As the seasons change, I love to say goodbye to one and hello to another by re-watching some of my favorite films. What better way to feel nostalgia for summer and get inspiration for fall by watching scenes that celebrate the best of both. And these days between my couch, my bed and my bathtub I have plenty of locations for makeshift home cinemas.
Summer is the Italian coastline in The Talented Mr. Ripley, the Godfather and Casino Royal, it’s memories of cabins and summer camp with The Parent Trap and Dirty Dancing, it’s the buzz of a city after sunset and that liminal hour when the late night turns into early morning in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
Fall is central park in When Harry Met Sally, the chill of rainy English countryside in Pride & Prejudice, intrigue and murder mysteries like Rear Window, and the return to academia and elbow patches in Dead Poets Society. It’s not quite autumn here in Washington (the leaves don’t fully turn until the end of October/November). Last weekend I got in the mood by watching St Elmo’s Fire (1985). Set in Georgetown, it not only has the escapades of disillusioned twenty-somethings but it also has some of my favorite 1980s actresses: Andie MacDowell and Demi Moore! Vintage J.Crew, 1980s oversized coats and fall in one of the prettiest neighborhoods in DC, what more do you need to get excited for the season ahead!
Films have also become my main source of style inspiration. Since streetstyle and office chic is rather limited with working from home and social distancing, it’s all gone virtual. We’re seeing this year’s fall fashion weeks taking place entirely online via live streamed shows, bloggers takeovers, photography challenges, couture editorials, and even short films. Most of my sartorial outings these days are for photography, catch ups with friends or wandering the city in what Italians call passeggiata. There’s a certain aesthetic to the wanderer and in French the same concept is known as the flaneur/flaneuse. The spirit of this carefree person, strolling throughout the city’s streets, parks, stairs and squares is often captured in film. It’s Holly Golightly eating her croissant and sipping coffee in an evening gown in front of Tiffany’s. It’s Sherlock Holmes navigating the shadows of London in pursuit of a mystery to solve. It’s the sense of place and people and all of the stories that ebb and flow around us. And what is cinematography if not the study of people, place and stories?
So in the spirit of film and fashion, I thought I would share some photography inspired by sartorial moments of cinema and storytelling. I’ve already shared by recreation of Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Most recently I was struck by the iconic look of Meredith Blake in The Parent Trap. Though she’s the villain in the story of Lindsay Lohan x2 trying to reunite Dennis Quade (Nick) and Natasha Richardson (Liz), she has impeccable style. The whole film is the pinnacle of 90s fashion- mom jeans, oversized shirts, suit sets and strappy slip dresses.
But back to Meredith- I chose to recreate her first outfit on screen. The giant black hat, the sandals, the white summer dress, the bold red lip. While I love the happy ending in the film, with Nick and Hallie beating Liz and Annie to London, I do feel for Mer. Imagine, just when you think you’re set to be strolling through vineyards and lounging by the pool for the rest of your life, two red haired demons come along with their gorgeous, sophisticated fashion designer mother. Not only do they ruin your romance but they also drag you up into the mountains where you wake up in the middle of a lake… A LAKE! All I’m saying is that I’m not sure a woman with such good taste in hats deserved that fate!