A First-Class Ticket to The Orient Express Set Design

As you know I hate spoilers so I’m going to strictly talk about the brilliant set design without mentioning anything else about the movie (which by the way is A MUST SEE!)

murder_on_the_orient_express_bts

Director Kenneth Branagh and production designer Jim Clay have recreated the iconic  Orient Express to match the grand history of the railroad and Agatha Christie’s most famous murder mystery.

The Orient Express was a high-class long-distance passenger train established in 1833; its most famous route connected Paris to Istanbul. To prepare for the movie, Director Kenneth Branagh along with everyone involved in the movie took a trip on the Orient-Express, from Paris to Venice because it still uses its original vintage train cars until today. This was a great experience for all of them. They managed to look at and take notes of every detail on the train and made notes of all the surrounding scenery.

 

murder-on-the-orient-express-teaser

Jim Clay also started his designing process by studying the 1974 film and early on decided that the new version needed a more modern look — “a more current style of shooting,” as he puts it.

By “a more current style” he did not mean to make it feel modern but rather a modern aesthetic that we have today! He meant cleaner lines so nothing ornate, and no Victorian furniture, with floral patterns in them!. He went towards art deco and lines that were more geometric rather than floral and this way he made sure that the backgrounds were still opulent and rich but not distracting.

 “The idea was to try and give people a sort of sensual, sensory kind of experience of what all that wood feels like, all that marquetry, the crispness of the line, the degree to which they work out the precision of which cutlery is laid out, which was all done with little tape measures and things,” Branagh said in an interview.

MOTOE_D05_001431.ARW

Overall, Clay and Branagh succeeded brilliantly in giving the Orient Express the opulence for which it was known for. Just look at the first-class accommodation in the photo above,  it looks like a luxurious hotel lounge which was grand yet comfortable!

 

photos via

 

SaveSave

Advertisements

Nocturnal Animals: Part 2 The Movie Set

nocturnal-animals-004

kurt-rappaport_02

Set designer Shane Valentino along with the movie director Tom Ford chose a stunning Malibu house designed by Scott Mitchell. The house was used as the home of Susan and her husband, Hutton. “One of the directives we had in terms of Susan’s world was that it wanted to feel very hard and cold,” he says. “A good way to do that is to look for lots of glass, concrete, or hard materials.”

Art was also a major component to the design of Susan’s home. Valentino used a mix of modern and contemporary art throughout the house.

nocturnal-animals-002

nocturnal-animals-003

Valentino reworked the interior design of the house to include darker furnishings which you can see in the 2 pictures above.“A lot of it is almost a mirror of some sort of Tom’s life and his world that he lives in,” he says. “The chaise lounge, the settees, and the armchairs that are there are part of his aesthetic. We went to a lot of high-end design places like JF Chen to find particular pieces.” Below I’ve put 2 pictures of the original house before the changes were temporarily made for the movie! It has the complete opposite ambiance of the dark and mysterious movie set… here the house is light and airy which is beautiful but somehow I’m in love with the changes made by Valentino!

kurt-rappaport_06

kurt-rappaport_09

Anyways back to the set design

nocturnal-animals-005

I love this photograph from Richard Misrach’s Desert Cantos series that was hung in the entryway. It’s  from Tom Ford’s private collection. Not sure if I would use or put this photograph in a home, but  I think that this particular movie it was a brilliant choice by Valentino, especially with Susan’s hair colour against it! And most importantly I feel that landscape was the perfect hint for us of what was expected to come in the movie….  and sort of set the mood for us!

nocturnal-animals-film-tom-ford-habituallychic-009-0

Another art piece that caught my eye was that beautiful painting by Mark Bradford that hangs above Susan’s bed. I haven’t seen his work in person before but after I saw this I put him on my lists of artists to check out!… I just love it… In fact, I love everything in this room… Everything chosen complements each other without feeling matchy …like how the black marble table top complements the painting…. I love how all the wood walls complement the black and white in the room… I could go on and on about this room but I’ll stop and instead share a picture of the original bedroom just in case you were wondering about it!.

kurt-rappaport_04

So what do you think?  Which house do you prefer?  The dark and mysterious one? Or the bright and airy one?

Nocturnal Animals: Part 1 The Movie Wardrobe

amy_2-xxlarge_trans_nvbqzqnjv4bqhrqf86awcqzuddsi-d-5njkda_u_vlmrrkptikjtvxg

There are many beautiful Movie sets and wardrobes out there but I must say that  I haven’t come across a movie where I loved the wardrobe and the set design at the same time…  until now! I honestly believe that Tom Ford has outdone himself as a director in this movie!….I’ve decided to divide this post into two parts because I feel both the wardrobe and the set design deserve to have their own post!

So the first part will be about the beautiful wardrobe that Arianne Phillips has designed for Susan which was played by Amy Adams.

22-nocturnal-animals-adams-w710-h473-2x

The ‘Susan’ style

“Surprisingly, Susan’s character does not wear any designer clothes at all,” confides Phillips. “Most of the clothes were made; they’re not Tom Ford nor any other designer! I mean, you would think they would be, because it’s contemporary, and Susan’s part of the cultural elite. She’s very presentational: heavy makeup, precisely waved hair, polished, pristine.”

Isn’t that just amazing?… its all about her look and about her style rather than the labels that we see most women focus on these days!

“The clothes really help tell the story of her precision, her perfection and her attempt to be presentational at all times, even when her life is falling apart,” says Phillips. Many of Susan’s scenes take place against the stark visual backdrop of her art gallery or her art gallery-like home where her wardrobe comprises mostly sleek black tailoring, killer heels, and opulent statement jewellery – or stealth-wealth knitwear for the moments when she is alone, often curled up in bed enthralled by the novel her ex-husband has sent her.

image-34-e1479852285297

I was dying to know where Susan’s beautiful tricolor fur in chestnut brown, amber, and white was from.. sadly it was custom made by Tom Ford atelier’s furrier, so we won’t find it in future TF collections  😦

There were many flashbacks to the Nineties which I really loved… They portrayed Susan as a young woman living in New York… 90s Susan reminded me so much of Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy! I love that pared-back 90s chic.

“I stuck with neutrals so that it would have a timeless classic quality because that’s what we believed her character’s aesthetic would be and not particularly bending to trends.” Having said that, there are still recognisable pieces which were staples of the time yet would look just as ‘right’ today, especially given the influence which Nineties trends have had on fashion over the past few years. “Turtlenecks, body suits and trench coats…things that would have been accessible to a young woman of her age,” were all on Phillips’ list.

image-32-e1479852171718

They certainly saved the best for last with that stunning green dress that perfectly  complemented Amy Adams’ red hair.“That color was quite specific,” notes Phillips. “It was dyed and made; we labored over getting it the right color for film—and camera tested it….“It’s a public scene and we really wanted a colour that would stand out cinematically.” The keyhole neckline dress was chosen not only because it matches perfectly with the delicate wall decoration in the restaurant, but also for its powers in emphasising Adams’ flame-red hair. “That particular green is flattering to Amy Adams. I love a redhead in green and that was a yellowy chartreuse. It felt right, sometimes there’s an intuitive sensibility to filmmaking. I’m not a fan of ‘The Red Dress’ that you see in movies.

Movie Wardrobe: The Thomas Crown Affair

There are many movies out there that inspire us in terms of fashion and/or interior design…. So I thought I’d start a new segment on my blog about movie wardrobes that I love and that have influenced my taste and style throughout the years…

I’ll start this segment with one of my favorite movie wardrobes from the 1999 version of The Thomas Crown Affair which was designed by Kate Harrington. I loved Rene Russo ’s lead character, Catherine Banning’s wardrobe. The wardrobe was so impeccable and still relevant today, despite the fact that it was done 17 years ago.

 Harrington was hired with only two months “to pull the clothes together,” which left no room for her to create anything from scratch: not a sketch, a pattern, or garment. She settled on a wardrobe for Russo’s character from the 1997 Celine F/W collection by Michael Kors (one of Russo’s suggestions) and a few Halston creations.

Harrington’s approach was like doing a magazine spread. “That’s how I saw it. I’d just act like I was doing an entire Vanity Fair issue, cover to cover, only with Pierce and Rene.”  I’ve learned many lessons from Kate Harrington’s approach for this movie. Here are a few “lessons” worth thinking about:

65407be9b460f3f0d85182fb1ef34d1a

1. You don’t have to have a colorful wardrobe to make a variety of looks. Rene’s character in this movie rarely wore the same thing twice even though she wore a lot of the same neutral colors like cream, camel, grey and black. She never looked boring because she mixed and matched her neutrals all the time.

2. You must play with textures and materials. For example, Rene wore a cashmere turtleneck with a leather skirt…. and I love the look above where she stayed within a colour scheme but added interest by mixing 3 textures cashmere, fur, and leather.

007374de991fe058c03031698d5676d8

3. Invest in classic cuts because they will never go out of style.  All her clothes are in classic silhouettes – that sequenced black dress, the turtleneck sweaters, the mandarin collar on her gown, that stunning biker cut leather jacket and the list can go on! Her wardrobe was full of items that are a must in every wardrobe and that have stood the test of time.

2aa2f7bf4bead625356a501f2ecf261f

4. Always add a touch of “cool” to your look!. Rene’s character always looked cool even though she always wore very classic clothes…  Like those cool aviator sunglasses with her conservative turtleneck and skirt, those unexpected earrings with a traditional gown, and that bustier over a classic white shirt (above).

RIP Nora Ephron

Sadly one of my favorite screenwriters and filmmakers Nora Ephron has passed away on Tuesday night in Manhattan. She was 71…

She made 3 of my favorite romantic comedy movies “Sleepless in Seattle” , “When Harry Met Sally…,” and  “You’ve Got Mail” ……Her last movie was “Julie & Julia.”

Her breakthrough as a screenwriter was in 1989 When Harry Met Sally was one of the most quotable comedies in movie history…. This is my favorite line from the movie:

“I love that you get cold when it’s 71 degrees out. I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich. I love that you get a little crinkle above your nose when you’re looking at me like I’m nuts. I love that after I spend the day with you, I can still smell your perfume on my clothes. And I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night. And it’s not because I’m lonely, and it’s not because it’s New Year’s, Eve. I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible. “

 Her second film as writer/director was 1993’s Sleepless In Seattle, which I love and blogged about here.

In 1998 she co-wrote and directed You’ve Got Mail….. my “feel good” movie of all times!!!….I have to add this final scene from the movie…. Yes, it might be cheesy for some…. but I am a hopeless romantic and I love happy endings….Here’s to you, Nora Ephron… Thank you for giving us these moments….May you Rest In Peace

No Woman No Cry

In the spirit of mothers day (which is just around the corner)… I thought that I should post about this great documentary!

Director Christy Turlington Burns shares four powerful stories of at-risk pregnant women in four parts of the world, a remote Maasai tribe in Tanzania, a slum in Bangladesh, a post-abortion care ward in Guatemala, and a prenatal clinic in the United States… A must see!!!

No Woman No Cry.

Look Who Wore The GB Dress!!!

A few weeks ago I wrote about 2 dresses I wanted to see on the red carpet!…Well yesterday Diane Kruger wore one of the Giambattista Valli gowns to the screening of the movie ‘Les adieux a la Rein’ (‘Farewell My Queen) during the Opening Gala at the 62nd Berlin International Film Festival…She looked stunning…what a beautiful gown...just fit for a queen!!!

This movie is def on my Must See List!