Sunday, February 2, 2014

"Don't Be a Hater, Dear"

This post is tribute to a fictional character that became my new style muse....

By way of introduction to those of you who don't watch Ryan Murphy's series American Horror Story, this season focused on a coven of witches living in present-day New Orleans, with the Supreme Witch played by the ever awesome Jessica Lange.  I found the plot holes in this season of the show to be annoying and frustrating, and the frequent deaths, and subsequent resurrections of various characters tiresome.   However, the one thing that kept me tuning it was the character of Myrtle Snow, Head of the Witches Council, played by the marvelous Frances Conroy.  You don't really need to know more than that in order to appreciate my tribute to an eccentric, endearing, and fabulously stylish character.  A  picture really is worth 1,000 words, and thank goodness for the interweb, from which I gleaned these photos...

Myrtle's fab cat eye glasses, flaming orange hair, love of bold patterns and colours, and couture obssession earned her a place in my list of television  character style icons.

It was not only Myrtle's eccentric style, but also her dry wit and irresistibly quotable dialogue that held my attention.  The episode in which she plays the Theremin (of course she would) and advises one of the other characters, "don't be a hater, dear" spawned a spate of gifs like the one above.

I don't know whether the eyeglasses that Myrtle wears in the show are vintage or new, but I lusted after every pair.

....and the GLOVES, OMG, the GLOVES!!!

The fact that her character is portrayed as an eccentric outcast also endeared her to me

And, of course, there was her last word, before she was burned at the stake a SECOND time...

Rest in Peace, Myrtle Snow.  You were the MOST. AWESOME. WITCH. EVER.

17 comments:

  1. I don't know this show. Why? I am certainly a fan now of Myrtle, better late than never. You nailed it, gloves and eyewear as part of an overall package. I wish there was a company that sold vintage-looking frames at big box discounts. I'd buy a new pair regularly. You said it - Ba-bye, January.

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  2. I'm useless with TV; there are loads of cult shows which the rest of the world adore, but which have entirely passed me by! So no, I haven't seen American Horror Story, but I can see why you love Myrtle, she's rather wonderful (and a dead ringer for Grace Coddington, is that deliberate?) xxx

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    1. I think the Grace Coddington hair was deliberate, given Myrtle's obsession with couture clothing and if you look at a photo of Grace, the resemblance is pretty striking.

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  3. Oh, I was so annoyed with this show (especially the final episode), but there parts that I LOVED and Myrtle was one of them. Gawd, I adored her. I would like to be her when I grow up! Balenciaga!

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  4. Since Myrtle is so tuned into fashion, I assumed she was a compilation and homage to Grace Coddington of Vogue (a la the wild, flaming red hair) and Carmel Snow (via her surname), who worked with Diana Vreeland when both were at Bazaar. Diana went on to be editor at Vogue & Carmel became editor at Bazaar. Myrtle spouts hilarious bon mots. While DV was well-known for her pronouncements, Carmel Snow was no slouch. One of my favorite Snow quotes: "Elegance is just taste plus a dose of daring"! Myrtle's red fingerless gauntlet gloves with the pleated ruffle had me at "hello".
    Jean

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    1. According to an interview with Frances Conroy, Ryan Murphy told her that he wanted the character of Myrtle to sound like Diana Vreeland, so there are a number of real life fashion people being channelled there...

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  5. And Valerie chimes in: OMG! This is the same Frances Conroy from Six Feet Under!!! (Mother to the man who went on to play Dexter. Hmmm.... Are we seeing a pattern here?) Who would have known she was soooo versatile?! This has got to be the kind of role a woman would kill for. What fun you could have with this - and she clearly IS. Doesn't this beat hell out of playing someone's patient grandma?

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  6. Like Curtise, these shows pass me by. No HBO or cable for me, so I've never seen Mad Men or Breaking Bad or American Horror Story. You've got me intrigued, though - Myrtle looks fabulous!

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  7. Never seen this show but she lookes fab ! And her last words..

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  8. Another boring old terrestrial TV owner here, I'm, as always, woefully behind the times.
    I thought Grace Coddington, too. Those specs are spectacular! x

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  9. I'm woefully behind anything interesting but I agree Mrytle is magnificent, really magnificent x x x

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  10. Another wonderfully creative post my dear! You were able to pull this character succinctly from the drama … and what an inspirationally chic character she is! I also was thinking Grace … loved Jean's background info on Carmel Snow!

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  11. Frances Conroy has been on all 3 seasons of AHS. In season 2 she played the Angel of Death (and had some awesome wings)

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  12. Oh goodness I have yet to see this season but so enjoyed the last one. This character looks amazing in that she doesn't look like a typical witch. I have a soft spot for any and all gingers, her hair is EPIC! I can't wait now even more to watch it! I can see why you dig her Shelley and I think she looks to be a fabulous place for inspiration!
    XXOO

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  13. OMG!!! I have heard of this show, but never seen it and now I MUST!!!!
    Myrtle is AMAZING!!! And o YES, those GLOVES!!!! To die for!
    Holy shizzer!!! XXX

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  14. ohh, I've not watched these series, but now I'm becoming very interested in them!!, The Gloves, The Fabulous Hair, The Amazing Glasses and obviously The Brooches! (fascinating bugs!)
    I'm coveting that fringed shawl!, I'm coveting everything!
    besos

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  15. ha ha! I had no idea what she had screamed as her last words. That is hilarious. Thanks for clearing that up.

    I hated this season of the show, but like you, thought her fashion and dialogue was inspired. Jessica Lange as always was brilliant despite the horrible writing.

    bisous
    Suzanne

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