August Must-Haves

Can you believe it’s almost August? It feels like summer just began! If the thought of summer ending sooner than you imagined saddens you, no worries! The LC is here to remind you of all the awesome things to look forward to in August. Continue reading to discover our August must-haves that no one should live without.

August Must Haves

 

1. J Francis Black and White Stripe Print Kimono

If you weren’t hooked by the kimono trend last fall and winter, then now’s your chance to sport this Bohemian staple for the summer! August is the perfect month to rock this trendy kimono because it can be used in the cooler months after summer is over!

2. Black and White Glass Wine Opener

There’s nothing better than unwinding with your favorite glass of wine after a long summer day. This black and white glass wine opener is one of our favorites because it not only opens your bottle in a cinch, but it also looks amazing when it’s not in use.

3. J Francis Leatherette Clutch

Nothing is more useful during the summer than a versatile bag. This particular purse by J Francis features chains on the front for a unique detail. You can wear it as a shoulder bag or go strapless and use it as a clutch. An added bonus is that it’s in Pantone’s fabulous color of the year, Marsala!

4. Nude Nail Polish

During August you’re trying to squeeze every last bit of summer into your life. With all of these busy plans, it can get difficult to keep your nails looking on point all the time. It seems like right after you get them done, something comes along and next thing you know, they’re chipped. That’s why we love Tom Ford’s nail polish in sugars dune. A creamy nude looks put-together, even with a few tiny chips.

5. Peridot Earrings

Peridot is a stunning gemstone and it happens to be the birthstone of August. Spruce up your office look with this pair of Hebei peridot earrings featuring platinum overlay.

6. Bead Headband

Ponytail or French braided, now you can tie your hair in any style you want with this wooden hair band in silvertone. Crafted with colorful wooden beads, this item is a must have hair accessory for those who want to look stylish while holding back there hair.

 

Which is your favorite August must-have?

The Summer Blockbuster: A Look at Films that Transformed an Industry

When it comes to summer, there doesn’t seem to be a lack of activities. From spending the day at the pool to picking up a brand new hobby, summer vacation allows you to fill your days with things you didn’t have time for throughout the rest of the year. Of the endless list of summer activities, one rules them all—going to the movies!

If you haven’t heard the term “summer blockbuster,” then you need to crawl out from underneath that rock. The modern “summer blockbuster” is an expected presence every year, and it arrives like clockwork in all its moneymaking glory. We’re going to take a look at the 40-year history of the summer blockbuster focusing on a few of the films that helped define what the term “blockbuster” has come to mean to the average movie fan.

Before 1975, Hollywood film studios traditionally used the summer as a dumping ground for movies. However, everything changed when one studio made the decision to try something new by releasing their newest film in the summer.

JAWS (1975)

In 1975, a young director named Steven Spielberg was hired to direct only his second feature film, which was about a killer shark terrorizing the inhabitants of the island. The film had many complications, including malfunctioning shark models, a budget that nearly tripled its original cost and a shooting schedule that jumped from 55 days to 159 days. Thankfully the final product was a masterpiece of filmmaking that is still highly regarded 40 years later.

Prior to this, film studios would open movies in a few select markets, slowly expanding to more theaters over time and allowing word-of-mouth to build anticipation. In the case of JAWS, Universal Studios decided to forego the traditional release method. Instead, it proceeded with a campaign usually reserved for negatively regarded movies, which included flooding the airwaves with massive advertising through TV and radio, and opening the film across the country simultaneously to avoid the critics.  This approach had never been done to promote a highly anticipated release.

Jaws opened in over 400 theaters at the time, which was a large amount of screens for any movie. The reaction was massive and immediate. Moviegoers wanted to see what all the hype was about, and the majority of viewers wanted to see it over and over again. While the studio didn’t understand it at the time, they had started a trend that would begin to dominate film to this very day.  In other words, they were “gonna need a bigger boat.”

All-Time Summer Blockbusters - Jaws

Star Wars (1977)

Star Wars also happened to be released in the summer, and movies don’t get much bigger than this.  George Lucas, who was friends with Steven Spielberg, was crafting what would become one of the biggest movies of all time, instantly inspiring an entire generation of people in a way the world never saw coming. Star Wars revolutionized science fiction cinema and the entire film industry in general. It exposed how computers and visual effects could improve not only the look, but the story as well.

Did You Know?: George Lucas visited his friend Steven Spielberg on the set of his own blockbuster that year, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and was so impressed that they each bet a percentage of their film’s final profits that the other director’s film would be the biggest success. With Star Wars becoming the cinema juggernaut that we know and love today, Spielberg won the bet, forcing Lucas to fork over a small percentage of his movie’s gargantuan take.

All-Time Summer Blockbusters - Star Wars

E.T. (1982)

Spielberg had by no means been quiet since the days of JAWS, with his films Close Encounters of the Third Kind, 1941, and Raiders of the Lost Ark (produced with buddy George Lucas) all gaining notoriety and acclaim.  However, it was this gem, which cemented his place as one of the premiere directors in film. An adventurous and captivating story about a stranded alien and the boy who befriends and protects him, E.T. was the director’s first truly “family” film. It also remains one of Spielberg’s most popular films to date. Of the film itself, Spielberg calls it “the quintessential story of my childhood,” and its success gave him the maturity and courage to tackle more adult themes and subjects in his filmmaking.

All-Time Summer Blockbusters - E.T.

Ghostbusters (1984)

Dan Aykroyd wrote the original story for Ghostbusters, and it would focus on a group of “Ghostsmashers” traveling through time, space, and other dimensions combating huge ghosts. After pitching the movie concept, Aykroyd was asked to give the story a more grounded approach due to budgetary concerns, bringing on future co-star Harold Ramis to help with the story.

Originally, Aykroyd’s friend and fellow Saturday Night Live alum, Jim Belushi was to star alongside him. However, Belushi’s passing meant a casting change was needed, which resulted in Bill Murray coming on board. The main team was set, resulting in an enormous success, both financially and critically. The mix of comedy and special effects was unlike anything that had arrived in theaters before it and would inspire a whole group of filmmakers to this day.

All-Time Summer Blockbusters - Ghostbusters

Back to the Future (1985)

Science fiction and special effects would be at the forefront once again a year later when director Robert Zemeckis and producer Steven Spielberg brought time travel to the mainstream. The story follows a teenager named Marty who inadvertently goes back in time, causing him to meet his future parents in high school and to accidentally become his mother’s romantic interest. He then must repair the damage to history by getting his parents-to-be to fall in love with each other and still find a way to return to his current time. The film made stars out of its leads Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd, and it created a film legacy.

All-Time Summer Blockbusters - Back to the Future

Batman (1989)

From the late 70s to late 80s, the only superhero on film was Christopher Reeves’ performance of Superman.  By the end of the 80s, however, a new type of superhero film would hit the market and become a box-office hit.

After a decade of Superman films, director Tim Burton took on the task of bringing another of the comic world’s most famous creations to the big screen, with 1989’s Batman. Burton’s ability to produce box office with low budgets had impressed studio executives and earned him the job. After a troubled production, with Burton clashing with executives over multiple areas (including the casting of star Michael Keaton), the film released and became the biggest movie of the year.

All-Time Summer Blockbusters - Batman

Jurassic Park (1993)

A movie that remains a modern day classic, Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park was one of the most ambitious movies ever at the time of its release.  Bringing dinosaurs into the modern day required a mixture of both practical and computer-based visual effects. It was the mastering of this fusion that again changed the way movies are made now.

Mixing life-sized animatronic creatures with computer generated imagery (CGI) allowed the film to portray the dinosaurs as real-life creatures and to interact with the human characters on screen.  Not only was the film a success in all terms, it was a giant leap forward in the way special effects could enhance storytelling.

All-Time Summer Blockbusters - Jurassic Park

Toy Story (1995)

Traditional 2D animation had been used for films since the early 1900s. Small advances were made in the 1990’s incorporating computer animation with traditional hand-animated processes to help push animated films into new territory. However, none of these films had the impact that a small film about a couple of toys would have.

Pixar burst onto the scene with the cinematic equivalent of a missile, releasing the first fully computer animated feature film, Toy Story.  The film’s nearly unanimous love from both audiences and critics catapulted the film (and Pixar) to the forefront of the film industry.

All-Time Summer Blockbusters - Toy Story

Independence Day (1996)

A movie primed for a July 4th weekend release, Independence Day exploded into theaters. Led by raising star Will Smith, the film went on to dominate the remaining July 4th box-office weekends throughout the decade.

The story of a full-scale hostile alien invasion and the coming together of the world’s population to defend the planet was a massive success. This victory made Independence Day the biggest movie of the year and revealed how audiences didn’t mind a little planetary destruction as long as the good guys came out on top.

All-Time Summer Blockbusters - Independence Day

Finding Nemo and Pirates of the Caribbean (2003)

Two very different aquatic tales captivated audiences of different ages in the summer of 2003. With both films grossing over $300 million here in the US, there’s no denying that they ruled the summer box office together.

Finding Nemo once again showed the pure talent and artistry of Pixar. It was their most ambitious film at that time, featuring hundreds of fish and the most realistic animated undersea environments ever put onto film. Finding Nemo kicked off the summer box office with a boom and received praise from critics and audiences alike.

All-Time Summer Blockbusters - Finding Nemo

Later that summer, Pirates of the Caribbean cannon blasted its way to #1 at the box office thanks to lead star Johnny Depp’s portrayal of Captain Jack Sparrow. The film and Depp’s overall performance were the highlights of the summer box office.

All-Time Summer Blockbusters - Pirates of the Caribbean

Iron Man and The Dark Knight (2008)

Superhero films had made a good comeback in the first decade of the 21st century, with franchises like Spiderman, X-Men and Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins. In 2008, the box office brought us a battle between age-old rivals, Marvel and DC, with their respective films Iron Man and Nolan’s second Batman film, The Dark Knight. Both films dominated at the box office and brought superhero films into the forefront of award winning filmmaking.

Iron Man kicked off Marvel Studios with their first self-financed film, featuring an unknown hero to the majority of audiences.  The film was brought to life by director John Favraeu and star Robert Downey Jr., which instantly cemented Marvel’s place in the filmmaking world.

All-Time Summer Blockbusters - Iron Man

Later that summer, Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight burst into theaters lead by a culture shaking performance from actor Heath Ledger as The Joker.  The darker film excelled not only at the box office, but also at the awards circuit the following year. Ledger, who had sadly passed away after filming was completed, won a posthumous Oscar for his portrayal of the villain. The film set the bar for what a superhero film could be and challenged all others to rise to that level.

All-Time Summer Blockbusters - Dark Knight

Inception (2010)

Christopher Nolan was back at the head of the box office two years later with a uniquely original film he co-wrote. Inception is a film about a professional thief who commits corporate espionage by infiltrating the subconscious of his targets.  The film featured an all-star cast and mind-blowing visual effects in order to bring the story’s “dream sequences” to life. The film was one of the most highly reviewed films of the year, and it showed Nolan’s box office record-breaking power.

All-Time Summer Blockbusters - Inception

The Avengers (2012)

Marvel’s The Avengers did what no film had done before, it assembled different stars from Marvel’s cinematic universe (MCU) together to form a true superhero team-up. Brought to life by director Joss Whedon, the result was the third highest grossing film of all time. While Whedon’s talent had been on display before (he was a credited writer on Pixar’s Toy Story amongst other things), The Avenger’s put his writing and directing skill in a spotlight. The box office shattering film cemented Marvel Studios as the king of superhero cinema.

All-Time Summer Blockbusters - The Avengers

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

The most recent film to dominate the summer box office came from (surprise!) Marvel Studios.  However, this film in particular showed the true power of the studio. Helmed by a director known primarily for smaller indie movies, Guardians of the Galaxy was a big gamble for Marvel. Featuring characters based on a comic book unknown by mainstream audiences, it was hard to imagine it resulting in a good film. However, director James Gunn showed what type of skill he had up his sleeve, and the result was one of the most original, off-kilter, goofy and incredible films of the year. Audiences came out in multitudes, and kept coming back for more, which made Guardians of the Galaxy one of the most talked about films of the year and the highest grossing film of 2014.

All-Time Summer Blockbusters - Guardians of the Galaxy

It’s only midsummer and we’ve already seen the return of Marvel, dinosaurs, Pixar and much more.  With so many movies being released, it’s hard to determine who will come out on top, but rest assured the summer blockbuster isn’t going anywhere!

What is YOUR favorite all-time summer blockbuster?

 

Trendspotter – How to Look and Feel Cool This Summer with the Desert Chic Look

This month’s Trendspotter focuses on the latest trend–Desert Chic. From plush suede and metallic details to rugged fringe and elegant neutrals, the desert chic look captures the arid- and wild-inspired vibe that’s been seen everywhere. Continue reading to get tips on how to rock this comfortable, yet tasteful look this season!

NeutralsTrendspotter - Desert Chic - Neutrals

Starting off with neutrals when you’re trying a desert-inspired look is always a smart choice. Whether you’re wearing a dress or a top and jeans, colors like tan and warm brown act as the perfect palette for this trend. It’s easy to express your personal style by adding splashes of color like indigo or a rustic red onto your neutrals.

Trendspotter - Desert Chic - Loose Fitting ClothesLoose-Fitted Clothing

The relaxed and casual aspect of this summer trend comes from the loose-fitted clothing associated with it. From ponchos to billowy dresses, it’s easy to stay comfortable and cool this summer while you’re rocking a desert chic look. Scarves and the cool tapestry look are also featured with this trend. Add layers and get creative with your look!

Metallic Details

Although this desert-inspired look calls for more relaxed clothing, don’t make the mistake of thinking you can’t dress it up. Metallic details will step up your look and you’ll be ready for any occasion. Santa Fe style pieces of jewelry are a perfect addition. The southwestern style of these pieces effortlessly complements the desert chic look.

Tribal PrintTrendspotter - Desert Chic - Tribal Print

Still trending from previous seasons, tribal print seems like it was made for this look. The intricate designs and patterns add character to the neutrals. An example of a stylish look is a printed dress paired with a neutral pair of shoes and Santa Fe style jewelry. If you don’t want to be overwhelmed with the pattern, try opting for a beautiful tribal print scarf as an accessory.

Trendspotter - Desert Chic - TextureTexture

From fringe accessories to suede details, adding texture complements your desert chic look. You can even take this trend with you in the fall by layering it with textured pieces like a faux fur vest. It will keep you warm and stylish during the cooler seasons!

This cool and comfortable, yet elegant and striking style is perfect for the summer. Whether you’re keeping things casual with billowy clothing, or making a statement by adding shiny metallic accessories, you’ll be sure to look like a desert rose this season. Check out our latest edition of Trendspotter below to discover how to create a complete desert chic look for less than $50 at the LC!

Trendspotter - Desert Chic - Youtube Video

What do you like most about this summer trend?

Look of the Week – July Pool Party

Summer is full of fun and entertaining occasions. After a while, it can become tiring to find something to wear to every single event or occasion. This summer, the LC will be featuring a Look of the Week every week to help you find the perfect outfit for nearly every summer occasion. Continue reading to get some summer ensemble inspiration!

July Pool Party

It’s always fun to hang out poolside with a cold drink and good friends. Our hosts, Becky and Kelsey, have each created a look for you to rock at your next pool party. They had the opportunity to choose whatever articles of clothing they wanted from a collection of items that you can find at the LC. Each look expresses their personal style and creative twist, so check them out below!

Look of the Week - July Pool Party - Beckys LookBecky’s Look

First up, we have Becky’s look. She’s strutting this stunning crochet poncho from the J Francis Collection. It features flirty fringes and elegant detailing. This white Austrian crystal Miyota Japanese movement water resistant watch allows Becky to keep track of time without worrying about it getting wet. She decided to use the bamboo coral necklace as a belt instead of neckwear. How innovative! And to complete her look, she added a stylish floppy hat, which is very on trend this summer.

Kelsey’s LookLook of the Week - July Pool Party - Kelseys Look

Next up, we have Kelsey rocking her own version of the pool party look. She also decided to wear the trendy white poncho. Both hosts chose this item, which means it’s definitely a summer must-have! Kelsey is wearing the beautiful bamboo coral necklace and its triple strand feature gives her a layered look. She added flair to her ensemble with this red leatherette handbag from the J Francis collection. From sunglasses to sunblock, this tote can carry all of your pool essentials in style.

You decide!

The best part about the Look of the Week is that you can get all of these items at the LC! Now that you have seen two ways to look fabulous at the pool this summer, which is your favorite? Use the hashtags #BECKYSLOOK and #KELSEYSLOOK on Twitter and Facebook to cast your vote!

What to Wear: Escaping for the Weekend

Summer is full of warm days and long weekends. Whether you plan to have a weekend getaway or you plan to get comfy at home with a stay-cation, make sure you have all the essentials for a wonderful weekend! Check out our What to Wear Guide below to discover how escaping for the weekend can be done in style!

Stay-cation

What to Wear - Escaping for the Weekend - Stay-cation

1. J Francis Hotel Collection Robe 2. J Francis Hotel Collection Duvet 3. J Francis Hotel Collection Throw 4. J Francis Hotel Collection Pillows

Save money this summer by kicking back and relaxing at home. Stay-cations are great because you don’t have to travel anywhere and you get to be with all of your own things.

Upgrade your stay-cation by getting things that will make your home feel more tranquil and comforting. Our J Francis hotel collection bedding features all-weather material for a lavish feeling all year-round. From cotton towels to luxurious throws, J Francis has you covered when it comes to coziness in the home.

Honeymoon

What to Wear - Escaping for the Weekend - Honeymoon

1. Pearl Pendant 2. Amethyst Heart Ring 3. Diamond Heart Earrings 4. Amethyst Bangle

Wedding season means that it’s also the honeymoon season! Whether you’re planning to escape to a tropical island or take a cruise to a bunch of exotic places, you’ll want to look your best.

Keep things romantic by wearing jewelry that symbolizes love. For instance, this beautiful, eye-catching pearl pendant featuring a heart would be perfect for a candle-lit dinner. You can also rock stones that feature passionate colors and designs, such as amethyst, rose quartz, morganite, ruby diamonds and pearls.

Beach Ready

What to Wear - Escaping for the Weekend - Beach Ready

1. Printed Beach Tote 2. Mother of Pearl Earrings 3. Mediterranean Coral Pendant 4. Wooden Beads Bracelet

Summer days spent at the beach are summer days well spent. Compliment the sea with corals, pearls and beaded jewelry. An oversized tote and floppy hats are also a must when it comes to spending the weekend with your toes in the sand.

Weekend Getaway

What to Wear - Escaping for the Weekend - Weekend Getaway

1. Set of Multipurpose Bags 2. Black Leatherette Travel Set 3. Camel Leatherette Handbag 4. Hair Clip Set

No matter where you go, if you’re getting away for the weekend, you’ll need some travel necessities. Some travel-friendly accessories include cross body bags, kimonos and hair clips. When it comes to jewelry, try to stick with fashion jewelry. It’s less expensive than luxury jewelry, and you wouldn’t mind as much if you accidentally lost it during your trip.

Now that you’re all set with the essentials to have a fun weekend, what do you plan to do?

 

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