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Pleasant post-birthday tidings to you and yours, my stunning Messketeers!
I’m back! I’ve returned home to NYC from a lovely weekend away in Western Massachusetts where Fran fooled everyone into believing she is an absolute angel baby who never spends entire mornings arbitrarily barking at me or attempting to nip at the hands of random passerby. Now if only I could have this panopticon of friendship on her at all times so this maximum good girl behavior would persist. In other silver linings, however, thanks to this trip, it seems Fran has finally got it through her tiny noggin that she is allowed to pee in outdoor locations that are not exclusively my apartment building’s backyard. A huge victory for all involved.
And in non-potty training updates, one of the very exciting things I’ve been working on for a couple of months is out now and I can finally talk about it: I interviewed Suki Waterhouse for SSENSE! Not only that, but I got an original Taylor Swift quote for the story which I still find completely incomprehensible. Also, I wrote the first draft of this story from my hotel room in Lake Como and if that’s not the dream of freelancing, I don’t know what is.
While the rest of you got a truncated version of my normal bottomless Friday diatribe, paid subscribers got a little bonus bday treat in the form of my fashion-focused recap of Death Becomes Her. If there’s a movie you want to see me break down shot for shot next, please let me know! I’ve figured out how to circumvent Netflix and YouTube’s censorship and am ready to screenshot with abandon. Or, if you’re not quite ready to make the jump to $5/month just yet, you can always get a sneak peek at what we’re up to over there by joining the gorgeous Mess Discord.
Now, let’s do this damn thing.
Listen, let the Barbie PR team cook!!! This is the first collab that’s really doing something for me and feels worthy of the film’s existentialist bent. In general, big corporations really aren’t tapping into the possibilities of the branded coffin market nearly enough. Fuck girl dinner, this is girl death.
You already know we have to talk about the weird, racist @subwaysessions lady. White women……..we really are so boring and predictable with our myopic, bourgeois, “woke” racism, always espoused while aggressively gentrify as an expression of our main character syndrome.
That said, I feel like we haven’t had a good milkshake duck like this in a minute. For those not chronically online, that’s what the dorks call people who go viral for a fun, endearing reason only to immediately be exposed as BAD. Think, the Ken Bone phenomenon. I, for one, completely fell for this. When the video first popped up on my X feed (lol) I was obviously a fan of the apparel. I mean it’s clearly heinous, but you all know I’m the first to rally behind someone doing something extremely wild to potentially advance the sartorial conversation. But then she had to go and ruin it all by speaking to The Cut and exposing herself as deeply dumb. Shout out to the interviewer Danya though for pressing her on what exactly she meant by “never having to go to Queens or Harlem, where people don’t understand” and letting her dig that bigoted grave just a little bit deeper. Also, a good reminder that we’ve got to stop feeding into the delusions of grandeur. Let the Julia Fox aspirants go unremarked.
Speaking of rewarding mediocrity, look what we’ve done to ourselves with all of this “quiet luxury” nonsense. We talked up one of the most boring dressers in the game because of the very regular rich person wedding she had and now we all have to reap what we hath sewn — even more forgettable fashion. Honestly, it’s what we deserve for getting played so hard by the TikTok algorithm hype machine.
It is truly comical what a bad foot the Victoria’s Secret relaunch has started off on. They could not have chosen a musician at a worse point in their career to make this announcement unless they had gone with Lizzo. Fresh off the back of Doja telling all her fans she hates them, losing half a million followers, and going public with her relationship with a predator, here she is ready to help these beleaguered lingerie purveyors do a total brand reinvention and sell some thongs. Best of luck to all involved. Also interesting that it’s debuting on Prime, famously the home of Fenty x Savage. I feel like we’re going to see a lot more borrowing of ideas from Rihanna before this whole thing is over. But on a fashion level, I am intrigued by what’s going on here. The nude agenda marches forward with the usual Emperor’s New Clothes gag, but this time done totally in flesh tones. A new iteration on this trend that we’ll see again before this newsletter is over. But it’s going to take far more than a faux nipple piercing bralette and some sheer trousers to get me to believe that Victoria’s Secret has actually changed their ways from its aggressively transphobic, fatphobic Angel days.
It’s been a minute since we checked in on Drake and his many memorabilia purchases, and I’m pleased to report that he is still on his Kim K bullshit. For those who don’t recall, much like Kimberly, Drake has been on a shopping spree over the last year or so in an attempt to transform his cavernous marble penthouse into a Hard Rock Cafe. Prior to this Tupac ring, he also purchased a bunch of Pharrell’s chains from his N.E.R.D. days, and attempted to buy Cam’ron’s iconic baby pink mink coat and headband off of him. I’ve said it before, but I really think he’s pulling from the Kardashian playbook of icon sublimation. As I wrote when Kim wore Marilyn’s dress to the Met Gala, by purchasing or making themselves synonymous with objects from these types of huge Hollywood legends, they’re attempting to absorb the pop culture mythology surrounding that figure and make it a part of their own brand of fame, coasting off their legacy coattails. It’s like a massive conglomeration buying up a bunch of beloved, heritage brands, a Kering to an Alexander McQueen, if you will. They get all of the benefits of the association without having any of the talent.
And as I said when we first started ricocheting iPhone’s off pop stars’ skulls, I think our newfound obsession with throwing objects at famous people is a very interesting sign of the times. But if you’re going to throw things, you absolutely have got to expect you’re going to get something thrown back at you.
I didn’t get a chance to talk about this revelation last week because I pre-wrote a fair amount of that newsletter for maximum birthday enjoyment, and I already talked a bit about this in Discord, but I hate this brand of KarJenner plastic surgery confession because WE ALL KNOW ALREADY. They always unveil it like it’s some huge confession that’s been weighing heavy on their spirit all these years when all they’re really doing is owning up to heavily gaslighting us. We have eyes. And I really do not like being lied to about physical changes that I can very clearly see, especially as someone whose job it is to look at these people every day. I will never forget her getting that boob job circa 2016 and then, when everyone noticed she had a boob job, telling the press that it was just her period and that they were going to deflate in the very near future…..It’s just so lame. Considering they are all fully the products of a doctor’s office, I think the least the women of this family can do is be transparent about the procedures they’ve had and are currently engaging in. They all want to be viewed as cool so badly, when really the coolest thing they could do is write down every surgery, injectable, and fat graft they’ve done in a Notes App, screenshot it, and post it to Instagram so that we can be done with this conversation once and for all. It’s not that interesting of a plot point!!!
On top of that brave boob job confession, we also got more boring behavior in the form of Kylie choosing to wear yet another Alexander Wang top for absolutely no reason. I’m becoming more and more convinced she’s an investor in the brand’s relaunch because why the constant, tacit support? Why the tagging on Instagram? Why quietly ride so hard for a predator? And most importantly, what does Timmy have to say about all of this.
Meanwhile, Timmy’s ex, Lily-Rose Depp has been out and about in Hollywood with her girlfriend 070 Shake doing some heavy PDA mixed with some serious method acting, preparing for a season two of The Idol that will never come. We’ve been given no insights as to why exactly she stepped out in this see-through slip and studded Catwoman mask, however, I think she’s correct in that street style is not pulling nearly enough aesthetic cues from Eyes Wide Shut. More illuminati fashion inspo, please.
As I mentioned above re: Doja’s onionskin apparel, Winnie Harlow is picking up exactly where she left off last week and continuing to push us in an even nuder direction. This time finding a fishnet dress to match her birthday suit to serve maximum “catch of the day” realness.
And I’ve been mulling over this outfit truly all week. I cannot parse what exactly is going on here and I have not been able to find any outfit credits in order to make sense of it. But what I THINK is going on underneath this tied-up Raf Simons blouse — which she is wearing complete with the skeleton hand arm band it came with on the runway — is some sort of Skims catsuit with a DIY version of those Coperni denim boots on top that are actually more like jean leg warmers cinched at the upper thigh. However, Winnie’s version has neither the original attached boot at the bottom nor the micro belts holding them in place above the knee, and it is throwing me for a loop. Regardless, a lot of provocative food for thought here, although I’m surprised the model didn’t ditch the unitard altogether and pair her denim waders with a teeny-tiny skin-tone thong.
In other totally sheer news, I think it might finally be time to ring the death knell on the whole underwear-forward thing. As I said when Rachel Brosnahan showed up to the Met Gala in bedazzled pasties, when transgressive trends reach a certain level of wholesome celeb, it’s always a clear sign to me that the look has completely lost its edge and it’s time to move on to more scandalizing pastures. In this case, that would be Kylie Minogue showing up in this transparent Mugler number. Don’t get me wrong, she looks fabulous. But clearly we’re all feeling far too comfortable with an exposed areola and thong these days for this look to achieve the desired headline-generating effect any longer. And I’m just including Dua in this conversation to note that she is once again layering a pair of Hanky Pankys beneath this transparent gown and, at this point, if this is not a paid advertisement, I need her team to start working harder on her behalf.
Here’s Bella Thorne delivering a masterclass in advanced breast cinching. Part of the reason for the current level of red carpet nudity we’re seeing out there is most stars don’t understand it’s really all about finding fresh angles on the same old subject matter. Like nothing here is anything we haven’t seen trussed up a million ways before, but the combo of the corset cummerbund with the tethered boob flaps and a milkmaid sleeve somehow changes everything.
We’re also continuing to see more completely undone waistbands, now from some non-pregnant famous people as well. While Gisele’s was for a new denim campaign, Mess soothsayer Aubrey O’Day was simply experimenting on the cutting edge of fads, finding fresh ways to structure a pubis-centric ensemble. It also took me looking at this photo of her at least ten times before I realized that she is wearing a denim maxi skirt, not just regular, giant jeans, and I think she may be on to something with that garment optical illusion as well. It’s like that time Tessa Thompson wore a skirt with a photo print of jeans on it last summer.
Now here’s a handful of micro-trends brewing out in Hollywood this week that I absolutely did not see coming. First of all, perms are happening again??? Have we finally run out of ideas for how to distress our hair follicles? Or are both Portia de Rossi and Teddi Mellencamp just currently going through an extreme midlife crisis?
While I’ve always known that we’re headed in a more body-baring direction, I never could’ve foretold that handbags would be replacing bottoms entirely. Personally, I’m very into the purse as pants look. It gives the illusion of being utilitarian, while ultimately being totally useless. It’s also just a fun evolution of the trompe l’oeil trend we’ve seen forever. I love a thing masquerading as another thing, just as long as Katy Perry isn’t involved.
Pop stars taking selfies on the toilet is also apparently trending this week, and as my boss Andrea pointed out it’s very Jenny McCarthy for Candie’s coded. Now that was an inspired era of advertising.
As promised, I am continuing to monitor the Bermuda situation and Delilah Belle Hamlin has officially entered the capri chat. Naturally, as the Hamlin girls have never missed out on a single wave of Mess trends. I think these are actually just little boy’s track pants, but I’ve always said I find a Founding Father silhouette to be very intriguing and this is no exception.
And, finally! A celeb bravely dabbling in a technicolor temporary tattoo moment, even if it’s for a fully paid Lisa Frank ad. This is the joie de vivre the red carpet is missing. If you need any further proof of that fact, please go google Salma Hayek at the 1998 MTV VMAs.
In conclusion, I’ve decided to take the Jemima Kirke approach to Mess moving forward: I send this newsletter so you can delete it. I write down my thoughts so I can vehemently disagree with them the second I hit send. I create Mess so I can clean it back up again.
And now that I’m as horrified as Paulina Porizkova by the opinions I’ve shared with you here today, I think it’s about time for me to wrap this up.
Et voilà. While I’ve done my best to scare you away like that creepy house at the end of a cul-de-sac, clearly, you haven’t let my Boo Radley tendencies deter you in the slightest. Hence why you now find yourself neck deep in this swill. Given that you’ve demonstrated a preternatural interest in criminal dressers, it seems like a no-brainer that you would know a fair number of folks running from the fashion police who share your illicit sartorial sensibilities. So please enroll them in this school of hard knocks by signing them up for a free subscription, and then pay your dues to society by enrolling in a paid subscription for yourself. Or you can always start out small by doing some community service for your petty crimes in the form of joining the ~MESS DISCORD~ where 650 fellow Messketeers are already being held captive. And please don’t forget to stock up on some Mess Merch while you’re at it.
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.
Keep it clean, you domestic goddesses!