Hope you’re fairing far better than Adele (pictured above). I’m coming to you live off of an inexplicable 12-hour internet outage in my entire neighborhood courtesy of Optimum. Very cool stuff!
I have one random pop culture musing I’ve been sitting on for weeks and haven’t been able to find the right time to express, so I’m just going to lay it all out here for you fashion freaks. Basically, when the stories came out that Kylie Jenner is dating Timothée Chalamet, my first thought was, oh, smart of her to pivot from trying to date the biggest rappers to trying to date the biggest actors because she no longer needs to enhance her fame through her romantic relationships, as she did with Tyga and Travis before him, but is now in search of a way of legitimizing herself within the traditional Hollywood fame hierarchy. Because no matter how famous they are, it feels like there’s still this realm of Old Hollywood A-listery that the Kardashians can never quite seem to access. Does that make sense? Like the fact that none of them had ever attended the Oscars until this year when Kourtney went as Travis’s guest. That must drive Kim absolutely insane. She also recently posted two photos of dresses she wore to the Vanity Fair after party and called them her “Oscars looks,” which I think really proves that point. And it also explains her recent pivot to silver screen siren in American Horror Story despite being unable to emote as she hasn’t had the ability to move her face in at least a decade. Anyway, just something I’ll be keeping an eye on as the family’s machinations to achieve even more incredible heights of megastardom unfurl. As much as I find those ladies to be pretty detestable, I do love to watch the way they play the fame game.
In self-promotional news, my article for Fashionista finally came out this week! It’s about the fact that almost all celebrity street style is an unmarked #ad and everybody seems to know it except the consumer. Come for a general breakdown of how the fashion industry operates, but stay for the absolutely devastating takedown of Austin Butler by a paparazzo I spoke to.
And if you’re wondering about my HOT TAKE on what’s currently going on (sexually) betwixt Sydney Sweeney and Glen Powell, you won’t find it in these pages because Vulture got to me first and I had the pleasure of explaining to them why Tom Cruise is actually 100% to blame for this Mr. and Mrs. Smith situation.
This week paid subscribers also got an extra special treat in their inbox. That’s right, Ye Olde Mess: 2002 Grammys has been released in all its “Lady Marmalade” glory. And for the next installment in the series, there’s been a request from the Discord to do a fashion breakdown of some iconically chic films, so I wanted to take a little poll to see what people might be interested in reading about:
And just a heads up that going forward I’m also going to start experimenting with putting the usual trend report portion of this email behind the paywall and sending it out in a second email for paid subscribers only as a thank you for everything they do. So if you don’t want to miss out on what Aubrey O’Day is or — let’s be real — isn’t wearing this week and all of Rita Ora’s latest sartorial shenanigans, you’re going to want to sign up for a subscription before next Friday. (Or if you can’t afford the $5, shoot me an email and we’ll work something out.)
I’ve also been posting up a storm this week on all of the many foolish new Instagram accounts I’ve created. So if you want, you can go follow me over there @messworldwide. And @chanelflopsagain is also going to be of particular interest as we head into the Met Gala on Monday where I plan to be live updating the flops as they come down the red carpet. And I expect them to be plentiful! Also, I’ve tentatively started making TikToks again. Please bear with me:
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Ok you get it, let’s do this thing.
First of all, hilariously, I’ve been blocked by Max Ehrich exactly three years after I dared to publicly laugh at his incredibly staged breakup photo shoot following Demi Lovato dumping his social-climber ass. The original tweet wasn’t even particularly viral, but clearly everything is viral enough to attract Max’s attention. He definitely just searched his own name on Twitter looking for people to DM in promotion of his new “exclusive Instagram content” venture. I wish I could’ve given Max one word of advice about this PR strategy though before he so cruelly cut me out of his life which would be to try and wait until I click on the link to the tweet before blocking me so I can actually see what you’re trying to sell. Just a thought.
In other personal victories, this week MGK celebrated his 32nd year of life by grabbing his junk on the ‘gram all alone and if that is not fresh dumpee energy, I don’t know what is. He tried to throw me off his trail with the red herring that is the photo on the right of his “I am weed” neon sign, which of course is what he said to Megan Fox the first time they met. But all it did was underscore the fact that she does not make an appearance in a single one of these celebratory images. I knew there was something funky going on with those staged paparazzi piggyback rides! Also, apologies to whoever decorated these cakes, but I have never seen something less appetizing than this pink leopard print. Something very maggot-y going on there.
We also got our first peek at what the Barbie movie promotional circuit is going to look like, and I’m not mad at it! Most interesting to me is that Chanel allowed Margot Robbie to launch this whole press tour in a Prada outfit. While the look is a little underwhelming for me personally, at the same time, Barbie is basic and this is perfectly Barbie. It also looks a lot like a gingham dress she wears in the film, which I’m assuming is why they chose it. But don’t think for a second Chanel let her get away without throwing a little spon con in their direction. Her stylist snuck a Chanel ankle bracelet in there, and I’ve always said that frivolous accessories are where that brand really shines. Like do you remember that Chanel bag garter belt from a few seasons ago? Or the water bottle holster? The shopping basket?! They are at their best when making the dumbest things imaginable.
As for Ryan, this was a very solid start, but I’m going to need WAY more himbo energy from his attire moving forward. If he doesn’t use this red carpet as an opportunity to wear hot pink metallic short-shorts, I don’t even understand what we’re doing here. Also…….he’s in on the joke that he’s recreating his iconic “darfur” red carpet moment with Greta Gerwig’s name swapped in, right? He’s gotta be. Don’t get me wrong, either way, I love it. I’m just not sure that comparison is necessarily the most flattering to Greta.
Of course, we have to discuss what was……apparently…….the wedding of the century between Sofia Richie and Elliot Grainge. An event I personally found incredibly boring, but which had the rest of the internet completely enthralled. I’ve never been more concerned for all involved. This whole week I’ve felt like the only person that has ever seen a celebrity wedding before. The outsized reaction aside, I thought the looks didn’t come out so bad, especially considering how risky it is going with Chanel as your bridal designer. The after party look (right) was by far the most successful, although I don’t love the ceramic camellia jutting out of her bosom. But you can never really go wrong copying a dress worn by a supermodel.
The gown for the ceremony (left) was fine, although it felt weirdly dated and old-fashioned to me, especially on someone as young as Sofia. Like a hand-me-down from the 80s. I think it’s the high halter neck with the elaborate all-over doily embellishment. My personal theory is that Sofia’s trying to do a Princess Di aesthetic pivot and align herself with the royal jet set crowd composed of monarchs who no longer have actual monarchies. Note how many princesses were in attendance that weekend.
I also need everyone to stop using the phrases “stealth wealth” and “quiet luxury.” You’ve abused them. It’s over. They must now go the way of “camp.” This is exactly what I was saying last week re: PDA. We are living in a post-dictionary world. Definitions of words are now merely suggestions. There is nothing stealth about the daughter of Lionel Richie getting married at Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in custom Chanel, the photographs of which were published exclusively in Vogue. Come on.
And because you all know I’m a Chanel truther, I’ll say what everyone else in the world is too afraid to say which is that the second bridal look in the center makes her look like if Jack Nicholson at the end of The Shining was a mother of the bride.
The only aspect of this wedding I did find truly fascinating was the TikTok integration of it all after Sofia inexplicably invited @octopusslover8 to the festivities. According to a random TikTok commenter, this was because he’s one of Elliot’s cousins which sounds like the vaguest piece of hearsay ever, but ok. But no matter how he got there, I’ve been thinking about how this is actually an inspired PR play because by taking the biggest meme-maker of the moment and implanting them inside your wedding, you as a celebrity get to come off as chill while actually getting tons of free viral promotion for your nuptials and feeding the already burgeoning algorithm hype machine building around the event. It also allows it to appear like the celebrity has a personality and sense of humor without actually having to display said personality and humor. They just get to co-opt their guest’s. It’s a pretty solid little ploy!
And the last thing I’ll say about this wedding, is this TikTok on the left is what inspired today’s newsletter title. I can’t tell if the generations coming up are actually this ill-informed about basic pop culture facts or if we’ve just created an environment where people are more incentivized to admit their ignorance to the masses instead of just, you know, privately googling it and being like, “huh, ok cool.” Maybe it’s also just an internet thing because growing up I always felt like everyone very much had this singular, shared pop culture experience so it was important for you to be able to speak that language and know those references. I mean, hello, just listen to five minutes of the dialogue on Gilmore Girls. Whereas today it seems like you can really just drill down into your own little community and interests without having to necessarily be versed in mass culture, let alone mass culture of the past.
Anyway, this tweet also reminded me of another recent viral tweet where someone discovered that Liza is the ultimate nepo baby for the first time. And regardless of what the root cause of it is, I do feel like our lack of Hollywood history is starting to get a little alarming. Like do we need to start teaching this stuff in schools? Can we bring back that VH1 “I Love the 80s” series?? This is a national emergency.
Moving on. Kim is once again trying to take flash photography portraits while her children are fully asleep beside her. And once again I have to say that I feel like her need to transform every aspect of their lives into content is going to cause her children to emancipate themselves from her care sooner rather than later. Perhaps you’ll remember that the last time Kim tried pulling this stunt her son punched her in the face. When will she learn. I also just noticed that she’s wearing a Harvard Business School sweatshirt. Nice try, we all know what that means. Tyra Banks already fooled us once with that old trick!
Equally uncooperative with her attempts to generate selfies was Choupette, the beloved pet cat of the late Karl Lagerfeld. She had a powwow with the feline this week ahead of the Met Gala on Monday. And just like with her kids, she also should have known better than to think this cat would be game for any of this foolishness. The shot of her lying on the bed yet unable to actually touch the cat without getting bitten feels particularly desperate. I also really thought we were finally going to get a little Kardashian breather at the Met Gala this year, but clearly I was mistaken. Since the last two were held almost back-to-back due to covid rescheduling, most celebs opted to attend one or the other, but Kim went to both so I thought she might want to let the dust on that Marilyn dress settle a little. Especially given that it was not quite the cultural coup she imagined it would be. But of course, sitting literally anything out is a non option in their world.
I’m also starting to wonder if that family has some sort of deal worked out with the Las Vegas tourism board because it certainly feels like they are single-handedly trying to make Sin City elopement seem cool again between Kravis’s wedding and this photoshoot from Chris Appleton and Lukas Gage’s impromptu ceremony. Anyway, that said, I do love the idea of a very hair metal glam dress code for a wedding ceremony, especially one soundtracked by Shania Twain. A detail which, once again, makes me feel like the tourism board is showing their hand because this being a stunt to promote her Las Vegas residency is the only way I can really understand how she got in the mix. And while I’ve always known that Chris is extremely handsome, in these photos it’s like handsome to the point of AI generated. In fact, no one here looks like a real person, except maybe Shania. Then again, I’ve seen the type of holographic technology Kim has at her disposal…..
Kim was also working overtime this week to launch North unto the public. With North deciding to shutter her TikTok which was going to be the family’s toehold on that platform, the traditional branding and promotion of her eldest child has officially begun in earnest. First we got the mother-daughter step-and-repeat at the Fashion Los Angeles Awards. An event which may be in its seventh year of existence, but I maintain is not a real thing. While all seemed well in these images, a video later posted to Twitter revealed a little squabble between the pair where it seemed like North was extremely fed up with having her photo taken. You know, maybe because she’s 9. Regardless, Kim followed up that red carpet appearance by posting a photo of North wearing an Aaliyah t-shirt (and we all know about Kim’s fixation on Aaliyah) while illuminated by this James Turrell installation that I thought was in Kendall’s house, but now seems to be in all of their houses. As some of you may recall, I’ve written at length about Kim’s desire to acquire and subsume artistic masterpieces in order to make them synonymous with her own personal brand. And with this image, it’s almost like she’s gifting those same pieces to her daughter to start her branding journey off on the right foot. Consider me intrigued!
I also just have to briefly touch on the Rick Owens outfit Kim chose for this event. She’s accidentally cut her body into weirdly abbreviated segments. I like the Dior by John Galliano molded neckpiece, but I don’t think this is the right outfit for it as it’s foreshortening her torso. I feel like if the skirt was pulled down lower, she could’ve fixed that problem, but of course she can’t pull it down because then it would be too long and for some reason she refuses to tailor anything. And after Lily Collins introduced us to the concept back in December of last year, the pussy ruffle hath returned. I’m not sure we’re any more equipped to handle it now than we were back then.
That brace also reminded me, Kourtney posted some pictures from her birthday party and Khloé is once again wearing those jeans I hated so much last week. Is this the same outfit? A different one?? How have these pants managed to stay intact long enough to get one wear, let alone multiple out of them??? Regardless, the most important aspect of this image to me is that she is clearly wearing a knee brace underneath her denim in order to go bowling and that just feels like such a little accidental treat. Really any time the Kardashians have to acquiesce to the limitations of their own humanity is a thrill.
Also! A reader and I were discussing in the Discord that it feels like there’s something going on with celebs and bowling these days between this party and the photos Addison Rae posted the other week of her throwing some strikes. Is this the new proletariat cosplay activity? I’m be keeping an eye on it!
Kim also stepped out in this American Psycho murder suit by Rick Owens this week and I think you can all immediately see what I mean when I say no tailoring. There’s a difference between oversized and not fitting. Also, considering this is supposed to be a walking advertisement for Skims, I think it’s a little weird to choose this particular moment to showcase one of your brand’s full-coverage adult diapers. Shouldn’t this be the time to demonstrate how your shapewear disappears underneath garments? Or to go super scandalous with it in a barely-there thong? I can’t believe not showing her butt in a situation like this is even an option. I never thought I’d see the day when every single famous woman has her underwear all the way out on the red carpet, while Kim Kardashian is completely covered up. The times they are a-changin’.
Gwyneth Paltrow also struggled with some skin suit stuff this week at those same fictional fashion awards where Kim looked like a whiplash victim. And I think it’s finally time for us to talk about the fact that white women have been trapped under the spell of this color for far too long. And now I see that even the queen of WASPs isn’t immune to this hue’s siren song despite the fact that it makes all white people look at once nude and jaundiced. Nothing could look worse on our skin tone. I need the stranglehold pastel peach has on our psyches to come to an end. I also just feel like if you are going to wear something that’s already so close to your skin color, it’s not the best idea to do it in a semi-sheer, wrinkly silhouette that gathers around your neck and arms like weird folds of flesh.
Anyway, back to Kim. At the event she wore that Buffalo Bill suit to, she also threatened to actually become a lawyer and I don’t get the goal of this talking point. If this really is all she wants in life, the paparazzi (at least the ones she’s not calling on herself) will quickly stop following her once all she’s doing is entering and exiting a law firm every day. And even if they didn’t, even if her stardom never waned one iota, isn’t that all the better for drawing attention to the legal cases she cares so much about? You’re not scaring us! Just take the bar exam already!!! Stop threatening me with a good time, Kimberly.
As for our weekly Hamlin sister check-in, Amelia Gray laced-up for a Paper mag party and I just have a few notes. One, I absolutely loathe that zipper going up the side of the corsetry. It’s gotta be one or the other. This is like those lace-up boots that secretly have a zipper up the inner ankle. It feels like cheating somehow. And two, having the lacing closed over the butt is a real wasted opportunity to shock the public by giving just the tiniest hint of crack, Aubrey O’Day style.
(And a quick reminder that if you don’t sign up for a paid subscription by next Friday, you will be missing out on everything from this image onward! Don’t let these alarming trend forecasts pass you by!!!!)
Speaking of Aubrey, she debuted her Coachella fits on Instagram this week and, as always, I am being told this is an actual photograph and yet it looks like something DALL-E would come up with if you asked it to draw Rapunzel making a run for it after cat burgling a strip club she’d spent months working undercover in. In other words, high art. And I also just wanted to briefly touch on January Jones who brought back around that brassiere as outerwear trend I first mentioned back in March.
Hailey also dabbled in some underwear-centric apparel, furthering the red carpet exposed thong trend by giving it a streetwear twist and layering a white one beneath this sheer white dress. I actually love this take on the trend, and she also found a way to do it that still feels very on-brand for her. Like it’s overtly sexy, but it still feels very preppy and weirdly a little proper.
Of course, our trend corner check-in wouldn’t be complete without an appearance from Rita Ora who regularly dabbles in looks that honestly strike fear into my heart. That said, her penchant for plumbing the depths of outfit possibilities unlocks fashion memories in the deep recesses of my brain. Like I completely forgot that wrestling shoes were very much a trend that was trying to happen around the era of indie sleaze, and here they are back again before me. And I feel like no one is going harder to make double waistlines happen than this woman. I don’t think she’s figured out a way to actually pull it off yet, but she’s doing her darnedest.
We also once again have some interesting new cutouts to consider courtesy of Olivia Culpo and Ashley Graham. As with Ashley Benson the other week, Olivia’s sandwich board gown is pretty standard fare, but I was struck by the very odd optical illusion it creates from the front. Because the cutouts are so all-encompassing, the panels reattached so low with giant bows, and the dress super loose throughout her body, it almost makes her look like she has two sets of hips stacked on top one another. It’s a real accidental “Lumps and Bumps” situation and I think it has some real potential.
As for Ashley, she attended the Time 100 Gala in the neckline equivalent of a claw headband. This one I am a little disappointed by only because when I first saw it I thought all these straps were metal or molded plastic not just strings knotted into place. I was hoping for something a little more Lucky Daye at the 2023 Grammys, a little less cat tangled up in the yarn basket.
And I hate to say it, but the cartoon bang trend I joked about the other week on Dixie D’Amelio might actually be happening. Here we have nepo model bb Iris Law showing off her take on the look with some new India ink dip-dyed micro bangs. Someone on Twitter said she looks like Joe Exotic, but I think it’s a little more Joe Dirt.
And in the Discord this week, readers also noted the rise of giant women’s pantsuits. Dua Lipa gave us a maxi-skirted version of the look as well. While I am always in favor of a Stop Making Sense sartorial movement, I’m a little wary as it seems that we haven’t quite internalized the lessons David Byrne taught us about how to successfully pull off a truly ginormous piece of formalwear. I think it’s all about maintaining some sharpness and tailoring to the piece amongst that proliferation of fabric, specifically through the extra-wide shoulders. And I think you can really see what a difference that makes between Rebecca Ferguson’s take on the trend (left) versus Lizzie Caplan’s (right) where everything is just a little softer. You need that touch of structure to keep the body anchored within all that garment. That said, can’t wait to see all the little lady Logan Roys out there.
Longtime readers know I’ve been championing this random Victoria’s Secret model for a minute due to her penchant for poorly-crafted paparazzi antics and as I’m a staunch believer that the more Julia Fox-esque figures that fill our tabloids the better. This week those antics included a Zoolander-inspired bikini photo shoot and rollerblading around Coachella in a thong swimsuit. I’m just saying, give Joy a chance!
And finally, before I depart, we must return to my billion-dollar liminal space — Brooklyn Beckham. He posted yet another installment in his incredible home cooking series in which, much to my delight and awe, he makes a grilled cheese sandwich in a frying pan, decides it’s not quite crispy enough, and then douses it in butane fumes by blowtorching it until it’s thoroughly charred. All while wearing sweatpants with a giant hole over his crotch. Is this just rage bait to spread his bad cooking to an even wider audience? Of course. I wasn’t born yesterday. But when the rage bait is this delicious, who cares! I say, let the Gordon Ramsay of nepo babies cook.
Well, as always, I’m as bewildered as Ariana Grande receiving a phone call to have to tell you this, but that’s everything I’ve got regarding Mess today.
I hope all of your weekends are as relaxed as Josh Brolin in the buff. Bye!
And so another torturous tog roundup comes to a close. If you’ve enjoyed this freak show of fashion oddities, please consider becoming a patron of my clownery by signing up for a paid subscription today. And if you’re reading this you’re now responsible for giving away at least five tickets to this tragic performance by signing people up for a free subscriptions to Mess. And I expect everyone to arrive back here next week in full Mess Merch regalia.
For the discerning gentleperson in need of an endless repository of unhinged information, may I recommend the ~ MESS DISCORD ~ where I and almost 600 Messketeers are ready and waiting to spill the tea.
And before I finally shut up and leave you alone until next week, I have to thank my faithful companions in filth, the OG Mess Masters. These down and dirty debutantes ask only that I keep them nourished with a steady stream of unbridled refuse. And for just $5 a month, you too could join us in the muck and the mire. So please sign up to be a paid subscriber today to get a gander at my 2002 Grammys round up, and catch up on my 2008 Met Gala and 1998 VMAs red carpet breakdowns as well.
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Until next time, stay alert!
The movie fashion survey was so stressful! All of the films deserve recognition lol