I’m sitting around and watching the Democratic National Convention. It’s so cool. I didn’t get the most of it last year because of work. Just by chance today the show that I was supposed to be working on for WVR was cancelled. So I get To see a lot more of it than I did last year.

Thank the thundering Gods that you too has put both conventions live streaming for free on the internet. It is very interesting to hear what both sides have to say!

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So much money is being spent in both conventions I almost feel like there should be a buffet Or something for us here at home don’t you think? : p

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Mirrored from Repro Goddess.

Pardon the crappy pic that was taken with my new phone.

image

This is one of the coming soon posters of Keira Knightley as Anna Karenina.

I have been waiting months for this film to come out and I think you can see why. How is excited are you to see this film?




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Mirrored from Repro Goddess.

I’ve made no secret about my dislike for Banana Republic. Those who know me well know that the merchant is on my shit list with the other Gap outlets for it’s pushing of carbon-copy style and woefully out-dated trends being touted as classic instead of just, well, outdated. There’s more, but it’s boring and I want to get to the good part.

We have established that I’m not a big Banana Republic fan, so it’s odd for me to be saying this but I adore their upcoming line! Like so many fashion franchise machines like Estee Lauder, BR has jumped on the Mad Men bandwagon since the 5th season is starting next month, and it’s about time! Here are some pretty photos of the upcoming looks you can expect from this line that will be available in stores and also online on March 01, 2012.

The hair and make-up is horribly 1980s (it would be awesome if companies started hiring people who do research), but the cuts and some of the colors are adorable! Not my era, you couldn’t drag me out of the late 1930s with a team of horses, but I’m sure all the Laura Petrie’s are going to be thrilled!

Side Note: I know they’re going for a Don Draper with that model, but he’s just coming off as a douche bag. I guess there’s only one Jon Hamm, eh?

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Mirrored from Repro Goddess.

I’ve gone on a bit of a 90s kick today, listening to my old favorites while I build the SEO of one of GMG’s new corporate sites – “Bent” by Matchbox 20, “Champagne Supernova” by Oasis, “Semicharmed Life” by 3rd Eye Blind, even a little Semisonic and Sugar Ray thrown in there for good measure.

Man those songs bring back memories. Driving aimlessly around the tiny town square in a crappy station wagon with my stupid friends who are all either married or have kids now, neither of which was in the cards for me. Breezy summer evenings walking the deserted roads to each other’s houses, complaining about whatever it was we complained about back then. Afternoons spent in bare feet down in the creek with our jeans rolled up, acting half our age. The air seemed thicker then, the sun was warmer and the sky was higher. That’s just the way it is when you’re 17. I’m sure you remember it, too, don’t you?

I was a weird nerdlinger goth of the Hackers generation. Like the rest of my friends I was half X-Games, half The Craft in wide leg black corduroy pants (cords!), Airwalks and floral embroidered tube tops. Black leather pants, velvet skirts with slits, platform wedges. I remember going to a store and heading right for the black every time. I had purple hair in tiny pigtails, black lips and nails, a zillion black rubber bracelets and ball chains and a penchant for crosses and dog collars.

I watched Buffy. I shopped Just Nikki. I made websites. I even stank of CK One, but in my defense? We all did. And those summers make me love it to this day.

Of course no 90s flashback would be complete without Gwen Stefani, the bindi-wearing, platinum blond, ever youthful front woman of ska/alt-rock band No Doubt who’s album Tragic Kingdom still gets constant radio airplay over a decade after it’s release.

Gwen’s style may, to the casual observer, seem all over the place. She’s sported Indian-style sarong and bindi, mega wide leg pants and cropped tops which slid into a more Jamaican color influence in the early 2000s. She’s done scantily clad Gothic Lolita to pay homage to her much loved Japan, Road Warrior and even cyberpunk wear has popped up.

But while Gwen definitely hops around the spectrum, she tends to go back to the Golden Age over and over again. We see this influence lightly pepper her old bombshell Gen X looks that had a decidedly Rockabilly edge to them. She made the red lip glamorous again, simple eyes and a well defined brow that all stood out against white locks and skin.

She wore an adorable polka-dot mini dress with a very 40s shape (even with the 90s twists) in the now iconic music video for No Doubt’s signature tune, “Don’t Speak” way back in 1996 that was written by Gwen and Eric Stefani and famously – publicly – deals with Gwen’s breakup from No Doubt bassist Tony Kanal.

Later on in the same music video Gwen’s vintage style resurfaces during a photo shoot that the rest of her band is muscled out of (They looked mad. They must have all really wanted that orange…) and is wearing her famed bindi, red lip mini-smear and finger waves – not something you necessarily saw in the media at the time.

Her Rockabilly and Golden Age love would come out several times in her style, even after her clothing had changed she managed to keep her pompadours, curls, rolls, waves and those beautiful platinum tresses.

One of my favorite examples of this is in the video for Cool, also about Tony Kanal and Gwen’s relationship – though, this time it’s a nostalgic look back rather than entirely painful or intense as Don’t Speak.

In the video Gwen is visited by an old flame and his new love, and during their visit she reflects on her very late 40s/early 50s life with him back in the “dreaming days”. Her clothes are summery and beautiful in the flashbacks, very vintage looking. In the ‘present’ day, she dons a fabulous Rockabilly look. She even channels Marilyn Monroe during some pretty intense, very sexy eye contact with the camera that involves rolling around on her bed in tap pants – no, I’m not making that up.

If nothing else, the lighting, color filters and scenery in the flashback scenes should be Zen for anyone who’s as into beautiful old postcards as I am.

The song is gorgeous, the girl is gorgeous, the clothes are gorgeous. I can’t explain it to you any better than this:

Gwen’s major film debut was also very vintage-y. She played Jean Harlow in the 2004 period Howard Hughes film The Aviator.

This film is one of my favorite period films from Hollywood’s Golden Age due not only to amazing sets and fantastic cast (Leonardo DiCaprio was great in the film, but I think everyone was outshone by Cate Blanchett playing Katharine Hepburn and just nailing the voice completely), but it’s also a favorite of mine for the outstandingly beautiful costume design and the care they took to try and make sure the clothing, hair and makeup were correct for the time and the person wearing it.

She’s barely in the trailer for The Aviator at all, even though she has a decent sized role in the film (chalk that up to Hollywood’s ridiculous trailer cutting but the film itself is fabulous ). So, since it’s hard to catch her in the trailer I thought it might be fun to post this instead:

What’s your favorite Gwen look? I have to admit to personally loving the bathing suit from Cool – I am a vintage swimwear fiend!

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Mirrored from Repro Goddess.

If you’re anything like me, you’ve been watching Elizabeth Taylor all of your life and stewing in envy over her beauty, poise and glamour. Taylor was an icon of Hollywood’s the gilded Golden Age who managed to stay young, gorgeous and even relevant somehow. A last bit of sparkle from an era of stardust that we were lucky enough to hold on to for as long as we did. Elizabeth Taylor was enchanting.

And speaking of envy, it was recently announced that her amazing jewelry was to be auctioned off by the Taylor Estate at Christie’s auction house. The total haul? Projected at 30 million dollars.

Included in this auction is the Elizabeth Taylor Diamond, the magnificent 33.19 carat gem that she called her “baby” that was a gift from ex-husband Richard Burton. The ring, which I’ve wanted dearly since I was a child (don’t shrink me, I never said I wasn’t frivolous and greedy!) is expected to fetch a small fortune of 2,500,000 – 3,000,000 at auction.

So yes, the gems and baubles I’ve envied all of my life -that once belonged to one of the most beautiful, elegant and talented women in modern history,- are now for sale. But with great envy comes great responsibility! And that responsibility will, hopefully, help me not even think of selling the organs of whomever may be so unlucky as to make a delivery to my door in hopes of buying even a single item.

That’s right, after long and hard deliberation on the subject I’ve decided that I shouldn’t murder random people in order to buy Elizabeth Taylor’s life’s possessions. Yep, responsible. See? I’m a grown up! ;)

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Mirrored from Repro Goddess.

How cute is that? I spent yesterday helping to cut out pumpkin faces and fill treat bags for the Carnegie Public Library’s Trunk-or-Treat coming up on October 29. Trunk-or-Treat is a yearly event at the Library to give kids in the community a safe alternative to trick-or-treating. They line the parking spaces with cars that have been decorated for Halloween, open the trunks and fill the trunks with candy and toys. The kids go around to each car to trick or treat, plus there are games where they can win more neat stuff – fun!

Met a few new people, had quite a bit of fun – hope I get to hand out candy on the day! :)

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Mirrored from Repro Goddess.

As I’m sure you already know if you’ve known me, I’m quite outspoken about my religion. I’m not Christian, Muslim, Jewish (religiously – I do have quite a bit of Hebrew blood in my veins), etc., and I want to state that plainly before I even start this blog post because I don’t want anyone to feel offended by what I hope will soon become a recurring theme on Repro Goddess – Paganism in the Media.

I use Paganism as a broad term, because it tends to encompass certain aspects of Heathenism as well. Yep, I’m a Heathen – and no, that doesn’t make me Godless (quite the opposite, actually), and it doesn’t make me a bad person or remove some kind of invisible moral compass. I’m a Heathen, I’ve always been a Heathen and I’ll likely be until the day they put me in a big sunglasses case like Spock and shoot me off into space.

I’m part of a small sect of Ragnarök-bent Odin Worshippers called Wodenshund. I’m a polytheist, likely not the only one you’ve ever met, and I try to be as open about it as I can be. I fully believe that the awful things said about Heathens and Pagans (including, but not limited to, the liberal use of Satanic language associated with us as well as calling us immoral, depraved and dangerous) can be subsided to a degree by educating anyone who has a question to ask. I think you’ll find that most of us are an open book, and are ready and willing to explain anything you may be confused about.

Because I am a Heathen, whenever Paganism is shown as being human, normal or at least not demonized by the media it tends to lift my mood and sometimes even make me a wee bit emotional. I’d like to share a few of my favorites with you today, those found in the most unlikely of all places – Disney. There aren’t many this time, because I rambled on already!

#3 – Ancestor Veneration in Mulan (1998)
I have a lot of problems with Mulan, from the somewhat racist music in much of the early film to the odd use of sidekick characters like Mushu that make the plot drag on in places. But there’s something special about this film and it’s the casual use of Ancestor Worship or Veneration.

Mulan

Mulan is adapted from an ancient story and poem about a girl who joins the Chinese army in place of her father. Through her courage, conviction and determination she ultimately becomes the hero that saves China from the Mongolian army – for some reason depicted as giant demon people. Go fig.

Mulan - Reflection

At several points in the film Fa Mulan and her relatives visit the family ancestral shrine to pray and reflect. It’s a subject that Disney has come under unnecessary fire for from conservative Christian groups and concerned parents, considering that it’s a normal practice for many people around the world. One such time is during the film’s main song, Reflection.

Mulan - Reflection 2

What struck me as beautiful about their portrayal of this kind of ritual is how easy it was. Until the introduction of Mushu, we see ancestors that strive bring strength, luck, hope, honor and courage to the family who care for them.

#2 Worship of and Guidance from the Natural World in Pocahontas (1995)
Another film I have issues with, including the heroism depicted in somewhat historically brutal John Smith (played well by the horrid yet still talented Mel Gibson), but the bad is outweighed by the good in a film that treated Americas indigenous people like they were, well… people.

The film opens to the New World, a thriving world, without the need for heroic progress from the settlers to come. The people seem happy, healthy, their way of life firmly rooted to the earth. Pocahontas is a thrill seeker who doesn’t want to settle for an arranged marriage that would end her dreams of adventure. She uses natural laws combined with her everyday life to explain problems to the viewer and the people around her. She is also seen to frequently consult a special tree, Grandmother Willow. for guidance.

Pocahontas

As the film progresses and Pocahontas meets John Smith, their courtship is filled with explanation. Pocahontas tries to explain simple things to John Smith – what Corn is, for example, and she becomes angry when he suggests that the settlers would make her life better because her ways are savage:

Pocahontas: “Our houses are fine!”

John Smith: “You think that, only because you don’t know any better.”

Pocahontas

But Pocahontas also explains the bigger picture to Smith in dialogue and in the film’s feature song, Colors of the Wind. About how she and her people are connected to everything and everyone else and that she draws strength from this. She tries to tell Smith that by using the land and it’s resources up, what he’s really doing is missing out on everything that land has to offer.

Pocahontas

From Colors of the Wind: “The Rainstorm and the River are my brothers. The Heron and the Otter are my friends, and we are all connected to each other in a circle, in a hoop that never ends.”

Pocahontas is depicted as proud, brave and headstrong and most of all – she’s un-apologetically depicted as Pagan. Yet another film Disney has been criticized for due to it not having strong Christian themes.

#1 – Blatant Hellenism in Hercules (1997)
Now comes my favorite, by far, show of Paganism in a Disney film – 1997′s inaccurate yet adorable Hercules. The film displays what can only be described as blatant Hellenism – a fact which made it a favorite target of religious groups in the late 1990s. Now, obviously they took crazy liberties with the story (Megera’s part in it, the order of events, the portrayal of key Gods as being either good or evil and the ending, which is decidedly more horrific in the myth), but overall it’s the most fun of the three films in my opinion.

Hercules

In Hercules, the son of Olympian Gods Zeus and Hera (depicted rather angelically, considering how murderously awful they were in antiquity), is stolen away to Earth by Pain and Panic – the henchmen of oddly Satan-ized Hades who, in actual mythology, isn’t much more than a gatekeeper to the underworld. Unless you count that time he stole Demeter’s daughter Persephone and made the world freeze and die for six months out of every year, but moving on!

Hercules

Hercules, being an Ancient Greek, travels to the Temple of Zeus at Olympia to pray to the magnificent statue of Zeus only to have the statue possessed by the God and come to life. It is then that Hercules discovers that he is actually the son of Zeus and that, to become a full-fledged God and be able to return to Olympus, he must prove himself a hero. Unfortunately Herc, the next huge slice of the film cover some of the infamous Labours of Hercules which included slaying of the Hydra, the Nemean Lion and capture of the Erymanthian Boar.

Hercules

Many references to Ancient Greek Hellenism are made in the film, including the possession of inanimate objects (depictions, statues), the liberal use of the Muses as full fledged deity, Pegasus and his relationship with Hercules, the story of Zeus triumph over The Titans (in opening song The Gospel Truth I), depictions of Mount Olympus as a heavenly place and reverence for The Gods, and to top it off the destiny of a hero arranged in the stars. But the part I love the best, the part that gets me every time, is in the song Go the Distance. About two-thirds of the way in, Hercules sings:

Hercules

I will beat the odds
I can go the distance
I will face the world
Fearless, proud and strong
I will please the Gods
I can go the distance
Til I find my hero’s welcome right where I belong!

Hercules

This was a source of much complaint and the song was changed, not in the film, but much like Aladdin was made PC on the soundtrack album for some years afterward.

So, there you have it. My short, short (and probably not my last) list of Paganism in Disney, I hope you enjoyed it and weren’t too offended. ;)

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Mirrored from Repro Goddess.

Well, I’ve finally done it! I’ve been griping about having to use Blogger for awhile (to the dismay of many, I’m sure!), and I finally couldn’t take it anymore. The Blogger interface is too ‘user friendly’, meaning it’s hard to get into the code up to your elbows and make it do what you want it to do. It’s also very difficult for me, as a former freelance designer and developer, to not be able to add and remove things I want from the code base.

So, with the help of my beautiful host Faith (you may know her as politically charged @RiotDollie on Twitter) I now have a new home for my blog, which is now powered by the amazing WordPress! The only issue I have with WordPress was it’s import feature which turned my tags into categories, but hopefully I’ll have some time to do a quick fix on Monday.

I don’t have much time tonight, but I thought I’d do something I rarely do these days and post some actual pictures. Beware, these were taken with my crappy phone and so there’s no real clarity to them – my usual before and after:

Aren't I cute, with my no makeup, hair in curlers and flannel jammies?

Aren't I cute, with my no makeup, hair in curlers and flannel jammies?

Apparently, it doesn't get any better when I'm finished making up!

Apparently, it doesn't get any better when I'm finished making up!

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Mirrored from Repro Goddess.

I was recently watching the 1996 adaption of Evita, mostly for Antonion Bandaras who is too pretty for his own good, but also because I just love the film even if the pacing is weird at the beginning and it sometimes feels a bit disjointed.

I was never a big fan of the play, though I love Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin, I thought that they fell too far to one side or the other politically and I never have enjoyed being preached at which is why I didn’t see the film when it first came out.

But over the last few years I’ve grown to be a big fan of it, I think that – though Madonna doesn’t have the pipes Patti does – her rendition of Eva Peron was far more sympathetic and that comes through in her singing. She allows you to feel for Evita, which is what I think the major problem with the original play was. LuPone is far too strong, and she played Eva that way (as well as treating Juan Peron like a puppet to his wife’s ambition, which makes for somewhat cliche storytelling in a play whether or not it’s true).

While she put in a killer performance I had, and still have, a really hard time watching it and sympathizing with the portrayal or that of Juan (played so brilliantly and sympathetically in the film by the amazing Jonathan Pryce of Pirates of the Caribbean fame). In fact the multidimensional acting in the film, I feel, corrects somethiing about the play that nobody realized needed to be corrected. Side by side examples from the play and film are below – both from the same song, my favorite, A New Argentina from Evita:

But I’m not writing about Evita, but about Madonna. I’m often struck by her amazing style and her ability to reinvent herself before she becomes self parody (most of the time, anyway).

She’s never been on the cutting edge of fashion – most would disagree with me, I suspect, especially her fans. But I say this because so much of her style (especially in the 80s) was only tinged with modern fashion. Much like the uber talented, uber gorgeous Cyndi Lauper, Madonna wasn’t following current trends of the time.

Her style was distinctly New York City. Her hair wasn’t the feathered Jem hair or masculine Joan Jett hair you were used to seeing on MTV, she wore layer upon layer of different lengths to create depth in her style and somehow always managed to be wearing next to nothing. She wore lace, rubber, crosses and belly shirts and visible bras when the rest of the music world were still wearing out the welcome of scarves, sweaters and wings.

It was almost as if fashion wasn’t allowed to change until Madonna showed up and gave it permission to. She rode out her underwear-as-outerwear, fishnet clothing and booties until it had been embraced by the population of, practically, the world. Then it was time for a change.

Towards the middle of the 80s we saw her style take a decisive left turn – to the golden era. Now, granted, almost all 80s retrowear was tinged with a 1980s fashion sense, but Madonna seemed to barely let it permeate her new style – that is, when she was wearing it.

Early on we’d seen her don a gorgeous pink gown in her video for Material Girl ( now the name of her cute, 80s-inspired clothing line with daughter Lola ) – but that could have been a fluke. Just a homage to the late Marilyn Monroe, obviously, but not possibly a hint at future style choices?

Over the last half of the decade and the first half of the new she also started taking roles in films that were primarily set in the 30s and 40s – roles ranging from the iconic Dick Tracy to maybe the worst film ever made, Shanghai Surprise which she made with her then husband Sean Penn.

Madonna has displayed a serious 40s streak. You can see it everywhere from her choices of film to dress. Not just that of Eva Perone (a style icon in her own right, no matter what you think of her politics), or as All The Way Mae in A League of Their Own, but in several of her music videos and clothes she’s worn on red carpets.

Some great examples are her music videos for Live to Tell, Material Girl and This Used To Be My Playground which, of course, is the ending theme song to A League of Their Own and probably has the most directly 40s inspired looks in it. You can even see some vintage/retro influences in what she’s wearing/singing during her Blond Ambition Tour and in videos like Vogue (if you know what to look for). And, ooh, look! I’ve got pictures!

Dick Tracy (1990)

A League of Their Own (1992)

Shanghai Surprise (1986)

Evita (1995)

Evita Premiere (1996)

Bloodhounds of Broadway (1989)

Live to Tell (1986 – Screencaptures)

This Used To Be My Playground (1992 – Screencaptures)

Surprise Oprah! A Farewell (2011)

Costume Institute Gala (2011)

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