Singing the Pain Away

Are YOU ready for Heartbreak Karaoke?

With our Valentine’s Day party only days away, our publisher Haley is practicing her rendition of “No Scrubs.” I’m studying the lyrics to David Bowie’s “Heroes.” Ted’s got the whole Beatles discography queued up. What is the soundtrack to your own heartbreak?

Let us know in the comments the songs you want to sing at Heartbreak Karaoke so we can get them ready for you. Then come out on Valentine’s Day with red on your back and your heart on your sleeve. Support independent publishing, and sing us a sad song!

THE RULES
$7 Admission
$5 Admission if you’re wearing red or pink
Each song is $1
Jump the line for $10
Celine Dion songs are $5

THE DETAILS
Jun Jun
374 College Street
Bring on the heartbreak: 9:00 p.m.
You don’t have to go home but you can’t stay here: 2:00 a.m.

DRESS CODE
Red and pink preferred
Your heart on your sleeve: mandatory

WHO WORE IT BETTER: Romeo and Juliet vs. Romeo + Juliet

Taking style—not relationship—cues from theatre's most iconic couple

A long, long time ago, musical duo The Everly Brothers recorded a song called “Love Hurts.” Now, history was never my strongest subject, but I’m 98% sure Billy Shakespeare had that song in mind when he wrote his tragic love story, Romeo and Juliet (his other point of reference was clearly the classic romance, Pretty in Pink).

To truly understand this tale of woe (this of Juliet and her Romeo), one must look beyond what one learned from their Grade 10 English teacher, and instead refer to the styling choices made in the two most iconic film adaptations. I’m talking, of course, of the 1968 Franco Zeffirelli and the 1996 Baz Lurhmann versions. Come join us in Fair Verona where we lay our scene.

ACT ONE: Just a Good Ol’ Fashioned Family Feud

If a picture is worth a thousand words, a well thought out costume is worth pages of backstory. Costume designer Danilo Donati won an Academy Award for his job on the 1968 film, and it’s easy to see why: what better way to convey the gang like confrontations between the Montagues and the Capulets than with colour-coded tights? The entire movie is like a 1960′s retrospective of the Renaissance, where even characters with violent tendencies are draped in lush fabrics and faded colours. This explains the following:

PINK TIGHTS!! Just hanging out in the background on a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it extra.

Luckily for us, the overenthusiastic viewers, Baz Luhrmann also just does not do subtlety. Romeo + Juliet was, believe it or not, the first movie for costume designer Kym Barrett, though as a surprise to no one she has an extensive background in theatre costuming. (She would later go on to work on the hacker-tastic Matrix). If you’re gonna have an out-and-out brawl at a gas station triggered by nothing more than some inappropriate thumb-biting, you’re going to need flamboyant looks including shocking pink hair and lots of leather. Is this movie timeless? Hell no. And that’s why we love it.

ACT 2: It is the East, and Juliet is the Sun

And so we come to our star-crossed lovers. Olivia Hussey as the 1968 Juliet was probably the mane main reason why I went a year and a half without cutting my hair. Every scene in which she wears it pulled back, her hair still dominates the scene with its glossy locks and center part. You know the girl was just waiting for any opportunity to shake it out like she was in a Herbal Essences commercial. In keeping with all the soft edges of the film’s aesthetic, is it any wonder that for Romeo they cast Leonard Whiting, who looks like he could be Zac Efron’s great uncle? Gotta love a dude who can effortlessly pull off two-tone tights while getting into a fight.

The relationship between early-teenager Juliet and nearly-adult Romeo probably would not be that palatable to contemporary audiences, yet Lurhmann was able to keep the age difference consistent but not skeezy by casting another baby-faced blue eyed actor named Leo (that’s DiCaprio. Keep up, now). Simultaneously non-threatening and able to piss off the parents of his amour, he proved to be the perfect Jordan Catalano for Claire Danes’s Juliet.

I believe the costume designer for this was given the assignment: “try to put everything about the ’90s into one outfit. Then amp it up by 11.” A shiny, button-up, halter wedding dress WITH a high ponytail and two skinny face framing hair wisps? Is she getting married or auditioning as an extra in a Smashing Pumpkins video? Next you’re going to tell me that the best man in this wedding is the guy from Bring it On.

Oh.

ACT 3: Ain’t No Party like a Capulet Party

In a play filled with excesses, the visual cues come to a glittering pinnacle with a riotous masquerade. It serves as the backdrop for the first meeting between two of pop culture’s most melodramatic teenagers, so low-key it ain’t. Zeffirelli goes for a hazy nightmarish vibe with unsettling metallic masks, at once animalistic and skeletal.

Lurhmann skips the vague drug allegories and goes straight for an ecstasy high, creating a kaleidoscope of colours heightened by the surrealism of having his entire cast in costumes that mirror their personalities.

They can star in as many gritty shows and movies like Homeland and Django Unchained as they want, but will we ever see these two as anything beyond an angel and a knight, kissing by the book?

ACT 4: The Supporting Cast Needs Your Love, Too

Ice queen Lady Capulet (Natasha Parry in 1968) drapes herself in black, curtaining her perma-scowl. Even if the Montagues and Capulets weren’t feuding, methinks Romeo would still be nervous around his mother-in-law.

Whatchu brewing in that apothecary, 1968 Friar Lawrence (Milo O’Shea)? Could it be CINEMATIC ATMOSPHERE??? Somebody use this as the backdrop for a photo shoot, stat.

1996 Friar Lawrence (Pete Postlethwaite) has such an intense relationship with God he doesn’t even bother buttoning up his shirt, granting the Almighty a straight route to his heart.

1996 Nurse (Miriam Margolyes) looks like somebody to whom you could confide all your problems before raiding her accessories drawer. Those shades!

ACT 5: Call it Funeral Chic


This is a tragedy, after all. That ooey-gooey puppy love can’t compete with the power of deep rooted hatred, poison, fake poison, swords, daggers, and (if you’re Baz Luhrmann), pistols. Still, if you’re gonna fake your death, you might as well do it in style. Can we see some more gauze on that ensemble, Juliet?
That’s better. And how much do we love the girls of Capulet house, treating Juliet’s not-not-funeral as a place to show off their duds? We love them. We love them a lot.

Romeo and Juliet, together and colour-coded for eternity.

Not to be outdone, 1996 Juliet shies away from wearing black when depressed, opting instead for an equally moody midnight blue. I mean what are you going to do, not wear a velvet dress with a pointed collar and matching beret when planning to fake your own death? That right there is exactly why you’re single.

Finally, my favourite set out of both movies. LOOK AT ALL THOSE CANDLES! What I love about this is that Juliet’s family didn’t know that Romeo would break his way in, or that Friar Lawrence was planning to rescue her, and still they go all out in snazzing up her crypt. What does your job title have to be to ensure the lighting of dozens and dozens of ornate candles surrounding a dead body? And is there any room for advancement in that profession? Is the life expectancy at least better than a Montague in Verona?

Winner: I could waste my time trying to calculate which film had the better wardrobes, but really in both scenarios it is the audience that wins. Still, I have to give the “Best Dressed” title to anybody, we all know that 1996 Mercutio owns it.

Please don’t kill yourself in the name of romance.

The Motherloads

Everything we know about fashion, we learned from our TV mothers

Television opponents like to accuse parents of letting the boob tube raise their children. I gotta say—what’s wrong with that? For decades now, TV has been home to some effective mothers, from the lax and laid back to the strict and tough, with the wardrobes to match.

In deciding to profile some of the most stylish TV moms, we didn’t, of course, imagine this to be a comprehensive list—just a picking of some of our staff’s particular favourites. Want to gush about Jane Jetson or Peggy Bundy? Tell us in the comments. But first, sit down, read what we have to say, and don’t forget to eat your vegetables.

1 > Roseanne Conner from Roseanne (1988-1997)
Although comedian Roseanne Barr succeeded in turning her “Domestic Goddess” standup routine into a half-hour sitcom, the look of her character on Roseanne was anything but divine. Sweaters, simple button-downs and jeans made up Roseanne Conner’s wardrobe—that is when she wasn’t wearing her retro-kitsch waitress uniform.

The costumes were a way for the show to reflect the everyday authenticity of Lanford, Illinois. Roseanne battled with the wardrobe master over pricey clothes which made her “look like a show pony rather than a working-class mom.” As she wrote in New York Magazine, “I wanted vintage plaid shirts, t-shirts, and jeans, not purple stretch pants with green-and-blue smocks.”

The wardrobe master admitted that head office instructed her to ignore what the star wanted to wear because they did not approve of how Roseanne was portraying the character (despite the fact that the character was obviously based on herself). While not a trendsetter, Roseanne deserves credit for sticking to her guns and bringing some realness to ‘Must See TV.’ WORN celebrates Roseanne for wearing what she wanted, even if we never found out what the deal was with that ubiquitous chicken shirt. // Max Mosher


2 > Clair Huxtable from The Cosby Show (1984-1992)
As a kid (and, okay, kind of recently) we’ve spent many a sick day watching re-runs of The Cosby Show and wondering how one family could be so sartorially spot-on. Mr. Huxtable had his iconic sweaters, and Denise—well, Denise’s style was clearly not dreamt up by mere mortals. But the one family member who is most deserving of our nail art-embellished and bracelet-jangling applause is Mama Huxtable (Phylicia Rashād) herself—er, let’s just call her Clair.

Clair was a hard-ass, capital ‘M’ Mom (and lawyer) who could make you clean your room whether you liked it or not—and she’d wear a pile of jewels and a brightly coloured onesie while she did it. Then she would throw a matching apron over top and whip up a roast dinner without scuffing even one of her immaculately manicured nails. Even when she was working in the garden, Mama Hux was put together; she pulled weeds with style in oversized dungarees, a plaid shirt with rolled-up sleeves, and a straw hat.

It’s impossible to pick a favourite of Clair’s outfits, but a recurring look she owned and we’ve always envied was the oversized blouse and skinny trouser combo; there were usually shoulder-pads involved, and there was always a carefully selected set of jewelry on top, with the occasional belt to pull it all together. Mrs. Huxtable’s knack for style is simply undeniable. // Stephanie Fereiro


3 > Vivian Banks from Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990-1996)
Two actresses may have played Aunt Viv in Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, but it was the original who was the most memorable. Janet Hubert played matriarch of the mansion from seasons one to three. She was spunky, stylish, and a rare sight as one of the few dark-skinned, black women on TV.

Will Smith’s dayglo tanks were no match for original Aunt Viv who stole scenes with her classy, luxurious style. The sitcom mom was rarely seen without a piece of gold jewelry. She wore suits that were masterfully tailored and jumpsuits that cinched at the waist. Her nails were always manicured, her hair always full. Even when she was cuddling in bed with Uncle Phil (that’s her husband, Will’s uncle), the woman always looked beautiful. Producers eventually fired Hubert over contract riffs, replacing her with Daphne Reed from seasons four onward. And Aunt Viv was never the same. Her wardrobe wasn’t as fly, she wasn’t as forthright, and she probably couldn’t pull off this dance in a pink unitard. // Mai Nguyen

4 > Morticia Addams from The Addams Family (1964-1966)
Morticia Addams is the spooky mama of the Addams Family; played by Carolyn Jones in the ’60s sitcom that paired creepy, gothic sensibilities with a sense of humour. Morticia (the Frenchies amongst you will recognize the word “mort” means “death”) is the ultimate domestic housewife with a demented twist. Her dark yet refined look was a fixture of the show, and she is considered a style icon for classy goths both inside and out of the fashion world.

Morticia was never seen without her cascade of sleek, black hair, cat-eye make-up and clingy, floor-length black gown. She ruled her household with cool (yet perfectly manicured) hand, in contrast to her excitable husband Gomez, who could barely contain his sexual attraction to her. Morticia’s trademark style oozed glamour, and was somewhere between a silent movie star and a grim funeral-goer. // Isabel Slone

5 > Florida Evans from Good Times (1974-1979)
Florida Evans, played by actress Esther Rolle, was the lead character and fiery mother of three in Good Times. The series followed the Evans family and their lives spent in a housing project in a poor, inner-city Chicago neighbourhood. While working class families had been shown on television before, depicting the lives of black characters living in such impoverished conditions was a breakthrough in the genre.

So what’s a ’70s housewife in the projects to wear? Polyester, and lots of it. Florida’s outfits may have been tame compared to the funky wardrobes of her children, but she still had mad style. Her most memorable looks had her dressed in head to toe orange—just as fresh and bright as the fruit. Though this might be a clever comment about the state that Florida shares her name with, perhaps the choice was just a compliment to the autumn hues of the Evans’ ’70s living room. Dressed for a wedding in her “JC Penney Original”—a vibrant orange dress complete with matching bakelite necklace—Florida declares that her outfit for this uptown occasion is a little tight downtown. Like a good mother should—ain’t we lucky we got em!—Florida speaks the truth. // Jenna Danchuk

6 > Marge Simpson from The Simpsons (1989-present)
Marge Simpson has become so ingrained in pop culture as one fifth of the most iconic animated family, her style has become taken for granted. Sure, one could argue that she’s meant to represent the typical housewife (though what does that mean, really?) but quick—how many small town stay-at-home moms do you know who rock a green strapless dress, orange pearls, and a bright blue Bride of Frankenstein-style beehive? A mother of three, she understands the value of clothes to the extent that she can stop a counterfeit jean ring operating out of her car hole by recognizing their faulty stitching.

Marge is never more conscious of clothing than in the episode “Scenes from a Class Struggle in Springfield.” After rationalizing the purchase of a dramatically discounted Chanel suit (“It’ll be good for the economy”) she gets invited to a country club inhabited by Springfield’s elite. Marge desperately wants to be accepted by this new crowd, for whom living on a budget and meatloaf do not exist. It’s a world that the always resourceful Marge doesn’t understand, but nonetheless runs her sewing machine ragged trying to get the maximum mileage out of her Chanel suit. Eventually she learns that clothes are just textiles, capable of getting destroyed with the wrong amount of pressure on her sewing machine pedal, and that while they reveal a lot, they can never truly compensate for one’s values. Plus, let’s be real—her hairdo is way more chic than anything the women at the country club were sporting. // Anna Fitzpatrick

7 > Betty Draper from Mad Men (2007-present)
Ice-cold blue eyes shoot daggers through cat-eyed sunglasses, while fitted waists and full skirts cause children (even her own) to run in the other direction. January Jones as Betty Draper, or Francis rather—if we are able to picture her outside the golden era of her and Don and that blue velveteen headboard—is the ultimate in ’50s housewife style. If Grace Kelly put on an apron and went to therapy, she would be Betty. Never a blonde strand out of place or a smudged rouge pout—even while in a nighty, shooting the neighbour’s pesky pigeons.

To the world outside her suburban windows she is perfect. Her anxiety cramped hands hide in white day gloves, and as an audience we rarely see her looking dishevelled. Even sulking in polka dotted chiffon, she still manages to look way more put together than I would after a marathon Kleenex fest. For the most part, however, Betty’s costume is just that. A suit of tafetta armour, protecting the ideal she upholds.

And while the fashion thirsty Mad Men watchers in the past few seasons may have—like Don—found a new muse that’s more their cup of Scotch (cough, Megan), I would urge you not to overlook some of Betty’s sartorial adventures that prove she’s not just a cookie cutter gingham clad housewife. Remember when she recalled the story of being a muse to an Italian designer and pulled out that racy silk romper from the back of her closet? Or the time she bought that yellow bikini from the auction and confronted Don about wearing it outside (Hi, Feminism!…That is until he shamed her out of wearing it by saying she looked ‘cheap’—not cool, Draper). And, ummm, hello, this hair!? // Casie Brown

8 > Jo McGuire from Lizzie McGuire (2001-2004)
Lizzie McGuire was always one of the coolest 13-year-olds who managed to rock some the most flamboyant outfits the Disney Channel ever did see (your move, Hannah Montana). Her mom, Jo McGuire, on the other hand, was much plainer and often deemed by Lizzie as uncool. And yet, Mrs. McGuire was awesome—her look was former-hippie-turned-soccer-mom, who although plain, never lost her quirky flair. Jo’s hair was always in a simple yet complex up-do that even sometimes supported bright bandanas intricately laced. She also seemed to have a cardigan in every colour imaginable, and wore poignant thick rimmed glasses before they were the hip, go-to accessory. Still, what especially put Jo McGuire within the high ranks of super cool moms was the fact that she took Lizzie bra shopping with an enthusiasm and active motherly support that isn’t so common on television. She helped send a body-positive message to young girls wherein lingerie was seen as a part of growing up and womanly empowerment instead of a tool for male seduction with voyeuristic connotations too often seen in teenage dramas. // Paulina Kulacz

image compilation // Zoe Vos

The Wornettes do TIFF

The best outfits at the 2012 Toronto International Film Fest happened on screen

Great Expectations Mike Newell
The world probably doesn’t need another adaptation of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations, but it never hurts to see one of classic literature’s greatest (and most visually interesting) characters, Miss Havisham, re-imagined yet again. In Mike Newell’s version of the story, Helena Bonham Carter plays the jilted ghostly bride (naturally) who is grandly clad in a dusty, decaying dress. The dress was designed by Beatrix Aruna Pasztor who also crafted costumes for Vanity Fair and Aeon Flux. Pasztor drowns Miss Havisham in layers and layers of lace and taffeta silk, creating more of an artistic masterpiece than a simple costume.

Even more exquisite is Miss Havisham’s lovely disciple Estella (her young and adult versions are played by Helena Barlow and Holliday Grainger, respectively). Estella wears pleated travelling dresses adorned with cascading ribbons and feathered collars in hues of blues and purples. Paired with bejeweled neck chokers, Estella’s wardrobe is aesthetically refreshing against the movie’s muddy backdrops.

And then there’s Pip, the blacksmith turned gentleman whose wardrobe is overwhelmingly vital to his transition into the upper echelons of London society. Played by Jeremy Irvine, Pip ditches his thick boots, puts on tailored suits, and gets the girl, all while turning into an uppity snob in the process.

Does this new version of Great Expectations break any new ground? Doubtful. But do the costumes live up to its period piece glory? I think the taffeta speaks for itself.
// Mai Nguyen

Deflowering of Eva van End Michiel ten Horn
This blithely haunting Dutch film unfolds around Eva, your garden variety “dork.” A chubby, bespectacled late-bloomer lacking in social skills, she remains silent for almost the entire duration of the film. Eva is a sullen, awkward girl who seems more interested in spending time with her pet rabbit and listening to her favourite pan flautist than having sex, an activity doggedly pursued by her libidinous classmates. Eva’s shyness results in her isolation from the outside world, where her family and peers treat her like a piece of furniture. Her outsider status is highlighted by her wardrobe: Eva wears mostly t-shirts emblazoned with Louis Wain cats, Converse sneakers, and ill-fitting jeans; in stark contrast to her brand-conscious classmates who love Ed Hardy, leopard print jeans, and skintight dresses.

Eva’s life changes when she is assigned an attractive but irritatingly friendly German exchange student named Viet. Viet plays the part of a clean-cut hippie; a vegetarian who financially supports an African child and meditates as his preferred form of relaxation. Viet’s wardrobe is all-white, consisting of linen tunics and Birkenstock sandals, which are meant to symbolize the purity of his beliefs yet create an ironic tension when his presence begins to wreak havoc in the van End household. It’s clever and funny with a dark, disturbing undercurrent that rears its head near the end of the film.
// Isabel Slone
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