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Gird yourselves for 20 solid minutes of me gloating.
Hi hi hi!
I hope you’re all surviving the pumpkin spice tsunami currently sweeping the nation, heatwave be damned. I’m going to keep it a little bit terser here today than usual because I’m currently on the road back to BK and don’t have the extreme leisure time I typically dedicate to yap at you ad nauseam. But I do have a few quick notes to share before we get into it.
I did an interview with Jeff Leatham for CNN Style! It was actually a lot more fun and interesting than I expected it to be given his heavy Kardashian ties. Although, tragically, I had to cut the 20 minutes we spent yelling at each other about how much we both love Alexander McQueen and how important he is to our entire perspective on fashion and art.
Shoutout to Messketeer Heather Schwedel for finding a way to wrap something I said offhand in this newsletter months ago about Kylie and Timmy into her very serious article about their relationship and the public’s reaction to it for Slate. Always an honor and a privilege to be able to dumb down the masses via all new platforms! Also, a constant source of profound embarrassment to have to go back and read my own work and realize just how poor my understanding of grammar and the English language is. To be fair, I write these newsletters in a total flow state, from my chaotic mind straight onto the page with no copyediting, factchecking, or other such safeguard intermediary in place to tell me to shut up already. In other words, basically just one incredibly long text to a group chat where I am the only one allowed to speak. Scary!
After going MIA last week due to the charger saga of the century, I returned in grand form on Wednesday with another edition of Sloppy Seconds for paid subscribers. There we discussed Justin Bieber’s second terrible sweatshirt worn in promotion of his wife, Hailey’s inexplicable middle school soccer-core concert ensemble, and my burgeoning career as an ironic graphic t-shirt ghost writer. If you’d like to get in on this twice a week newsletter action, slink on over to this Substack’s home page and sign yourself up for a full-blown assault on the senses.
And my final thought I need to share with you all before we get into the best of the bad stuff is: Should I stop trying to make a living writing words in a world that increasingly hates to read and just make the hard pivot into consulting instead? How exactly do people do that? And what does that actually entail? It seems to be the job that like 90% of the folks who read this email hold, so perhaps one of you can enlighten/hire me. As far as I can tell, it seems like you’re making crazy money to do, in part, what I do here every week i.e. yell at people about why they are wrong and what they should be doing instead — my two greatest passions in life. Just a transient thought from a millennial who dreams of one day owning a home slash being able to comfortably afford my rent every month.
Ok, enough already!!!
Well. WOULD YOU LOOK AT THAT. The vindication I currently feel? Off the charts. Astronomical. I am rocketing through the stratosphere powered solely by my own ego!!!! If you ever think I’m joking about a trend forecast I make in these pages moving forward, THINK AGAIN. For those who haven’t been with us from the very beginning, way back in January I foretold that before 2023 was out we would see full celebrity vag out in the open on the red carpet. I also guessed that the first person to deliver it unto us would be Julia Fox. And that day has finally arrived! Josh Safdie’s muse attended Naomi Campbell’s Pretty Little Thing runway show in little more than a chastity cage. Although fascinatingly, despite having her full labia whistling in the wind, she seemed most perturbed by the possibility of a nip slip. Queen of modesty! But just to give a peek behind the publicity stunt curtain, Julia literally only exposed this XXX Princess Leia bikini to take a handful of photos on the step-and-repeat and a few staged paparazzo shots on the cobblestones and then bundled right back up in a trench she kept firmly closed the rest of the night. So if even Julia feels a little too embarrassed to sport these body chains out in public, then it will probably be a while before the rest of the celeb set follow suit. But where Julia goes, the D-list does seem to eventually follow!
Victoria’s Secret also finally revealed its multi-million dollar rebrand and, as expected, it was pretty majorly underwhelming. I do appreciate what they were trying to do here with these faux street style Angel shots, embedding these ethereal beauties in every day life. But they needed to invest like 20% more effort into both the outfits and the set-ups in order to successfully pull this off. I also feel like they recycled these Angel wings from past shows as some vague gesture towards sustainability, but I actually would’ve appreciated something totally fresh and absurdly ornate. Or, at the very least, the most giant, heavy wings they have in the vaults. And if we’re showing Angels in real life New York situations, where is the Angel on her walk of shame? A hungover Angel ordering her B.E.C. at the bodega? The feathers of a wing caught in the door of a taxi???
Anyway, there was one singular highlight of this entire experience for me and that was Michaela Stark walking the pink carpet. I don’t know how VS even found out about this woman better known to her followers as “that body morphing b*tch,” but she is one of my absolute fav Instagram follows. She is like a Jenny Saville painting come to life. And this is not the best picture of it, but I think she nailed her ensemble for the evening, embodying a very literal wood nymph fantasy. More of this, VS, I beg. And while Lourdes Leon’s outfit was hideous, it did demonstrate another way celebs could salvage the underwear-baring trend from total oblivion — making their sheer dress smaller and more cobweb-esque than ever.
And in a world of completely liberated nips, Zendaya demonstrated how to make the areola interesting again, just barely covering it in a crystalized micro bralette from Collina Strada. Although, I would say, call me back when we start using Elizabeth Taylor-size diamonds to obscure the chesticle region.
As predicted, Naomi’s PLT event was in fact the embarrassing travesty I thought it would be. Sources on the ground tell me the models seemed terrified at the tenuousness of their apparel, and I feel confident something funky happened with Naomi’s finale outfit (as in it ripped wide open) because why was she clutching the side of it so firmly like this for her entire turn down the catwalk. Naomi also inflicted these very cheap pieces of clothing on her all-star guests and surely the only thing worse than a cowl neck is a cowl neck that dips way below your bust line. I’d also LOVE to know how Saint Laurent feels about a woman who regularly works for them so brazenly ripping off their designs and doing it so poorly.
On a brighter note, the new Poster Girl campaign feels like a masterclass in everything I’ve lectured you on here thus far. A thong in the courthouse hits just the right note of irreverent sexiness for me. Finally, a brand realizes the perfection that is the Lindsay Lohan ankle monitor bikini photo shoot. As I’ve long told you, the only way to revive the shock factor of nudity in our hardcore pornographic age is all about the context you place it in!
Now this is a complete non sequitur, as is everything I discuss here I guess, but my friend sent me this image on the left and it immediately made me realize that Kendra Wilkinson from The Girls Next Door is low-key an Ann Demeulemeester muse. How delicious is that! I’ve always said fashion steals absolutely all of its best ideas from the apparel of the adult entertainment industry, and this has taken that idea to all new heights. I already thought I couldn’t love Hunter Schafer’s Vanity Fair Oscars party look any more, but consider me now thoroughly charmed anew.
And, as always, I am in some sort of metaphysical mind meld with the Who? Weekly podcast because they posted this image of Nick Cannon’s baby mama Alyssa Scott to their Instagram Stories this week and thank god they did otherwise I would never have seen this novel nipple adornment she’s cooked up. It’s like someone turned one of those whirligig windsocks into a pastie. Artful and incredibly tenuous at the same damn time.
In other updates on ye olde celebrity fashion trends, as I said last week re: Dua’s “Hung Up” leotard, I think the red carpet is more than ready for stars to ditch the pretense of the cover up altogether and fully moon the public. As you should all know by now, Emma Corrin was one of the first to bring this look to the masses when they stomped down the Miu Miu runway in a pair of bedazzled tighty-whities. And here they are again, serving up the same look albeit in olive green knitwear this time. I still think the Winnie the Pooh aesthetic holds great promise, although I could’ve done without the white undershirt and brogues pictured here.
I guess we should briefly discuss the big public relationship confirmation we got this week at Beyoncé’s birthday performance which seems to have blindsided the entire Timmy fandom despite the fact that the pair have been giving us plenty of concrete evidence they’re an item for months now. His Twitter stan accounts’ absolutely incredible and unhinged updates are also how I learned that the actor’s initials are THC, and I truly hate that for pot enthusiasts everywhere. I also think it’s notable that this PDA comes almost exactly one week after Kendall and Bad Bunny ~coincidentally~ made their own weird Instagram debut in a Story he posted in which he thoughtfully advises her “mami, be careful” as she chases after a chipmunk. Scintillating stuff.
I also made the grave mistake of tweeting about this event after going into semi-retirement and was immediately reminded why I stopped. Basically, I just noted that the most interesting thing about this couple debut is that Timmy is smoking a cig inside SoFi Stadium and people gravely misunderstood why I was intrigued by that fact. While I do love when strangers on the internet accuse me of having never been to a concert before, believe it or not, it’s not the cigarette or the indoors or the Los Angeles of it all that has shocked my American puritanical sensibilities. It’s more so the fact that he chose to rip a dart during such a highly orchestrated public appearance where they are both so hyper aware of the camera. It feels like some intentional bad boy flex that still fails to make me see him as any less of a frail Victorian child. I do, however, look forward to seeing how this freshly unlocked dark Timmy persona continues to rollout.
And the silver lining of this entire relationship debut is that it sparked this stunningly astute tweet. Is there anyone funnier and better at social media in the world than Helena? I think not.
The rest of the Kardashians were also in attendance at the Beyoncé concert, not that it really matters, although it did provide me with this phenomenal video of Kris Jenner getting jostled about as she tries, and fails, to do the Electric Slide. But this image did make me realize that for some reason I just assumed that Kim was shadow-banned from all Beyoncé functions? I guess maybe that idea was birthed from her relationship with Kanye and his feud with Jay Z, but I think it actually has more to do with that time Beyoncé tried to make Kim dance with her and “let loose” causing Kim to have a full panic attack. Either way, clearly the moratorium has lifted. And I feel like we can also see what those clip-on bangs were hiding last week. And while I get that she wants to show off her new plasticine forehead, this deep side part Kim’s rocking is giving her a serious case of Megamind syndrome.
Outside of that field trip, Kim continues to bore me to tears. Although, this has got to be one of the wildest celebrity in memoriam tributes ever crafted. For those who don’t get what she’s up to here, “all that glitters is gold” is a lyric from Smash Mouth’s hit song “All-Star” and the lead singer of that band passed away this week, thus making this some sort of twisted tribute? We might actually need to shun her out of society for this one. Then again, if she wants to start modeling a different Skims two-piece for every single famous person that dies moving forward, I might be willing to get right back on board again.
Elsewhere at the Beyoncé concert, Adele was doing what she does best. No, not singing — EMOTING. There is no celebrity out there who provides me with better reaction shots than her. This woman cannot hide a single mood or thought that crosses her mind and I love her for that. Now my only question is how do we convince Adele to become the silent movie superstar she was always born to be??
While I wish I didn’t have to bring this particular social media moment to your attention, I’m afraid I simply cannot sit alone for another second with this profoundly lame display of sexual prowess. A Don Juan Drake is absolutely not. First of all, he is the one who demanded women throw their brassieres at him. This is not the spontaneous act of lust he would have you believe it is. Secondly, saving them all just to lay them out neatly on the floor of some dance studio is the most anti-Lothario demonstration I can imagine. True loser behavior!
I’m also afraid that no one is paying enough attention to fellow losers, Brooklyn and Nicola Beckham-Peltz. Per usual. But with their classic attention-grabbing ploys faltering all around them, they are resorting to even grosser displays of tabloid desperation. Namely, Brooklyn shoving his hand down his wife’s butt crack and then forcing one of their assistants to document it for the ‘gram. A reader suggested in the Discord that this latest spectacle was inspired by Ye’s Venice canal blowjob and I think there’s definitely something to that theory. I’m going to need you all to start tuning into this pair’s antics immediately before we have to find out the hard way what all-new terrifying tactics they cook up to try and make themselves vaguely relevant.
Speaking of bottomless pits of public attention…….was this man neglected as a child? Did his parents not tell him they loved him enough? Why is he so desperately thirsty to have someone bear witness to his existence twenty-four hours a day? I’ve joked in the past that it’s our eyeballs that feed the Dorian Gray portrait locked in his attic, but his behavior really does seem truly pathological at this point. Because it’s not like this is him even just spontaneously climbing up the facade of a New York City building. This is him doing that after orchestrating a meetup with a paparazzo to document said ascent for the second time in a matter of months. And every time he does this he makes it literally three feet off the ground before calling it quits. I’m not sure this is the great feat of strength and agility he thinks it is. I also did not notice the arrows tattooed onto his calves until precisely this moment and now I have absolutely got to get out of here.
And finally, it appears that after a long summer of boat-based auditions Leo has officially settled upon his new model du jour. Which, as Gossip Time’s Allie Jones regularly points out, marks the formal end of summer. Hopefully Vittoria and her husband are either divorced, open, or he’s just extremely into cuckolding because either way I have a feeling these images of his betrothed are going to come as quite the shock. For those still trepidatious about that big age of Leo’s new beau and the fact that the actor might finally break his decades-long streak of exclusively dating baby girls, fear not! Because Vittoria will be turning 26 in June of next year, just in time for yachting season to once again kick off in earnest.
Ok, my darlings, while I’d love to cradle you all in my arms for eternity Chainsmokers style, I’ve simply got to be off. See you later, gators!
Here lies another horrifying and ghastly edition of I <3 Mess. Since you’ve made it to the final resting place of this decrepit fashion institution, I have to assume you’re a fan of the phantasmagorical. And as one of our foremost paranormal style investigators, I feel your professional ambitions would only be enhanced by a paid subscription to this newsletter. Since ghost hunters of a specter spook together, please also consider signing up your professional cohort for a free subscription today. If you’d like to pay your respects to the fashion phantoms that came before you but you don’t have the extra coin to spare, may I suggest joining the ~MESS DISCORD~ where 650 Messketeers are patiently waiting with their EMF meters to detect some supernatural style. And don’t forget to indulge in a little Mess Merch to share with your favorite apparition.
As always, if you can’t afford to pay for more Mess, just ask me about getting a comped subscription. I promise, it’s no big deal. I do it all the time. And if you send over a screenshot of your donation to any abortion or bail fund, your next month of Mess is on me.
I’m off to go check myself before I wreck myself!