Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Seven Year Itch (1955) – Movie《七年之痒》

No matter you’ve watched the movie or not, I bet you’ve heard of the scenario; you’ve seen the pictures: Marilyn Monroe (玛丽莲梦露) in a lovely white dress with a huge, fluffy skirt. She's standing over a subway grate, and when the underground train goes by, it sends the air up through the grate. Monroe's skirt billows upward, revealing her legs. She tries to hold down the skirt with her hands, but all the while she is smiling delightedly at the feel of the strong, cool gust. It is the iconic picture of Monroe, and this is the movie it came from.

A modern tale of insecurity, temptation, and redemption, a simple story, told through wondrous framings, comedic dialogue, and colorful daydreams: after being faithfully married for seven years, a New Yorker Richard Sherman (Tom Ewell) finds himself tempted to fool around while his wife and kid are away for summer vacation - he daydreams and fantasizes about The Girl (Marilyn Monroe玛丽莲梦露), a gorgeous model who has sublet the apartment above him; he thinks he’s come down with an inevitable disease - the seven year itch! The whole movie is about his dilemma and his wild runaway imagination. Torn between his fantasies about The Girl and his guilt over betraying his wife, Sherman eventually sees the wisdom of remaining a faithful husband.

The Girl is, in part, a figment of Sherman's imagination. She doesn't even have a name. Yet, Marilyn's ability to combine sexuality with a childlike innocence, plus the way her natural warmth and sincerity shine through her surface glamor, elevates the character of The Girl above the level of mere sex object.


The classic shot of Marilyn Monroe's dress blowing up around her legs as she stands over a subway grating was originally shot on Manhattan's Lexington Avenue at 52nd St. on Sept. 15, 1954 at 1 AM. 5000 onlookers whistled and cheered through take after take as Marilyn repeatedly missed her lines. Marilyn's then disgruntled husband, Joe DiMaggio, was so offended by both his wife's exhibitionism, and the crowds slavering reaction to it, that their marriage effectively ended that night.

A John Kloss’ 1976 reproduction of the white halter dress, originally designed specifically for Marilyn, once was exhibited at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York as a time capsule.


It is 50’s and everything was glamorous.

First encounter. In the hot summer in NYC, in this black and white polka dots dress, The Girl, Marilyn Monroe, breezes in like a heavenly mist.

Marilyn thought this dress went well with champaign. She left the shoulder strap untied when she came downstairs and asked Sherman to tie them up for her. Sherman was all dumbfounded and excited. It is a gorgeous dress, especially coupled with Monroe's voluptuous figure.

The original, distinctive, iconic Severn Year Itch dress: plunging neckline, beautiful shading of ruching and pleats. It is Monroe who instilled spirit in this dress. Nowadays, many American women like to play Monroe in this dress and the blond wig in Halloween parties. This dress has served as a source of inspirations for many fashion designers in generations. You can buy reproduction of this dress from market from under $100 to hundreds of bucks. Caution: You gotta have great figure and be creative to wear this dress or it is easy to be a victim of cliché. All in all, the bar set here is too high!

In bathrobe:

The silk outfit that I don't like. Looks tacky on average people. But the killing smile and teeth? Speechless.

Sleeping beauty:

Sherman's wife is just a minor role in this movie. She was sent away up in Maine for summer vacation. Even though she made appearance just several times. I actually liked her country style / vacation look: front tied gingham shirt and shorts.

And there is a thing called hay ride:

Friday, March 21, 2008

Clueless (1995) - Movie 《独领风骚》

This movie is by no means, a classic movie from the script’s point of view, it however, in many ways defined the generation it portrayed and has hold iconic status in its genre as high school drama. It is delightful, amusing and uplifting. The story happened among a bunch of rich Hollywood teens that only care about appearance, popularity and having fun, a life style that is centuries away from my high school in rural China, which is study, study and more study.

The cast of this classic teen movie is superb; the movie is fun and playful: Alicia Silverstone portrays the beautiful Cher Horowitz, a stylish and street smart teenage girl whose bubbly personality is infectious. Although Cher is about as deep as a puddle, you can’t help but love her. Cher's sidekick Dion, is just as shallow as Cher, and just as stylish and beautiful.

A hilarious quote

"Do you think she is pretty?"
"No, she is a Monet."
"What is a Monet?"
"It is like the paintings. See? From far away, it is Okay. Up close, it is a big old mess."

The wardrobes of the lead characters are fabulous. The movie’s setting was 1995, a time when grunge fashion was still popular. Alicia Silverstone’s costumes in the film were surprisingly trendsetting and soon became the new fashions of real life. Plaids, pastels, baby doll dresses and knee-high tights quickly became the new "thing" in young women's fashion in the following years.

It was a blast to watch the movie, even more fun when watching with several good girlfriends.


Speaking of getting inspirations from movies, here comes a great example. In the movie, the rich, beautiful, spoiled girl Cher used her computer to virtually put together an outfit that suited her mood for the day. This scene has inspired many fashionistas and computer geeks to build virtual wardrobe software applications, dozens of which have developed to viable businesses. Dress Assistant, Polyvore , Style Diary are just a few of them. I would give high credits to this movie just for this one single reason.

Now let’s check out the fabulous outfits:

Just Preppy

Plaid jacket, pleated mini skirt, white or blue cotton shirts, diamond pattern sweaters, stripes, beret and delicate silver or pearl accessories mix matched many preppy looks for the typical rich California girl Cher.

Plaid suit with matching cardigan and white stocking is young and fresh. Hated the shoulder pad though, a horrible fashion trend in 90’s. Anyway, it still goes well with fair-skinned blond Alicia Silverstone.

Beret, white shirt and stripe jacket: Preppy, smart, British and fabulous:

Patterned sweater, cardigan and headband, cozy and huggable:

Black, white and red. Just adorable:

Sporty outfit: young, energetic and fashionable:

Outfit? No. I hat shiny polyester and fake polyester flowers. Tiffany silver heart toggle necklace? Oh yeah, love it!!

Fabulous Dresses:

Red satin party dress. Attention: Everything is short (mini), gotta have that great legs and butt. This is the Alaia dress Cher was trying to refuse to get down on the ground being afraid of ruining it when she was mugged on the street. Talk about loving a dress more than a girl's life. :)

This is actually fun. Cher picked this white dress for her first date with this gorgeous classmate of her, who turned out to be gay later. When Cher's dad saw her dressed like this and said :" What is that thing you are wearing?" "It is Calvin Klein!" Cher replied delightedly and her dad said, "Looks like an underwear to me. Go put one something over it!". And you see here she put on a white sheer shirt and still looked fabulous. Calvin Klein is famous for his simple, chic look. This simple white dress has all the personalities.

Cher was very excited to have the handsome classmate coming over for a movie night and selected this sexy red velvet dress. When the night didn't go as she expected, without knowing the guy was gay, she became very confused.

Simple, baby doll day dresses featured with high waist and small lace/string ties:

The bridesmaid pink dress. A little tacky but still lovely:

Lovely, sweet, confused and sexy Alicia Silverstone:

Grunge Look

In case you don't know what grunge fashion looks like, here it is. Grunge fashion was influenced by grunge music, which achieved mainstream popularity in 1992. Just like Cher commented in the movie:" I don't want to be a traitor to my generation. But I don't get how guys dress today. It looks like they just fell out of bed, and put on some baggy pants, and take their greasy hair... ugh! And cover it with a backwards cap!"

All in all, this is a fashion feast, a high school drama icon, a 90's style summation.