Warhol and Westwood’s Royalty

The Andy Warhol-esque painted makeup was created by Val Garland and her assistants. “Think the Queen meets a bad Elizabeth Taylor or an odd Marilyn Monroe with a passing nod to Debbie Harry and an occasional reference to Grace Jones,” said Garland.

 
 

Vivienne Westwood Red Label Spring- Summer 2013 collection was inspired by British royal gardens. Throughout history; architecture, aesthetics and fashions from across the globe have influenced these British country gardens. From the squared formality of renaissance style to the pastoral passions of the Victorian era, the garden has remained a favorite and romantic sanctuary for our royal family. Beyond these private enclosures lie flower gardens and orchards, with vast outdoor space for bowling, tennis and croquet as well as picnics, weddings and garden parties- it is these royal occasions that were in mind when the collection was designed. The colour palette references Tudor knot gardens where earth, sand, and rich dusty red bricks were used to fill open spaces between the frosty cold greys, greens and blues of the shrubs. Micro checks and fine wools offer a cool alternative to the summer dress and gingham knits are perfect for impromptu picnics and more informal occasions. For cocktail and evening the colour palette is pale and cold- with impressionistic lily ponds printed on fine, fluid jersey with details of metallic silver embroidery and draped jackets and cigarette pants with duchesse trim to give a softer tuxedo alternative. There are also more glamorous evening dresses in regal midnight blues, black and gold in full & straight silhouettes teamed with steely tones and frosty paillettes somehow reminding you of an early morning summer frost.

 
 

Liz and Dick’s Private Lives

Helena Bonham Carter as Elizabeth Taylor and Dominic West as Richard Burton in “Burton and Taylor” (Richard Laxton, 2013), a BBC film about this legendary couple.

 
 

The melancholic Burton and Taylor stars Helena Bonham Carter and Dominic West, and it focuses specifically on a few weeks in 1983 when the two, divorced and in their 50s, reunited professionally to star in Noël Coward’s Private Lives on Broadway.

Eschewing the height of Le Scandale, Burton and Taylor focuses on a quieter, less-sexy, less-triumphant moment in the pair’s love story. They are middle-aged, dancing to disco, not sleeping together, in relationships with other people, ensconced in various addictions, and, as celebrities, well into the trashy phase of their fame, a state of being the staging of Private Lives did nothing to remediate. Private Lives is a comedy about a divorced couple, newly married to other people, who passionately, dysfunctionally fall back into bed together, a tale that, obviously, tracked closely with the real story of Burton and Taylor. (In the play, as in life, the woman Burton left for Taylor was named Sybil.)

In Burton and Taylor, Burton is frustrated by the parallels: He insists that Taylor not play to the crowd, not winkingly acknowledge that the audience is there to see Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, not their characters, in bed. But Taylor takes the opposite view, arguing that if that’s what the audience wants to see, then that’s what the audience should get. Simply by existing, Burton and Taylor takes Taylor’s side of the argument: What, after all, is the appeal of a movie like Burton and Taylor except as front row seat to Liz and Dick’s private lives?