Shireen Fashion Blog
Posted by Shireen Sandoval 12/27/12, 10:00pm
People were starving, they were dying as war raged on around them. But Yuri & Lara's love could not be stopped. It was if nothing else mattered. It forged on like the Russian Revolution. It was their destiny (like a flower being born, it pushed its way through the dirt, toward the light, claiming a life of its own, blossoming amongst chaos.)
Together or apart: Dr. Yuri Zhivago & Lara Antipova would be dragged by lust for decades, into a passionate affair of the heart. Unbeknownst to me, I would be dragged along with them.
"Doctor Zhivago"'s story started in 1958, when it was written by Boris Pasternak (who would go on to win the Nobel Prize for Literature for his epic novel.) My story started when I was a little girl, on a snowy day, in front of the television, when my mother insisted we watch an old movie. She said: "It’s one of the best movies ever made and it was directed by David Lean." I stared at her blankly. She tilted her head sideways and purred: "It’s beautiful. It stars Omar Sharif and Julie Christie. You'll adore it." I started crying and asked: "Can we watch the Smurfs instead?"
After the movie (197 minutes later, but who's counting?), I dozed off and dreamed of Imperial Russia. I was floating around a ballroom, in a gorgeous hand stitched, deep purple velvet dress, with puffy sleeves. I was in Yuri's arms, dancing, as a balalaika player lightly strummed "Lara's Theme."
I’d like to say I wept in my sleep over war, struggling with the ruins of even the richest of nations. Instead, my absent consciousness transformed me into Julie Christie. I was wearing a sandy colored babushka with a matching muff. I found myself tucked into a comfy train cabin, peering through a window, staring at the snow-drenched Russian countryside as it passed by. I batted my eyelashes, exhaled on the glass and started tracing my initials on the breath left behind. Then suddenly, I woke up. I brushed the sleep from my eyes. It was official. Smurfette had been replaced in my vapid imagination, but that babushka was burned into my brain.
The Academy Award-winning movie would go on to take its place in cinematic history. Years later, I would go on to take an Airbus A380 bound for Moscow. I knew the only way to fulfill my "Dr. Zhivago" fashion fantasy would be to travel to The Motherland itself.
Russia was everything I’d imagined it would be and more. I did a lot of things (I won’t bore you with the sordid details.) More importantly, I found My Babushka, in Red Square. I hustled it on the street, with a few of my journalist friends. It was a great moment. I remember laughing and smiling. I was happy. And yes, I even thought of my childhood obsession with "Dr. Zhivago." The guy that sold it to me knew he had me at "Dasvidaniya" (which means "good-bye" in Russian, or "until we meet again.") We never did meet him again and for the record, I would have paid twice the rubles he was asking for it.
I still think about Yuri & Lara’s story a lot and all the different things love can mean to different people. It can rip you apart or make you whole. I guess it depends on what you choose, or does it choose you? (I’m a blogger, not a philosopher.) Even though it doesn’t snow in South Florida, every holiday season, I pull out my old movie and watch anew.
Pasternak wrote in his epic novel, "She was here on earth to make sense of its wild enchantments." I couldn’t agree more. Matter-of-fact, I look more convincing when I say that with My Babushka on.
Wanna get swept away in your own fashionable Russian romance? You can buy a good quality babushka at www.NorthernHats.com/