Wife Swap: Good Morning America Edition
I’m collecting horcruxes. I’m collecting infinity stones. Gandalf’s voice is in my head.
Haaaapppyyyyyy Friday, Messketeers!
I hope the holiday season is treating you all well. I’m going to keep things short up top today because my family is in town and we have windows to shop, dinner reservations to make, and long strolls up and down the island of Manhattan to take. All of which means my time to linger over pap pics and expound upon my various troubling thoughts for you all is being put under some serious time constraints. They’re also here visiting because my mom is an incredible portraiture artist and one of her pieces was accepted into a show here at the Salmagundi Club and actually won an award which is extremely cool and exciting!
The Fran-iversary party was also great and went off without a hitch. The t-shirt was a huge hit, as was the decor. At the request of some paid subs, I will be sharing some party photos exclusively with them, so make sure to sign up for that if you care. My only note for improvement next year was that I didn’t need to purchase quite so many hot dogs as I now have more than I will ever know what to do with. Thankfully, a friend reminded me recently that they will never go bad and so there is no need for me to gorge myself on glizzies out of fear of being wasteful. I just wish she had reminded me of that before I ate three hot dog dinners in a row.
Something else I have way too many of is Classpass points, so I decided to treat myself to a little massage this week and it was truly out of this world. It felt like when I discovered my rolfing lady for the first time and realized I was about to embark on a journey to completely correct all of the bullshit in my body. This guy explained more to me about what was going wrong with my musculature and why in 60 minutes than I’ve learned in my entire lifetime. And much as with the rolfing, if you’re in the NYC area and are looking for the masseuse hook up just reply to this email and I’m more than happy to pass along the info as I feel like I have an entirely new back. Be warned that it’s by no means a fancy spa experience, but it will most definitely fix what ails you.
Finally, this week Sloppy Seconds readers were treated to a long diatribe on our cultural obsession with diminishing the important of fashion, witnessed some stunning Mrs. Claus at the club attire, and discovered my nomination for Mess’s most fashionable man alive. So, if any of that intrigues or beguiles, sign up for a paid subscription. Otherwise, get your ass in that complimentary Discord chat room already.
Ok, I gotta jet, so let’s check out the chaos!
I want to start out today’s missive by inquiring, what’s it going to take to make Fran a Fran-fluencer?? And don’t say making her her own Instagram account where I have to write captions from her POV because I categorically refuse. But I just saw Scott Eastwood’s dog (right) doing this Royal Canin spon con this week and thought Fran could easily do this and do this much cuter. And were we to be granted this contract, unlike Scott, I promise I would wear a foundation that actually matches my skin tone. Shortly after that, I saw this Celine ad for their new line of pet accessories and once again had to wonder how one gets their dog companion into the world of pet modeling. Because Fran may only be vaguely well-behaved and well-trained, but she is certainly stunning enough to sell luxury pet goods built for dogs one third of her size. Canine casting agents, holler at me.
And while I am happy to finally have answers as to what high fashion business Jocelyn Wildenstein has been getting up to with all those BTS soundstage clips she’s been posting, I can’t help but feel a bit slighted by this editorial for Interview. As the foremost Jocelyn chronicler, enthusiast, and advocate, I find it outrageous that I was not involved in any aspect of this production. At least let me fetch the coffee next time!
Ok, now I know this video of DJ Khaled is a full year old, but it just came to my attention and I’m absolutely obsessed with this foolish man’s foolish antics. This is exactly the type of extravagant, luxurious, yet utterly ridiculous behavior that rich and famous people should be treating us to on the regular. While the simple act of bringing his own pillow to a basketball game and color matching it to his sneakers is already enough of a delight in and of itself, what takes this to a whole new level of joy for me is the fact that these aren’t even a particularly rare or covetable pair of Jordans. These are very much some daily drivers that he’s treating like the crown jewels and this is exactly why we have no choice but to keep this unbelievably annoying, yet infinitely quotable man around.
Some shots of Joshua Jackson and Lupita Nyong’o driving around in his car were published this week, seemingly confirming the pair’s burgeoning relationship. And so clearly, the pair then decided to take the official announcement into their own hands, setting up this extremely staged paparazzi moment. I just love the glaring obviousness that this was orchestrated by their PR teams. I mean, first of all, they are very clearly in the middle of nowhere (or Joshua Tree, according to one Messketeer). Also, look at the hand holding! The smile as they gaze lovingly into each other’s eyes while walking down the middle of the road with absolutely no one else around! And as a paparazzo I once interviewed informed me, the number one tell that a phone call was placed to arrange a set of images is the clarity of the shot combined with the total absence of people in the background. Check and check. Finally, I thought Lupita’s choice in t-shirt was an interesting, if inflammatory, touch. It reads “It’s okay to cry.” Whomst is this message being delivered to? Their respective exes? Dawson’s Creek fans?? The population of the kingdom of Wakanda???? Regardless, a well-chosen slogan tee never fails to stir the pot.
The social media requests for my thoughts on Balenciaga’s Los Angeles runway show have been legion this week, but I think I’ll save my proper review of this Erewhon-sponsored bacchanal for paid subscribers as I most certainly have thoughts but have never purported to be an expert at runway collection analysis, simply a low-brow connoisseur with exquisite taste. However! There were a handful of celebrity ensembles that I feel are worth our time and discussion here today, so let’s get into those.
First of all, the radical mainstream America sitcom makeovers of one Zooey Deschanel and Tyler James Williams. While many balked at Zooey’s new boardroom dominatrix attire, I personally feel that these types of extreme high-fashion makeovers are one of the last bastions of interesting things we can do with famous people. As I’ve told you before, the first person who can figure out how to make Jojo Siwa not look like Jojo Siwa deserves a million dollars and all of our undivided attention. At least for twenty-four hours.
Now, something else I’ve told you before is that we must stop stunt casting celebrities on the catwalk. I will admit, Balenciaga has always managed to dig up some notable exceptions to this rule, in this case Brigitte Nielsen and last season Amanda Lepore. But when it comes to plopping a contemporary A-lister in the mix, I just don’t see the appeal. It doesn’t shock or surprise and, at this point, I don’t think it even generates the tidal wave of social media mentions and headlines it once did. On a very fundamental level, they also straight up aren’t good at modeling the clothes. Maybe it’s just that we need to put these stars through a much more rigorous training process for their runway walk debut because the girls are struggling out there. But on the flip side, there is something very enjoyable about seeing the radical height difference between famous people and the models surrounding them.
As for Kim, what a goddamn snooze she’s become!!!!! She’s back in the same old pantashoe/cropped sweatshirt uniform yet again. And again, we’ve already seen her in what is essentially the gown version of these lace pants with lining too dark for her spray tan. But what’s actually crazy to me about this particular ensemble is that she’s wearing a runway look from the new collection, but then CHOSE to add this cropped sweatshirt on top of it. Back in her comfort zone, I guess. As for my thoughts on the Erewhon shopping bag of it all, you’ll just have to fork over $5 to hear more on that front. Although I will say, it’s still better than the jumbo $100K Birkin we saw her carrying last week.
But while I often found myself questioning the looks as they came down that dusty highway above, I have to admit, on the red carpet I really see the vision of some of these gowns. And I also think Rachel Sennott is exactly the right brand of It-girl to pull them off. I do have to say though that while I feel neither here nor there about the stiletto clutch, I think it would hit a hell of a lot harder if Demna saw the joke all the way through. Like either send these looks out with only one heel on one foot (the other “shoe” being the clutch) or prove your couture bonafides and find a way to create an “invisible” shoe that somehow rests completely beneath the foot or is just a lucite heel attached to hosiery creating the illusion that she’s only wearing one shoe and holding the second in her hand. Fashion people would go absolutely apeshit over that mismatched set of shoes and it seems like an obvious sight gag the old Vetements Demna would’ve jumped all over.
In case it wasn’t already clear enough that these paparazzi images featuring head-to-toe Bottega Veneta looks are paid advertisements — something I’ve pointed out to you all in these very pages — the brand went ahead and made things official this week by licensing the images from Backgrid and then slapping their logo over the top. A “GENIUS” concept, per ASAP, who seems to have forgotten that Kanye did this at Yeezy a full six years ago. Literally, this exact idea. But ok, cool “creative trifecta,” bro. As with everything in fashion, this idea for an ad campaign was wildly more interesting and compelling the first time around, especially with Kim as the subject matter considering she’s the most heavily-photographed woman on planet earth who built her fame and hyper-controlled public image through these types of highly choreographed pap strolls before the general public even really understood that A-listers were choreographing these types of “candid” shots. In this context, instead of being some grand commentary on celebrity and its relationship to the media, I feel like these ads just lay bare the ouroboros of capitalism and how infinitely boring street style and famous people have become. There’s no personality, no authentic expression of style, just one paid placement after the next making the sidewalk indistinguishable from the billboard.
And if we must do ads borrowed straight from the sidebar of the Daily Mail, why in the world can’t they be more like these?! These are both actual paparazzo images of Natasha Lyonne taken outside the Elle Women in Hollywood party and they are absolute dreamy, haunting perfection. Look at that insane ambient lighting — the way her hand and face seem almost spotlit! The disheveled hair and smudged makeup! I absolutely adore these. If you told me Ellen von Unwerth was involved in their production, I wouldn’t bat an eye. And I think these candid snaps are also a strong demonstration of what most fashion editorials are missing these days, which is the semblance of a narrative amidst the outright consumerism. Some sort of backstory and emotion that makes these photos feel like they’re communicating more than what is just literally there.
Anyway, since I summoned the ghost of Kenny above, another random thought I had this week is that the Kardashians really need to hire whoever is doing Tyra’s photoshop because look at the mastery contained within this image. Tyra has absolutely never been in the same room as that cake, if that cake even really exists at all as I have a strong feeling it is the complete fabrication of an AI image generator. Stunning work, vaguely passable as reality if you don’t think about it for too long, and for sure better than anything Khloé is currently getting up to in the Facetune app.
Since we’re chatting about that family anyway, I’d also like to highlight the latest People magazine “source” quotes about Kylie and Timothée’s relationship that just came in hot of the presses and that you might notice sound a hell of a lot like the last “source” quotes we got from the magazine regarding that relationship. He is in awe of her parenting! In awe of her girlbossery!!!!! And I am in awe of Kris Jenner’s inability to come up with some additional soundbites regarding what these two actually like about each other. Kris has exactly one go-to line she uses to drum up press about all of her girls’ romances and you better believe she is going to deploy it every single chance she gets.
And on the topic of that awestruck actor, we got yet another Wonka red carpet look out of him this week and, by now, are you starting to see what I mean by Timmy’s fun top formula? That’s not to say it’s bad! Just incredibly predictable. I actually think this custom Tom Ford shirt is gorgeous, just that Timothée’s nipples being out and about on every step-and-repeat is not the radical sartorial statement he thinks it is. I also have grown very weary of this slim-cut trouser / Chelsea boot combination. Again, technically very stylish, just formulaic as it’s the only thing he ever pairs all these diaphanous tanks with. And, in this case, I think the shirt actually calls for something a little less severe and structured. This week, I also learned that Timmy has been employing the sage expertise of everyone’s current fav stylist Ryan Hastings — the genius behind some of Taylor Russell and Addison Rae’s best looks — which perfectly explains where all of his new hand modeling poses came from as Ryan is also the master of movement direction, as we’ve previously discussed.
And while many have penned odes dedicated to Timmy being a fashion icon of the female gaze, we here at Mess know that his many lewks are actually just an attempt to one-up his Dune costar Zendaya. Something he is simply incapable of ever doing. I have loved this Schiaparelli lobster ever since it came down the runway and am absolutely delighted to see it make its way onto a famous person. Especially after I saw everyone in the brand’s Instagram comment section going on and on about how ugly and ridiculous it is. Like, if you don’t understand chicness, it’s ok! Leave it to the trash pros like me. Also, just FYI to the haters, this is actually a very smart reference to a historical piece from the fashion house the was made in collaboration with Salvador Dalí. But whatever, Z’s stylist Law Roach told some outlet that they chose this skirt because it reminded them of the worm monsters in Dune, and I just want to say that you actually don’t need to give us a reason! This skirt does not need to be tied in to anything promotional. Just wear the damn lobster!!!
Another smash hit for me this week was Addison Rae at the Academy Museum Gala in this Roberto Cavalli gown. It’s amazing to me because it is the exact formula we’ve seen done a million times over this year — fully sheer dress, black underwear. And yet! It’s somehow still sexier than all those other copycats. I think part of that is due to the plunging lace-up neckline and the general ingenue energy of Addison herself, but my absolute favorite detail of the dress are these oblique cutouts that create the illusion that her waist to hip ratio is that of a cartoon pin-up. A fantastic silhouette optical illusion I hope to see more starlets deploy in the very near future.
Since I’m on this complimentary kick and inexplicably sharing with you all the outfit successes I witnessed this week instead of flops, here’s another one — Wallis Day hitting up the British Fashion Awards after parties in a floral embroidered sheer catsuit and one of those foam mesh things fancy pears come in. I am obsessed. This is some Isabella Blow shit. Some Alexander McQueen “Joan” business. I don’t know a single thing about Wallis, but I am all in. This is the level of outlandish I need American celebrity fashion to hit, and it baffles me that, even after the Yeezus of it all, they still haven’t quite grasped the incredible transformational power of a face mask.
Much as with the Balenciaga review, there were also cries coming from every corner of the interweb this week pleading with me to cover Rita Ora’s stegosaurus spikes and those prayers are finally being answered. First of all, the makeup artist who did this Isamaya Ffrench, is genuinely a special effects genius. She is so good at this type of prosthetic and I’m so glad celebs, or at least Rita, are finally letting her do this version of glam on them. You might recall her previous work with Rita on that mermaid-core fish gill eye mask? Anyway, I love a spiked spine to add a little interest to a LBD, especially one that’s actually an ad for Primark (the UK’s H&M, from what I understand). But my one note would be why not make it a touch less literal and far more glamorous? Do the spikes in crystals! Or steel! Or velour to match the red carpet!!! I feel like we’ve only touched upon the tip of the iceberg in terms of what’s possible here.
Hari Nef attending the Academy Museum Gala in this custom Mugler gown is also giving me hope that there are frontiers of nudity and flesh exposure still left for us to explore. I love these surround sound hip cutouts with the faux G-string straps and this whisper of a tulle chest bandage is doing exactly what Timothée’s tops have only ever dared to dream of. But what really takes this look up a notch is the space age pannier overlay creating an angular plasticine hip where none previously existed. More of that type of futuristic body building, please.
And just in case all of the above wasn’t enough to entice you to become a Messketeer of the highest order, I thought I would once again offer you a peek behind the paywall curtain with this Mess Trend analysis that would typically be found exclusively in Sloppy Seconds. While the photo of Hari above is the direction I hope the nudity trend will evolve, these three images of Dua Lipa, Kim Hnizdo (Germany’s Next Top Model apparently), and Laura Harrier seem to be defining the actual future of this aesthetic. Things are still very nude, very transparent, very underwear-centric, but now those sheers are being layered to create a bevy of VPLs for the eye to unpack.
And finally, before I get out of here, just a friendly little PSA that your therapist should really be the only person acting as your therapist. Especially if your name happens to be Machine Gun Kelly.
Ok well, much like Brooklyn Beckham in Costa Rica, thank you all for having me here today.
And I’ll see you all back here again next Friday. Here’s lookin’ at you, kids!
My parents have been relentlessly texting me the entire time I’ve been writing this to get my butt in motion already, so I’m going to just say it to you straight:
If you are obsessed with me and all of my dumb, little ideas, go on and get a paid subscription already to support my fully unemployed lifestyle.
If you’ve already gone too hard on presents this holiday season, don’t stress your budget any further. Just get into that totally gratis ~MESS DISCORD~ where you can analyze all things D-list with 700 of your contemporaries.
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As always, if you can’t afford to pay for more, 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.
Ta-ta for now, you glamazons!