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"I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing...kissing a lot. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls."
Audrey Hepburn

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Value of a Dollar...Then and Now

Watching 'After the Thin Man' today, I was intrigued by the shocked expression on Nick's face when Nora asked for 14.75. This led me to wonder what that would be equal to, were I to ask the same amount from my husband today. I found this excellent little 'Inflation Calculator' a few minutes ago, and thought my readers might also find it interesting.


I'm sure there are similar sites for your own monetary deonomination, whichever country you live in. It's very addictive, figuring out what things were worth 15, 50, or 100 years ago.

It got me to thinking about 'Mr Blandings Builds His Dream House' a fabulously entertaining film from 1948, starring Cary Grant and Myrna Loy. They go way over budget in building their home ( I can identify) and both are extremely anxious when they find that their total expense of building their dream home has surpassed the 30,000 dollar mark. Seems to be a laughable amount until you figure that 30,000 in 1948 would have bought almost a 300,000 dollar home today. Ah, the beauty of inflation.

Oh, and 14.75 in 1939 would have been the equivelent to 230.00 today. Not necessarily pocket change.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Real Me

There is a tag going around entitled 'The Real Me',in which folks are posting the photo that they feel most accurately shows their true self.

So there you go, my friends! The above photo is the real me...in just about every sense. My dear friend Moose and I were reveling in the joy of the 'long arm shot' at a recent Scott H Biram show in Memphis. I've always prided myself on my face making abilities...this one looks very much like John Merrick, no?

My mother always said that no girl can truly be pretty if she's afraid to be ugly. So I guess you could say I took that advice to heart.

'I am not an animal!' *snicker*

Monday, January 25, 2010

Movie Review Monday~Goodbye Mr Chips (1939)

(appears at number eleven on my top 100 countdown)

Ah 1939. It was a very good year. Not only did this year turn out such great classics as 'Gone With the Wind', 'Mr Smith Goes to Washington', 'The Women', 'The Wizard of Oz', AND 'Goodbye Mr Chips'- but these classics all held universal appeal and still remain hugely popular worldwide. There are a few movies that move me just as much after repeat viewings as they did at first. This is one of them. Granted, I was much younger when I saw it initially, so it was inevitable that I would appreciate the depth of the story more as an adult.

Arthur Chipping is a integral part of Brookfield school. But when he arrived as a young man, he was the school's straight-laced and reserved Latin professor. After making a few stumbles in the disciplinary area, he became universally unloved by most of his students and therefore his dreams of becoming Headmaster seemed unreachable. After years of strict and cold teaching, watching all the other professors receive gifts and accolades from the boys, he becomes somewhat jaded. Reluctantly, he agrees to go along with a fellow teacher on a walking tour of Germany- a trip that changes his life in every way. On the journey, he meets the beautiful Katherine, who soon becomes his loving wife. The relationship transforms 'Mr Chips' into the man he always dreamed of being-one of the most loved and respected members of the Brookfield staff.

This is a love story. Though there is little physicality to their relationship (or even a lot of screen time devoted to it), the connection between Katherine and 'Chips' is timelessly involving. It makes you think about all the relationships in your life, not just the 'significant other'. It's about support and loyalty and fawning looks that go straight to the heart. It's also about the wonderful effects of change that love can have on a willing heart. The way that the prude and unworldy Mr Chipping melts beneath Katherine's understanding eyes, and subtly transforms into kind and witty 'Mr Chips', is something that we can all appreciate and enjoy.

Without Robert Donat, the movie would fail. He is miraculous to watch. We actually forget we are watching the same young fellow, since the progression of his age is so believeable . He becomes an old man effortlessly. The looks, the voice, the walk (that crazy-good makeup also helps)-all are completely convincing. His attitude at the beginning, as he stammers through this foreign environment, is likewise a work of genius, making the viewer cringe along with him. But his complete ease when he finally opens up is even more wonderful. It's just a beautiful piece of work. Greer Garson has never been more lovely or charming. Supporting characters are also memorable, especially young Terry Kilburn who plays three generations of Peter Colley. All three 'Peters' are different and equally precocious.

In addition to the great acting, the direction by Sam Wood is loving and deliberate-focusing solely on developing the central character. It is a character study after all,a life story, and without this approach, it just wouldnt work. The music is also very moving, especially the lovely choir piece that serves as the Brookfield school anthem. The eventual placement of World War I is handled very well and we feel its effects without ever leaving the school's campus.

This is a beautiful movie and a moving story. I dare you not to cry.
My Rating: 10/10

Style Factor: Costumes and settings in this film are all worth mentioning. Careful attention must be paid to Greer Garson, in what could likely be the best styling choices of her career. The styles of the early 1900's suit her beautifully. The elegant hairstyles and fantastic hats are especially memoriable, bringing just the right amount of attention to her lovely face.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Lisa Freemont Street on 'The Golden Globes'

For those of you who know me, you know that awards shows are kinda 'my thing'. The Oscars are my Super Bowl, but I actually find the Golden Globes have more daring things to offer in the way of fashion. So as far as red carpets go, the Globes are my favorite. I adore ripping apart the dresses, suits, and random styling choices of actors that are trying to 'break away' from a well-known television part or an underappreciated movie role. Some make fantastic decisions. Some, as in the case of most of the cast of Mad Men, will NEVER look as good as they do in their show. Alas and alack.

The show itself was a good one. Ricky Gervais was a biting, witty, and delightfully casual host-sipping on a pint every time the camera cut his way. And speaking of cameras, there were tons of camera flubs this year, which provided a whole other level of entertainment in itself. There were shots of empty seats, cuts to the wrong nominees, cuts to no nominee at all, shaky camerawork, out of focus shots, and all around crazy angles throughout the program. Also, for some reason EVERYONE had difficulty getting to the stage...did they purposely set the tables up like a maze just to trip up the innebriated winners? The best acceptance speech of the night went to Robert Downey Jr for not officially 'thanking' anyone and still appearing absolutely charming. Surprising win of the night was 'The Hangover', which beat out the over the top musical, 'Nine', and the critic's comedy darling, 'Julie & Julie' for best picture in the 'musical or comedy' category. My personal favorite moment was Jeff Bridges' win for 'Crazy Heart', since I'm a big fan of 'The Dude' and I thought he looked HOT. Plus, he mentioned his wife in such a lovely way.

And now for the real 'meat' of any awards show: The Fashion. Being a vintage enthusiast/lover of 'classic glamour', I naturally gravitate towards the ladies and gents that I feel most encapsulate that quality. I personally think that true glamour is something that appears timeless and not overtly sexy or outlandish-though I do enjoy looking at a train wreck as much as the next gal.

My personal picks for 'best dressed' are as follows:

Lauren Graham-Life for Lauren, post 'Gilmore Girls', is looking up. Not only does she have a well-received new show coming out (Parenthood, but I felt she looked prettier last night than I've ever seen her. While many people sported a sloppy side-sweep for the show, Lauren seemed to be one of the only ones who got it right. The hair was chic and well-executed. The color looked wonderful on her as well.

Sofia Vergara. I don't even know who she is, I'll be the first to say it. But the dress,gorgeously draped in muted purple tones, was phenomenal. It paired against her caramel complexion perfectly. I also loved the soft upsweep of her hair, with its subtle caramel highlights, and of course the classic smokey eye.

Christina Hendricks-I usually think the cast of Mad Men pales into insignificance when I see them in 'real life' since their styling on the show is so 'fetching'. But this champagne colored gown and its exaggerated side bow, on her bodacious body, would have made Mae West proud. I thought it suited her beautifully. I do wish the hair was a little more coiffed, but the skin color and the fit of the dress had me at 'Hello, big boy'.

Another gorgeous lady of last night's show, and of every awards show I've seen in recent years, was Helen Mirren. I couldnt find a photo online yet, but if you saw her, you know how elegant she was. I've included her on my 'best dressed' list at every major awards ceremony of the last three years

My Best Dressed Male was the sexy Jeff Bridges who seems to just look better with age. I liked the black on black suit, the long wavy hair, the cleaned cut beard..the squint. I liked it all. William Hurt was also sporting some impressive facial hair last night; John Hamm looked as if his was of the 'stick on' variety. John does not carry off 'modern style' very well. I also enjoyed looking at Gerard Butler but he was kind of ordinary when compared w/ some of the vets.

Other Honorable Mentions go to Penelope Cruz's lovely Veronica Lake inspired hairstyle, Marion Cotillard's eye makeup, and half of Christina Aguilara's dress. I hated the 'breastplate'.

Okay maybe they weren't the 'worst dressed', technically, but I was disappointed in these guys:

Chloe Sevigny-I really hated this dress. It was an ugly color and the ruffles were very disturbing. All I could think about when she walked to the stage, blowing in the breeze, was how much lipstick must have been on that top ruffle. It kept hitting her in the mouth.

Juliana Margulies-The dress itself was pretty bad. I'm not a fan of cut-outs and asymetrical necklines, combined. But the color and glitter of the gown, especially when paired w/ her 'I'm for Haiti' ribbon, brings to mind classic Star Trek, does it not? The hair is nice, though.

Drew Barrymore-She didnt look all that bad, but the dress looked as if it had a shower loofa coming out of the hip and the shoulder. A coral reef was slowly insinuating itself into her anatomy. However, again, the hair and makeup are nice.

My least favorite male attire was worn by Tracy Morgan who evidently was attempting to look like a Maitre 'd. Or one of the Four Tops.

Dishonorable Mentions include January Jones and her decidely unelegant headband, Mickey Rourke's snakeskin (?) trimmed suit, Mariah Carey's breastesses, and James Cameron. Just James Cameron. I can't stand the man.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Photographer That Most Inspires Me...

In a sea of brilliant photographers, there are a few out there that really push the envelope and do something extraordinary with their chosen medium. I admire the work of many photographers when it comes to portrait work, specifically. But the work of Joshua Black Wilins inspires me.

I feel a little sleezy using one of his photos on this lowly blog post, so I didnt. But I am providing a link to his flickr page, in hopes that you will visit it and be likewise impressed by his greatness.


I have always loved an artist that isnt afraid to use off-kilter angles or lighting that could be considered unflattering to the subject. His photos of Robert Duvall are simply beautiful...no other way to put it. And he is able to construct lovely things using tintype and polaroids as well. His subject matter is sometimes disturbing, his work w/ musicians unique. I find myself clicking thru his photostream almost spastically, eager to catch a full view of the thumbnails that seem to get more and more intriguing.

If any photographer where to officially 'shoot me', I would choose Joshua. I think he could capture the look I would most like to see encapsulated in a photograph. Something that speaks of the glamour of 'real life' as it existed in the 1940's..and not just a mock-up of what people currently understand as 'vintage'. Something that is similar to the antique snap shots you can sift thru online and that are thoroughly unposed.

Perhaps someday...

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Heart Shaped Mouth of Kathryn Grayson

Today I left my televison on TCM even while the sound was off, just so I could glance every now and again at the different faces of Ziegfeld. Evidently it was a day devoted to Flo, as movie after movie drifted by featuring, in different ways, his illustrious 'Follies'. I recorded 'Ziegfeld Girl' but the rest of them I can easily do without, especially the melodramatic snooziness of 'The Great Ziegfield' where William Powell proves, without a doubt, just how much of a jerk the guy was. However, during the broadcast of 'Ziegfeld Follies'-I saw something that made me sit up and take notice. A vision that held my attention even without sound. It was the glorious face of Kathryn Grayson.

I have always been a fan of Kathryn. I first saw her, when I was just a littlun, in the Gene Kelly movie 'Anchors Aweigh'. At the end of that film, she completely levels the place w/ a rendition from the Sleeping Beauty ballet that sounds more like a stringed instrument than any human voice I've heard. But she is so darned INTERESTING to look at as well. Her eyes are perpetually downturned, her nose is pugged...she SHOULD be ugly. But she is absolutely doll-like and lovely and her mouth is shaped like a perfect heart. So I just can't look away when she is on the screen. She captivates me and it isnt just her blissful pipes and beautiful hair (it was always beautiful until she cut it into a little poodle-doo that made me weep with frustration). She just had a charmed presence...impossible to duplicate. Watch the following clip and worship at the Grayson throne with me.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

"Diamonds and Dames" Visits Cora Smith

Tuesday's tutorial was episode five of the all request series 'Diamonds and Dames'. The style was from the Film Noir classic, 'The Postman Always Rings Twice'. The only female character of note in the film, Lana Turner sports a medium length middy haircut and some very very blonde pincurls. Layers are a must for this style and though my hair is longer, underpinning can attain a very similar look. When hair is darker, naturally the curls will not look as defined as they do on Lana. But by following a simple pincurl diagram, this 'bombshell' style can still be achieved.

Hair is parted on the side and pincurled towards the face on both sides of the part. If you have bangs, like me, a good quality hair gel (like Layrite) will aim them back sufficiently for the pincurls to change their direction and more easily blend with the sides of the style. Once the pincurls were dry, I coated my hands w/ pomade for the brushing out, being careful to brush the curls against my hand so that the frizz was controlled. The result is a similar 'film noir' style, for longer hair. The underpinning option is discussed and demonstrated in the the video.

Film Synopsis:
The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946)
Directed by: Tay Garnett
Starring: Lana Turner and John Garfield

Drifter Frank Chambers becomes the grudging employee of Nick Smith, whose gorgeous young wife Cora is used to getting her way. Cora is a beauty with brains and as she and Frank develop a relationship, the two of them conspire to do away with Nick, in order to inherit his business and all that goes with it. Problems arise, however, when a series of odd events causes the plan to go awry and the lovers to doubt one another. Through courtroom drama and the tension of daily life, Cora and Frank must decide whether their love can withstand the pressures of their tortured consciences.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Movie Review Monday~Meet Me in St Louis (1944)


It had been a few years since I'd seen this movie so, courtesy my dvr, I caught it again. Everyone knows me as an avid fan of musicals and this one meets most of my requirements. It's got a few decent songs, gorgeous costumes, and vivid technicolor that is hard to beat. It also has a credible lead in Judy Garland and her outrageous pipes. But it has its weakneses too.

The 'story' is really more of a 'tableau', if you will. A random segmentation of pretty family moments and mishaps. The Smith family is an All-American family with a strong attachment to each other and their city, Saint Louis. Leon Ames and Mary Astor play the Patriarch and Matriarch of this modern family and they do it well. The father is traditionally gruff and the mother, quite predictably, dotes upon him. There is also a wise old grandfather, a snippety maid, and some youngsters of various heights. Tootie is the youngest. Agnes is her slight elder. Alonzo Jr is a grown son mooching off the folks (well, he *IS*) and the two oldest daughters, Rose and Esther, seem to be the veritable 'glue' of the clan. Rose is pining for a distant love and Ester for the boy next door. That's about it. Nothing really happens to this family and that's okay. We don't really want anything to marr the Norman Rockwell world they live in. But neither does it make for the most exhiliarating of films.

Judy Garland was considered a tour de force of American entertainment and I guess she was. I'm personally not that big a fan. Her skinny ankles get on my nerves (probably because they remind me of my own) and I find her pretty unattractive. Also, her voice-while undeniably powerful-doesnt strike me as particularly pretty (most of the time). That said, the long wig and pretty clothes definitely show her off her to her best advantage and 'The Trolley Song' is one of the great musical moments of film-one song that truly works w/ her type of vocal. However, I believe that Margaret O'Brien was one of the best child actors of her day, and its her performance as michievous and death-obsessed Tootie, that stands out in this movie. She actually outshines all of her adult co-stars, hamming it up while at the same time not visibly attempting to do so. There's a darling little number where she and Garland sing together that is especially memorable. I've always enjoyed the voluminous nightgown O'Brien is wearing, which tried so vainly to swallow her up, throughout the performance. The number is so charming that one almost forgets how deserving the kid is of a good spanking most of the time. I mean come ON. What parents are going to fawn like that over a child that has just caused a major trolly accident by playing a prank? *chuckle*

The rest of the cast just kind of lays there. Tom Drake as the elusive John Truett-boy next door extroardinaire- is hardly the intellectual match for our heroine. Esther's infatuation with him is purely physical, if you ask me. But that's her business. Harry Davenport and Marjorie Main are always a joy but little is done w/ their characters that allows their respective talents to show thru. They're simply 'accessories' that add some spunk and sass to this bluntly traditional family.

Minelli did a lovely job w/ the direction. It has the look of the era while somehow remaining modern, and the colors, as I said before, are fantastic. It makes the movie fun to watch in spite of the insipid songs and bland performances.

This movie is now being touted as a 'Christmas movie', in spite of the very minimal amount of screentime that the actual holiday has. Judy Garland singing 'Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas' is very pretty and of course the resolution of family difficulties in the midst of said holiday is bound to be satisfying to the celebrating public. To me, it just came off as a bit forced and schmaltzy. But happy endings don't always have to be perfect to be satisfying. And it was still that.
My rating: 7/10

Style Factor: I enjoy seeing Garland's features being 'softened' by the large forward roll bang that she sports throughout the film. Also, some of the costumes are really amazing, especially when coupled with the gorgeous colors in this movie. All in all, it is on par with other Minelli films but not, by any means, his best-in terms of 'style'.

Style Scor: 7/10

Friday, January 1, 2010

Care to be a Sponser?

I am so happy that I have finally been able to open my blog up to sponsers, those lovely people that I so heartily depend on to keep the creativity going. If you have a business that is specific to the types of things I feature here on this blog, please feel free to contact me for rates.

Your products/business will be exposed to thousands of potential customers, through my facebook page, youtube channel, and this blog. Over the years, Lisa Freemont Street has attracted people of all ages who would love to revisit the past.

Some itty bits of information:
~Sponsors will receive an add space of 125 x 125 pixels. Rates are affordable, at 60.00 (US) per month or two months for 100.00, a better value.

~If you are interested in trading product in exchange for advertising, please contact me. Something can be worked out, usually, if the items can be reviewed on my YouTube channel, featured on Instagram, or included in a giveaway.

~The period of sponsorship will be limited to at least a calendar month but longer periods than the two months can be available upon negotiation.

~I tend to really ramble on about those companies I love, but ESPECIALLY those that reflect a certain level of creativity. Vintage enthusiasts are my target audience so if you specialize in Pin Up Glamour, Vintage style clothing, handmade items, collectible antiques, or anything else that would be intriguing to those of us with a propensity for classic glamour etc., please consider promoting your store here. Each sponsor will receive a blurb in my monthly 'Sponsor Salute' as well as ad space. If you send product for review on my youtube channel or Instagram, you will also have the added exposure of a video review.

~Since the ad will be placed on my homepage, keep in mind the retro style of the blog and try to design your ad accordingly. Simple and sweet.

If after all that, you are STILL interested (and I hope you are!), shoot me a message and we'll chat.


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