17 In Women Now

I’m making my case for Best Accessory in a Movie

Raspberry scarf is memorable

Scarves make an outfit memorable


My girlfriend, Joan, sent me a text one night last week. She said, “OMG. Just finished watching The Bodyguard for the 1000 time. I’m crying my eyes out. See you tomorrow. To friendship, to us! Cuz…I will always love youuuuuuu.” She followed up with microphone and music page emojis.

It got me thinking about that movie. What a classic chick flick. And the music, amazing! It had it all: Whitney, Kevin, glamour, intrigue, romance but most importantly, the most memorable scene with a zebra print scarf that I’ve ever witnessed in a movie.

Let me refresh your memory: It’s the final scene on the tarmac. Everyone is out of imminent danger. Whitney is heading out to her next gig in a helicopter or was it a small plane? It must have been a small plane. The propellors were making it super windy. Kevin has his tan trench coat on and he’s wearing the earpiece that he’s had on nearly all of the two hours he’s been on screen. He’s all official and she’s back to being all over the place. The music swells. She comes out of the plane and down the stairs and her zebra print scarf loosely wrapped around her whole head starts billowing fiercely in the propeller-induced wind. It’s SO SEXY!

Wait, wait, wait. I’ll stop right there. I just pulled out a story I wrote twenty-five years ago, the same year this film was being considered for the Oscars in various categories including best original song. I wrote it in a weekend writing class at UC Santa Cruz. On day two of the workshop, I had to read my story to the rest of the class. This was 1993 long before my first book was published or the idea even conceived. The teacher and I ended up in a campus restroom at the same time during a break and she took me aside. “Brenda, you have talent. You must keep writing.” Her name was Mel Walsh and I’m forever grateful for her encouragement.

She liked this story so much so in light of Sunday night’s Academy Awards ceremony hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, I will share with you why I think there should be a category in the Oscar’s for Best Accessory.

So, put yourself back in 1993 in the week prior to Academy Awards night. And I’ll take it from there.


Raspberry scarf on coat

Raspberry scarf is a winner


The Academy Awards will be announced March 29th. Once again, despite all my campaigning, there is still no award for Best Accessory. Come on! There are awards for best makeup, best caterer, best comma in a screenplay…where’s that category for accessories?

Don’t try to appease me with the Best Costume category. That’s about cavemen outfits or nineteenth-century garden dresses or leather flaps for Mohicans. I demand a category for the true star of a film, that accessory that says it all. Like Mercedes Ruehl, winner of best supporting actress last year for her role in The Fisher King. I close my eyes and I can still see those big, shiny gold hoop earrings she wore.

We’ve needed this category for a long time. Consider the great accessories from movies past: Grace Kelly’s chiffon scarf in To Catch a Thief, Marilyn Monroe’s long, black sparkly gloves in The Seven Year Itch, Audrey Hepburn’s black oversized sunglasses in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. They’re standouts!

I bet the French award accessories in movies.They study accessories in grammar school. They teach basic urban survival skills from birth: how to have three pieces of clothing, five pieces of jewelry and make a different outfit for every day of the year. They can take an Hermes scarf and turn it into a halter top, a sarong skirt, or an arm sling. Tres chic!


Raspberry scarf with black and white

Raspberry scarf is great with black and white


I bet the French would approve of my choice for this year’s Best Accessory. Here it is on Oscar night: All eyes are on Billy Crystal who says, “And now to present the Oscar for this year’s Best Accessory, please welcome Sharon Stone from last year’s thriller, Basic Instinct, and Jeremy Irons whose latest movie Damage is hotter than mustard on a Polish dog.”

Sharon and Jeremy appear hand in hand and descend a golden spiral staircase to the podium. Jeremy looks at the cue cards and reads, “Well, Sharon, that was some belt you wore in Instinct…the scene at the beach house? That buckle was in the shape of, what…fish?”


Barry Kieselstein Cord Alligator Belt Buckle

For reference and in case you want to buy this belt buckle for yourself!


“Alligators, Jer,” she purrs. “B…I…G alligators…on a big alligator strap.” She leans toward him. Her chin tilts up and she snaps her teeth together twice, real fast. He winches.

She continues, “This accessory isn’t too shabby either.” She strokes his silk paisley scarf from the nape of his neck, down the front of his tux and fusses with the black fringe dangling at the end.


Raspberry scarf on handbag handles

What works around the neck works around handbag handles as well


Jeremy says, “Would you like to read this year’s nominees?”

Sharon reads them one by one. Then he hands her the envelope and asks her if she’d like to read the winner.

She slips her clear, polished fingernails under the gummed red sticker, flips it open, and smooths out the envelope against the lucite podium. She takes a short breath and says, “Oh my gosh, it’s the black and white zebra print scarf worn by Whitney Houston in The Bodyguard!”

Whitney Houston’s voice comes over the speakers singing the chorus of the movie’s hit song. “And eye-eye-eye will all-wayzzz love you…oo…oo…00. Yes, I will always love you.”

Alma Thoren*, the Accessories Director for Bodyguard pops out of the audience. She’s in a short red cocktail dress with seven strands of pearls around her neck. While she scrunches past everyone in her row to get to the Oscar, the cameras go to the big screen on stage and show a clip from the movie.


Raspberry scarf adds fun to this outfit

Striking a pose wearing my raspberry scarf


It’s near the end where Miss Houston’s character-a young, headstrong superstar-demands her pilot stop her plane. The door swings open. She’s down the metal steps. There’s Keven Costner as her bodyguard waiting on the airstrip. She races to Kevin in her men’s drapey black trousers and crisp white shirt. Her black gabardine trench coat flaps in the propellor wind. Covering her head is the winning accessory: the large square zebra print silk scarf.

The camera moves in close and follows Whitney as Keven twirls her around in his arms. While she’s hugging and kissing him for a million years we see the scarf in great close-ups, from every angle, as the camera spins over the tops of their heads.

Oh, to have a scarf like that.

I try to imagine kissing Kevin Costner without that scarf on. It just doesn’t work.


Scarves are a best accessory

For the love of scarves


*Alma Thoren, the costume designer which I made up is a combination of my mother’s first name and her father’s first name. Just had to bring in the relatives!

Would you agree that accessories deserve their own category? Do you have any nominations for this year’s films?

Just a little note, you can use the Oscar Night for your personal fashion undercover work. Check out this past post, What Can the Oscars Teach Us and see how.

So my friends, are you using scarves for impact, pleasure, sensuality, exclamation points, delight, enticement? Do share your experience with scarves and if they involve a little romance, we can all take it!

Enjoy the Oscars!


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  • Reply
    February 28, 2018 at 4:27 pm

    I love you Brenda Kinsel! Any women who writes this vividly without alcohol and or the help of any stimulants (just assuming here my dear) besides a great mind deserves an award herself. I nominate you for best blog writer 2018!!! I can’t wait to watch the Oscars! Thank you for making me see Whitney’s scarf again. However, I can imagine kissing Kevin without the scarf on my head I loved the old Garbo movies when she used a cigarette holder…it was an extension of her hand. So elegant!

    • Reply
      February 28, 2018 at 5:47 pm

      Thanks, Kathy. I am so flattered to be nominated in your book! You are right and I’m not sure how you knew that but I am not a stimulants writer. I guess I may have thought I’d never be a writer because I wasn’t a drinker and aren’t all the great writers drinkers? But I wrote anyway if only to entertain myself which I manage to do. Now I want to look up some Garbo movies and watch them. I LOVE old movies!!! Especially because the clothes and accessories were so great! Edith Head, my hero.

  • Reply
    February 28, 2018 at 4:47 pm

    Well, thank goodness for Mel Walsh – you have talent in spades. Just loved your story. You paint such a vivid picture.

    • Reply
      February 28, 2018 at 5:40 pm

      Thanks, Ann. I have to say when I reread it, I made myself laugh!

  • Reply
    Sandra Sallin-Apart From My Art
    February 28, 2018 at 11:12 pm

    Oh Brenda, you’re good. You’re really good. Your teacher was right. What a writer. Must confess I have not seen The BodyGuard. But I will just to see the scarf. Speaking of scarves. Where can I buy your red scarf? Great accessory.

  • Reply
    Katheryn V. Little
    March 1, 2018 at 4:35 am

    Oh my goodness!!! Was Mel ever right!!!! I’m new to the discovery of BrendaK, but I have so delighted in your writing (as well as your fashion-savvy)! You got skills, girl! A God-given gift! Blessings to you from TN!!

  • Reply
    Ramona Puckett
    March 1, 2018 at 4:43 am

    I love this! You are such a talent!

  • Reply
    March 1, 2018 at 5:44 am

    Well. Now. What a way to start the day, breakfast never tasted so good !lol
    Thank you so much, dear Brenda.

  • Reply
    Lily McConville
    March 1, 2018 at 6:11 am

    Reading this in snowy Plymouth UK. We haven’t had snow for 7 years so a bit excited!
    What a wonderful piece Brenda, so quirky and original. Faye Dunaway’s beret in bonny and Clyde has been a life long influence, more recently and in contrast Girls trip had beads, hoops and belts galore, exuberant and inspiring

  • Reply
    March 1, 2018 at 12:01 pm

    Brenda you are hilarious! I too, focus on accessories. I loved the older movies when ladies wore gloves. The time it took to take them off made for some suspenseful moments! Also, the shoes in Sex and the City? Always fabulous and often the plot revolved in some way around them!
    BTW I have definitely imagined kissing KC without a scarf on. Or anything else, for that matter!! Ah well, a girl can dream…!!

  • Reply
    Peggy Z
    March 1, 2018 at 10:32 pm

    I absolutely love the way you write! It is so enjoyable to read and always leaves me wanting more. And I’m in love with that raspberry scarf! Forget Kevin Costner. The scarf is adorable with your black sweater and leather, but I’m completely smitten with the gray and raspberry. Where did you get that gray coat? Gorgeous!

  • Reply
    March 2, 2018 at 1:46 pm

    I don’t have suggestions for Oscar awards, but if the Emmys ever decide to recognize accessories, I’d posthumously (not the right word, but anyway) nominate any number of earrings from Law and Order episodes from around 1992-1996.
    The assistant district attorney, Claire Kincaid, wore the best earrings! As did other female members of the cast from the psychologist to defense attorneys to judges. And necklaces, too.
    The clothes from that period were fabulous as well: beautiful fabrics, colors, and textures. Whoever did the women’s wardrobes during that period of time really had an eye for exquisite things.
    Law and Order reruns are on so frequently it’s not hard to find an episode from that era to view. Take a look and see for yourself–to die for!

  • Reply
    Trinnie Q
    March 4, 2018 at 3:02 am

    Simply gorgeous !!! All of it, I agree ! You are such a gem. Sending love from Oz. P.s. My darling family, egged on by 9 year old Dominic , who helped in the selection process, bought me a beautiful silk scarf for Christmas, with wonderful Art Deco women in golfing and ski-ing costumes ! So unique, and glamorous, in reds, yellows, greens and deep blue. It is very large, so will be wonderful in winter! Can’t wait !! x

  • Reply
    Tracy Webster
    March 4, 2018 at 4:06 pm

    Hi Brenda
    I just saw the movie, The Greatest Showman on Earth, and I thought of you as I saw some very note worthy scarf moments!

  • Reply
    November 4, 2018 at 3:12 am

    Hi, Brenda – What a great imagination you have. That must be in the same compartment of your brain with the color and creative composition! You are multi-talented. This is up for nomination of best blog post. 😀 – Angie, http://www.yourtrueselfblog.com

    • Reply
      November 6, 2018 at 4:28 pm

      How fabulous, Angie! That isn’t the easiest topic to write about—well, at least not for me. I hope my readers will check it out. I’m impressed!

  • Reply
    March 15, 2019 at 9:11 pm

    Hi. I haven’t read such a funny blog in ages. I’ve subscribed. Best accessory 2018 was surely Rami Malek’s studded arm band in Bohemian Rhapsody?

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