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Ketchup and seemingly ranch
Can't stop thinking about Cara Delevingne's misspelled tattoo.
This week, my sense of permanence was turned on its head after half of my apartment was completely deconstructed in order to replace all the windows in the backside of our building. That means I spent the majority of Thursday with four large gaping holes in my wall and nothing to stop the crisp autumn breeze from flowing in. Honestly, it was kind of chic in a brutalist, Rick Owens type of way. But it was also a little destabilizing to have to carry on with my work day as usual after upending every room in this place so that two men could spend roughly 8 hours dangling halfway out of these openings many stories above the ground. On the bright side, now that it’s all over, you would not believe how pin-drop quiet it is in here, even with the subway constantly rumbling past.
To get away from the chaos of window installation, I made the interesting choice to go see Godard’s Contempt at Film Forum. A choice that really only served to gently shake my sense of reality anew and collapse the passage of time as that is a movie I haven’t seen since I wrote my college thesis on it. It was an odd sensation to watch something that felt so deeply familiar yet nebulous through the lens of 15 years on, like trying to sing along with an oldie on the radio only to realize you’ve forgotten the lyrics to what used to be your favorite song. I kept having this almost deja vu feeling while making all these deep connections about the construction of the film only to realize that I was almost certainly just recalling the remnants of legit film theory I’d read in college and internalized as my own opinion. Anyway, the verdict is that the movie still rocks, Brigitte Bardot is my resting bitch face inspiration, and the shots of the Greek gods absolutely should not hold up as phenomenally as they do. It also reminded me that Fritz Lang holds a nonsensical power over my psyche, like I do not know why he’s as important of a figure in my life as he is, and yet! I just imprinted on Metropolis, I guess.
And to make this uncanny trifecta complete, I’m about 30 pages out from finishing the book Big Swiss, which I love, but it has also provided me with the very surreal experience of reading about a fictional person I have absolutely met in real life. I understand that this sounds like a narcissist’s delusion, but there is a character in that book who is not a character at all but rather an actual woman whose home my friends and I once stayed in. The myriad details are so specific and so strange, down to the bees that live in her walls and the plexiglass enclosure that contains their hive, it is impossible that it is not the same person. It feels as though I’ve suddenly slipped into a one-woman production of Adaptation.
In this week’s Sloppy Seconds, we discussed celebrities’ frantic need to launch themselves into orbit and their willingness to debase themselves in order to achieve that goal, and I also praised Naomi Campbell for inventing the transitional weather knee vent. If either of those propositions has captivated your imagination, please sign up for a paid subscription. And don’t forget to go check out the new and improved Mess Shop where I guarantee you will find the novelty tee or tote of your dreams.
Today’s edition is going to be a touch on the shorter side, so please just consider it a well-deserved break from my usual relentless harangue.
Let’s dive in!
As I was saying, the man is a little too chatty for my taste! That said, I feel Travis has been walking a much more Tree Paine-sanctioned line since his and Taylor’s public outing last weekend, keeping it vague and polite while simultaneously talking about it absolutely nonstop to anyone and everyone who will listen, largely on the fifty different podcasts he and his brother seem to be involved in. The flagrancy of this reality star’s hunt for attention aside, I do see the appeal for Taylor of suddenly being involved with someone so public about their involvement. First of all, it’s primo Joe Alwyn revenge. After six years of living like an absolutely press-starved saint with nary an utterance regarding their relationship whispered to People magazine, overnight, she is now loving out loud. And if I can put on my more cynical hat for a moment, this romantic spectacle also happens to be a brilliant PR move because she has found a way to win over the hearts and minds of NFL nation on her own terms immediately after turning down the Super Bowl. Taylor is now the only thing all of those sports commentary shows are talking about. And, in that light, I also think it’s kind of an interesting 4D chess move as a pop star to recapture all those fallen republican country fans that may have abandoned her during the anti-Trump, bi-baiting “ME!” years….
But no matter the outcome of this relationship, the entire debacle was well worth it if only because it gave rise to a new installment in my absolute favorite category of conspiracy theories, which is Taylor Swift being entombed within large objects so she can be ferried about by her security unencumbered. In this case, a popcorn machine found at Arrowhead stadium, which seems complicated to tuck oneself inside of, but if anyone can do it I know this girl boss can. Personally, I am a full-throated believer that she is inside of there every single time. For those who have no idea what I’m on about, there is an iconic piece of Swift lore that in 2017 she once packed herself inside a giant suitcase so that she could be carried out of her Tribeca apartment and placed into a waiting SUV unobserved. An event that Zayn Malik told British Vogue definitely transpired. And despite the fact that he seems like the kind of guy who doesn’t actually know what’s going on around him most of the time, I’m going to choose to take his word for it!!!!
As you’ve probably intuited by now, I don’t really care about Leo or his new girlfriend, but seeing this headline it did occur to me……do you think Leo’s mom is tired of meeting all these young women and having to get to know them while acting as though they both aren’t well aware that the girl is seconds away from aging out of this dating opportunity? If I was Leo’s mom, I’d say, call me once you propose and I’ll have dinner with that one. Until then, I’m good. This adult woman has had to engage in more small talk with 20 year old models than any one person should have to endure in a lifetime.
On the topic of enduring, I would’ve thought by now that this man would be as weary as Leo’s mom from all the pap strolls he’s been going on, stomping up and down the streets of Manhattan with his nanny in tow, but clearly such is not the case! I don’t know what Joe thinks these tabloid self-reports are doing for him at this point, but he needs to cut it out because it is not currying him any favor with the public. I’m just glad everyone’s finally catching on to how these little PR games work.
And if you thought that we as a society turned on Joe quickly, I’m not sure I’ve ever flip-flopped on a hot man faster than I have with Jeremy Allen White. I already had a bad taste in my mouth from his fresh divorcée meet-ups with the paparazzi, and it has only gone downhill from there. You would think this man was allergic to sleeves and born with a cigarette dangling out of his mouth. Nothing chills my libido faster than an overnight heartthrob who becomes too sentient of his own sex appeal and breaks the fourth wall of public lust, such as by permanently inviting us to the gun show or dropping down to do some push-ups in front of the most heavily-photographed hiking trail in Los Angeles. I prefer my It-boys coy and faux humble, please and thank you.
I’m pretty sure nobody cares about this, but I can’t stop reading about the mayor of Malibu accusing Kourtney Kardashian of faking her baby shower so that she could expedite getting the permits for a Poosh event approved by the city. Hence why she is now throwing this second Disney-themed baby shower because this is the only real one. Basically, Malibu gave them an emergency expedited permit to throw the first baby shower and then her event planner fucked up and told the mayor that the house was actually being “rented” for an “influencer event” and Kourtney wasn’t even there. Oopsie daisy! But of course what actually tipped the mayor over the edge was when it personally inconvenienced him when he tried to go to the grocery store only to see 50 cars parked along the side of the road in front of this Poosh party. Not particularly surprising behavior from the Kardashians, I just love that the city is now launching an investigation into its own employees to find out which ones are “complicit” in colluding with the reality TV star instead of, you know, just not letting the Kardashians throw parties in Malibu anymore?
I also am always blown away by this family’s commitment to their Disney overlords. Do you think they get some sort of financial kickback for organically integrating this free promo into their every day lives or are they really just that enamored with the company that writes their checks? (Disney owns 67% of Hulu) To me, the Kardashians’ Disney obsession is also a natural extension of what we’ve talked about before re: Kim’s fixation with aligning herself with various symbols of Americana and co-opting that fame to become a part of that constellation of iconography herself. Now that I think of it, I’m surprised Kim hasn’t done one of those McDonald meal deals already …
Over in Paris, the Jenners are Jennering and I’m curious, is this working on us? Is this sedate high-fashion interesting to anyone? Is it even good??? I don’t know, these are the things I’ve found myself grappling with all week as these two trot around fashion week in various *technically* good ensembles that I just can’t seem to get it up for. I feel like, at the end of the day, no matter how “correct” your mode of dressing is, you just can’t fake having actual personality and point of view in your attire. There’s no frisson here for me. Perhaps because it’s just too faithful of a reproduction of how we see this stuff already presented on the runway. Which makes sense considering Kendall’s look is part of her tacit Bottega Venetta street style unmarked ad campaign, but in this case they could not have chosen a more beautiful piece of clothing that photographs more terribly. This look is made for IRL, studio lighting, and static posing exclusively. And don’t think I haven’t noticed Kylie’s extreme over-reliance on sunglasses at every single show she’s attended.
See what I said last week about the slippery slope of talking about these women’s borrowed jewelry samples! This remains the dumbest, worst genre of speculative story writing. It is embarrassing enough to report on it as though these two are actually engaged after a couple of months of dating, let alone to follow up and pretend like the diamond ring has mysteriously disappeared. ESPECIALLY when the piece of content where she is “seen without THAT ring” was obviously filmed before she even left for Paris. I need everyone, press included, to engage in 5% more critical thinking skills. All of that said, this move is another absolute classic from the KarJenner PR playbook. Much like the borrowed shirt flop from the other week, a suspiciously sized ring placed on a suspicious left-hand finger is one of their favorite relationship gags. Some of you will perhaps recall that Kylie used to do this with Travis roughly once a month.
These ladies are just trying to raise my blood pressure at this point because this is 1. not even an interesting fact worth sharing with the world. And 2. very much a huge lie. A lie so blatant, in fact, that it can be dispelled with a singular Google image search which will immediately show you not only fifty different photos of Kim posing with and imbibing various beers, but also straight up doing a keg stand. The Kardashians really love to milk the public’s unbelievably short attention span and the media’s refusal to factcheck all the dumb shit they say.
This, on the other hand, I don’t hate! I don’t think it’s the huge transformative coup it’s being made out to be because ultimately I think it’s impossible to ever fully sever Kim from the clichéd image of Kim, if that makes any sense. Or at least, I haven’t seen anyone successfully do it yet, and lord knows CR Fashion Book has been trying between this and that Little House on the Prairie shoot they did with her earlier this year. My main complaint about this editorial is that it makes it very clear that Kim has no idea how to hold a cigarette or what to do with one. This picture is honestly the most natural of the bunch. But I do like the touch of Divine makeup and I think it’s proof of what I’ve always said about this family, which is that if they’d loosen up and let themselves be a little more strategically ugly and raw they could really do a hell of a lot more visually interesting things. Which is why I also wish Kim had done something authentically thrilling here and buzzed her head for real.
Now, what I do hate is these whopper platforms. Or, at least, how this Frankenstein footwear is being styled. It feels like all the shorties just realized that this is a viable way to make themselves feel average height. But I would argue that while it may provide them with a new vantage point, it actually somehow makes them look even shorter and more petite than they actually are. Like they had to get a booster chair to attend the function. But if they want to make their legs look even more abbreviated, let them I guess. Personally, I think it’s high-time stars start investigating the possibilities inherent in actual stilts.
On a different note, what is up with the latest addition to Kim’s daily uniform? She keeps wearing these little vintage Chanel sweaters. She wore a pink one too this week, and both times she styled them in a way that made them feel like bad knockoffs instead of actual high-end archival. I feel like she thinks they make her look younger, even school girl-esque, when in fact they read extremely Kris Jenner. I was also thinking that she probably sees becoming the face of Chanel as a final boss of fame that she needs to conquer and this is her way of formally launching her public courtship of them. Well, it’s backfiring.
I just wanted to flag that my fun hat aspirations for all of the famous people out there are finally starting to manifest. After we had a brief scare with an indie sleaze wide-brimmed felt hat the other week, these Mad Hatter specials are much more my speed. I’m going to temper my excitement, however, as Erykah Badu is almost always dressed like a Holy Mountain extra, and EmRata was only wearing hers for the Victoria’s Secret show, which I still can’t quite wrap my head around how any of this has anything to do with selling me underwear, but I’ll take it. I do think that celebs are starting to realize that they’re going to have to shift focus to more underutilized accessories — much as they did with the opera gloves of 2021 — if they want to continue to keep the public engaged in the midst of our current nudity onslaught.
Speaking of, here’s some further evidence that I’m right and hot pants are officially happening for fall because you all know I love to gloat. As predicted, the underwear has emerged in a sort of reverse hibernation situation and now not only is it fully visible, but it’s actually legit formalwear at this point. And, in this case, I actually think it’s an exceedingly rare serve for Hailey Bieber. For once it feels like she’s incorporated a soupçon of fun into her attire instead of just robbing Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy’s wardrobe. Regardless, this really has been a huge year for adult babies.
Ok, technically this took place on the Etam runway not out on the street or on the physique of some famous person, but I could not resist this powerful Georgia O’Keefe homage and the potential it holds for our red carpet future. As always, I’m sure many of you think I’m blowing smoke up your ass when I say we could very well see this style of vaginal adornment at next year’s VMAs, but I’m just saying……they laughed at me when I said 2023 would be the year of the pubis. All the experts told me I was wrong when I said red carpets would find a way to get increasingly nude in the wake of the sheer skirt trend. And look at where we are now, my friends! As I’ve said from day one of Hollywood’s yoni obsession, the merkin is right there ready to be deployed. And I think this runway moment helps demonstrate that a merkin is whatever you make it, it doesn’t have to be a literal wig. It could be a bouquet of flowers, a handbag, a dinner plate! The world is your oyster! And speaking of oysters, those would also make for a pretty stupendous merkin.
Something else I greatly enjoyed out of Paris Fashion Week was this pared-back and suited-up Pam Anderson at The Row. I feel like a lot of brands have tried to do a version of this make-under with her over the past year or so, but no one has done it quite as well as this. It’s almost a little Patti Smith with the crisp, oversized menswear, the clean face, and the slightly wild hair. In other words — cool. Also, there is nothing more luxe to me than the little raw veggies The Row serves their guests outside the show. Checking what seasonal produce they’re offering up has become my favorite fashion week tradition. Who knew a casual box of radishes could so radically elevate an occasion!
Literally, JUST last week, I was lamenting to Sloppy Seconds readers about how only three celebs have taken Rabanne up on their armored areolas offer and what a tragedy that is, and then here comes Troye Sivan right on time!! I think doing this in lucite is a fun twist on the original metal version and offers a new way to flash nip that’s not quite so obvious. I also love that he mixed this very high-end sculptural piece with denim because I feel like that’s exactly what this Emperor’s New Clothes conversation has been missing. We aren’t getting enough casual nudity like this, it all feels so overwrought.
And finally, this is a real throwback to something I said in this newsletter in the summer of 2021 when Kim K was in Italy doing an Eat, Pray, Love in the form of a post-divorce Dolce contract. But Saweetie’s recent post from Milan reminded me that there’s something I absolutely love about the sharp contrast between extremely American aesthetics and an old world European backdrop. When you plop us in a real world built of stone and antiquities, the juxtaposition only underscores just how nouveau riche and plastic we are as a country. It has the incredible ability to transform our humdrum Hollywood logomania into something vaguely mysterious and exotic again and I don’t know why more stars don’t leverage that to their advantage instead of posing in front of the same Lake Cuomo vista over and over again.
Ok well, much like Heidi Klum, I think you’ve all seen quite enough for today.
But I hope you’ve loved everything you’ve laid your eyes on as much as Reba loves a tot slathered in ketchup (and seemingly ranch). Have a very fancy weekend, y’all!
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Trick or treat, you ghouls!