Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Under the Influence -- Crossing Delancey

Do you remember, as a kid, hearing your parents talk about movies and music?  Do you remember how mysterious it all seemed -- like there was some vital something that existed in whatever moved them?  I do.  Sometimes I think about my mother from then, and remember how she reacted to those things that shaped her tastes.  The movies she loved, the music she couldn't get enough of, and it makes me feel closer to her in a different way.  I think of her at 38 and it makes me relate to her now through my adult eyes, but still with the wonder of a child. 

The movie, Crossing Delancey, is a movie that has been lodged in my mind since I was a kid.  It came out in 1988, when I was 10 and she was 37, and I remember that my mom went to see it in the theater.  She adored it.  For years afterwards, when it came on television, she would sigh, and say, "I love this movie."  She's a romantic, and for better or worse, so am I. 

I had seen snippets of the movie, but never watched it from start to finish.  I knew two things about it -- that it took place in New York and that it starred Amy Irving, with her lovely pale blue eyes and wild curly hair.  When I watched it through, I finally understood why my mother loved it.

It is a deep movie, masquerading as a light romantic comedy.  Based on the play by Susan Sandler, who also wrote the screenplay, it has the depth that comes from a work that was originally intended for the stage.  I, personally, find that when something moves from the stage to screen, barring any major loss of plot, it holds up better than most screenplays that were written just for the screen.  When you write for theater it needs a stronger backbone; it needs to exist in a certain space, within certain limitations.  Without strong characters, plot, and storyline, a play would fall flat, whereas so many modern movies cover over these faults with visual noise.

The movie exists within the late 1980s with most of its styling. But, I think the 80s looks stick with the secondary characters. Isabelle (Amy Irving), with some slight tweaking, fits right into today with her style.  Izzy favors dusty colors and neutrals, tending towards navy, gray, olive green, brown, caramel, tan, and mushroom tones.  She loves plaids and mini prints, but her staples are solids.  Texture is key for her, too.  Suede boots, braided leather belts, and her all important wool felt oversize fedora finish out her looks.  Izzy loves a trench, a scarf, and her caramel leather handbag.

It's a seamless mix of vintage style pieces -- 1940s and 1950s influences with the rayon mini print dresses, emphasis on strong shoulders, and the boxy plaid shirt jackets -- with basic staples that will always be classics -- the trench coat, the fedora, cable knit sweaters, and denim.

If you want to channel your inner Izzy, here are some basic combos that will put you on the right track.  These are from all over the place, vintage and new. Check out our Under the Influence Pinterest board (here) for details.

And finally, if you need some more style inspiration, two celebrities that channel Isabelle's style are Katie Holmes and Jessica Alba.  Both love layers, textures, and neutral colors.  AND they know how to style a fedora!

 I highly recommend watching it if you can.  It's available to rent from Amazon, and they show it every so often on TCM.  If you're a softie like me, you'll love it.

Oh, and P.S., if you just have to have a plaid shirt jacket like Izzy's, we have one VERY similar in brown in our Etsy shop!  It's a 1950s wool jacket by Merrill.  You can find it here.

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