Monday, October 31, 2011

Inspirational Icon Monday: Sissy Spacek

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

How can anyone forget the 1976 horror film Carrie? The pale freckled faced gawky teen outcast who gets tormented by the popular girls in her high school. The only stylish scene she has in the entire film is the simple white slip dress (I swear Jennifer Aniston copied it for her wedding day to Brad Pitt) she wears to prom only to end up doused in pig's blood. Revenge for the ruin of her big fashion moment is had on the school by lighting the prom on fire with her telekinetic powers. No one was going to rob her of finally feeling pretty.

Sissy Spacek, like Carrie, has never considered a beauty queen nor has she ever highlighted as a fashionista. Even during her hey day in the seventies. I happen to think she had her moments of style, however. Not off set but on set as Holly in Terrence Malick's Badlands(1973) and as Pinky Rose in Robert Altman's 3 Women (1977)show off a cool free folk girl look. Charmingly casual sundresses and sweet ruffled blouses offset the complicated characters she brilliantly portrays.

As an actress and Oscar winner (playing Loretta Lynn in Coal Miner's Daughter), her talent is a treasure, but I also love that her personal life is completely unlike that of most Hollywood starlets. She has been married to the art director of Badlands since 1974 and raised two children with him in Virginia where they still live to this day. Her strawberry blond locks, gentle freckles, light blue eyes, alabaster skin, and bony frame may not fit into Hollywood's standard of beauty, but this unconventional beauty is what makes my eye find interest in her.


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Beach Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrs

Clayton, my brother, has been working an hour and half from me for the past week. I don't usually get to see him since he lives in Tennessee, so getting to spend the day with him Sunday was a treat. The only problem being that I had him, his wife and temporary co-worker meet me in Huntington Beach for a nice relaxing day on the warm sand staring at the waves...and it was absolutely freezing. Never once did the sun peek through those rare oppressing clouds and poor Clayton only had a t-shirt on because he expected more out of California. He was anticipating postcard weather.

Growing up on the west coast, I have so many memories involving the beach. I would jump into the ocean no matter what the season or the weather. Each of my swimsuits spent many days in the salt water. My first red and white polka dot bikini, my pink bikini which connected on the sides that my Mom splurged on at Macy*s, and my red one piece a la Baywatch that I wore all throughout high school would each consistently come home sandy and wet in their hey day. When I was a kid I would bring all my McDonald's Happy Meal toys I collected and they would drive through the paths I would dig out around my sand castles that would always eventually turn into sand villages. While in the water body surfing in my youth evolved into boogie boarding. After catching waves, I would get such a thrill when my board would float all the way to dry land. When I moved to Venice Beach at 22, kids would run up to me screaming and asking if they could have a turn on my boogie board. No. I wasn't about to have one of them lose my board. Those moments I caught a wave were some of the only moments I didn't feel alone and scared living in this foreign city I knew so little about then. I needed that, so borrowing to strangers (even if they were kids) was out of the question. I would tell them that they should go ask their mom to buy them one.

With all the memorable times I spent at the beach, I wanted to have one of them be with Clayton since he didn't get to grow up near the ocean. My internal frustration that the clouds were not breaking mellowed once I knew in my heart that this would be our memory. A cold memory, but still a memory.

A vintage postcard for Huntington Beach--it did not look like this on Sunday.

Myself, Clayton and Megan at Huntington Beach.

Gus got to come because we decided to meet at the dog beach.

Megan and Clayton on the pier.

Clayton and I on the pier.

The bird that thought Clayton's head looked like it might make a good men's room.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Sitcom Spectators

Never had I been to the taping of a sitcom. I’ve lived in L.A. off and on for ten years, I was on the set of many films and even made-for-television movies, but never did I experience a sitcom in its pre-edited fragmented stage. Since my brother Clayton is working in town this week, I decided to book tickets for my new sister-in-law Megan and I to be audience members for the brand new sitcom 2 Broke Girls currently being filmed at the famous Warner Bros. Studios (the 3rd oldest studio left in Hollywood.)

I didn’t want Megan to be bored since my experience only stemmed from the long monotonous hours I had once spent on film sets, so I came prepared with at least 10-15 of my most current fashion magazines and sweaters in case it was cold in the studio. The sweaters were forgotten in my car causing us to freeze in that studio, and the magazines were useless because we had a stand-up comedian entertaining us the entire time. So much for being an organized “Mom.”

The show follows the comedic trials of two girls in Brooklyn: one optimistic book smart girl who grew up with all the financial advantages the world could offer and suddenly finds herself penniless, and one pessimistic street smart girl that grew up with nothing but can bake a killer cupcake. Although these two opposites are begrudgingly thrown together, they have no one else to depend upon but each other, and decide to start saving the little money they make as waitresses at a diner toward opening up a bakery. It reminds me of an old-fashioned sitcom like Alice or Laverne & Shirley. It has more sexual innuendo since it has been created by Sex and the City executive producer Michael Patrick King, but it still has that vintage type sitcom appeal. We were there for the taping of the Thanksgiving/Christmas episode where the girls decide to get second jobs as elves at the mall.

My frozen feet from the blasting studio’s air conditioning and even the 1 and half hour drive to pick Megan up at her hotel and then the ridiculously long 4 hour drive to drop her off at her hotel and maneuver my way home between road work that had all the freeway exits I needed blocked off was worth it in the end. The look on Megan’s face during the entire experience--from walking onto a real studio lot…to seeing Central Perk from her all time favorite show Friends…to watching how a show comes together…to being called up front when the comedian heard her charming southern accent…to her being given a T-shirt from the show…to laughing with her at all the funny lines the characters delivered. Giving Megan the Hollywood experience she wanted and developing an actual friendship with my new sister-in law definitely made the obstacle course I went through to get her seem so trivial. When I finally got home at the end of the night or rather morning since it was 3 a.m., I couldn’t help but realize the message of the sitcom we had been watching all day: anything worth having takes effort. Cliche as the sitcom may be, I know its message to be true.

Warner Bros. started making films in 1918 after the four Polish brothers (Harry, Albert, Sam and Jack) decided to move on from the movie theater business.

The Warner Bros. Studio moved from the poverty section of Hollywood on Sunset Blvd. to Burbank in 1928.

Warner Bros. in Burbank, Ca in the 1950's. In 1968 the studio was sold to Steve Ross and Ted Ashley became head of the studio.Jack Warner, the CEO of the studio up until then, was outraged and retired.

Megan and I lunching at The Griddle Cafe before the taping.

2 Broke Girls starring Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs

Cream colored Rebecca Beeson shirt, thrifted leopard print eighties cotton pants; yellow and gold vintage necklace from the flea market; Nine West black flats; vintage quilted black, green, purple and green leather hand bag.

Close-up on yellow and gold vintage 1950's costume necklace; vintage gold chain.

Close-up on vintage eighties black, orange, green and purple leather hand bag that I bought in a London flea market.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Vintage Tip Tuesday XV

With fall having entered our lives, wide brimmed straw hats to keep the sun off our faces can be packed away and hats that were only made to make a statement can be taken out of storage...or be purchased. There is no need to throw on a beanie when vintage stores, flea markets, and online vintage boutiques are swarming with the charming, distinct, and all around fabulous head toppings of yesteryear. Women once donned hats that were meant to be the focal point of their outfits, and I think we should do so again. Let's do as the British do when a wedding trails onto their calender. Go big and go interesting. Cover up your autumn wind blown hair with outrageous elegance. With a beautifully constructed hat that gets you noticed, you can't help but feel fashionable.

Me in my fabulous orange hat!