Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Time to get Downton

We can all sigh a huge sigh of relief. After months and months of waiting Downton Abbey has returned. Finally we all have something to do on Sunday evenings! And good riddance, because I was beginning to resort to other things like sleep or, even worse, social interactions. Well anyways, our favorite english aristocrats have now moved into the 1920's, a fun time full of electricity, short hem lines, and equality (well, at least they're trying...). As the times have changed, so have our characters. 

Lady Mary
"Haven't you heard? I don't have a heart. Everyone knows that." 
Mary in her wedding dress

 Beautiful, strong willed, selfish, arrogant, and cold, but completely loveable. After what seemed like ages of having suitors, falling in love, losing love, losing all prospects of a future, and then falling in love again, Mary finally married Matthew Crawley (heir of Downton Abbey and her 4th cousin…awk sauce). Matthew seemed to have a magic power over Mary and made her soften and become a decent human being. However, sadly and to much to our surprise, Matthew died in a fatal car crash at the end of the last season, leaving Mary with her new born son George. With Matthew gone, will Mary ever be love-able again?

Lady Edith
 Lord Grantham "Poor old Edith; we never seem to talk about her."
Lady Grantham "I'm afraid Edith will be the one to care for us in our old age."
Lord Grantham "What a ghastly prospect."
Edith going to meet Michael, her lover, at a restaurant. Gasp! THE SCANDAL!
The “forgotten” one, aka the middle child. However, she doesn’t let that deter her (although it does make her rather annoying sometimes…). She is the first of the family to learn how to drive, she works on a farm, and writes for a newspaper. Writing about the issues which modern women are faced, Edith is the epitome of the modern woman seeking a new life in the 20s.

(the late) Lady Sybil 
"I don't know why we bother with corsets. Men don't wear them, and they look perfectly normal in their clothes."
Lady Sybil in her new pant suit thing. Quite scandalous.
 Rebellious, politically conscious, and head strong. She has many ideas that contradict those of her conservative, aristocratic family, such as wanting to be a nurse, or marrying the chauffeur—but they love her nevertheless. When having to choose her life of privilege and true love, she of course chose true love. Sadly, she died in childbirth, but her presence is always felt with her baby girl Sybbie and devilishly handsome Irish husband Tom.

Anna Bates
“ I love you, Mr. Bates. I know it's not ladylike to say it, but I'm not a lady, and I don't pretend to be. “
Anna going to see Mr. Bates in prison
One of the highest-ranking of the female servants in Downton, she is sensible and kind and extremely respected by the family. Anna is popular both downstairs and upstairs, and probably on the stairs, and she isn’t afraid of standing up to people like the awful O’Brien. She is quite beautiful too and is married to John Bates (Robert Crawley’s disabled valet). If I were a servant, I would want to be Anna, or at least Anna’s friend.

Violet, the Dowager Countess of Grantham
Violet: "I'm so looking forward to seeing your mother again. When I'm with her, I'm reminded of the virtues of the English."
Matthew: "But isn't she American?"
Violet: "Exactly."
(referring to Cora's mother)
Violet most likely saying something cynically witty
Cunning, cynical, sarcastic, competitive, and completely flawless. In my opinion, the perfect old woman. She always has an appropriate (or maybe not so appropriate) comment no matter the situation and is perfectly adept at getting into everybody’s business. As the show has progressed we see that she actually is quite sensitive and cares very deeply for her family. Plus she is played by Maggie Smith, thus making her perfect.

I had the intentions of making this post much longer (probably longer than any of you would actually read) and I wanted to talk about how much the fashion during the time of Downton abbey changed, however I just can't do that right now as I must go pack for my upcoming trip to New York. So i'll just have to teach you about the great changes in the fashion world during the first three decades of the 20th century later. 
I will leave you with this message from the Dowager:


Friday, January 3, 2014

Frozen in Nordic Dress

For those of you who have not yet seen Disney's Frozen, you are seriously missing out in life. Seriously, your life is significantly lacking in some amazingness. If you are like I was before I saw this fabulous movie, you probably haven't even heard of it, or if you have you think it has to do with a weird snowman and thats about it. Well it's not. Yes, there is a weird, funny snowman in it, but it is about so much more. It is about two sisters on a journey to find love and understanding while facing the obstacles of curses, potential throne-stealers, giant snow monsters, and of course, true love in the form of devilishly handsome nordic men. With characters named Hans, Kristoff, Olaf, Elsa, Anna, and the sort, coupled with fantastic music and a reindeer named Sven, oh and a bunch of little troll people, I really don't know why you wouldn't want to see this movie. That is unless, of course, you have no heart and hate all things joyous and wonderful. If that is the case I hope you have a nice life with the Grinch and Mr. Scrooge. However, if you are any kind of decent human being I strongly suggest that you pick up your bum and get to your nearest movie theatre this very moment and spend the exuberant amount that movie tickets are now a days, even if you have to skip a few meals for the next few days, to see Frozen. 

Now that I am done advertising for Disney (they should really pay me for this) I would like to talk about the costuming in the movie. I say costuming, but really it is the drawing of clothes on the computer animated characters. It is obvious, if not only from the characters' names and snowy, mountainous landscape, but also from the clothing that this movie has a largely scandinavian and nordic influence. 

Anna and Sven on their journey to the North Mountain 
 Kristoff's costume has the look of the traditional costume of the Saami people (the indigenous Finno-Ugric people inhabiting the Arctic area of Sápmi, which today encompasses parts of far northern NorwaySwedenFinland, the Kola Peninsula of Russia, and the border area between south and middle Sweden and Norway.--wikipediacalled the muadta or beaska seen here: 

Where as Anna's dress is clearly influenced by the traditional Norwegian costume called the "bunad":

If you feel inclined to dress like our friend Anna here, and sadly don't have a bunad handy, I have created an alternative option:
Sweater and shirt from Ralph Lauren, Skirt from Etsy, Boots from Anthropologie
Elsa on the other hand is more like some kind of snow fairy and has magic so is therefore exempt from having to follow the trends of the times and lands. Also she apparently doesn't get cold so wool and fur aren't necessary.
Elie Saab Spring 2012 Couture

If I haven't been able to convince you to see the movie yet, hopefully this video will, and hopefully the song gets stuck in your head forever and ever and ever, like it is in mine.

Dags att spela mina vänner och låt inte förfrysning bettet
(Now go have fun my friends and don't let the frostbite bite)