Lightness of Being

Saoirse Ronan by Paolo Roversi for T Magazine-2

 
The vivid blue of the eyes, the Céline green coat that only intensifies their striking colour, her restrained poise and elegance as if hailing from a different time, I think you can understand why my plans for a different subject for today went out the window when I saw this visual story for T Magazine. Saoirse Ronan already has an Oscar nomination (for Atonement, she was only 13) and she stars in Wes Anderson’s new film, The Grand Budapest Hotel, which I am anxious to see. Her co-star in the latter movie, Ralph Fiennes, says she’s completely natural. Natural is the word that comes to my mind when I look at these photos, too. It’s that ethereal and innocent naturalness that we find in Paolo Roversi’s portraits, but I think it has as much to do with Saoirse’s innate quality as it does with the photographer’s talent.
 

Saoirse Ronan by Paolo Roversi for T MagazineSaoirse Ronan by Paolo Roversi for T Magazine-1

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photos: Paolo Roversi for T Magazine, The Luxury Issue | styled By Jonathan Kaye

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Weekend Notes

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My weekend in two words: low-key. After a period of back to back trips, I was looking forward to a quiet weekend at home, spent finishing reading a couple of long due books, catching up with my magazine reading, taking long walks by the lake and simply enjoying the little things. I hope you have a beautiful Sunday!

 
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photos: by me / for Classiq

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My Man Godfrey

My Man Godfrey

 
This weekend I thought I’d write the film feature myself. And I’ve chosen My Man Godfrey (1936), one of the treasures of 1930s screwball comedy. Godfrey (William Powell) is a homeless man living at the city dump, where Irene (Carole Lombard) discovers him and brings him to a charity ball to win a scavenger hunt, then hires him as a butler for her rich family. William Powell is superb in his role, Lombard is lovely and shows a naturalistic comic talent in her effervescent portrayal of the moody rich girl who must always have what she wants and who falls for Godfrey (so does the maid, and, secretly, Cornelia, Irene’s sister, too). The two have the supporting cast to provide them with counterpoint too: Eugene Pallette (the father), Alice Brady (the mother) and Gail Patrick (the sister). The Bullocks all turn out to be a bunch of mad-caps, selfish people who can’t see behind appearances and their spoiled lifestyle, whereas Godfrey discovers there is something to learn even from their shallowness, making a statement on morality and class, a resonating subject during the Depression era, the time when the screwball comedy was born.

I loved the sharply defined characters, the moments of genius in the dialogue, the implausible ending that’s only possible in a screwball comedy, but that has a much deeper meaning if you look closely. They don’t make films like they used to, they don’t make actors like they used too, and people certainly don’t dream like they used to.

photo: still from the film | credit: Universal Pictures

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Chic Files: Helen of The Style Schedule

Helen is a designer, she has her own fashion brand, Maralena, and she is the blogger behind The Style Schedule, a blog filled with style inspiration for home, fashion and living. Helen has an eye for style and the fashion knowledge to back it up; she also loves classic films, which I know for sure would be the starting point for a long and interesting conversation…one day. And, she lives in Melbourne, which makes it really hard for me, an avid tennis lover, not to envy her when the Australian Open, which has lately become my favourite tennis tournament, is on. Welcome, Helen!

 
Classiq-Chic Files-Helen of The Style ScheduleScanlan&Theodore Ruffle detailTop, VanessaBruno Cropped Pants, Prada Sandals

Left: Scanlan & Theodore navy blazer, Sass & Bide silk top, Country Road jeans, Zara pumps, Hermès watch | Right: Scanlan & Theodore ruffle detail top, Vanessa Bruno cropped pants, Prada sandals
 

 
How would you describe your style?
This has got to be the most difficult question to answer! But having to look at my wardrobe for this exercise, I notice that I favour a classic urban style for day, and quite a chic, artisanal element for my evening looks. It’s really understated and quite discreet; I don’t like massive labels or heavy hardware. As I am petite, I need to keep the focus on a neat & clean silhouette, quite classic really, and add interesting details in textures, or beading, or embroidery (that’s where the artisanal quality comes in). I like pieces that are easy to wear, easy to look after and easy to transition for several events. Being a designer, I do love something that has an old world quality about it, something that harks back to another era without being to vintage-y. It could be the trim on a hem, or the cut of a sleeve, or the drape of a dress.

I think a slick, no fuss silhouette lends itself to being in control and pulled together in some respect and I like that. So I can’t do boho rock chick… well, I’m not 20 anymore! But I would introduce some studs on a classic pointy toed shoe or a leather cuff and pair it with a simple neutral outfit to do Punk Revisited! I subscribe to the ‘KISS’ acronym… ‘Keep It Simple Stupid!’. I love to pour of fashion magazines (yep ,the printed versions) and see what’s trending, but I definitely have to put it all through a sieve and sort through what’s going to be realistic for me rather than imagine my life as a front row attendee or an international fashionista. I try to keep it real.

Who are your style models?
Aha…too many to mention, but Emmanuelle Alt, Audrey Hepburn, Audrey Tautou, Marion Cotillard, Sofia Coppola, Phoebe Philo, Giovanna Battaglia, Isabella Rossellini; do you see the trend – brunettes, discreet, understated, European, cool, elegant, chic and, I just noticed, not too much makeup on these ladies.

Your signature day outfit:
A soft navy blazer from Scanlan & Theodore which I love, gets an outing weekly, and when it’s cooler then it’s the Zara wool navy blazer; blue or black jeans (Country Road); a neutral t-shirt (Kain, Sass & Bide or Trenery) and leopard print pointy toed flats (Country Road) or black suede booties (also Country Road). In summer it will be coloured sandals or Birkenstocks, striped tees and cropped pants and when it gets really steamy and hot (over 35 degrees), it’ll be a linen dress with Havaianas, hair pulled back in a tight bun and eyeliner – you don’t know summer until you’ve been to Melbourne in February!

Your signature evening outfit:
A nice pant or pencil skirt, a detailed shell top, and heels. Topped off with an interesting shawl, cape or jacket. I favour a bit of flick of eyeliner (navy, purple or black) and a pinky/beigey lip. At special occasions I like a black dress with a little jacket or a pencil skirt and shell top. I might even splash out and add earrings – that’s just a sparkly stud or something.

 

Classiq-Chic Files-Helen of The Style Schedule
Left: Maralena ruffle detail shell, Maralena skirt with leaf detail, Midas Silver Tango shoes | Middle: Scanlan & Theodore printed silk jacket and drape detail dress, Zara pumps | Right: Agnès B. trench, Maje dress, Escada loafers

 

Is there an item you don’t leave the house without?
My beautiful watch that I received as a birthday present and sunglasses. Oh, and my toner face mist!

Your most cherished wardrobe item:
I think they’re all cherished! … A Dolce & Gabbana silk chiffon top that I got in Milan years ago and my plum coloured Givenchy heels that I found on super sale. A beautiful felt wool cape and a lovely silk crepe black pleated dress from Aussie label Scanlan & Theodore which were purchased a few years ago, but they still get outings on special occasions. A printed Maje dress that’s great for summer and my Agnès B. trench that I’ve had for years – definitely a wonderful investment! And many of my own label (Maralena) pieces that I’ve worn to special occasions – nothing like wearing something made for you. Of course, these special items don’t get worn daily, or weekly … but they are classic and timeless and they will be able to be worn for years to come. Except for my watch – that I wear every day.

Five pieces a woman should have in her closet:
Only 5!… A great fitting pair of jeans (just keep trying different styles on until you find the ones that make your legs longer, slimmer, fitter looking) / A blazer (black, navy, charcoal) / A classic little black dress (doesn’t have to be plain, can play with texture and details) / Beautiful leather accessories like a classic bag or supple leather gloves/ and a tailored pant suit (charcoal, black, or navy) – it will always come in handy, either separately or as a suit. I’m going to add a classic t-shirt here too… plain/printed/striped… such a universal, democratic wardrobe item that can be dressed up or down.

Which is the most underrated piece in a woman’s wardrobe that should deserve more attention?
Definitely the right lingerie. Pay attention to the bra straps, ladies!

 
Dolce&Gabbana Silk TopScanlan&Theodore FeltCape

Left: Dolce & Gabbana silk top | Right: Scanlan & Theodore felt cap

 

Flats or heels?
Flats for summer and heels for winter.

Shoes or bags?
Shoes… no, bags… no, shoes!

The 20s, the 30s or…what is your favourite fashion decade? Why?
If I totally had to edit it all… it’s late 50’s to mid 60’s – a neat hip length jacket over a trim pencil skirt to the knee and stilettos or kitten heels and a flick of eyeliner. I’m sure that my subconscious has been invaded by really slick b&w images from classic cinema that I grew up with (Jeanne Moreau, Anouk Aimee, Monica Vitti, Anna Magnani, Sophia Loren).

Neutrals, pop of colour or colour blocking?
I thought I had more colour, but looking into my wardrobe for this exercise I find that mostly it’s neutrals (navy, charcoal, black, white, and the addition of khaki or blues).

Mini, midi, maxi or knee-length?
Knee (just below) to midi.

Audrey or Marilyn?
Both so beautiful, but I’d have to say, I love the poise and grace that Audrey always seemed to convey.

The little black dress or something else?
I oscillate between LBD and pant suit. Case in point, I have 2 little black dresses and 2 pant suits.

Paris or Milan?
Paris.. Bien sûr! I can imagine myself back within the scenes of ‘Paris Blues’ starring Paul Newman, Sidney Poitier and Joanne Woodward. That would be perfect.

A beauty trick you’d like to share:
Drink more water, get more sleep, your skin will love it, especially as you get older! I carry around Lucas’ Paw Paw cream in my bag and it’s perfect for a slick of gloss on your lips or taming those stray eyebrows from time to time and it works wonders on little cuts and bruises. I put my moisturisers in the fridge when it’s high summer and then, when I apply to my face, it’s lovely and refreshing.

What’s your frangrance?
Chanel No. 19. I keep all the old bottles and store them in my drawers and sometimes I can get a small whiff of the scent.

Favourite designer:
Not just one… Christian Dior, Cristóbal Balenciaga, Yves St Laurent (note, the originals!). Dries Van Noten, Miuccia Prada, Alber Elbaz, Giambattista Valli, Alberta Ferretti, Tom Ford and Australian labels Scanlan & Theodore, Sass & Bide. And for everyday wear, Country Road which is equivalent to a High Street brand – easily accessible, great styling options and very easy online shopping.

Is there a style rule you like to break?
I actually love how Isabel Marant wears her grey hair with pride… and she’s the figurehead for such a cool label – now there is a style rule that I’d like reconstructed – how to wear your grey hair with coolitude! My friends and I always say there should be more women looking cool with natural silvery hair. I love navy and black together; I was told years ago
that it was a no-no, but I ignored it.

A piece you would like to add to your wardrobe this fall (spring in your case).
Now you’re talking a wishlist! An Alexander Wang bag; anything from Scanlan & Theodore; a lovely soft as air printed t-shirt from Sass & Bide or a special trimmed blazer. I just got a pair of pointy toe leopard flats from Country Road, so they are currently on rotation. Can’t go wrong with more jeans.

A style quote you live by or your own piece of advice on style.
“Style is a simple way of saying complicated things.” – Jean Cocteau. And I totally subscribe to the Quality over Quantity aesthetic. I believe that you should look after your clothes and they will look after you; I think that’s because when I make clothes for someone I have to know that they will look after them when they leave my workroom. I’m very attached to something I’ve handmade.

Thank you, Helen, for stopping by. It was lovely having you over.

Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend!

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The World of Chloé

Chloe.Attitudes book

Simplicity, pared-down femininity and free-spirited attitude. That’s how I would describes Chloé. And that’s exactly what I like about Chloé. It was Gaby Aghion who, in 1952, invented the revolutionary idea of luxury prêt-à-porter and founded the maison, the first high-end Paris fashion house to sell exclusively ready-to-wear clothing – this alone would be enough reason for me to look closely. The book Chloé: Attitudes is out and, from what I’ve seen, it’s a good reference point for the world of Chloé, and a beautiful one too to keep on your coffee table.

 
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I like practical clothes, and I like that Chloé clothes are functional, but undeniably feminine. Although I’ve always loved a feminine-masculine aesthetic, what I admire about this brand is that ease you seldom meet in women’s wear, while all the elements whisper with elegance and stay feminine. I think I would consider wearing frills only on a Chloé dress or skirt. And yes, I often have the impression that, under the name of Chloé, pants, bermudas and shorts disregard their origins and look like they were made for women from the very beginning. Because the Chloé women is modern, independent, self-confident, energetic, but she never forgets she’s a woman, she’s not afraid to show her soft and delicate side, that’s what makes her so unique.

 
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Chloe Resort 2013

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One element that has always helped shape the brand’s playful essence and effortless sense of elegance were the advertising campaigns. That’s why the outdoors are a consistent leitmotif in their campaigns. “The Chloé girl is about a lightness of spirit and easy cool. She’s not precious or contrived. So nature and the outdoors are a fitting context for the Chloé girl. It reinforces that ease and authenticity.” (Fabien Baron of Baron & Baron, Chloé’s creative agency)

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Apart from the clothes, the accessories are what further enhance the brand’s appeal. The finest leather and hardware, exquisite craftsmanship, and effortless and chic in style. If not already a classic, they feel like future classics. There is the jewellery too, something I rarely wear, but every season I find myself coveting a piece by Chloé. Never showy, statement pieces that are new and interesting, yet you know you’ll have them forever, because they can’t date. That’s the secret of Chloé’s style: its newness and youthfulness feel, are timeless.

 
Chloe Spring 2014

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“Light sets the mood for the Chloé world – but not just any light. Think of a ray of sunlight coming through the blinds on a summer’s day, Mediterranean light bouncing off the sea. It’s the kind of light that naturally shined for Chloé founder, Egyptian-born Gaby Aghion.

Caressed with the warmth of natural light, the Chloé woman feels free – happy, smiling, youthful. This is reflected in the light, sandy shades used in Chloé collections and the light touch that Chloé takes to fashion.” (Chloe.com)
 


 

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photos: 1,5,9: Garance Doré / 2-4: Chloé Fall 2010, via Vogue.com / 6-8: Chloé Resort 2013 collection, via Vogue.com / 10: Chloé Spring 2014, via Vogue.com / 11,12: Chloé Fall 2013, via Vogue.com

Posted by classiq in Fashion | | 6 Comments