amy merrickliving in

living in: an education

by amym

An Education is one of my top favorite movies in recent years. It zips along at a delightful clip, and you find yourself wishing, only for a minute or two, that you were the one being swept off your feet by a rakish man with a fancy sports car. Then that minute passes and you remember that, ugh, he should know better, seeing that he is twice your age and you’re a smart girl who shouldn’t fall for tricks like that.

1. The Plague by Albert Camus, $9.95; 2. Upwardly Mobile Satchel, $135; 3. Dixon Ticonderoga Pencils, $3.50/set of 12; 4. Gold Heart Locket, $30; 5. Tortoise Hair Pins, $3.50; 6. Leica X1 Camera, $2,600; 7. Nakashima Straight-Backed Chair, $635; 8. Portmeirion Cups and Saucers, $86/set of 4; 9. Chelsea Crew Oxfords, $60; 10. Roberts Revival Radio, $328; 11. Gray A-Line Skirt, $48

The genius of the movie is in the way it lulls you into thinking, hoping even, that this is how everything should be. But no, a 30-year-old seducing a 16-year-old is clearly not how things should be. Even so, there’s a layer of schoolgirl excitement that’s unshakable as you watch Jenny and her friends squeal over dresses, perfume and all things French. Whatever the bait, I took it — hook, line and sinker.

1. Vintage Patent Leather Handbag, $60; 2. Dior Cat Eye Sunglasses, $295; 3. Chanel No.5, $94; 4. Vintage Cigarette Lighter, $505; 5. Antique Camel-Back Settee; 6. Vintage Lamp, $550; 7. English Coffee Pot, $65; 8. Nordstrom Keyhole Gloves, $75; 9. Armitron Black and Gold Watch, $41

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  • Love this movie & I’m glad to see it here. Everything about it style wise & decor related was fabulous to match those wonderful performances.

  • “Then that minute passes and you remember that, ugh, he should know better, seeing that he is twice your age and you’re a smart girl who shouldn’t fall for tricks like that.”

    LOL so true, so true. I felt the same way about the movie. I also thought both principal actors were fabulous!

    Love the movie choice, love the item selections. :)

  • i saw this with some friends and had never even heard of it til the day before we decided to go. LOVED it! She looks so amazing, even if she is just playing dress up in a way.

  • Love this movie and the soundtrack is great. I discovered Beth Rowley and Melody Gardot, two great jazz singers.

  • this was one of my favorites of last year. the 60s costumes were spot on and carey mulligan was adorable. I went on a wild search for a pair of dangling weiss rhinestone earrings as soon as I came home from the theater!

  • I just watched this last night, too! I loved the dresses, especially the ones Jenny wore to Paris. I also couldn’t take my eyes off the dangly rhinestone earrings. I wish I could find some of those…

  • I missed not having a “Living In” last week. DS is my hourly go to work distraction/inspiration. I have never heard of this movie but I love the style and I think I need that watch. Kudos once again for the lovely.

  • I also just watched this movie… last weekend. Was thinking how very stylish the ’60’s were, particularly in England ;)

    Thanks for this!

  • lol must be something in the air – I watched this last night as well as about 1/3 of the people who commented before me.

    Great flick & a great round-up to match it. Love that patent leather handbag!

  • Hi Amy! This really isn’t related to this post, but I didn’t know how else to contact you SO – I have a suggestion for a “living in.” Just watched the movie Bright Star this weekend, and immediately thought of this column. It’s pretty sumptuous. Would love to see your take on it. Thanks for the beautiful posts!

  • You hit the nail right on the head, these sights are awesome! And thank you for showcasing affordable fashion, I love that I can actually get that cute grey skirt :)

  • I was so smitten with ‘An Education’ and at the end I was literally heart broken. Perfect film. Bravo on translating the film to more items for me to covet!

  • It never fails that I always ALWAYS add any of your “living
    in” posts to my favorites, and this is no exception! Such lovely
    items, all of them, but that satchel is to DIE for!

  • Saw this movie last night for the second time. Loved everything about it, especially the clothes. Makes me think back to my time attending an all girls school in England. My head mistress looked just like Emma Thompson did.

  • I loved the costumes and settings in this movie, but it got so uncomfortable for me halfway through that I had to turn it off. I had an affair at that age, with a man that age, which had been pretty much forgotten until I saw the movie, and it brought it all back. I guess you could say it was such a well done movie that I couldn’t watch it.

  • I adore this movie. So obsessed with all the pretty dresses she wears in this film. I wish people still made the effort to get all dressed up like that everyday.

  • Gosh, I love this movie so much. Such a gorgeous film aesthetically and because of the Nick Hornby script and all the amazing actors. Carey Mulligan deserved the Oscar! She’ll get one one day, I suppose.

  • An Education is one of my favs as well. Its true, you are totally drawn by this film, touched and moved and you easily forget everything else you know, jaja.
    Love the selections on both styles!
    great post

  • your accompanying words are just perfect. great picks (leica!) & pics, great acting and truly a fantastic film that really does make you feel tricked at some point (if you’re a girl). love this.

  • Fab movie, fab style.

    I’m sorry that the wardrobe of Rosamund Pike’s character Helen wasn’t included. She was delicious!

  • I really love this column Amy, you do such an excellent job
    of bringing movies to reality. I especially loved your ‘When Harry
    Met Sally’ and ‘Love Story’ posts. I can’t remember if you have
    ever done a post of ‘You’ve Got Mail’. It’s so shabby chic and
    white and country cottage in the middle of NYC, I really love Meg
    Ryan’s apartment in that film, so please think about it doing a
    Living In on ‘You’ve Got Mail’!

  • Loved this movie when I saw it in the theaters last year and now I can’t wait to see it again. Great selections!

    Chanel No. 5 was the only perfume my Mom wore through the 60’s and beyond. Now I can dab a bit on the wrist and there she is, with all the bittersweet memories. Love it!

  • I just looked over all the past Living In articles – they are so fun! One movie I thought of that I have always loved the clean futuristic vintage look of is Gattaca. It wasnt that great of a movie, but very subtle cool style ahead or it’s time.

    The set designer was Stephen Alesch, now of Roman & Williams (who designed the interiors of the Ace Hotel & the Standard among others), and the costume designer was Colleen Atwood, my all time fav.

  • I too was creeped out by this film – so was my husband! We watched it on a plane trip, maybe it would be better at home? No, I think not – but I did love the outfits & the style. Great ‘living in ‘ nonetheless.

  • Apart from the beauty of the film’s design aspects, to find the film creepy or dull is surprising. It’s what we have all done – leave home and our parents and make our own decisions. it can be like walking through fire. Bad things happen but they are the sometimes the good things too.

  • Wow – I just watched this after Christmas with friends. I loved the style, and thought Carey Mulligan was gorgeously naive.

  • Is there any way I can find out the name of the china pattern from the scene where Jenny’s father speaks to her through her bedroom door?

    Such a stylish movie, but I agree with the previous commenters who said it was creepy.

  • “The genius of the movie is in the way it lulls you into thinking, hoping even, that this is how everything should be.”

    Your observations are spot on! Again, it’s only towards the film’s conclusion that you take a step back and simply think, “Ehh…ew.”

  • this movie is ideal for ‘living in’ – i think because playing dress-up is what both characters are doing. their neighbourhood, their families don’t have all that glamour. fascinating. x

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