Friday, April 26, 2013

Friday Favorites #9: Films and Fluff

I'm starting off this week's Friday Favorites with some movie recommendations!  I love documentaries, and Netflix has a lot of incredibly interesting ones.  I've watched three in the past week or so that I'd highly recommend.  I'll get back to my more superficial choices after this, I promise.  :)

For those who don't know, I have a love for puppetry and desperately want to go to puppet school in the near future.  Ventriloquism takes it a step further, and I have an immense amount of respect for those who practice this artform.  Sherri Lewis is probably my all-time favorite ventriloquist.  I mean, there aren't THAT many that are household names, and to be honest, a lot of others - especially earlier ones - verge on being pretty creepy at times (especially because the dummies are scary).  Lambchop, et. al. were basically puppets, which I think makes them so much more lovable and accessible than the stiff, weird-looking dolls you used to see a lot.  

The reason I'm explaining this is because I actually watched two different documentaries on ventriloquism.  One is called Dumbstruck, which follows apx. 6 main ventriloquists (of varying abilities and levels of success) and is a great first glance into the world of ventriloquism.  It's an art that doesn't get the respect it deserves, for sure.  One of the performers, Terry Fator, actually won the show America's Got Talent, and he's gone on to be wildly successful in Las Vegas.  He came from nothing, and happened to win this show (and he's amazingly talented), and now he's a multi-millionaire.  So it seems like there's a bit of resurgence in appreciation for this artform.

The other ventriloquist documentary, which I would recommend even more than Dumbstruck, is called Her Master's Voice, which is a thought-provoking look into the life of Nina Conti, who is an internationally-renowned ventriloquist.  Nina inherits the puppets of her mentor when he passes away, and she goes through a bit of an existential crisis as a result.  She's wonderfully gifted, and I loved getting a glimpse into this wacky, endearing world.  I also didn't even realize this until this minute, but Christopher Guest (who has made some of my favorite films of all time) was the executive producer on this movie, which should give you even more of a reason to check it out!

I'm a big fan of socio-cultural documentaries, and there's a super interesting one called The Great Happiness Space that I just watched.  It's a peek into the world of Japanese host boys (who get paid a TON of money to entertain women in nightclubs and keep them company).  I knew more about the female side of this kind of industry (though usually it goes more into the sex industry category for women) before watching this, and it highlights a fascinating conflict that these host boys face; namely, whether they are lying to women in order to get paid, or whether they can feel good about doing their job and providing exactly what these women want.  It also explores the question of how well we ever really know the person we are in love with (or who we think we're in love with).  It's also intriguing because clubs like the ones in the film seem to be pretty commonplace in Japan, and that's not the case in the United States, obviously.  I love how candid and philosophical the interviews are, too.

Finally, I just watched a documentary called Girl Model, which admittedly is not the best documentary I've ever seen, but it does give a very telling glimpse into the world of young Russian models trying to break into the industry.  There is a lot of corruption going on in this sect of the modeling business, and a lot of oblivious denial of it.  Although the description on Netflix claims that modeling scout Ashley Sabin is "conflicted" about her role in the industry (she is a former model who now recruits young, poor Russian girls to model in Japan), she actually exploits and takes advantage of the young girls she recruits.  She is one of two people behind the documentary, but she comes off pretty unfavorably.  It's kind of a sad one, but it's a good contrast to the shiny, perfect modeling-related shows we get in the US; not every girl has a Tyra Banks in her corner.

Okay, onto something lighter!  And fluffier (literally)!  These beautiful tulle skirts from Shabby Apple will do the trick!  My favorite is the minty green one, but I love how floaty and ethereal they all are.

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If you're a fan of Shabby Apple, you would probably love the vintage-inspired dresses from Fleet Collection!  They carry beautiful, timeless dresses (most of them in numerous shades), and they are being featured on this week at reduced prices!  One of my favorites is the Madeline Dress in Sage, which is one of the picks featured on Fab:

Some of my other favorites have sold out on Fab, but you can check out Fleet Collection's entire dress section here!  Two of my favorites on the site are the Cherry Tomato Dress, and all of the "Fields" dresses (in Sage, Lilac, and Truffle) with the adorable bow-adorned backs!

Cherry Tomato Dress
Sage Fields Dress
Another brand I love is British label Lazy Oaf, which is popping up more and more lately.  It's a particularly playful brand, which I appreciate.  If Keith Haring and Betsey Johnson had a love child, it might be something like Lazy Oaf.  Lazy Oaf pieces are available at ASOS, ModCloth, Nasty Gal, Urban Outfitters, and other retailers, and I love that it's getting more visibility in the US.  Here are some of my favorite picks from their current line:

Red circle skirt with pizza zip and pizza ring
Stickers crop shirt
 (I have this!  It was on sale at ModCloth a while back!)
Lots of Love Bodysuit
Bear Crop Top
Cutie Pie Sweatshirt
Hands Body-Con Dress
Kitty Tote Bag
Floral crowns are such a beautiful, playful accessory and they are everywhere right now.  This one from Urban Outfitters is truly fit for a queen (even the name says so!):

Kate Burley Millinery Let Them Eat Cake Headband from Urban Outfitters

And the queen of playful accessories (Betsey Johnson, of course!) has adorable new items on her site:

Girl Two Row Necklace
Flower Pot Moving Pendant
Baby Carriage Long Pendant
Frog Basket Mismatched Earrings
Flower Pond Necklace
Tennis Racquet Necklace
I really am a sucker for whimsical apparel.  And although I'm usually more-inclined towards animals of the cute & cuddly variety, these fun, critter-inspired items caught my eye this week:

Seagull Dress by Rodnik (ASOS)
(Some of them are even wearing little red hats!!!)
Annie Dress by Coco Fennell
Ladybugs First Romper from ModCloth
Fitted printed shirt from Gap
Kindling Dress from Book of Deer (also available on ModCloth)
Not only is this print adorable and summery (fireflies in jars!) but IT ALSO GLOWS IN THE DARK!!!  I first saw this dress on Katherine from Of Corgis & Cocktails, and I've been lusting after it ever since!  (See how Katherine wore it here, along with Katie of Coeurs de Foxes!)

Summer always brings along cravings for seasonal treats like ice cream, and I discovered two delicious ones this week!  Although I've never watched 30 Rock (shameful, I know), I am a big Tina Fey fan, and when I saw that Ben & Jerry's was adding a Liz Lemon flavor to their newer frozen Greek yogurt line, I knew I had to try it as soon as it arrived at a store near me.  I finally found it this week, and oooh my goodness, it did not disappoint!
In case you can't read it, it's lemon Greek froyo with a blueberry lavender swirl -- and it's just as delicious as it sounds!
In addition, I found a new frozen treat by Skinny Cow the other day!  It's more of an ice cream "candy bar," but it's absolutely amazing...
......Salted. Caramel. Pretzel.
It's to die for.  It satisfies every craving because it's sweet and salty!

You should sit back, have some dessert, and take a look at these two funny videos.  You may have seen them already (since I am actually writing this on Wednesday and won't go up for another 2 days), but they are both worth watching.

I'm not even the biggest fan of Diane Keaton, but she is so giggly and weirdly endearing in this!

And best of all... Jimmy Kimmel pranking tooly people at Coachella:

Have a fantastic Friday!!
xox Sammi


  1. I love all of this stuff! That pizza ring and flower pot necklace are my favorites for sure.

  2. Oh my goodness, that seagull dress is calling my name so loudly, I love it! Great finds here and thanks for the documentary recommendations!
    Happy Friday!
    xo hannah

  3. I bet there is a lot of corruption in the modelling world, I will definitely watch the Girl Model.
    Oh and i love the ladybird buttons :)

  4. I've been obsessed with fleet collection lately!! so wish I could afford one of their dresses. And that firefly dress is SO COOL!

    -Emma from little motley

  5. I did not know you were into ventriloquism. That's so cool!

  6. Oh my god. That Kindling Dress is LOVELY! I'm so tempted to see if they ship to England.

    I love netflix, I can get lost on that site sometimes. I just watched a couple documentaries myself, one was 'Dreams of a life' which is the documentary of a woman who was found dead in her apartment 3 years after she died, and the other was 'the bridge' about suicides from the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco. Um, I sound pretty morbid now I guess.

    You should check them out, although I'm not sure if we will have the same things on netflix over here!

    Corinne x


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