Monday, February 20, 2012

The Ladies of Boardwalk Empire

Lauren, today's writer and a gal of great class and wit
I present to you our first guest article, written by my good friend Lauren!  Enjoy!
            ~ Victoria

Long before the acclaim of baggy pants and backwards caps, criminals wore casual wear that would make your boyfriend’s prom tuxedo look like a suit from Target. The characters of HBO’s Boardwalk Empire recreate the feel of the Roaring Twenties, in both its classy and perilous nature. The plot follows crooked Atlantic County treasurer Eunuch “Nucky” Thompson, played brilliantly by Steve Buscemi, in his rocky personal life and his corrupt political life. His interactions with several characters, included non-fictional criminals such as Arnold Rothstein (Michael Stuhlbarg), Lucky Luciano (Vincent Piazza), and Al Capone (Stephen Graham), along with the sub plots that revolve around fictional characters like Margaret Schroeder (Kelly Macdonald), Nelson Van Alden (Michael Shannon), and James Darmody (Michael Pitt) weave together a wonderful story that brings fact and fiction to a nice balance. Here at Definition of a Lady, I hope to provide you with personal inspiration, for both your couture and your character, through this wonderful show’s first season.

Let’s take a look at the fashion of our female characters, to start with. First, we will check out possibly the most fashionable of our choices: Lucy Danziger.  Played by the stunning Paz de la Huerta, she is Nucky Thompson’s former mistress and former dancer, with an eye for money and fame.

Though she certainly is not a prude, Lucy always manages to pull off tastefully flirty (and high-fashion) outfits, complete with eye-catching fur and a hat. She may expose her shoulders or play up her cleavage, but her dress still leaves something to the imagination.

In another scene, Lucy pulls off minimal jewelry, favoring her natural beauty over overdressing. Ladies, I know we are always tempted to wear dozens of bracelets and find the wackiest, chunkiest necklaces we can imagine, but sometimes less is more. Though we certainly don’t want to emulate Lucy’s empty-headed, gold-digging attitude, we can still appreciate how she doesn’t dress like one. You do not want someone to look at you and assume the worst.

Another powerful feminine presence in the series is Margaret Schroeder, a woman whose abusive husband was murdered at Nucky’s request, and who ends up falling for her husband’s killer. Margaret is a hard-working, lower-class Irish immigrant who finds herself suddenly in the lap of luxury. Her style evolves from simple to elegant over the course of the season.

Margaret always knows how to wear a hat, and though statement hats have fallen out of fashion in the recent years, icons such as Kate Middleton (now known as Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge) have been bringing the style back. Margaret is also known for wearing more conservative, but stylish clothes, once again proving that baring it all isn’t the best way to convince someone of your merits.

More importantly than Margaret’s wardrobe, however, is her strong will. In an era where women’s rights were beginning to blossom, Margaret represents the woman beside the great man, struggling to make her voice heard also. Though she clashes with Nucky in several aspects—her contraceptive methods being one—he seems to treat her with respect not seen given to most other women in the show. Furthermore, Margaret must deal with the timeless problem of losing faith once introduced to the high life. As the show illustrates, many people are corrupted by greed—but it always seems to especially effect the people who had nothing. You do not want to forget your roots once that big check lands in your lap, but sometimes it can hard to. Gratitude and kindness are virtues that should be kept and you’ll just have to watch Season 2 to see if Margaret succumbs to greed, or keeps her motherly sweetness.

The bottom line is, ladies, dress like every day is important, and don’t dress like you’re a piece of meat. The key to being a lady is respect in yourself and from others, and how you act and what you wear should reflect that belief. 

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