Thursday Style Icon: Midnight in Paris
'Paris is always most beautiful in the rain.' ~ Gil Pender, Midnight in Paris
Years ago, I went to Paris. I had just turned 17 (which would make it six years ago!), and I had the opportunity to go on a three-week school trip to Europe with a group of friends and adult chaperones. I wanted to go because I had always wanted to visit Prague, one of the many cities we saw while country-hopping, but the first leg of the trip actually started in Paris. And so, after a year of fundraising and an eight hour flight, I found myself in the City of Lights in the middle of February. It was cold. It was rainy. It was magical. The city was empty of tourists, leaving us to wander the streets as we pleased. I saw Versailles, the Eiffel Tower, the Mona Lisa. I had my first taste of Nutella, spread on a waffle and bought as a snack from a street vendor. And so many other wonderful things... it was a life-changing experience.
Much like the city I visited, Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris is dazzling, charming, lovely, and whip-smart. It is an obvious love letter to France and, especially, Paris, one that is filmed beautifully yet still manages to be tinged with Allen's own personal brand of jaded cynicism. (His movies do nothing if they don't make you think; this one proves that, after a string of flops, there is a method to his madness yet.) With a star-studded cast including Owen Wilson, Rachel MacAdams, Marion Cotillard (whom I also featured for Inception), Kathy Bates, Adrian Brody, and a surprising turn by French First Lady Carla Bruni, the film has a fun and whimsical plotline that I won't give away here. It isn't the meatiest movie and will surely be overlooked at the Oscars because no one dies and/or beats a terminal illness/debilitating condition, but the casting was wonderful and the acting was superb. But none of that is the reason why it's featured as today's Thursday Style Icon; it's being featured for the fantastic costumes!
Hollywood has really been upping the ante lately in terms of standout wardrobe design... I've labelled at least three movies 'iconic' this year alone. Not much can be said here without giving it all away, so let's just say that the design aesthetic used is the perfect combination of modern nostalgia and Old World charm. And isn't that what Paris is all about?