Louis Vuitton channels Elizabeth Taylor for the new season

Flicking through my September Issue of Vogue, I found that I just kept turning the pages back to look at the stunning images from the Louis Vuitton Autumn/Winter 2013 campaign. Made up of stunning photographs showing the likes of Karen Elson and Gisele Bundchen, almost unrecognisable in black wigs. The models are clad in sensible winter coats being worn over the wispiest of silk slips and shifts, and my mind was drawn to one of the ultimate style icons of the 20th century in two of her most famous, and also controversial, roles.

The looks from this collection, as photographed by Steven Meisel, are pure Elizabeth Taylor at the height of her 1950s beauty. Specifically they draw to mind two films where she made the slinkiest of undergarments, the shift, into an item of immense sensuality and style. In ‘Cat on a hot tin roof’ Maggie the Cat, as portrayed by Liz, spends much of her time in a white silk slip whilst trying to seduce her husband. Then, in the 1960 film Butterfield 8, her character Gloria, a high class call girl, again seems to live in a uniform of champagne coloured shifts and heels, teamed with more champagne, this time in the liquid form. Occasionally she throws on a luxurious coat, but underneath it she is wearing…well, not a lot if we’re being honest.

Elizabeth as Maggie the Cat

Elizabeth as Gloria in Butterfield 8

The images of Liz playing bad girls in delicate shifts drip glamour and decadence, and the photographs by Meisel are an almost haunting echo.

This season you could attempt the look for yourself with some seriously sexy chemises from Boux Avenue which you may decide to keep for the privacy of the bedroom, or may well wear whilst dancing on a table on a Saturday night. For the not so brave,  Dorothy Perkins has a range of silky camisoles in a range of jewel colours, perfect for under a serious business suit for work, or under a chunky knit cardigan for a winter boho look.

Boux Avenue

Tori satin and lace chemise £35.00 Click to visit Boux Avenue

Tori satin and lace chemise £35.00 click to visit Boux Avenue

Tori satin and lace chemise £35.00 click to visit Boux Avenue

Jemima long satin chemise £40.00 click to visit Boux Avenue

Bella long silk chemise £80.00 Now £40.00 click to visit Boux Avenue

Dorothy Perkins

Red swing cami top Price: £14.00 click to visit Dorothy Perkins

White swing cami Price: £14.00 click to visit Dorothy Perkins

Embellished maxi dress Was £57.99 Now £40.59 click to visit Dorothy Perkins

More lingerie styles

Araks Elder Flax Silk Short Slip now £82 click to visit Avenue 32

Alöe Champagne Silk Lace Slip £90 click to visit Avenue 32

TWIN-SET JEANS sleeveless dress £123.01 click to visit FarFetch

BREITA BANDEAU DRESS £195.00 click to visit Coast

 

 

 

Why staying in is the new going out.

I must be getting old! I used to be able to dance the night away, from dusk til dawn, and then get up and do a full days work. I used to like nothing more than a great night out, meeting friends, eating, drinking and frankly being merry. But now nothing makes me happier than a night in, with a great takeaway, a nice bottle of wine and something seriously good to watch on the TV. And I think the TV might just be the key to why I now enjoy this so much.

Television now is a global event, opinions on TV programmes shared on Twitter in live time, plots discussed and dissected, and sometimes even spoiled by social media. Viewers benefit from the range of channels, the opportunity for live pause and rewind and catch up options (check out the Talk Talk TV packages that are currently available), all allowing us to watch what we want, when we want. And with some real classic TV in 2013, and more to come as the year progresses, I’ve become telly addicted all over again.

Here are a few of my current highlights.

The Fall

With the serial killer unveiled in the opening episode, The Fall turned all the usual conventions of crime thrillers on their head. An ice-cool, some would say freezing cold, heroine played by Gillian Anderson totally captivated as she lived her life like a man, using a rather dishy detective for sex, sleeping in the office as the case progressed, all the time giving the impression that she was the only person capable of solving this case. The series ended on a massive cliffhanger, with the killer on his way to a new life, a new destination, and probably new victims.

The Returned

For all those who say you should watch TV, rather than read TV, then please just watch the opening episode of French drama, The Returned. A beautiful village in the Alps suddenly sees its dead returning, starving and with complete amnesia about their deaths. Years have past, but the ‘returned’ are stuck in time, preserved at the age they left, and both terrifying and astonishing their loved ones. So many questions were raised by the opening episode, that I spent the next half hour googling the series.

Burton and Taylor

Set in the early 1980’s, just before Richard’s premature death, Burton and Taylor is a much-anticipated programme for anyone with interest in one of Hollywood’s greatest love stories. Rather than Lindsey Lohan (please!), we have the super talented Helena Bonham Carter as Elizabeth Taylor, and Dominic West as an uncanny Richard Burton. Planned for screening at the end of the year, I cannot wait to see this!

Made in Chelsea

My guilty pleasure, Made in Chelsea keeps me entertained, amused and hooked every single episode. I love the smarminess of Spencer, Millie, Rosie and Lucy and their fabulous sense of style. I giggle at the bromance between Proudlock and Francis, constantly engaged in chasing the same girl, and just love the way the characters/actors, whatever they are, all take off at the drop of a hat and holiday somewhere amazing with all these people they seem to really hate. A real soap opera couldn’t be any more amazing than #MIC.

Kate. Marilyn and Elizabeth and the Allure of Pearls.

Kate Winslet looks stunning on the cover of  V magazine this month.  A shot of her beautiful face and a string of pearls in all that is needed to create a wonderful image. But the pictures also evokes the movie  queens of days past, and speaks volumes about the eternal lure of pearls.

The Daily Telegraph says  that Winslet is paying some kind of tribute to Elizabeth Taylor, the last of the immortal  love goddesses, who  dies earlier this year. A famous still of Taylor from the film Ash Wednesday was used to illustrate the similarity of the pose. But the image of Kate reminds me of those Bert SternLast Sitting‘ poses by Marilyn Monroe, the ones where she was photographed with pearls and rhinestones just a month before her death. These were almost a last hurrah for Marilyn, and ensured she pushed Elizabeth  Taylor from all the world’s front pages. Marilyn had also posed with pearls in the publicity shots for ‘Some like it Hot’ in 1958.

So the picture of Kate celebrates screen goddesses of the past, but it is also as much a celebration of pearls as it is of  the females who wear them. I think pearls are the most mysterious of jewels…what do they actually symbolise? They are often seen as presenting a real lady, sometimes in the form of conservative dressing, the twinset and pearls brigade for instance. Debutantes and Duchesses wear pearls, old ladies wear pearls,  Ladies on the cover of ‘Country Life’ and ‘The Lady’ wore pearls. And yet…

One of the most famous courtesans of the 19th century, Cora Pearl, is said to have appeared before Edward VII wearing a long string of pearls…and nothing else. One of the  most notorious rock paramours of the 1960s, Marianne Faithfull, was photographed wearing a conservative pearl choker at the height of her heroin addiction,  subverting the image of the necklace as something for good girls. And Madonna added pearls to her Boytoy bride look in the 1980s.

 

So, what is the truth about pearls, good girl accessories, or ultimate bad girl attire? Maybe the truth is a little bit of both. Good girls love the prettiness and the glossy sheen or pearls, whilst bad girls like to subvert the jewel that is considered a sign of class, breeding and landed gentry. While all this is true, pearls will be continue to fascinate.