amy merrickliving in

living in: stealing beauty

by amym

It’s hard to believe that it’s been 15 years since I first fell head over heels for Liv Tyler in Stealing Beauty. I’m not joking when I say she is the great equalizer — both girls and boys adore her; she’s so whip smart and gorgeous that it seems practically impossible that she could have spawned from Steven Tyler. In Stealing Beauty, she plays an innocent 19-year-old who spends a soul-searching summer in Italy, and I can’t help but wish I could tag along. — Amy M.

Image above: 1. Vintage Oval Tray, $65; 2. Aidan Gray Wall Sconce, $300; 3. French Glassware, $39; 4. Turned Candlestick, $99; 5. Antique Demi-John, $300; 6. Vintage Silverware, $12; 7. Neoclassical Demilune, $2800; 8. 1880s Garnet Ring, $425; 9. Diane Von Furstenberg Sandals, $190; 10. Leather Dining Chair, $550; 11. Floral Tiered Maxi Dress, $130

The second set of stills and another product roundup continue after the jump . . .

Watching her split her time between a rustic artist’s villa and an equally stunning ancient mansion, I have never dreamed more about running about in Italy. Olive groves, farm tables alfresco, wildflower bouquets, long floral dresses, stone houses and the most beautiful swimming pool I’ve ever seen. Even some of the scandalous scenes (and there are quite a few) add to the dreamy summer-fling feeling. And really, when Tuscany is involved, it’s kind of a no-brainer.

Image above: 1. Cotton Check Tablecloth, $25; 2. Composition Notebook, $5 for 2; 3. Tunisian Basket Glasses, $11; 4. Antique Corkscrew, $114; 5. Butter Dish, $12; 6. Toulon Dining Table, $2295; 7. Swedish Sidechair, $125; 8. Queen Anne’s Lace, $1.40 a stem; 9. Simon Pearce Pitcher, $95; 10. Paul Revere Lantern, $48; 11. Caran D’Ache Ballpoint Pen, $105

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  • i adore the book. i love the movie. i think i saw it three times in the theater. so gorgeous. and yes, liv tyler is amazing. but its also got a very young rachel weisz looking devastatingly gorgeous.

  • Ah, that film forever changed me. Ever since I’ve wanted to spend a summer in Tuscany writing love notes only to burn them.
    I’ve been in love with Liv ever since. Beautiful post, Amy.

  • I became obsessed with this when i was 14 and spent my first summer in Italy, I really really wanted to be her! Dont forget the soundtrack too, I never stopped listening to it. They recently pinched a song from it for Lovely Bones.

  • i am so freaking excited that you featured “stealing beauty”!!! this is my absolute favorite movie. i’ve watched it over and over, and could still watch it over and over. everything in it is absolutely gorgeous and, like you, i can’t help but wish i could tag along. thanks so much! you made my day with this :)

  • This is my favorite film of all time!! I kept the video because the DVD doesn’t include the italian subtitles, which is really half of the story! Makes me want to live in a farmhouse in Italy and sculpt for a living. It gets me every time… :)

  • I love this film and also the soundtrack, after all this years is one of my most played playlist on mi ipod!!

  • I adore this film…. I think I must watch it again next week!
    I just love the entire set; the hills, the views, the houses. the entire movie is just gorgeously done.

  • My friend just told me about this movie & I cannot believe I never saw it until this year. True classic. Everyone’s first “love” experience should happen in a small town in Italy

  • thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for featuring my favorite movie ever. in all it’s lusciousness, it truly is the ultimate coming-of-age story, and reminds me so much of my own travels. love.

  • Oh I fell in Liv Tyler too watching this movie! And later I shamelessly used a shared love for Liv as an opening gambit to make friends with at least two men :-D

    No seriously, her beauty is ethereal.

  • I was OBSESSED with this movie when it came out! Oh my gosh, I have watched it about 20 times. And I had the soundtrack on repeat for about a year. This makes me want to curl up on the couch, revisit it, and plan that lonesome trip to Tuscany that I so wanted to do when I as 17… if only I were Liv Tyler with an awesome pad to crash at.

  • Add me to the list of people who LOVE this film. This is definitely on the “if I were stranded on an island and was allowed just a few films to watch over and over for the rest of my life” list for me. It’s gorgeous and sweet and funny and sad. Only thing I’ve ever truly loved Jeremy Irons in, as well.

  • Thanks for this column- I enjoy reading it. I would love it if you did Thoroughly Modern Millie sometime in the future…

  • I love that this is just being featured! I just saw this for the first time this week. I watched it twice, it’s so beautiful.

  • One of my all time favs. Love that Nina Simone was On the soundtrack too.

    I just saw an Italian movie called I am Love, and want to move into their house ASAP, oh, and I want all the clothes in the movie. Check it out when you can for more Italian goodness!

  • Yep-me too…..I can play the songs in my head as I write this….”my baby don’t care for clothes, my baby don’t care for shows, my baby just cares for me….” I was just thinking that I needed to buy movie this for my own. It makes my heart ache thinking of being 19 again-I remember that summer well, of course, it was spent in Virginia not Italy:)

  • Ok ..I have to remark ! My friend introduced me to your floral web site yesterday and a huge fan of Design Sponge! I AM IN LOVE! I am a floral designer/ stylist in Summerland, CA. I have been in the biz for 15 yrs and always looking for inspiration and other artist to show me where they find their own muse! You -my friend, are mine! LOve what you have done ! Now- Stealing Beauty! I have yet to find anyone who has appreciated the movie as much as I did! The soundtrack alone – I can’t every go without ! In fact Nina Simone’s : ” My baby Just cares for me” is my web song! Ok- Sorry for the rant- Just so excited I found you! THANK YOU!

  • GORGEOUS. Thank you for posting on such a beautiful film and for the mood boards as well!

    I love this film — managed to persuade the family to take a trip to Siena three years ago, largely so I could see the train station as featured at the beginning of the film and the scenery at the end behind the credits!

    Love the party scene… and the houses, the scenery… the pool… and the soundtrack… aaaaah!

    (Jeremy Irons and Jason Flemyng are rather engaging in this too…!)


  • I completely agree; it’s my favourite movie of all time too. Liv Tyler, Jeremy Irons, fathers, daughters, men, memories, fear, love and life. It’s everything. And the soundtrack – whenever it gets above 30 degrees, I play it; like salt and tomatoes, its music belongs with the summer. I live in Europe now and am travelling to Siena next month. It’s my first time in Italy: just a little car, a map and me.

    “Oh she’s searching for something!…with those long hands she can barely control… Curiosity!…and a little bit frightened…it reminds me so much of me somehow.” Alex Parish

  • I LOVE STEALING BEAUTY SO MUCH!!!! Years after my first (of many) viewings, in the back of my mind I’m still living a parallel life as Liv in Tuscany.
    “I wait, I wait so patiently, I’m quiet as a cup. I hope you’ll come and rattle me, quick! come wake me up.”
    Thank you for creating such a rad blog :)

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