Three Coins in the Fountain (1954)

Maggie McNarmara, Dorothy McGuire, and Jean Peters star in this Academy Award nominated film about three American secretaries working abroad in Rome, Italy.

Charade (1963)

Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant star in this delightful romantic comedy involving spies and missing money. Set in Paris. Walter Matthau also makes an appearance as a CIA agent.

The Best of Everything (1959)

Original tagline: "These are the girls who want the best of everything...but often settle for a lot less!" Mid-century drama following the lives of three young career women living in New York City.

High Society (1956)

Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly and Frank Sinatra star in this delightful musical comedy remake of the beloved classic The Philadelphia Story (1940).

Far From Heaven (2002)

Set against a spectacular autumn palette, Juilanne Moore, Dennis Quaid, and Dennis Haysbert star in this compelling drama which grapples with issues of race and homosexuality in conservative 1950s Connecticut.

Death In Venice (1971)

An aging German music composer sojourns to Venice in hopes of improving his health and finds himself enraptured by the beauty of a young adolescent boy. A visually mesmerizing film.

Cracks (2009)

Based on the novel of the same name, Eva Green stars as a young, charismatic teacher at an all-girls English boarding school.

Mrs. Henderson Presents (2005)

Based on the true story of the Windmill Theatre in London, Judi Dench stars as a wealthy, eccentric widow who purchases a theatre and turns it into a somewhat Moulin Rouge-esque venue that featured nude performers.

Desk Set (1957)

The introduction of computer technology renders the reference jobs of three women potentially useless. Stars Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy.

Sylvia (2003)

A biopic of writer Sylvia Plath set in the 1950s starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Daniel Craig.

Howard's End (1992)

Emma Thompson, Anthony Hopkins and Helena Bonham Carter star in this E.M. Forster classic set in turn-of-the-century England.

December 16, 2010

Bungalow Restorations


I. I have just upgraded to a pro account on flickr, which means 1) you now have access to all the screencap archives  and 2) you are able to view and download those images in their largest size (just click on "view all sizes").

II. I also realize that my labels are pretty disorganized and I really do apologize for that. One of these days I'm going to have to go through each blog post and re-tag everything. The obvious classifications include time period, location, and starring actors but I would like to add appropriate design-related tags for frequently reoccurring motifs -- such as a specific costume item (i.e. fedoras, gowns, trench coats, etc) or a particular set piece or prop (i.e. vintage cars, victorian houses, cigarettes, etc.). I've already started doing the latter but the problem is that I haven't been consistent in tagging so a big re-do is definitely in order.

- - - - - -
New followers may not remember this but this little site started out as a production design blog focusing on sets and props in films before it evolved to include costumes and styling. It's been a while since I've posted anything related to interior design and I thought it would be nice to indulge a bit in that for today while I try to finish up an entry on a soon-to-be-revealed film starring Fred Astaire.

It was a great pleasure for me to open up my browser this morning and stumble across this link on Old House Journal (a magazine I subscribe to and love) featuring some adorable bungalow restorations, which I thought you might enjoy as well. Bungalows - especially those of the Craftsman variety - rank among my top five favorite architectural styles. It is also probably the most attainable out of all my outlandish home-owning dreams. What I love about well restored bungalows is that many of them contain toned-down versions of the same elements that you would find in grander homes, such as stained glass windows, wood paneling and wainscoting, hand-crafted staircases, historic fireplace mantels, and exquisite colonnades.

gorgeous columned trim molding separating the dining room from the living room

very nice wainscotting and a lovely custard-salmon color combination

love the detailing on the glass windowpanes

notice the stained glass panels in the wainscoting

you can never have enough wainscoting!

simply breathtaking ballisters

vintage stove

charming pale olive green cabinetry with bright, colorful dishes inside

dark honey cabinetry set against pale olive green panels adds to the coziness of this kitchen


November 16, 2010

Gilda (1946)

Now those of you who have been following this little blog know that I rarely post any screencaps from black & white films and I made that decision a long time ago because I thought the monochromaticism would render the details [in both the costumes and set pieces] difficult to see and thus, would not be very useful to you all. Well, I'm not sure why I stuck to the notion that b+w wouldn't interest my readers because there is TONS of great inspiration in these pictures so from now on, I will definitely start posting more from these kinds of films! And at the very least, perhaps just by looking at the images, those of you who have not seen the films might be encouraged to seek them out and if I can get only just a few more people interested in old classic b+w movies, then I can rest better at night knowing that I'm doing my part in bringing back these wonderful forgotten gems into the consciousness of the viewing public. :)

So let's start with Gilda (1946), a thrilling love story directed by Charles Vidor and starring the radiant Rita Hayworth and the legendary Glenn Ford. The story opens in Argentina and follows Johnny (Ford) as a down-and-out gambler who is saved from a gunman by feared casino boss Ballin (George Macready). Johnny owes Ballin for getting him back on his feet and shows his gratitude by eventually becoming Ballin's loyal right-hand man. All is well and good until Ballin comes back from a trip one day with a new wife - Gilda (Hayworth), who turns out was Johnny's ex-girlfriend. Hello, tension!

"Let me introduce you to my new wife, Gilda."

Oh crap.

Check out that night-gown.

Johnny and Gilda have what can be described as the classic "love-hate" relationship. We don't know much about their past together but we can tell that it was intense and passionate and most of all, troubled. Ballin entrusts Gilda into Johnny's care, which causes Johnny quite a bit of grief since he becomes torn between his respect and loyalty to Ballin and his undeniable residual attraction to Gilda. Meanwhile, Gilda tries to make Johnny's job miserable out of spite by gallivanting across town with a series of bachelors and singing/dancing at nightclubs. And the rest of the story involves a nice string of arguments, face-slapping, corrupt business dealings, and murder (but I won't tell you whose!)

Hmm, stockings. Always sexy.

The costume designer for this film was the Jean Louis whose creation of this famed black gown (below) propelled his career to skyrocketing new heights in the industry. He eventually also married Loretta Young.

This gown is one of the most well-known pieces in film history.

Lovely white coat. Women should "drape" coats on their shoulders more often, methinks. It just looks so chic.

Wearing your fur coat over just one shoulder was also popular.

Interesting how this style of strapless dress with the gathered bust remains a timeless classic even to this day. 

Fantastic glittering metallic sequined coat.

It would be too loud to wear a full-length version of this glittering coat nowadays but I see lots of women wear short or cropped sequined jackets.


This is an amazing grecian-inspired gown. It just so perfectly tailored to her body.


More sequins! I love the cut of this dress. In my mind, I imagined the body to be an ivory color and the trims, gold.


It was rumored that Rita Hayworth sang all the songs heard in the film but unfortunately that was later noted to be false. She was just great at lip-synching.



I love the matching belt and wristband. Sort of gladiator-esque.

I think the webbing detail is very interesting but I'm not a fan of the "two-tone busts."

Here again we see a similar gown with a two-toned bust. I think the two-tone bust idea is fine if the colors are carried out down the rest of the dress but otherwise it looks a bit awkward to me...


Pin-striped suit dress.

sheer white blouse

same sheer white blouse with a gigantic rhinestone belt

Anyway, Gilda is a great film that I think everyone should see. I hope you enjoyed these screencaps and let me know if you think including b+w films in this blog is a good idea!

Oh Rita, you are just perfection!

November 11, 2010

Cracks (2009)


I'm going to make a confession: I have a major girl crush on Eva Green. What is it about French women that makes you just stop in your tracks, turn your head and just stare? and Marion Cotillard! Mélanie Laurent! I am loving the current crop of French actresses gracing our screens these days! And to be honest, I would've never even heard of the movie Cracks had I not have been watching an interview with Eva Green describing her attempts to master an English accent for a new role set at a secluded all-girls boarding school in the 1930s. My interest immediately piqued: 1930s? boarding-school? What is this movie?! I MUST SEE IT.

The film Cracks was actually inspired by a book of the same name by Sheila Kohler. The original story was set in South Africa instead of England and correct me if I'm wrong ('cos I haven't read the book), not during the 1930s. I'm not sure why the filmmakers decided to totally change the setting and time period of the story - perhaps to make it more visually interesting? - but I'm really glad they did because the styling of this film was absolutely gorgeous!

September 12, 2010

Easy Virtue (2008)

The recent film Easy Virtue is an screen adaptation of Noel Coward's play by the same name. He wrote it in 1924 when he was only 25 years old! Alfred Hitchcock also made it into a silent film in 1928. This 2008 version, 80 years later, stars Jessica Biel, Colin Firth, Kirstin Scott Thomas and fresh face Ben Barnes.

Production design was helmed by John Beard and costume design by Charlotte Walter. The film was shot partially at Ealing Studios (London) and partially at three grand English estates: Flintham Hall (Nottinghamshire), Englefield House (Berkshire) and Wimpole Hall (Cambridgeshire). Of all of these, Wimpole seems to be the only one open to the public but Englefield allows you to at least tour the estate's expansive grounds.


August 10, 2010

Miss Marple - Why didn't they ask Evans (2009)

Hello everyone! I'm sorry for being absent - it turns out my flickr pro account expired so I wasn't able to upload any more photos last month. I know that $24.95/year isn't that much to shell out but I already have two other personal accounts that I do pay for so I'm a bit reluctant to continue paying for this one....ugh, is that horribly stingy of me? :( Well, what does this mean for you? It just means that you will only be able to see my most recent 200 images if you browse my flickr. The screencaps in my old blog posts won't disappear but when you click on them to see a larger version, it will take you to a blank flickr page instead. I considered adding a donations button for this site and seeing how I have 58 followers, if just half of you would contribute a $1, that would take care of the flickr hosting issue...but I don't that a terrible blogging faux-pas? :-/ Well, let me know what you think - would any of you actually be willing to donate? I always appreciate any sort of feedback. Thanks!

In the meantime, I'm going to leave you with a few screencaps from a recent Miss Marple episode that I just watched. Personally Joan Hickson will always be Miss Marple to me, just as Jeremy Brett will always be Sherlock Holmes, but Julia McKenzie isn't a bad replacement. I didn't care much for the episode - it was rather confusing and may I say, kind of dull - but the costumes were gorgeous, as usual.




Beautiful hairstyle.

Nice wheels!

Cat-eye glasses, please make a come-back now!


I like her knitted gloves.


What a striking statement this single yellow rose makes against a monochromatic gray tweed suit. Don't you wish more men would pin flowers to their jackets?

July 16, 2010

Poirot - After the Funeral (2006)

Hello! Salutations! My goodness, was my last post really in April?! Yikes! I hope you're all doing well. I see my little blog has picked up a few more followers in the meantime - how lovely! Spread the word, folks!

Last night I had a Poirot marathon and watched three episodes in one sitting. At 1hr 30min each, that's quite a lot of sitting! I thought I'd share a few screencaps with you while I prepare a lengthier, more detailed post on a film soon to be revealed within the next couple of weeks. The set dressing/props and costumes/styling of these Poirot episodes are always wonderful and I constantly use them as sources for inspiration.

This particular episode is called "After the Funeral" (episode 3 of season 10). Poirot was called to a country estate to investigate the death of a wealthy gentleman after his funeral. And when the terms of his will reveal that he had suddenly disinherited his favorite nephew in favor of dividing the wealth equally among his other relatives, suspicions of murder arise!

The production designer for this episode was Jeff Tessler and the costume designer was Sheena Napier. Both have also worked on the Miss Marple series as well.


Below is the same dress (from above) but the collar-scarf is now tied.

Let's bring back the silk scarf in menswear!

Interesting detail on her hat:

Another blouse where the collar has an attached scarf-tie. I love these!

Knitted blouse:

Close-up on the decoration on the hat.

Vintage hairstyle:

Another vintage hairstyle.

Not sure of the style of this hat. It kind of looks like a cloche but doesn't quite come down far enough over the ears.

I've seen this striped lampshade (left) in several of the Poirot episodes!

Lounging around, drinking cocktails after dinner.

Lovely chess set:

Green dress:

Here are a few sceencaps of the country cottage. Note the ornate Victorian chair on the left.

Dark wood paneling:

Having a sink in your bedroom was common back in the day.

Gorgeous vintage desk lamp (right):

Notice the gold clock in the background.

Tea and a good book. That is all one needs!

And there we have it, a lil' something to hold you over. I have screencaps from the other two Poirot episodes as well and I'll upload those later this week. Cheers!

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