Famous Couples

What do all famous couples have in common? They all have a good love story behind them. Whether it’s a fairy tale romance, an exciting adventure, or a fantasy filled with magic and wonder. We all know their stories, and instantly recognize these duos when we see them, sometimes by their distinctive garb alone.

Who hasn’t seen a man in a smoking jacket and immediately thought of Hugh Hefner and his Playboy Bunnies? The Bunnies might be interchangeable, but it sure seems like Hef loves ‘em all.

More traditionally it is a story where two people come together and fall in love, or go on an adventure and eventually fall for one another. It is these stories that make us remember these remarkable twosomes.

The on screen romance between Han Solo and Princess Leia is a classic example. These Star Wars characters fell in love while fighting for the fate of the galaxy. Now the ‘Cinnabon’ hairstyle favored by Princess Leia will forever be associated with light-sabers and space ships.

Tarzan & Jane are a vine swinging couple who are easy to spot, adorned in loincloths and animal skins. The love story between a man who was raised in the jungle by gorillas, and a proper English woman is a classic ‘opposites attract’ affair. After Jane meets Tarzan while lost in the jungle, she brings him back to other Englishmen and they attempt to socialize him; but he prefers to stay wild and free in the jungle. Jane’s love for Tarzan proves to be enough to make her leave her civilized life and join him in the trees, eventually ditching her prim petticoats for a look more befitting of the first lady of the jungle.

Every child knows the classic fairy tale of Cinderella’s romance with Prince Charming. After losing her father, Cinderella is made to slave away like a servant by her cruel stepmother, unlike her spoiled stepsisters. When the Prince invites all the ladies in the land to a ball, Cinderella is neither invited nor able to attend, having only her tattered peasant clothes to wear. Luckily, her fairy godmother appears and uses magic to conjure a beautiful gown complete with glittering glass slippers. As we all know the glass slipper was the key to this couple’s “happily ever after”.

Not all notable pairs are plucked from the pages of storybooks however, and real life criminals Bonnie & Clyde are a perfect example. Known for holding up banks across America during the 1930’s, this fedora-clad gangster and his accomplice wife have become legendary. In the classic style of that era, they robbed gas stations, stores, as well as banks, while dressed in suits and ties. That is except for Bonnie, who wore dresses that were stylish for the 30’s.These two gained fame or infamy, depending upon how you look at it, for refusing to be brought in by the authorities. They resisted capture, and left us with the tale of a famous couple who defied the law, but loved each other to the end.

Irene Gibbons

The Golden Age of cinema echoes throughout time with its elegant sense of design and style that has proven to be highly influential decades later. One of the contributors to this aesthetic is Irene Lentz, better known to the public by her work name Irene Gibbons.

Born at the start of the 20th century in Montana, Gibbons started her flirtations with the silver screen by appearing in a number of small time roles in the burgeoning silent cinema, eventually marrying her director F. Richard Jones. Sadly, the marriage was a short one, with Jones passing away due to illness barely a year after the pair exchanged vows.

However, Gibbons destiny wasn’t to be uncovered in front of the camera. Passionate about sewing and having a natural flair for stylistic flourishes, Gibbons opened up her own dress shop, earning recognition until she was hired to work at the luxurious Bullocks Wilshire department store, working in the Ladies Custom Salon as a dressmaker.

This position, rubbing shoulders and hemming seams for some of the most elegant and extravagant ladies in the country, gained her a large degree of attention by film industry power players. Her first big break was in 1933; designing the outfits for Lily Damita in the film Goldie Gets Along. This first foray opened up a number of doors, culminating in her first major success as dress designer for Ginger Rogers in the 1937 team-up with Fred Astaire, Shall We Dance.

The stars aligned for Gibbons as she went on a designing spree, engineering chic gowns and dresses for the top cinema billers throughout the 30’s and 40’s. Clients included Constance Bennett, Hedy Lamarr, Joan Bennett, Claudette Colbert, Carole Lombard, Ingrid Bergman and Loretta Young.

Gibbons’ greatest period of renown was during the late 40’s when she designed a number of forward thinking styles, such as her famous “soufflé”, for actress Lana Turner in The Postman Always Rings Twice. Gibbons also earned an Academy Award nomination in 1948 for her costume designs in B.F.’s Daughter.

Despite personal unhappiness with a string of unpleasant marriages, Gibbons managed to churn out exceptional work with Doris Day in 1960 for Midnight Lace, earning a second award nomination, and following up that success with 1961’s Lover Come Back, also featuring Doris Day.

Unfortunately, Gibbons took her own life in late 1962. Nevertheless, this sad tragedy does not diminish the astoundingly high number of successes generate by this incredible designer.

Burlesque

Somewhere between striptease and social parody, scantily-clad women perform along the fine line of sex appeal and subversion in the centuries-old stage art of burlesque. Although burlesque has often been historically confused with stripping, titillation is the trademark of this extravagant stage form. In burlesque, the emphasis is placed on playfully teasing the audience. The success of this form of entertainment stems from the simple principle that what is artfully hidden is more intriguing than what is fully revealed; and a subtle tease can be a powerful form of social commentary.

The word “burlesque” comes from the Italian “burla”, meaning joke, ridicule or mockery. The stage form of burlesque has been likened to parody and the mock-heroic. Burlesque originated in Victorian England, in response to the prevailing ethic that women’s bodies should be hidden under corsets, hoops, full skirts and bustles. The art form was characterized by intentionally absurd skits, risqué costuming, and parody. Early burlesque acts made light of popular plays and operas by spoofing the stories, characters and music. In essence, burlesque shows provided a comedic jab at the status quo, wrapped up in a sexy and lightly salacious package.

The art form of burlesque soon spread to the United States, where a circuit of burlesque theaters sprung up across the nation. In its heyday, burlesque rivaled vaudeville in its widespread popularity, and many famous performers broke into show business on the burlesque theatre circuit. The more that the conservative news outlets of the time deemed burlesque to be indecent, the more popular it became with audiences.

Over time, the comedic and social critique aspects of burlesque were gradually lost as the shows moved towards simple striptease. By the 1920’s, burlesque theaters were closing down. Burlesque went dormant for several decades while more graphic forms of erotic dance replaced the artful and subtle type of performances.

All this changed in the late 90’s and early 2000’s however, when burlesque once again began to sweep across the nation. The Baz Luhrmann film Moulin Rouge! (2001), with its extravagant costuming, can-can dancing and sumptuous colors, shone the spotlight on this once-lost art form. Meanwhile, individual entertainers such as Dita Von Teese, author of the book Burlesque and the Art of the Teese, and so-called “queen of the new burlesque renaissance” were getting busy bringing burlesque back to the stage. Dita’s shows incorporate lavish costumes and over-the-top props such as a carousel horse and a giant martini glass. She says she “puts the tease back into striptease,” summing up the prevailing attitude of today’s post-modern burlesque performers who flirt with, titillate, tease and provoke their audiences in an atmosphere of lighthearted, sexy fun. These performers’ shows are all about character, costume and comportment more than they are about nudity.

As “neo-burlesque” surges in popularity, more and more amateur performers are taking to the stage to give burlesque a whirl. At such schools as the New York School of Burlesque, founded in 2003 by Jo Weldon, students are empowered with all the tricks of the trade to take complete creative control of their sex appeal and self-expression. Clearly, the socially subversive element of burlesque is back, this time on an individual level. Burlesque is being discovered by women everywhere who are looking beyond mainstream society’s standards of beauty and body image to find their inner starlet onstage.

Elvis is still King

Elvis—Why the King Lives

Let’s face it—Elvis was King for a reason. Or—more accurately—for many reasons. His talent and timeless appeal still hold true today as fans still pay tribute to him through fun costumes from various eras of his career. Elvis’ fame can’t be explained away easily. He was an instant hit worldwide, which is why his fame has endured long after his passing. Why is his legacy so powerful that fans still seek out this look for costume parties around the world?

The Legacy

You can hardly walk around the Las Vegas strip without seeing a dozen or so versions of the King. Any television show or movie set in Sin City will certainly feature one or two Kings as well. His legacy is as strong as ever, with Elvis impersonators making a good living swaying their hips and curling their lips for droves of Elvis fans. But, the fascination with Elvis isn’t limited to Vegas.

For many, wearing an Elvis costume is the perfect way to pay tribute to their beloved King, making it a great choice for fans of all ages. Men, women, and children can often be seen at costume parties wearing the bejeweled jumpsuit and dark glasses. The fun of the King’s look is timeless—as people everywhere instantly recognize the classic look of an Elvis costume. For that reason, the costume has remained a popular choice for decades and is always a big hit at parties.

The King—The Many Manifestations of the Elvis Costume

The great thing about dressing up as the greatest cultural icon of all times is—there really are no rules about who can and can’t emanate the look of Elvis. Today’s Elvis wannabes come in all shapes, sizes, ages, and—well—genders. Many women don the look as a sexy version of the King to add some spice to the next costume party. Costumes of the King are meant to be fun and can be perfect for just about anyone. With dark glasses and a white jumpsuit along with a few good moves, anyone can be the King of Rock and Roll at the next costume party.

Clown History

Clowns have the ability to make people really happy or really creeped-out. In fact, I can’t think of another caricature that has such a polarizing effect on people as clowns do. I’ve been to the circus and seen kids laughing hysterically at the antics of those colorful and wildly dressed performers, standing right next to kids who cowered in fear from those same goofy characters. Why the different reactions? What makes clowns so beloved by some, yet feared enough by some for a special term to be coined for the exaggerated and irrational fear of clowns, coulrophobia?

Psychologists say that fear of clowns may be caused by early childhood experiences, where children are learning about facial features and the exaggerated features of clowns can confuse and scare them, leaving a lasting imprint of fear. Fortunately for the rest of us, most people find clowns to be entertaining and amusing. Clowns have been around since the days of the Pharaohs in ancient Egypt, and there are still numerous types of clown characters for us to enjoy.

The court jester or fool-type clown is one of the oldest clown forms, dating back to the Middle Ages in Europe. Jesters were often accomplished musicians and acrobats as well as comic figures, and they dressed in multicolored costumes and hats with bells. Due to their unique position in the court, jesters were especially suited to offer social and political commentary under the guise of satire. Does the fool smile because he knows nothing, or does he smile because he knows everything? No one can know for sure; this mystery is a large part of the fool’s appeal.

It is believed that the Whiteface clown – today’s “typical” clown – evolved from the clowns of ancient Greece. The Whiteface clown can exhibit a wide range of personalities, from smart leader to the buffoonish “bozo” type. Auguste clowns, who have a flesh-toned makeup base and the more exaggerated facial features of clowns, are the silliest. They are often bald on top and wear outrageous baggy, colorful clothing. Clowns were also prevalent in the highly improvisational theatre form of Commedia dell’Arte that dramatized the relationships between servants and masters. French mimes, with their white-painted faces and black attire, rely strictly on body language and facial expression to make us laugh without saying a word.

Though Western clown types are the most widely-known in the Western world, it’s important to note that clowning has existed all over the world in many different cultures throughout history. The many types of clown performers in the world include Japanese Kabuki Theater, in which characters wear clownish white makeup, Native American shamanic-tradition clowns, and the globally-pervasive archetype of the Trickster.

The father of modern clowning was Joseph Grimaldi (1778-1837). Grimaldi embellished the traditional whiteface clown makeup with more elaborate colors and the red triangles we often see on clowns’ faces to this day. Famous clowns of the modern age include Charlie Chaplin of 1920s silent film fame. Even some of today’s famous comedians, such as Mr. Bean and Peewee Herman, can be seen as descendents of this diverse and long history of clowning around the world.

Memorable hairstyles in TV

There are some women’s hairstyles that have simply become iconic through television. While some of these style may be a little impractical to pull off on a daily basis, or even completely fictional, there is little doubt that many of the leading ladies of the small screen have influenced how women’s hair of today is styled. Here’s a quick rundown of some leading styles.

Farrah Fawcett- Can anyone look back on the 70’s and not see that classic red bathing suit poster of Farrah Fawcett hanging up in someone’s room? If there is a queen of late 70s and early 80s hair styles, it has to be Farrah Fawcett. What’s not to love about that big mound of golden locks? Sadly, while she may not be with us anymore, there is no doubt that few TV celebrities captured good hair like she did.

Jennifer “The Rachel” Aniston- Friends was more than just a television powerhouse in the 90s, it was a cultural touchstone of that decade. Everyone has tuned in to the show at least once in their life, even if it was by accident. Aside from all the quotes and one-liners that the show gave us, one thing has clearly stood the test of time, Rachel Green’s haircut. Although hated by Aniston herself, the haircut filtered down through the collective consciousness to become one of the most popular hairstyles of recent times. The show may be long over but the influences of that style still linger.

Marge Simpson- Ok, while this style maybe a bit impossible to pull off, the lady usually hides a backpacks worth of items in that massive blue beehive, there is little doubt that Marge Simpson is known for her hair. Although an interesting character in her own right, few things distinguish this leading lady like her hairstyle.

Dorothy Zbornak- While The Golden Girls may not be very fashion forward, Bea Arthur’s character’s signature hairstyle became a staple for later middle aged women simply because it is of impeccable taste and easy to pull off. Don’t be surprised when your mom retires to Florida and turns up at Thanksgiving sporting this look!

Furries

For those who may not know, furries are fans of anthropomorphic animals. At a most basic definition, the term furries means creatures or animals with humanistic qualities, such as the ability to talk. However, as a fan culture, furries are far more than just cartoon aficionados. There’s a vibrancy and energy there that shocks most of the public at first. Regardless, furries are more complex than they appear.
Coming about in the mid 80’s, furries, the term was coined at a science fiction convention when attendees began to discuss the importance of talking animals in the genre, and quickly blossomed into a whole subset of fan culture with full conventions devoted to furries cropping up in the 1990s.

Like all other genres of fan culture, fur fans gravitate towards celebrating this particular style of expression. A convention is often packed with enthusiasts who grab up all sorts of prose, poetry, comic books, cartoons and merchandise that feature some form of humanistic animal. Another big draw of a furry convention is also the chance to dress up as a furry.

Nevertheless, being a furry fan extends beyond the convention scene. A series of magazine, called fanzines, keep the culture alive and well in between convention appearances. Furthermore, websites and chat rooms, the few that still exist, are another way furries make their presence known. Indeed, the rise of furry fan culture coincided with the rise of the internet in people’s homes, leading to the culture having a big slant towards the digital side of life. There are even video games and online role playing games available to furry fanatics who need that extra something.

Still, what is it about anthropomorphized animals that are so appealing to people? Isn’t that just kids stuff? The simple answer is that, like any form of entertainment or hobby, being a furry fan is a way of losing yourself, a way of distraction. Being a furry fan is no more or less valid than being a baseball fan, comic book diehard or automobile enthusiast. All of them provide ways for people to not only satisfy a desire but to express themselves in a field they identify with.

Movie Ticket Weekly “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2”

I can think of no better way to bring a decade long adventure to a close than with what was shown in the final Harry Potter movie, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two. It is easy to see that everything that Part One had lacked due to it focusing on developing the atmosphere and set up for the finale had been saved for this. And as they say, you always save the best for last!

­The movie picks up right where Part One left off with Voldemort acquiring the Elder Wand before shifting scenes to Harry and company recovering from the fiasco at Malfoy Manor. No time is wasted as the movie dives right in for the plot where everything picks up in pace. The battle for Hogwarts of students and staff versus Voldemort and his Death Eaters had everyone in the theater cheering on the edge of their seats. For those who have read the books will be pleased to see that the highlight moments were captured perfectly on camera.

Granted there were some differences between the movie and book but this is nothing new. I do hope that when this comes out on DVD there will be a Director’s Cut with more movie to make up for pieces that were missing or even extended ones to help fill in a few gaps. This movie, however, is worth the movie ticket price and deserves to be seen. Deathly Hallows Part Two did what it was set out to do. It brought this fantastic franchise to its conclusion and further cemented this series in that little place in our hearts. Tears were shed for the characters who had found their way into our lives and were lost by the end; cheers filled the theater as the battles fought on and even a few glasses shattered from people jumping in their seats! And when the credits began to roll fans lifted their wands in the air and called out “Mischief Managed!”, which made this ending all the more real.

All around the country people everywhere were finding ways to celebrate this momentous occasion. Some theaters were holding marathons of the first seven films all day long before the midnight release of the final one. Festivals and parties were put together, such as Finite Incantatem at the Studio Movie Grill in Houston. I managed a quick stop in at this event before heading to the movie and I got to see some of the vendors and fans dressing up. I myself dressed up in a Hufflepuff uniform and robe.

I had attended the midnight showing at the West Oaks Alamo Draft with my friends despite the fact there was work in the morning, but then again so were many others who were attending this. The audience was let in at ten o’clock to find their seats, ordered their food and drinks (I highly recommend the Butterbeer by the way—either the regular or the adult version, the latter containing alcohol) and hung around while they waited. During that time, the theater was showing various parodies and videos made by fans that can be found on YouTube and College Humor. There were the classic Harry Potter Puppet Pal shorts, a parody of ‘Hakuna Matata’ called ‘Avada Kedvara’ , a mock commercial for a police-esque drama titled ‘The Aurors’ and a Rebecca Black ‘Friday’ Parody for the Deathly Hallows’.

Green Lantern Costumes

The green fever is spreading! One of the hottest movies of the summer, The Green Lantern, has invaded Frankel’s Costumes and we couldn’t be more excited! Director Martin Campbell, who brought us blockbusters such as the Zorro films and the 007 films Casino Royale and Golden Eye, brings DC Comics The Green Lantern to life. The film is loaded with intense special effects, catchy one liners, and our favorite part, the awesome costumes!

The extremely talented Ryan Reynolds brings to life Hal Jordan, a test pilot who has been chosen by the ring as the first human of the Green Lantern Corps. As the Green Lantern, his costume is visually stunning and extremely memorable. Of course, CGI helps to add special effects to the costume. Rubie’s Costumes has taken the style of the Green Lantern suit and designed a costume that everyone can wear!

We have a couple of different designs to suit any taste. The first design, The Green Lantern-Deluxe, is more in line with the actual comic book character. The costume is a little less flashy and is more for those who having been following the Green Lantern their whole lives. The costume includes a green and black jumpsuit with attached boot covers as well as the infamous green mask. If classic style is what you want, than this costume is for you! The other design, The Hal Jordan/Green Lantern DLX, comes straight from the movie. Although the costume doesn’t actually light up, Rubie’s has done an excellent job making a replica that is not only recognizable, but very close to what the characters in the movie actually wore. The costume has rich green jumpsuit that is comfortable enough to fight crime day and night. If you are worried your that you don’t have the six pack of Hal Jordan, have no fear! This costume is made to look like the muscles are already there. Unlike many super hero costumes, the Green Lantern Deluxe is not skin tight, so you won’t have to fret about embarrassing mishaps. The costume also comes in adult standard size, as well as adult plus size. The costume, of course, includes the green mask with an elastic band to secure it in place as well as the ring.

Unfortunately, the ring included with the costume doesn’t light up. If you want to look authentic though, Rubie’s also designed a light up version of the ring for those who really want to go all out. The ring is a great way to complete your Green Lantern look!

Steam Punk: A Closer Look

When most people hear steampunk, images of giant brass machines, powered by clockwork gizmos and antiquated power sources come to mind. Highflying dirigibles or clockwork buggies take you to your workplace shoveling coal or turning some giant crank all day. All in all, steampunk is largely a fantasy setting for most people.

However, there are those individuals out there that have embraced the aesthetic of steampunk and turned it into a fashion style. This innovation is new. The movement hasn’t quite coalesced into a whole. The reason behind this is that, when looking at it critically, steampunk fashion is pretty impractical.

The sense of style for steampunk is almost entirely defined by its technology. Therefore, stuff that is steampunk is usually big, bulky and complex looking. It isn’t exactly easy to hop onto a giant clockwork powered bicycle or to flag down an airship when you need to stop off at the mall.

General steampunk fashion can be said to be a sort of Victorian era Britain revival. This means gowns, corsets, petticoats and bustles for the ladies and suits with vests, coats and spats and/or military-inspired garments for the guys.

Nevertheless, to be steampunk requires defining your style in relation to technology. This is where steampunk fashion steps into its own. Accessories are huge in steampunk fashion. Monocles are always a good touch. So are opera glasses and other pieces of Victorian fashion.

Be creative though. Look for items that a rich in gold leaf and brass. Try and customize your cell phone or other electronic devices to be suitably anachronistic looking.

So little can be written about steampunk fashion because it is still a work in progress. While all fashion can be called a never ending labor, steampunk has only recently popped onto the fashion stage and isn’t really expressed except in fringe groups.

Still, the popularity of this fashion style is growing as the popularity of this fictional genre has. Don’t be put off by the lack of practicality when it comes to steampunk fashion. Be outside the box the next time you head outdoors. Embrace being a fictional time period