Sunday, October 2, 2011

Isn't She Lovely?

I love the month of October; it is heralded in by my birthday and it begins the happy run up to the holidays. As my custom, I watch the DVD of Mona Lisa Smile to get me in the right mindset.

This 2003 film stars Julia Roberts, as Art History professor Katherine Watson who takes a position at one of the Seven Sisters Colleges, Wellesley. Julia Stiles (above), Kirsten Dunst, Maggie Gyllanhaal, and Ginnifer Goodwin play the conservative college students to Robert's feminist and bohemian Miss Watson.

To me, the real stars of the film are the magnificant weather and scenery and the marvelous 1950's costumes. It was shot on the campus of Wellesley, just outside Boston, Massachusetts, a place so very dear to my heart. The Wedgewood blue skies of fall are the backdrop for the stunning foliage found in New England in October and as I watch the movie, I imagine Boston before I was born, when I my mother wore the same long tweed skirts and matching cardigans with her Keds.

We are treated to plenty of long full skirts, cinched at the waist by leather belts, separates which include Peter Pan collars and soft Shetland sweaters, heels, pearls, stud earrings, and red lipstick. I believe I have narrowed down the lipstick color to Cherries in the Snow, the Revlon color which made its debut with much fanfare in the '50's (happily, it still can be found at the drugstore!). Miss Watson's wardrobe is indeed a little more "gypsy" but she sports some gorgeous wool pieces just the same.

Fortunately, there is a grand wedding in the film and this is when the gloves and the small hats with netting that perch so femininely on top of the head can be seen. The colors are pure and clear especially a color a friend told me was "petrol blue", a cross between peacock and royal.

Yes, Mona Lisa Smile makes a statement, and very loudly, about women's roles and choices in post-war America. I simply cannot think too much about that, however, when I am mesmerized by the Jonathan Logan separates and Delman pumps. I can almost smell the Chanel #5 and Arpege off the screen. It's a saturating film; a feast for the eyes, and it focuses for me all the wonderful things I love about the fall - it is absolutely lovely. It makes me want to run to my closet for that cream wool cardigan and brown and gold tweed skirt that feels like a cat's scratchy tongue. And when I do find that skirt and sweater, and we finally get one of those fine high blue days, I will be lovely too.

1 comment:

  1. What a lovely post! I have not seen this movie and now I will rent it. I also am mesmerized by images of crisp New England autumns. I have visited Wellesly College and it is very pretty. This movie sounds perfect for a cozy October night at home. Can't wait to see it!