Holiday Gift Guide For Chic Cinephiles: Part 3 — Trinkets Inspired by Margot Tenenbaum of The Royal Tenenbaums
For this year’s Holiday Gift Guide, we’re turning to some of the most iconic female characters in film for inspiration. So far, we’ve walked you through gift ideas inspired by American Horror Story‘s Fiona Goode and Mean Girls‘ Regina George. Now, we’re stepping into the fantastical, allegorical cinematic universe created by Wes Anderson in 2001’s The Royal Tenenbaums and, moreover, paying tribute to the fabulous (if tormented, disillusioned, self-destructive, and emotionally shut down) Margot Tenenbaum, played brilliantly by Gwyneth Paltrow. From her creative spirit and literary curiosity to her vaguely androgynous sense of style, Margot’s character guided these vintage-flavored gift ideas.
Wes Anderson Shop Three Plays by Margot Tenenbaum iPhone Case, $24.12. Available at Etsy.com
A brilliant playwright, Margot Tenenbaum staged her first theatrical production on the night of the 11th birthday. Once viewers are reintroduced to the three Tenenbaum children as dysfunctional and eccentric adults, disgraced professional tennis player Richie — who has been in love with his adopted sister for as long as he can remember — lounges inside a yellow tent within the expansive Tenenbaum home and reads an anthology of her works entitled Three Plays. Pay homage to Margot’s creative spirit with this slim, impact-resistant, plastic iPhone case, which snaps easily into place and is designed to grant easy access to all of your mobile device’s buttons and controls.
Unreal Fur My Fur Lady Coat, $460. Available at WestLABoutique.com
As Margot Tenenbaum, Gwyneth Paltrow wore a vintage Fendi fur coat throughout the film and, while you won’t be able to get your hands on that one-of-a-kind piece (Fendi even incorporated the garment in a 2013 exhibit about the brand house’s place in cinematic fashion history), you can certainly find an outerwear item with some intrinsic similarities. Take, for instance, this Unreal Fur coat, which extends past the knee and boasts a thick and snuggly collar.
Out of Print Library Card Coaster Set, $20. Available at OutOfPrintClothing.com
Before The Royal Tenenbaums even begins, we see a hardcover book being opened and a library card being dutifully stamped. The act is somewhat symbolic, indicating that we’ve “checked out” this book and are now embarking upon a narrative journey. Sure enough, we begin the film with Chapter 1 of that very book as the camera zooms in on the typewritten pages and the illustration of the house that Royal Tenenbaum purchased “in the winter of his 35th year.” The enormous residence featured an enviable library, and we often see a young Margot Tenenbaum engrossed in one of the classic titles found therein — from Eugene O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh to Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard. If you’re looking for a gift for someone who is devoted a bibliophile as Margot Tenenbaum, try this set of wooden coasters. Each waterproof coaster features a cork back and is designed to resemble a classic library card — right down to its color.
Lacoste Half Sleeve Super Stretch Polo Dress, $198. Available at Lacoste.com
Margot rarely deviated from her signature look, one that was anchored by comfortable and preppy chic polo dresses from Lacoste. Under her faux coat, there was always a Lacoste polo dress — whether it was the powder blue striped number most closely associated with her character or the red striped frock she donned in later scenes. In fact, a glimpse of her closet revealed an entire row of nearly identical polo dresses — some striped and others in solid colors. To emulate her style, then, you’ll need a sporty chic Lacoste polo dress like the one pictured above, which features a hidden placket, an extra stretchy fabric for a slimmer and more body-conscious fit, and the embossed crocodile chosen as the official Lacoste emblem.
Jack Rogers Quinn Leather Loafer, $147.95. Available at Nordstrom.com
Part of the allure of Margot Tenenbaum’s unique look is her ability to fuse together masculine and feminine elements without the final effect feeling androgynous. Similarly, she teeters on the line between infancy and adulthood, carrying a grown-up Birkin bag yet clipping the side of her choppy bob with the very same red barrette she wore as a child. The slightly androgynous feel of Margot’s look is largely the result of her choice of footwear. Instead of vampy stilettos, demure peep-toe pumps, or sweet ballet slippers, she favors leather loafers and oxfords. These lightweight Jack Rogers loafers, featuring a scalloped trim along the tongue and a triangular inset in which to tuck a shiny penny, would fit perfectly within Margot’s over-the-door shoe rack.
Ban.do Bobby Pin Set in Red & Champagne Glitter, $10. Available at CatbirdNYC.com
A simple red barrette alters the feel of Margot’s edgy bob, perhaps indicating that inside this sullen, tormented, brilliant but lonely woman there’s still traces of childlike joy and awe. Or perhaps it’s indicative of stunted growth and maturity, of her remaining in a purgatorial child-like state of mind. But whatever the symbolic choice of the hair styling accessory, there’s no denying that it adds a lovably sweet touch to her look — much like these 2.25″-long bobbies will for anyone looking to liven up her tresses. This particular set features 2 bobby pins in a cherry red enamel and 2 in glittery champagne gold.
Dolce & Gabbana Sicily Dauphne Leather Top Handle Bag, $1695. Available at LuisaViaRoma.com
If you swooned over the Birkin bag Margot carried in Wes Anderson’s masterpiece, you’ll love this top handle satchel from Dolce & Gabbana, which features a similarly structured silhouette and hearkens back to the demure styling of ’60s and ’70s hand bags. Crafted in Italy out of 100% calfskin, this satchel features a front flap with a metal plaque and a concealed snap button closure, a single leather top handle, one internal zippered pocket, and two internal patch pockets.
1955 Blue Royal Typewriter, $589.99. Available at Etsy.com/shop/Retroburgh
Yes, nowadays aspiring writers tend to hole up at Starbucks with their laptops, tapping away at their keyboards and remaining caffeinated during their hours-long stints — all in hopes of writing the next great American novel. But, back in the day, writing was something that happened in deeply private spaces (hence Virginia Woolf’s insistence on “a room of one’s own”), in a space that allowed the writer to explore the deepest and darkest crevices of his/her imagination, to be completely free and unafraid. And part of the wonderment of creating a written masterpiece involved the tiny nuances of the process: the feel of the metal keys of a typewriter, the clicking and clacking sounds those keys made, the fact that the very nature of a typewriter didn’t allow for second-guessing and for pressing “delete” and sending hours or weeks of work into oblivion. If you know someone with a soft spot for vintage typewriters (either as writing tools or décor accents), consider gifting them this 1955 Royal Quiet DeLuxe typewriter, which comes in a glossy light blue color. This rare vintage typewriter was only sold from 1955 to 1959, when the glossy and colorful DeLuxes were discontinued. Not only is it in great condition (just a few nicks that give it character!), but the typewriter comes in its original case and is equipped with a brand new cotton and red ribbon on vintage metal ribbon spools (meaning this machine is fully functional!)
Kate Spade New York Stitched Bow Gloves, $78.40. Available at Nordstrom.com
Remember how Margot had to alter her pink gloves after her finger was chopped off in a freakish wood-cutting accident (and, ironically, replaced by a wooden finger!)? Well, it’s not advisable to do so with these dainty, adorable, bow-adorned pink gloves from Kate Spade New York. Besides, who would ever want to submit such a cute pair of gloves to a haphazard DIY alteration? They’re Parisienne chic at its finest!
Cosabella Dolce Babydoll Chemise, $125. Available at Shop.Cosabella.com
When Margot’s mom visits the residence she shares with her estranged husband, she finds her adopted daughter in a particularly sullen state, soaking in a tub for up to six hours a day. And what Margot’s mom didn’t know was that, when she was out of the water, she still remained in the bathroom, perched on the edge of the very same tub secretly smoking cigarettes and painting her toenails. Yes, she was far along in her path to self-destruction, but she still looked stunning — however disenchanted and disengaged — while wearing a form-fitting, nude-colored slip like this soft cotton Cosabella piece, featuring an A-line silhouette, semi-sheer chevron lace trimming along the cups, and adjustable shoulder straps.
Carven Embellished Faux Fur Coat, $2100. Available at MyTheresa.com
No Margot Tenenbaum-inspired look would be complete without a vintage-feeling fur coat in a caramel brown shade. This faux fur coat vaguely resembles Margot’s in terms of its color, trench-like silhouette, and notched lapels, but it also features crystal arrow embellishments that feel contemporary and playful. Margot’s childhood and friend and, later, her short-lived love interest, Eli Cash, was forever obsessed with cowboy-like attire, so he would’ve definitely approved of the arrow motifs. Besides, he always wanted to be a Tenenbaum, remember?
Sonia Kashuk Dramatically Intensifying Kajal in Black, $8.99. Available at Target.com
It’s amazing what a dark, moody eye look can accomplish. After all, Margot Tenenbaum relied on nothing other than a hefty dose of black liner to create her distinctive makeup look. If you want a seemingly intense look, try this creamy, soft kohl liner, which delivers intense color and can be applied along the lashline, the waterline, or atop lids, allowing you to rim eyes in a sooty black hue or just magnify the look of your lashline. Featuring a long, sleek, golden handle, the Sonia Kashuk Dramatically Intensifying Kajal’s lightweight formula glides onto skin effortlessly thanks to skin softening rose and mimosa waxes.
Crosley Cruiser Portable Turntable Suitcase, $79.99. Available at Kohls.com
As a child, Margot Tenenbaum spent countless hours sitting on her bed, wearing headphones and listening to the vinyl records playing on the portable turntable propped atop a chair next to the bed. If you know someone who craves the crackly sound of vinyl records and who appreciates all things with a vintage flair, consider scooping up this lightweight Crosley Cruiser portable turntable. Equipped with stereo speakers, the turntable has three speeds ( 33 1/3, 45 and 78 RPM), an RCA audio output for easy connectivity, and a headphone jack. On a stylistic level, this vinyl lovers’ dream comes in a vintage-looking suitcase that will add personality to any room.
Lacoste Short Sleeve Stretch Pique Polo, Dress $145. Available at Lacoste.com
Margot Tenenbaum wouldn’t have been satisfied with just one polo dress! Add some diversity to your wardrobe with this Lacoste polo dress, made of 94% cotton and 6% elastane.
Paul Smith Black Calf Leather Fringe Costello Loafers, $595. Available at PaulSmith.co.uk
Are penny loafers too simple a choice of borrowed-from-the-boys footwear? Then consider these glossy Paul Smith loafers, made of black Italian calf leather and featuring and adjustable leather strap along the vamp with a metal roller buckle. Dangling from the bottom of each buckle is a strip of detachable suede fringe that gives the shoes a sense of movement.
Mark Cross Large Grace Box Trunk, $2495. Available at MarkCross1845.com
If you recall the scene in which Margot leaves her marital residence and moves back to her childhood home, you’ll recall the lovely red trunks in which she packed her wares (along with her portable TV!). Anyone disappointed by the overly utilitarian look of modern-day, wheel-equipped, carry-on suitcases and lumpy duffle bags will appreciate the structured, elegant, sophisticated essence of this Mark Cross trunk, which was inspired by the case Grace Kelly toted in Hitchcock’s Rear Window. Made of Italian saffiano leather and featuring a red lamb skin lining, this box-shaped trunk measures 8.5″ in length, 6.5″ in width, and 4.5″ in height. And while it captures the aesthetic of the late ’50s and ’60s, it’s also equipped with a few practical elements like a detachable shoulder strap and an interior zippered pocket.
Vivetta Sara Oversized Faux Fur Coat, $1255. Available at ModaOperandi.com
Like Margot’s trademark coat, this one boasts an oversize fit and nods to a bygone era with its oversized collar an cropped bed sleeves. But, unlike Margot’s coat, this faux fur coat has a plush, almost stuffed animal-like feel and large round buttons along the front for a coquettish but retro effect.
Pretty in Pink Mid-Century Phone, $49.99. Available at DotandBo.com
When chatting with Eli from the confines of her bathroom sanctuary, Margot nestled the received of her powder pink phone in between her ear and shoulder, tilting her neck sideways to hold it in place. Yes, we’re living in the age of cell phones and landlines are often considered obsolete, but there’s something so charming about an old-school rotary phone (especially if you came of age using one). Though it looks like a rotary style, this phone features push buttons arranged in a circular shape, as well as an on/off ringer switch. It can, of course, be connected and turned into a landline or simply used to add a vintage charm to a room.