Rule: The exceptional proves the rule

In Actors, FIlms on January 16, 2012 at 3:22 pm

Happy New Year and all that. What are you looking forward to? *

On my list of anticipated highlights is the film The Hunger Games, adapted from the book of the same name, which I think (from watching the trailer on Youtube) looks like a gripping adventure riffing on the culture of reality TV.

It doesn’t open [in Australia] until March but allow me to introduce here its lead actor Miss Jacqueline Emerson, who is just seventeen years old, yet already rocking that photo opp moment better than many more seasoned celebritines.

Of course she may just be getting great advice, but the secret is taking it. There are so many actresses of established fame who still haven’t worked that out, but this teen either has serious style of her own, or the nouse to know when to listen up to those who do.

I can’t find a single niggle to make about this picture. Not even the way she’s standing in it. You wouldn’t believe the number of shots I look at each week, where the subject is slouching like a slummock, or – worse in my opinion – working the beauty queen’s ‘Pageant Stance’, with one turned out foot placed in front of the other. Emerson is fully posing here, but in an upbeat, natural, let’s do this thing way. I love her.

On an older person I might have got a bit snarky about the undone hair, on a teenage girl, j’adore. I would have hated a tortured bridesmaid’s up do on that young head.

The balance of the accessories is also spot on. The asymmetry of a bangle, which is so often wanting, a little punctuation mark at the throat and a sparkly hard case ‘minaudière’ clutch bag. The shiny gold shoes are properly dressed up and fun – and not exactly the same colour as the dress, which would have been so dull.

On someone else – someone older – that little bit of contrasting lace at the neck could have seemed a fussy detail. I’m not actually sure if it’s part of the dress or some kind of a slip, but on a girl of Emerson’s age it’s modest and sweet.

It also gives the outfit a bit of a retro 80s hit, which is spot on for her generation, for whom the 1980s is the signature reference. There’s an adorable little hint of Molly Ringwald about it, which is really pleasing because with that gorgeous hair colour, that’s who Emerson is reminding me of. (See The Breakfast Club, below. Oh, how it all comes flooding back…)

And the hair/dress combo is the number one reason I love Emerson’s look. None of us are ‘supposed to’ wear clothes the same colour as our follicles. I’ve certainly avoided beige most of my life for that reason. And redheads in particular, as discussed in a previous outing, are subjected to the most stringent restrictions regarding the entire warm end of the colour spectrum.

So Jacqueline Emerson is breaking both those rules, in fine style, and looks like she’s having a great time doing it, as all cool teenagers should. Bring on the movie.

* This first appeared in the Sunday Age, M section, on January 1, so sharing it here for all readers of Sun-Herald (back in there on January 29th) – and anyone else who’s interested.

I am wearing a great Cloak of Shame about not having done anything on here for ages (crazy busy finishing a book, which was all consuming…) but hope to get back to regularity… it’s my New Year’s Resolution.

  1. I should think so! Have missed you greatly…

  2. The only problem with the picture at the top is that GQ logo behind here head gives her a pair of Mini Mouse ears.

  3. I’m so glad you’re back!!! (I often check in, just in case.) Can you please tell me where the discussion about redheads was?)

  4. The colour of her dress is fabulous, and she wears it well. But, more importantly (ha ha) can’t wait till your new book is out. I so loved reading your last book on my summer break down the coast last year, and had to search for a replacement this year. Welcome back, I missed your posts 🙂

  5. I’ve missed you Maggie.

  6. I missed you too, as 140 characters has been just a tease. I love/d The Breakfast Club. Loved all the Molly movies.
    I think this woman looks great- I am not sure about the lace thing under/part of the dress though… I think it takes away from the dress a bit, but the colour is perfection.

  7. Yey, a new Maggie post to go with my tea and vegemite toast – perfect morning! Looking forward to the new book. Please, please make sure it is proof read thoroughly. I totally loved Shall we Dance but it did have a few typos. Mx

  8. Dear Maggie,
    Greetings from Tamarama.
    How wonderful to have a post from you!
    Happy New Year and hope you had a wonderful Christmas.
    Haven’t got time to actually read the post yet but the top shot looks just great (regardless of who/age).

  9. Take off your Cloak of Shame immediately! Instead of posts, we will be getting a book – no complaints from me. Its your blog and we (or certainly me anyway) shall be here waiting. Oh how I loved the Breakfast Club (and St Elmo’s Fire, Pretty in Pink, 16 Candles etcetc). I nearly dyed my hair red for Molly. Jacqueline looks divine, LOVE the cami – too much skin happening on the red carpet at the mo’ for my tastes.
    Happy New Year etc to you!
    Anne x

  10. Jacqueline looks lovely and her hair is the most amazing shade – I don’t think I’ve seen that colour before. The only thing that disappoints me is the ‘stripper platform’ shoes – so utterly fed up with that style. It adds a jarring, cheap note to my eye, which is a shame because without the platform sole the shoes would be as gorgeous as the rest of the picture. But I guess those horrible platform shoes are the fashion celebrities don’t dare ignore at the moment…anyway, Jacqueline is the picture of perfection otherwise. The lace is sweet and it’s a clever tone down of a dress that would have been too risque without it. Good on her for making it all work – could have been disastrous on someone with less poise.

  11. Missed you Maggie, but understand as well as any book it is family time over Christmas.

    Anyhoo,my two cents: love it all except the lace/cami business too much like her skin tone; and while I love the colour of the shoes I must agree with the earlier comment about striper shoes. I wonder if she can walk (elegantly) in them?

  12. Cannot wait for your next book!! Have devoured so many books over the summer but nothing’s like a story with wit and style from you. Looking forward to the release date.

  13. She looks like the ‘girl of fire’ – from the presentation in the book!

  14. I love your posts I’m glad they will be more regular again (no pressure!) Thanks Maggie!

  15. Hi Maggie
    Exciting news that your new book is on the way.
    I agree with one of the earlier posts, Jacqueline looks great but not a fan of those stripper (or prottie trotters) shoes.

  16. Sooooo ‘take me back’ with your Breakfast Club pic. I wanted to BE Molly Ringwald, or Ally Sheedy or Demi Moore back then.

    So nice to have you back Maggie and looking forward to your new book too!

  17. Hey Maggie – I’ve missed you. Great to have your perspective back in the blogosphere!
    Totally agree with all your comments. Look forward to more frequent posts in 2012.

  18. Love this column Maggie but still miss you from Good Weekend. As another reader ask, can you point us to this post about redheads? No google combination of terms seems to bring it up..

  19. Hi Maggie
    We are the importers of Style Butler, the designers of the fabulous Jumpsuit that HRH Crown Princess Mary was sporting in your recent article in The Age, commenting on Pyjamas as day wear? Would love to talk with you, please call our office 02 80050928.

    • I did reply to your tweet – only just found this. Please reply on Twitter @MaggieA. What was the brand of the jumpsuit? Afraid I won’t have time to ring as I’m about to go off on a book tour. Best Maggie

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