Thursday, December 31, 2009

Carrie on...

I'm fairly sure everyone has seen the Sex and the City 2 trailer by now - if you haven't, google it (I'm not posting it here, or I'll be damned)! Admittedly, when I first came across it, I got a little excited to see an excerpt from the scene I was slaving away on for four days in Greenpoint back in October (that would be the clip when the four spanxed, war-painted stars walk down a glittery stage to belt out some karaoke together: more about it here). But aside from that, the teaser felt mostly like a parade of expensive designer garb and footwear, "modeled" by the four leading SATC ladies so as to make us forget what we're really watching was nothing but a shameless potpourri of product placement.

OK, I get it! The production company doesn't want to spoil the plot... but is that really an excuse for feeding us such a lame trailer? The only thing I can tell for sure is that this load of crap has nothing to do with the TV show I used to love!

I always thought the show captured single life in NYC so beautifully: there's always a party to attend, always a chock-full of guys fighting to pay for your drinks, always a good reason to stay out all night and suffer through the following day with the help of a gallon of Starbucks. You like one of your "boyfriends" a little more than the others, but he doesn't want to be in a relationship - it's too complicated. The two of you make up and break up, and you make your friends' ears sore whining constantly about it and trying to decipher all of his words and actions to find out what he really meant. You hook up with a member of an up-and-coming local band because he's the only one who "cares about my personality, not just my looks". And the following day you read online that he has herpes and your girlfriends have to take you to the Lower East Side Healthcare Network to get tested, because you spent your last dollars on Manolos instead of paying up your health insurance. Sigh....

And in-between all the partying, dating, brunching and bar hopping, you constantly worry about what will happen if you never get the chance to meet the right guy, settle down and grow up a little... will you end up like the spinster cat lady upstairs, who vacuums all night long and never washes her hair, or will you just give up and marry some short, boring dude whose only quality is that he wants a monogamous relationship and happens to be single, just like yourself? Well, that's when your girls take you out for skim cappuccinos and fat-free, carb-free muffins (how the heck is that possible, by the way?), and assure you you're the most fabulous chick ever and that it's totally OK to have an emergency person who is not your boyfriend or husband.

Okay, I realize it's like this everywhere... but I have never experienced it as intensely as I did when I first moved to New York! Everything about the TV show was spot-on, to say the least. Each and every episode made me laugh, cry and roar with recognition. Seriously! And more importantly, the characters were charming, approachable and refreshingly real. What woman hasn't worried about the size of her thighs, has only dated guys who fit all the 10,000 requirements on her laundry list, and at least hasn't had nightmares that no one would show up to her birthday party? Just admit it already!

Carrie smoked pot in public, crashed NYU parties although she was way over 30, got drunk out on the town and went home with some hippie whose name she didn't know, cheated on her boyfriend with her married ex, couldn't afford her apartment although it was rent-controlled (yeah, right!), had a total fortune of 500 bucks in a checking account plus a plethora of designer apparel and shoes, and was caught by her squeaky-clean boyfriend, sitting in the gutter outside a restaurant smoking a Marlboro Red.... just like the rest of us! Right (cough, cough)?!

Fast-forward to 2009 and she has turned into a rich bitch whose closet is bigger than a typical New York City girl's whole apartment, and whose biggest headache seems to be whether to choose Ballet Slippers or Marshmallow for her next manicure. She is no longer your loyal BFF who was always up for mixers and happy hours on super short notice, but rather the friend who married a loaded guy, moved to Park Avenue and never calls anymore except for when she wants to invite you to a cocktail party with 200+ guests at her townhouse. Lame!

But the funny thing is that no matter what, you will still go out of your way to keep in touch with an old friend like Carrie. After all, you do share a boatload of amazing memories and you used to have just about everything in common.... and if not for anything else, she might lend you that gorgeous white Halston dress! I guess this means I will run to the theatre, just like everyone else, when the movie drops next summer... for old times' sake.

Happy New Year again, everyone! Please tell me I am not overthinking this!


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Bejeweled blitz

First things first... I would like to say thank you to everyone who read and commented on my previous post! I really appreciate it! My audition for "Black Swan" actually took place already a couple of weeks ago: I made it to the second round, but then my nerves took over. I can't believe I blew it like that and actually prefer not to talk or even think about it, but at least one good thing came out of it - I finally got a good reason for taking up dance a little more seriously again. It feels great to be back! For those who were interested, you can see me as a ballerina (unless they cut me) in the upcoming "Step Up 3D" and "The Other Guys", but unfortunately not as a principal! I'll keep working on that. :)

Now over to something else. I feel like I am the only one in the whole world who has not planned her NYE outfit from head to toe already, and more importantly, that I am not even that excited about all the bells and whistles that usually surround this amateur night #1. I do know one thing, though - you will not see me in anything bejeweled, bedazzled, sequined or sparkly.


1) Bejeweled designer dresses look amazing.... but the F21, Joyce Leslie or Charlotte Russe knockoffs that will have lost half of their sequins/jewels before you're even out of the cab on your way to the party - not so much.

2) Those decked-out dresses typically require little to no accessorizing - but I love accessories and would not want to go easy on them just to instead be able to dress up like a walking statement piece.... Sure, you can pile up the bling in a fashion editorial or on the runway, but a house party in the East Village is not a runway! Less is more, even on NYE, please.

(Images above and below: runway looks at Alexander McQueen, DVF and Lanvin; MariaCarla Boscono in D&G for Bazaar, November 2009; Racquel Zimmerman in Chanel for W, November 2009; SS10 looks by Nina Ricci and Prada in W, January 2010; Sigrid Agren for Vogue Russia, August 2009)

I might just have to do an Audrey and don an LBD with gloves, fabulous jewelry, gloves and sunglasses! Yes, big shades are a must for walking home the morning after!

Hope everyone is having a wonderful New Year's Eve, whatever you decide to do or wear! Thank you so much for reading my blog this year - I hope to see all of you in 2010 as well!


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Dance and Fashion

There is something special, in a bittersweet way, about being the best or among the best at your dance school back home, and then moving to New York to make it and... not making it. The clip below used to be my main source of motivation and inspiration many, many years ago, as it was exactly the way I imagined New York: auditioning and rehearsing during the day, performing at night. Apples and cigarettes. Tons of wannabes, just like myself. Upon moving here, I realized there was much more to it: catty choreographers, even cattier fellow cast members, chronic injuries and understanding the true meaning of John Travolta's quote: "Rejection is becoming like a hobby to me.". It was inevitable that I would eventually drop out, and attempt to forget that I ever even tried.

These days, on the other hand, it's all about finding your old leotards at the back of your closet, sprinkled with little tiny holes from all these depressing audition number tags. Wondering what the h*** you did with your jazz sneakers. And all those white tights? And why you suddenly can't lift your leg to your nose anymore (this is clearly the part that bothers me the most). And how hilarious it is that some of the dancers at the school where I take class still dress exactly like they did in the Travolta movie from circa 1983 (?).

Yes, I'm back! Getting invited to audition for a principal dancer role in the next big ballet movie (hopefully it will turn out better than "Center Stage", another crappy film that no one except for dancers likes... which is totally understandable) made me take up dancing seriously again, and suddenly I see dance and dancers everywhere, especially in fashion magazines!

It always bothers me a little when models who do not know how to dance are booked for ballet-inspired editorials. Remember the Billy Elliott spread in Vogue last fall, starring Caroline Trentini? All I saw was sickled feet and parallel legs. Why not use a professional ballerina turned model, like Adina Fohlin, or at least models who are highly proficient in ballet, such as Karlie Kloss or Kira Dikhtyar (left: Karlie at the barre, executing a tendu à la seconde - I think this picture was in TeenVogue summer 2007?; right: Kira for Biba, April 2006)? Yes, I know the industry does not work like that. But still! And don't even get me started on actresses playing ballerinas... it is torture to be part of the corps de ballet in a film, and get asked to "sit down and stretch" throughout a scene, so as not to steal the spotlight from the principal, who clearly never danced in her life before taking on this role...

For this reason, I am always thrilled to see real, professional dancers starring in dance-inspired fashion editorials and print ads (not to mention commercials and films)! Below is the Swedish Royal Ballet in ELLE Sweden, August 2008:

ABT soloist Cory Stearns and principal Benjamin Millepied (also choreographer for "Black Swan") in Vogue, December 2009, and soloist Misty Copeland in W, November 2009:

VogueGirl Korea spread, February 2006:


The Brizo fall 2009 campaign:

Other favorites include Vogue Italia, March 2008, and MariaCarla for Bazaar, February 2002 (I actually don't know if she has any training or not, but for this still she looks believable either way):

Last but not least, some candid (sort of) images of fashion meeting ballet -- Karl Lagerfeld and Elena Glurdjidze of the English National Ballet at the Lemarié atelier; fitting of Lagerfeld's "Dying Swan" costume:

What about you, dear readers? Any aspiring, failed or actually successful dancers around here? Or are you merely a fashionista, loving the current ballerina trend, coveting tutus and MqQueen Bedlington-esque platforms? Nothing wrong with that, as long as you don't wear them with legwarmers! ;)


Saturday, December 19, 2009

Elfin Chic

Last week I had the pleasure of sipping coffee from a paper cup (through a straw, of course) and sharing a cinnamon raisin bagel with a fellow struggling actress, who is a little older than me - we all know "a little older" can mean anything from being the same age or old enough to be one's mother or grandmother. However, in this case it simply means old enough to have been on set with Mia Farrow in one of her first Woody Allen films - let alone as an unglamourous extra, making a couple of bucks in-between auditions and performances.

I loved listening to K's memories from the shoot, especially since mid-60s Mia is one of my favorite style icons! Hence and not surprisingly, the anecdote I enjoyed the most was indeed fashion-related. While the two ladies never got the chance to share a bagel between takes, they did share some wardrobe: being appalled with the baggy outfit the costume department had selected for K, Mia dragged her into her private trailer, exclaiming "you're tiny, you need to borrow something from me!", and promptly put her in one of her own sweater dresses!

Not being particularly starstruck - it was, after all, just another day at work - and realizing that the dress was just a dress, and that it would have to be returned and forgotten about at the end of the day, K was however in heaven over the elfin queen's compliment -- even decades later. "... And she said I was tiny!", she re-emphasized, smiling giddily at me. "I know!" I cried. "That was the best part!"

Yes, that's lame. Performer-me could not have given a flying F about the dress... all that matters is clearly being tiny enough to fit into it! However, "fashion-me" is sitting here now, finding it unbelievable how I could have failed to ask what that sweater dress looked like. Really!

Could it possibly have been as fabulous as the costumes Mia wore in Rosemary's Baby? I doubt it! Me and my boyfriend watched it for the billionth time on a ratty old videotape last night under a blanket, sipping skim cocoa, and I was smitten (again) with all these lovely outfits that Rosemary is donning throughout the movie. See below for some of my favorites. :)

Girly ensembles outside the Dakota:

That yellow dress (I prefer the ponytails over the sleek pageboy, although it's a tough choice!):

All those adorable white Peter Pan collars....

.... in particular the red dress she wore at the party for her "young friends - no one over 60" (thanks Doug for the screen shots - xoxoxox). On a sidenote, her girlfriends were pretty stylish too (see the fur coats below)!

The red trouser suit she wore during the nightmare:

The delightful empire shifts....

... even her nightgowns were to die for!

Now this is one production where I would happily have agreed to give up a big paycheck to instead work for scale and get to keep the wardrobe! Anyone who does not agree must be out of her mind. :)
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