports, inspires, is ambitious without being aggressive, and selflessly nurtures when called upon to do so.

It’s easy to pick out muses like Grace Kelly and Sandra Dee for their impeccable style; to quote authors like Jane Austen and Virginia Woolf; or to point to fictional characters like Mrs. Gigglebelly, Kathleen Kelly, and Mary Poppins for their life lessons.

Perhaps you say though that this still doesn’t prove it can be done in the modern world; that this style and way of life is archaic. That the modern world necessitates that we re-think how women dress, act, achieve, and live. You even may say that the era of golden girls like Grace and Sandra is long gone, and Mary Poppins’ lessons are fine and dandy for when you’re five years old, but what about when you grow up and its 2012? What then?

It is possible though. I am convinced because I see it acted out everyday. The muse is a real woman; in fact, she’s a modern woman, and I offer her to you as a perfect example of what it means to represent femininity at its best.

My Mom.

She’s my real life Grace Kelly, my Mrs. Gigglebelly, my Mary Poppins. Everything that fills my life with joy and beauty, I first learned from my mother:

I learned about Jane Austen from her copy of Pride and Prejudice, placed always on the dining room bookshelves and read so often the binding was falling to pieces. I learned that reading the entire children’s section of the Beale Memorial Library was not impossible. I learned that writing was fun; that Doris Day and Cary Grant are the best on-screen couple. I learned that the most powerful job you can have is being a wife and mother; that showing love is not measured by dollar signs but often by a handmade gift, always (willingly) showing up to every dance rehearsal, putting someone’s hair in the perfect bun, or racing home to fetch the forgotten essay. I learned that arguments are settled by conversation, and that there won’t be arguments if there is conversation. I learned that you don’t have to know what you’re doing to decorate a room, you just try it and love it or hate it and change it and have so much fun in between. I learned that being selfless makes you the most precious, that laughter is the most beautiful sound in a home, and what reliability looks like.

Most of all though, what I learned from my Mom is how to love. How to show someone that they are your whole world, that you cannot imagine a life without them, and how you never regret anything that is for them. So, thanks mom, for being a muse far better than any other woman, real or fictional, and for effortlessly acting out what it means to be a wonderful woman. Oh yes, and happy birthday.

– <3 A. 

Dee-lightfully Sandra

Last night I was trying to dress for a date with a very special man. It wasn’t going so well. Still too warm for sweaters, but too chilly for a dress. Tights and boots entered my head but quickly fled again–too winter just yet I decided. Scarves are hard to eat dinner in, have you noticed? So those were out. Then there was the whole different issue of my hair (or, my arch-nemesis). The front right side of my hair delights in making me exasperated, grumpy, and thoroughly frustrated almost daily. Last night was no exception. Pin it back? I look twelve. Curl it? That looks overdone. Straighten it? That looks even worse. Cut it off? Hmmmm…..

In the midst of my closet chaos and hair meltdown, I thought of a woman who seemed to never have these disasters: the always charming, Sandra Dee.

The Muse: 

You may only know her as the innocent, girlish star of the 1959 movie version of Gidget, or as the inspiration for the mocking songLook at Me, I’m Sandra Dee” in the movie Grease, but beginning in the 1940s she made quite the name for herself first as a model and later as an actress and singer. Whatever your opinion of her, sickeningly sweet or classicly beautiful, you have to admit, the girl’s got style.

 

Sandra Dee

What I love most is that she dressed so simply: usually a plain sweater, often in a bright color, paired with some outrageous patterned pant. Or, a simple dress with a beautifully tailored coat. Her look is timeless and so easy.

A Modern View: 

These pants from J. Crew are oh-so-Sandra. They weren’t, of course, helping me last night while I tried on combination after failing combination of outfit, but in the future they might come in handy if I am lucky enough to add them to my closet.

Or this jacket from Modcloth could have solved my outfit-issue easily. What else does a coat like this need?

Another find from Modcloth, this little black dress with a twist. Classy and a little retro–but definitively modern:

While watching one of Sandra’s movies a couple of weeks ago, I was entranced by a hat she was wearing while sunbathing at the beach–the hat had built-in sunglasses and I wanted one so very badly:

Such a brilliant idea, and, apparently, Kate Spade thought so too. In her Spring 2012 collection, she offered this little nod to some retro chic:

For all our attempts to be fashion-forward with each passing year, it seems you never can beat a little vintage musing. For your next closet catastrophe, hopefully thinking of Sandra will give you an inspiration.

– <3 A.