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Habana-Rama

13 May

Some great hand-painted vintage Cuban film posters:

More to follow –

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Goodnight, Lena

10 May

The lovely & unforgettable Lena Horne passed last night, 92-years-old, at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. I was interested to learn recently that Lena Horne was born to an upper-middle class family in Bedford-Stuyvesant Brooklyn (Each side of her family belonged to what W. E. B. Du Bois called “The Talented Tenth“) & that she was blacklisted from working in Hollywood during the “red scare” because of her progressive political beliefs.

My most memorable Lena Horne moment to follow:

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Heroine of Humacao

13 May

RitaMorenoGun

I remember her fondly as Anita in the 1961 film adaptation of West Side Story, one of the only Puerto Rican actors in a film wherein half the cast is meant to be Puerto Rican. My favorite scene with Anita is where she comes into Maria’s bedroom after Tony has just slipped from the window ledge and she realizes Maria has been with him, even after knowing Tony has slain her own brother, Anita’s love.

During the time of the film, by 1960 the 41,000 Puerto Ricans who lived on the Upper West Side between 58th and 110th Streets made up 14 percent of the neighborhoods’ population. After that, “slum clearance” was the political slogan of the day, and the streets where the 1961 movie version was filmed were dismantled to make way for high-rises and Lincoln Center. Now Puerto Ricans in that same area amount to just 6,700, about 3 percent of the total. <via New York Times>

really?

really?

‘American actress Rita Moreno has managed to have a thriving career for the better part of six decades despite the institutional racism that has plagued the entertainment industry, particularly the anti-Latino bias that stereotyped Latino women as “spitfires” and sexpots. Rita was born Rosita Dolores Alverío in in Humacao, Puerto Rico on December 11, 1931. She moved to New York City in 1937 along with her mother, where she began a professional career before she was a teenager.’ A surprise to me, she voiced the character Carmen Sandiego on ‘Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?’

With so few Puerto Rican style icons in our collective memory, I proudly count Rita Moreno among them:

smile poserosary Rita%20Moreno

film style: ANNIE HALL

24 Apr

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Woody Allen’s Annie Hall takes place in 1977 New York City, hyper-focusing on the relationship between two people with fascinating neuroses. In the film, Diane Keaton’s look is balanced by layers of masculine and feminine details, a ‘gamine tomboy’. I love Annie Hall and am obsessed with most Woody Allen movies from the late 70’s-early 80’s (and some beyond), partly because of how well he constructs New York City as a character in his films. On top of all this, I’m really feeling androgenous style, so I thought I would reconstruct some looks from Annie Hall:

anniestanding1This is probably the most iconic outfit from the film; this is from the scene after they meet at the racket club and have some hilarious inner-monologues over wine. I found some pieces that are airy enough to stand up to a New York summer, and also conversions from men’s fashion, plus some colorful wedges to modernize Annie’s look. The second outfit from the movie is pretty timeless, but I picked out some current pieces I think look cool – enjoy! Click here to check out Film Style: Warriors.

Plastic Island Tunic

Plastic Island Tunic

chinogauchos

Ralph Lauren Chino Gauchos

Jean Paul Gaultier Woven Ankle Wrap Wedge Sandal

Gaultier Woven Ankle Wrap Wedge Sandal

annie-scarf1

Marc by Marc Jacobs Tortoiseshell Glasses

Marc by Marc Jacobs Tortoiseshell Glasses

American Apparel Sheer Scarf

American Apparel Sheer Scarf

Only Hearts Voile Shirtdress

Only Hearts Voile Shirtdress

Coco Avant Chanel

22 Apr

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Opening this week Audrey Tautou will star in the French biopic Coco Avant Chanel, directed by Anne Fontaine. She is also replacing Plastic Face Nicole Kidman as the spokeswoman for Chanel No. 5 Perfume. Even though the trailer is in French, you kind of get the general idea. Can’t wait until it opens stateside:

Also, as the new face of Chanel No. 5, Audrey will be starring in a film commercial that will premiere on the Chanel website on May 5th (get it? Chanel No. 5? 5th day of the month? genius!). Helmed by French director Jean-Pierre Jeune, the 2 minute 25 second film took four months to shoot and will chart the story of Audrey and a mystery man who keep missing each other on a journey from Paris to Istanbul on the Orient Express. <Via Elle UK>

original coco

original coco

film style: THE WARRIORS

8 Apr

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In the spirit of New York’s decline into the 1970s (with help from the MTA Doomsday Budget Plan), I will be celebrating the style of a girl gang, The Lizzies, in Walter Hill’s 1979 classic, The Warriors. For those not familiar with the plot, the movie follows a gang, some real tough guys (dig those vests!), The Warriors, on an epic journey back to their turf in Coney Island from an all-gang meeting in the Bronx after being framed for a controversial murder. Between The Bronx and Coney Island, The Warriors encounter a slew of neighborhood gangs trying to kill them. One of those gangs being the Union Square Lizzies.

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Trying to pull off the quintessential late 70’s girl-gang look can be tough. Luckily, The Lizzies keep things simple. Weapons of choice: knives & an occasional handgun. thelizzies013Clothing of choice: jeans, tees or button-downs, something with a hood. If a Lizzie has hair, she keeps it big, a Lizzie rocking a short cut, keeps it slick.

As a young woman in Doomsday-Budget-Era New York City, you might find yourself skulking around the Union Square station on the weekend, endlessly waiting for a train. While you are probably at the station for a ride back to your outer-borough apartment, and The Lizzies were there to shank some Warriors, the station is the same – why not rock the Lizzies style?

insightteeFirst things, first: being a girl on the move, you’ll want a good fundamental layer – you never know when things will cool down or heat up, fast. Try Insight’s What’s the Story tee– it’s relaxed-fit, scoop neck and has a snap at the back that lets you cinch-in the shape.

marcbymarcNext, you’ll need to cover up, and if you’re like a Lizzie, you’ll go for comfort & style. Like this Marc by Marc Jacobs ‘Stellar Dot’ Jacquard Hoody.

membersonlyjacketsThen, of course, you need a little bit of sex appeal. Look slim & dangerous in these  Members Only Liquid Leather Leggings.

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To cop the style of other gangs from The Warriors, click here.