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Archive for June, 2012

Good on you, Katie


Nobody puts Joey Potter in the corner

Divorce isn’t something to be celebrated, but freedom from a life of feeling trapped certainly is, so congratulations on finding your way to the door. And also for getting away from that weirdass husband  keeping tabs on your every move, and, of course, saying goodbye to all of this lunacy, which—aside from being wicked creepy—must have just have gotten really, really tedious.


Posted on June 29th, 2012 14 Comments

Morning links

  • Am I the only one who thinks it’s silly that people are worked up over this picture of Lourdes goofing off with mom’s famous cone bra?  Didn’t most of us engage in some version of this silliness when we were 15? (Minus the tweeting the picture part, of course.) (HuffPo)
  • I never tire of reading celebrities’ backstage riders. The list of requirements just for Katy Perry’s driver is staggering. (Pajiba)
  • A lady gave birth on the subway. (The Frisky)
  • Pesident James Buchanan was totally gay .(Time)
  • This rundown of the Ten Worst People on Reality TV is particularly amusing and on point, and—on a personal note—horrifying, because I am familiar with each and every individual mentioned. Also: Andy Cohen gets burned. (Vulture)
  • On the one hand: whatever works. On the other hand: Eww! (Buzzfeed)
  • A bunch of nuns riding around in a bus campaigning against Romney. (Daily Beast)
  • On October 25, a bunch of us annoying Oberlin types will be partying like it’s 1986 when the recently reunited Bitch Magnet play their first New York show in 20 years. (The AV Club)
  • “Come on Eileen” by Dexy’s Midnight Runners is 30 years old this week. 30! I remember those baggy denim street urchin overalls from the video like it was yesterday. (Mental Floss)


Posted on June 29th, 2012 10 Comments

Le wardrobe malfunction

Unless one falls naturally into it,  trying to compete with that whole dead-chic thing that French women seem to master by the age of ten is a one-way ticket to serious self-loathing. My tactic has been to keep thinks on the simple side, and yesterday’s outfit was in fact so simple that it achieved a certain Agnes b-at-its-apex perfection: cropped khakis, a freshly ironed white button-down, cute, walkable little sandals, and my Sandqvist messenger bag. Nothing I like better than pulling off light-on-light.

A couple of hours after doing pretty Paris things, I set off shopping, and almost immediately spied a ba&sh store, which was great because it was on my list of must-visits. Ba&sh is a French high street chain that mines a very Vanessa Bruno/Isabel Marant vein exceedingly well, and in about five munites I was in a dressing room with an armful of clothes.  Which is when I discovered that, at some point in the day—as I strolled through the streets of Paris feeling all effortless and chic and gamine—a French pigeon had taken a big fat liberty on my nice white shirt. Now I had an absolute imperative to shop (what’s more fun than that?) and went for this light-as-air little ethnic-print number.

Off we went to Vanessa Bruno‘s rather fantastic store on the Rue de Castiglione, which was jam-packed with great stuff: beautiful prints paired with unexpected fabrics, and the occasional very sexy accent. Again, I headed to the dressing room, my spirits high.

Which is when I discovered that the shopgirl at ba&sh had neglected to remove the shoplifting tag from my top. This time, I didn’t feel like I could justify another emergency purchase. So I kept it on. Because that’s just the kind of class act I am.

Posted on June 28th, 2012 11 Comments

Morning links

  • Mad fashion visionary Daphne Guinness is auctioning some of her more wildass clothing and accessories for charity. Do go check out the highlights. (UK Vogue)
  • Arrested Development gets its very own art show called, brilliantly, “There’s Money in the Banana Stand.”  (HuffP0)
  • One of Facebook’s first female employees has written a book about Mark Zuckerberg and the distinctly puerile corporate culture he created. It’s all very meet the new boys, same as the old boys, but with hoodies. (Daily Beast)
  • Jonathan Yardly’s 2004 appreciation of Nora Ephron’s 1975 essay collection Crazy Salad (a book I took off my mom’s bookshelf when I was maybe 15, and which made me want to be a writer and move to New York and meet people like Nora Ephron) reveals just what a hilarious, contrarian feminist  she was at a time when that was not at all fahionable.
  • Terry Richardson’s dickishness + Lindsay Lohan’s stupidity =  unholy horror. (Refinery 29)
  • Lady GaGa did not just release a song called “Princess Die.” (Flavorwire)
  • Here’s the Texas Republican party’s official platform on homosexuality: just the type of thing that sometimes makes it tough for me to embrace my home state with open arms. Also, horribly, this.  (Buzzfeed, Time)
  • And in honor of tonight’s premiere of the third season of Louie, here’s Louie CK’s classic “Everything’s Amazing  and Nobody’s Happy”  bit from Conan.
Posted on June 28th, 2012 3 Comments

These guys


When traveling, you’ve really got to adopt a zen state of detachment if children are part of the mix. When what starts out as a lovely stroll through the Jardins de Tuileres instead turns into a half hour of watching two little boys squeal their heads off doing backflips on a nominally safe bungee ride in the adjacent amusement park, it’s best to simply roll with it.

It also helps lot if you like those kids—in this case, my nephews Abie and Henry—because then it’s fun to watch them on some dangerous French bungee ride, and in the name of keeping them further amused,  you might even find yourself doing things that fall far, far outside of your comfort zone. For instance:

That is me on a double-decker tourist bus. Which, I have to say, once you get over the horror of knowing that you’re an Ugly American tourist on a double-decker tourist bus, is kind of brilliant. You zoom by the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, the book stalls along the Seine like you’re the Paris Vacation sequence of some fabulous old 50s movie.


Not too much on the shopping front yesterday: just a quick pop-in to Vanessa Bruno‘s store on Rue Saint Suplice where there were about eight pieces on the racks (UPDATE: I had a far more rewarding visit to her store on the Rue de Castiglione this afternoon; details later). And then a quick visit to Antik Batik, which I love but which is probably is a little too rich hippie for me personally. Still I’m wondering: Might it have been a mistake not to have bought this?


Posted on June 27th, 2012 6 Comments

Who makes it happen?


Last week, after I posted that link about overused corporate catchphrases, some of you shared the lines that drive you the most nuts:  Commenter Leah threw in “At the end of the day,” Dana suggested “On the same page,”  and Jane wrote: “I had to bring a definition of bandwidth to a meeting to get people to stop saying it.”

My personal all-time favorite is when the word “ask” is employed as a noun.*  Like, let’s say your boss wants an update on that strategic partnership you’ve been put in charge of.  You have no update, but that’s not an acceptable response. So you go with, “I’ve put in the ask. I’ll circle back to them and then loop you in.”  Saying “the ask” instead of just saying you asked sounds so much spiffier, right? (Likewise, saying you’ll “circle back” is a brilliant way of putting a big, pretty, distracting ribbon on the fact that your ask has gone un-responded to, or that perhaps you forgot to put in the ask at all.)

OK, people. Now I want to hear some more good ones from you. I know we can get a seriously definitive list going, so think big-picture. Really drill down. Don’t just focus on the low-hanging fruit.

*This phrase is also the inspiration for the title of Sam Lipsyte’s smart and hilarious novel, The Ask.

Posted on June 27th, 2012 73 Comments

Seconds count

Rachel Comey’s online sale ends at midnight. Go buy yourself a nice dress or something.

Posted on June 26th, 2012

Two stores: one great, one irksome

So I’m going to just have to go ahead and call bullshit on Colette, guys. I know it’s the grande dame of concept stores, but just because you were the first at something doesn’t mean you remain the best at something, and my visit yesterday made me feel as though I was making my way through a over-crowded super-fashion theme park.* It’s not like there isn’t fantastic stuff to look at, because there’s plenty, but it’s all crazy expensive, which doesn’t make it feel incredibly relevant to this moment in time, or all that imaginative. The collaborations they’re so famous for feel strained to me. I think we can all agree that the world already has more than enough Kaws t-shirts, no?


I love love loved Merci, however.** Isn’t it nice when a person, place or thing not only meets your expectations but exceeds them?

*Seriously: I had just come from the Louvre, and Colette was more jammed.

**More later, I promise.


Posted on June 26th, 2012 11 Comments

Morning links

  • The pictures in this men’s fashion week photo portfolio might have you wondering if Zoolander was a documentary. (The Moment)
  • Likewise, it’s hard to believe that this footage of a bride singing “The Right Man” by Christina Aguilera to her groom as she walks down the aisle (with a mic as her bouquet, natch) isn’t actually from a movie.
  • Veronique Branquinho is back (WWD)
  • I’m not quite sure why this is the particular moment everyone woke up to Aaron Sorkin’s artistic blind spots, but it is producing some amusing results: this list of 10 Signs you’re watching an Aaron Sorkin show is dead on. (EW)
  • As is this supercut of recycled Sorkin dialogue. (Buzzfeed)
  • File this under: things I wish didn’t interest me. (Refinery 29)
  • A musical based on Cher’s life could actually be kind of great. (Flavorwire)
  • What a nice dad. (The Daily What)


Posted on June 26th, 2012 3 Comments

Viva la Rika

Paris is telling a bright and beautiful story this morning—as opposed to the chilly, dank and wet one it greeted me with upon my arrival yesterday. And although it wasn’t my idea of fun to slog through the driving rain picking up groceries and running other basic errands, it was also hard to get too worked up, because: Paris! The apartment where I’m staying is literally right across the street from the Seine, and if  you stand out on the (charming old) balcony  you’ve got a perfect view of the Eiffel Tower. So happy to discover I’m not too jaded to think that’s really cool. Also, there’s a washer/dryer, which isn’t nothing.

But before we get going, let’s wrap up Amsterdam. My rule when traveling is to try to hit spots that only carry things you can’t get at home, which  has become—as my stroll through the city’s Nine Streets neighborhood became clear—increasingly challenging. But when I saw the storefront above, I sensed possibility.

Maison Rika is a cute, bright boutique overseen by designer/proprietress Ulrika Lundgren , a very cool girl of a certain age whose line is called Rika and who turns out to be kind of a big deal. Today—and, one senses, many days—she was hanging out and feeling chatty.  The store that houses her accessories and clothing line is across the street; this is mostly for home goods, a few of her scarves and bags and jewelry by local designers. Also: she runs a guest house upstairs.

Which of course she was only too kind to show us. We walked up this exceedingly steep staircase…

…until we got to this amazing second-floor room. Was I not just saying how much I love black, white and yellow? (Okay, so the accents here might veer a bit more gold, but still.) Also: that wicker chair! Ulrika found it at a flea market. Which of course she did, because she’s the kind of person who totally would find a piece that perfect at a flea market. Back downstairs, Ulrika said we had to go to her friend’s restaurant for dinner and made a reservation for us. And then it was across the street.

Rika’s whole thing is stars, and I love a good star print.  I’m not entirely sure the cheeky cool of this quilted bag is coming through, but it was rather amazing in person.

I’m already kicking myself for not buying this white canvas tote with little star studs.

And while I know these were probably a touch butch for me,  I might also regret not having purchased them too. Check out the perforations: they’re actually itsy stars. How great is that?

Okay guys, I’m off until later.  Time to weigh in with your suggestions: where  must I absolutely go now that I’m in Paris?

Posted on June 25th, 2012 9 Comments