Saturday, December 22, 2012

Designing the 19th Century World of Les Miz

Avid film lovers  will get an extra gift in their stocking this Christmas Day with the eagerly awaited  release of Les Misérables. Victor Hugo's timeless 150 year old tale of love, redemption, passion, and revolution turned stage sensation turned film does not disappoint -- an all star cast (Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway and Russell Crowe for starters), period costumes and incredible sets that take you to 19th century France in all its glory and misery add up to a blockbuster Christmas release.

Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman) with a young Cosette

The Lovely Ladies Set

Set for the Revolution: The Crooked Streets of Paris

the Elephant at the Bastille: Sets for a funeral procession

Russell Crowe as Jarvert

Director Tom Hooper and production designer Eve Stewart team up for the fourth time (The King's Speech) and create the world of Jean Valjean, Fantine, Javert and Cosette --- from the opening majestic French mountaintops to the bleak Parisian streets of 1832 --designed in just twelve short weeks. 

For a tour of the world of Eve Stewart's sets, see my article in Architectural Digest here.
The film has already been nominated for four Golden Globe Awards, here's hoping Santa put some tickets in your stocking.

Anne Hathaway as Fantine and Hugh Jackman as Valjean

Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen as the Thenardiers

Photo Credits: Universal Pictures, Vogue Magazine, Architectural Digest

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Hollywood Sketchbook

Just in time for Christmas gift giving comes a lavishly illustrated book on Hollywood costume illustration, perfect for anyone who loves fashion, film and art. Author Deborah Nadoolman Landis (who wrote the wonderful Dressed: A Century of Hollywood Costume Design - Harper Collins) features the work of one hundred costume artists of the last century. From Cecil Beaton's sketches of My Fair Lady and Walter Plunkett's designs for Gone With the Wind to Irene Sharaff's costmes for Funny Girl and Katharine Hepburn's favorite designer Adrian, Hollywood Sketchbook takes a fascinating behind- the- scenes tour of an incredible art.

Landis also curated an exhibit on 1o0 of the most iconic costumes on film at London's Victoria and Albert Museum. Hollywood Costume runs through January 27, 2013.

Elois Jenssen: Dishonored Lady, 1947

Orry Kelly: Bordertown, 1935

Orry Kelly Sketches above and below

Cecil Beaton: My Fair Lady

Donfield: Dead Ringer,  1964

Irene Sharaff: Funny Girl, 1968
V&A Exhibit

I have received many emails in regards to Cinema Style's absence for the past month. My mother Dorothy Whitlock passed away several weeks ago -- she was a great fan of movies and fashion and a huge supporter of my work. She took me to my first film "Pillow Talk" and the proverbial die was cast. She will be dearly missed.

Photo Credits: Harper Collins, Vanity Fair

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Russian Imperial Style: Anna K

The romantic saga of the ill fated Anna Karenina has played out on film, television and even operas --- this time around director Joe Wright envisioned a different twist and portrayed the epic on a "beautiful decaying theatre" in 1870's Russia via a soundstage at London's Shepperton Studios.

Wright teamed once again with production designer Sarah Greenwood and set decorator Katie Spencer (the trio worked on the period dramas Atonement and Pride & Prejudice) who created the social worlds of St. Petersburg and Moscow in the late 1800s to period perfection in an exhausting 12 week timeframe.

The love affair hits theaters Friday, November 16th. Read more in my piece for The Hollywood Reporter, "$50 Million, 100 Sets and One Stage: The Visual Splendor of Anna Karenina."

Greenwood was influenced by the popular 1935 Anna K version starring Greta Garbo

Anna K's Vivien Leigh in 1948

Keira Knightley in the 2012 version

Shepperton studio set with copy of heaven room mural at UK's Burghley House
Russian Imperial furnishings for the master bedroom on the theatre stage set

Ice skating rink was one of the many different types of staged sets that included horse races, opera houses, ballrooms and train stations 

God is in the Details:  Period Perfect Accessories

Leo Tolstoy's novel of society and adultery also influenced Banana Republic's fall collection for 2012 Inspired by the work of costume designer Jacqueline Durran, the collection's key fashion notes are faux fur, lace, brocade and velvet in rich burgandy, merlot and black. The Holiday 76 piece line is available for both men and women.

Banana Republic's Anna K Fall collection above and below

Photo Credits: Focus Features, Banana Republic

Monday, November 5, 2012

Family Ties in Manhattan

I think the adage of the home being a mirror into the soul (okay, I paraphrased, pretty sure it's the eyes are the window into the soul) holds true for most interiors and their homeowners. And it's pretty accurate when you look at the Manhattan apartment actor Michael J. Fox shares with his wife Tracy Pollan and four children.

Beautifully decorated by mother/daughter design duo Mariette Himes Gomez and Brooke Gomez of
Gomez Associates, the home of the star of The Good Wife/Spin City/ Back to the Future and the eighties sitcom Family Ties reflects a love of art, modern streamlined furnishings and perhaps my favorite comment, "a younger style apartment than we had when we were younger."

For more on the interiors, check out Architectural Digest's cover piece in the December issue and see the slideshow online here. And if you missed it, take a walk down memory lane with the sets of Family Ties here.

And while I am making suggestions, be sure and make your vote count tomorrow.

Photo Credits: Architectural Digest/William Abranowicz

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Master of Suspense: A Tale of Two Hitches

In honor of Halloween, Cinema Style takes a look at director Alfred Hitchcock a.k.a. "The Master of Suspense" who happens to be the subject of not one but two films this fall.

The real Alfred Hitchcock
As gifted as he was, Hitch had a side as dark as his movies. HBO's The Girl explores hiobsession with actress Tippi Hedren (played by Sienna Miller) during the filmmaking of The Birds. He gave the Nordic blonde model her start in films and when she spurned his advances, he terrorized her on the set. The infamous scene where Hedren opens the attic and is attacked by a flock of angry birds was shot in five long days (on purpose) when one day would do. (Rumors abound that the birds were fed whiskey to make them more aggressive and Hedren suffered countless nightmares after filming). Long before the days of sexual harassment suits, Hedren was powerless. Signed to a seven year contract, the director and his muse collaborated on his next film Marni and parted ways shortly after. Actor Toby Jones (who played Truman Capote in Infamous) nails the portly genius right down to his measured voice.

Jones and Miller as Hitch and Hedren

Miller in the Attic

Hedren in The Birds (1963)

The real Hedren and Hitch on set

Hitch's marriage to screenwriter Alma Reveille  is the focus of the upcoming Hitchcock. Starring Academy Award winners Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren as the married Hitches, Scarlett Johansson as Vivien Leigh and  Jessica Biel as Vera Miles, the film covers the trials and tribulations of making one of the most popular horror films of all time, Psycho (1959).  Hitchcock (Fox Searchlight) premieres November 23rd  and early buzz is an Oscar nom for Hopkins.

Hopkins with the perfect profile as Hitch
Mirren as wife Alma -- note the menacing spider web design on her dres
Brilliant and complex,  his work was designed to scare, excite, titillate, and create a general level of anxiety.  Do yourself a favor, this Halloween forget Hostel one and two, Saw one through six and Halloween one through six and rent Vertigo, Psycho and The Birds. It's classic filmmaking and no one wears a mask and sports a chainsaw. And Mrs. Danvers in Rebecca is pretty creepy too.

Photo Credits: Suzanne Tenner/Fox Searchlight, Universal Pictures, HBO Films

Friday, October 26, 2012

Eighties Sitcom Style

Hard to believe its been 30 years since audiences were introduced to Michael J. Fox via the beloved NBC sitcom Family Ties. Set in Columbus, Ohio via the Paramount Studios backlot, audiences came to know the familiar living room and kitchen of the Keaton household which gave a great glimpse into life in eighties suburbia.

For a walk down memory lane, take a tour of the sets on my Architectural Digest piece here.

And be sure and take a look at Architectural Digest's visit to Michael J. Fox and wife Tracy Pollan's house designed by Mariette Himes Gomez and Brooke Gomez in the December issue. Happy weekend!

Photo Credits: NBC

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Hollywood at Home: Spotlight on Ryan Murphy

While maybe not be a household name to some, writer Ryan Murphy has brought us some of the most entertaining, twisted, inventive and hilarious television to date respectively, namely Glee, Nip/Tuck, American Horror Story and The New Normal. And his house in Los Angeles is pretty spectacular too.

The Hollywood Reporter recently featured his Spanish Colonial manse that serves as an inspiration for his new hit NBC show The New Normal. A self-confessed aficionado of 20s and 30s Monterey Spanish furniture, his collection is sympatico in the home that also boasts Diane Keaton as a former owner. And the synchronicities don't stop there - Normal is filmed in a 1927 Spanish Colonial house in Bel Air  once owned and lovingly restored by Diane Keaton. Designed by production designer Tony Fanning and set decorator Bryan Venegas (of Brothers and Sisters fame), the pair had to duplicate Monterey furnishings due to their scarcity.

At home with The New Normal
The multi colored Spanish tile kitchen countertop in The New Normal

The New Normal's sophisticated neutral toned bedroom

Spanish courtyard filled with whimsy at the Murphy household

The multi- Emmy Award winner in his library

Murphy's greige toned master bedroom

Bold black and white kitchen makes a simple statement

A Keaton interior is known for its whimsy and Murphy's home faithfully carries on the tradition. His personal collection of photographs include black and whites of the sixties film The Graduate, Tom Hanks sporting a pumpkin head and a young Barack Obama (the Glee creator even hosted a fund-raising party there for the President). Working with LA designer Cliff Fong, they "created eclectic interiors mixing ranch-inspired, period-correct furniture, contemporary art and photography and American Horror Story- worthy objects. Well said Hollywood Reporter. For a tour of his home, go here.

Photo Credits: NBC, The Hollywood Reporter/Douglas Friedman