Films and Fashion… How deeply do they affect us?

January 4, 2011

by Christi Borden

Sunday evening I got the chance to see the Coen brother’s version of True Grit. Well done! It was a terrific film and homage to both the original and the book by Charles Portis. (Now at number 6 on the NY Times Paperback Trade  Fiction list and well worth a read).

But in seeing the new version, I was taken back to my childhood when my Grandfather (a huge Duke fan) took me to see this and every other John Wayne Movie as well as numerous re-runs on television. (Yes, boys and girls, this was before Cable, Netflix and videos …).

One of things I remembered most was wanting to be Kim Darby, who originally played Mattie Ross. She was tough, cool, sassy, cute and really gave those “honery” adults a lesson or two. The fact that she was 20 and playing a 14-year-old only speaks to the gullibility of my youth but in my mind… we were kindred spirits.

As a middle class kid growing up in the Panhandle town of Plainview, Texas, the only way I could be like Kim or Mattie was through my feeble attempts at fashion. My poor mom had to hunt and scour through catalogs at J. C. Penny’s, Sear’s and Anthony’s to find the hottest ticket item for girls at that time…

Gauchos! (No, not the South American cowboy variety.) I am referring to that terrific western wear fusion between pants and a skirt. Nobody looked as cool in a pair of Gauchos as Kim did and I and every other young girl had to be just like her… a trend was born.

Thinking back, my wardrobe seems to have been influenced by Film/TV a few other times in my life  and not always in a flattering way:

Saturday Night Fever – Lycra bodysuit, wrap skirt and platforms. Hey, at least I had the body for it then and could dance!

Grease  – Candies pumps and leather.. yeah, we all thought we were Olivia Newton John and some of us were even foolish enough to try to carry off her hair.

Annie Hall  – Boyish vests, ties, baggie pants, loafers and hats. My mom’s favorite because almost everything came from garage sales and resale shops.

Dynasty – Hey, I loved the big shoulder pads, bigger hair and way out there jewelry. I am a Texan, after all.

Urban Cowboy – Need I say more? You know you fell for it, too.

Can you add to this list? Think back to when a film or television show’s influence actually transformed you into a fashion plate or victim.

My only complaint about the new version of True Grit is that the Wardrobe Designer missed a wonderful opportunity to nod at the fond memories of all the women who, like me, wanted to be “the coolest girl in the world.” Who knows, maybe Gauchos would be making another comeback.

Top Restaurant Cities in US Named by Esquire… Surprised by Houston?

January 4, 2011

by Christi Borden

Houston, TX - # 7 Top Restaurant City in US

Esquire magazine has just published their list of top food cities in the United States and Houston .. Yes, Houston…came in at number 7. Does that surprise you? If you knew Houston, it shouldn’t?

As the 5th largest city in the US, Houston is probably one of the more diverse cities in our nation and offers so many different nationalities, cultures, and amazing cuisines  that it truly can compete with the finest gastronomic epicenters of the Globe. And the experts agree…

As an avid Foodie, I am particularly thrilled about this recognition. We Houstonians are used to being at or near the Top of many lists and they have not always been positive: Fattest City, Worst Traffic, Longest Commute, Least Attractive, Least Walkable City, etc. There has been such a negative bias against H-Town that it is so sweet to have positive recognition. In fact, as one of the top areas that people are chosing to relocate…Like it or not, it is getting pretty hard to ignore us any longer.  

What type of epicurean experience awaits you when you visit here? First and foremost, you will have to narrow your focus because it would take a lifetime to try them all. The ethnic make up and geographic location of this Port city are truly reflected by the choices available to the lucky diner. We have the most amazing: Steakhouses, Barbeque Joints, Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese, Thai, Italian, French, Soul Food, Cajun, Creole, Seafood, Middle Eastern, Russian, Latin American, Catalan, Indian … Well, you get the idea. You want it… we have it and it is divine.

I have to make a special mention about my favorite… which is Mexican – made authentic and delicious due to our close proximity to the origin of this amazing cuisine. There are so many variations that fall into the basic description of “Mexican Food”, you may need the help of a local to find the one that appeals most to you. I am personally a fan of what is commonly known as  “Tex-Mex”, which tends to be “spicier” and “cheesier” (my word and I am sticking with it) than the South of the Border variety. Pure heaven on earth…

If I am given the choice of one last meal to enjoy prior to departing this sweet earth, I can tell you it will probably be a steaming platter of Grilled Chicken Breasts smothered in a fire-hot Habanero Cheese Sauce at El Jarrito’s Mexican Restaurant in Katy, TX … along with a frozen pitcher of the best Margaritas in the City.

How about you? Any favorites you wish to share? The world is finally watching and for that, we in Houston thank you, Esquire Magazine!

FYI: The  article list goes follows and you can read the entire article here.

1. New York

2. Chicago .

3. San Francisco

4. New Orleans

5. Los Angeles

6. Las Vegas

7. Houston

8. Washington, D.C.

9. Boston

10. Seattle

I welcome you to comment your thoughts and to subscribe to TheBordenReport.