We'll always have Sushi Park
Is it a "girl hobby" or are you just a human being living under capitalism?
Hi hi hi!
I am officially back in Brooklyn after my brief sojourn in Portland and the very first thing that happened to me upon my arrival was I got scammed by a taxi at the airport lol. Well, not scammed so much as taken for a joy ride after being assured multiple times by my driver that he definitely knew the way. To be fair, I think he also genuinely thought that he knew the way, that way just happened to take us from JFK to LaGuardia before circling back down into Bushwick again. For non-New Yorkers, that’s one giant, expensive, and unnecessary circle. But honestly, considering I’ve lived here for 13 years and nothing like this has ever happened to me, it feels like some weird karmic debt I owed the gods of New York to be driven the longest way possible home.
Anyway, while I may now technically be considered a New Yorker, as a New Hampshire girl at heart I am loving all this snow. Especially after two years of nothing but gray sludge and creepy warm weather. Snow instantly makes me turn full wintertime cliché. All I want to do is grab a piping hot beverage, cozy up under a blanket, and crack open a good book. I am the Sleepytime tea bear incarnate. As I’ve already told paid subs, Fran has also been going absolutely berserk out there. She is a freak for cold weather. There is nothing she loves more than pulling a speed racer on black ice and gobbling up every little chunk of snow she can gobble. The way she is taking these snowballs to the dome actually just prompted me to google if dogs can get brain freeze and it turns out they can which makes everything I’m seeing out there all the more ludicrous.
After consulting with multiple friends this January, I’ve started picking up on an interesting overarching theme for 2024, which is: USE IT. We’re talking crazy expensive designer shoes, that eye shadow for special occasions, the taper candles you only light for dinner parties. Use it all! Use it all the time! What are you waiting for? Enjoy yourself and revel in your luxury purchases. Romanticize your life, as the TikTok coquettes say. For me, this realization came in regards to a pair of Uggs I have with silk flames going up them, making them the most impractical practical pairs of shoes I own. I love them, I am obsessed with them, and I am forever saving them for the perfect moment/weather. But in that saving, I am also depriving myself of the joy that comes with getting to clomp around the streets in this insane piece of footwear. Why! Anyway, all of that is just to say I’ve been wearing the Uggs and I’ve been lighting my candles and spraying all my best perfumes and I invite you to do the same this year.
As I announced last week, paid subscribers were treated to Victoria’s Secret’s Golden Globes secret. A revelation no one could have possibly seen coming, and one that may have demonstrated I’m secretly a guerrilla marketing genius. We also chit-chatted about JLo and Julia Fox’s bridal looks stolen straight from my Mess wedding Pinterest boards. And we dipped our toe into the wild world of pageantry and TOMS peep-toe cork wedges.
Given the successful wooing of so many of you to the paid side of Mess following last Friday’s shortened newsletter, I’m going to stick with a similar formula going forward. Today’s isn’t quite as abbreviated, but the best stuff is once again most definitely being gatekep, including one of the most phenomenal celebrity MLK day tributes I’ve ever laid eyes on, my many thoughts on Justin Timberlake going “missing,” Lauren Sanchez’s new mob wife aesthetic, and Kim K’s in-office tanning bed. So since the theme of 2024 is clearly indulgence, why not treat yourself to more Mess?
Ok! Away we go!!!
Let’s begin today with the biggest news in famous people smooching: Dua Lipa and Callum Turner, who confirmed the dating rumors by kissing the whole way down the Sushi Park promenade. And while I want to enjoy the introduction of this hot, new couple to the world, I am feeling a little torn about these particular announcement images, largely due to their location. For those who don’t know, this 10-foot strip of metal railing has got to be one of the most photographed spots in the world. This Sushi Park corridor is where every celebrity, especially the Jenners and Biebers, go to get pap’d when they don’t want the paper trail of actually calling the paparazzi on themselves. Please recall Kylie and Jordyn’s “secret” reunion dinner here last summer. This is yet another one of those places like Craigs, Nobu Malibu, or Giorgio Baldi where the famous people go when they want to be guaranteed to be seen. So nothing about this PDA moment is actually candid, it’s very intentional, which also makes me wonder why. The set-up factor of these images has prompted many to proclaim it a PR relationship, and while I get that impulse the reasoning behind it isn’t adding up for me. What does either party have to gain from faking this romance? This isn’t a Bradley Cooper needs a model date to the Oscars situation. Dua has no problems getting press and Callum is currently on the upswing of getting the Paul Mescal treatment as the hot new It-boy. Personally, I think we’re all overthinking this stunt and both parties simply wished to publicly confirm that they have in fact bagged a serious hottie. At least, I know if I was making out with Callum or Dua on a regular basis I would be making sure the entire world had photographic evidence of it.
This week also saw the return of my all-time fav step-and-repeat backdrop, the surprise Coldstone Creamery wall parked at the end of the Critic’s Choice Awards red carpet. I’ve missed this. Much like the last time this happened, my favorite part is that celebs are suddenly in the midst of an ice cream commercial before they even know what’s happening to them when all they want to do is go inside and collect their little trophies. I also like how Coldstone stepped it up this year, going from a simple wall of ice cream cartons to a wall covered in little sprays of flowers disgustingly tucked into waffle cones. Although it feels like they missed a huge opportunity by not encouraging celebs to take these cone bouquets with them into the ceremony. Where is The Rock when you need him because I feel like he would’ve been the first to take a big, old campy chomp out of one of these cones just for the attention of it all. Anyway, I’ve always supported the Creamery in these wacky endeavors and I don’t know why more brand sponsors at major events like this don’t exploit their unfettered access to so many famous people all being trapped in one place. They’re forced to walk through your little brand activation station whether they like it or not to get inside the venue, so why not figure out a way to generate more free content from it than just an awkward pic in front of your logo.
A screening of the Flamin’ Hot movie — a snack promotional vehicle masquerading as cinema which I assume was fully paid for by the Frito-Lay/PepsiCo conglomeration — brought us yet another beautiful moment of organic product display integration on the red carpet. Perhaps now you can see why I demand more of these types of highly-staged branding opportunities. This pop-up bodega display completely blocking the red carpet hews a little closer to my ideal activation. Because instead of hideously splashing your logo across these award show step-and-repeats creating visual chaos and rage in your consumer, this type of situation forces famous people into physically engaging with the product and figuring out how to pose with it in front of a live, camera-wielding audience. But we’re still not thinking big enough! Make these stars ride a giant hot Cheeto like a banana boat. Force the weakest amongst them to eat the hottest Cheeto known to man and then smile through the tears. The meme fodder possibilities are endless and under-exploited!
Now, let’s start off our serious conversation of fashion today with a look at my two award show favs, Greta Lee and Ayo Edebiri. At the Critic’s Choice Awards, they both perfectly proved a theory I’ve long espoused in this email which is that if you can radically underdress for a very fancy event in a way that is undeniably cool, you win. Suddenly, everyone else looks like wildly overwrought try-hards and you become even cooler by comparison. It’s the ultimate style power move. Be forewarned that, much like shooting the moon in Hearts, this is a very risky, big swing that can result in a big reward or an equally resounding flop. But, clearly, these two nailed the assignment.
One thing you have to know about Mess is that when I demand, the trends appear! I say I want to see men in cropped tuxedo jackets at these award shows, and what hath I received but Harvey Guillén in precisely the attire I requested. I do think everything else going on with this suit makes it feel way too busy (what else do we expect from Christian Siriano), but listen, I gotta take a gentleman’s black tie navel where I can get it.
Speaking of, Lenny Kravitz once again showed up on the red carpet and said, you better believe I’m gonna give it to ‘em. The strategic hip bone reveal is actually way crazier than even the exposed oblique at the Globes. LaQuan Smith is also just the perfect designer to choose to construct something this sexy in a surprising way. And you know I strongly endorse all cropped menswear that exists, but if I can nitpick for a moment I wish these two front panels didn’t cross over quite so much. It makes it read a little more nana’s shawl than cool, wraparound tailoring. But, regardless, 10/10 Tim could never.
Something else I love is that Rosalía is apparently marking her conquests now with a very expensive piece of Tiffany jewelry. First, her ex-boyfriend Rauw Alejandro wore this Elsa Peretti “Amapola” brooch to the 2022 Latin Grammy Awards, and now her new boyfriend Jeremy Allen White is wearing the same identification tag. This is honestly better than a wedding ring as a warning to other women to stay away. The rose of Rosalia strikes again (it’s actually a poppy, but who cares)! It’s very Blaire Waldorf and the heart locket of her. There’s also something a little femme fatale about it. If this brooch really is Rosalía’s doing — which, unfortunately, I highly doubt — I love her for that. This is exactly the type of over-the-top, dramatic behavior I want from my pop stars. And even if this is just a weird accident or the pot-stirring work of a bold stylist, it’s sparked a fantastic concept and, as I said last week, it is the solemn duty of the public to always go with the most fun theory possible, facts be damned.
In regards to Beatrice Grannò’s dress, I have just two words to say to you: Armani. Privé.
But seriously, a review of this look was a special request from a Messketeer in the Discord so I’ll do my best to oblige. My first impression is that they gave Beatrice the worse version of Meghann Fahy’s dress — also Armani, also not great — so that’s a bummer right off the bat. The bust feels extremely Loewe inspired, but unlike Loewe Armani chose an ugly flower and then dumped way too much glitter all over it. There’s also something about the mosquito net overlay that feels extremely dELiA*s prom to me. It’s too bad Beatrice didn’t get scooped up by a better brand for award show season because I feel like this was really her moment to cement herself as a fashion girlie beyond all The White Lotus hype.
And while Armani may unleash some sinister designs upon Hollywood, those garments will still never be as downright villainous as what Chanel’s been getting up to. Absolutely incredible, as always. How do they do it. My eye can’t stop ping-ponging around this image of Bel Powley as I can’t quite determine what my least favorite part of it is. While I keep gravitating to the shoe, at the end of the day I think it’s got to be the choice to make this white tweed thing short-sleeved. As for that choker, I’ve been absolutely screeching at the top of my lungs for years now that Chanel needs to stop the bow-tied madness already, so at this point I’ve sort of just resigned myself to them. This is the true danger of Chanel. They lull you into a begrudging acceptance of even the ugliest things until you lose all parameters of good taste.
Award show season remains a relentless slog and I don’t understand why there has to be quite so many of them all happening back to back to back, but at least one good thing came out of all this hubbub — Taylor Swift learned her lesson about speaking in public. We are never going to see this woman’s lips in motion ever again. Lip read her once, shame on her! Lip read her twice? Not if her hand has anything to say about it!
Also, Donna Kelce looooooves to talk to the press about every single thing that has ever happened or will happen to her boys and I can’t wait until she feels comfortable enough to start spilling all the tea on what Taylor has been saying to her.
Sydney is officially on to me. I am the troll. The troll is me. I am the one mocking her outfits and “whoever” styled her (Molly). But while Sydney may think she’s clapping back, all she’s really managed to do here is prove my very complaint to be correct and factual which is that so many of these samples do not fit her boobs at all. They were never built to handle any boob, let alone her boobs. Which is why I keep saying, stop trying to force them into samples from brands that won’t let you alter the top! Is that a crazy suggestion??? Unless they’re paying you, I don’t get the point of looking bad for free on their behalf. She also specifically said Miu Miu and Armani, the two brands who do pay her, let her alter and rebuild everything sooooo why not just stay brand loyal? Or, bear with me because I know this is going to sound crazy……but it is possible to walk into a luxury department store anywhere in the world and purchase a gown that actually fits. I know that’s not cool and everyone has to wear everything straight off the runway these days but, just saying, I would always rather wear something that makes me look hot over something that looks like it’s squeezing the life out of me, even if it’s from last season.
Great news! Mess’s favorite nothing of a nepo baby is back in the kitchen and ready to offend!!! That’s right Brooklyn Beckham is opening what is being labeled a “pop-up restaurant” with Uber Eats, but I assume is actually just five meals he chose off the menus of different ghost kitchens that he’s never actually cooked before. Well, that’s not entirely true, obviously I do genuinely believe he makes this “Nanny Peggy's English Breakfast Sandwich” all the time. Yes, because it’s named after his actual grandmother, but mostly because of how illogical of a choice it is for a sandwich that will need to be ferried across London in rush hour and stay in one piece. The ham and three sausage links also seems a bit overkill on the meat front to me, especially as it’s being balanced out by a singular over-easy egg that will be room temp if not frigid by the time it makes it to your door. Something else I judge all breakfast sandwiches on is the ease of eatability factor and, apologies to Nanny Peggy, but this hasn’t got it. I just keep imagining all those sausages rolling off this bread with every bite. As for the choice to make one of these signature Beckham dishes chicken tikka masala and another a pork and prawn dumpling — categorically insane. Aside from having no personal ties to these cuisines outside of being from the land of great colonizers, it’s so wild of Brooklyn to pretend that he’s even capable of making food this complicated considering he is most famous for fucking up a grilled cheese with a blowtorch on TikTok. He attempts to explain it away as an ode to the Indian and Chinese takeaways he’s introduced his billionaire wife to and “she’s obsessed with now”……..just another very brave choice from the most boring man we know!
You know, I said last week that rich and famous people should log off of social media and never look back. And I’d like to add an addendum to that declaration because I meant only if they don’t know how to use social media with the profound expertise and creativity of Kyle MacLachlan. Somehow his followers figured out that he was perfectly recreating Lorde’s post from 2021 teasing the release of her album Solar Power. A cosplay which Kyle nailed from the striped shirt down to the criss-crossed big toes. I love it, this is exactly the type of weird inter-celeb behavior I want to see, and as many in the comment section remarked, it’s extremely babygirl-coded. Kyle always knows how to hit the perfect note of sweet/weird that the internet goes crazy for. And much like Kim K’s marble-encoded riddle last week, I feel this too could be considered an act of post-modern Instagram usage. Kyle has created a meta-commentary on the very nature of the platform, the infinite scroll, and the impossible pursuit of originality. Under this new movement, Instagram becomes a place no longer just for selfies and PR plugs, but where mysteries and lore are cultivated and followers forced to solve elaborate puzzles and treasure hunts. Just kidding, Kyle is actually just drumming up attention for the launch of his new podcast. But nonetheless, truly a masterclass in how to get free press in a fun way!
In this week’s Sloppy Seconds, we unpacked the current peplum trend sweeping the nation. So as a treat I thought I’d give you all a sneak peak at the type of zeitgeist-y coverage I typically put behind the paywall, in this case, belt-fits galore! Some might remember that Julia Fox and Kim K introduced us to this genre of ensemble about a year ago, and Rita Ora has been rocking a double waistband for just about as long as I can remember. I thought the multiple belt look petering out only to resurface right now was interesting, so I was trying to think about what the belt in particular might symbolize that’s causing it to suddenly resonate with the masses. Is it about restraint? Something vaguely militaristic? Frugality, as in a tightening of one’s belt? I feel like it’s all of the above plus an extreme consumerism thing. Like we have so many belts we don’t know what to do with them so we just have to jam in as many as will fit onto a single garment. The aesthetic of gross capitalist excess, if you will. That or we’ve just got a surplus of giant belts from all the people on Ozempic who are too small to wear them now.
To conclude today’s email, as I’ve previously informed you, my brain is a repository of absolutely worthless fashion information that is applicable to incredibly little, and certainly nothing helpful in my everyday life. Not that you needed any further evidence of that fact, but the above image of Diplo and his girlfriend Nadja Del Hoyo is an absolutely perfect example. Because while everyone else on the internet was talking about how trashy and naked this dress is, my immediate first thought was: Poppy Delevingne wore this to some Aston Martin party at Cannes last year and no one said a peep. Well, except for me, of course, as I was enthusiastically remarking upon the arrival of a more overtly boudoir take on the lingerie as outerwear trend. My encyclopedic knowledge of trash remains unmatched!
And so it is! This newsletter always feels like it goes by in the blink of an eye. But here we are yet again at the end of another edition. I hope this odd assortment of images and information makes you want to get down like Niecy Nash and Evan Peters.
I’ll see everyone who pays for Mess back here real, real soon to discuss Alec Baldwin as recession harbinger, how my rewatch of the Gilmore Girls is going, and my deep, abiding love of divas! As for the rest of you Santa Claus cuties, I’ll see you on the flip side!
Hear ye! Hear ye, you couture cretins!:
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