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Brooklyn Gal

Brooch, the Subject

First things first: we here at the Brooklyn Gal are not necessarily fans of Dita Von Teese, though we do admire her retro moxie, alabaster skin and ink-black tresses. Still, the other day, while we were working out at the gym, we couldn’t help but catch a glimpse of divine Dita on the silent TV screen above.

Ms. DVT sat daintily on the edge of the couch, chatting to her host, Ms. Wendy Williams. With the sound turned down, we had no clue what this striptease star was saying, but, never mind, it did not matter one teensy bit because, hello, her gigantic flower-shaped brooch, all glitzy and rhinestone-y (or, dare we say, diamond-encrusted?) radiating against her reddish-pink-clad chest, seemed to do all of the talking.

We happen to own a few pretty pins from way back when, scooped up at flea markets and such, but believe us, we’ve never seen anything quite as head-turning as Dita’s glamorous piece of festoonery.

As it turned out, that little episode was a repeat show from May and Dita, her hair coiffed like a calendar girl from back in the day, her nails and lips painted a rich ruby red, with high-heels to match, was giving Wendy an earful about her love for 1940s lingerie and how she got her start in the va-va-voom business.

We were intrigued. A little bit more research revealed that this vintage vixen does indeed have a penchant for such glittery chestal ornaments from back in the day — her fulsome flower was no fluke. We have to confess, in her own particular way, Ms. DVT is a class act: this girl knows how to turn up the shine factor.

So, do we smell a brooch trend in the air? Well, not exactly. After all, no one else can play pin-up like a true burlesque queen.




Ta-Ta South Riding

We here at the Brooklyn Gal are counting the hours till tonight’s conclusion of the latest MASTERPIECE CLASSIC trilogy, South Riding, an adaption of Winifred Holtby’s moving love story. And, we might add, we’re a tad annoyed that this gripping romantic saga, set in Depression-era Yorkshire, should be limited to three short episodes.  Still, we’ll take what we can get and indeed there’s much to revel in given that South Riding has all of the ingredients that make us go weak in the knees.

For starters, it’s set between the Great Wars, a time period we find ourselves drawn to again and again. What’s more, the characters are flawed, compelling and riveting to watch. Our favorites (of course): Sarah Burton played by Anna Maxwell Martin, the fiery red-headed headmistress who shakes things up in her new post as the headmistress who returns from London to her old stomping grounds. She champions her girls’ right to learn and, shocker, choose to have a career, aside from being wives and mothers.  And Robert Carne, who plays David Morrissey, the ruggedly handsome gentleman farmer with a whole lot of baggage, including an insane wife, locked away in an institution. Just last week we learned that she was pushed further over the edge after the birth of her daughter.

Just as transfixing, of course, are the head-turning costumes, created by Stephanie Collie.  Sarah Burton’s cornflower blue shirtdress, pink-and-blue knit jumper and skirt, nervy boater-style red suit and captivating cape — much saucier than Little Red Riding Hood’s, we might add — all artfully convey this plucky woman’s spirit and sense of self. Not exactly beautiful, she nonetheless cuts a dazzling figure. And she’s rarely seen without a shock of bright scarlet lipstick.

If we could, we would watch a whole season’s worth of South Riding. But alas, MASTERPIECE created a mini series. Apparently all good things must come to an end.