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Archive for the ‘Film’ Category

What Women Want

In Design, Film on May 13, 2012 at 10:25 am

What is it that women most desire? Ask Chaucer’s protagonist in the Wife of Bath and the answer is sovereignty over their husbands. Me? I’ll settle for marital equality and the right to a good, hot bath. I’m married to a man who gets this—and really good presents. For Mother’s Day this year I unwrapped a gorgeous natural linen bath towel I’ve been coveting from Brahms Mount.

Along with some delicious Malin+Goetz Bergamot Body Wash, which foams up nicely in the bath and smells like Earl Grey tea.

In fact, maybe I’ll have a cup of that, too, tonight while soaking in the 1920s claw foot tub in our guest bathroom under the watchful eye of Julie Christie in a 1960s vintage poster from Darling—a movie about a woman who cannot ever be satisfied but wears really, really good clothes. Happy Mother’s Day!

Bergamot Black tea via gilttaste.com

Chasen’s Chili

In Film, Food, Recipes on October 29, 2011 at 8:36 am

Few women—if any—have been as glamorous as Liz Taylor, and her favorite food was Chasen’s chili. Pictured above with Rock Hudson at the Suddenly, Last Summer premiere at Chasen’s in 1959, Taylor was so smitten with the stuff that she had it flown to the set of Cleopatra in Rome. Until now, my own favorite chili has been this recipe for Texas Beef Brisket Chili. But this year for Halloween, we’re going glam with Chasen’s. My husband made a test pot last week—and paired with a Dogfish Head Punkin Ale and a drizzle of crème fraîche, it’s a glam slam. The chili is even better the following day, so if you’re planning to serve on Halloween best to make it tomorrow afternoon. And if you live in LA, you can still find some of the Dogfish Punkin at the Whole Foods on Third and Fairfax. I’m not one for pumpkin flavored beers, but Dogfish’s version is perfectly spicy with a hint of sweet and totally delicious with the heat of the chili!


1/2 lb dried pinto bean

1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes, with juice

2 tablespoons oil

1 large green bell pepper, chopped

3 cups onions, coarsley chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1/2 cup parsley, chopped

1/2 cup butter (1 stick)

2 lbs center cut beef chuck, trimmed of fat, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces

1 lb pork shoulder, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces

1/3 cup gebhardt chili powder

1 tablespoon salt

black pepper, to taste

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

Rinse the beans, picking out the debris. Place beans in a Dutch oven with water to cover. Boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand one hour. Drain off liquid.

Rinse beans again. Add enough fresh water to cover beans. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered for one hour or until tender.

Stir the tomatoes with juice into the cooked beans, and simmer 5 minutes over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.

Heat the oil in a large skillet and saute the bell pepper for 5 minutes. Add the onion, reduce the heat to low, and cook about 15 minutes until tender, stirring frequently. Stir in the garlic and parsley; add this mixture to the beans.

Using the same skillet, melt the butter and saute the beef and pork, in two batches, if necessary, until browned. Drain. Add meat to the bean mixture along with the chili powder, salt, pepper to taste and cumin.

Simmer mixture, covered, for about an hour. Uncover and cook to the desired consistency, about 5 minutes. The chili should not be too thick. Skim off excess fat and serve.

Agent Orange

In Design, Film on April 10, 2011 at 4:15 pm

Sometimes, the universe tries to tell you things about color. Like on a spoon painted in the new Charlotte’s Locks hue from Farrow & Ball:

Or as modeled by Saoirse Ronan in Hanna.

And, also in Hanna, not to be outdone by these amazing Berlin Subway tiles.

And the splash of color I spied last week through the leaves of a tree in Florida.

Imagine my surprise upon opening a package on Friday from Ristretto Roasters (my very favorite coffee in the whole wide world) featuring a redesigned label.

Which could explain how this Madeline Weinrib Mandala rug leapt into my arms and demanded to be taken home.

But I think what all of this really means is that I need to repaint the hallway orange.

SAG Awards 2011 Fashion Report

In Fashion, Film, Media, On Location: Out and About in L.A. on January 31, 2011 at 1:07 pm

Who watched the SAG Awards last night? I have to say, it is fascinating to see the difference between how a dress plays out on camera versus in the flesh. In person, Mila Kunis absolutely KILLED IT on the red carpet. Her Alexander McQueen gown was so chic—and the Cartier jewels, all of it, just a show-stopper. Her Black Swan costar Natalie Portman absolutely glowed in a white Azarro gown (was that not the best maternity dress EVER???) and her makeup was stunning, but in photos weirdly the look falls a little flat. Similarly, photos do no justice to one of my very favorite looks of the evening, Claire Danes in a gorgeous floral Louis Vuitton, with little flowers sewn into the bodice and a chic black velvet belt.

True Grit‘s Hailee Steinfeld looked age-appropriate in a neon-striped Prada number, but I’m on the fence about whether this actually worked (below). In theory I like it, but in reality the dress is LOUD. Meanwhile, January Jones was gorgeous in photos in an elegant Carolina Herrera but in person she has gotten so skinny that she looked like a wire hanger poking through the dress.

With the exception of Mila Kunis and the flawless Julianna Margulies in her stunning YSL, red dresses have become such a cliché that they are now officially more boring than black. And speaking of black, Nicole Kidman looked like she was wearing a granny shawl with all that heavy stuff happening in the shoulders and neckline of her dowdy Nina Ricci dress. And is it just me, or did Christina Hendricks look as if she’d borrowed one of Hugh Hefner’s bathrobes? Without doubt, the worst of the evening was Helena Bonham Carter, looking like a Texas madam in Marc Jacobs and featuring a hair tint that—when the light caught it backstage—can only be described as prune.

On the other hand, I found myself a little bit breathless when walking in on the red carpet behind her costar Colin Firth in a Tom Ford tux. The man is just stunning. Also, I may never wash my Lanvin frock again as I brushed shoulders with Christian Bale (who, ladies, was all the more devastatingly handsome in person) and Justin Timberlake, who looked AWESOME in his Simon Spur black 2-button gros grain peak lapel tuxedo and double-stripe tie. For sheer tailoring alone, however, my vote goes to his Social Network costar Andrew Garfield in an exquisite navy Burberry tux. Why do the Brits get this navy thing so right? (Exhibit A: Jude Law, below, navy Dunhill tux, Oscars 2004.)

Who were your favorite hits and misses from the awards?

Sipping Pretty at the SAG Awards

In Drink, Fashion, Film, Media on January 30, 2011 at 8:40 am

It’s been years since I’ve been to an awards show—the last time was covering the Oscars from the red carpet back in 2004, which I have to say was pretty damn exciting. Especially the part where Jude Law and I locked eyes and he said, “Dunhill,” when I asked who made his drop dead gorgeous navy tux. I nearly fell over. This afternoon, I’ll be attending the SAG Awards and I can’t wait to see what everyone is wearing. Yours truly is playing it safe and going short with a charcoal silk drape dress from Lanvin and palest pink 4-inch Louboutins and blood red nails. Best of all, I know what I’ll be drinking! One of my very, very favorites—Taittinger Champagne will be pouring at the event and I am so honored to be their guest. And Suzanne Goin of Lucques/AOC/Tavern is cooking. So excited!!!!

P.S. Nosing around on the SAG auction site (proceeds benefit various children’s charities), there’s a fabby 6L bottle of Taittinger Le Brut Français up for sale that will be signed by actors on the red carpet this afternoon. Who wants to go in on it with me?!

Dreaming in Black and White

In Design, Fashion, Film on July 19, 2010 at 8:27 am

I am fairly certain that when Mr. Foodinista and I saw Inception this weekend, Leonardo diCaprio planted the idea that I *need* the following:
1. 1940s black leather Jacques Adnet for Hermès mirror

2. “Oblivion 10n” 40 x 40 c-photograph by David Maisel, 2004

3. Alaïa Perforated Leather Bag

4. 2010 Audi RS 6 Avant ($158,614!!!!!!!!!!!!)

5. Blüthner Grand 6

And no, none of these items feature in the movie, which is what makes this a clear-cut case of mental espionage.

Memorial Day Weekend

In Drink, Film, Food, Media on May 26, 2010 at 11:47 am

I’m tempted to start packing my LL Bean monogrammed Boat and Tote RIGHT NOW for this coming Saturday night’s adventure. My friends Lizzie, Katie and I (and respective gentlemen) are heading to the Hollywood Forever Cemetery for a screening of Hitchcock’s North by Northwest. Lizzie has a great post over at DESIGNwatcher.com about what she’s packing for our picnic. In addition to Lizzie’s thermos of whiskey sours, Katie is bringing rosé, and we’re all cooking up a storm. Mr. Foodinista will be grilling Bourbon-Molasses Chicken Drumsticks (perfect companion to the whiskey sours) and I’ll be making The Foodinista’s Orzo Salad with artichokes and prosciutto. Here’s a shot of the salad from last summer:

It’s like it was MADE to go with rosé. Katie is bringing a lentil salad with herbs and feta, as well as some grilled veggies. And Lizzie is threatening to make some super delicious caramel oat bars for desert. Now, what to wear. I mean beyond the requisite pearls in a nod to the ever spectacular Eva Marie Saint…

Killer Soundtrack

In Film, Media on February 15, 2010 at 8:03 am

A lot of planning went into Saturday night’s ramen fest. So what music did we play? A favorite album from Meiko Kaji, a ’70s Japanese actress/chanteuse: Zenkyokusyu. One of her better known songs is “The Flower of Carnage” (Shura no Hana) from the 1973 film Lady Snowblood (or Shurayuki-hime) in which she plays an assassin—one of Tarantino’s major influences for Kill Bill which also features the song. Here’s the opening from Lady Snowblood, and the song.

Klute to Kill

In Fashion, Film on October 30, 2009 at 7:20 am


This weekend, our dance cards are full with Halloween bashes. Tomorrow afternoon, Tiny G has been invited to his girlfriend Hazel’s for a costume party. He is going as a bumble bee. Then tomorrow night, our friends Booth and Adam are hosting a spooky soirée to which my husband and I are going as Donald Sutherland and Jane Fonda, respectively, from Klute (1971). I was so inspired by a Uniqlo corduroy jacket my husband wears in heavy rotation, which, when teamed with a cashmere turtleneck, makes him look either like John Updike or Donald Sutherland. The latter seemed to give yours truly more wardrobe choices. Today I need to hunt down a cheap belt and a mullet wig to complete the look, though frankly my own ‘do is looking a little shaggy these days. I got this turtleneck mini at American Apparel, and PS, it doesn’t look QUITE like that on me:

american apparel solid rib dress

…and will throw a Viktor & Rolf trench over the affair with some knee-high pleather boots picked up on the cheap in Paris about a decade ago. Here are some other fashionable turns from the movie, but were too much of a wardrobe investment (what? you ask, i don’t have a red leather corset with fringe kicking about in my closet?):


Donald Sutherland Klute

jane fonda klute

Project Runway’s Newsworthy Challenge

In Fashion, Film, Media on September 18, 2009 at 8:22 am

Last night’s Project Runway featured one of my best friends and Tiny G’s gorgeous godmother, the “celebrated fashion critic” for the Los Angeles Times, Booth Moore. Booth delivered the challenge: Designers had to craft garments out of newspaper. Here’s the link. Check her out! And for added bonus interview, click here for the Project Runway Blog interview with Booth.