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There are two types of people. Those who sleep naked and those who know that any moment your house could catch on fire and that you want to be clothed and ready to bounce. I am of the latter group.
I sleep in pajamas. What I wear on my upper body depends on the time of year. In summer, it’s a tank top. In the winter, it’s long sleeves. On the bottoms, I always wear pants. Never capris. Never shorts. I can’t stand the feeling of my legs touching each other. We all have our thing. You don’t like cilantro. Fine. I don’t like the feeling of my calves on each other.
After seeing Jackie, I might have to change my evening attire because I am now in love with NIGHTGOWNS. Long, silky, flowing, billowing, glamorous nightgowns.
Jackie was the best movie I saw in 2016. The movie begins and you are immediately uncomfortable, with an original score that sets your nerves on edge. You squirm as you get used to Natalie Portman’s immersion into the character. “Is that how Jackie sounded in real life?” I wondered. Was she so breathy? So affected? Of course we have clips of the real audio that we can access, but something about Portman’s voice and seeing her in full color in HD was disconcerting. That’s the point, I think. The movie is meant to make you ill at ease.
This is not a movie about the joy of Camelot; this is a movie centered on JFK’s assassination and its effect on Jackie in the weeks following.
I took my mother who said to me after, “I was…not expecting that.” I asked if she was mad at me, as if I had fooled her. She said she wasn’t but remained quiet in the car on the way home. She is a consistent Democrat who remembers JFK’s death clearly. I think the movie shook my mom, but we are WASPs to the core and I didn’t ask her.
Much of the move is shot up close. Tight. Zooming into the actors’ faces. It’s so intimate, it almost feels intrusive. I dare you to not cry with Jackie as she heaves and sobs in the shower, washing her spouse’s blood from her hair and body. This movie is pain. But it’s also beautiful. The look. The sounds. The nightgowns.
As Jackie plans her husband’s state funeral while packing their belongings because LBJ is coming, we find her alone in the White House at night. Jackie is shell-shocked and shaken in her grief, dealing with what today we would call PTSD. She tells a reporter she literally tried to hold Jack’s brains inside his head after Oswald’s bullet. Jesus.
She is drinking Stoli. Smoking in bed. Playing with pills. Spritzing Shalimar. Listening to Camelot on LP. And she does it while wearing the most amazing nightgowns.
Of course (!) the woman who defined styles her entire life would dress for an activity that takes up 25% of our day. It made me want to dress for slumber. It made me want all the nightgowns. At first I thought it was petty to focus on her midnight fashion, but fashion is what defines Jackie in our minds and it’s too dismissive of the important role clothes (and underclothes) play in how we view the world and how we present ourselves.
Basically, I’m trying to find a way to discuss a moving film while telling you it made me want to buy pretty clothes. Roll with it. So…all hail the ethereal nightgown!**
**Jackie received three Oscar nominations yesterday: Best Actress (Natalie Portman), Best Original Score, and Best Costume Design. Those nightgowns got a nom!
La Perla Charisma Long Night Dress
Flora Nikrooz Showstopper
Eres Flanerie Quietude Maxi Dress
Oscar de la Renta
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