Black, White + Red Hot All Over.

In light of last night’s Oscars: did y’all see “The Arrival”?  It felt insanely slow to me (I feel like half of the movie was slow-motion, artsy flashbacks set against surging orchestral music), but I must admit it was something of a sleeper hit for me.  Well, not a “hit,” but something about it lingered in my mind, and I find myself thinking about it now, two weeks after watching it.  I can’t quite rid myself of its residue.  (Mr. Magpie and I also enjoyed an insane carry-out banana split from Margie’s Candies, an old-school ice cream parlor here in Chicago, while watching it, and I can’t stop thinking about that, either.)

Some fleeting thoughts.  ALSO, just updated this post after it initially went live to say: SPOILER ALERTS FOLLOW.  If you haven’t seen “The Arrival” and plan to, skip down to pick no. 1!!!  Sorrrryyyy my loves.

  1.  I appreciated that it was original.  So many movies these days are re-makes or adaptations of books or sequels or some other derivation of a pre-existing work.  It was nice to see something totally fresh and disconnected.  Maybe that’s in part why–despite its shortcomings–I found “La La Land” so charming.
  2.  I kept wanting to interpret “The Arrival” on a metaphorical level–i.e., how might the plot be broadly applicable to us all?  For whatever reason, I struggled with taking it at surface value, as “just” a fictional story about aliens and scientists.  But, try as I might, I couldn’t make it “work” metaphorically.  This made me wonder about the construction of the movie–either I was in my head too much (probable) or there was something strange about its design that was pointing us in the direction of a metaphor without closing the loop in a meaningful way.
  3. When you really put pressure on the plot, some elements of it fall apart: for example (avert your eyes if you’ve not yet seen it), once the main character “acquires” the ability to see the future, does she have agency or is everything pre-destined?  Would she have been able to decide NOT to have a baby knowing what she knew about what would happen to her daughter, or was she doomed to walk in the same narrow path regardless?  The movie conveniently avoided the entire topic of fate, which felt a little bit like a cop-out to me and sort of integral to the entire conceit.

Despite the heading of this post: NOT very black and white after all.  Shades of gray.

But, 10 things that ARE black + white (and pretty)–aside from the gorgeous perfection of the movie “Manchester by the Sea” (I freaking loved this movie–one of the best I’ve seen in the past decade, but more on that later):

OK, so this is NOT normally my style, but I thought Gigi Hadid looked like such a bad-ass in this unexpected “I’m with the band” look:

The Fashion Magpie Gigi Hadid Metallica Tee 2 The Fashion Magpie Gigi Hadid Metallica Tee

The chunky shoes scare me, but something about that unexpected Metallica tee knocked me for a loop and I snagged one of them ($20).  I think I’ll pair mine with a little blazer and some distressed denim.

The Fashion Magpie Metallica Tee

Now, shifting gears back to my more typical steez, I’ve been all about the gingham and all about the bow lately, so why not combine both in this amazing bow-tie blouse from J. Crew (on sale for $80)!

The Fashion Magpie JCrew Gingham Bow Top

I first read about this citrus-flavored miracle balm ($28) on Goop, which described it as a “supremely moisturizing” lip treatment as well as “an amazing fix for split ends, flyaways, brows, and even beards, plus cuticles and dry spots of any sort.”  Um, amazing.  And Gwyneth-approved.  (Also comes in other tints/hues.)

The Fashion Magpie Olio E Osso No 1 Balm

ZOMG.  These funky Aquazzura slide sandals ($475) are perfection.

The Fashion Magpie Aquazzura Slides

This pleated-hem, embellished-collar top is so high-fashion…but only $88!

These simple kitchen chairs ($188/pop) caught my eye in blogger Alaina’s new home — what a chic, modern, fresh way to outfit a breakfast nook.  I think I like them most in that sunny yellow color.

The Fashion Magpie Kitchen

{Image from Alaina K’s instagram account.}

The Fashion Magpie Serena Lily Tucker Chair White

The Fashion Magpie Serena Lily Tucker Chair The Fashion Magpie Serena Lily Tucker Chair Yellow

I am a master list maker, and typically use a combination of a paper planner from Sugar Paper ($15) and the app Wunderlist (as I mentioned, this has been one of my maj maternity musts) to stay on top of my to-dos.  (Extra important right now when I am suffering from pregnancy brain.  I swear that something will pop into my head one second and unless I write it down then and there, I’ll forget about it until I wake up in a cold sweat at 3 am.)  I recently came across this adorable “To Do” pad ($14) and think I might add this to the rotation as a way to organize my daily to-dos.

The Fashion Magpie Sugar Paper Planner

This book of poetry and prose by Rupi Kaur is supposed to be incredible ($15) — the description is alarmingly vague: “about the experience of violence, abuse, love, loss, and femininity” (um, woah) and I’m intrigued.

The Fashion Magpie Milk and Honey Rupi Kaur

If last Friday’s post on bow-topped mules wasn’t enough…these Charlotte Olympias (!!!!! — $695)(!!!!!!)  So so so so epic.

The Fashion Magpie Charlotte Olympia Bow mules

This Sachin + Babi floral top ($395) is stunning, end of story.  PS — This top comes in multiple colors, and some even have a gorgeous lace trim.  D.I.E.  P.S. — The bow-bedecked styling reminds me of this $145 black maxi, currently on my list for summer.

The Fashion Magpie Sachin and Babi Floral Top

Finally, a few bonus items…

+Smocked blouse ($39) — super high-fashion.

+This hydrating mist ($39) has gotten great reviews.  I love all things rose…

+This lace bell-sleeved dress ($148) gets the Self-Portrait look at a more attainable price point.

+This fringe-trimmed Ann Taylor jacket ($228) is SO Chanel!!!

+I want to wear this Rebecca Taylor dress ($295) all spring and summer long, with everything from espadrilles to slides.

+A very chic bath mat ($18).


  1. Ooh, I actually loved Arrival! (I think that’s the movie you mean — The Arrival is actually a different movie from the 90s with Charlie Sheen and I don’t think it is very good 😉 )

    I usually struggle with these kinds of discussions of fate vs free will when it comes to how your life unfolds (Sliding Doors always made me nuts, and I still don’t know what to think after reading Life After Life), but I kind of liked this message. The idea that maybe there is a way that our lives are supposed to unfold, and that even if given the opportunity make choices that would allow us to avoid the messiest and most painful parts, we wouldn’t…because we would recognize that this was the life we were meant to have, and that we would be willing to go through the unimaginable (Hamilton references, always) because it was a life that also had a tremendous amount of joy and happiness.

    I do agree that the pacing is weird (slow, and without a traditional story arc) and there are probably plot holes. But I just enjoyed sitting in the theater in the dark being sort of confused but quite entertained…and always impressed by Amy Adams.

    1. HAHA, no, I did not mean the Charlie Sheen movie :/ These are really good points. I like the broader message you’re pointing at: even if life gets ugly, isn’t it still worth living for all of the pretty parts? And, I did think there were some really gorgeous parts of the movie–very aesthetically impressive, especially the scenes where they are interacting with the aliens. Thanks for making me think this morning, Alison!

    2. Exactly! Also a message delivered by the very excellent Inside Out, one of my fave Oscar winners from last year. We can’t live a life completely free of sadness, but it’s OK because that sadness helps us to find and truly appreciate joy.

    3. Agreed! That movie was such a clever way to make this point in a visual language legible to kids, too. xoxo

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