Y'all don't have to clap at everything!
I just found out Jason Bateman's father-in-law is Paul Anka???
Hi hi hi!
Long time no see, my dear pals. Since we last spoke I got a haircut and I almost bought my friend’s car. Action packed, I know. Thankfully, before pulling the trigger on a 2007 Prius I remembered that I am but a lowly freelancer with no financial stability in sight who barely leaves my house let alone the state. That and my parallel parking skills leave much to be desired, but I am working on it! I do like going in for my annual trim because it feels like a true luxury experience, from them fetching a beverage of my choice upon my arrival to what is essentially just two solid hours of people playing with my hair. And yes, I said annual. I understand that’s probably too long between haircuts, but I refuse to succumb to this insane quarterly schedule all salons are trying to lock us into. I’m only just getting used to my new hair at the 3-month mark! I’ve also long thought that if I was a deeply wealthy lady one of the treats I would allot myself is a standing weekly appointment for someone else to wash my hair. Is there anything that feels more glamorous and extravagant than a little scalp massage and not having to touch your own tendrils? The only thing that comes close to that feeling for me is the first ten minutes after getting a fresh manicure before I inevitably ruin it by simply using my hands to do something and walking around the city carrying a very tiny cup of espresso with no lid on. I understand that last one is a hyper-specific scenario, but have you ever strolled with a paper cup of joe al fresco without the safety precaution of a lid?? Try it and get back to me. I promise you – rich!
Other than that, this week I finally dove headfirst into the second season of The Traitors and I am now VERY into it. What a devious little game show. The psychological warfare alone is filling a Real Housewives franchise-shaped hole in my heart I didn’t know was there, while also stressing me out in the extreme because I can’t stop thinking about how incredibly bad I would be at this game slash lying in a coherent manner. Phaedra Parks, on the other hand, was truly tailor made for such an environment and I’m thrilled by both the major fashions she’s bringing to the table and that she’s already got to utilize her expertise as a trained undertaker. I am also shocked and amazed by the extent of Parvati’s headband collection. I see where the entirety of her $1 million prize money from Survivor went. My only complaint about this show is that I’m now all caught up on it which means I have to wait for a new episode to drop every week. Because of that, I’ve now dipped into the Australian version as well, which is still good but I think it just hits different with villainous reality stars. And if they do not cast Trisha Paytas and Abby Lee Miller on the third season of this thing they are absolute fools. Trisha has already promised that she will cosplay as a different movie character Alan Cumming has played in every single episode and for that alone I desperately need her on this show.
For paid subscribers, this week I truly went off on the Grammys red carpet. I literally wrote 4000 words on the subject and I have absolutely no idea what I said or what could possibly have warranted such a soliloquy, but there you have it (I say after writing another almost 4K today about nothing). So if you are interested in perusing my unadulterated thoughts on Sunday night’s award ceremony, wish to know what I REALLY think about Taylor Swift’s attire and behavior at that event, or want to hear me lay out exactly how Doja Cat’s bush-baring gown proved every point I’ve ever made about the trajectory of Mess despite what all the experts told me back in 2023, make sure to sign up for that. As always, I’ve got a lot to get off my chest and I’m trying to save the spicier/more interesting opinions for behind the paywall as a thank you/punishment for those readers’ support, so get back there already.
That said, there’s still plenty of Grammys drips and drabs below for your entertainment. Plus! The return of a true Mess fashionista — Justin Bieber.
Let’s get it.
I will kick off today’s newsletter with the same topic I began the Grammy Awards email with: Taylor Swift. Although today I will spare you the lengthy analysis of her ensemble and profound pick-me energy, and skip straight to the fact that the public’s irritation with her feels like it is beginning to reach a boiling point just as we are headed into the biggest PR spectacle of her life thus far — the Super Bowl. As I told paid subs, I’m not sure what it was about the Grammys that it became the straw that finally broke the camel’s back, but it feels like a true cultural sea change transpired on that night and people’s annoyance finally outweighed their fear of Swiftie retribution. Personally, I blame Taylor’s absolute inability to serve a look. But no matter what it was, the fact of the matter is that our flip-flop on her could not have come at a worse time as not only does she have yet another album to sell us on, even more Eras tour dates to perform, a movie in the works, and the performance of a lifetime to deliver in a VIP stadium suite this weekend, but also she just sued some kid for tracking all of her private jet flights. A fact that I assume she would very much like to be swept under the rug, especially as she is the world’s most famous and prolific polluter, and especially as the lawsuit is definitely meant as an empty threat because she has absolutely no legal leg to stand on to stop this guy from aggregating publicly available information and disseminating it publicly……And selling off her smaller jet for $40 mill is not going to make me forget that this woman is hastening the climate apocalypse just because she’s too lazy to drive 28 miles. Yes, that is a real, 13-minute flight that she took. A flight which should be illegal because what the fuck. Why are the rest of us drinking out of paper straws and using reusable grocery bags in a desperate, too-late bid to save the earth when these people would rather heat up the planet at warp speed than get driven in a luxury SUV 15 minutes down the road.
Anyway, the other half of this dilemma is that I also need the media to chill the fuck out on the Traylor front. I think the nonstop breathless coverage of this couple is also very much to blame for our current exhaustion levels. (Of course, it also doesn’t help that the Kelce family has never turned down a brand endorsement deal in their life.) This is what happens when the entire digital publishing industry makes SEO and traffic the end all be all metric for success. Every publication becomes no better than a tabloid as they scramble to get up blogs discussing all of the same already over-discussed trending topics and then publish even more articles covering those topics from every possible angle, turning our mild interest in two celebs into a litany of useless information and boring quotes broken down into every conceivable iteration of clickbait. This “ultimate example of healthy attachment” article was just a particularly unhinged example of that type of coverage that broke my brain recently. I feel like psychology licenses should actually be revoked for participating in this type of parasocial speculation.
And while the whole internet — myself included — is busily projecting their feelings of rage upon Lana for how she was mistreated by Taylor and robbed by the recording academy, the pop idol is here to tell you herself that she is doing just fine. In fact, she is CHILLLLLLING, baby. Can’t you tell by the nonchalant glock and baby doll nightie? This post was a good reminder though that if anyone can handle themselves down at the men in music business conference, it’s most certainly LDR.
As I’ve already told paid subscribers, Miley and her five costume changes easily won this night for me. And while I thought the custom Maison Margiela couture and archival Bob Mackie were brilliant, it was the Gucci that really stole the show because has there ever been a better spokesmodel for a brand than Miley. As I wrote in Wednesday’s newsletter, she already gave Gucci the best free press of its life by carrying not one, but two of their handbags up there while accepting the first Grammys of her career, but now she’s also extending that spon con conversation by riffing off of a commando joke she made during the ceremony and adding that you better believe she had custom Gucci panties on too. And now the only next logical step for the brand would be to do a campaign with Miley in just those custom panties and her two new Grammy awards so we can all die happy and go to brand synergy heaven.
Anyway, while all of these millennial pop stars were vying for awards and attention, Dionne Warwick provided us with the much-needed reality check that this whole shebang actually doesn’t matter and is really just a way for the music industry to make its top commercial breadwinners feel good about all the money they’re raking in for a room of white, male executives somewhere. I just love the deeply chill ambivalence with which this legend arrived on the red carpet, as evidenced by the pack of cigs and lighter she’s still clutching in her hand as if to say, I’m here, but don’t count on me staying too long. Also, I swear this is the signature fancy outfit of grandma’s everywhere because it is the exact same look they wear every day just done up in sequins so you know it’s their formal Eileen Fisher matching set. I’m also going to need the Crypto.com arena to lift it’s no smoking policy just for one night because the Grammys cameras cutting from Taylor’s on-stage antics to Dionne apathetically ripping a butt in the audience is my definition of must-see TV.
In non-Grammys goings-on, the way Britney has just been casually spilling twenty-year-old gossip since the end of her conservatorship has been such a treat. Everyone famous has become so afraid and measured with what little anecdotes they’re willing to dole out to the public, when what we need is this type of unapologetic shit-stirring for no reason. Like the way Brit fully backtracked on her apology to JT after he said he wasn’t sorry and then bullied him for being a momma’s boy crybaby? Perfection. This is what I want from all the girls of that era. As I’ve said before, judging from her sexual encounters list alone, I know the stories and the secrets that Lindsay Lohan is currently sitting on are juicy in the extreme.
Meanwhile, all today’s stars are doing is launching more and more random product lines and I will never cease to be baffled by the extreme cash grab times we live in. Capitalism has led to such an incredible case of societal brainworms because why are billionaires still trying to take our money in all-new ways when they already have all of it? And why are we letting them? Why is having a family net worth of 3 billion dollars suddenly not enough anymore to allow you to stop working entirely and just quietly go about living your life and releasing artistic projects at your leisure? You cannot convince me that running a haircare brand fulfills Beyoncé in some way that her recording career does not. This is not some dormant beauty school dropout passion that she had to sacrifice to pursue being a music legend. And I would say that goes likewise for Ivy Park and that new $160 fragrance she’s hocking. Somehow these peoples’ teams have convinced them that if they aren’t constantly rolling out a new makeup line, alcoholic seltzer, or McDonald’s meal deal, they’re going to be poor and everyone is going to forget they exist. Again, give me the bed-ridden, fully offline, ultra privacy of a Dakota Johnson any day (although, her response to the nepo baby conversation was predictably lame). Just saying, not every passing thought from a famous person has to become a DTC business.
Time for a quick Kim K check-in as it’s been a minute since she graced these pages, not that she’s doing anything new or interesting. In fact, I’ve spent all week consuming various contradicting headlines regarding her and Odell Beckham Jr’s supposed romance. A romance that is both serious and not serious at all, figuring out next steps and just playing it by ear, ready to go public and yet something private and special just for the two of them. In other words, the same tired, old plot line the Kardashian camp has been stringing out to the tabloids since November. I’m assuming they’re just picking it back up again for the Super Bowl of it all. But seeing all of these headlines without so much as a blurry photo of the two of them speaking closely to each other Leo and Gigi style to support it, I just keep asking myself, does anyone even care? If Kim thinks this is going to get the Taylor/Travis press rollout, she’s delusional. Just cast him in a Skims campaign already and be done with it.
As for the photo on the left, I’m just thrilled someone finally told Kim to cut it out with this terrible peace sign/duck face combo. I never thought I’d say this, but bless Kendall.
And as I have said every single year that these children have been alive, these Astroworld-inspired inflatables and Stormi bobble head dancers that Kylie hires for her daughter’s birthdays are a lifelong therapy topic/phobia in the making. I’m not sure which I find more haunting, the greyed-out 3D print of Stormi’s head with mouth agape that you have to walk through or Aire’s tinier head just stoically sitting off to the side for no good reason. And I get that Travis Scott is their father, but I just straight up do not understand the logic in continuing to use this iconography after this particular event led to the death of ten people. Like he’s still settling those Astroworld lawsuits as we speak! But it does remind me of the way Kim has been selectively recalibrating Kanye’s legacy via North….interesting. This party was also very telling for me of just how warped the Kardashians have made my relationship to money, spectacle, and what is and is not appropriate for a 6-year-old child’s birthday party because while looking through the photos of this thing I started thinking to myself, wow, how economical of her to combine Aire’s birthday with Stormi’s so that she doesn’t have to throw two of these over-the-top parties back to back. A regular budgeting queen!
As for Kylie’s beau, Timothée is continuing his red carpet fashion assault jumping straight from the Wonka press parade to the Dune one. And this latest Prada outfit is making me feel crazy because what is going on with this suit. Why does it fit him like this. I can’t even make it past these 3/4 sleeves to discuss the choice in wraparound belt. But the silver lining of this ill-fitting jacket is that it reminded me of that time Bella pushed her puffer sleeves up to her elbows revealing a long sleeve tee underneath and how weirdly chic that was. This, however, is a poor man’s Hadid. And it also reminded me that it’s a shame how tied-up all forms of face mask are with that Nazi because I really think an expertly deployed balaclava could elevate some of these outfits from good to out of this world. Not this outfit, but some of them.
Now Timothée’s tethered Troye Sivan has all the fashion flair I wish Timmy possessed, letting his Emily in Paris freak flag fly in this jaunty beret and statement belt at the Grammys afterparties. This outfit made me a little nostalgic for that terrible TV show and I fear I might have no choice but to do another fashion breakdown of it for this newsletter when the fourth season comes out later this year. At the very least, I’m going to have to count the number of berets that appear on screen in a single episode.
As I told paid subs in regard to Lenny’s many rockstar lewks this award season, I feel we’re witnessing yet another trendsetter fly a little too close to the sun after hyping up this man’s hotness until he believes he can do no wrong. A very common problem we’ve encountered time and time again in this newsletter. But that said, if anyone can do and wear whatever he wants, it’s surely the man who invented BDE and his collection of custom Chrome Hearts bootcuts. Lenny’s commitment to metallic leather trousers and toplessness alone have given him the ultimate red carpet hall pass. And I love that even when he does attempt to wear a shirt it just disintegrates off his body. No top stands a chance in the face of that eight-pack, as evidenced by this image on the left and the ensemble he wore to the Grammys which was predominately composed of a set of Rick Owens sleeves.
Moving right along, the photos of Justin Bieber in this Marni jacket make me so, so happy. I can’t explain it, but there is something so hopeful about seeing him in this insane coat. After years of jumbo jeans and sad Drew merch, this feels like a real return to fashionista form for the Biebz. I love the vibrancy of the color and pattern, and even more so I am obsessed with the scale of this big boy puffer. These photos feel like they were stolen from that Itsmaysmemes Instagram account that blows up celebrities’ jackets and accessories to giant proportions and I love when something digital gets retranslated back into the physical realm. This bold choice in outerwear is also a great reminder of what once made Bieber’s street style so captivating, mixing the technically good with the idiosyncratic in perfect balance. I’m thinking specifically about that time he wore that hooded fur, acid wash skinny jeans, and Jeffrey Dahmer’s glasses — a veritable feast for the eyes! Anyway, between this coat, him singing “Stay” drunk (and beautifully) at Kid Laroi’s show, and the fact that he played so well during warmups at this NHL All-Star game it’s rumored the league is considering offering him a one-year contact, I can’t help but feel like the old JB is back!
Faithful readers know that The Gilded Age has long been my ultimate comfort show as it is an absolute black hole of action, dramatic stakes, and intrigue, which is also why I need this Bertha Russell stan tee in my collection immediately. And despite my avid viewership of this snoozefest, something I did not realize until Interview did a big profile on him recently is how insanely hot Morgan Spector (Mr. Russell) truly is. Those turn of the century three-piece suits are not doing this railroad magnate’s thighs any justice. I don’t want to tell the fine folks over at HBO Max how to run their business, but is there really no way we can squeeze a bathing scene into next season? Maybe a particularly sweaty day working on the rail line? At the very least, give the public the Mr. Darcy in the lake moment they deserve!
In other uplifting news, I’m just thrilled to see that The Taylors got that foot-long snack contract. Nothing like a casual outing to Subway to eat various food stuffs the length of your forearm! I would love to know the market research that told Subway that their customer base is desperate to indiscriminately eat any food they make, as long as it’s 12 inches. Especially when the only news that has come out of that fast food chain in recent years is that their bread it not really made of bread, nor their tuna actual tuna. And I’d especially love to know how they decided that a former teen werewolf and the wife whom he shares a name with were the people to sell it to us. But also, hiring the Taylor Lautners to do spon con of any sort and then not capitalizing off the fact that they are both named Taylor Lautner in the endorsement seems like a big missed opportunity to me. At the very least, can we not get a TL-squared special? Packaging with a voice recording inside that says “Where the hell have you been, loca?” every time you open it??? We could be doing so much with the Taylor Lautners and we’re squandering it!
And on the topic of brand deals, much to my surprise, Big Milk is back again!!! Last summer, I chronicled for Glamour the strange, subtle resurgence of cow milk amongst celebrities only to find out that the US Department of Agriculture really has been making a concerted push to make dairy cool again amongst the youth. And part of the way they’ve been doing that is by paying influencers to do weird pro-dairy stuff, like sending Mr. Beast on a virtual tour of a cow farm….Shockingly, that didn’t lead to a huge spike in 2% sales forcing them to revert back to their tried and true celeb spokesperson formula. Much like the Taylors above, I’m very intrigued how they landed upon Jessica Simpson specifically as the star who was going to make this big cultural switch back to dairy happen for them. I feel like they just went with the last set of A-lister milk mustache data they had from 2004. They didn’t even bother coming up with a new slogan either, going back to “Milk…does a body good.” Which is actually my favorite part of this ad because Jessica’s entire comment section is just people saying, “actually, it does not in fact do anything good for my body” and, as someone who has been in deep denial about their ability to process lactose for the last thirty years, I have to agree.
Now, you know I would walk on a bed of hot coals every Friday like Mr. T sans his Skechers in order to bring you the freshest of fashions and most trivial of tidbits to your inboxes…
…But the time has come for silence in the court because that’s all the legally-binding bad takes I’m permitted to share with you beauties today. If you’re looking for even more snap judgements, just sign up to become a paid member and then catch up on all the shit talking I did on the 2024 Grammys.
XOXO, gossip girls!
Parting is such sweet sorrow!:
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Have a killer weekend, everyone!