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This week my mental energy has been predominately devoted to some very frantic online shopping. We’re rapidly closing in on my best friend’s wedding and I am still very much scrambling to find the perfect outfit for a non-traditional, yet deeply chic NYC ceremony. As you can imagine given the critiques I espouse in this newsletter every week, finding any garment that I like is an incredibly difficult task, let alone finding one that also fits my 6’2” frame and won’t cost me a million dollars as mid-range fashion no longer seems to exist. All of the above, plus the fact that I somehow got it in my head that I want to wear a shitload of black sequins, led me to make the first Fashion Nova purchase of my life this week. I know, fast fashion bad, but I’m a plus-size gal in a pinch. And I gotta say, I now fully get the appeal of this type of gluttonous shopping experience. Not only do they sell everything in every possible variation you can imagine for under $100, but just the simple fact that I didn’t have to question if any of it would actually fit me felt like such a relief. I don’t endorse disposable clothing or shopping hauls, but I do look great in this dress and will absolutely be wearing it as many times as its construction allows. Lord knows I will always find an excuse to wear a fully-sequined dress.
A while back, a reader asked me how EMDR therapy is going so I thought I would give a micro update on that. It’s been a real mixed bag. The process can be very emotionally draining, which causes me to dread the approach of another session. Every week I go into it saying, I don’t think this is working, this will probably be my last appointment. And then every week by the end of that appointment I’ve made some profound revelation about something that happened in my childhood that formed a belief that has shaped my entire existence and resignedly sign up for another session. Is all this tapping and eye moving working? I have absolutely no idea. But I did have two distinctly positive thoughts about myself this week unprompted, an extremely out of the ordinary occurrence for me, so I feel like that’s a good sign.
In this week’s Sloppy Seconds, paid subscribers were treated to an exclusive pic of my first darning project and Fran snoozing hard in her XXL bed. They also got my extensive thoughts on Penn Badgley’s man skirt at Valentino (divine) and had to listen to me ruminate at length about high fashion’s pivot into food stuffs. You know you want to read that sweet, sweet content, so sign up for your own subscription today.
And finally, after a lengthy chat with a Messketeer this week, I’ve decided that I’m going to start slowly tapering down ever so slightly on the insane amount of free content I provide for you here every week and put a lot more of those unhinged thoughts behind the paywall. I know this is going to come as a crushing blow for the many thousands of you gossip hounds who rely on receiving 4,000 words worth of deluded ramblings every Friday. But I really feel like I could realistically make Mess my full-time job and in order to make that happen I need to start providing those that pay for it with a lot more of a premium experience. I hope you’ll all understand. Most of you probably won’t even notice the difference as this remains the longest newsletter about nothing ever published. As always if you really can’t swing the $5 a month, I am more than happy to comp your subscription so that you don’t miss out on a single moment of this lowbrow trash talk, just reply to this email. And the Discord remains, as ever, free for all Mess lovers everywhere!
Ok time to investigate.
I’m sorry, what. Gwyneth is so wild. I will never understand why celebrities pipe up with their unpopular opinions, especially the political ones, when they could just as easily stay quiet and keep raking in that goop unperturbed. Why tattle-tale on yourself that you are the very person we’re talking about when we talk about the dangers of the crunchy to alt-right pipeline. Gwyneth should count her lucky stars that we’ve all been too wrapped up in the Taylor and Travis commotion to spend a single second on this PR nightmare.
Speaking of, the squad is back together, baby!!!! And I find this particular publicity antic just as exhausting as ever. I did not like the squad back when they were being trotted out every night of Taylor’s world tour, and I do not like them now that they are being enlisted as supporting actors to add a little spice to this same old media circus. I did, however, enjoy that TikTok about the conspiracy theory that by going to this football game Taylor was attempting to change what comes up when you google her name + jets, thus burying all the stories about her absolutely insane, environmentally devastating annual carbon emissions. I don’t think that was the primary reason this game was chosen, but I don’t think it was not not the reason. I also recently learned that NFL players get two-thirds of the proceeds from their jerseys sales, which is super convenient considering Travis’s just went up 400%. Don’t get me wrong, I think this weird primetime courtship is the real deal. I don’t know how anyone could watch Taylor and Blake Lively’s very high school crush hip bump moment and not come to that conclusion. I just also think it’s interesting to point out the extreme capitalism that’s woven into every fiber of celebrity existence.
Vulture also made this very helpful little chart of all of the pop star’s boyfriends’ heights this week, which reminded me of my friend Christina’s Taylor Swift conspiracy theory which is that she’s lying about how tall she actually is. Christina insists that Taylor is committing an act of tall girl stolen valor, coming in at a maximum of 5’9” not the 5’11” she claims to be, and I have to admit the photographic evidence is extremely compelling. I mean, just look at any pic of her standing next to certified 6’2” glamazon Karlie Kloss. There is a clear height differential that doesn’t add up. Where is that TikTok math genius when you need him.
This Paris Fashion Week got me thinking that we might have to call it on all the celeb stunt casting. I’m not sure it’s as interesting as designers think it is. Well, unless you go the Balenciaga route and cast some authentically cool and unexpected people, like my queens Cathy Horyn and Amanda Lepore. Kim was there too, of course, but at this point it’s like what runway is she not trying to walk down. The celeb castings at Mugler also felt more like a distraction than a compliment to the collection. I think we’ve just finally come full circle in that the runway is now so full of actual A-listers and their nepo babies that what would be way more interesting is for a brand to discover a complete unknown and make them the biggest star in the world. Fashion industry do your job challenge.
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Speaking of Mugler, is it Paris Hilton’s first day as a biped? Because her walk down that runway made Ramona Singer look like Naomi Campbell. What the hell happened to make her look this terrified the entire time? It’s not like this is Paris’s first turn down the catwalk. Just last year she was trotted out by Versace to distract from some bad metal mesh apparel and while her walk still wasn’t good then, it certainly wasn’t this. Although I will say, for a DJ, the way Paris is able to miss the beat with every single step is something truly remarkable.
Someone on Twitter asked the important question this week why Elle Fanning doesn’t model full-time when she clearly has the look to do so. I mean, obviously, the answer is the same reason Zendaya doesn’t model full-time even though she would make an absolute killing at it — they’re both talented actresses and can easily do both while making way, way more doing movies so why limit the cash flow to just being a mannequin. But this question did get my thinking that more so than just having the face and physique for the profession, what really makes us so desperate for actresses like Elle and Z to make the transition to editorial is the very fact that they’re actresses. They actually know how to convey emotion and make us feel something with the way they move and pose and hold their face. Which is a hell of a lot more than a lot of today’s top models can say.
Ahem. You know, I love to give Delilah Belle Hamlin a hard time for the very wild ways she composes her body in space when taking photographs, but at least even she knows that simply raising one arm in the air does not equate posing. That fact aside, I actually don’t mind Amelia Gray Hamlin so much. After all, how could I when she is really just the embodiment of a suggestion I made back when Chloe Cherry was first on Euphoria, which was for casting to move in a more extreme plastic surgery-modified direction. Not to say that Amelia is extreme, but she definitely has a very specific LA-ified look. A look that people may not like to see on the runway, but that I think is a very accurate and interesting reflection of the weird beauty standards of our time.
Elsewhere in the upper echelons of the modeling industry, Kendall and Bad Bunny chose to monetize their relationship debut by making their first official event together sitting in the Gucci FROW followed swiftly by the release of these deeply #travel influencer campaign images. Leveraging their love for profit doesn’t surprise me in the slightest, that feels like KarJenner business 101. However, what does shock me is how two people who are technically so hot managed to do the most asexual photo shoot in history. People on Twitter were saying this campaign is based off old paparazzi photos of David and Victoria Beckham, but at least in those photos I can tell that those two people are fucking. This feels fraternal. Anyway, Kendall and Bad Bunny are just the Taylor/Travis dynamic I discussed above laid bare. The transactional nature of what’s going on here placed up front and center. But this ad also feels like it’s banking on all of us being a hell of a lot more invested in this relationship than we actually are and unfortunately for Gucci we have much more pressing Taylor locked in a popcorn machine conspiracy theories to attend to right now.
Sooner or later I suppose we are going to have to talk about this walk. What is up. And that goes ditto for the performance Kendall gave on the L’Oreal catwalk. I think the worst part about the total void of slay-age taking place here is that there are movement professionals who could very easily fix this problem for her. Kendall needs to take a class with Elle Fanning and learn how to emote an actual emotion, instead of just miming them. It feels like she’s never fully committed to the performance and that inability to sincerely engage in the bit has always frustrated me. But I think I’m just finding these displays particularly depressing after watching that Supers documentary and being reminded of the real effortless star quality models once exuded on the runway. I think my Internet friend Joanie articulated Kendall’s problem best when she said that she “walks/models like she's mad about the things people say about her and clearly doesn't have the willpower to overcome those baser emotions!” She walks like she’s been called out a million times before and instead of improving has chosen to defiantly quadruple down on the mediocrity.
I am equally frustrated though by our collective goldfish memory because it has always been Kendall who looks like EmRata, not the other way around. Only one of these people has subtly tweaked their appearance over the last ~5 years until they became a “doppelgänger” of the other and we are not going to rewrite this piece of history on my watch!
Because Kim cannot let any of her siblings have anything to themself for a single second, shortly after Kendall debuted her relationship via a multi-million dollar brand deal, Kim posted her own attempt at unsolicited Gucci spon con, once again attempting to poach a sister’s designer relationship. This time via a number of very….interesting…dimly lit images taken from some very unfortunate angles. I believe this is her attempt at being “artsy.” Even so, I don’t want to complain too much because at least Kim’s wearing something vaguely on trend for once. Nice to see a glimpse of the old, eternally semi-nude girl I know.
And this is what happens when the event photographer isn’t on your payroll. Although, someone at Getty is most definitely going to pay for this.
I was also happy to see a TikTok recently where someone was pointing out the well-known Mess fun fact that the vast majority of “paparazzi” photos we see of this family are actually taken by a photographer that they personally employ and are highly retouched and edited before being distributed to the press. I’m glad the masses are finally starting to catch on to this tabloid grift, but I do think it’s funny how appalled people are to learn about this stuff, like this type of smoke and mirrors isn’t the very foundation of Hollywood. These ladies are just exceptionally good at it. The Kardashians have managed to vertically integrate their celebrity and bring every aspect of superstardom in-house. They’re like the purest embodiment of late-stage capitalism, a monopoly on fame in family-form.
Anyway, Kylie shared a photo dump from Paris Fashion Week that I think serves as an important reminder that just because you can wear something straight off the runway doesn’t mean you necessarily should……
And, of course, not a week can go by that we’re not talking about jewelry that’s been strategically placed on a famous person for us to talk about it. Kylie very well may be wearing Timmy’s ~symbolic~ jewelry, but as I said the last time Page Six put all their eggs in a Cartier basket, Kylie also used to wear a stack of Cartier Love bracelets from her wrist to her elbow on the daily so the chances of her also owning this version of the bracelet are extraordinarily high. That said, much like the Jets situation, I also believe that Kylie knows exactly what she’s doing when picking out her jewelry for her next bikini photo shoot. Personally, I’m still betting on the fact that she’s angling for her own Kendall/Bad Bunny style couple’s pay day via a joint Cartier campaign.
Before we get out of here, it’s time for a quick little check in with my safe space, my absolute favorite nothings of a famous married couple, Brooklyn Beckham and Nicola Peltz. Now, did I or did I not warn you all weeks ago that we weren’t paying enough attention to these two and it’s causing them to act out in increasingly unseemly ways. Now, Brooklyn Beckham was photographed inserting his hand in his wife’s crack on social media for the SECOND time, all seemingly in promotion of his father David Beckham’s documentary. How Nicola grabbing her own butt cheek achieves that goal beats me, but here we are.
I also don’t understand how someone can be a multi-billionaire and want fame this desperately and still not be willing to invest a penny of that fortune into staging more interesting — or at least grotesquely opulent — photo opps and outfits. Instead, we just get Nicola playing grab ass with Brooklyn in front of a tray of half-eaten room service pasta. Anyway, all I know is that if we don’t start devoting 100% of our time to consuming these two’s content, I’m genuinely afraid what all-new graphic lengths they’ll go to next. Don’t you dare make them start a free OnlyFans!!!!
This also happened to our humdrum favs this week and I, for one, think that’s amazing. These are precisely the types of small, demoralizing obstacles I live to witness the nepo set endure. Now if only there was video footage of this conversation…..
Just when I thought Elsa Hosk’s sheer white unitard at the spa was weird, here comes Rosie Huntington-Whiteley in the very same look only even sheerer. This is a perfect example of what always happens in the late stages of a Hollywood trend. As the tabloid returns on each attention-seeking item begin to falter, celebs naturally begin to fuse these various bits of outrage-bait together into one big press-generating piece of Frankenstein fashion.
And while I thought perhaps Julia and Olivia were just fashion week anomalies, it appears the watch-fit really is trending. Emma Chamberlain turned this little $7K Cartier mini Baignoire into a choker for the Miu Miu show and I have to say, I’m intrigued by both the repurposed accessory and this creative way of going above and beyond in fulfilling one’s brand ambassadorship duties. I also think there’s something very interesting about this fetishization of the analog that’s currently happening out there. It reminds me of that TikToker Myra Magdalen whose walls are covered in computer keyboards.
Ok, that’s a wrap for today! If you still have a hankering for more Mess after all of that and wish to hear my every thought on what the hell happened to celebs over at the Chanel and Louis Vuitton shows this week, please sign up for a paid subscription or ask me about getting a comped one. Otherwise, I’ll see y’all back here next Friday!
Until then, I’ve got some spirits to go conjure!
Double double toil and trouble, fire burn and cauldron bubble, you’ve somehow partaken of the poisoned apple that is this newsletter and lived to see another day. Since you’ve made it this far through the gauntlet of gaudiness, I have to presume you’re a powerful sorcerer in your own right. So why not bolster your witchcraft by signing up for a paid subscription. And everyone knows that spell work is best cast as part of a collective, so go on and treat your local coven to a free subscription as well. Or, if the ghouls and goblins you’ve borne witness to here today have already proven to be a bit too frightening for your liking, then go decompress with 650+ fellow fashion edge lords in the ~MESS DISCORD~. And please go check out the new MESS MERCH store (or the old one) for all your swagged out needs.
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Have a very festive weekend, my friends!