FILM

Theme 15: Downton Abbey. The Exhibition in New York.

 Downton Abbey: The Exhibition Review. New York, 2018

When I first heard that Downton Abbey: The Exhibition was coming to New York, I was beyond excited! It has been years since the last season aired. Nothing could quite replace witty, funny quotes of Dowager Countess, the fascinating-to-watch competition between Mary and “poor Edith”, blossoming romances, emotional heartbreaks and seemingly never-ending miseries of upstairs and downstairs habitants of Downton Abbey.

Asking myself the iconic “What is a weekend?”, I decided to take my friend Allison, a fellow fiction writer and another die-hard Downton Abbey fan, to the exhibition on Saturday morning to explore and review it for my Pastiche.today readers. I already had a Downton Abbey theme running on my blog, and I knew that this experience will be a perfect addition to the collection of my articles about the show and looks inspired by the Downton Abbey’s characters. You can click here to see the rest of the posts inspired by the famous PBS show.

 Mrs Patmore's kitchen. Downton Abbey exhibition in New York.

From the very beginning, the exhibition immerses you into the Crawleys’ household and really makes you feel that you are stepping into the Highclere Castle, where the PBS show was filmed. It all starts with the warm welcome from Carson and Mrs Hughes, and leads you through an impeccably and very true-to-detail executed kitchen of Mrs. Patmore, where she ruled over a handful of kitchen maids and footmen. Then you continue to explore the detailed sets and costumes of the servants’ quarters.

 Servants Quarters in Downton Abbey. PBS show exhibition
 Downton Abbey cast's costumes on display in New York.

The second and the third floor explores the lavish and beautiful world of Crawleys. It felt almost scandalous to peek at immaculately recreated Lady Mary’s bedroom, where I couldn’t help to avoid thinking of Kemal Pamuk. Then there is of course a grand dining room. Empty, but all set for an exquisite dinner party that could arrive any second. Every detail is intimately familiar and gives such a surreal feeling of invading Crawleys’ home that I half expected the Dowager Countess Violet to appear in front of me with a suppressed, but visible mark of a humorous disdain on her glorious face:  “Oh, roll up, roll up, visit an actual dining room! Complete with a real life table and chairs!”.

 Downton Abbey: The Exhibition.
 Lady Mary Bedroom
 20s dresses in Downton Abbey. Period drama costumes. Fashion of Downton Abbey.

Slowly walking and taking in all the magnificence of the masterfully designed space by Imagine Exhibtions, Allison and I especially enjoyed all the interactive and smartly placed insights of the historic events and changes that occurred in daily lives of British subjects from Post-Edwardian Era to the World War 1 and the Roaring Twenties. I can confidently and sincerely declare that even those who haven’t yet seen the Downton Abbey would enjoy all the valuable and entertaining information if they have even a remote interest in history!

 Wedding hair in Downton abbey
 Downton Abbey. Edit's Wedding gown
 Downton Abbey fashion.
 PBS Downton Abbey fashion styles.
 Sybil's harem pants in Downton Abbey.

And how can I forget to mention the costumes and accessories of the Downton Abbey’s ladies and gentlemen! The abundance of wedding laces, strict lines of riding costumes and enchanting glitz of all the glamorous 20s gowns absolutely stole my heart. Even though sometimes I like slipping into pajamas at a Netflix kind of night at home, I desperately long for the times when an afternoon tea in a garden required a pretty hat, and for a 6 pm dinner you had to change into an evening gown and wear long elegant gloves.

 20s fashion in Downton Abbey show.
 Downton Abbey Exhibition

Lord and Lady Granham, Mary, Edith and Sybil, Tom Branson, Mr, Barrow, Isobel, Daisy and all other beloved and sometimes despised characters of Downton Abbey already felt so real to every fan of the show, but the exhibition immersed us into their world like never before. Allison noted: “The section with the gramophone and the visual explanation of social hierarchy reminded me of the circumstances these characters faced and the changing landscape they had to navigate. The characters already felt real and three-dimensional. All of this information along with the costumes, sets, and  props made them even more alive!”

Downton Abbey: The Exhibition has exceeded my expectations and truly made me feel like I was a dear guest at the Crawley’s, or a curious phantom wondering through the halls and sumptuous rooms of the family that quite honestly feels in a way like my own!


Theme 36: Holiday Season. Gift guide for Outlander fans!

Click on the item you like to be redirected to it!

Well it is this time of the year when we are all trying to find perfect gifts for our friends and family! Black Friday, Cyber Monday and pre-Christmas sales are approaching and I will definitely be sharing some extra valuable insider information and show you some of the best shopping,  deals of 2017. But most of all I want to give you more personalized gift guides that will be fun, useful and will make your holiday gift shopping a little bit more easier :)

Today I am launching my OUTLANDER FANS GIFT GUIDE that I will be updating whenever I find something beautiful or fun to add to this handpicked selection of Outlander inspired gifts, books and fashion items. I am myself a huge fan of Diana Gabaldon's book series and The Outlander TV show, so I really enjoyed putting this together, and now I am (casually) sending this list to my friends (hint! hint!).

Nollaig Chridheil, lasses! May you find Jamie Fraser under your tree among all these goodies:

 

 

 

Get your Claire Fraiser-esque outfit for the holiday season! I have selected the most elegant, classy and flattering plaid dresses and cozy knits for you to wear (in Scotland perhaps? ;)) or to gift someone special. Get into Outlander mood!

 
 Sassenach gift guide. Outlander and Scotland inspired items.
 Dress Like Claire Fraser from Outlander.
 Outlander inspired fashion styles. Warm shawls, capes and cardigans.

Week 22: Witches of Manhattan. Best Witches in Film and TV.

Magic has been fascinating me since I was a little child. I was too impatient to wait for my parents to read to me before bedtime, so I was absorbing fairy tale books by myself from morning to dawn when I was just three years old. While other children played with dolls and teddy bears, I immersed myself in worlds of magicians, beautiful sorceresses and evil queens.

At the time, my dad had a rental VHS spot in my city, and we had access to all the latest movies. I especially vividly remember the film Willow with its lush magical world and the frightening and glorious evil Queen Bavmorda. When brainstorming my list of the most memorable witches in film and TV, I immediately thought of her, especially because people tend to forget about this movie altogether.

Year after year, my interest in witchcraft has only grown and I have discovered many new films and TV shows with enchanting white witches, Evil Sorceresses and modern day magicians, and I would like to share my favourites with you.

So, Abracadabra, witches, read my list below:

1. The Three Witches from Macbeth

 Three Witches Macbeth

The Three Witches in William Shakespeare's Macbeth represent evil and darkness and tempt Macbeth with their prophecies. With the prophecy that Macbeth shall be king, they lead him to the path of his own destruction. It is incredible how with just a small appearance in the play, the ominous Three Witches and their many representations in art and film, can make your blood run cold.

Bonus: Visit Sleep No More in NYC to encounter The Three Witches! I even interacted with one of them during the show.

2. Seventh Son

 Ведьмы в фильме Седьмой Сын.  Witches in Seventh Son film.

Julianne Moore is stunning as a wicked witch, Mother Malkin, in Seventh Son. The fantasy film also stars Jeff Bridges, Ben Barnes and Alicia Vikander, who is growing on me with each new role she plays. Unfortunately, Seventh Son was a big flop in the box office, but I enjoyed it very much.

3. Salem

 Best witches in film history.

I have just started watching this wicked show inspired by the real Salem witch trials in the 17th century. I can never say no to a period costume series, especially if it has a supernatural element!

4. Practical Magic

 Best witches in Film and Tv series! 21 amazing witches

This beautiful film tells the story of the Owens sisters, who come from generations of powerful witches, and follows them on their quest fortrue love. I have watched this romantic film so many times. I love it!

Bonus: Did you know that this famous film was based on the bestselling book? Buy it here on Amazon!

 

5. Snow White and the Huntsman

 Best witches in film history. Queen Ravenna.

Queen Ravenna is a ravishing Evil Queen and she might eat your heart. Literally.

6. Geillis Duncan in Outlander

 Best witches on the screen - Geillis Duncan from Outlander. Red haired witch.

I am not going to spoil this for non-book readers, but Geillis Duncan is a wonderful, complex character in the Outlander series. Love her or hate her, she has powers and she knows how to use them.

7. Queen Bavmorda in Willow

 Best Witches in films and tv.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, Willow was my first favourite fantasy film, and evil Queen Bavmorda probably made an appearance in my childhood nightmares. 

8. Witches of East End

 Witches of East End. TV series about witchcraft.

I was so disappointed when they cancelled Witches of East End in 2014! It was dark, sultry and gorgeous. I definitely recommend you watch this show. There are so many little details and stories that inspire me to continue writing my novel.

9. Craft

 Witches on the screen. Fictional witches in history.

A 90s classic, this horror film tells the story of a group of teenage girls who practice witchcraft, and later use it to curse every one who wronged them at school. I usually despise scary films, but this one is entertaining and has just the right amount of spooky.

10. Stardust

 Best magicians, witches and sorceresses in film and Tv. Stardust.

The main antagonist of Stardust, Lamia, is the most powerful witch in Stormhold. She lives hidden from the world with her sisters, Mormo and Empusa, waiting for the right moment to regain her rule over the land and obtain eternal beauty by eating the heart of a star. In the meantime, she consumes people to stay young and beautiful. What would a woman NOT DO for eternal beauty?!

11. Charmed

 Best withes in film and tv series. Full list!

Let's face it, we’ve all watched at least a couple episodes of this long running show about the three Halliwell sisters who discover that they are descendants of a line of powerful witches. Each sister has a special ability: controlling time, moving objects, prophetic powers, and they can also use their powers together to fight all the demons in our world.

12. Hocus Pocus

 Hocus Pocus Witches.

This Disney comedy is about three wicked witch sisters who are resurrected in Salem on Halloween night, and two teenagers who are the only ones who can stop them. Hocus Pocus is definitely a Halloween classic!

13. The Witches of Eastwick

 Witches in America. Fictional characters with magical powers.

A great dark comedy about three dissatisfied witches, unaware of their powers, living in Eastwick, Rhode Island, whose lives change when a mysterious, rich man, Darvyl, moves to town.

14. The Chronicles of Narnia

 Witches in film and TV. Best evil ice queen.

Queen Jadis cast a curse upon Narnia, that it shall be frozen and cold. The Long Winter she magically forced upon Narnia, earned her the title, the "White Witch".

15. Once Upon a Time

I am currently watching season 6 of Once Upon a Time, and to be perfectly honest, it is not as good as it could be. There were a couple of seasons I really liked, and of course I adore everything related to my favourite fairy tale characters, however sometimes it is painful to watch. Not all of the actors are great, the effects and props look cheap and the plot often annoys. But if there is one thing I love about it, is its Evil Queens!

16. Harry Potter

How could I leave witches from Harry Potter out of this list? 

17. Enchanted

Queen Narissa in Disney's feature hybrid film Enchanted is a beautiful, but cruel, vindictive, power-thirsty evil witch.

18. Red Priestesses in Game of Thrones

Carice van Houten has been on my radar since the Black Book film, and I am pleased she was cast as Melisandre in Game of Thrones. However, now I am also excited to see more of another Red Priestess, Kinvara, who debuts in the 6th season.

19. Penny Dreadful

Ben and I love watching this show together. It is eerie, grim, sinful and beautiful in its delicious blood stained darkness. From mysterious and powerful Vanessa Ives, to the evil coven of witches, whose every appearance makes my hair stand up on the back of my neck, this show has plenty of wicked beauties.

20. The Brothers Grimm

The Mirrored Queen, portrayed by gorgeous Monica Bellucci, is the Thuringian queen, treasured by all of Europe for her unbelievable beauty. Absorbed by her own reflection, the vain and selfish queen cares only about her appearance and uses black magic to gain eternal life and youth. I find her story one of the most compelling and I wish Hollywood made the whole film about the beautiful Mirrored Queen.

Week 17: Rita Hayworth is a Babe. Her Life and Seductive Style.

Rita Hayworth is one of Old Hollywood's most seductive actresses. Her iconic performance of “Put the Blame on Mame" in Gilda (1946) and improvised quick single-glove striptease is 10 times more erotic than any 50 Shades of Grey scene. Rita wears a long, strapless, black satin gown, with a side-slit and big flirty bow at the hip. And of course, the gown is paired with classic long black gloves. The Independent lists this scene in their Ten Best Fashion Moments in Film.

  Margarita Cansino  before and  Rita Hayworth  after. What a transformation!

Margarita Cansino before and Rita Hayworth after. What a transformation!

Rita started her life as Margarita Carmen Cansino. Her family had a strong background in professional dance, and so her Spanish father pushed young Margarita to dance and she was featured in several films as a dancer. Her first roles were small ones as pretty exotic dancers with no lines. After playing the same kinds of roles as Argentinian, Egyptian and Russian dancers, Margarita decided to change her fate and took on her mother's Irish-English maiden name Hayworth in order to appeal to Americans. That was followed with shortening her name to Rita, changing her Mediterranean hairline with a painful electrolysis procedure, and dying her black hair to, the now iconic, ginger red colour. After that, Rita's career was on the rise.

 Film posters with Rita Hayworth.

Rita acted opposite such stars as Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire and Cary Grant. For three years, beginning in 1944, Rita was named one of the top movie box-office attractions in the world. Hayworth was adept in ballet, tap dance, ballroom, and Spanish routines.

Unfortunately, despite her successful acting career, her love life was a mess. She married and divorced 5 times. Rita's most famous marriages were to Orson Welles and to Prince Aly Khan, which actually made Rita, and not Grace Kelly, the first movie star to become a princess. 

Rita once revealed with some bitterness that “Men go to bed with Gilda, but wake up with me.”

 

She might have been a femme fatale on the screen, but in real life Rita was a shy and gentle person and suffered from an inferiority complex. However, her image as a sultry fiery beauty inspired creation of hundreds of characters, including Jessica Rabbit in Who Framed Roger Rabbit and beauty looks and styles of millions of women across the globe.

Want to steal Rita's Seductive Style?

I picked three timeless trends and selected the best items online for you. Put that glam on and "Gilda" yourself up!

1. SLIP Dress Trend 

 Rita Hayworth in lingerie style dresses. Old Hollywood Inspiration.

2. long FITTED gown

 Rita Hayworth long seductive gown. Sexy style

3. Bedazzling sequins

 rita hayworth sequins

Week 12. Gossip Girl. Best Looks

 Gossup Girl style on www.pastiche.today

I have already shared a few of Blair and Serena’s outfits on my INSTA-SHOP that you can check out now. I am going to update that page with more looks from the show soon, so be sure to follow me on Facebook for updates.

In today’s post I will feature a few of the best outfits worn by Manhattan's very own Upper East Side princesses and give you tips on how to steal their signature styles.

BLAIR WALDORF

 Blair Waldorf Prints

1. Prints and Patterns

The only high school mean girl we can admit to love, can masterfully mix & match her prints and textures. It might be a dangerous game to play, but young Waldorf knows how to win it. If you don't think you have enough style points to skillfully match floral skirts with striped tops, then you can always settle for a polka dot dress.

 Polka Dot prints on the Manhattan's Princess - Blair

 

2. Headbands and hats

Quirky headbands and fancy hats are a signature element of Blair's look. But make sure you wear your headband at least an inch back from your hairline!

 Headbands Blair

3. Bright contrasting colours

Blair Waldorf takes colour blocking to a whole new level.

 Blair from Gossip Girl Style looks

SERENA VAN DER WOODSEN

1. Cleavage Power

 Serena's Cleavage

Serena van der Woodsen knows how to turn heads! Her cleavage can be a bit risqué, but it might be the number one reason why the show has a surprisingly large male fan base.

2. Effortless chic

 Serena van der Woodsen style

The Manhattan IT girl looks stunning even when it seems likeshe put onthe first thing she found on the floor when she rolled out of bed.

3. Maxi dresses

Maxi dresses can be either worn down for a walk in Central Park or worn up to a socialite event or wedding.

 Serena Maxi dress