2011's Beginners was a great film that made a lasting impression on me for a lot of reasons, one of which, I have to admit, was French actress Mélanie Laurent's effortless style. Most viewers probably don't give Ewan McGreggor's character's girlfriends' outfits much of a second thought, but that is precisely why they are so perfect. They are unpretentious, vaguely '70s and casual, but still chic in the way that a cool French actress spending some time in Los Angeles would dress. She looks comfortable and young but still put together. I left the theater wanting just about everything she wore (and a puppy and a French accent), but I still can't stop thinking about the chic, simple black leather shoulder strap bag she wore throughout most of the movie. I can't tell where exactly it's from--it might be vintage--but it feels like the one chic, versatile accessory missing from my wardrobe. I've been on the lookout ever since and luckily there are tons to choose from in all price ranges--from J. Crew to Coach to The Row. Take a look.
With possibilities of a stateside spotting of Parisian chic, we hopped down to last night’s signing at Opening Ceremony for illustrator/director Mike Mills’ new title, Drawings from the Film Beginners. Luckily we weren’t disappointed as the inimitable Melanie Laurent loyally held court beside her Beginners director, clad in mom jean overalls and a straw fedora--somehow she made this work...beyond work. Mills, a longtime visual artist and Cooper Hewitt alum, wrote the script for Beginners à la Sylvia Plath (ie: loosely based on his life). Although luckily his roman à clef is much less depressing. Inspired by his father’s late-in-life decision to expose his homosexuality, Mills is cinematically portrayed by Ewan McGregor, an artist who juggles a new love (played by Laurent) and his dad’s brave decision. The resulting book—Drawings from the Film Beginners--is not so much a story as it is a collection of drawings from the movie, depicting "The History of Sadness" and "The History of Love." We briefly interrupted Mills’ autographing duties to speak about his new book and love for Neanderthals: