Thursday, October 17, 2013

Blue Jasmine Accounting

A scene from Blue Jasmine with Peter Sarsgaard, Cate Blanchett, one gorgeous Birkin and one elegant Chanel!

I fully expect Cate Blanchett to be nominated for a Best Actress Oscar (and hopefully win!) for her portrayal of Jasmine in Blue Jasmine. But I hope Suzy Benzinger also gets a nomination for Best Costume Design—I think it is so difficult to costume a modern movie, much more difficult than a historical or biopic, and she did it so well in Blue Jasmine. I read an interview with Suzy in The New York Times about costuming this movie and what she described is promo, which means asking designers to lend clothes. From my own talks with Hollywood costume designers Carol Ramsey and Catherine Marie Thomas I know promo adds an extra layer of difficulty to clothing an entire cast. Suzy deserves an Oscar even more!

Suzy said in the interview, as have commenters on various blogs, that she thought Jasmine wore her gorgeous gold Birkin like a shield. I didn’t think of the Birkin (or that beautiful Chanel jacket draped over her shoulders) as a shield so much as a security blanket and a Remembrance of Things Past. Jasmine’s life had been dismantled through the shady financial dealings of her husband and I felt she was gripping onto mementos from a happier and more prosperous (and yes, more blissfully ignorant) time in her past.

I love the sartorial contrast between Cate and Bobby. This is modern-day costuming at its best!

Which got me thinking.

Would I do the same? If I had to because of financial circumstances, would I sell the lovely things that have brought me happiness? Or would I hold onto them, Jasmine-style?

Of course, because I have kids my gut reaction is, You’d have to sell it all! I don’t actually own that much in the way of items that could fetch a lot at consignment, but here are a few things in my closet that I can’t see parting with, they mean too much to me.


My Mikimoto pearl studs. I’ve written about these earrings in the past. I gave birth to both of my children and ran both of my marathons (Memphis and New York City) wearing these earrings and I would never sell them!

My LV Neverfull tote with an MZ Wallace Hamish pouch (which I also love!).

My Louis Vuitton Neverfull Monogram Tote. Yeah, yeah, I know, people don’t like logos lately, and there is a trend, even at Louis Vuitton, toward more subtle branding these days, etc., but I don’t care what people say because here’s the truth: I love this bag so much. It is incredibly sturdy and so useful when I go on a trip. It carries a ton of stuff and holds up so well! I take care of it like I might sell it, I have the tags, dustbag, even the box and shopping bag it came in when I bought it, but like Jasmine and her Birkin, I would probably hold onto this bag. I think it will get even better with age!

Detail of Washington’s Carriage, a Cathy Latham design.

My first Hermès scarf. It was such a thrill to buy this with money that came from selling old boyfriend gold jewelry. I still love the colors and design so much that I could never sell it. Plus, the silk feels like heaven.

What about you? Do you own any special high-end items that mean so much to you that you would never part with them? Or could you jettison everything without a backwards glance if circumstances required it? I would love to hear your opinions on this topic!


And if you saw Blue Jasmine, do let me know what you thought of it.

19 comments:

Suzanne Carillo Style Files said...

I want to see this movie. They say it is so different from what Woody Allen usually does.

I wouldn't part with the Hermes scarf my husband bought me right after we were married. He had returned to France to take his master's degree in law and when he came back he brought the scarf with him.

bisous
Suzanne

Jill said...

Hi Suzanne, how romantic of your husband to bring you back an Hermes scarf from France! You are a lucky lady. What pattern is it? Have you shown it on your blog before? Now I want to see it! XO, Jill

Coulda shoulda woulda said...

You flipped it and reversed it! I had to think and am still thinking if I am to be frank. Such a hard question to answer tho. I have to say that I would god forbid something like that happens I would just get it dot everything. It's nice and sentimental when times ate great but I would rather eat well than have.a Birkin that only holds more baggage!! Love this post Jill xx

Coulda shoulda woulda said...

Sorry some misspelling but iPads fault! :)

hostess of the humble bungalow said...

Oh perish the thought that we would be faced with such a choice...food or fashion.
I would like to think that I could let go of the material stuff and not owning a Birkin or a Chanel I think I am safe.
I do not relish the thought of parting with any of my diamonds as they were gifts from my husband or the pearls or for that matter my Hermes scarf collection.
I am looking forward to seeing the film...

Gracey the Giant said...

Great post. I agree that modern costuming is very, very difficult. I haven't seen Blue Jasmine yet but it seems to me that this designer did a wonderful job.

I am definitely going to watch the film though.

vintagefrenchchic said...

I'm going to have to Google this movie because I have never heard about it until now. It sounds very interesting and looks even better.

I could never part with my wedding ring, my favorite watch, my diamond earrings,and my Hermes scarves...and a couple of handbags. And yet, I know everything could be replaced if needed. I just watched a documentary on the Holocaust and was reminded only too well that everything can disappear in a flash. Things are just things.

The biggest GULP of this post? You run marathons?? OMG.

Jill said...

Hi Heather, ha, RAN marathons. Past tense! I ran two and I don't know if I could face a third. The NYC Marathon was so tough that I actually said, minutes after it was over, that I'd rather give natural birth again (and this was before I had my daughter) than run that race again. The professionals who run that marathon earn every penny of the prize money if they win, it's that tough a road race, with TENS OF THOUSANDS of other people. Training for a marathon is like having a (stressful, often physically painful) part-time job, and that's before we even get talking about the ice baths (not kidding).

As for what you'd hold onto, you know I am right there with you re the H scarves. Sounds like Hostess is too! But you are so right, things are just things and can be replaced. XO, Jill

The Silver Bunny said...

I won't go and see the film because it is a little bit too close to home for comfort but when you have to sell stuff, you eventually recover. I know it sounds sappy but things are not people and ultimately, they are the ones you want to keep !

silkpathdiary said...

I was waiting for it to come out to take my mother but too late and now she's off on her travel for the rest of the year.
I love Cate and can't wait to see her in this. Although I'm not Allen's biggest fan, this is a very good topic and relevant these days.

Of course I'd sell everything if I needed to because of my kids like you. But I'm finding it hard to decide if there's anything I couldn't part with which surprises me. I think a little pink semi precious stone ring I wore as a child that my mother had altered to fit me for my 21st birthday would be one, a single Kelly and the H Coup de Fouet scarf.

Angele Style said...

Cate has GOT TO WIN the Oscar!!! I had not seen her in any other movie but as I was watching Blue Jasmine I could not belive how incredible she was able to depict someone so REAL. And then her wardrobe was the best I have ever seen ever anywhere because the outfits were for real life not walking down some runway. The white cotton shirt she wore at the dentist office...yes one would say a plain white cotton shirt...NO...it looked like the richest cotton known to man. Just one example of her wardrobe that just has to win an Oscar as well. I could go on and on about the psychology of all the characters in the film but those of us who love Woody know he is a master at what he does. This is one of his very BEST!!!

Heather Lindstrom said...

First off Jill, the movie looks fantastic. I had heard of it but not so in depth. Looks like a must see. Gorgeous fashions! I loved seeing photos of your 'must keep' items and hearing why. I would grab my St. John stilettos (designed by my sister) with crystal ankle strap and pearls brought to me from China by my parents, as well as special pieces of jewelry from my husband.
Have a wonderful weekend Jill!
Great post!
xx, Heather

Sacramento Amate said...

I must see the film.
I am not attached to things.
Owning myself is my main aim in life.
And that is not blabber, but a long, long trip within.
Thank you so much for your visit. I was hoping you would join Share-in-Style, but there will be another one on the 1rst of november: Topic - Orange/or Halloween
XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Cloud of Secrets said...

I might have to look for this movie. I hadn't heard of it, and I feel like the only non-Woody-Allen fan in the world sometimes, but I do like observing Cate Blanchett.

As much as I enjoy nice stuff, and as much as I think about nice stuff I'd like, it's really easy to separate myself from it in a thought experiment. I can't think of a belonging I wouldn't sell to keep my kids warm, healthy, and decently fed if it came to that. If there were a fire and I could rescue one thing (besides family and cat), I'd probably grab my computer that has photo files and recent writings I haven't backed up yet.

I do love my own pearl studs, though! Do you ever have a problem with your Mikimotos coming off their posts and needing to be re-epoxied? I've had to have mine from Blue Nile re-done a few times, although they're pretty good pearls.

madeco said...

I saw the film last week, after work (great momnent!)If I had a think to let to have money, it would be a Sophie Sitbon's rose jacket (a French stylist); I bought it before my wedding and this jacket is to small now...But I probably prefer to keep it for my daughter !

Jill said...

Thank you to everyone who left such thoughtful comments and opinions. I highly recommend seeing the movie because you will be hearing about it at Oscar time! I wouldn't be surprised if it gets nominated for Best Actress (Cate of course), Best Supporting Actor (Bobby Cannavale, who was fantastic and stole every scene he was in!), Best Supporting Actress (Sally Hawkins, so great as Ginger), Best Costume Design, Best Screenplay, and Best Picture. XO, Jill

Karen Reid-Mogford said...

Hi Jill, just saw it and LOVED it, although I left feeling OH! Oh! Not what I expected at all.
I loved Cate's performance, she is an unbeatable combination of classic beauty and talent! Grrrr!
x

kim at northerncalstyle. said...

Jill, really enjoyed this post! I am hoping to see that movie. I don't care anything about possessions really. The things that I do treasure are photos and a ring from my grandmother!
xxKim

Elle's Parisian Chic Blog... said...

Late to this party! but have to comment, I went to a rare (for me) trip to the cinema to see this film. Loved the wardrobe choices - it was such a moving storyline portrayed perfectly by CB...here it is due out on DVD soon.

There must have been/are many women in this situation, especially after the global financial crisis we have seen in recent years.

As often is the case Woody Allen did a great job! Elle