Monday, February 5, 2018

Two Magic Ingredients

Inspiration comes from all sorts of sources, sometimes unexpected ones. I don't know what you thought when you first saw this outfit on me, but I know what two little girls in a movie theater thought when they whispered to each other and giggled, looking at me wearing this very outfit. And what do you know, they read me as an open book!

I was, of course, inspired by PADDINGTON

I wasn't even aware of Paddington just a week ago, but a good old friend of mine, my best friend since forever (we know each other for 27 years or so), mentioned that she took her sons to see a movie about a bear named Paddington. She was so taken with cozy English interiors (which we both are fond of) that after the movie she felt inspired to put together a beautiful English-themed outfit.

Soon after that, I was browsing Netflix and noticed this title in the category "Critically Acclaimed Movies" ... I didn't even know yet that there were two movies, and my friend watched the new one in a theater. I was intrigued and decided to give it a go. I don't know whether it would come as a surprise to you or not, but I love everything children's - books, movies, cartoons, plays, music... and of course toys, and of course tales. The books about a little bear named Paddington did not come to my attention earlier in life, but apparently little Justin read them (no surprise there - he has a life-long crush on Winnie the Pooh, and I think he partly is Winnie the Pooh). I fell in love with Paddington in the first few minutes of the very first movie, which I watched once with Justin, then we went to see Paddington 2 in the theater (where two little girls spotted me), and then I re-watched the first movie on Netflix again. I just couldn't have enough of Paddington! 
(Also, I've been sick for a few days and watched lots of movies. Feeling better now, after taking tons of vitamin C, ginger, turmeric, mors (Russian berry drink made by Justin) and plenty of bear hugs, but still fighting a nasty cough.)

Both Paddington and Paddington 2 are brilliantly made - visual treats, starting with the colors they've picked, absolutely gorgeous. Brilliant actors (Sally Hawkins, the star of MAUDIE, played Mum, and Hugh Bonneville, best known for his role in Downton Abbey, played Dad). A heartwarming story, fantastic animation and two of the most important and incredibly rare ingredients in children's movies that make Paddington one of my favorite movies of all times. 

The first ingredient is visual - the thoroughly created magical world that is nested in the middle of modern London. It's just absolutely charming! One can only create such an amazing magical world if one lives in such himself, it absolutely can't be faked. (There was such a genius in creating fairy tale worlds in Russian film history - Alexander Rou. Apparently, Steven Spielberg praised him highly, saying that his film JACK FROST ("Морозко", 1964) was the forerunner of many Hollywood blockbusters.) And the second ingredient that makes Paddington a hit for all time, is the profound message to the world told in a loving, humorous, non-moralistic tone. I thought it was especially moving in the first movie, and it teaches us being open, kind and accepting to those who are not like us...which, if you think about it, is pretty much everybody else, because who really is just exactly like us, right? It's a timeless message which speaks volumes in our time, and if we want to live in a better world tomorrow, it is exactly what we, as well as our children, need to learn today. But maybe you don't want to go to movies to learn a lesson - then don't. Just go to see a wonderful family movie, masterfully done - with all the abundance in this genre, such masterpieces don't happen very often. Or better yet, go there to become a child yourself, even if just for a couple of hours!

So now you know what it takes to create a genuine fairy tale: to show a magical world, you have to live in a magical world yourself, and you have to have a profound message - a message of love. Those are two huge secrets - without them, there is no real magic in fairy tales. You get a hocus-pocus instead of magic then. Such tales can be professionally written and filmed, with talented costume designers and actors playing beautifully, but they will lack the two most important ingredients. And now they are yours - you can do with them whatever you want. 

And you also know another story of creating an outfit of mine. Right after the first Paddington on Netflix, I put together this outfit in red and teal, featuring thrifted boiled wool jacket and velvet turtleneck, new red pants (bought on sale spontaneously, when I was returning some shoes to the store), red hat and vintage jewelry. Who knew it was possible to get inspired by a character from children's literature (or cinema, in this case)? And who knew it was possible to fall in love with a bear?

Pants - Lane Bryant (sale)
Turtleneck and jacket - thrifted via Goodwill
Hat - Charlotte Russe (old)
Earrings, pin and beads - thrifted via Goodwill 
Coral bracelet - gift from my parents
Boots - Aquatalia (old)
Purse - Michael Kors (old)

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  1. sweetest post ever! <3 <3 <3
    you look adorable in the paddington inspired outfit - because it has all what you love: bright colors, soft, rich materials, a cool hat and beautiful vintage jewelry.......
    and it has a meaning to you!
    no wonder you fell in love with the bear - just looking at the poster makes one smile.
    and you´r so right with the two magic ingredients! i´d grew up with fairy tales from all over the world (in books) and the DDR, USSR and CSSR movies - most of them are still magical - even if from now the FX look naive....... or maybe its that actually - not high end technics but a love for the story.
    i´m sure you know what i mean :-D
    much love and hugest hugses! xxxxxx

    1. I know exactly what you mean! I was just recently watching the DDR movie Frau Holle (1963). I remember when I was a child, I loved it, but my question the girl went underground (in the well), but was able to make snow that comes from the sky? :) That was the main mystery to me and my favorite scene - when she makes snow! Mesmerizing.


  2. Морозко sounds like a lovely movie, I might look it today. I feel in mood to see something like that. It is always interesting to hear your movie recommendations. I haven't see Paddington but I think I heard about it....I might see that one too. Why not? I love bears...and I love children's stories too. Winnie the Poo is a classic. I read a few Winnie the Poo books to my nephew and I liked them a lot. There is always some kind of message in those stories and as you said- it is the message that is important.

    Without the message of love, no fairy-tale is complete. Even the most imaginative and beautiful story, film, play or whatever, isn't the real thing if there isn't some kind of message behind it. You're absolutely right about these two magic ingredients.

    How lovely that a movie inspired your outfit. That red hat is so cute!!! I really like the combo of red and blue, it's very classic. Those red palazzo pants are so fabulous, what a great impulse buy..and I think I have a dark blue top that looks exactly like that one. That blue short coat is wonderful as well. Great styling, you look beautiful.

    I'm sorry to hear about your cold, I hope you'll get over it soon. Get plenty of rest, I think that helps the most.

    1. Ивана, посмотри также "Варвара-краса, длинная коса" - один из моих наилюбимейших фильмов Роу. У него совершенно потрясающее чувство юмора, и он умел рассказыать сказки как никто иной. Сын ирландца и матери-гречанки, с очень русской душой.

      Спасибо, я почти совершенно здорова, это был суровый грипп.

  3. Hope your cold is better soon, Natalia. So far - touch wood! - I've escaped this Winter. I haven't seen the Paddington movies, but I've read the books, and I've always loved Paddington Bear in his red and blue outfit. Your Paddington inspired outfit, and your post, made me smile all the way through! I'm loving the wide-legged red trousers and with your fabulous teal coat and red hat, you really did him proud. It's such a happy outfit too! Lots of love and a huge hug xxx

    1. I am so happy to make you smile, my dear Ann! I totally share your love for Paddington now. <3

      Unfortunately, my daughter got flu, and it is particularly heavy this year. I thought I'd escape it, but at the end I got it too. We are fine, no complications, just still some weakness.

  4. Hi Mrs. Paddington! You would win every look-alike-contest ;-) - hihi, that was just a joke, but I like it very much, how you became inspired to this fancy look! It's some kind of fairy tale and some kind of Boho! I'v got to know the nice bear some years ago in London.
    Today I'm joining again the MM's, but the red in this post is just "sparingly dispensed". Nevertheless I hope you like it - it's the pure summer-feeling ;-))
    Hugs from here (today it's pure winter!)

    1. Thank you, dear Traude! I will stop by to see your new red outfit! <3

  5. Pięknie i kolorowe:))fantastyczne spodnie i bardzo ładnie dobrane dodatki:)))Pozdrawiam serdecznie:)))

  6. First and foremost, , I am appreciating this critically acclaimed fashionista!
    I love your velvet top and your wide leg trousers in that beautiful shade of red. I am wondering if Paddington took his fashion clues from you!
    I am glad to know this new Netflix category. Have a great day!

    1. Thank you, dear! If you get to watch any critically acclaimed movies on Netflix, do watch Cinema Paradiso - one of my favorite movies ever!

      Lots of love <3

  7. Brilliant! Inspired by the adorable Paddington Bear, love it! I hope you'd stashed a few marmalade sandwiches into your bag.
    Feel better soon!

  8. You look beautiful. I like a combination of pomegranate and red, I love hats, teddy bears and writing poems :) From Russian fairy tales Masha :)