Friday, December 31, 2010

Audrey Hepburn: Love in the Afternoon... Review and Style Highlights

[Spoiler alert]

I discovered this gem of a cute romantic comedy on netflix this week... while the plot is improbable, Audrey Hepburn is absolutely adorable. After looking at these stills, I think you'll agree with me. What's less certain, is if a man used to sleeping with numerous women and not becoming emotionally attached can turn around and stay faithful to one woman. If so, then this is the tale of a lifetime... :)

Basically, the story is about a private detective and his overly inquisitive daughter...

After reading through his files, Ariane (Hepburn) is filled with admiration for the romantic tales they contain. Unfortunately the files mainly contain illicit flings, and her father tries to warn her against them. She however has other ideas and upon hearing that one client is planning on murdering a certain ladies man (Frank Flannagan) that her father has been watching, she decides to step in and save him.

Only, the man in question, Mr. Flannagan (Gary Cooper)... realizes that Ariane is actually a very interesting woman. From that point on, he tries to figure out who she is... and when she falls for him, she ends up working on making him jealous. The part I don't get, is how her father lets them go off and get married, knowing as he does Mr Flannagan's past history. It's a tale essentially a tale of 1950's honor and societal expectations. While the story may not be wise to imitate in real life, it is fun watching.

Now, for the fun part... the style in this movie is amazing. I wish girls still dressed like this... seriously, it may be slightly less practical but it is so much more attractive. And by attractive, I don't mean the sexy in tight jeans/miniskirt technique used by some girls today... but a real wholesome sexy, feminine, and yet not slutty look. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a woman who looks feminine and cute... that is as The Mirror of Graces instructs us, that modesty is the most attractive thing that exists. In effect, it's the balance between enticing and good taste that makes for an exquisite and delicious wardrobe.

Look at the way the skirts are designed... people used to get a dress and not just a tightly wrapped towel-like thing...

And even when they were tighter, they still had length and give :)

For the opera, strapless with gloves and elegant binoculars... a total win! :)

And look at her jacket... this is so much more stylish than the bolero's that many girls today use to make their strapless outfits more 'modest'.

And I really want a tailcoat, etc. for white tie... I'm going to start with a tux (black tie), but this is my dream! :)

And this coat is lovely! It flatters her figure in the best possible way, and does it elegantly.

I'll close this out with a snapshot of her saying goodnight to Mr. Flannagan one evening... :)

What Happens When I Randomly Start Playing Piano at 3:30 AM?

In case you're curious what happens when I start playing piano without anything in mind... and at 3:30 AM on top of that... the following recording will clue you in... lol... it's not terrible, although I think I forgot what I was playing before I got halfway through... ;) :P

Random Improv at 3:30am

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Bayrou's Memory Loss... with subtitles! :D

I located these clips last night and edited them to flow logically, then made a translation, and subsequently timed the subtitles... that way both my French and English - speaking readers can enjoy.

What is this video? It's French political humor. It's a little crude on a some of the jokes, but compared to a lot of them, this one is pretty tame. What happens in this clip, is that some journalists counter François Bayrou with some statements he makes, he claims that he doesn't remember making them. I also include the Guignol's parody for full effect. Do you think he really had amnesia or not? Judge for yourselves! :D

BTW, translations like this I discovered take FOREVER!!!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Loose Tribute to ITV Jane Austen Season Music (variation)

I recently recorded this improv on the theme of the lovely music that ITV used for their Jane Austen season a few years ago. It deviates significantly, but it was the starting point for my inspiration. Enjoy! (I played this in garageband using an unweighted keyboard, so it didn't turn out quite like it did on my real piano, but on the plus side it is a much clearer recording)

Download 'Crystal Piano December 1'

Please comment if you like it! :D

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Lovely Painting at Washington DC Sofitel (Le Bar)

I once had a French Expat meeting at Le Bar in the Sofitel in Washington, DC which is mere steps away from the White House... and I spotted this absolutely lovely painting in the back of the room near the window in the corner!

Do any of you know who painted this or any other information on this? At the time, I asked the staff about the painting and none of them had any idea as to its origins. Sadly I was borrowing an old cellphone that evening and the camera was terrible, so my apologies for the quality! I shall have to go back and take a new picture of this... :)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

I love elegant commercials! (Perfume edition)

So, I've been noticing a number of really lovely advertisements for various perfumes while watching videos online... you know the 30 second clips you have to watch to see that video on a news site or youtube... and sometimes these are actually worth seeing (and it's not all of them, believe me!)... so, here are a couple of commercials that are full of elegant eye candy for you my delightful readers to enjoy... :)

First, I ran into the commercial for Lancôme 'Trésor in Love'... love the look of this commercial :)

Then I ran into Chanel N°5... I absolutely love the retro setting of this film!

There is even a really interesting 'Making of' clip that documents how they built the set... very interesting! Don't you wish they made train cars like this today with all the lovely detailing and elegant thoughtfulness?

And then I also discovered Idylle Guerlain, this has such a lovely feel to it and a delightful teasing...

It's no wonder these advertisements are made... I think they probably work... :D However, as I don't know what the aroma of any of these perfumes is... I cannot recommend them personally--beyond their commercials; I do hope they're as fragrant as the commercials are elegant, though! :)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Cleaning wipes + Jane Austen?

My little sister came up with this concept as a gift for me... lol! I guess this combines my over-disinfecting and being a Janeite into one package... :)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Eye Candy: Another Visit to DC and the National Gallery of Art

The National Gallery of Art has to be one of my favorite places in the world... because of this I recently made yet another trip there, to procure some small prints and frames :)   (you should really go see their shop, because some of the frames are exquisite and elegant. If anyone knows where else such frames may be had short of custom framing, I will be very happy... as I don't feel like spending money for custom framing on things that don't need it)

As usual, I took the metro :)

On the left are the National Archives, and I believe on the right is a building that has to do with the Navy

National Archives

National Archives, Mall Entrance

And another of the Mall Entrance of the National Archives

Now for the NGA goodies... we'll start with pictures of the entryway (lower level) :)

Right behind the entrance is the pathway to the gift shop that also happens to have a French Cafe in it :)

Here are some pictures from the entrance by the end of the building near the modern art wing, across the street.

Back upstairs there are two lovely garden rooms, here are some shots of one of them:

Click on the panorama to see it bigger... (fullest size is not available for any of the panoramas on this post at this time)

I took this one by putting my camera on the ground :)

I really like this painting... and oh while I'm at it, here's a self-portrait of me too :)

More Panoramas:

I really like this one, I took it while bent down at the level of the seats, so as to capture the couch and the easel, and give a different view of the room than might be had standing up.

I love this picture... exquisite painting and very flattering attire too :)

Lower entrance to National Gallery of Art at night

And in panoramic form :)

Here's a panorama of the intersection between the National Gallery of Art and the National Archives as seen at night.