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Thursday, November 1, 2012

68

All Vaguely-Russian Fall Collections Are Alike

Banana Republic has launched a new line inspired by Joe Wright's upcoming film adaptation of Anna Karenina, starring Keira Knightley.

1. Yes, there are fake fur hats.

2. No, there are no wet, blood-soaked purses lying next to the models.

3. Yes, this is the look you would choose if you wanted to tail your wife and her lover.

4. No, we do not yet know if various outfits will be called "The Vronsky," "The Karenin," "The Kitty," etc.

5. Yes, one of the male models is toting a messenger bag, no doubt filled with compromising letters.

 

68 Comments / Post A Comment

Maryaed

Those skirts look implausibly short.

I once went to a Halloween party as Anna, wearing a long dress and a fur hat and clutching a train schedule. Multiple people asked me if I were Catherine the Great.

Bittersweet

@Maryaed No, no, see, Catherine the Great died because the locomotive she was trying to sleep with fell on her.

lagreen

Love the title of this post. :)

Chrestomanci

I may have been hiding under a rock because this is the first I've heard of this film adaptation. Jude Law and Keira Knightly, really? They were really the most interesting actors they could cast for the roles?

TheBourneApproximation

@Chrestomanci To be fair, Jude Law is playing Karenin, not Vronsky. Jude Law can be pretty great when he's allowed to play actual characters instead of super-handsome love interest dudes.

jacqueline
jacqueline

I also admire that Jude Law has enough humility to be bald for this role. We all know what's basically happening with his hairline anyway.

rainbowbot

@TheBourneApproximation I love him in Gattaca. I've always felt like that movie doesn't get enough credit--the soundtrack! In conclusion I agree.

frigwiggin

@Chrestomanci I cannot--nay, I WILL not--accept Keira Knightly as Anna. Never. Never ever ever.

swirrlygrrl

@frigwiggin Agreed. In my dreams, she's played by Rachel Weisz in this adaptation - I really feel like Anna should be...softer...than Keira Knightly.

frigwiggin

@swirrlygrrl I dunno if I can choose an existing actress, although Rachel Weisz wouldn't be bad. I studied Anna K (we're tight, like THIS *does finger thing*) in college, and my mind keeps going back to the party scene where she's wearing the black dress and it contrasts with her skin, and she's described as voluptuous and whatever (yeah, my close reading rocks), and I'm just...with Keira, it does not work! I feel bad for getting hung up on appearance, but I also don't like her acting much so I don't feel TOO bad.

swirrlygrrl

@frigwiggin I also remember that scene! (And justify some of my feelings on this).

And agreed completely on Keira - Bend it Like Beckam was the only movie I ever really liked her in. Her acting just doesn't do it for me, though she has amazing eyes and cheekbones. More modeling, fewer movies plz.

Inconceivable!

@Chrestomanci
Were you not aware that Keira Knightley is automatically the lead in every period drama ever? I think it's on her birth certificate.

apples and oranges

@rainbowbot Gattaca kills me every time. And yes, that soundtrack is AMAZING.

feartie

Tolstoy's greatest aim in life was to have his epic novels of the human condition awkwardly transformed into a clothing line.

JadedStone

I was standing in a movie theater laughing maniacally at the film poster. I don't know who designed it, but it's hilarious.

A be-gowned Keira embraces a man in the snow and RIGHT BEHIND THEM IS A TRAIN coming towards them.
It's amazing. Google it! GOOGLE IT AND GIGGLE WITH ME.

Miss Maszkerádi

@JadedStone This one is even funnier.http://collider.com/wp-content/uploads/anna-karenina-movie-poster1.jpg From the stupid tag line to Keira's deer in headlights expression as the TRAIN seems to be....busting through the palace wall? Or has the wall already fallen, in a subtle visual metaphor for the eventual collapse of the Russian aristocracy?

Unrelated, I want to watch Doctor Zhivago tonight. THE ORIGINAL MIND YOU.

iceberg

@CountessMaritza WATCH OUT ANNA THE TRAIN IS COMING FOR YOU! ALSO SHUT YER MOUTH FOR ONCE, YOU LOOK DOPEY.

frigwiggin

CHOO-CHOO, ANNA

allhappyfamilies

@Countess Maritza Registered to comment (and obviously chose an Anna Karenina-related username because it's the novel that sent me down the path of Russian studies) because of this movie poster. "You can't ask why about love." Isn't that the epigraph Tolstoy considered before going with "Vengeance is mine, I will repay"? ;)

iceberg

It's exactly what they would have done anyway but with fur hats added. Having said that, I think I do need the T-bar shoes.

Redheads have even more fun

I conjured up images of gorgeous lace, brocade, jewels, fur and got this. Disappointed.

Megasus

@Redheads have even more fun Yeah, me too! I do really like the cape in image 7 though, but SO MUCH BLACK.

Miss Maszkerádi

I....actually kind of like this collection. Not that I think this Anna Karenina movie will be any good or that I think clothing lines SHOULD be based on novels, but.....it's pretty. Not stunning, but pretty. Also I'm a huge sucker for vaguely-19th-to-early-20th-century design, and for the general novelistic decadent/snowy ethos of St. Petersburg just before it turned to Petrograd, and it's all kind of making me want to listen to Tchaikovsky and read Pushkin while drinking lots of tea with black currants and laughing morosely about the human condition. (Now I wish I was gainfully employed so I could actually go shopping this winter.)

Miss Maszkerádi

@CountessMaritza now I think I'm going embarrassingly easy on this collection, should be mocking it, and have revealed myself as a country hick with no taste. BUT WHATEVER YOU GUYS I LIKE FUR HATS AND LACE.

cuminafterall

@CountessMaritza I think the marketing gimmick is lame, not the clothes! I'm not a fur person or a hat person, but that lace dress-- Я хочу (Google tells me that means "I want" in Russian).

iceberg

@CountessMaritza Not at all it's quite lovely, just a bit been-done. but why not. I wish i had one of those hats!

TheBourneApproximation

@CountessMaritza Yeah, I sorta like the clothes as well, awkward 19th century Russian literature adaptation marketing connections side.

Early reactions to the film have been kind of divisive, from what I've read. Some folks have said it's all style and no substance. Others have said it's an interesting, hyper-theatrical and stylized take on the book. The same director's similarly-Keira-filled Pride & Prejudice adaptation ended up being actually pretty decent, too, after lots of initial worrying and skepticism, as well.

Miss Maszkerádi

@cuminafterall It does indeed. Bit more grammatical to say я это хочу, for "I want THAT."

As for the marketing gimmick, I find it hilarious, and will be spending all day imagining their upcoming "Brothers Karamazov" menswear line or their "Fathers and Sons" matchy-matchy sets for parents and kids, or "Three Sisters" junior girls' collection, or......help me out here, Hairpin....

TheBourneApproximation

@Countess Maritza

The Overcoat overcoat!

harebell

@Countess Maritza
Thank you for reminding me of the good parts about winter -- black currant tea, long novels, often preferably Russian and/or philosophical! I had just been getting depressed by the early sunsets -- so it is good to remember.
Yes, the fur hats in this collection are great! Though it is hard to pull off a fur hat. I have a fake fur hat that, despite being faux, looks like I recently skinned a Siberian husky and put it on my head, so it takes some attitude and chutzpah to pull off. Maybe if we all start wearing Russian fur hats about, the winter this year will be a bit more entertaining/bearable.

swirrlygrrl

@TheBourneApproximation I watched that Pride and Prejudice on a plane recently. It wasn't so bad (considering my extreme dislike of Jane Austen novels and movie adaptations), but I just found the emotions were so telegraphed, especially Mr. Darcy's. Subtely is not that director's strong point.

frigwiggin

@Countess Maritza Yesssss, I have a strong love for that sort of tragically beautiful sunset of the golden era, with the borzoi and the woods and the wry, tired, wise smiles. (My Russian lit professor may have made a strong impression upon me three years ago.)

Miss Maszkerádi

@frigwiggin Oh I have had many an impressive Russian literature professor. Notably the completely mad poet Yevtushenko, who would show up to class in bright purple pants, a Hawaiian shirt and some sort of patchwork hat (on a casual day), and deliver rambling monologues on life and art, full of bizarrely arresting metaphors and uncomfortably intense stares.

Amphora

@Countess Maritza This is a trend in Russian lit professors. Mine definitely had a witchy-Baba Yaga kind of vibe and was obsessed with Russian folklore which was great but also very morbid.

The Lady of Shalott

@Amphora I'm jealous of you guys. My Russian history prof in undergrad was this incredibly boring old chubby white dude who wore khakis and a polo shirt every single day and managed to make every single last bit of Russian history boring, and Russian history is FASCINATING.

By contrast, my Russian language prof was AMAZING. Not only was she incredibly brilliant and fluent in like four languages, she wrote amazing books on "Canada in the 19th-century Russian imagination" and Russian MORPHOLOGY. And she was a fantastic, amazing teacher who taught me every bit of Russian I know. AND she was this super dynamic short round woman with a HARDCORE razored haircut dyed jet black, and she always wore black and then accessorized with Betsey Johnson and other awesome fun stuff. And then periodically she would get sidetracked during class and tell us stories about how she was the head of her class in high school but she was ALSO head of her class at disassembling and reassembling a machine gun in Soviet Russia.

I miss her.

effystonem

@The Lady of Shalott Holy shit, that teach sounds amazing!

The Lady of Shalott

@effystonem SHE REALLY IS. I wholly recommend her to anyone. All the time.

Bittersweet

@Countess Maritza My Russian Lit prof at University of Geneva was once engaged to Pasternak's daughter and despite his short stature, his nickname was "Le Dieu." Needless to say, before my final (oral) exam for that class, I had a major panic attack.

siniichulok

@Amphora You didn't by any chance go to Georgetown, didja?

cuminafterall

That cape will be PERFECT for the next time I go grouse-hunting!

cuminafterall

@cuminafterall Seriously, if this movie does not include at least two hours of grouse hunting, it will be nothing at all like the novel.

TheBourneApproximation

@cuminafterall And then four hours of Levin farming.

Amphora

@TheBourneApproximation Really, where's the Levin outfits? I want to see some rolled up sleeves and suspenders!

happymisanthrope

@Amphora That's the American Apparel tie-in next door.

@TheBourneApproximation I am quite down with four hours of Levin farming, as so far my notes for this novel are more Levin.

noReally

Remember Out of Africa style?

SuperGogo

@noReally Pretty much synonymous with ALL early Banana Republic clothes, when they actually lived up to their name. Swear to god, they probably sold pith helmets in their early days.

Scandyhoovian

T-straps! I need those! And that doesn't-go-with-the-rest-of-the-collection 50s style dress, I need that, too.

OwlOfDerision

Banana Republic? Anna Karenina? WHY IS THIS COLLECTION NOT CALLED BANANA KARENINA?

(see also: War and Peach; The Kreutzer Papaya; What is Kumquat?)

Miss Maszkerádi

@OwlOfDerision I just spent like ten minutes trying to come up with more food puns but all I got was Cream and Punishment. I'll get my overcoat.

allhappyfamilies

@OwlOfDerision Those all sound like delicious tropical cocktails, so I'll add Master & Margarita!

the angry little raincloud

@Countess Maritza Qream and Punishment?

cuminafterall

@OwlOfDerision you can (and should!) follow @BananaKarenina on Twitter! It's Elif Batuman, noted literary critic and Russian literature enthusiast.

Miss Maszkerádi

@Whoever said Qream, I've mis-replied twice now - Exactly. Left that one open for you to walk into, dear Hairpin.

Master and Margarita - oh groan....

Also, is this a safe space to admit that I still actually have never read Anna Karenina...? :(

dotcommie

omg i just started reading anna karenina as i started grad school while working full time. TERRIBLE DECISION. how am i supposed to study for stats when the will-he won't-he drama of kitty and levin simply will not resolve??? one of the best books i've read, but i'm less than halfway through, so i'm not reading the comments too closely...

stuffisthings

I think they were a little off.

stuffisthings

@stuffisthings

(These peasant girls agree with me)

stuffisthings

@stuffisthings

Tolstoy himself sez:

"Tunics and troll beards for everyone!"

siniichulok

@stuffisthings Now that's just awesome!

likethestore

Guys I just got back from Banana and everything is so so beautiful. The store (my store at least) looks like a Christmas in Russia wonderland. Unfortunately a lot of the tops/scarves and things from the Anna collection contain wool which I'm allergic too. :( And everything was way too expensive for my budget. But damn do I ever want a faux fur scarf.

Miss Maszkerádi

@likethestore Are you in NYC perchance? I just went to the closest one to me (west 67th) and no Anna...

Czarna_Owca

@Countess Maritza - They should have their AK collection out, as today was the official "launch," although my store had most of our product out on Tuesday (window displays went up today). Then again, shipment probably would have arrived that morning and, what with the storm and all, it probably was delayed.

likethestore

@Countess Maritza I imagine it was delayed because of the storm? I'm in Canada. My store had an official "launch" party with snacks and discounts. I'm sure you'll get one too.

Czarna_Owca

@likethestore A party? Probably not, unfortunately. Only a handful of big stores got those.

Czarna_Owca

Believe me, I'm not trying to defend the marketing, but something to keep in mind before passing judgment on the collection: The movie's costume designer "curated" the collection. Meaning, as Iceberg noted above, that it's BR's normal winter collection with a few bits and bobs added. These pieces are not meant to be period costumes.

As for the look noted in Point #3: When I first saw the outfit (as pictured for a mannequin), my first thought was, "That's a mighty fancy, yet brooding, European assassin." Putting the clothes on that model only reinforces the idea.

happymisanthrope

@Czarna_Owca Is that the one with the capelet, because that capelet has moved to a list of necessities ahead of the trains working again.

siniichulok

@Czarna_Owca Sorry, this is totally off-topic, but does your name mean "black sheep?"

Czarna_Owca

@siniichulok It sure does!

yourpretendfriend

These clothes are dumb and expensive but I just finished Anna Karenina so I get all these references wooo! And I'm just gonna go ahead and say it: Keira isn't booby enough to play Anna.

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