Saturday, June 12, 2010

Angela Lansbury in Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971)

This was one of my favorite movies when I was little. I absolutely love the dance sequences in the Portabello Road Number! This stuck in my memory so much that I had to go see Dover Castle and Portabello Road when I went to Britain to study abroad in college. This Disney film takes place in England during World War II. And even though it wasn’t made until 1971, it seems much older.

Children are being evacuated from London to prevent them from being harmed in the Blitz. Angela Lansbury is an “apprentice witch” who takes in three children. She needs one last spell and she and the children head to London (via a magical bed) to find her Professor and acquire the last spell, which is important in the war effort. There is a very comical animated sequence and several very nice songs and dances.

I think Angela Lansbury is great. From National Velvet all the way to Beauty and the Beast, she is a great character actress. Most people don’t know that she was considered to be quite the bombshell back in the day. Check out this picture circa 1946:

The outfit she wears in Bedknobs and Broomsticks is very ladylike and sophisticated yet practical. It is a tie neck blouse (in a pinkish-mauve color), a vest in a purple shade, a grayish-blue skirt and a gray jacket. For about half of the film she wears it without the jacket and half with the jacket.

Here is my interpretation:
Coat: Debenhams, Grey Tweed Jacket, 34.99 GBP, $50.28
Shirt: Spiegel, Tie Neck Blouse, $39
Vest: Ruche, Pretty in Pink Lace Vest, $34.99
Skirt: Three Dots Foldover Skirt in New York Grey $84 via Nordstrom
Shoes: Miss Me Woven T-Strap Mary Jane Heels in Gray, $15 via the
Total: $223.27
And here is layered with the jacket:

And lastly, layered without the jacket:

It was a bit too much to hope for a pink tie-neck blouse, so I opted to change the color scheme a bit. I like the blouse from Spiegel for the price and romantic feel of it. I love pink and grey together so I set out for a pink vest. This lace vest from Ruche looks a good deal more expensive than it is. Then this outfit began to be about layering and texture for me. I wanted a practical pleated gray a-line skirt to go with this. I couldn’t find exactly what I wanted in budget but this one from Nordstrom has the kind of movement and drape that I wanted to see.

I lucked out on the jacket and shoes: $15 for some very retro t-straps in a lovely grey color. I really wanted a tweed jacket to add even more texture. I found this great one from Debenham’s for about $50! Overall, I went a bit over budget but I believe most of these pieces can be worn again in different ways and all of them are very work appropriate. This entire look is very stylish together but each piece is lovely on its own. I might remix the vest with a pair of jeans and a white tee shirt with Chuck Taylors. Here are a few other ideas on how the pieces for this outfit could get more mileage.

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