The Red Shoes: A Ballet Symbolic of the Public/Private Spheres.

The Sadler Wells Theatre was showing Matthew Bourne’s ballet adaptation of The Red Shoes at the start of the year in London. Whilst watching the production, especially at ‘Ballet of the Red Shoes’ scene, I noticed something quite interesting. The ballet dancer who played ‘The Shoemaker’ looked extremely similar to the man portraying Boris Lermontov (it wasn’t until after the show that I realised they weren’t the same person.) This similarity got me thinking, about how the ballet within the performance and film reflect Vicky’s internal struggle of having to choose between her love of ballet (public sphere) and her husband (private sphere) to which these shoes become symbolic of.

The Red Shoes was originally a fairy tale by Hans Christian Anderson. The story follows a young girl named Karen whose excessive wearing of the shoes eventually leads to her having to amputate her own feet. Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s 1948 film adaptation isn’t quite as gruesome.  It follows a young, aspiring principal ballet dancer Vicky Page (Moira Shearer) who must decide between her love of ballet and continue in Boris Lermontov’s (Anton Walbrook) ballet company or her love for the composer Julian Craster (Marius Goring). The exploration of the shoes being a symbol of the public and private spheres starts from when the ballet of ‘The Red Shoes’ begins.

The ballet scene centres on a young girl who is enticed to wearing a pair of red shoes. ‘The Shoemaker’ enticing Vicky’s character represents Lermontov’s role in the film as well as the public sphere. The public sphere involves careers, politics, business and so forth and Lermontov prides his work amongst all else. He briefly appears in the ballet as ‘The Shoemaker’ when Vicky is distressed, reflecting his overbearing nature and control of his company. When he first meets Vicky he asks her why she wanted to dance, to which she replied “why do you want to live?” Before she met Julian, she wanted nothing more than to become a part of a world-leading ballet company as a principal dancer. Lermontov’s ambitions for his dancers was so consuming that when his previous lead Irina Boronskaya (Ludmilla Tcherina) announced she was getting married, he threw out of the company and refused to speak to her. This also happens in the second half of the film when Vicky decides to leave the company with her husband Julian. It is only when she leaves that the audience see Lermontov’s developed an infatuation with her. She returns and when he finds her on a train in Monte Carlo and just like ‘the shoemaker’ in the ballet, he entices her back to put on the red shoes once more.

Julian beomes the boy

Julian (Marius Goring) transitioning into ‘The Boy’ (Robert Helpmann) in the ballet in Vicky’s (Moira Shearer) mind.

Another central character to the ballet is ‘The Boy’ who is in love with ‘The Girl’. ‘The Boy’ character symbolises Julian, who in turn, is a symbol of the private sphere.  The private sphere consists of the home, familial structures and all things personal to the individual. In the scene Julian appears briefly, revealing the psyche of Vicky to the audience. The first time, he appears as ‘The Shoemaker’ highlighting the fact that Julian was also pushing her too, in this case it was regarding the tempo (something they quarrelled about before the scene.)  The second time he appears as ‘The Boy’, reflecting the narrative for the second half of the film. Julian and Vicky eventually realise their feelings for each other and marry, much to the chagrin of Lermontov. He fires the composer and Vicky decides to go too, choosing love over her career. In London Julian engrosses himself in his passion by writing an opera. Vicky misses hers and when she finally returns to perform ‘The Red Shoes’ again, he believes he’s chosen Lermontov over her. As he leaves for the train, Vicky who seemed bound by the shoes, runs off onto the balcony and falls in front of a moving train. The ending parallels the ending of the ballet, where ‘The Girl’ pleads with her lover to take off the shoes, just as Vicky does with Julian.

Pulling off the shoe parallel

The ending of the ballet (left) and the film (right) where the lover pulls off ‘The Girl’/Vicky’s shoes.

The separation of the two spheres is practised in Liberalism and Liberal Feminism, who unlike the other feminist ideologies, see the spheres as being separate of each other. With this in mind, a question to consider is does this film condemn or endorse this? We must keep in mind that Vicky is still a young girl and the only familial relationship we’re aware of is her aunt. Lermontov therefore acts as a patriarchal figure who is forcing her to choose. He believes that a principal  ballet dancers love should be for their work only. This extreme measure makes Vicky believe that she cannot be a wife as well as a dancer and feels that she must chose. Julian, on the other hand, still wants her to dance but just not for Lermontov. At that time it wasn’t uncommon for women to leave their careers for the privacy of the home, just look at Clara Bow who gave up her acting career in 1931 and spent the rest of her days on a ranch. The only difference between her and Vicky is that Vicky’s career has only just begun. She doesn’t want to have to choose between the two. She wants both. The shoes symbolise her struggle and this struggle consumed her, just like the shoes consumed the young girl in the ballet. The fact that she died too serves as a dire warning to the consequences of ‘separating’ the spheres. The question of whether it condemns or endorses is open to interpretation. Either way ‘The Red Shoes’ symbolise a struggle most women may face, or have faced, of having to choose between your loves and passions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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SewHayleyJane: May Subscription Box Review.

It’s that time of the month when I get all happy and excited, as my SewHayleyJane subscription box has arrived.[1] If you would like to check out the previous themed boxes, you can check out February, March’s and April’s boxes. (Just click the links of each month to see more.)

May’s Box:

The theme for May is called ‘Really Wild May’. If the title doesn’t make it that much clearer, it is an animal themed box. By ‘animals’, I mean that the fabric has an animals you’d find in the jungle theme, whilst the haberdashery theme is flying insect pollinators. Animal print is trending at the moment, so the 2.5 metre fabric this month is a Leopard print satin. As always, there is a light brown Gütermann thread to match and Issue 6 of the magazine.

The fat quarters continue the jungle inspired animal theme. One is a dark blue, and features green, pink and orange snakes with various mini patches of grass. There is a light muted green one which has random black and white lines in various sizes, along with some crocodiles (or alligators. I know they are different in regards to land and water, however, I’m not sure how they look differently.) There are two white ones, one that has various leaves and flowers in green and pink, and the other one which has flamingos, snakes, alligator (or crocodile?), with various lily pads, leaves and palm trees.

SewHayleyJane May 1

Shown here from left: Issue 6 of the magazine, & Mills beeswax and some light brown Gütermann thread. Underneath is the 2.5 metres of Satin Leopard print.

In regards to flying insect pollinators, there are two haberdashery items which adhere to this theme. Firstly, there is Tailor’s beeswax by Merchant & Mills as well as some Butterfly pins on a pin wheel. The treat for this month, as expected, is a mini pack of Cadbury’s Animal biscuits.

First Impressions:

Like last month’s box, it isn’t blue which is quite nice. On the other hand, when I saw the Leopard print, my first instinct was ‘oh no’. I feel like Leopard print is somewhat like Marmite, you either love wearing it and it’s your thing, or you don’t wear it at all. I myself am in the latter category. My other initial thought also made me think of my mum, who likes leopard print, so I’ll make something for her. The fact that it is also Satin has me a little worried, as I am working on a sewing project at the moment which is with a knitted jersey fabric which has been a nightmare to figure out! (I think I’m doing ok with it now though.)  As always, the matching thread is life saver and the magazine is great.

I mentioned last month that my mum wanted me to make her something from one of the fat quarters and now this month, it’s my niece’s turn. She wants me to make her something from the light green crocodile one so I have a couple of ideas on what I will make with that. The fat quarter’s jungle theme has a more child-like quality to them, compared to the 2.5 metre fabric, and they’ll be good for making craft projects for little ones. At first I didn’t even notice that I had the butterfly pins, as they were hidden behind the leopard print. They’re quite cute although one does have a tendency to fall out of the wheel. The tailor’s beeswax stinks and it also reminds me of the cork grease that I had to apply on my saxophone. I’ve looked up that it was used to strengthen the thread, and Merchant and Mills suggest to use it as a way to help get the thread through a needle. Threading a needle is probably my one really good sewing skill, however, I might try it out and see how it goes anyway. And finally, I like Animal biscuits so I’ll probably eat them up real soon.

SewHayleyJane May 2

In this image is the four fat quarters, the butterfly pins and a packet of Cadbury’s Animal biscuits.

Initially, I thought that compared to last month, I wasn’t really feeling it. Thinking about it now, however, this box may not be ‘for me’ per say but a box where I can use the fabric to make things for other members of my family. After showing my mum the leopard print pattern, we had a look over some patterns and have narrowed it down to two. I’m definitely going to be making her a wrap round belted dress. The fat quarters are cute and I will be making something for my niece with one, as I mentioned before. I’m also quite intrigued by the tailor’s beeswax in general and I will experimenting with using that soon.

In another side note, it might be the Royal Mail who do this, but the packaging for this one inside wasn’t as good. It all went off to one side and was all scrunched up when I opened it. (Easily fixable but still annoying, to be honest.)

Update: What I made:

This section will be updated once I complete the projects that I have made with the fabric and fat quarters featured in this month’s box.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[1] This post is not sponsored in any way, shape or form. I’m just reviewing them for the fun of it.

SewHayleyJane: April Subscription Box Review.

This month, my box came a day later than usual but I am here nonetheless still reviewing them[1]. If you haven’t seen my other reviews, you can check out February’s and March’s boxes here.

April’s Box:

The theme for the box this month is ‘London Calling’. The 2.5 metre fabric isn’t something that you would expect but the reasoning behind it is quite original. The box features a bright pink georgette with little floral pattern adorning it. The reasoning behind this was so that the fabric could be used to make either something casual, or something special, for when you next visit the capital. There is also a bright pink Gütermann thread to match, along with a matching bright pink concealed zip.

SewHayleyJane April 1

Underneath: 2.5 metre of bright pink georgette fabric. Image also shows the pink concealed zip, Issue 5 of the magazine and some pink Gütermann thread.

The fat quarters, on the other hand, do mostly feature famous London motifs. There are two fat quarters that feature iconic landmarks such as Big Ben (Elizabeth Tower), the Gherkin, London buses, Tower Bridge, the London Eye, rain and so forth. One is printed on white whilst the other is a light blue with a road and river running throughout it. There is also another blue fat quarter which features Royal Guards, along with a dark blue one which has red and yellow roses. There is also a set of four beautiful Liberty Fabric buttons from the House of Alistair. As usual, there was the new issue (No.5) of the magazine and this month’s special treat was a Fortnum and Mason Royal Blend teabag.

First Impressions:

My first impression regarding the fabric was ‘thank goodness it isn’t blue!’ It’s not that I have anything against blue, but this is the first time that I have received a SewHayleyJane box which doesn’t have the 2.5 metre fabric in blue. It was also the first time that, when I realised that it was georgette, I knew what I wanted to do with the fabric. My main problem now is finding the perfect pattern for what I’m looking for. The London fat quarters, and the theme in general, is absolutely lovely and it got me all excited for this box (as I love London very much.) I’m not sure what I’m going to do with all of them, but I know where one will probably end up. I recently made a nappy and wipe holder with a Mickey Mouse fabric so that we could take it out on our trips with my nephew. When my mum saw the London fat quarters, she was insisting that I make another with one of my London fat quarters.

The zip and thread are perfect, as I’m hoping to make the georgette into a dress, so that’s good. If I can incorporate the buttons then that would be great, but if not I’m thinking of another project which they could look great with. I love me a cup of tea so the tea goes down well with me and the magazine is great as usual.

SewHayleyJane April 2

From Left: the four fat quarters, the House of Alistair buttons which feature Liberty Fabrics, and the Fortnum and Mason Royal Blend tea.

I remember mentioning last month if there could be a 2.5 metre fabric which I really could get excited about, then that would be great. I feel like this month is it. I absolutely love the fabric and the theme in general for this box and I can’t wait to actually make something with it.

In other news, I wanted to let you know that the iron on badge from last month’s box, which is the ‘One Stitch at a Time’ by ‘Em makes and bakes’, is available now via her Etsy account. I loved it so much that I decided to get another one and I think that I will be doing that too with the Liberty Fabric buttons in the future. I also brought the Christmas 2018 box, and I plan to make matching Christmas pyjamas for my niece and nephew. It also has Issue 1 of the magazine which I didn’t have. I actually started with Issue 3 and I enquired if I could get Issue 2. A few days later, a day before I got my box, I received Issue 2 which was a lovely surprise. I am hoping to try and make a little box from some of my fat quarters so that I can place my SewHayleyJane magazines in.

Update: What I made:

This section will be updated once I complete the projects that I have made with the fabric and fat quarters featured in this month’s box.

2.5 Metres:

Fat Quarters:

(Late April 2019)As I mentioned before, I finally got around to using one of my London fat quarters to make another nappy and wipe holder. For this, I used the London Guard one for the outside layer, and I paired it with a plain black one for the inside. I was hoping to find the same blue shade to match which was impossible, however, the black turned out quite well. It needs Velcro to fasten and I decided to use some more of my white Velcro for this one too.

I like the idea of being given another opportunity to make the same thing, as you have a chance to learn from your previous mistakes. I don’t think that my Mickey Mouse one is too bad (I’ve included a picture here for you to see) but I feel like the soldier one is definitely an improvement.

Nappy and Wipe Holder.

The final result: the Nappy and Wipe Holder using the London Guards fat quarter. Also pictured in the bottom left corner is the Mickey Mouse Nappy and Wipe Holder.

Once I’ve made a project with the other two London motif fat quarters, I hope that I can use all the scrap parts to make some London themed pattern weights. I have a couple of big projects lined up at the moment so it will have to wait until then.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[1] This post is not sponsored in any way, shape or form. I’m just reviewing them for the fun of it.

Clara Bow: The Marathon Stars Blogathon.

It’s that time again folks where I am participating in another blogathon. This time, it is in the ‘Second Annual Marathon Stars Blogathon’ which is hosted by The Wonderful World of Cinema, In The Good Old Days of Classic Hollywood and Musings of a Classic Film Addict. It’s running from March 14th-16th so if you have a chance to, check out the other participating blogs posts as well.

9AFADE59-8D03-4DA6-968C-B217D3B4CE64-Clara Bow Blogathon cover image

When I saw the initial post for this blogathon, I knew that I wanted to take part. The only problem was that there was so much freedom and choice, I just couldn’t decide to write about. I then decided on Clara Bow for a couple of reasons. Firstly I knew that I wanted to write about someone from the silent film era of history. I also wanted to make sure that the films they starred in were also accessible to watch today. What I find really interesting about Clara Bow is that she is someone whose real-life seems to contradict her ‘image’. I haven’t read any biography about her yet, although I hope one day soon I will, but from what I have read there are still remnants of this ‘party girl persona’ that still has a life of its own today.

Before I go into the actual blogathon content, I wanted to let you all know about the problem with ‘Wings’. Not so much a problem with the film, but rather just procuring it. Basically, In The Good Old Days of Classic Hollywood recommended the film (and I forgot to reply to your comment, apologies) and it was one that was definitely on my list. I also got a gift voucher for Christmas that I wanted to use to get ‘Wings’, however, that company went into administration and they are now working out trade deals with their suppliers. This means that I will not have the film watched and ready in time for the blogathon’s original deadline but the moment I can get a hold of it and watch it, I will add to it here.

Down to the Sea in Ships: (1922)

Clara Bow 1

‘Down to the Sea in Ships’ (1922): first appearance, credit and last appearance.

During the early 1920s half of the American population would go weekly to the cinema. It was a new and exciting art form which captivated the public, including one Miss Clara Bow. At 16 she knew that she wanted to become an actress. In 1921, with the help of her father, she entered into the ‘Fame and Fortune’ contest in the autumn of 1921. In the final, she had a screen test against a woman who was already experienced in them. Despite this, she actually won the contest because the judges believed that she became her character and “lived” the role. Her prize was an evening gown, a silver trophy and a publisher who said they would help her get a film career. This seemed to be the case with ‘Beyond the Rainbow’ (1922), however, her part was cut from the final film.

It wasn’t until director Elmer Clifton decided to give Clara a chance in his feature ‘Down to the Sea in Ships’ (1922), where she negotiated that she would be paid $50 dollars a week. The story revolves around the whaling and Quaker community in 1800s New Bedford, Massachusetts. The drama mainly focuses on the Morgan family who are: Captain Charles Morgan (William Walcott) the head of the household and owner of a fleet of whaling ships, Patience (Marguerite Courtot), his daughter and ‘Dot’ (Clara Bow) his granddaughter from his late son. Patience wants to marry her old friend who’s returned from college, Allan Dexter (Raymond McKee). Her father forbids this because he is not a Quaker or whaler. Instead, he wants her to marry Samuel Siggs (J. Thornton Baston), a ‘Chinese man’ (the actor is not) who infiltrates the company so that he can take over the company to transport gold. Whilst Allan then disappears onto the whaling ship to prove himself to Mr. Morgan, someone else is hiding aboard the ship too…

‘Dot’ Morgan wants to be a whaler when she grows up, which is of course frowned upon by the people in her community. She’s rebellious, somewhat vicious and headstrong, and Clara really brings this to the forefront in her portrayal. In all honesty I feel like her talents are somewhat wasted in this film because we don’t see a lot of her. Yet when we do, she makes an impact. Her character must have been revolutionary at the time on screen because not only do we see her literally slap her captures and fight back at men, but we also see her disguise herself as a boy wearing trousers. There are also moments in the film where this is undermined, such as at the end of the film with her ethereal white gown in a field of flowers and her fainting at the shock of her capture by the mutinous captain. The film was critically panned, but Clara’s acting was not. She utilised what she had with a limiting part and made it successfully her own.

Helen’s Babies: (1924)

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‘Helen’s Babies’ (1924): first appearance, credit and last appearance.

In 1924, Clara was named as one of the WAMPAS Baby Stars. The Western Association of Motion Picture Advertisers (WAMPAS) would pick 13 young actresses who they believed to be destined for greatness in movie stardom. It lasted from 1922-1934 and included the likes of Colleen Moore, Ethel Shannon, Joan Crawford, Dolores Costello and Lupe Vélez amongst others. Just before this, in the summer of 1923, Clara Bow made the permanent move to Hollywood in order to star in Preferred Pictures Films. In fact, throughout of the whole of 1924 Clara was very busy indeed. She made eight films, including her first lead in ‘Poisoned Paradise’ (1924) and a loan to Universal Studios for ‘Wine’ (1924). It was also around this time when Clara Bow was being referred to in casting as the flapper. This was down to her role in ‘Black Oxen’ (1923), and the ideas around Clara being the epitome of the flapper actually stick around for much longer, much to the chagrin of Colleen Moore.

The film features around the Lawrence’s family in 1920s America. There is father Tom Lawrence (Richard Tucker), mother Helen Lawrence (Claire Adams) and children Toddie (Baby Peggy) and Budge (Jeanne Carpenter). Helen’s brother, uncle Harry Burton (Edward Everett Horton) has written a book on children which Tom frequently uses and adores. When Harry writes to his sister that he will travel to them for his vacation, the Lawrence’s decide to take a vacation of their own. They believe that he is capable enough to look after the children because of his book, although it turns out that he only made a book about raising children because his publisher told him to. In fact he doesn’t like children at all and only reluctantly agrees to help out, with the help of one fan of his work, and neighbour to the Lawrence’s.

In this film, Clara plays Alice Mayton. Her role, again, is not a massive part but it really shows off her knack for playing romantic comedies. The film is quite different to the previous one but this time she’s actually given more of a chance to showcase her talent through mid-close ups. There’s one scene in particular, towards the start of the film, where Harry is swinging on a tree branch in an attempt to get Toddie’s doll. There is a shot-reverse-shot in place because, for reasons, they can’t actually show him falling out of a tree. Even though I know he’s not actually falling, her reactions were so natural that I felt the fear Alice did in that moment. In fact throughout this entire film, her little facial gestures and reactions seemed so natural and genuine. In the 21st century, there is usually a stereotype that silent film acting is melodramatic and over the top. Clara in this film just disproves that with her motherly and light-hearted nature in the role of Alice Moyton. Her hats in this film are also beautiful and I want them.

Get Your Man: (1927)

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‘Get Your Man’ (1927): first appearance, credit and last appearance.

1927 is what I would dub as ‘the year of Clara Bow’. (I would possibly include 1928 as well considering that ‘Wings’ won the best picture Oscar.) 1927 is the year that most people know of and associate with Clara Bow. In 1926, she was signed onto the prestigious Paramount Pictures, making eight films for them in her first year alone. Yet it was in 1927 where she only did 6 films, but these ones had the most impact. This film here was one of them, however, in the Library of Congress they have an incomplete print in which 2 reels are missing.

‘Get Your Man’ (1927) is a Paramount Pictures romantic comedy which features a rather generic plot. Duke Robert Albin (Charles ‘Buddy’ Rogers) gave an oath as a child to marry Simone de Valens (Josephine Dunn), when she was a baby. The rest of the film takes place 17 years later, where Duke Albin (Josef Swickard) and Marquis de Valens (Harvey Clark) agree that the marriage should take place in a week’s time. The Duke tells Robert that he must go to Paris to collect the family necklace that has been re-pearled as a gift for Simone. In Paris, he frequently runs into one American lady, Nancy Worthington (Clara Bow). They realise they have feelings for each other but they can’t do anything about it because of this engagement. This then leads Nancy into action, doing whatever she can to ‘get her man’.

As mentioned, Clara plays the character of Nancy Worthington. Romantic comedies are what I would consider Clara’s forte but in this one she really shines. There is definitely a progression happening within her acting, which is that it is getting stronger and stronger with each performance. Her gestural reactions in this film are just superb. For example, when she was at the exhibit of ‘Paul Poiret and his models’, she believed they weren’t dummies. She goes to hit one and it turns out that the woman wasn’t part of the exhibit at all. Her reaction is absolutely priceless, as she looks away and murmurs ‘oh my god’. What I think is especially interesting about this film, though, is there is a sense of wickedness with this role which just shines through. I think the film in general is also interesting, as it positions her as a symbol of the modern woman who is bringing new life into old sensibilities and structures.

It: (1927)

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‘It’ (1927): first appearance, credit and last appearance.

When you think Clara Bow, this is the film which comes to mind. ‘It’ is now a popular concept within stardom in the 20th and 21st century, and it usually selected by someone who embodies the ideal standards of a woman at the time. The term ‘It’ is usually associated with its creation by Elinor Glyn, who had written the story on which the film was based. ‘It’ is a “quality of the mind as well as a physical attraction.” It’s basically like the 21st century equivalent of ‘big dick energy’, where you have no idea what it actually is until you see someone with ‘it’. This film gave Paramount Pictures a success, Clara Bow rave reviews, and her place forever remembered in history as ‘The It Girl’.

The story follows that of shop girl Betty Lou Spence (Clara Bow). She works at Waltham’s department store, which is basically like Harrods’s, and falls for her new boss Cyrus Waltham Jr. (Antonio Moreno). He himself is supposedly romantically linked to childhood friend Adela Van Norman (Jacqueline Gadsden). In a typical Romeo and Juliet fashion, they are both from different social classes meaning that they would probably never work out. Until Betty Lou decides to do something about it, with the help of ‘It’. His friend Monty (William Austin) is intrigued by the story, so much so that he decides to scour out the floor. It is here that he sees Betty Lou and believes that she has ‘It’. She decides to use this to her advantage, so that she can get closer to Cyrus Jr. With the help of her roommate Molly (Priscilla Bonner) and the baby, she gets ready to go dinner where Cyrus Jr. is too. Here, he finds out from Elinor Glyn herself what ‘It’ is, and realises that Betty has ‘It’. He then seems to fall for her too, however, there are various pitfalls (like in life) which seems to get in the way of their ‘happy ever after’.

Firstly, this film is amazing and I recommend that everyone should watch it. What really makes the film for me is Clara Bow herself. Here, it’s almost like an amalgamation of the character traits that we have seen from the other 3 films rolled into this one. This is seen, for example, when Monty asks her out for dinner. Here, her face shows the cunning wickedness and planning seen in Nancy Cunningham. When she goes upstairs to see her roommate’s baby, her motherly nature as seen with Alice Mayton is on display by her making the baby laugh. Her light-hearted and modern sensibilities are shown through her cutting up her own dress to re-fashion for her dinner date, and her rebellious streak is seen later on when she slaps Cyrus Jr. of taking advantage of her via a kiss. From seeing this film, I am honestly not surprised by its cultural impact and critical success upon release. This role combines all the elements of Clara’s previous roles and brings them together here. In this film she really makes it her own. In this film, she has ‘It’.

Call Her Savage: (1932)

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‘Call Her Savage’ (1932): first appearance, credit and last appearance.

There is somewhat of a misconception in popular culture that Clara Bow made no ‘talkie’ pictures because of her Brooklyn accent. In fact, Clara made a few ‘talkies’, however, this film role was the second to last film that she ever made. Like most contemporaries of her time like Charlie Chaplin, she disliked the idea of sound pictures. The overhead microphones would make her nervous and she almost reached breaking point during the early sound period. Things in her life became too much for Clara, leading to her being admitted to a sanatorium. It seemed that at 25, her career was over. She married Rex Bell and she recuperated down at his ranch in Nevada. She seemed to be done with acting until 1932, when she signed 2-picture deal with Fox. The first of these films was ‘Call Her Savage’ (1932.)

This re-code film centres around the Springer family. It starts with a young Ruth and Peter who are migrating across the country in Wild West America. Ruth’s father is married but also in a relationship with another woman, and the people of the community believe that they are cursed due to his infidelity. The religious aspects come into play, as the community believe that the third, fourth and fifth generation of his family will have to pay the price for his infidelity. 18 years later, Pete Springer (Willard Robertson) and Ruth Springer (Estelle Taylor) are married. Whilst he goes off to work on his railroad empire, Ruth seems to be romantically involved with the Native American Ronasa (Weldon Heyburn). As he goes off to marry, she gives birth to a little girl who goes by the name Nasa. Nasa Springer (Clara Bow) is a rebellious child who is sent off to a private school in Chicago by her father, in an attempt to ‘tame’ her spirit. Leaving her friend Moonglow (Gilbert Roland) behind and seeking new ones in the likes of Lawrence Crosby (Monroe Owsley), Nasa navigates herself through life into adulthood. Unlike most of her films, this isn’t a romantic comedy as a lot of bad things do happen.

As mentioned, Clara Bow plays the role of Nasa Springer. Firstly, old-Hollywood films that are all around ‘who is this race and who is white’ etc., such as ‘White Cargo’ (1942), are just films that I don’t like and they’re usually critically panned. To me, this film is ‘meh’ and it is only that because of Clara Bow. It does seem somewhat full-circle for her to star in a film around religious groups, so that seems like a nice rondo format to her career. That being said, a part of me couldn’t quite believe that she could still play the young girl. She may still have a ‘baby face’, but knowing that she was older herself kind of took the escapism of the film away from me. This film also dials up the whole rebellious thing to the extreme, as she is literally whipping her friend and also shoves a guitar onto another guy’s head to make him stop playing. Also, the whole “Yippee!” thing was just really cringey. I feel like this film was probably my least favourite out of all the ones that I have seen, and the critics at the time somewhat agree with me (especially when you compare to ‘Hoop-La’ (1933).) It was still successful though, and she did the best she could do given that terrible script. In short, Fox did her dirty.

In 1933, Clara Bow retired from acting at the age of 28. During her 11 year career, she featured in many films and made an impact by symbolising the new, modern woman of the 1920s. Through looking at the films of Clara Bow for the blogathon, it made me realise my new found love for this woman. When I was younger I had always heard of her and when I saw her picture, I related to her. (Long story short, I have naturally thin eyebrows so when big eyebrows were back in, I felt inadequate. I saw her picture and I thought ‘she looks like me!’) I have always admired her from afar and have always been interested to see her films. This blogathon was a chance for me to do that, and I’m glad that I did. My admiration from afar has now become me being a massive fan of her and her work. Someday soon, I hope to not only get ‘Wings’ (1928), but read David Stenn’s biography on her as well. She died in 1965 at the age of 60. Engraved on her tombstone are the words which will be forever associated with Clara Bow, ‘Hollywood’s It Girl’.

SewHayleyJane: March Subscription Box Review.

It is that time of the month again where I review my SewHayleyJane subscription[1]. If you have no idea what I’m going on about, but would like to know more, you can check out my review for February’s box here.

March’s box:

This month’s theme is ‘Over the Rainbow’. By this I mean that this is a bright, rainbow themed box that makes Joseph and his technicolour dream coat green with envy. The 2.5 metre fabric here is cotton batik fabric. The base colour of the fabric is blue, however, there is a variety of tie-dyed colours in the shape of flowers and other shapes. As usual, there is a matching blue Gütermann thread to match. The fat quarters, on the other hand, are quite cute in their design. There are two which are light blue. One features white clouds with a white outline joining them together like a rainbow, and the other has blue dots with bigger red dots that have a white swirl inside of them. The light grey one features hot air balloons and little clouds whilst the white one is adorned with flower patches, rain, clouds and rainbows.

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From Left: Gutermann Thread, Rainbow Drops and Buttons. Underneath: Cotton Batik Fabric.

The special gifts in this month’s box include eight buttons in red, lilac, light blue and a dark purple/ blue. There is also an exclusive iron-on patch which is designed by ‘Em makes and Bakes’. It is encased in a circle and says ‘One Stitch at a time’ whilst a needle and thread are placed behind it. Finally, we have issue 4 of the magazine as well as a pack of rainbow drops as this month’s treat.

First Impressions:

The 2.5 metre fabric, at first, reminded me of that scaly and colourful fish whose name escapes me. Like with February’s fabric, I have no idea what to do with it yet. At first I had an idea but thinking about it made me realise that it might not work out. Back to square one I suppose. (I’ll probably think of something to do with it eventually.) The fat quarters are beautiful and I just love them. I don’t know exactly what I will make with them but I know it will just be beautiful. I also wanted to add something which I didn’t last month but I really love the fact that you get matching thread.

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From the top: Issue 4 of the Magazine, Em Makes and Bakes exclusive Patch. Bottom row: Fat Quarter Set.

Anyway, the buttons are nice but they are quite small in size and I do have one odd pair of colours. The iron-on patch reminds me of a badge that I would have received at Rainbow’s. (Rainbow’s is like an organisation where you learn life and survival skills, and it takes place before Brownie’s.) The patch is also something which I really like and I wish I could have another one. The magazine as usual is great and the Rainbow Drops are suitable for vegetarians which makes me one happy bunny.

Overall, I really enjoyed this box and can’t wait to see what the hell I am doing with it. I find that at the moment I am really loving all the other bits besides the 2.5 metre fabric. It’s not to say that I hate but I haven’t found any that have excited me yet. Maybe I’ll find it in Aprils?

 

Update: What I made:

This section will be updated once I complete the projects that I have made with the fabric and fat quarters featured in this month’s box.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[1] This post is not sponsored in any way, shape or form. I’m just reviewing them for the fun of it.

Endeavour: Deguello Review.

Last year, we viewers were fortunate enough to have six episodes, however, series six has gone back to its usual four instead. This means that this episode is the last of series six, but not the last of ‘Endeavour’. It was announced that ‘Endeavour’ will return to our screens sometime next year. (YAY!) If you would like to catch-up on my previous reviews for series six, you can do so here: episode 1, episode 2 and episode 3.

P.S I will be mentioning some major spoilers that are in regards to the death of George Fancy. If you don’t want to know them, I will point out in the review where they are so you don’t have to look at them.

Plot:

The opening of the episode is practically the same as episode 1. Here, a 1960s style advert shows the opening of Cranmere House on Martyn’s field which is one of three high rising block of flats. In the advert, we see Sandra (Zaris-Angel Hator) and her Mother (Faith Omole) settling into their new home.

We also see DS Endeavour Morse (Shaun Evans) looking at a notice for houses for sale, Old Chief Superintendent Bright (Anton Lesser) looking over his ailing wife (Carol Royle) in their home and Inspector Fred Thursday (Roger Allam) sitting at home contemplating life. In regards to the murder, we also see Miss Teagraden (Laura Donoughue) open up the curtains and reveal that someone has died in their sleep. We also see the Bodleian library when it’s about to close. A close-up is placed on the ‘Memoir of Volumptorary’ which has a Hebrew word placed on a piece of paper inside. As the library shuts, one Osbert Page (Michael Jenn) decides to check if anyone else is there. Someone is, and they’re hiding right behind him. They stab him in the back with a chisel and we, the audience, see his lifeless body upon the floor.

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The opening of Cranmere House with Councillor Clive Burkitt (Alexander Hanson), Sandra (Zaris-Angel Hator) and her Mother (Faith Omole.) (Screenshots by me via ITV Hub.)

This episode, much like ‘Neverland’, deals with corruption. The murder of Osbert Page has links to his investigation of Hollis Binks, his links to Councillor Clive Burkitt (Alexander Hanson) and the development of Cranmere House where a fatal disaster happens. The murder ties into the main plot which hopes, and does, uncover the deep rooted and corrupt underbelly of Oxford crime. In regards to the Hebrew and the Teagarden archive, this plot ties into the activities that were happening in the library before Page’s death. It concerns that of Professor Burrowes (Paul Jesson), who is documenting the Teagarden archive, and a Dr. Nicholson (Colin Tierney). Dr. Nicholson is being terrorised into guilt over a certain ‘Dora’, and his ties to his action over a family’s future during the Holocaust.

What We Learned:

As expected in a series finale, there is a lot to unpack here. First we will start with the personal matters regarding the Thursday and Bright households. In the Thursday household, things get even worse as Win Thursday (Caroline O’Neill) asks for a divorce and it seems like this would be the end for them. When we get towards the end of the episode, however, things start to look up. In regards to the Bright household, his wife’s condition seems to be worsening and it looks as though she may not survive this episode. I feel that this is even more saddening as I feel that Bright is a family man, and for him to lose that kind of breaks my heart.

Yet as Bright may lose his wife, he has another family which he gained at Cowley. In the final moments of the series Bright, Strange and Thursday all come to Morse’s rescue, as Dr. DeBryn (James Bradshaw) is all tied up by his kidnappers. It is here that we discover the truth of who killed George Fancy. (INCOMING: MASSIVE SPOILER!) Corruption runs deep in Oxford and when Nero died, someone decided to take over his operation dealing heroin. It was masterminded by none other than DS Jago (Richard Riddell) who said that Fancy was there at the wrong place and time. DCI Ronnie Box (Simon Harrison) was actually clueless to all of this and actually shot Jago, before being shot himself. The verdict on whether or not Box lives is still inconclusive.

In regards to Morse, we find out that he’ll finally have a permanent accommodation. The house is the one where he lives out the rest of his days, however, the interior looked remarkably similar to the place where two people died from drug overdoses at the start of the episode.

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Strange’s (Sean Rigby) board of findings around George Fancy’s (Lewis Peek) death. (Screenshots by me via ITV Hub.)

At the end, order is somewhat restored. Bright becomes the head of Castle Gate police station, Strange will become a DS, Thursday will be head of CID and Morse will be … Thursday’s bagman.

Memorable Moments and Quotes:

As mentioned above, the last scene itself was quite a memorable moment for the series as a whole.

The whole episode itself was quite memorable, however, two other specific moments really stood out for me. The first is when Bright receives a message saying to meet at 15-00. As he arrives, he passes a class of young children who murmur that he’s ‘the pelican man’. Things seem to take a sinister turn when two men arrive at either end of the alley way ready to kill, until these kids come along asking for his autograph. Not only does a pelican crossing save our lives, the pelican crossing saved his. In all honesty, even though Bright disliked his time in traffic, I have loved him being traffic. In fact, Bright has been an outstanding character this series and I hope this gets to be shown throughout series seven next year.

My other big stand out moment was when Thursday finally punched Box in the face. In hindsight, it does seem cruel, however, he did deserve it.

  • Onto the quotes now and first up, we have this new spin on the ‘hello’ cliché from Osbert Page.

Page: “Hello? …the library’s closed.”

  • This exchange between DS Jago and Morse.

Morse: “Do we know who they were?”

Jago: “Just druggies.”

Morse: “I was thinking names.”

  • This first impression Thursday had about Page’s flat (even though it was actually searched over already).

Thursday: “The untidiest librarian to ever hold breath.”

  • This moment.

Professor Burrowes: “I’m just an old fossil.”

Thursday: “You and me both mate.”

  • DeBryn’s sharp remark to Box.

DeBryn: “Put that bloody cigarette out!”

  • This heart breaking line from Win Thursday.

Win: “I wanted my husband back. The man I married.”

  • Jago gets a talking to from Thursday, when talking about Morse.

Jago: “I don’t know he’s your dog.”

Thursday: “He’s not my dog, or yours.”

  • Bright joins the sass club.

Bright: “What trouble do you shoot with today? Not me I hope.”

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The boys in blue. (From Left to right: Bright (Anton Lesser), Morse (Shaun Evans), Thursday (Roger Allam) and Strange (Sean Rigby.) (Screenshots by me via ITV Hub.)

  • Miss Dorothea Frazil (Dorothea Frazil) telling it like it is.

Morse: “Gas leak? That’s the official line.”

Miss Frazil: “Official lie.”

  • Proof that George Fancy matters.

Box: “It has nothing to do with it.”

Thursday: “He has everything to do with it.”

  • Thursday telling everyone else in the show how Morse is.

Thursday: “You don’t know Morse. He’s an idealist.”

Councillor Burkitt: “We all are.”

Thursday: “You were councillor but now you’re just a villain.”

  • Thursday’s callback to series two.

Thursday: “Do you want another Blenheim vale? Let it go.”

  • Bright and the traffic division = an iconic duo.

Bright: “He may have some of CID and county in his influence but not traffic.”

  • Morse ripping out my heart over Fancy.

Thursday: “Maybe he can have a second chance.”

Morse: “George didn’t.”

  • And finally, more sadness in the importance of this line to these people.

Thursday: “Depends on home sir.”

Bright: “As one does.”

Overall:

This episode was just amazing. It was quite nice to see a harmonious and actual interweaving of everyone’s role in Castle Gate come together. In this series, everyone has felt somewhat disconnected from each other but this episode really proves that the strength of the show lies in the relationship of these characters. Yes, this show is about Morse but he wouldn’t be Morse without Thursday, Bright, Strange and Dr. DeBryn. This episode really showcased this. And most importantly, the murder of my boy George Fancy has been solved, and avenged.

The murder plot too had a seamless link between the case of the week and the ‘corruption’ storyline in general. Even though corruption has been tackled before, I feel like these episodes are the ones where Russell Lewis’s writing comes out with the best material. I have no idea where ‘Endeavour’ will takes us next, except the 1970s. Roll on series seven.

Endeavour: Confection Review.

If you were thinking that this episode, which revolves around a chocolate factory, would involve ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ loving sentiments, then you have come to the wrong place. Last night ‘Endeavour’ returned to our screens again with another case, the penultimate one of the series to be precise. If you would like to check out the reviews for the series thus far you can do so right here: episode 1, episode 2.

Plot:

It starts by playing Roy Orbison’s ‘In Dreams’ (the song which you may recognise from the recent IKEA ad.) The camera shows us roses growing against a white picket fence, a shop keeper wiping down their counter, the postman and milkman doing their rounds, a vet surgery answering a call and Constable Potter (Oliver Farnworth) eating an apple that’s rotten at the core. These opening images reflect nature of this episode which is set in the little village of Chigton Green.

Also seen in the opening credits is ‘Cresswells’, the chocolate factory that’s renowned for their ‘happy families’ box of chocolates which also has trading cards to collect with it. The main other part shown, however, involves us seeing a young woman getting out of bed and ready for work. At the same time we see a man sitting downstairs, loading a shotgun. As we see her leave a gun shoots her dead right there and then.

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A white picket fence and some roses in Chigton Green. (Screenshot by me via ITV Hub.)

This episode has probably the highest body count in an episode of ‘Endeavour’ to date. The village is not only under threat from the poison pen letters plaguing the town, but also the possible closure of ‘Cresswells’ to Gidbury’s. (A company which is obviously a rip-off of Cadbury’s.) The owner of said chocolate factory, Mr. Cresswell is the first to be discovered. It is not long, however, until many more bodies start to pile up.

What We Learned:

Where do I even begin? Firstly, let’s start with Fred Thursday (Roger Allam). Things are going from bad to worse in the Thursday marriage. Win (Caroline O’Neill) is never home anymore and hardly speaks to her husband. It becomes even more heart breaking when Fred is seen looking at Win in her dancing class with another man. On a side note, I swear that the Thursday’s house has had a repaint. And finally, the other big news regarding Fred concerns corruption. Not only does he accept a special payment packet from DCI Ronnie Box (Simon Harrison), but he is also seen having dinner with them at the end of the episode!

The other person whose life just seems to be getting worse is the ex-Chief Superintendent Bright (Anton Lesser). He’s having a hard time as it is at the moment, however, things just took a turn for the worst. In a rare sighting of Bright’s home and Mrs. Bright (Carol Royle), because I swear we’ve seen her before, we learn some devastating news. As Nocturne plays in the background, we find out that she has lung cancer. As a last resort, he asks Dr. DeBryn (James Bradshaw) for advice on a second opinion yet no avail.

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Cresswell’s, the confectionery business which features heavily in this episode. (Screenshot by me via ITV Hub.)

Finally, Strange (Sean Rigby) is investigating some dodgy heroin which is being sold to drug addicts who are dying from overdoses as a result. DS Endeavour Morse (Shaun Evans) falls, and fails, in matters regarding the heart and a massive breakthrough happens in regards to the murder of George Fancy (Lewis Peek).

Memorable Moments and Quotes:

Usually, I would write about more than one memorable moment yet for this episode, I thought I’d write about the moment which made me audibly gasp. When Morse went into the Bell household after discovering Mandy-Jane Bell I felt slightly on edge. At any moment I thought Mr. Bell (…) would come out of nowhere and shot Morse or something. Instead, Morse enters into the bedroom only to find that he is dead too!

  • Onto quotes now and this week, we’re starting off with this exchange between Strange and Dr. DeBryn:

Strange: “Choke on his own puke then?”

DeBryn: “Been at the Keats again Sargent? Yes, choked on his own puke.”

  • Dorothea Frazil (Abigail Thaw) and Morse speaking some home truths:

Frazil: “Values her anonymity.”

Morse: “Don’t we all.”

  • Thursday and Sergeant Jago (Richard Riddell) , who I have dubbed ‘Not Box’, sound like they’ve just come out of a Carry On film:

Thursday: “Landed on her feet then.”

Jago: “Landed on something.”

  • You can tell that Constable Potter clearly doesn’t know Morse:

Potter: “You can’t go in there, he’s armed.”

  • Bright’s wife telling it like it is:

Mrs. Bright: “Married to a film star.”            (Aww!)

  • Well I haven’t heard this one before:

Jago: “Two victims, one killer and Bob’s your fancy man.”

Endeavour confection 3

Bright (Anton Lesser), Morse (Shaun Evans) and Dr. DeBryn (James Bradshaw) all discover a breakthrough on a case. (Screenshot by me via ITV Hub.)

  • DCI Box seems to be coming round to Morse:

Box: “Let’s put it to bed.”

Morse: “I don’t think that this is the last that we’ve heard of it.”

Box: “Noted.”

  • Morse’s response is so me:

DeBryn: “People do despair Morse.”

Morse: “Hmmm.”

  • Morse’s line here really got me:

Morse: “She preferred war to my company, which tells you a lot about me.”

  • Morse clearly lying to himself:

Strange: “You wanna crack this thing? It’s up to us.”

Morse: “There is no us.”

  • DeBryn’s pun-tastic joke:

DeBryn: “The one thing we can say is that he came to a sticky end.”

  • DCI Box, the anti-capitalist hero we don’t desrve:

Sarah Clamp (Katie Goldfish): “There’s more to life than money.”

Box: “You know the only ones who think like that? The rich.”

  • Finally, Morse’s sassy chronicles: the time he took it too far:

Thursday: “A copper’s a copper first, last and always.”

Morse: “Where has that got you?”

Overall:

Honestly, this episode almost felt as if Russell Lewis just combined an episode of ‘Midsummer Murders’ with ‘The Moving Finger’ by Agatha Christie. As there are quite a few episodes of ‘Endeavour’ now, I can’t help but feel as if this episode has repeated plot points, something which I never thought I would see from Russell Lewis. The rich family with an ‘empire’ which has a possible deal lined up with another company. The fact that there are two sons. Is it me or does this remind anyone else of ‘Rocket’? Also, the whole thing with Isla Fairford (Olivia Chenery) and Morse reminded me exactly of the events of the ‘Pilot’ episode.

Anyway, despite all of this I would say that out of all the episodes thus far, I feel like this one was my favourite. It’s nice to finally have a female director, Leanne Welham, who has done an amazing job with this episode. The next episode will be the last of the series. The cliff-hanger of this episode has got wondering as to whether or not we’ll find out who killed George Fancy. I sure hope so because my boy deserves justice.

 

Endeavour: Apollo Review.

Yesterday, episode two of ‘Endeavour’ beamed onto our television screens. This episode is set around the events of the Apollo 11 landings on July 16th-21st 1969, which culminated all of the 60s fascination with space. Apollo is also a very special episode too as Shaun Evans, who plays Endeavour Morse, is the director! So let’s dive in to the review, but before we do, you can take a look at the one I did last week here.

Plot:

The opening credit scene opens on a statue, showing around four men holding up what appears to be a planet. We get the return of a record playing, and Morse clicking his pen whilst doing a crossword. The shot at work shows the men at the office, with the television showing a news report about the moon landing, which will be assisted by some academic scientists in Oxford. This is contrasted by a man screaming in a brightly white room, whilst an old tape records the whole thing. We see Joan (Sara Vickers) and her new boss Viv Wall (Alison Newman) are at a meeting with a young girl and her mother, in regards to her child’s arson attempt. Close-ups are shown of workplace tools and design sketches which belong to the Heaviside Studios. The last shot of the intro shows a rocket collapsing on its landing, much to the chagrin of the scientific advisor Prof. Adam Drake (Ben Wainwright.) It ends with him and a young girl driving off, and making out whilst Led Zeppelin’s ‘Whole Lotta Love’ plays.

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A TV anchor man (Michael Parkhouse) details the events of Apollo 11 entering into space. (Screenshot by via ITV Hub.)

This episode revolves around the murder of Prof. Adam Drake and his girlfriend, Christine Chase (Katie Faye.) As the murder suspects disappeared from a party, it was an academic one which is where the scientists, the mother and daughter come into it. As mentioned, Prof. Drake worked as an advisor and Christine Chase worked at the Heaviside Studios. The studios make a Gerry Anderson style puppet cartoon that’s a unique space adventure on its own. In regards to the all-white room and those tapes, it all comes down to something called the Single Way Institute. Morse is sent to the crime scene because it is seen as an accident, nonetheless, the evidence starts to point towards murder. We learn during the episode that Prof. Drake was not really liked at all, leading to a piling number of suspects for the murder.

What we Learned:

In this week’s episode we learned that Morse has returned to CID, only to be placed on ‘light duties’. He also has a new office… which is down in the basement. Besides that he seems back to his old sassy self who can’t help but question the system which is in place.

Speaking of that said system, we learn that DCI Ronnie Box (Simon Harrison) is like that person in a group project who does all the work, but will take all the credit. Jim Strange’s (Sean Rigby) new job still seems very mysterious to me indeed. It’s never explicitly stated or seen which makes me think there’s more to it than the eye. (Either that, or I’ve completely missed it.) The old Superintendent Reginald Bright (Anton Lesser) is now working in traffic. Not only is this humiliating, but someone sent him a fish which was then wrapped in the poster with his pelican advert. In all honesty, keeping a fish in your drawer is going to stink up the office. If I was him, I would probably cook it up for the men at the station.

Endeavour apollo 2

A shot from the Gerry Anderson inspired show which is made at Heaviside Studios. (Screenshot by me via ITV Hub.)

Finally, we learn that Win Thursday (Caroline O’Neill) has a job! On the one hand, I feel really happy for the fact that she is going out with the girls, putting on lipstick and having a shepherd’s pie at work. Yet at the same time, I feel somewhat sorry for Fred Thursday (Roger Allam) because you can tell that he is clearly upset and guilty over the events regarding the money he gave to Charlie (Phil Daniels). Win is no longer a housewife, and times are obviously changing. I hope that there is a way that Fred and Win can patch things up which doesn’t mean that she goes back to being a housewife again.

Memorable Moments and Quotes:

Honestly, in this episode, I don’t think that there were any particular scenes which stood out for me. What I found more memorable was the stylistic choices that Shaun Evans took with his directing. This isn’t actually the first time that he has directed. He has already done three episodes of the BBC drama ‘Casualty’, and a couple of those episodes featured ‘Endeavour’ cast members. From seeing those episodes alongside this, I get the sense that he is becoming somewhat of an auteur with his directing choices.

The reoccurrence of the voiceover tapes was an interesting choice, albeit it a slightly confusing one, which linked the themes of the episode with the characters. Yet what particularly stood out for me was the graphic match cut between the cars driving on the road in the puppet show reel, which was then juxtaposed with the one Prof. Adam Drake was actually driving. He did also bring the cliché music montage showing the emotional connection between the characters outside of its usual place in the opening which I think is actually a first for this show.

  • Onto the quotes for this and if I say so myself, there are a few corkers in there. Starting us off is this line from Thursday that, at first, seemed really out of context and quite funny:

Thursday: “Cheese and pineapple. We had that at our anniversary…. On sticks.”

  • DCI Box putting it bluntly:

Box: “Only two people know what happened in that car and they’re dead. Stop milking it.”

  • Morse states what we’re all thinking in regards to Box:

Thursday: “He’s a good officer.”

Morse: “He’s a condescending little prick.”

  • Isobel Humbolt’s (Sophie Winkleman) line is one which should be used in every episode.

Isobel Humbolt: “It was an academics wine and cheese not the mask of the red death.” (Yeah… obviously.)

  • Morse’s sassy chronicles part 1, featuring Gabriel Van Horne (Blake Ritson):

Gabriel Van Horn: “What do you want?”

Morse: “Some answers quickly given.”

Endeavour apollo 3

Fred Thursday (Roger Allam) and Morse (Shaun Evans) giving Strange (Sean Rigby) ‘ the look’ in regards to his general ignorance. (Screenshot by me via ITV Hub.)

  • Strange being himself:

Strange: “Where would we find this … Suzanna?”

Morse: “I think Miss Slayton is referring to a novel.”

  • Thursday’s turn to be sassy:

Box: “You’re supposed to be on light duties.”

Thursday: “I can lift a pencil.”

  • Morse’s sassy chronicles part 2:

Strange: “Settled in alright then?”

Morse: “Oh yeah … I got me a basement room with no window.”

  • Morse’s sassy chronciles part 3, featuring the return of Dorothea Frazil (Abigail Thaw):

Frazil: “They said you were on that.”

Morse: “Well maybe they should keep their collective mouths shut.”

  • And finally, Morse’s sassy chronicles part 4:

Thursday: “What are you trying to prove?”

Morse: “I’m trying to prove who’s behind all this.”

Overall:

I think this is the first episode where I have come away and still been unclear about the murder itself. Despite the fact that ‘Endeavour’ clearly has complicated plots, they usually become clearer by the end. The murder of Prof. Drake made sense but Christine’s still confuses me. Ultimately, I feel like that was the downfall of this episode as well as the music. I looked up on IMDB to check but apparently, Matthew Slater has been the composer/music guy since ‘Prey’. I’m somewhat surprised because the music this series feels so different, and I’m not just talking about the lack of opera for Led Zeppelin. Even the seamlessly blended theme music at the end did not ‘seamlessly blend’.

Besides these minor discrepancies, I think the linking of the television show and space was a great idea on Russell Lewis’s part because, to me, the 60s and science-fiction go hand in hand. The characterisations of the actors was good, the costuming especially with Morse’s darker fitted shirts showing a new era for him and the cinematography was great as always. What really intrigued me about this episode was the directing. In all earnest, I am looking forward to seeing Shaun Evans direct again.

Endeavour: Pylon Review.

It’s that time of year again when Endeavour finally returns to our screens. If you had missed it, you can catch up on my reviews for series 5 here.After practically a year’s hiatus, we get back into the events of the crime solving drama eight months after Series 5. How things have changed, and no I’m not just talking about Morse’s moustache.

Plot:

The start of this episode was quite unique in two ways. Firstly, it started off with a road safety advert with no other than old Detective Chief Inspector Bright (Anton Lesser) who now works for traffic control. Secondly, this is the first time since ‘Home’ that the featured music for the opening credits was not opera. It was instead ‘What is and What Should Never Be’ by Led Zeppelin.

The opening credit starts, revealing the main plot points of the episode. An establishing shot shows Banbury Junior School at school picture day. This plot intercepts at the same time with a man, who we later find out is Stanley Clemence (Aston McAuley), who’s following a trail in order to score some drugs. It then goes back to everyone leaving school, with a particular focus on a young girl Ann Kirby (Ava Masters) who is reading ‘Black Beauty’. We follow her on the coach whilst her mum (Fiona Skinner) sits doing her knitting. It ends with her mother ringing someone up to see if she went home with a friend.

ENDEAVOUR pylon 1

Bright (Anton Lesser) and a pelican for the iconic road safety advert. (Screenshot by me via ITV Hub.)

The case of this episode follows the disappearance, and then murder, of young Ann Kirby. Sergeant Endeavour Morse (Shaun Evans) finds the body, and all of his local police enquiries link to the case. We have the Reverend (Hugh Sachs) who reports that there has been a man sleeping rough in the church, Maggie and Alfred Skynner (Katharine Bubbear and Tom Canton) who report the theft of their horses and a Dr. Lester Sheridan (Roger May) who reports that his snuff boxes have been stolen. Without spoiling too much of the plot it revolves around drug abuse, false accusations for murder, Lewis Carroll style pictures of kids, a kidnapping of a child and the murder of another. Very dark stuff indeed.

What We Learned:

As I mentioned before, we learn that the series takes place eight months since George Fancy’s (Lewis Peek) death. The darker tonal shift is signified by the fact that it is now 1969. Another change since Fancy’s death is that the old station is no more. Everyone has now been stationed in new positions: Morse now looks like he stepped out of Heartbeat as the Sergeant for Cowley, Jim Strange (Sean Rigby) has a management post in Division, Bright is in traffic control and Fred Thursday (Roger Allam) has been demoted at Castle Gate and is serving under DCI Ronnie Box (Simon Harrison). If Box’s name sounds familiar it’s because he was in an episode last year, where he attempted to ‘put WPC Shirley Trewlove (Dakota Blue Richards) in her place.’

We also learn that Joan Thursday (Sara Vickers) never took up Morse on that offer for coffee. We see it through a flashback, a device which was used multiple times during this episode. She is now working with Viv Wall (Alison Newman) who is training her to be a social worker.

Another final thing we learn is that George Fancy’s death still hasn’t been solved, and it seems like Strange is the only one who cares enough to determine who did it.

Memorable Moments and Quotes:

In this episode, one of the most memorable moments in all of ‘Endeavour’ history happened. As mentioned briefly before, that road safety advert which featured Bright and a pelican was just straight up iconic. If I could sit and re-watch the first few minutes so that I could transcribe the entire thing then I would. I personally found it hilarious but at least we all learned what ‘pelican’ stands for in a pelican crossing.

ENDEAVOUR pylon 2

Young Ann Kirby (Ava Masters) reading ‘Black Beauty’ on her fateful journey to the library. (Screenshot by me via ITV Hub.)

Another moment which I found to be quite lovely in amongst all the darkness was Dr. DeBryn (James Bradshaw.) It was so nice to see his lovely home as he serves tea and cake to Morse. DeBryn was also right to say that is home is lovely because it is really nice and idyllic. I hope we get to see some more of his home in the future.

  • Onto the quotes now and first up, same old same old for Morse and Thursday:

Morse: “Same as the flowers. It must be important.”

Thursday: “It won’t be any stroke of genius that finds him. Long hours and shoe leather will see this one right.”

  • DCI Box telling his policing like it is:

DCI Box: “It’s the courts business. We just get them up the steps.”

  • This pearl of wisdom from Morse:

Morse: “I’m in uniform, I don’t get paid to think.”

  • This exchange between Joan and her new boss, Viv Wall:

Viv: “That’s b******s. He’s still a minor and he still has rights. Fetch your coat.”

Joan: “Why? Where are we going?”

Viv: “To war.”

ENDEAVOUR pylon 3

Endeavour Morse (Shaun Evans) and Dr. DeBryn (James Bradshaw) having tea and cake at his idyllic home. (Screenshot by me via ITV Hub.)

  • This exchange between Mr. Alfred Skynner and Morse:

Skynner: “Have any kids?”

Morse: “Need a wife first.”

Skynner: “Not in this day and age.”

  • This exchange between Morse and Joan which for some reason I found amusing, probably because I would reply in the same way as Morse.

Joan: “I’m still me.”

Morse: “Good for you.”

  • And finally, Thursday’s words of wisdom:

Thursday: “It’s corruption. Tell the truth and shame the devil.”

Thursday: “You’re not a man. You’re not a man’s arse.”

Overall:

Firstly I’m just glad that ‘Endeavour’ is back on our screens, however, I did fell like the result of the murder was actually quite disappointing. I think this is because we are so used to having such intricate murder plots but in this episode it did fall a bit flat. It just seemed too simple. The moustache is another thing I’m not sure on. It looked good when he was in uniform for some reason but maybe this is something which might grow on me (not literally.) Besides this, I’m excited to see where this series will takes us. I don’t mind the darker tone, it seems like quite a natural development in the show. I hope we find out who killed Fancy because it’s what we deserve god dammit!

Next episode will be even more exciting as it is directed by none other than Shaun Evans himself! Roll on Sunday is all I can say.

Beyond the Seams: Women, Fashion and the Patriarchy. Part 1: The Bikini.

I know it has been a while since I have published anything. To cut a long story short, a lot of stressful things have happened and I’ve had a lot to deal with over the past few months.

Besides all of this, however, I have been planning a new series that will be published over the coming months. The idea for the series came about when I saw a news story regarding an interview Evangeline Lilly did for ‘The Ant-man and The Wasp’. In her interview with BackstageOL, she was asked by interviewer David Morales about her costume. Lilly stated that she personally loved her costume whereas male Marvel co-stars complained that they felt uncomfortable wearing theirs. She then lifted her foot to the camera, whilst wearing a stiletto heel, and said “Or… have men not had the life-experience of being uncomfortable for the sake of looking good?!”

This, of course, got a lot of praise on Twitter about how she was ‘smashing the patriarchy’ yet all kept thinking about was ‘you do know that heels were invented for men, right?’ (Probably not stilettos but still.) This story did make me think more deeply about the relationship between fashion and the patriarchy. What makes a fashionable item patriarchal? Was the original intention of the item of clothing to be patriarchal? Were they ever ‘liberating’? Are they being reclaimed into Feminism? Were they even a piece of patriarchal clothing in the first place? In this series, I plan to investigate a ‘patriarchal’ fashion trend and its links to undermining feminist causes. I also hope to explore the future for said item and look into the political significance of ‘patriarchal fashion’ from the West and beyond.

In this first part of the series, I will look into one of the most decisive and controversial garments to exist. The bikini.

Bikini-MichelineBernardini

 19-year-old nude dancer Micheline Bernardini models the bikini. The small box is the one the bikini comes in.

The bikini can trace its history all the way back to 5600 BC, however, that history will take up a lot of time. Instead, we will look into specifically the modern reiteration of the bikini which can trace itself back to 1946. Two-piece swimsuits have been around since the 30s and early 40s but the bikini is unique in its design. There are two origin stories and the first concerns the French fashion designer Jacques Heim. He owned a beach shop in Cannes and he designed a minimal two-piece in 1946. He named it ‘Atome’, after the particle of matter. Heim believed his creation to be skimpy despite the fact that it didn’t even show the naval. The more famous and widely accepted story concerns that of Louis Réard.

In 1945 the US were testing out nuclear bombs somewhere in the Marshall Islands on a bikini atoll. The test made headlines and Réard decided to capitalise on this publicity. He wanted to create something which was “just as explosive as the atomic bomb.” Réard, a mechanical engineer but now fashion designer, made the smallest swimwear to date. It was made with four triangles of fabric: two for the breasts, one for the back bottom and one piece for the front. He was inspired by sunbathing women in St. Tropez who were rolling down their high-waist swimsuits so that they could catch an even better tan.

When he debuted the bikini he couldn’t hire a model to wear it, so he found 19 year-old nude dancer Micheline Bernardini to wear it at a beauty contest at the swimming pool in Paris. The packaging for the box was not bigger than her hand, a fact that Réard himself was proud of. He believed that if the garment could not be drawn through a wedding ring then it wasn’t a true bikini. The ‘true’ bikini was one which showed the naval. The ‘true’ bikini was a garment that was revealing, scandalous and made with only newspaper printed fabric.

Even though there was a lot of advertising and media coverage, the bikini actually took a couple of years for it to be quite popular. It was first embraced by women on European beaches before it then made its way to America. By 1949, the bikini became a staple in every woman’s wardrobe. Designers still preferred all-in-one pieces, however, stars such as Sophia Loren and Bridget Bardot were popularising the bikini. This only intensified in the 1960s with Ursula Andress in ‘Dr. No’ and Raquel Welch in ‘One Million Years B.C.’ Despite this, there was still some critical rhetoric which still seems to be relevant today. A journalist in LIFE magazine believed that the bikini would uncover ‘putty flesh’ which the swimsuit hid, and that the tops will ride up when exhaling and show ‘unattractive areas’. Many women of course wrote in protesting their disgust at the article.

Bikini-Media

An example I captured from Popsugar which features articles like these ones on a regular basis.

In 1951 the New York Times declared that the evolution of the bikini was done. It stated that it couldn’t get larger and it couldn’t get smaller. The bikini did evolve but only very slightly. Designer Rudi Gernreich, who was working in the 1960s and 70s, designed the thong in 1974 which was then taken by a lingerie company to make for underwear. He also designed something called the monokini which was, essentially, a topless swimsuit. His reasoning was because he believed in the future of fashion being genderless as well as there being no shame in the naked form.

Gernreich was designing in the ‘youthquake’ of the 60s, a time where non-conforming was prevalent. Réard’s exact intentions aren’t exactly clear but he wanted to capitalise on an event which caused thousands of people to leave their homes, and caused fear into thousands of Americans.

Cassidy Zachary and April Callahan of the ‘Dressed’ podcast stated that “for at least the last century, the body bearing swimsuit has been tied to these contemporary beauty standards and ideals. In fact, it can be argued that the swim-suited body, stripped of all layers and facades, represents the purest form of the fashionable ideal. It speaks to sex, and in turn, morality.” The latter sentence is particularly interesting, especially considering that Gernreich was disgusted by the male’s opinion towards the American woman and her bosom. He couldn’t understand how one culture would find it shocking and immoral, and in another acceptable.

When looking to at the bikini in the 21st Century and beyond, Gernreich’s point about the perceptions of the bikini and culture seems particularly prevalent. One of the most controversial developments in the bikini is the burkini. The garment has been banned in France, Germany and even Morocco. Yet this type of ‘modest swimwear’ which is favoured by those in predominantly Muslim countries, have also banned bikini adverts altogether. Turkey is one of them, as a title in the Hurriyet Daily News proclaims that the ‘burkini debate is distant’. In British papers like The Guardian, however, they report about the outrage that Turkish women are feeling towards this issue.

Bikini-Burkini

Two women modelling the burkini, one of many variations of the bikini that have proven controversial. 

Yet in Victorian times, women were covered head to toe and then carried into the beach via a carriage. And people still think the burkini is extreme? In 2015 there were reports from British media decrying against the ‘beach body ready’ campaign. This led to London Mayor Sadiq Khan to ban body shaming ads from public transport. Could it also be argued, however, that looking at a bikini advert could unconsciously evoke some form of body shaming? Swimwear adverts could produce feelings of guilt and shame towards a young girl who believes that she is not ‘skinny enough’, or even ‘beautiful enough’ to wear it.

In the Western world, this ideal seems to change with looking at the Sports Illustrated cover with Ashley Graham which champion ‘real bodies’. In the west, there is this perceived sense that the bikini is now reclaimed by women who feel that they can wear what they like. It can be argued, however, that the bikini can still reproduce perfect ‘body ideals’.

Réard’s intention was just to cause a scandal and help women get better tans, which is another beauty ideal for the western woman. Gernreich’s point about the American male objectifying the woman’s body can be seen with the bikini through the cinematic lens, leading into what Laura Mulvey calls ‘the male gaze’. After all, America has dominated film, a medium which seems to shape behaviours in real-life. Just as what can be seen in ‘beach body’ style adverts and bikinigrams, it’s the composition of these shots which gives its patriarchal edge. The pictures of those which get reported in the likes of Popsugar are those which are of famous models and celebrities who are emblematic of a beauty ‘ideal’ which is still alive and well.

In regards to countries where bikini adverts are banned like Turkey, these adverts could offer solace to those who would like to break away from the ever-growing presence of censorship from the ruling governments. The problem is that the bikini goes hand in hand with the body, which in turn leads with the ‘ideal’. The ‘ideal’ is something which doesn’t really exist and it varies between countries. And as seen here, one source which is good at perpetuating these ‘ideals’ is the media.

I think that throughout this series, these complex issues are ones which I don’t think can ever be solved overnight. There may also be similarities when I continue this journey to explore this complicated history between dress and female emancipation from the patriarchy. Honestly, I can’t wait to see where this takes me next.

Sources:

Dressed Podcast, ‘The Swimsuit: a revealing history, part II’, accessed via <https://www.dressedpodcast.com/podcasts/the-swimsuit-a-revealing-history-part-ii.htm&gt; [first accessed 2nd August 2018. Re-accessed 30th January 2019]

DW, ‘Sri Lanka to revoke bikini ban’, <https://www.dw.com/en/sri-lanka-to-revoke-bikini-ban/a-45928337&gt; [accessed 2nd December 2018]

Freely, Maureen ‘The bikini: a feminist issue’, <https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2007/may/23/thebikiniafeministissue&gt; [accessed 2nd December 2018]

Ro, Crystal, ‘Evangeline Lily Basically Laughed When Told Her Male Co-Stars Find Their Superhero Suits “Uncomfortable”’, <https://www.buzzfeed.com/crystalro/evangeline-lilly-ant-man-wasp-suits&gt; [Accessed 27th June 2018. Re-Accessed 2nd December 2018]

Sanghani, Radhika, ‘London Mayor Sadiq Khan bans body-shaming ads from public transport’, <https://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/life/london-mayor-sadiq-khan-bans-body-shaming-ads-from-public-transp/&gt; [accessed 2nd December 2018]

Smith, Helena, ‘Fury at Turkish ban on bikini ads’, <https://www.theguardian.com/world/2007/may/22/turkey.helenasmith&gt; [accessed 2nd December 2018]

Zellinger, Julie, ‘4 Enlightening Truths About Our ‘Bikini Body’ Obsession That Nobody Talks About’, <https://everydayfeminism.com/2015/07/bikini-body-obsession/&gt; [accessed 2nd December 2018]

 

SewHayleyJane: February Subscription Box Review.

I have been attempting to work on my sewing skills over the past few months. One day, whilst looking at ‘The Sew Reporter’ weekly blogs, I came across a link to a site known as ‘SewHayleyJane’. It turns out that they are a sewing subscription service and when I found a code for 15% your first box, I just couldn’t resist.

They offer three types of boxes. The first, and the cheapest, is the mini box for £20 a month. It includes “1 metre of fabric, 3 fat quarters and a selection of haberdashery items and sewing gifts.” The second is the classic box which comes in at £35 a month where you get “2.5 metres of fabric, 4 fat quarters and a selection of haberdashery items and sewing gifts.” The final box is the luxury box for £65 a month. In this box, you receive “up to 3.5 metres of fabric, 5 fat quarters, an independent dressmaking company pattern and a selection of haberdashery items and sewing gifts.”[1] In the end I went for the classic subscription and I did so because this one is a lot cheaper than the luxury, and besides the mini one has too little fabric in order to make anything with.

What I also like about this idea in general is that if you’re a beginner or you may be stuck on what to make, the items you receive allow you to think outside the box. This is also especially helpful when you have a perfect fabric in mind, spend all day trying to find it, and then find out it doesn’t even exist. The extra haberdashery items are also great and come in handy, particularly if you don’t even have that item in the first place.

February’s box:

The boxes themselves are not shipped out until the 8th of the month and made available via 2nd class posting on the Royal Mail. As I live in the UK I am eligible for free shipping, however, if you live in the US (for example) fees may apply.

Feb Box 1

From Left to Right: the Chambray Fabric, Fat Quarters, Magazine and Lace.

Usually, the boxes all have themes and this one was around ‘Galentine’s Day’. A holiday, which if I remember correctly, was made up by the show ‘Parks and Recreation’. It’s designed to focus on the love women share in friendships rather than the romantic one of a partner.

Inside the box, the 2.5 metre fabric featured was a blue chambray fabric, along with a Gütermann thread to match. The fat quarters are all styled with geometric shapes. There are two white ones, one with a random spotted pattern and the other which features spirals around bigger dots, and an assortment of lines. The turquoise one features dots in a triangular pattern with lines. Finally, the pinkish-red quarter features spiral, geometric shapes inside a white dot.

Other gifts from this box include some pink lace, a pair of Snipster heart shaped embroidery scissors, some red tailors chalk, mini ‘Love Hearts’ sweets and issue 3 of SewHayleyJane’s magazine.

First Impressions:

As this was my first box I did feel quite overwhelmed towards the fabrics in particular. I did also feel quite nervous as to what I was expecting, as I am so used to looking at the previous boxes on the website and thinking ‘I wish I had that box’. After I had a look through the magazine and ponder over my small collection of patterns, the fabric became less daunting. I then had one of my project ideas ready to make. With the other fabric, the fat quarters, I didn’t really know what to do with them until I started to look online for ideas. When I did, I became very excited and inspired to make many things with them.

Feb Box 2

From Left to Right: Gutermann Thread, Embroidery Scissors, Love Hearts and Tailor’s Chalk. (Ignore my hand.)

The pink lace is nice but I don’t really know what to use it for yet. The embroidery scissors are something new for me to add to my sewing notions. I really like the fact that I also got the duck egg coloured ones because that colour is aesthetically pleasing to my eyes. Tailor’s chalk is something that I’ve used before and I LOVE IT! (So I’m really happy that I got some.)

As it is February I did expect that the sweets would be ‘Love Hearts’, however, I don’t like those so I just gave them to my nephew. The inclusion of a magazine is a great idea and I really enjoyed it. I’m hoping to write and see if I can get Issue 1 and 2 somehow. Overall, I have enjoyed receiving my first box and cannot wait until March for the next one.

Update: What I made.

This section will be updated once I complete the projects that I have done with the fabric and fat quarters featured in this month’s box.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[1] Note: Quotes featured here are taken straight from SewHayleyJane’s website. Also, this post is not sponsored in any way, shape or form. I’m just reviewing them for fun.