Will I am - a Hip Hop Superstar And James Franco’s Attempt to Copy Him in Spring Breakers (2013)!

The media references and story behind James Franco’s white sunglasses:

James Franco plays Alien, the crazy drug and arms dealer who wants to become a Gangsta Rap star in Harmony Korine’s latest drama Spring Breakers (2013).

There has been a lot of speculation about Alien’s character and which of the many real Gangsta Rapper inspired his crazy style: According to James Franco and his costume designer Heidi Bivens, they looked for rappers like Kevin Federline, Riff Raff & Dangeruss to get Alien’s badass look.

Nevertheless, there are more subtle fashion hints that visualize Alien’s trying to be a real rich music star. He wears, for example, a pair of iconic white Carrera shades in few scenes. They can be spotted, especially when he performs his songs on the stage on the beach.


Picture Source: Screencap                                        copyrights by A24Films

This is the fairly same 5530 shades model that Hip Hop superstar Will I am used to wear. To be precise: Will.I.Am wore the SKIMAN version with orange glasses and white temples.


Picture Source: New York Daily News                   Copyrights by Ethan Miller

Another parallel to his potential hero Will I Am is that he performed the song "Scream & Shout" (2012) with Britney Spears for her album ‘Femme Fatale’ while Alien performs Britney’s title “Everytime” on the piano. Alien plays it - as a cynical comment - on an innocent white piano in a romantic sunset for Candy (Vanessa Hudgens), Britt (Ashley Benson) and Cotty (Rachel Korine) while we see scenes of their violent robberies in slow motion.

I don’t know if movie director Harmonie Korine and costume designer Heidi Bivens had all of these references in mind when choosing this Carrera sunglass model, but I think it’s a nice little trivia that only few can appreciate.

Young Adult Charlize Theron Gets Dressed For Her Military Mission With JOIE

The story about the symbolic meaning of Charlize Theron’s gray studded Joie tank top:

Mavis Gary (Charlize Theron) is the anti-hero in Jason Reitman’s latest drama Young Adult (2011). She is the ex-college beauty and the fairly successful ghostwriter who returns to her conservative little home town to rescue her ex-love Buddy Slade (Patrick Wilson) from his boring life with his wife and newborn child.
Her visit turns out to be very dreadful for all participants while she tries - with different tactics - to win her ex-boyfriend back. For this mission, she dresses herself every night in another sexy outfit to show Buddy what he is missing out on if he stays with his wife Beth (Elizabeth Reaser).

Later in the plot, it becomes more and more clear that Mavis is facing a heavy midlife crisis and that she tries to protect her broken heart under her tough surface of studded clothes, fake hair and perfect make up.
All her attempts during her journey to win Buddy back can be labeled as little military missions to rescue her ex-boyfriend from his alleged miserable life.


Picture Source: Screencab                                    Copyrights by Paramount

This is subtly visualized in her fashion outfits. She wears an oversized studded leather bag that she carries symbolically to protect her inner weakness when she is confronted with the sad reality in Mercury, Minnesota.
Her grey top by fashion brand, Joie, is also a subtle sign that she needs protection: She wears the tank top under her black military frogged jacket when she goes out in a pub for a whisky - as a lonely wolf the first night in her hometown.


Picture Source: RomanticRebel   Picture Source: Neiman Marcus                  Copyrights by Paramount            Copyrights by Joie

This archaic styled Yuma Nail Head top is, together with her leather rivets bag and the jacket, a clear sign that she uses her outfit as an armor to protect herself from the dreaded truth she has to face at home.
This is just a little observation, therefore, I don’t know for sure if costume designer David Robinson or movie director Jason Reitman had all of this in mind when choosing this top, but I think it’s a nice little trivia and assumption.

How Penny Tries to Sneak Out Leonard’s Trap Like a Leopard

The subtle reason why Penny wears the red Leopard print blouse:

When Sheldon spoils Leonard’s Harry Potter reading experience, Leonard gets really angry, argues with Sheldon and finally flees to Penny’s apartment. Over there, he continuous to moan about how terrible Sheldon is, while Penny (Kaley Cuoco) cleans the dishes and makes cynical comments. The situation culminates when Leonard says that he wants to move in with her, which makes her uncomfortable and she tries to sneak out of the trap.

Picture Source: Variety                                                   Copyrights by CBS

In this scene of The Spoiler Alert Segmentation (S06E15), Penny wears a Rhubarb red and black leopard print blouse by fashion brand Equipment, which visualizes perfectly her situation that she feels trapped like a wild animal who Leonard wants to domesticate by moving in her private sphere. Penny is in a sort of panic, because she loves Leonard, but doesn’t want to live with him permanently. She is too nice to tell this to him directly and therefore she tries unsuccessfully to sneak out of this situation, like a wild Leopard who smells trouble instinctively. Her Emo like style, with a black skirt and makeup might be another hint that she feels quite desperate in this situation.  

I don’t know if costume designer Mary T. Quigley had all of this in mind, when choosing this shirt for Penny in this scene as her ‘equipment’ against Leonard, but I think it’s a reasonable assumption.

Selena Gomez’ Faith in Theresa During Her Personal Spring Break

The story behind Selena Gomez’s golden cross necklace that she wore in Spring Breakers (2012).

Selena Gomez plays Faith, the youngest and most religious girl in her best friend group. She is shy and doesn’t like all the drug consuming and robbery in contrast to her friends Cotty (Rachel Korine), Candy (Vanessa Hudgens), Brit (Ashley Benson) who enjoy their new life during her violent holiday trip.


Picture Source: Youtube Trailer Screencap            Copyrights by Lionsgate

Faith feels straight away, that the trip won’t have a happy ending and tries unsuccessfully to convince her friends to stop, leave the outlaw life and to drive back home.
The religious gospel meeting which she attends in the beginning of the movie and her character name are hints that she is a bible-believing innocent girl.

That’s probably only one reason, why she doesn’t want to have sex with the stranger and rebel Alien, in contrast to her best friends Candy and Brit. They are keen enough to experience something new, wild and forbidden to break out of their former boring and conservative life at the university.


Picture Source: Weeatfilms                                     Copyrights by Lionsgate

Another symbol of Selena’s faith in God is her golden cross necklace from celebrity jewelry designer, Jennifer Zeuner. It’s called “Theresa”, derived from the French word Thérèse, which means Harvest.
Many saints in the Roman Catholic church are named Theresa and it’s prophetic meaning and connotation fits great to Selena’s role character.

Another detail of the jewelry is that the cross pendant is vertical attached to the necklace - it lays and symbolizes Selena’s stumbling ‘faith’ in her naive fortune. e.g. when Alien tries to kiss her, but leaves her alone when she starts to cry.
After this dramatic incidence, she quickly leaves home and survives the tragic end. This means that her faith in God stumbled but she resisted the temptation of sex, freedom, drugs and money, stopped the tumbling of her heart and saved her soul and life.

I don’t know if movie director Harmony Korine and his costume designer Heidi Bivens had all of this in mind when choosing this piece of jewelry, but I think it’s a nice assumption.

Charlize Theron Is a Broken Hobo Who Seeks Protection in Young Adult (2011)

A costume design review and the story behind Charlize Theron’s black leather shoulder bag.

Mavis Gary (Charlize Theron) is the arrogant beauty who visits her childhood home town where she has to face old wounds of an unanswered love to her ex-high school love Buddy Slade (Patrick Wilson).

On the surface she is the successful book author and good looking business woman from the big city who is easy going and likes to party.

Under the surface, she is a broken girl in the midlife-crisis with an alcohol problem who observes in the mirror how her beauty fades. Her tough and weak sides are subtly visualized in her fashion outfits like in her black oversized leather bag.


Picture Source: Collider                          Copyrights by Paramount Pictures

It’s a so-called Hobo model, a name derived from the term ‘Hobos’, the homeless vagabonds who work part-time and travel through America by jumping illegally on trains. This lifestyle of freedom started in the beginning of 1890 until it became really popular in the late 60s. A lot of famous US authors like Jack Kerouac, Jack London or George Orwell used to live and travel as Hobos as a catharsis before they wrote their most popular works.
Hence, the bag model visualizes perfectly her painful but purifying travel home where she finalizes in the end her Young Adult novel. 

After an even closer look, I’ve found out that Mavis black leather hobo bag from luxury designer Jimmy Choo is covered with silver rivets and is called ‘Sky’.

The steel studded leather and the big size function like an armor or shield that Mavis uses unconsciously to protect her inner weakness from the ‘normal‘ people and sad reality she had to face. Therefore she wears the bag in situations when she is sober or feels awkward and insecure, like when she enters the low budget hotel and the pub alone as the only woman or visits the grocery- and bookstore in her casual sweatpants and hoodie outfit.


Picture Source: Indiewire                        Copyrights by Paramount Pictures

Therefore, the bag is a perfect symbol of her two sides: While the costly prize of $1.000 for the designer brand accessory visualize her former success, symbolizes the Hobo model her clarifying travel home, and the rivets signal that she needs protection for her inner weakness.

I don’t know if Jason Reitman and his costume designer David Robinson had all this in mind when choosing this specific bag but I think it’s a nice little detail and interesting assumption.

Don Draper’s Liaison with Tiffany in Mad Men

The story behind Don Draper’s silver money clip in Mad Men:

Don Draper (Jon Hamm) is the elegant alpha male in the Mad Men SCDP office. He is always perfectly dressed in a suit, cares sensitively about the brands he works for, and knows what consumers want.
On the other hand, he is often rude and stubborn if he doesn’t get what he wants—and he wants only the best, like the sterling silver money clip that he uses for his dollar notes.

It’s from the legendary New York jewelry brand, Tiffany & Co. The clip is simple and elegant but expensive due to its high quality, and it therefore corresponds perfectly with Don’s character.

Another trivia is, according to an interview with Mad Men’s property master Gay Perello, that he “…let Jon Hamm pick. I’ll show him three different options. He definitely has an opinion.” (Adam B. Vary, Entertainment Weekly)

I don’t know for sure if the Mad Men creators or in this case actor Jon Hamm had all this in mind when choosing this accessory and brand, but I think it’s an interesting little trivia that worships the detailed work of costume designer Janie Bryant and her team.

Picture Source: Entertainment Weekly

Damn 2.0 or How Sheldon’s Missy Messes in The Big Bang Theory

The story behind Sheldon Cooper’s black Tron t-shirt that he wears while his sister pays him an uncomfortable visit.

In The Big Bang Theory episode ‘The Pork Chop Indeterminacy' (S01E15), Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons) gets a surprise visit from his 'little' twin sister Missy (Courtney Henggeler). She literally breaks into Sheldon's ordered world and creates very quick a mess with her beauty among the nerds.


Picture Source: BigBangTheory.Wikia                            Copyrights by CBS

Her name is a diminutive of a Misses and is probably a subtle hint to the mess she wreaks. The situation in Sheldon’s apartment escalates when he tries to arrange a ‘sexual relationship’ between Missy and Leonard (Johnny Galecki) whereupon she hits him in his balls.

A curious fact is, that Sheldon wears in all these chaotic scenes with Messy the same black t-shirt with a front logo. This graphic scenery is inspired by the SciFi movie TRON (1983) which became later in the 80s also a popular arcade console game. The cult film from the pre-internet era is about a digital virtual world where real gamers drive light cycles in races against each other until only one survives.


Picture Source: BrianWelk                                         Copyright by Disney

The clue is that Sheldon’s T-shirt graphic shows one of these light cycles with a broken pane and a rider who is terrified and helpless about the break in and the mess.
Therefore, the scenery on his shirt describes perfectly the miserable situation Sheldon has to face with his sister Missy in this episode.

Furthermore the t-shirt is created by fashion brand AmesBros and named “Damn 2.0” which is another nice subtle hint, that this is going to be a bad situation for Sheldon.

I don’t know if you’ve already spotted this media reference but I think it’s a nice little fact, that shows again, the deeper meaning of Sheldon’s t-shirt.

Sally Draper’s White Boots Are Not Only Made for Walkin’ in Mad Men

The media references and story behind Sally’s white boots:

In Mad Men season 5, Sally (Kiernan Shipka) - Don (Jon Hamm) and Betty Draper’s (January Jones) daughter - is not only growing up but growing slowly from a girl into a young woman. Her slow transformation can be observed in her maturing body but also in the tightly fitting clothes that she starts to wear and her sexy white knee high boots.


Picture Source: Paste Magazine                                Copyrights by AMC TV

She wants to wear these sexy shoes for the first time in the episode “At the Codfish Ball” (S05E07), when she has a ‘date’ with Roger Sterling (John Slattery) for the American Cancer Society dinner.

These shoes have been created in the mid-1960s in France and are called “Go-go” boots, derived from the French expression a gogo, which means “in abundance,” or from the ancient word la gogue, which means “joy or happiness.” Disco girls or Go-go dancers in the 60s used to wear them on stage during their adult-only performances, for example in the first American discothèque, Whisky a Go-Go, which opened 1958.

With this historical background in mind, Don is not very happy when his little girl, Sally, wants to go out styled like this and therefore forces her to remove her extravagant eye makeup and to get out of the boots.


Picture Source: Stylebistro                                        Copyrights by AMC TV

While Sally is the episode “At the Codfish Ball” (S05E07) not allowed to wear these boots due to her immaturity, 5 episodes later, in “Commissions and Fees" (S05E12), she wears them again during her first secret real date with the older boy Glen Bishop (Marten Holden Weiner). During this date in a museum, she experience painfully her first menstruation. It’s obvious, that the Go-go boots and her period are signs that she now turns from a child to a woman.

Nevertheless and back to the scene “At the Codfish Ball”, Sally is allowed to wear the glamorous dress that references the kid film star, Shirley Temple. Later on, Roger serves Sally her first non alcoholic cocktail, which is also named Shirley Temple. In addition, the episode title is a reference to a Shirley Temple song and dance number featured in her 1936’s movie, Captain January.


Picture Source: Psychotronic16    Copyright by 20th Century Fox TV / CBS

Sally’s white boots, however, are references to the iconic ’60s star, Angela Cartwright, who wore similar white knee high boots in the sci-fi cult TV series, Lost in Space. Finally, they are also an homage to Nancy Sinatra and her legendary song “These Boots Are Made for Walking,” and the white boots that Nancy wears on the single cover.


Picture Source: Fashion Beauty Trends                    Copyright by the Owner

To sum it up: Sally’s boots are not only references to some of the most iconic US show stars, but are also a subtle fashion code for her maturity and precursor to the wild and sex-conscious style of the roaring ’60s.

The Lady Vanishes but Strikes Back in This Means War (2012)

Film director McG is famous for fun loving action filled Hollywood blockbusters like Charlie’s Angels, Terminator Salvation and for the romantic action comedy This Means War (2012). These are all movies that probably doesn’t attract many film connoisseurs immediatly.

Nevertheless, McG shows in This Means War his cinematic expertise in various scenes, e.g. when he shows on the tv screen in the background of Lauren’s (Reese Witherspoon) apartment sequences of the western classic Butch Cassidy & Sundance Kid.
This movie is about the two outlaws Robert Redford and Paul Newman and the beauty Katherine Ross and a reference to the menage a trois between Lauren, F.D.R (Chris Pine) and Tuck (Tom Hardy) - see this article.

Another movie references can be spotted when Lauren and F.D.R are arguing about the legendary movie director Alfred Hitchcock.


Picture Source:                            Copyrights by 20th Century Fox

This disput takes place in the video store, where Lauren wants to rent a film and F.D.R tries to flirt and chat up Lauren, with his expertise about the best Hitchcock movie. She tests his taste in films by picking the The Lady Vanishes DVD, a Hitchcock classic from the ‘Criterion Collection’. And what a surprise, this classic movie from 1939 is a British comic thriller about a woman and spy and mirrors somehow the constellation in This Means War too.

Another reminiscene to the film director Hitchcock is the film DVD the Rope from 1948 that stands on the shelf of the video store. It can be spotted between Lauren and F.D.R during their vivid discussion. And again, this is also a thriller about two young men who feel superior and try to commit the ideal murder.


Picture Source: DVD Screengrab                 Copyrights by 20th Century Fox

The final of the scene is, that the smart and eloquent Lauren wins over the little arguing with ther film expertise and rebuffs the intruder F.D.R, while she grasp cheekily the DVD “Star Wars - The Empire Strikes Back”!
This movie about a little group of rebels who fight and win against Darth Vader’s big army of the dark side is a nice and subtle punchline against the black dressed and superior behaving F.D.R. Nevertheless, these are just little spots which only movie geeks, like Jason Cangialos or Laura from Miscellaneous Musings, can fully appreciate.

Therefore, I’m pretty sure that the whole scene was an hommage to some of McG’s cinema heroes and it’s sad, that only few cinema lover will worship these little details, media references and easter eggs.

Mad Men Bob Benson Loves The Greek Style or The Deeper Meaning Behind The Mysterious Blue Coffee Cup!

In the first episode “The Doorway” of the 6th season, the creators of Mad Men introduce a new character: the always smiling and good looking accountant Bob Benson (James Wolk).


Picture Source & Copyrights by: AMC

And when Bob meets Don Draper (Jon Hamm) accidently in the elevator of the SCDP office, he offers him one of his two paper coffee cups he just bought in a coffee shop around the corner. This blue and white cup with the golden letters on the label is not just some kind of cup, but the legendary ‘Anthora’ paper cup, created in 1963 by Czech coffeshop manager Lesli Buck in New York. It’s one of the most iconic products in the New York history and is already sold over 1 Billion times in the last 50 years.


Picture Source: Amazon

The cup is designed in a Greek themed style because many coffee bars in the 1960s had been owned by Greek immigrants. It shows an ancient Greek urn or Amphora, which is the reason why the icon is later called Anthora, due to a mispronunciation of the Euopean accent of the Czech inventor.

And now back to Bob Benson and his hot coffee.

Later in the season, we’ll find out that Bob is gay or bi-sexual and that he worked as a ‘manservant' to his former boss and vice president. SLATE Senior editor David Haglund already assumed that the ambiguous faux Greek font inscription on the cup:  “We are Happy to serve you.“ is a hint to Bob’s past as a callboy.


Picture Source: GQ Magazine                                      Copyrights by AMC

While this is already a bold assumption you can even analyze the cup on a deeper level because “Greek Style" means also a homosexual practice. The term is a reference to an sexual practice in the classic Greece (2000 B.C), where high status and honored men used young boys for their sexual pleasures.

Furthermore, if we analyze the scene more broad before we see Bob and Don in the elevator, we can spot Peggy Olson (Elizabeth Moss) watching an magazine ad. It’s an ad for KOSS headphones  created by SCDP. It shows a classic Roman or Greek-like dressed man with a naked shoulder who is happily smiling in the viewers eyes.


Screencast, Copyrights by AMC

The Greek costumed testimonial is the last still before we see the elevator where Bob makes Don’s a couple of compliments. Bob talks about Don’s nice tan, he introduces himself, offers him his precious second cup of coffee, opens the door for him like a servant and leaves Don in the creative department with the words: “I love it down here”, wich can be labeled as another very ambigious line and hint.

Nevertheless, the coffee cup can also be spotted in other scenes without Bob. Therefore, I don’t know for sure if the creators and set decorator Claudette Didul had all this in mind by giving Bob’s character exactly this cup of coffee in this scene, but I think it’s a nice assumption to worship the deeper meanings of the little details in the prop and set design.