Saint Laurent gives us the female Bond we’ve all been waiting for

Saint Laurent gives us the female Bond we’ve all been waiting for


The venue

Saint Laurent always shows its Paris Fashion Week show at the Fontaine du Trocadéro, overlooking the Eiffel Tower. However this season things were a little different, due in no small part to the rain (yes even in beautiful Paris we must make allowances for the weather).

A black tent was erected, and inside guests walked a cream carpet which also served as a backdrop to the catwalk. For the show, lights went out, with only white spotlights putting the focus on the models – a nod to the famous Bond film opening credits.

The collection

If James Bond were a woman, this is what she would wear. Part femme fatale, part spy, she wears patent leather trousers with sheer blouses, pencil skirts with lacy bras.

But she is also confident enough to embrace masculine clothing, such as 80s power blazers, and in fact she dresses them up even more with chunky costume jewellery.

She also embraces colour, opting to mix in the classic Saint Laurent black with shades of chocolate, red wine and scarlet.

The accessories

Elegant suits were elevated thanks to leopard print cravates and chunky gold chains, while footwear was decidedly 80s. Think mum-style pointed slingbacks and courts, but with a killer twist. We also saw a lot of leather gloves, a big trend for AW20, also seen on the catwalk in Milan.

The FROW

Saint Laurent always draws an A List crowd, and this season was no exception. Zoe and Lenny Kravitz, Rami Malek, Kit Harrington, Hayley Bieber and Brooklyn Beckham were just some of the famous faces spotted on the FROW.

The standout piece

The black PVC coat worthy of the best MI6 agent.

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Maria Grazia Chiuri celebrates women with her PFW show

Maria Grazia Chiuri celebrates women with her PFW show


The venue

The show venue – set in the Jardin des Tuileries in the heart of Paris – was designed in collaboration with the Claire Fontaine collective to create a space dedicated to Italian women artists who commit to the feminist cause. Illuminated conic phrases hung from the ceiling, flashing at intervals.

‘Women raise the upraising’ symbolising the revolutionary act of motherhood, ‘patriarchy = repression’ illustrated the emotional consequences of make domination and ‘when women strike, the world stops’ highlighted the often unrecognised but essential role of women in society.

The first model opened the show to the word ‘consent’ flashing above her, a – perhaps unintentional but impactful nonetheless – nod to this week’s Weinstein verdict.

The clothes

Maria Grazia Chiuri looked to her teenage diary for her autumn/winter 2020 collection, and more specifically the emotions linked to it. She revisited old photos including some of her mother and actresses who inspired clients of her mother’s couture atelier, and re-imagined them with her vision of today.

The show opened with the Dior Bar jacket, which harks back to the New Look of 1947, launched during the house’s first ever Paris fashion show.

There were 70s shearling jackets and boiler suits, and plenty of heritage checks inspired by Mr Christian Dior himself (‘I love checks. They can be fancy and simple; elegant and easy; young and always right,’ he said).

A polka dot scarf found in the Dior archives served as the starting point for a series of dresses in various styles and lengths.

Other key looks included grandad knits and prim pea coats paired with pleated skirts. Fringes featured heavily, adding movement to long skirts.

The accessories

There again, Maria looked to the past. Silk bandana scarves adorned models’ heads, showcasing hippie style wavy hair. Organza ties and cute backpacks reminded us of school uniforms of days gone by.

The FROW

Dior started off PFW with a bang thanks to a very stellar line-up. Maya Hawkes, Sigourney Weaver, Andie MacDowell, Rachel Brosnahan, Demi Moore, Cara Delevingne, and the list goes on.

The standout piece

A good suit is the ultimate timeless look worth investing in, and for this reason I have to say the black two-piece that opened the show. If the jacket still stands the test of time over 70 years on, then it’s a no brainer.

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Boss makes a case for lilac at Milan Fashion Week

Boss makes a case for lilac at Milan Fashion Week


Boss Milan Fashion Week

The venue

Boss Milan Fashion Week

Boss took over the Social Music City space and decked it in lilac, and models, including Irina Shayk, Bella Hadid and Doutzen Kroes, glided around an oval catwalk to the sounds of a live orchestra. The musicians performed a piece titled Down to Earth, composed by Henry Scars Struck, resulting in the most poetic walk we’ve seen this season.

The clothes

We all know Boss does tailoring, and does it well. But the AW20 collection – called Generations – was all about reworking old classics into a more modern and fluid aesthetic.

Boss Milan Fashion Week

The tailoring was given a 2020 update thanks to sharp silhouettes in new fabrications and colours: chocolate coloured leather suits, two-tone coats and the most gorgeous navy silk dresses with cut out details. Knitwear was strong, with oversized scarves adding an interesting layer to slouchy knitwear.

Vivid red and coral accents added a pop of colour to the palette of cream and grey, and more unexpectedly, lilac was a fresh twist on autumnal dressing.

The accessories

Boss Milan Fashion Week

This season saw the introduction of new bag styles and shoes which offered a luxe finishing touch to proceedings. We particularly loved the square-toe stretch fabric boots for her (there was a particularly lust worthy pair in tiger print), and tassel bags for him.

Boss Milan Fashion Week

The FROW

Boss Milan Fashion Week

Boss drew one of the most star studded crowds yet, rounding off Milan Fashion Week nicely. Cara Delevingne and Ashley Benson sat alongside Amber Valletta, Toni Garrn and Orlando Bloom.

The standout piece

Boss Milan Fashion Week

Whilst I was in love with every chocolate-hued piece in the collection, the lilac colour has converted the purple-averse in me.

For this reason, I’m backing the lilac coat, beautifully paired with some olive knitwear.

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Donatella Versace introduces genderless fashion (but still with plenty of glamour)

Donatella Versace introduces genderless fashion (but still with plenty of glamour)


The vibe

Last season’s J Lo finale was always going to be a tough act to follow, but Donatella Versace surprised nonetheless with her AW20 collection. First off, she turned the camera on us, the audience. As we sat down, distorted versions of ourselves were reflected in the LED screen behind the catwalk, only to be replaced with hundreds of Donatella heads. Then for the first time, she combined men and womenswear, showcasing a gender fluid collection.

The collection

Donatella said she wanted to highlight both masculinity and femininity in the show, but make no mistake, this didn’t mean she forgot her flamboyant roots. Men and women alike walked down the runway in psychedelic print suits, animal print fun fur coats and neon shorts. There were men with rhinestone-covered shorts, and women with dad blazers.

No one does mini dresses quite like Donatella, and Kendall Jenner, closing the show, proved just that, in a silver sequin number – though Bella Hadid looked equally glam in a lime green version.

The accessories

The bag game was strong this season. There were classic crossbody bags with understated logos, and shoppers with mini bags clipped onto them. Other highlights included giant shades, cocktail rings and platform heels.

The standout piece

Less of a piece, more of a look. Kaia looked like a 70s goddess in a sheer brown mini reflecting the brand’s logo, paired with a faux fur coat and retro shades.

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Moschino goes full-on Marie Antoinette in Milan

Moschino goes full-on Marie Antoinette in Milan


The vibe

The Moschino invitation – a pink cake with intricate icing – set the tone for the show. Crystal chandeliers dropped dramatically from the ceiling to light a mirrored runway. At the centre of it all, an old-fashioned gilded stage with draped pink curtains, which opened up to reveal a Versailles-style hall of mirrors.

The line-up itself was worthy of any FROW. The Hadid sisters walked, as did Kaia Gerber, and a few Victoria’s Secret alumni including Irina Shayk, Romee Strijd and Stella Maxwell.

The clothes

Let them have cake! As you might have guessed from the set, the collection paid a lavish homage to Marie Antoinette. Jeremy Scott designed her decadent wardrobe as if she were alive today. The corsets and paniers were re-imagined with denim and PVC, and there were even trench and hoodie-style versions – all embellished with pearls and gold.  Hemlines were short and boots thigh high.

There were bucolique prints and delicate florals, ballgowns in the shades of the patisseries she so favoured. And of course this being Moschino, there were actual cake dresses which were a cheeky echo of the invitations.

The accessories

Even the accessories were fit for royalty, from the pearl chain belts to the chunky pearl earrings and peace sign chokers. The shoes were equally sexy: think thigh highs boot with pink satin laces and chunky platform heels.

For the bags, as per usual, Jeremy turned everyday objects on their heads. There were hat boxes, fans, macarons and very realistic baguettes, mixed in with his signature Moto-jacket bags.

The standout piece

Penny says, ‘There’s no one like Moschino to remind us that sometimes fashion can just be fun and frivolous. That said, there was something a little more wearable about the magenta gown with gathered skirt. If Marie Antoinette were invited to the Oscars, this is what she’d wear.

Sunil says, ‘Planning your nuptials soon? Take note: Who needs a cake when you can BE the cake. Moschino’s AW20 bride sashayed down the runway complete with frosting and a veil that grazed across the well appointed heels on the FROW.’

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The cast of Emma talk Autumn de Wilde, crying together on set and how Miss Woodhouse is an early feminist hero

The cast of Emma talk Autumn de Wilde, crying together on set and how Miss Woodhouse is an early feminist hero


EMMA. Credit: Focus Features

Jane Austen’s Emma is back in our lives, with Autumn de Wilde releasing her film adaptation of the iconic feminist novel. And with Autumn at the helm, perfection is the only option.

From the stunning cinematography and the exquisite costumes to the all-stall cast, this film is sure to be one of the top releases of the year. But something that struck Marie Claire‘s Digital Features Editor Jenny Proudfoot more than most as she sat down with the cast was their love for each other.

The people involved in this film clearly had an absolute ball filming and there is no doubt that they have nothing but real love and admiration for each other, with Autumn seemingly becoming somewhat of a mother figure.

Digital Features Editor Jenny Proudfoot sat down with Anya Taylor-Joy, Mia Goth, Josh O’Connor and Bill Nighy to find out about filming and why Emma Woodhouse might just be the most iconic of all Austen heroines…

 

Would you agree with the statement that Emma is an early feminist hero?

MIA: I would absolutely agree with that statement and I think that might be why to this day people have such a hard time liking Emma Woodhouse. I feel if Emma Woodhouse was a man, they really wouldn’t question her behaviour and her treatment to others and how she views her place in this world. It’s very telling and revealing of ourselves and how we judge others. As women we represent more than half the population of this world and there is a growing appetite to see ourselves represented on screen and because of social media and because of how small the world has become as a result of that, we’re building a community and our voices are being heard and represented. And that’s really exciting. Cinema just wouldn’t be able to survive if we weren’t representing the fact that the majority of women these days are independent and courageous and doing their best. And there’s still work to be done – there always will be, but it’s good that it’s changing and that we can feel the tides turning.

ANYA: Big time. When creating this character, I wanted to stay true to what Austen had said about her, which is ‘I’ve created a character that I’m not sure anybody else is going to like other than me’. That was it for me. It has always bothered me that a lot of female characters have been written in a way that they don’t just have to be likeable, they have to be easily likeable. It’s so annoying because human beings are so messy – Just allow them to be messy. And also, there is something about period dramas where people just think that human beings were perfect and had no bodily functions and just frolicked around in fields wearing bonnets looking pretty and that’s just not true. So it was really exciting to get a human being, put them in a corset and let them attempt control. I also think one of the ways that she is a feminist icon is that she has figured out a very sneaky little loop hole in society at that time. There was no matriarch – she doesn’t have a mother figure and her father is a valetudinarian and all over the place, so Emma is completely in control of that estate. She controls the money, she decides what she wants to spend her money on – and from a very young age. She is her own master. And one of the speeches that she gives to Harriet about why she doesn’t want to marry shows an acute awareness of the society she’s in.

 

The most important relationship is between Emma and Harriet. Did you feel a strong sense of sisterhood filming together?

ANYA: What’s crazy is when I first met Autumn, she had brought this exquisite box of Emma ideas. She pulled out a photograph and said ‘This girl just looks like she could be your best friend’, and showed me a picture of Mia. And Mia and I had been best friends at that point for about three years, so we just couldn’t believe it. Mia hadn’t even been approached yet because Autumn was being so kind and wanted my casting opinions. When she showed me Mia, I was like ‘Her, it has to be her’. It made for some really beautiful filming moments, particularly the reconciliation scene between Harriet and Emma. It timed out that it was Mia’s last day and her last scene. We had been living together for months and were so attached at the hip and all of a sudden it wasn’t Harriet and Emma anymore, it was just the two of us sobbing at each other. I was so proud of my best friend and the work that she had done – I just get goosebumps thinking about it – all acting went out the window and it was just the two of us sobbing and hugging each other. We were obviously ugly crying but they are really beautiful takes.

MIA: We have a very special friendship privately. We have known each other almost 5 years, so really we have been prepping Emma and Harriet for about four years. And when you are with your best friend, you just get each other, you don’t have to communicate and express yourself in the same ways. Looks and body language will do it all and I really felt like that translated onto set. It was so fun because we surpassed so many ordinary social cues and getting to know each other and we were able to just get into the work and explore and dig and really get to the real truth of them and feel comfortable from day one.

Courtesy of Box Hill Films

What drew you to the project?

MIA: Primarily Autumn de Wilde. I met with her and I thought she was extraordinary. I sat with her and I was so blown away with how clearly she was so inspired and so in love with the story. She took out this box that she made and she took out all these cards that she had hand-drawn and she had essentially story boarded the entire film months before we even went into production. I was just so excited and so invigorated by her energy and I just couldn’t wait to work with her.

ANYA: I’m very picky about the roles I take on as an actor. It has to be the right story. I have to feel right to tell the story and compelled to tell it, but I have been very lucky with all of the directors I’ve ever acted with in that they have always supported my evolution. Emma was both my and Autumn’s lovechild. When I first met Autumn, she had a box that she had created for Emma ideas. She was very kind and wanted my opinions. It was one of the most exceptional things I’ve ever seen because when Autumn de Wilde does something, she does it right. That’s Autumn all over.

BILL: I don’t do many period dramas but Autumn de Wilde drew me in. I met Autumn and she was so funny and clever and smart and unusual and unexpected. She spoke about Jane Austen and Emma in a way that I had never really heard before. I had – and still have – no relationship with Jane Austen really whatsoever. I’ve never read any of her books, I’ve never seen any of her films, I’ve never seen any of the TV adaptations. But this film wasn’t written by Jane Austen, obviously – it was written by Eleanor Catton. And the first person I met was Autumn de Wilde, who made a big impression on me. Both she and Eleanor really made me laugh. They’re smart – and I mean dead smart.

JOSH: Well, I’ve definitely not done a role like Elton before. I think that’s what drew me to the project. I’ve spent a lot of my young-ish career doing quite serious, sometimes tragic, ‘subtle’ acting and that’s sort of ultimately my natural instinct. But I think it’s always good to stretch your comedy muscles a little bit and throw yourself out of your comfort zone. And also Autumn de Wilde. I love the story of Emma, and I met Autumn and I was like, ‘I can’t not be in your film’.

What was it like working with Autumn de Wilde?

ANYA: Incredible. She was so wonderfully inclusive. In the ways that Emma is a terrible matchmaker, Autumn is an amazing friend matchmaker – she cherry picked people and put them together in a room and we were like ‘Where have you been my whole life? This is the way things are supposed to be’. She is so maternal too. She’s not just directing a film, she’s taking care of all of us as people and she gives such good advice. She’s been observing people for so long and she’s been through so much herself so she always knows what to do. We call it ‘friend hospital’. I’ll call Autumn and be like ‘I need friend hospital right now. The boy has been mean to me. What do I do?’ – she talks me through everything. She knows everything about my life really and I know a lot about hers.

BILL: She was very interesting. She’s very fetishistic about objects and the composition of the frame and your costume because she’s a very eminent photographer. Every frame is composed. The cliché is: you could take it out and hang it on the wall. Because that’s her background. And also the cameraman, Christopher Blauvelt, is one of the most impressive people I’ve ever met. They shot it so beautifully. They’re both self-styled punks from Los Angeles, California. But they didn’t modernise or betray the period in any way at all. One of the first things she did was screen for the cast, Bringing up Baby with Katharine Hepburn, as the masterwork to which we would refer and as an example of what she and the Americans would call a ‘screwball comedy’. So that was her first idea, she wanted to feature the comedy because she had come to Emma as a novel and had seen that Jane Austen was a satirist and a comedy writer to some degree – she wanted to feature that as much as the romance. She did things I’ve never experienced before – she used to put things in my pocket, you know, hide things in my costume, for luck.

MIA: She never put any lucky charms in my pocket! I would definitely say she was the most particular director I have ever worked with which was really interesting to experience. She is so detail-oriented and a perfectionist – she’s thought through everything and from the placement of a cup to a cookie on a tray, she’s just got an eye that I’ve never experienced before. You would think that perhaps that would be somewhat stifling and would tighten you up, but actually the opposite happened. We all felt so free because she was so on it and was such a cheerleader on set, always rooting for us. She is so maternal. She really is, which is nice in a director. And I’m very reliant on my directors. I don’t think all actors are but I have come to realise that I do need a nurturing collaborative relationship with my directors. That’s where I think I thrive and I do my best work. And it just came really easy for us.

JOSH: Autumn is amazing, she’s incredible – like heaven to work with. She’ll be behind the monitor and let you try something ridiculous, that any other director wouldn’t let you try, because it’s ridiculous and you’re fired. But with Autumn, she’d just laugh her head off at everything. She loves to see actors trying things out, and if it doesn’t work out, it’s fine. If I ever stretch my comedy muscle again, it will have to be with someone like Autumn who makes me feel safe. Autumn is like our mum. If I ever feel down or I’m struggling with anything, Autumn’s right up there with people who I’d call. She’s lovely.

EMMA. Credit: Focus Features

What were your most memorable filming moments?

ANYA: Don’t ask me how it happened because I do not know, but at a pivotal moment Emma gets a nosebleed and the way that was supposed to happen was we were supposed to cut, they were supposed to come in and paint the blood on and we were going to continue. But I just started bleeding on cue. It just happened. I had a nose bleed on cue. I literally don’t know how it happened and it was hilarious because both Johnny and Autumn were like ‘Oh my God – are you OK? What’s going on? What should we do?’ And I was like ‘Keep rolling – are you kidding me? This is not going to happen again!’ So that’s my real blood in the movie. I used to get nosebleeds when I was little but I hadn’t got one in years. I was so proud. I was such an actor about it. I don’t know if I could do it again. I was just there and it was the right time and it just worked out. Johnny was looking at me like I was a freak but in a good way. We were all very proud of that moment.

JOSH: A favourite moment of filming for me was actually when Miranda [Hart] cries when she’s bullied by Emma. We were doing the picnic scene and it was just so shocking, because we know Miranda as being this sort of comedian, and then when she broke down a bit, we all broke down. I remember when they called ‘cut’, I was crying and I looked over and Tanya was crying, Anya was crying, Mia was crying. Everyone had broken down and Autumn came over and we all had a big hug. It was so sweet – a real bonding moment.

MIA: I loved meeting Emma for the first time. I really had fun with that scene. It was so much dialogue, and I loved the room that we were in – the colours, the set design and the tea ceremony that was taking place. Filming really was such a fulfilling job for me and I went home pretty much every night feeling really satisfied with the work we were putting in.

BILL: I liked the scene with the screens with Johnny, Anya and myself towards the end. I kind of manipulate them into being together. That gave me pleasure. There was a real kind of resolution in it. It was a good day’s work. They were both dreamy to work with. It was such a wonderful group – a lovely group of actors. And I’m pleased that you won’t have seen a lot of them before in a film. I think it’s impeccably cast. The audience may not have seen them before, or may not have seen them in this kind of thing before. But you will be hearing from all of them. They are going to be huge.

Emma is out in UK cinemas now.

The post The cast of Emma talk Autumn de Wilde, crying together on set and how Miss Woodhouse is an early feminist hero appeared first on Marie Claire.



The cast of Emma explains why Miss Woodhouse is an early feminist hero

The cast of Emma explains why Miss Woodhouse is an early feminist hero


EMMA. Credit: Focus Features

Jane Austen’s Emma is back in our lives, with Autumn de Wilde remaking the iconic feminist novel. And with Autumn at the helm, perfection is the only option.

From the stunning cinematography and the exquisite costumes to the all-stall cast, this film is sure to be one of the top releases of the year. But something that struck Marie Claire‘s Digital Features Editor Jenny Proudfoot more than most as she sat down with the cast was their love for each other.

The people involved in this film clearly had an absolute ball filming and there is no doubt that they have nothing but real love and admiration for each other, with Autumn seemingly becoming somewhat of a mother figure.

Digital Features Editor Jenny Proudfoot sat down with Anya Taylor-Joy, Mia Goth, Josh O’Connor and Bill Nighy to find out about filming and why Emma Woodhouse might just be the most iconic of all Austen heroines…

 

Would you agree with the statement that Emma is an early feminist hero?

MIA: I would absolutely agree with that statement and I think that might be why to this day people have such a hard time liking Emma Woodhouse. I feel if Emma Woodhouse was a man, they really wouldn’t question her behaviour and her treatment to others and how she views her place in this world. It’s very telling and revealing of ourselves and how we judge others. As women we represent more than half the population of this world and there is a growing appetite to see ourselves represented on screen and because of social media and because of how small the world has become as a result of that, we’re building a community and our voices are being heard and represented. And that’s really exciting. Cinema just wouldn’t be able to survive if we weren’t representing the fact that the majority of women these days are independent and courageous and doing their best. And there’s still work to be done – there always will be, but it’s good that it’s changing and that we can feel the tides turning.

ANYA: Big time. When creating this character, I wanted to stay true to what Austen had said about her, which is ‘I’ve created a character that I’m not sure anybody else is going to like other than me’. That was it for me. It has always bothered me that a lot of female characters have been written in a way that they don’t just have to be likeable, they have to be easily likeable. It’s so annoying because human beings are so messy – Just allow them to be messy. And also, there is something about period dramas where people just think that human beings were perfect and had no bodily functions and just frolicked around in fields wearing bonnets looking pretty and that’s just not true. So it was really exciting to get a human being, put them in a corset and let them attempt control. I also think one of the ways that she is a feminist icon is that she has figured out a very sneaky little loop hole in society at that time. There was no matriarch – she doesn’t have a mother figure and her father is a valetudinarian and all over the place, so Emma is completely in control of that estate. She controls the money, she decides what she wants to spend her money on – and from a very young age. She is her own master. And one of the speeches that she gives to Harriet about why she doesn’t want to marry shows an acute awareness of the society she’s in.

 

The most important relationship is between Emma and Harriet. Did you feel a strong sense of sisterhood filming together?

ANYA: What’s crazy is when I first met Autumn, she had brought this exquisite box of Emma ideas. She pulled out a photograph and said ‘This girl just looks like she could be your best friend’, and showed me a picture of Mia. And Mia and I had been best friends at that point for about three years, so we just couldn’t believe it. Mia hadn’t even been approached yet because Autumn was being so kind and wanted my casting opinions. When she showed me Mia, I was like ‘Her, it has to be her’. It made for some really beautiful filming moments, particularly the reconciliation scene between Harriet and Emma. It timed out that it was Mia’s last day and her last scene. We had been living together for months and were so attached at the hip and all of a sudden it wasn’t Harriet and Emma anymore, it was just the two of us sobbing at each other. I was so proud of my best friend and the work that she had done – I just get goosebumps thinking about it – all acting went out the window and it was just the two of us sobbing and hugging each other. We were obviously ugly crying but they are really beautiful takes.

MIA: We have a very special friendship privately. We have known each other almost 5 years, so really we have been prepping Emma and Harriet for about four years. And when you are with your best friend, you just get each other, you don’t have to communicate and express yourself in the same ways. Looks and body language will do it all and I really felt like that translated onto set. It was so fun because we surpassed so many ordinary social cues and getting to know each other and we were able to just get into the work and explore and dig and really get to the real truth of them and feel comfortable from day one.

Courtesy of Box Hill Films

What drew you to the project?

MIA: Primarily Autumn de Wilde. I met with her and I thought she was extraordinary. I sat with her and I was so blown away with how clearly she was so inspired and so in love with the story. She took out this box that she made and she took out all these cards that she had hand-drawn and she had essentially story boarded the entire film months before we even went into production. I was just so excited and so invigorated by her energy and I just couldn’t wait to work with her.

ANYA: I’m very picky about the roles I take on as an actor. It has to be the right story. I have to feel right to tell the story and compelled to tell it, but I have been very lucky with all of the directors I’ve ever acted with in that they have always supported my evolution. Emma was both my and Autumn’s lovechild. When I first met Autumn, she had a box that she had created for Emma ideas. She was very kind and wanted my opinions. It was one of the most exceptional things I’ve ever seen because when Autumn de Wilde does something, she does it right. That’s Autumn all over.

BILL: I don’t do many period dramas but Autumn de Wilde drew me in. I met Autumn and she was so funny and clever and smart and unusual and unexpected. She spoke about Jane Austen and Emma in a way that I had never really heard before. I had – and still have – no relationship with Jane Austen really whatsoever. I’ve never read any of her books, I’ve never seen any of her films, I’ve never seen any of the TV adaptations. But this film wasn’t written by Jane Austen, obviously – it was written by Eleanor Catton. And the first person I met was Autumn de Wilde, who made a big impression on me. Both she and Eleanor really made me laugh. They’re smart – and I mean dead smart.

JOSH: Well, I’ve definitely not done a role like Elton before. I think that’s what drew me to the project. I’ve spent a lot of my young-ish career doing quite serious, sometimes tragic, ‘subtle’ acting and that’s sort of ultimately my natural instinct. But I think it’s always good to stretch your comedy muscles a little bit and throw yourself out of your comfort zone. And also Autumn de Wilde. I love the story of Emma, and I met Autumn and I was like, ‘I can’t not be in your film’.

What was it like working with Autumn de Wilde?

ANYA: Incredible. She was so wonderfully inclusive. In the ways that Emma is a terrible matchmaker, Autumn is an amazing friend matchmaker – she cherry picked people and put them together in a room and we were like ‘Where have you been my whole life? This is the way things are supposed to be’. She is so maternal too. She’s not just directing a film, she’s taking care of all of us as people and she gives such good advice. She’s been observing people for so long and she’s been through so much herself so she always knows what to do. We call it ‘friend hospital’. I’ll call Autumn and be like ‘I need friend hospital right now. The boy has been mean to me. What do I do?’ – she talks me through everything. She knows everything about my life really and I know a lot about hers.

BILL: She was very interesting. She’s very fetishistic about objects and the composition of the frame and your costume because she’s a very eminent photographer. Every frame is composed. The cliché is: you could take it out and hang it on the wall. Because that’s her background. And also the cameraman, Christopher Blauvelt, is one of the most impressive people I’ve ever met. They shot it so beautifully. They’re both self-styled punks from Los Angeles, California. But they didn’t modernise or betray the period in any way at all. One of the first things she did was screen for the cast, Bringing up Baby with Katharine Hepburn, as the masterwork to which we would refer and as an example of what she and the Americans would call a ‘screwball comedy’. So that was her first idea, she wanted to feature the comedy because she had come to Emma as a novel and had seen that Jane Austen was a satirist and a comedy writer to some degree – she wanted to feature that as much as the romance. She did things I’ve never experienced before – she used to put things in my pocket, you know, hide things in my costume, for luck.

MIA: She never put any lucky charms in my pocket! I would definitely say she was the most particular director I have ever worked with which was really interesting to experience. She is so detail-oriented and a perfectionist – she’s thought through everything and from the placement of a cup to a cookie on a tray, she’s just got an eye that I’ve never experienced before. You would think that perhaps that would be somewhat stifling and would tighten you up, but actually the opposite happened. We all felt so free because she was so on it and was such a cheerleader on set, always rooting for us. She is so maternal. She really is, which is nice in a director. And I’m very reliant on my directors. I don’t think all actors are but I have come to realise that I do need a nurturing collaborative relationship with my directors. That’s where I think I thrive and I do my best work. And it just came really easy for us.

JOSH: Autumn is amazing, she’s incredible – like heaven to work with. She’ll be behind the monitor and let you try something ridiculous, that any other director wouldn’t let you try, because it’s ridiculous and you’re fired. But with Autumn, she’d just laugh her head off at everything. She loves to see actors trying things out, and if it doesn’t work out, it’s fine. If I ever stretch my comedy muscle again, it will have to be with someone like Autumn who makes me feel safe. Autumn is like our mum. If I ever feel down or I’m struggling with anything, Autumn’s right up there with people who I’d call. She’s lovely.

EMMA. Credit: Focus Features

What were your most memorable filming moments?

ANYA: Don’t ask me how it happened because I do not know, but at a pivotal moment Emma gets a nosebleed and the way that was supposed to happen was we were supposed to cut, they were supposed to come in and paint the blood on and we were going to continue. But I just started bleeding on cue. It just happened. I had a nose bleed on cue. I literally don’t know how it happened and it was hilarious because both Johnny and Autumn were like ‘Oh my God – are you OK? What’s going on? What should we do?’ And I was like ‘Keep rolling – are you kidding me? This is not going to happen again!’ So that’s my real blood in the movie. I used to get nosebleeds when I was little but I hadn’t got one in years. I was so proud. I was such an actor about it. I don’t know if I could do it again. I was just there and it was the right time and it just worked out. Johnny was looking at me like I was a freak but in a good way. We were all very proud of that moment.

JOSH: A favourite moment of filming for me was actually when Miranda [Hart] cries when she’s bullied by Emma. We were doing the picnic scene and it was just so shocking, because we know Miranda as being this sort of comedian, and then when she broke down a bit, we all broke down. I remember when they called ‘cut’, I was crying and I looked over and Tanya was crying, Anya was crying, Mia was crying. Everyone had broken down and Autumn came over and we all had a big hug. It was so sweet – a real bonding moment.

MIA: I loved meeting Emma for the first time. I really had fun with that scene. It was so much dialogue, and I loved the room that we were in – the colours, the set design and the tea ceremony that was taking place. Filming really was such a fulfilling job for me and I went home pretty much every night feeling really satisfied with the work we were putting in.

BILL: I liked the scene with the screens with Johnny, Anya and myself towards the end. I kind of manipulate them into being together. That gave me pleasure. There was a real kind of resolution in it. It was a good day’s work. They were both dreamy to work with. It was such a wonderful group – a lovely group of actors. And I’m pleased that you won’t have seen a lot of them before in a film. I think it’s impeccably cast. The audience may not have seen them before, or may not have seen them in this kind of thing before. But you will be hearing from all of them. They are going to be huge.

Emma is out in UK cinemas now.

The post The cast of Emma explains why Miss Woodhouse is an early feminist hero appeared first on Marie Claire.



Yet another divorce in the Royal family has been announced

Yet another divorce in the Royal family has been announced


Royal divorce announced by David Armstrong-Jones and wife Serena
TOPSHOT – In the front row (L-R), children, Princess Charlotte of Cambridge, Savannah Phillips, Prince George of Cambridge and Isla Phillips chat on the balcony of Buckingham Palace as members of the Royal Family gather to watch a fly-past of aircraft by the Royal Air Force, in London on June 9, 2018. – The ceremony of Trooping the Colour is believed to have first been performed during the reign of King Charles II. In 1748, it was decided that the parade would be used to mark the official birthday of the Sovereign. More than 600 guardsmen and cavalry make up the parade, a celebration of the Sovereign’s official birthday, although the Queen’s actual birthday is on 21 April. (Photo by Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP) (Photo credit should read DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images)

The Royal family haven’t had an easy start to 2020: first, Harry and Megan stepped down as senior Royal family members and shared their plans to move to Canada, and just last week, the Queen’s grandson Peter Phillips and wife Autumn announced they would be divorcing  after 12 years of marriage.

Sad news just in today, a mere six days after Peter and Autumn’s announcement: another Royal family divorce has been officially confirmed. This time, the Queen’s nephew David Armstrong-Jones, 58, and wife Serena, 49, are parting ways after more than 25 years of marriage.

David, although not a direct descendant of the Queen, is the Queen’s sister Princess Margaret’s son, and his official Royal title positions him as the 2nd Earl of Snowdon.

Getty Images

The couple are said to have ‘amicably agreed’ to separate, according to a statement given by officials earlier in the week. The announcement, which was released on Monday, said: ‘The Earl and Countess of Snowdon have amicably agreed that their marriage has come to an end and that they shall be divorced.’

‘They ask that the press respect their privacy and that of their family.’

The couple tied the knot 26 years ago on the 8th October at St Margaret’s Church in Westminster. They have two children, a son, Charles Armstrong-Jones, and daughter, Margarita Armstrong-Jones, aged 20 and 17.

Royal expert Patricia Treble took to Twitter to share her shock at the news, Tweeting: ‘Wow, first the divorce of the Queen’s eldest grandson is revealed, now that of her nephew.’

‘Combine it with Harry and Meghan retreating from royal duties and the ongoing scandal involving Prince Andrew and 2020 is shaping up to be a rough year for the Royal Family’.

David, who is known in his professional life as David Linley, is an established English furniture maker and honorary chairman of Christie’s Europe, Middle East, Russia, and India.

Our thoughts and condolences go out the the Royal family at this hard time.

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#useyourvoice: ‘Be true to yourself and confidence comes' says trans woman medic Abi Giles

#useyourvoice: ‘Be true to yourself and confidence comes' says trans woman medic Abi Giles


NHS pathology lab scientist Abi Giles shares her story in a bid to promote understanding and equality

trans woman

‘Realising I was a woman was a gradual process for me, rather than feeling trapped in the wrong body from a young age. Before I transitioned in 2017 and changed my name to Abi, I spent a few years expressing myself as female behind closed doors.

When I presented myself in that way I felt more confident and comfortable. I started to think, this is who I am. I’ve been through male puberty so I’ll never have the same features as a cisgender woman – my bone structure is bigger and I naturally have more muscle mass – but I’m still a woman.

My parents are in their seventies and they don’t fully understand my decision, but they can see how much happier I am and support me. Basically, they put their love for me first.

I’m a pathology lab scientist – which means I test blood in hospitals – and I’m based in Bolton. I literally wear a white coat for a living! I’ve always wanted to help people but without being on the front line like a doctor.

I came out to my managers and agreed a set date to transition. A few months before that day, I put a message out on Facebook for my colleagues to see. They were all incredibly understanding and since that day I’ve represented my NHS trust at Bolton Pride.

My appearance didn’t drastically change. I have an androgynous dress sense and found daily make-up too much of a faff. I have light facial hair and it’s painful to shave my face every day, so I’ll admit, I have been a woman walking around with a bit of a beard every now and again.

It’s important to me to be honest about my story on social media, because society has this idea of what a woman should be, and I want to show you don’t have to conform to this dated idea of femininity.

Because I’m a medical professional I’m not a hard-core tweeter of my opinions, but I am vocal about the importance of trans rights. I like to challenge people to think about what they are saying.

There are on-going debates about whether trans women who still have male genitalia should be put into female-only prisons if they have committed a crime.

The name usually quoted from people or the press who are anti society reforming is Karen White, a trans woman who was placed in a women’s prison in 2018 and sexually assaulted four female inmates. That was essentially a big screw up by the prison service and it doesn’t mean all trans women are dangerous or a threat to women.

In-fact, trans people have a huge amount of empathy for women who have suffered at the hands of men. And trans women can be the victim of rapes and attacks just as much as cisgender women. Or they are even more of a target, because we are ‘unnatural’.

As a state registered health professional I also really want to clear up another misconception about the NHS – that teens are given hormones to change their gender identity if they ask for it. In reality, it’s so hard to access treatment, and no person is given any permanent hormone treatment until they turn the age of 16. What is given to teenagers under the age of 16 is hormone blockers, which essentially puts puberty on hold. They are safe and have been used for decades.

I’m not supposed to be on hormones yet (the NHS target is to be prescribed hormones within 16 weeks and it’s been three years since I was referred), but I suppress testosterone by self-medicating on three tablets a day, as prescribed by my individual GP.

I’m keen to have full gender confirmation surgery, but I want to stress that not every trans woman can or will have an operation. The Equality Act of 2010 outlines that you don’t need to have any medical procedures to be a woman, you just need to define as one.

I’m 29 years old and currently single. In the past I’ve felt lonely and desperate for love, but right now I’m content. I’m bisexual, so for me, it’s about connecting with the person, not the gender. I have tried dating apps, but it’s sometimes scary to think of people not taking kindly to you because you’re trans.

If I found myself in a stable relationship I would like to have a family of my own. I’m infertile due to taking hormone treatments, so I would definitely consider adoption. Family is so much more than sharing strands of DNA. It’s about teaching good ideas and values to offspring.

Since the 2016 Brexit vote there has been a lot more toxicity towards minority groups, but I appreciate life is a lot easier for trans people to live than in decades past. Put simply, I just want people to be treated equally. What you’ve got between your legs does not define who you are as a person. I’m trans, I’m proud of it – it’s nothing to be ashamed of.’

Abi is a fundraising co-ordinator for the national transgender charity Sparkle, which aims to celebrate the transgender community. For more information see sparkle.org.uk

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All the most stylish looks from the streets of New York

All the most stylish looks from the streets of New York


new york fashion week

New York Fashion Week is over for another season, kicking off fashion month in style. And while we have yet to see what happens at London Fashion Week, Milan Fashion Week and Paris Fashion Week, some gorgeous trends on the streets, where fashion editors, influencers and celebrities get papped entering or exiting shows such as Khaite, Longchamp and The Row.

What we’re loving this season is that while there are still some flamboyant looks (ballgown in February? Sure), the looks are definitely more practical and wearable.

Our love affair with leather, whether faux or real, shows no sign of deflating. There were plenty of black leather jackets, rust-coloured patent coats, faux leather puffer coats and trousers, all mixed and matched with more toned down pieces such as chunky knitwear and jeans, to avoid looking too much like The Matrix.

Tonal dressing has become a fashion month staple, and New York didn’t disappoint, with plenty of cream and beige to keep things understated, though we’re also seeing vibrant colours making their first outing this side of winter, from red to blue and green, which is most definitely the colour of the season, and will also be everywhere come autumn/winter 2020, if the runway shows are to be believed.

But if there’s one lesson we’ve learned, is that a good coat is all you need to look put together (and stay warm). Some statement coats that have stood out so far come courtesy of Saks Potts and Khaite, with faux fur cuffs and checked styles looking unbelievable chic.

Finally, accessories are the finishing touch that keeps on giving. Look out for plenty of two-tone boots, chunk trainers and pouch bags.

Scroll down for our favourite looks from the streets of New York Fashion Week.

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