Inspired by Cinema: My Italian Summer in Chicago

In an attempt to escape from the sweltering heat and hustle in Chicago, I spent much of this summer doing everything I could to pretend that I was in Cinque Terre. Since I couldn't actually escape to the Italian coast, I instead focused my summer activities on drinking Italian cocktails, cooking summer pastas, dressing like I’m on vacay, and watching Italian movies. And I almost believed that I was in Italy! I’ll share the food and drink recipes soon, but until then here are the movies that I recently watched that have fueled my summer fantasies and inspired several heat-friendly outfits.

A BIGGER SPLASH
I saw this in theaters a few weeks ago, and I’m still not sure how I feel about it. The big draw was Tilda Swinton, though (often naked) Ralph Fiennes may have stolen the show. The film’s cinematography captured the dry heat of Italy’s southern islands, and the wardrobes matched the space perfectly. Loose shirts and dresses, earth tone fabrics, and Fiennes’s excellent beard game. Now there’s an island I wouldn’t mind being stranded on. I’ve tried to compensate by wearing this simultaneously tight and breezy dress from James Perse with my Avarca sandals and straw hat -- the amazing thing about this hat is that it can survive being crushed in luggage. And I couldn't forget the basket bag. The dress is so comfortable and I opted to wear a simple bralette under it; which now that I see the dress in photos, it is kind of see-through,  so maybe this outfit was more inspired by Ralph Fiennes than I thought. 

I AM LOVE
A Bigger Splash led me to I Am Love, also directed by Luca Guadagnino and starring Swinton. 
Whereas A Bigger Splash inspired outfits for the weekend, I Am Love influenced my work wardrobe. The clothes are effortlessly elegant and refined and yet avoid being too stuffy or stiff. The film’s costumes caught the attention of the fashion world, and in no small part because Jill Sanders contributed Tilda Swinton’s outfits. If you watch it, keep an eye out for Swinton’s “golden handcuffs” and the incredible detailing on everything from her sons’ suits to her servants’ uniforms. 

 heels from Ferragamo and skirt from Reiss

heels from Ferragamo and skirt from Reiss

 This dress from  APC  reminded of the film, and I’m planning to wear it with a pair of yellow leather heeled sandals. 

This dress from APC reminded of the film, and I’m planning to wear it with a pair of yellow leather heeled sandals. 

P.S. The  NYT Magazine just did a story about Luca Guadagnino's amazing palazzo. One, please!


THE GREAT BEAUTY
Alexandra and I could spend a week writing about how much we love this movie and its main character Jep. His suits are exquisite: bright and beautifully cut. While we’re not wearing vibrant blazers this summer, Jep's look inspired a couple additions to our wardrobes. I bought these loafers because the electric color and dandy style reminded me of him, and my lemon shirt is a nod to his yellow suit and the lemon groves that line the Amalfi Coast. 

 Jcrew loafers that I usually pair with white shorts and a blue blouse

Jcrew loafers that I usually pair with white shorts and a blue blouse

 Lemon shirt from  Equipment FR  and sandals (which I love) from  Steven Alan

Lemon shirt from Equipment FR and sandals (which I love) from Steven Alan