Happy-Go-Lucky

Tag: Hollywood

Week with Grace Kelly. Day 5. “The Country Girl”.

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“The Country Girl” is a drama adapted and directed by George Seaton in 1954, based on a successful play under the same title written by Clifford Odet. In main roles Seaton casted Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly and William Holden. The movie is black and white, focusing the attention on the plot and characters rather than on glamorous costumes or scenography, staying true to its stage origins.

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Contrary to her typical movie roles, when Grace’s beauty and natural charm was used as her main assets, the role from “The Country Girl” movie drama is neither glamorous nor careless. In the movie Grace Kelly was casted as Georgie Elgin, bitter and disillusioned wife, who is tied to an alcoholic husband Frank, suffering through his periods of depression and break downs. Beaten by tragedies, once happy and optimistic, she became prematurely aged, cold and harsh.

In this movie Grace Kelly proved that she is more than just a pretty face, but in fact a gifted dramatic actor. For the  creation she was recognized by the Academy and awarded as Best Actress.

Grace Kelly - The Country Girl 1954

(Photos: www.theredlist.fr)

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Week with Grace Kelly. Day 4. “High Society. Grace Kelly and Hollywood.” by Donald Spoto.

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Donald Spoto is a reputable biographer who doesn’t chase after a cheap sensation, but bases his books on an earnest research, writing with the highest respect towards those whom he portrays.His book about Grace Kelly is a fair record of her life, especially that Donald Spoto was acquainted with Princess Grace of Monaco, hearing many facts and stories firsthand from the Princess.

With a lecture of “High Society. Grace Kelly and Hollywood” the reader will learn about Grace’s Hollywood years, beginnings of her movie career, her biggest film projects, including those made with Alfred Hitchcock as well as her creation in “The Country Girl” for which she was recognized with an Academy Award.

There will be a lot about her fairytale romance with Prince Rainer III of Monaco that resulted in a happy ending and a truly regal wedding ceremony held in Saint Nicholas Cathedral in Monaco on the 19th April 1956. After the marriage, Grace Kelly retired from her acting career, focusing on family life and her official duties as Princess Grace. This is where the book ends, saying very little about her married life in the final chapter. Grace Kelly was known for her discretion, therefore unwilling to share her private life which more than once was troubled and remote from the picture perfect official image.

(Photo: www.tanum.com)

Week with Grace Kelly. Day 1. “To Catch a Thief”.

It is not the first time when Grace Kelly is mentioned on the blog pages, as her beauty and charm is a wonderful source of inspiration, and since there is a lot to be inspired by, Grace Kelly will grace us with her presence for the whole week.

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“To Catch a Thief” is a romantic thriller from 1955 directed by Alfred Hitchcock. The plot is based on the novel by David Dodge. Cary Grant is casted as a retired jewelry thief known as “The Cat”. When series of jewelry robberies hit luxurious hotels at the French Riviera, wealthy tourists can’t enjoy their holidays undisturbed. Among them is Grace Kelly casted as fabulously rich american tourist named Francie who enjoys Riviera in the company of her mother. In no time Francie becomes romantically involved with John Robie a.k.a. the Cat. This leads to a series of events that are to discover who is imposing the famous Cat burglar.

This simple, yet enjoyable plot, is just a base for almost 2 hour fashion show taking place in the glamorous setting of French Riviera and featuring amazing costumes as only seen in the Golden Age of Hollywood. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Grace Kelly’s wardrobe for “To Catch a Thief” movie was designed by none other than Edith Head. A must see for all Grace Kelly fans and also for those who love classic Hollywood glamour.

Grace Kelly - To Catch A Thief 1955

(Photos: www.theredlist.fr)

Style Commandments by Edith Head.

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Edith Head, a great costume designer responsible for most iconic looks from the Golden Age of Hollywood, knew a lot about the art of wearing clothes and never hesitated to share it. Some practical advices on how to make clothes serve you. How to achieve the target?

  1. By choosing garments that serve you and are right for all the activities that fill your days, no matter if it is at home, in the business environment or in the social circles.
  2. By selecting clothes and designs that flatter your attributes and cover flaws, make you look slimmer, younger, prettier and overall pleasant to look at.
  3. By wearing clothes that give you a sense of self confidence and stay true to your personality.
  4. By purchasing items that protect you from being ridiculed, pointed at or laughed about, making you feel pretty and appropriate on all occasions and in each and every social setting.
  5. By being conscious and seeking only those pieces that help you in achieving your goals, presenting you in the way you want to be seen and putting out there a message that you want to communicate.

(Photo: www.hitchcockwiki.com)

To Be Like Hitchcock Heroine…

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(Photos: www.vogue.com)

To Be Like Hitchcock Heroine…

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… to be continued…

(Photos: http://www.vogue.com)

Happy-Go-Lucky Book Review. “How to Dress for Success.” by Edith Head with Joe Hyams.

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Reading “How to Dress for Success” was a part of my ‘fashion anthropology studies’ rather than a pursue of any particular fashion wisdom. My heart beats faster whenever I hear names such as “a suburban wife” or “a hostess pajama”, while imagination runs wild, taking me to good old 50ties. However, as much retro as some passages may sound, Edith Head knew the art of design and image building with the ability to formulate many sound advices that can’t be undermined till this very day.

First and foremost – the self knowledge, for good and bad, is the first step towards style and elegance. No sweet illusions Ladies! Only by knowing, and yes – accepting, own assets and limitations can one name and incorporate most becoming silhouettes and trends.

Secondly, good planning in reference to to daily needs based on general lifestyle. Working professional and home stayed mom may live next door, but living different lives, would definitely need to support them with different wardrobe options.

Thirdly, it’s not only about who you are an what you do, but also about where you’re going to and what you dream about. An aspiring female executive will select other style from an aspiring wife of an executive.

Last, but not least, the need for somber mind when it comes to shopping and money spending. Going for the best of what one can afford, in tune with all mentioned above.

Does it still sound old fashioned? No, I don’t think so.

(Photo: http://www.tanum.no)

Face 2 Remember. Tippi Hedren.

“Hitch always liked women who behaved like well-bred ladies. Tippi generated that quality.” said Robert F. Boyle, production designer. Looking at her roles in Hitchcock movies, “The Birds” and “Marnie”, it is not hard to believe why Nathalie Kay “Tippi” Hedren was a model Hitchcock woman – elegant, blond, composed and stone cold.

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Before her screen debut in “The Birds”, Tippi Hedren worked as a model. This first role helped her to grow as an actress, being coached by Hitchcock himself. Her relation with the famous director was troubled and not easy, especially that film making brought numerous challenges related to filming scenes with real birds. Tippi reached a point of physical and mental exhaustion, when severely scratched by bird’s claws broke down and was ordered to recover at home.

“Marnie”, her second movie made with Hitchcock was at the same time his final masterpiece. Although the plot was free from life threatening scenes, the troubled relationship between Tippi Hedren and Alfred Hitchcock took the new turn, with the director becoming overly possessive and controlling, up to the point when working relation was severely disturbed.

Unfortunately for Tippi, completing the filming of “Marnie” didn’t solve the conflict, as her career was well limited due to the contract, with Hitchcock having the power of preventing her from taking more significant film roles. Later in life she admitted “He ruined my career, but he didn’t ruin my life. That time of my life was over. I still admire the man for who he was.”

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(Photos: www.theredlist.fr)

When Coco Became Mademoiselle.

Face 2 Remember. Elizabeth Taylor.

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Elizabeth Taylor – an actress, a beauty, a passionate woman, a star, a lover, a wife, a widow, a mother – an icon.

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In early childhood she became a child star, casted in popular family movies. With time, she became one of the greatest actresses of the Hollywood’s Golden Age. Casted in many movies, her life revolved around her roles, sometimes making a huge impact on her personal life. “A Place in the Sun”, “Elephant Walk”, “Giant”, “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”, “Suddenly, Last Summer”, “BUtterfield 8”, “Cleopatra”, “The V.I.P.s”, “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” are among her most important movies. Despite the fact that many of her later movies received bad reviews, being criticized for trivial plots up to the point of being plain stupid, audiences loved Liz and never had enough of her glittering presence. Among awards which she received during her long movie career the Life Achievement Award from the American Film Institute, who named Elizabeth Taylor seventh on their list of the “Greatest American Screen Legends”, was one of the most important recognitions. In her final years, she became an active spokesperson for HIV and AIDS programs, using her fame to support charitable initiatives.

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Elizabeth Taylor was a complex and conflicted person, living her life with a real passion and courage. Her private life was filled with drama and made an incredibly popular subject for the tabloids and gossip columns, always eager to write about her latest marriage or her next divorce, shopping extravaganza, changes in weight, detoxes, operations, hospitalizations, royal jewelry… The tragic death of her third husband Mike Todd, her infamous affair with Eddie Fisher, followed by even more scandalous romance leading to a turbulent marriage with Richard Burton were on the headlines, never failing to attract attention and sell more magazines.

(Photos: http://www.theredlist.com)