Thursday, June 3, 2010

the kindness of strangers.

We've just finished reading A Streetcar Named Desire in my English class...I loved it, but that's no surprise - I absolutely adore Tennessee Williams. We're now in the midst of watching the 1951 film version, which I'd never seen until this week. It's incredible. Between marveling at the beautiful cinematography and the amazing performances, I've been developing a gigantic crush on Vivian Leigh's Blanche DuBois wardrobe. It's a little Charles Anastase meets Lover meets Peter Jensen...and I want it all. Everything she wears is sheer and diaphanous and ultra-feminine - Lucinda Ballard, the costume designer, must have had a fabulous time dreaming up these ensembles. Blanche's clothes exude romance, grace, charm, and beauty without reverting to the stereotypical Gone-With-The-Wind-esque "Southern Belle" silhouette. I think my favorite piece is her sheer, ruffled bed jacket, or her tattered "moonlight swim" ballgown. I only wish I could see these clothes in color!

Reading this play also gave me an idea for a little boutique clothing store - it would be called Belle Reve, and draw inspiration from the life Blanche and Stella lead before their family died and their money was lost. The decor would be dreamy and soft - all roses and creams and pale golds, with lots of chiffon and silk draping and tall lacquered mirrors. The clothes would all be modern pieces for a genteel, intellectual, upper-class Southern belle - lots of delicate dresses, floaty separates, and a really well-edited collection of shoes. On a peeling white sideboard, there would be an old typewriter missing a couple of keys with a half-finished fairy tale poking out the top. Quotes - mostly from Blanche - would be tastefully calligraphied on the walls. There would be a sitting area comprised of faded dusky pink velveteen settees and creaky wicker chairs where shoppers could drink sweet tea and powder their noses. It would smell like warm flowers.
Any millionaires out there care to subsidize my fantasies?

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