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Welcome back, Messketeers!
I was thinking this week about one of my favorite things about New York which is that it has such incredibly specific and devastating ways of humbling all of its inhabitants. The specific way that I’m talking about today is something that can really only happen in an extremely large pedestrian city because the probability of it should be incredibly low, and yet… The city will always wait to strike until you are feeling at your most unique, your most special, your most immaculate snowflake self. And then, as you’re peacefully going about your day, you will be rudely and abruptly confronted by someone dressed exactly like you. The most cutting of blows in a place populated exclusively by people afflicted with main character syndrome. The crushing reality of being surrounded by 8-million-plus humans only to come face to face with yourself! It’s kind of awe-inspiring honestly that all these timelines are contorting to make these freak coincidences a fairly regular occurrence. Because it’s not like everyone’s just shopping the same H&M sale (although that is also happening). These sightings are nuanced and customized specifically to you.
Obviously, this happened to me in a truly chilling fashion. In the year 2019, I was wearing a men’s Supreme jacket with a Basquiat drawing on the back that I purchased in 2013. A jacket I had never seen on any other person and that I feel I should mention was also sold in three color ways. I emerged from the subway station around Columbus Circle and began walking towards my destination when who should enter my line of sight about a half a block before me but a woman wearing my exact jacket in the exact color. This city’s sense of humor is so disturbed. But then again, so is mine because I saw this happen to two women wearing the same floral dress this week and laughed.
Something else fun that took place since the last time we spoke is I learned how to darn! I went to a darning workshop hosted by RRepair SShop and while my darning materials did not arrive in time for the zoom lesson, I feel I very much conceptually get what’s going on there and am looking forward to practicing my over-under skills IRL. For those who aren’t familiar with the art of the darn, it’s basically just micro weaving to fix holes and cover stains in different knit and woven fabrics. It’s a great way to extend the life of clothing, reduce the environmental impact of clothing waste, and most importantly, it looks really, really cool. Shortly after I took the class, I also ripped a huge hole in the heel of my favorite pair of socks so I’m taking that as a kismet sign that I have a big darning future ahead of me.
Oh! Also, sooo many New Zealanders emailed me this week to inform me that Guy Pearce’s necklace in a pounamu! I had no idea, I’ve never seen one before, and I’m delighted to learn more about it!! This is the Mess exchange of ideas I live for, thanks to all who reached out.
I also had the realization this week that I could very easily do this newsletter as a live interactive powerpoint experience without changing anything at all and that might be fun. So if you know of a teeny tiny bar in Brooklyn or a Marriott conference room with a projector that might allow me to inflict this concept on five or so of my friends, please let me know.
In this week’s Sloppy Seconds, my sweet, sweet paid subscribers got the early bird scoop on Hailey Bieber’s pubic hair accents, the most heavily worn gown of the year, and the return of the Teletubbies boots. Stop missing out on this sumptuous second helping of Mess every week and fork over the $5 already, friend.
Ok. Let’s see ‘em.
I need to start by saying, let’s not do this. Let’s not analyze celebrity jewelry for clues. This is beneath us. I know, the Easter eggs, whatever. There’s just no form of content I find more dull than when we start speculating about accessories that these women don’t even actually own. I also REALLY do not like the way this Travis Kelce guy has been moving in the press. Whether they’re dating or not, he’s messy. He does not need to be giving us a play by play of their talking stage, nor should his brother be? I say whatever’s happening, shut it down, Tay. This man’s been too spotlight thirsty from the friendship bracelet jump and is 100% angling for some epic breakup anthem to be written about him.
Now, on a positive note, a rare genre of paparazzi photo that is near and dear to my heart but I hardly ever get to see is when a superstar is felled by some sort of weather event, as Mick Jagger was here while attempting to enter the Palace of Versailles for dinner with King Charles (lol). I can’t help but take delight in the schadenfreude of seeing those blessed with the perceived immunity of wealth and fame undermined by the machinations of the universe and a well-placed gale. If you need any further proof of my passion for this subject, please know that I keep a folder on my desktop filled exclusively with photos of the Pope getting his cassock whipped back into his face by the breeze. I suppose this is one microscopic silver lining to global warming, my red carpet natural disaster folder is about to be overflowing.
Something else I absolutely love is this spooky little vampire guy that Miuccia Prada fashioned into a purse clasp, like a Beauty & the Beast curse in reverse. There’s something about this handbag that feels like a What We Do in the Shadows plot line. I’ve never felt so confident that an accessory will haunt me and my lineage for the rest of time and that I also need to own it immediately.
I feel like there’s been a detente between Fendi and I in recent months, but it seems our relationship has once again grown strained. I’d just like to know why these Rubbermaid gloves were slapped on every famous person who attended this event. Christina Ricci bore the brunt of this brand loyalty burden, even dutifully keeping them on throughout the show. But Demi brilliantly finagled herself out of having to be photographed in these arm foreshortening medical accoutrements. I spotted a single portrait of her wearing the same ones while posing with Christina, but in all of her step-and-repeat pics she dropped her coat down over her hands to eliminate the offending glove and by the time she was seated in the FROW they were off entirely. A masterclass in fulfilling your brand contract while getting out of wearing something ugly.
Also, random, but I was thinking recently about how successful Fendi has been in pivoting away from fur and leather being the mainstays of their brand. Like obviously it’s still in there, and there’s the handbags of course, but it’s not in the same ostentatious, mink-to-the-floor way Karl Lagerfeld used to do it. Just an interesting case study in how to quietly shift the entire identity of your fashion house without attracting PETA’s attention.
Kylie shared some more images of her Acne Studios campaigns on billboards around the world this week, as well as on the sun visor of this car, and I can’t express to you how good this image is, especially for a celebrity ad campaign. And for a Kardashian?? Astonishing. I actually like this as an ad even more than the original photos of her. I also think it would’ve been more interesting if instead of the billboards they would have actually planted these image like this into every day life. Clearly Kylie’s high-end pivot is working on me.
Then again, maybe not. Kylie officially became a Prada girlie this week — so minimalist, so 90s. But she’s still not totally selling me on her fashion vision for this new era yet. I’m not sure that the Hailey Bieber super paired back thing is necessarily for her, but that said it’s all been totally fine, if unremarkable, so far! I do like the way she’s been tapering down the fillers. She’s starting to look much more in the realm of her age demographic these days. This skirt is also beautiful, but it has got to be hell to sit on. And I just have to point out one more time that the turtleneck dress with the shoulder bag and pumps is verrryy L-R Depp adjacent….
If you think that the reveal of this lock screen was an accident, do you even really read this newsletter at all? This is such an obvious plant, these girls have had blurry photos of their home screen analyzed to see which apps they use enough times over the years to know that people are actively looking at all times. What’s interesting to me about this image though is, it’s not all that flattering? Or sexy really. But I do love that Kylie took the time to make sure that the lock of her bangs goes in front of the iPhone’s clock.
I know I’ve discussed this little racket at length in the past, but I just think it’s interesting that people are suddenly catching on to this grift when Khloé does it while Kim and Kylie have been doing it for yearssss and I’ve never heard a peep about it from the general public. I’ve been watching them do this scheme since at least 2019 when I worked at Page Six. For those who missed my first rant about this phenomenon, the Kardashians are basically just getting paid a million bucks a post to send their followers en masse to follow a bunch of random accounts who are paying like $10K each to inorganically boost their social media presence. And because it’s real people following, not bots, even though these brands’ new followers are purchased, Instagram can’t figure out its fake to shut down the artificial growth. A good reminder that those numbers don’t mean a hell of a lot. I also only just realized that I’ve actually interviewed the 20 year olds behind this whole “High Key Clout” thing before and just never put it together. Weird! Social media “hacking” is a small world, I guess.
And I think it’s the illusion of baldness that’s being created here combined with the extreme full face of workout makeup, but something about these photos just immediately struck me as Poot Lovato-coded. But like, if Poot was put through an AI generator. Anyway, everyone say hi to Koot Kardashian, I hope one day Khloé lets her out of the gym for good behavior.
Now this coupling makes all the sense in the world to me. Although it also feels like confirmation that Kim was in fact planting those Tom Brady dating rumors in an attempt at courtship and has now settled for her second string NFL choice. I don’t know if I can properly explain this to people who don’t have my rotted brain, but there’s something about this non-strategic relationship move that I think also perfectly mirrors Kim’s current perspective on fashion and fame. As I briefly mentioned last week, I feel like Kim believes she’s attained a certain level of fame that makes her an icon tastemaker regardless of what she’s actually doing, who she’s dating, or what she’s wearing. She believes that she no longer needs to rely on the very fame formula that created this entire empire to begin with i.e. strategic relationships and outfits that maximize exposure in every sense of the word. Personally, I don’t totally share her confidence in that A-list inevitability, especially if she’s about to immerse herself in a sea of Instagram football WAGs modeled after her own image. I can very easily see Kim becoming the Larsa Pippen she’s been running away from this whole time.
I’m about to say something very controversial (what’s new), but I do think it has to be said: This should be illegal. Unless someone is doing this out of the genuine kindness of their heart or truly helping someone who can’t help themselves, I see no reason why this should be happening. Especially when one of these people pays the other’s salary. No employee should ever have to do this for their boss. It’s weird and debasing for no reason. Kendall has a free hand. I can see it right there pretending to busily reach into her coat pocket. I also just think there are certain aspects of the human experience that you shouldn’t be allowed to opt out of no matter how rich you become, and one is the feeling of embarrassment that comes from having to carry an umbrella around only to become more embarrassed when you realize it’s stopped raining and everyone else already put their umbrellas away while yours is still open. You know, the simple things.
And what did I say about the Ugg agenda last week! They’ve struck again, at London fashion week this time on actor Taylor Zakhar Perez, a man who my brain can only process as Broad City’s Paul W. Downs yassified through TikTok’s “bold glamour” filter. Regardless, I love when Ugg dips its padded toe somewhere where it doesn’t belong, like making these furry Bottega boot dupes.
You know, I haven’t really thought too much about Alexa Chung since she forced all of us to outline her and Sienna Miller’s incestuous relationship history because of that photo of them with their ex/boyfriends at Wimbledon last year. But she burst back onto my radar again this week because it seems someone is finally ready to have a little fun with fashion again. The car wash fringe mink was a real treat, designed by the only man who gives me any fresh silhouette ideas these days, JW Anderson. And I also enjoyed the fully-feathered micro poncho and mini skirt, although it is a touch bald eagle for my taste.
Jordyn Woods is slowly catching on to the Julia Fox fashion spectacle formula, but I fear it’s still a year too late. Jordyn replicated one of Julia’s belt-fits from last season, although this one appears tenuous to the point of useless given that her hands are doing most of the heavy lifting. She also attended the Chet Lo show, a designer I previously praised when worn by Chloe Cherry last year but, aside from the hat, Jordyn somehow chose the safest possible thing that designer makes. Plus, she had one hand glued to this hat all night because it clearly was not attached to her head in any way and nothing ruins a fashion moment faster than a lack of confidence in one’s attire.
After years of ranting at you, yet another one of my fashion forecasts has finally come to fruition. Way back when at the dawn of the pannier trend, I distinctly remember saying that instead of adding padding onto our hips, I wish designers would mine fashion history for actually useful styles we’ve let fall by the wayside. Styles like the muff! Well, chronically cold girls rejoice, we got ‘em. Bestie Suki Waterhouse was warming her little fingies this week in a pink shag rug tube top made by, of course, my man JW. To sweeten the deal, this koosh ball hand toaster can also double as a kangaroo pouch to carry all of your teeny-tiny possessions. And at the end of the day, are we really so surprised that something called a “muff” would come back into vogue in 2023, the year of full-blown pelvis mania?!
Speaking of the vag exposure revolution currently going on out there, Doja continues to be one of our bravest soldiers while promoting her new album. Not only did we get a thong-clad full moon — an ancient pranking practice that I kind of can’t believe TikTok hasn’t turned into some sort of viral trend already — but we also got an entirely new exposed underwear styling concept. In this photo on the left with her legs spread, it appears as though Doja is actually wearing multiple pairs of underwear, one of which is crotchless in order to reveal another pair with a profusion of ruffles underneath. Peekaboo underwear layering is exactly the type of thong-forward innovation we’ve been looking for! And finally, Doja got her own Chanel-logo tooth bling and, while it’s not as good as Kendrick’s, it’s still the most interesting thing currently going on with that brand.
In Sloppy Seconds this week, we talked about Hailey Bieber taking our cultural interest in the pelvic region a little too literally by wearing a dress with pubic hair accents to some Tiffany event. But mere days later, here we are with Aubrey O’Day watering her bushes in a bikini made from the very same stuff. I like the idea that now that we, the female of the species, have completely eradicated our own natural body hair we have to add it back on via our garments. This is the trompe l’oeil trend run amok. We’re edging closer and closer to the merkin every day!!!
And those weren’t the only novel forms of fashion underwear we saw out there this week, Jodi Turner Smith dressed herself up as a present in this bikini brief and jumbo bow to attend whatever this British Met Gala thing was, reminding everyone that there is a whole world of burlesque costumes that Hollywood has yet to dip its toe into.
And the gift-wrapped look seems to be trending as actor Yasmin Finney also arrived at Vogue World in bow pasties tethered by string which I’m a little surprised to say was designed by Valentino. But then again, considering the insane press they’ve been getting for Florence Pugh going topless in their stuff, maybe they’ve just finally realized the endless possibilities of nipple adornment (and thus free PR).
And finally, I just wanted to quickly call out a male trend I noticed out there at Vogue World, as modeled by Ncuti Gatwa and Stormzy, which is big, old sashes. I think Ncuti’s is more successful than Stormzy’s as it has more dimension and drama than a simple shoulder wrap, but that said I do wish there was a little more posing and swishing around of this pants train. Like not a single photo of him flipping it or looking over his shoulder? Ok. I should just shut up and be happy they didn’t style Ncuti in another micro tuxedo short.
Well, I hope that I curated a newsletter environment for you here today that made you feel like the Pilaf to my Demi Moore.
But this bowl of pasta is not going to eat itself, so I gotta get going. See you all again next Friday!
And so closes another deeply troubling chapter in this endless tome of tog trauma. If you find yourself still mulling over the characters found in today’s reading portion, don’t let your linguistic journey end here! Sign up for a paid subscription to receive twice the weekly assignments. And since everyone knows that literary swill is best shared amongst friends, why not sign them up as well for a book club in the form of a free subscription. If you’re a voracious reader of trash like myself, then go on and join the ~MESS DISCORD~ while you’re at it where 650 fellow bookworms are ready to break down my convoluted metaphors. And, I almost forgot, I made a new MESS MERCH store with tees, stickers, and tote bags featuring some of this newsletter’s past headlines and iconic one-liners, so please check that out.
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.
See you in the Hamptons!