Sunday, July 26, 2015

The Haute Hall of Fame (Ellen Brody)

   Recently it occurred to me that most of my, "Haute Hall of Fame," posts have honored the fashion sense of fictional characters.  While I stand by all of my selections I do wonder why I focus so much on the style of individuals who don't really exist?  Is it because the costume designers of pop culture have an endless supply of outlets to choose garments from?  Or could it be that the older I get the more I prefer to interact with movies, television, and books rather than face real society. Lastly, and most concerning, am I finally loosing total grasp on reality?  Have I come to the conclusion that these characters I admire are actually legitimate figures in society?  For example, a person watches every episode of, "Northern Exposure," and finds themselves thinking things like, "Shelly would call this pair of boots bitchin'," and "Those earrings are so Shelly," or lastly, "Would Shelly wear that sweater?"  It poses the question, what is the difference between  hoards of people worshiping the style sense of Hollywood celebrities they will never meet, compared to the fictional character of Shelly Tambo shaping the way I select things for my wardrobe?  Even though Shelly is not a real person her potential impact on the way women dress is just as great as someone like fashonista Kylie Jenner, (and a lot more original if I might add).  So I guess my point here is that my closet is proof enough that fictional characters are just as legitimate as reality television stars when it comes to labeling fashion icons.  Whew!, who knew fashion and philosophy were so closely linked?  
   So with this idea in mind I introduce yet another fictional icon to the ranks of The Haute Hall of Fame.  I would like to dedicate this post the character of Ellen Brody from the timeless classic film, "Jaws."  Now, I will admit the movie, "Jaws," is rather special to me and my family. Ever since I can remember the whole, "fam," has sat down each midsummer to bond over the horrific screams of Chrissie Watkins being thrashed about in one of the most memorable opening scenes on film. I suppose some individuals are still shocked by this bit of, what I must define as marvelous acting.  However, for me all the exaggerated shrieking, gargling, gagging, and finally deafening silence this scene provides signifies something different.  Yep, all I can think of when I hear the opening notes to this undeniably legendary theme song is, family.
   Now, let's be clear on the extent of my family's love of this movie.  My mom has a Jaws eating Quint off the boat action figure model that she proudly displays on her fireplace mantel. Consequently, due to my family's absolute adoration of this film, it's hard for me to think of, "Jaws," without considering a lot of these characters family.  I mean, come on!  After one watches a film once a year for about thirty years it starts to resemble home.  
   I guess what I'm getting at here is there are many times I find myself in conversations with my parents or brother about funny things that were said or done by the characters of this movie.  We often analyze these characters, reference scenes from the movie, or mostly, quote our favorite lines. It would not be an uncommon occurrence for an individual to walk into a room and find my family boisterously singing, "Show me the way to go home..."  
   I like to think of this behavior as further proof to my earlier theory that fictional characters can have an extreme impact on the actions and decisions of real life individuals.  I found this to be true on a recent trip I took to Duluth, MN.  While the character of Sheriff Brody's wife, Ellen Brody, is far from the most dynamic in the cast she certainly was the best dressed.  Sitting by the great lake Superior, I began to reminisce about this wonderful movie.  I felt inspired by my surroundings and decided to take advantage of the different photography setting and construct my, "Jaws," style outfit.  Immediately, I headed to the nearest Savers thrift store and in the matter of about forty five  minutes I was able to track down some of the necessary missing items I needed to complete my Ellen Brody look.  Interestingly enough, while creating this post I stumbled across the last Ellen Brody picture above, featuring some key elements to creating her style.  I was thrilled to realize I was not the only individual on the internet paying homage to her character.
   In closing, keep in mind there are no right or wrong style icons.  Whether they be fictional or not these individuals can have influence on one's aesthetic persona.  It became very clear to me on my trip that all this lady needed was the right setting and a good thrift store to help manifest an idea that had been created by thirty years of watching the same character.  Now, back to the topic of philosophy, if a tree falls on a heaping pile of cashmere sweaters does it sound more expensive?

Shirt:  Old Navy
Jeans:  Thrifted on trip (Vintage Orange Tab Levi's)
Moccasins:  Minnetonka
Belt:  Vintage
Purse:  Frye
Head Scarf:  Thrifted on trip
Necklace:  Thrifted on trip
Sunglasses:  Coach

*All photographs taken by Clark.

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