Happy Birthday James Dean

tumblr_nbuj61SjqY1rerml7o1_128084 years ago today James Dean was born. He would go on to be one of the most successful actors in Hollywood and yet he only made three films in under two years. All though his career was short lived due to his untimely death at the age of 24 he became a star that the young people of the 50’s could relate to. The film Rebel Without a Cause still strikes a chord with the youth of today. Dean’s style would become iconic and his short life would be looked at time and time again in relation to his sexual orientation and his memorable style. He is truly a legend in his own rights, achieving in five years what many actors didn’t in their entire careers. He earned the respect of his fellow actors and crews and of his fans both young and old.

The 50’s really was the best time for Dean to be an actor on the big screen. His three staring films are practically classics and I hope that everyone has watched at least one.

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3786205157_591149762b_o1East of Eden was the first he got main billing for in 1955. Aged 24 he starred in this take of John Steinbeck’s book of the same name. As a young guy himself he really showed his maturity in this film as it is loosely based on the Biblical story of Cain and Abel. We see Dean go through love and hate towards his father and brother. He tries his hardest to gain his fathers approval and it is so very convincing that when, at the end, he achieves the approval and love he craves you can’t help but smile. Many reviewers said this was Dean’s best ever performance and the Academy Awards saw fit to award him an Oscar for his acting role in 1956. He was the first person to receive a posthumous nomination.

Soon after in 1955 he’d star in another film where he’d be vying after the affections andMV5BMTg2ODcxOTU1OV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNzA3ODI1MDE@._V1_SX640_SY720_ attentions of a father figure. Rebel Without a Cause will be his most recognisable film where he played teenager Jim Stark opposite teenage stars Natalie Wood and Sal Mineo. The film is a masterpiece and sees Dean portray eerily perfectly the raw feelings felt by the middle class youth. He has such an expressive face and way of acting that works perfectly in all the high emotion scenes. His red jacket and quiff became staple requirements for many men of the 50’s. The story works well for Dean because of his age and he works wonderfully onscreen with Wood and Mineo making this a performance that will never be forgotten. Unfortunately Dean never saw the completed film, Warner Brothers released it less than a month after he’d died.

 

tumblr_n2uhd90gcu1s0lxi0o1_500His last film was released in 1956 and took a completely different road to his previous two films. Giant saw him play a stable hand who strikes it rich with oil, not the young person he feared he’d be typecast as. In Giant you see Dean’s dedication to the film and the art of acting by actually dying his hair grey to portray the ageing of his character. He stars opposite stars like Elizabeth Taylor and Rock Hudson in the film and he bounces off them perfectly. Giant itself was released around a year after his death and someone had to dub some of his lines in production because of his sudden death. Again he received a posthumous Academy Award and if you watch the film you’ll agree it was well deserved.

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Even though James Dean only starred in three films he made three films that can be watched by anyone. His talent was a massive part of his short success and so was his iconic image. He will be remembered for a very long time and hopefully his films will be remembered as well as his fast life and tragic death have been.

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Why 2015 will be a spectacular year

2015 is here guys! We’re all probably looking for holidays, short breaks and just nice things to do for the rest of the year to keep us smiling. This year has some great things in store for us Old Hollywood lovers. There’s also some marvellous stuff in store for all film, fashion and art lovers.

To give you a taste we’re going to run down what we’re looking forward to in 2015… Obviously not everything is here yet, some exciting things will pop up later this year.

Film/ Stage

I’m looking forward to Into The Woods. A mash up of fairytales, songs and an all star cast featuring Meryl Streep, Anna Kendrick, Johnny Depp and James Corden the film is sure to be a hit. Anna Kendrick also returns in Pitch Perfect 2 later in the year.

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Katharine Hepburn at BFI Southbank are holding a month katharine-hepburn-portrait-001-00n-7xkof this brilliantly talented woman’s work. I was very excited when I found out about this! Films range from The Philadelphia Story and Adam’s Rib to A Woman Rebels and Stage Door with everything in-between. For the full list visit BFI You can also buy tickets here if you really, really need to. I might even see some of you there.

February also brings the Fifty Shades of Grey film which I hear millions of women are super excited for. Based on the book of the same name it features the very wonderful looking Jamie Dornan. With an 18 rating it’s definitely for the adult audiences. Prepare for sexiness, stalking, no romance, kinky fuckery and a very controlling rich man. It’s due out in the UK on 13th February with tickets available now from most cinemas.

Fifty Shades See you now

2015 sees a brilliant treat from director Maria Friedman who is bringing High Society to the London stage. Old Vic is going to be holding this swellegant, elegant party which will be kicking off on 30th April. As of yet no cast as been confirmed, can’t be long to wait though! Tickets are available here

Two films I probably don’t need to mention, but I’ll refresh your memories, are The Avengers: Age of Ultron and Ant-Man. Both look like sure hits this year.

Big Hero 6 is worth a mention for an animated film…

Exhibitions

V&A host a stunning looking exhibition of the late, great Alexander McQueen’s work and creative brilliance. Savage Beauty runs from 14th March to 19th July and will be well worth a visit as it’s the largest collection looking back at McQueen’s work in Europe.

Fans of Audrey Hepburn will be flocking to National Portrait Gallery this summer to see their Portrait of an Icon exhibition. NPG have a range of photographic portraits spanning Hepburn’s life. These include fashion, film and philanthropic based photos from a range of photographers.

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TV

There’s probably to much happening with TV shows to mention here but here’s a few that caught my eye and/or I enjoy watching.

Supernatural is celebrating it’s 10th birthday this year. It doesn’t feel like two minutes since we met demon hunter brothers Sam and Dean Winchester. Here’s to many more years on TV hunting demons, saving us from apocalypses, getting trapped in hell and singing and dancing for us.

 

Police show Blue Bloods reached it’s 100th show on 9th January. No small feat with the way shows get cut and cancelled these days. My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic also celebrates it’s 100th episode later this year when season 5 airs.

37871045I’m excited to see Rizzoli & Isles return for Season 6 and Bitten for Season 2. Both are shows based on books so it’ll be interesting to see which direction they go in. A lot has happened in both series that’s nowhere close to the book so we can’t guess what’s going to happen next.

2015 seems to be Marvel’s year. New comics, Age of Ultron film and the premiere of the tv series Agent Carter. This started in US last week and I’m quite impressed with it. I’m so glad Hayley Atwell as stayed on as Agent Peggy Carter and remains kick ass and a true role model to women.

As shows begin others unfortunately end. This year sees Lost Girl end on season 5. I’ll be sad to see this sexy succubus go but I’m glad we get a proper ending especially after the ending we got on season 4. Bo, Kenzie, Lauren and Dyson we’ll miss you guys!

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We’ll keep you updated throughout the year on these and many more happenings in the world of movies, tv and exhibitions. Until then enjoy the vast array of spectacular big and indie films out this year and keep your eyes peeled for other great ways to pass the hours.

Well Did You Evah’s Tribute to Lauren Bacall

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I was hoping I wouldn’t have to write one of these for at least another few years but alas Betty Bacall suddenly died of a massive stroke on Tuesday 12th August. We were trying to think of a fitting tribute to the talent, the beauty and the stylishness that was Lauren Bacall and all we could come up with to properly show our love for her was photos and videos.

tumblr_na9bfbgXGY1qabj53o1_1280Bacall was a true legend and not just because of her husband Humphrey Bogart. Her tilted head with smouldering eyes, her sexy husky voice and her beautiful make-up, dress sense and coiffed hair made her a star in her own rights and a role model for up and coming actresses.

Every film she starred in throughout her career shows her elegance and dedication to the role she played. We’ll show you a couple of our favourites.

Bacall’s first film was To Have And Have Not (1944) She was still known as Betty Bacall back then. It would also be her first role opposite Bogart and the film that would change her life. Here we have the famous whistle scene.

 

Here we have one of my favourite Lauren Bacall films; How To Marry A Millionaire (1953) Bacall stars with Marilyn Monroe and Betty Grable as three women on the lookout for rich husbands.

We do also love an animated film she voiced. She voiced the Witch of the Waste in the English Version of Howl’s Moving Castle (2004). If you have the time go watch all Bacall’s films. She has the power to change in all her performances and yet still leave you wanting more.

Now I leave you with a trip down memory lane. Enjoy the photos of Lauren Bacall, the actress, the style icon, the old Hollywood legend.

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Vivien Leigh; Classical Beauty and Style Icon

When we talk about fashion icons from the bygone era we automatically think of Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor. Vivien Leigh doesn’t seem to appear in the category. She doesn’t seem to appear in many categories applied to … Continue reading

Alexander McQueen

Alexander McQueen- Born 17th March 1969= reason for this post he would have been turning 44 today.

Was an internationally famous British fashion designer, for those who haven’t heard of him or seen his work (WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN??) McQueen didn’t hold back on ideas. He tried to push limits of what people expected, one reason I love this designer, anyone who works to changing what people think, I think they deserve a hug. I guess he got one better, or a few better with all the awards he has won… His work still lives on today, his company still keeps designing work under his name keeping to McQueen’s individual tastes and standing out in the fashion world, continuing to make it gasp in awe and stretch peoples imaginations and understanding of alternative forms of fashion.

His designs and ideas he involved in every show showed his unique state of mind and his enthusiasm for his work. Below is a collection of just some of his works

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In his early collections he earned the title, “The Hooligan of English Fashion,” For his controversy, he’s the reason, “Bumster,” (Low Rise) jeans were revived and came back in- So, be thankful or else you may have found it harder to get hipster jeans today! Last time low rise jeans were in fashion was in the 1960- 1970’s so there could have been a chance you would be looking for flared jeans as well. “Bumster,” jeans came back into fashion in the 2000’s thankfully,

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAthat’s the only piece of fashion that was revived, to a popular state, from the 70’s. I’m not sure if the RSPCA could cope if those platforms which have a real goldfish in them came back in. Not sure if the goldfish species could cope either…

Also, that scarf possibly half you girls… possibly a few of you boys… have in your closet with the skulls on? (I’ll admit I have one) That was down to McQueen too. Who made the scarf a must have.

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McQueen worked at Givenchy (please let you have heard of that famous designer fashion brand, if not Google it, Or even I’ll help with that- http://www.givenchy.com). He worked there as chief designer (4 years after graduating design school, ah back in a time when a university graduate could get a good job). McQueen, managed to keep his rebellious designs even though he felt like working at Givenchy restrained him. He still managed to add a bit of his own style into the French brand, including double amputee model Aimee Mullins in a 1998 catwalk fashion show where she wore wooden carved legs.

< You can see the amount of work that had to go into the carvings of these legs. For those who haven’t tried wood carving, unless you have had a lot of practice is hard. I can only imagine how long the carving into the detail and shape of these legs took.

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Alexander McQueen while working at Givenchy also took responsibility for coming up with the idea of shooting model Shalom Harlow with a paint gun, as she stood on a rotating platform in a white dress. Again this seems like (in my opinion) cool idea but the results were also amazing. I think that idea could create it’s own fashion line (or revive it) by it’s self.

McQueen should be idolised, sure we don’t have many openly gay fashion designers in this world. But McQueen didn’t let anything hold him back. Most people would possibly pull faces at the idea of a fashion line created in an university degree based on Jack the Ripper, but this work practically started his career. His uniqueness and amazing work got him noticed by Isabella Blow (an english magazine editor) who bought the entire Jack the Ripper collection. It’s not just his beyond amazing work he should be noted for. His background is also something that should inspire others. McQueen came from a working class family and wasn’t shy about it, he didn’t give in to the high expectations of being famous by looking, “Perfect,” All the time. Plus he also held the label of, “High School Drop out,” But as well in Britain there is low expectations for working class families but McQueen died 2011 with achieving an international famous status and also winning multiple awards such as winning the British Fashion Councils British Fashion Designer Award 4 times! And was honoured by the Queen and gained a CBE.

Happy Birthday Alexander McQueen! Your legacy lives on!

Spring 2013 collection is available to view on http://www.alexandermcqueen.com now.