There are great performances in The Place Beyond the Pines, but Ryan Gosling truly owns his. He is Luke, a motorcycle stunt rider turned bank robber to be able to provide for his infant son. He has that drive and self-unawareness required to completely immerse oneself into a character and be identified with it. And those clothes he wears (including ripped-in sleeveless t-shirts, leather trousers and a pair of skull printed pants), looking beautifully dated (the story is set in the 1990s) – they are part of what makes him so singular. He is a man out of a certain time and place, and of his own world, and he must stay that way. A startling presence. The beat-up, defiant red leather jacket reminds me of another hero outfitted in a red windbreaker. Both are iconic looks, but James Dean’s was meant to become the voice of a generation and to be copied for decades to come, while Luke’s is meant only to be noticed and remembered. It expresses well the uniqueness of the character.
Derek Cianfrance’s film is about manhood, fatherhood, class and fate, an epic with interesting narrative and daring plot turns. Music, direction, camera work, editing, they are a whole, and a very good one at that. I knew nothing about the subject before watching the film, and I am glad I didn’t. That tracking shot that opens the movie was enough to grab my attention and it felt rewarding that the film lived up to the high expectations a great beginning makes you hope for – only it’s better than that, because it takes you by surprise, and not many movies, even good ones, are capable of that.
The beginning of a new school year. It’s funny, I am a summer girl, but as much as I dislike letting my favourite season go, I always feel an eager anticipation for September. The new year should start in September. It makes perfect sense. After the carefree, sometimes even aimless days of summer, everything starts afresh and picks up speed in autumn. It’s when I truly feel that it’s time to turn a new leaf.
I love fall for so many reasons: the brisk mornings, the clear mountain days blue skies, the road trips. For that back to school feeling that still persists years after my school days. And for the fashion, too. So, come September, I look forward to the revival of the preppy look. The collegiate style that continues to exert great influence on what men wear, which, in turn, us women love to draw inspiration from. A crisp white button-down shirt and a corduroy skirt are indicative of the style, in a very low-key manner. A restrained elegance that doesn’t lack comfort either, in the true Ivy spirit. I would add a borrowed-from-the-boys watch for greater contrast and a rugged feel that seems eternally fresh.
photos: 1-9to5Chic / 2-by me
I have always found it intriguing how many of the fashion designers who have shaped the times we live in, when it comes to their own personal style, are committed either to an all-black look or to some sort of a uniform. Some say it’s because they don’t want their own clothes to distract them from their creative work, so they keep their outfits as incospicuous as possible. Others simply stick to what suits them best. Mr. Giorgio Armani is well known for his signature, constant, extreme minimalism: most often, a midnight-blue T-shirt, navy trousers and white sneakers. But it is the simple t-shirt, whether white, black or that favourite midnight-blue, that’s been forever part of his life and his wardrobe. And this doesn’t stop him from being one of the most stylish men today. And maybe that’s part of what makes his work life so consistent and efficient.
“Confidence and a sense of humour make a man sexy.” “I feel at ease in a true work uniform: silk T-shirt, cashmere sweater, comfortable drawstring pants—always navy blue. And white sneakers. There are a lot of these pieces in my wardrobe; just like a deconstructed jacket, they’re fundamental.” Giorgio Armani
photos: 1,4: Armani.com / 2-Corriere della sera / 3-Los Angeles Confidential
“I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve. Jesus, does anyone?”
Boys stories resonate with me so much more than girls stories. As a child, I used to think that boys had so much more fun than girls, and that they had so many more interesting things to talk about (honestly, I still do). I myself was a bit of a tomboy, would spend my holidays in the countryside, at the farm and in the surroundings, sometimes partaking in wonderful adventures, other times just imagining them, fueled by the books I was reading. So there are plenty of reasons why I would relate to the story in Stand By Me, especially that I like the coming of age genre, and especially when it’s not aimed only at children, but at adults, too, bringing back the exuberance of those years, but also stating some truths that you might find hard to believe so early in your life that would hold firm long after you’ve passed teenagehood. But it’s not until that very last line that I truly feel connected to it all. The most bittersweet truths of all.
Okay now, there is one more reason to like the movie: River Phoenix stars in it, an actor I would have loved to see evolve and mark the films of our times as he did in those few he got to make. At 15, he was a revelation in his role as Chris Chambers. And I have just realised that it was in terms of style, too, that he was already making a powerful statement. Blue jeans, white t-shirt and Converse. The blue jeans and t-shirt may have been a wardrobe staple in the 1950′s (when the plot is placed), when dressing down became the new revolution thanks to the likes of James Dean, and the entire look can also be viewed as announcing River’s future as style role model, but it has one other great merit: it’s the childhood uniform for many, chosen solely on the account of its practicality. Another lesson to serve you a lifetime.
photo credit: Columbia Pictures