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June 2018 22 Masthead 28 Editor’s Letter
Facebook pokes and Twitter faves do not a social life make. So, when you split from a live-in love, where do you turn for comfort? Lena Dunham explores alone time
40 V Life Blooming prints, elevated beach reads, and a New York shop boasting treasures from near and far
78 Rihanna for Real A candid chat with Queen Ri about skin color, undies, turning 30, body image, Drake, and—oh, yes, internet dating. By Chioma Nnadi C O N T I N U E D >2 0
Cover Look Head Turner Rihanna wears a Dolce & Gabbana dress. Sidney Garber earrings. Bracelets by David Yurman and Tiffany & Co. To get this look, try: Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 340, Match Stix Shimmer Skinstick in Yacht Lyfe, Match Stix Shimmer Skinstick in Sinamon, Match Stix Shimmer Skinstick in Starstruck, Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in Lightning Dust/Fire Crystal, and Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer. All by Fenty Beauty. Hair, Yusef Williams; makeup, Lisa Eldridge. WALKING THE WALK MODEL GRACE ELIZABETH IN A VICTORIA BECKHAM DRESS. CALVIN KLEIN 205W39NYC BAG AND BOOTS. PHOTOGRAPHED BY DAVID SIMS.
Photographed by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott. Fashion Editor: Tonne Goodman.
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88 Call of the Wild It’s a jungle out there this summer as wild, fierce fashion takes cues from the animal kingdom—from spots and stripes to scales and otherwise untamed graphics
98 Life After Harvey When numerous women spoke out about Harvey Weinstein, his
wife remained silent—until now. Marchesa designer Georgina Chapman opens up about her marriage, her divorce, and her future. By Jonathan Van Meter.
104 Strike a Pose Glee wunderkind Ryan Murphy breathes new life into New York’s 1980s underground LGBTQ-ball scene with a big-budget television series
108 The Secret Garden A painstaking restoration of a Jacobean manor led to a few delightful surprises for Hugo and Silka Rittson Thomas. By Polly Devlin
114 Party Time With his vibrant portraits and surreal compositions, Swiss artist Nicolas Party is
going head-tohead with Magritte. Dodie Kazanjian reports
118 A Cut Above Wedding cakes are statement cakes. But should yours say romance or rebellion? Tamar Adler investigates
120 Ultra Neon Summer beauty is about making makeup fun— with a quick slick
of superbright color on eyes or lips. By Lynn Yaeger
with impressive résumés and itineraries to match
122 Cocteau Hour
132 Bucket List
Fashion embraces surrealism this summer with otherworldly effects, shape-shifting silhouettes—and a joyous mash-up of colors, textures, and patterns
The formerly floppy hats have gone haute. Get your head in the game
128 Moment of the Month Young actors
140 Index Look the part while your mind wanders off into these summer reads
146 Last Look
S IT T I N G S ED I TOR : M I RA N DA B ROO KS
EARTHLY DELIGHTS ONE OF THE GARDENS FOUND ON THE ESTATE HUGO AND SILKA RITTSON THOMAS RESTORED. PHOTOGRAPHED BY OBERTO GILI.
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Letter from the Editor
NEW HORIZONS GEORGINA CHAPMAN WITH HER CHILDREN. PHOTOGRAPHED BY ANNIE LEIBOVITZ.
Starting Over BEFORE GEORGINA CHAPMAN chose to break her silence to Vogue writer Jonathan Van Meter, she spent a lot of time soul-searching, wondering whether she should do so or not. Just after the very serious allegations of harassment, abuse, and assault against her husband, Harvey Weinstein, first became known last October, they separated. She disappeared from the public eye, retreating to look after their two young children, and trying to create some semblance of normality in her working life at Marchesa, the fashion label she founded with her business partner and lifelong friend Keren Craig. But how does one ever even begin to cope? When I went to see Georgina not long after the news broke, she was near mute with shock, trying to process the emotions—anger, guilt, revulsion, fear—as well as grappling with the terrible wider human cost in all of this. I’ve known Georgina for a long time. We first met back in 2004, when she and Keren were launching their label, and she was giddy with anticipation and excitement about the future. She was warm, funny, and extremely self-deprecating. Georgina is essentially quite old-fashioned, and just as she
was always the good daughter—she is still very close to her family—she also became the good wife. She adored Harvey, but in the blink of an eye, she went from being in a seemingly happy marriage to looking back on a relationship that had become both bewildering and terrifying. I am firmly convinced that Georgina had no idea about her husband’s behavior; blaming her for any of it, as too many have in our gladiatorial digital age, is wrong. I believe that one should not hold a person responsible for the actions of his or her partner. What Georgina should be receiving is our compassion and understanding. Just before we finished this issue, I met with her again. While still in turmoil, she was intent on doing her best for the children she loves so much, and ready for life as an independent woman. She could begin
Table for One
Facebook pokes and Twitter faves do not a social life make. So, when you split from a live-in love, where do you turn for comfort? Lena Dunham explores alone time. ’m going to die alone.” It’s a refrain often uttered by women, with a kind of tragicomic self-awareness, after a bad date or the breakup of a brief romance or the adoption of a calico cat. I can hardly count the rom-coms that hinge on this premise (a woman has resigned herself to a life of takeout, cheap Chardonnay, and quirky pajamas). But even said jokingly, the words are possessed of a horrible tyranny, as though aloneness is an island on which, as punishment for failing to successfully adapt yourself to romantic love, you are marooned. Alone is a place that nobody would want to go on vacation, much less live permanently. It was December when we broke up, that kind of confusing weather where glaring sunlight makes the cold air feel even colder. We sat in our shared kitchen of nearly four years
and quietly faced each other, acknowledging what nobody wanted to say. That obsessive connection had turned to blind devotion, and the blinders were coming off to reveal that we had evolved separately (the least shocking reason of all and perhaps the most common). That anger wasn’t sexy or sustainable. That our hearts were still broken from trying so hard to fix it but no longer uncertain about whether or not we could. The finality nearly killed me, and I remember muttering, “But what if we still went on dates?” He laughed sadly. “Whatever you want.” But we knew there would be no dates, only the kind of loving but overly careful check-ins that define U P F R O N T> 3 4 REDISCOVERING HERSELF DUNHAM, PHOTOGRAPHED BY NORMAN JEAN ROY FOR VOGUE, 2017.
SITTINGS EDITOR: LAWREN HOWELL. HAIR, DIEGO DA SILVA; MAKEUP, ROMY SOLEIMANI. PRODUCED BY DAYNA CARNEY FOR ROSCO PRODUCTION.
Up Front Going Solo a separation after longtime togetherness, after hundreds upon hundreds of nights curled against each other in bed, after thousands of takeout boxes and millions of text messages and then the side-by-side texting, too, on the couch, under the dim blue light of the TV. Our home, a sprawling loft bought when we brimmed with shared plans for each room, was no longer a space of comfort. And it was hard, in this moment, to summon what it had been, what we had felt, the routines that defined and outlined our life as a couple. The sound of the washing machine starting up without your having pressed the button, the days you get up first and the days that he does. The hours you lose to shared silence on a Sunday and the back and forth, back and forth to the bodega, taking turns or walking together in jackets either too light or heavy for the season (nobody in this house is in the habit of checking the weather). It is impossible, in the moment of separation, to access just how valuable each and every one of these mundane acts will seem in a week or a month or four months. You won’t lie in your new bed, your solitary bed, thinking of your first date on a rainy night in April or that first “I love you” after drinks at the Carlyle (each of us ordered scotch to impress the other; neither lightweight consumed it). Not the castle on the beach in Portugal or the ocean in the Maldives full of fish the color of lipstick. You won’t be stuck on the Technicolor memories but rather the odd, quiet details that proved, again and again, that you were definitely not alone. We made the mutual decision that he would keep our home (he’s always loved it fiercely, while I got anxiety in the elevator), and I would regroup at my parents’ place, ten minutes away by cab. I used to love solitude. I considered it luxurious, a state in which fantasy and reality mixed and my world took on the mystical potency of a solstice gathering of nude witches. For this reason I hated summer camp, where the opportunities to be alone were scant. By age fourteen I was already pretty charmed by myself, and living for a month in a bunk of pubescent, writhing female life felt restrictive at best and repulsive at worst. One day a field trip was planned to a nearby water park, where we would all wear our green-andwhite uniforms over our bathing suits and be closely watched as we splashed in the shallow end of a heavily urinated-in public water feature. No, thank you. And so I did what any logical adolescent would do: I invented, with perfect symptomatic accuracy, a case of strep throat. Headache. Pain when swallowing. Vague chills. My case was airtight. They couldn’t question me until they got the swab back, which could take up to two days. And so I was quarantined on a cot in a corner in the nurse’s cabin, a place you went only if something had gone horribly awry. For a few hours she sat at her desk and I feigned feverish weakness until she announced that she was headed to lunch and would be back in an hour, the screen door slamming behind her as she waddled down the hill. And in that moment I realized that,
for the first time in weeks, I was alone. The light was bright and dusty. I could feel the wind through the open window, and I released the expression of agony I’d been using as my disguise. I lay perfectly still, almost too delighted. In high school my bedroom was a temple to personal space, the walls pasted completely with pictures (of Sylvia Plath and Jimmy Fallon, two very different but equally essential formative influences). On the walls I had scrawled images in lipstick of gaunt girls with big mouths and trees with extensive roots, and it never once occurred to me that this might be off-putting, maybe even send up a flare about my mental health. On a prehistoric laptop I typed doleful poems about the solitude I was actually relishing, and when I wasn’t inside I was walking in and out of various dollar stores—alone—to pick up crafting supplies (if you’ve never glued a bunch of plastic grapes to a $6 mirror, try it)! My independence was still novel, and every day felt like an opportunity to indulge in my own company, to soak in it like a bubble bath. Then, at college, came my first serious relationship. He was a beautiful, anxious film student with a blond beard and a red bike. I was in awe of him and quickly installed myself like a light fixture in his bedroom. He was monkish in his sleep patterns, and I stayed up much of the night staring at him: He was here. He was mine. When he moved into an efficiency apartment off campus, he told me he’d like a few nights a week to himself, to “just focus inward.” Rather than embrace the solo time, I would sit in my own bedroom, filled with desperate, sickened longing. One night I so convinced myself of the wrongness of our separation that I biked as fast as I could (please picture Miss Gulch in The Wizard of Oz, pedaling aggressively to avoid the coming tornado) and landed on his doorstep weeping. He offered me tea and counsel, then sent me home—admirable boundaries—but having had a taste of domesticity, I was almost chemically changed, rewired. The independence I had so prized was replaced with a mourning that could be sated only by consistent male company, even if (as it would happen later on with other boys) that company was rude in bars, talked loudly through art-house movies, and made sure to point out my less than ideal breast-to-butt ratio. Anything would do.
I quickly installed myself like a light fixture in his bedroom. . . . Having had a taste of domesticity, I was almost chemically changed, rewired
ven if some people like to be alone, nobody likes to be lonely. It’s been the subject of more art than can be consumed in a lifetime, the human aversion to loneliness and also the way we attune ourselves to it, become entrenched in a routine that isolates us. Too much has been said about the way technology allows us to experience the illusion of connection and retreat further into hermetic patterns, but it bears repeating that texts, emails, Facebook pokes, and Twitter faves do not a social life make. People are, it would seem, lonelier than ever and also less used to being alone. U P F R O N T> 3 6
Up Front Going Solo I recently spent the day with a girlfriend who was ruminating, almost obsessively, on what she would do for dinner that night. “I’m considering going out to eat alone,” she said, as if she were confessing to the murder of an innocent family of farmers. I’m not exaggerating when I say that she spent hours upon hours weighing the pros (“I really love the hamburgers at this place”) and cons (“But won’t it look weird? Maybe not if I sit at the bar”). “You’re insane,” I said. “I love to eat alone. I live for it. What’s more luxurious than enjoying your food without someone talking your freaking ear off ?” But I looked into my recent past and tried to remember such a time—sitting alone in an Indian restaurant spooning paneer onto my plate unmolested, or wearing my summer dress outside a café as I pored over the paper—and I was completely unable to locate an image of it. It was that pesky six-year relationship and the habits of someone unused to venturing out without a companion’s prodding. For an exquisite moment, rather than mourn the loss of my partner, I mourned the loss of my bravery. I used to have no problem staring into the face of the hostess when I said, “Just one for dinner, thank you.” As my relationship had unbraided itself, I would often fantasize about my own space, the mythical room of one’s own that Virginia Woolf once told every woman writer to demand, and I’d go so far as to conjure a floor plan, place the furnishings down, stack my books. But that was easy to imagine with a living, breathing body beside me, the constant option to call someone and complain about the chaos of my day or the stain on my skirt or the irritatingly apologetic way in which the woman at the pharmacy had asked for two forms of I.D. Now, security blanket removed, folded and shipped to some distant warehouse, I moved in with my parents and lay across their spare bed texting everyone I knew, “sup?” So how do you get back your taste for solo life, overcome the fear of your own thoughts? Even when my partner was away for work, the house had always been full with his presence—a wayward red sock, a pile of used earplugs. A Batman watch bought on eBay but never worn. I started slowly, with a bath, the kind that lasts so long you resemble a Shar-Pei, the kind where the water goes from scalding to fairly drinkable, the kind you let drain around your shivering body as you remember moles you’d forgotten dotted your abdomen. I found that the bath was a good starting place because bathing alone is natural, something you might even do with someone in the other room Skyping their cousin or playing video games. I read a poetry book cover to cover sitting at the kitchen counter while my parents were out for the night enjoying a more active social life than I do, double-fisting leftover Danish. Then I stepped into a restaurant not far from the house and asked for the table by the window, where I ordered only tea and a bread basket but considered it a start.
Finally, four months after the end, I found myself spending a weekend in the country, and I stepped outside and away from my companions, onto a gravel path, and in the dimming pink of the sunset I began along my way. It was simple—one foot in front of the other, hands swinging at my sides—but I thought, rather dramatically, I will remember this moment all my life. I had not, for once, succumbed to the numbing effect that sleep can have on the grieving. I had not demanded that my entire family join me in the TV room to rewatch a sitcom. I had made the choice to face the world—trees, sky, even a rude, shoe-thieving neighborhood dog named Rico—on my own, with the power and presence of someone who can tolerate herself. moved out of my parents’ place. The new apartment was temporary, clean and corporate, and soon the movers would stack nearly 70 small boxes, inefficiently but lovingly packed (a dish between two items of clothing, a trophy crushing a wide-brimmed hat) by the man with whom I once shared a humming home. I put my hands on my knees, winded from the sheer marathon of putting up with my own mind, and looked around. Outside boats moved along the East River like my pain meant nothing to them. Someone would be coming over soon, the electric current of new romance in the air, but I was still defining myself by what I had lost. And yet, standing alone in a temporary space, I could still feel the light in the nurse’s cabin bright on my face and the relief of the quiet, my quiet, to do with as I like, and the expanse of unused time stretching out before me. If I were being didactic I would say that this, this pure and fiery solitude, is the time in which women form themselves—and that a patriarchal society has removed that privilege from us through the threat of eternal loneliness as a penance for the sin of loving yourself. If I were being poetic I’d say that I felt like Peter Pan, having his shadow sewn back on by an obliging Wendy. I could see clearly just how much work I had to do to move forward, how it was almost like picking up a second job to make emotional ends meet. My new pastime was making the quiet all right for myself, defining my boundaries so that I had space to dream. I made a list, on actual paper, of things I like to do, activities that bring me joy, pursuits that nourish me (the ground rules: Do not mention work, work dinners, or masturbation. This is purely a list of useless but fulfilling stuff, like beading). Friends called and I started to feel like I could pick up without worrying about the hitch in my chest the moment they asked, “How are you feeling about it all?” I had some answers now that they might actually buy, that sounded healthy and self-assured and like the woman of extreme independence I wanted to become again. “I’m good, just chugging along.” But if I were being honest I’d answer them by saying that my heart could still ache for one home as I returned to myself in another.
How do you get back your taste for the solo life and overcome the fear of your own thoughts?
Fair Catch Grace Elizabeth, Estée Lauder’s newest muse, still has her small-town bona fides. Robert Sullivan gets the reel talk. IN LIFE, THERE IS MODELING and there is fishing. For Grace Elizabeth, fishing came first. “I didn’t think it was possible to be a model,” the 21-year-old says, speaking from her family home in Lake City, Florida. “I thought you had to be famous or live in New York City.” Also, she wasn’t really interested: “I wanted to play volleyball when I was a kid, and I wanted to be a boy, to mess around in the dirt.” Time passed. She landed a career, to put it mildly. But teach a fisherwoman to model and she will still fish. “The Suwannee River is near here,” Grace Elizabeth says on a rare day off, “and my aunt and uncle live on a lake. Once—I was about nine—we went out all day long and ended up B E A U T Y > 4 2
WATER ELEMENT GRACE ELIZABETH IN JACKETS BY COACH 1941 AND FRAME. PHOTOGRAPHED BY VICKI KING. FASHION EDITOR: KATIE BURNETT.
V L IFE
OUTSIDE INTERESTS RIGHT: GRACE ELIZABETH IN A POLO RALPH LAUREN JACKET, SEE BY CHLOÉ SWEATER AND JEANS, AND CHLOÉ TURTLENECK. BELOW: KAREN GRAHAM FISHING IN A 1975 ESTÉE LAUDER CAMPAIGN, PHOTOGRAPHED BY VICTOR SKREBNESKI.
getting 80 fish, little bream and catfish. Eighty fish! Also, my dad has a captain friend, and we go out on an airboat,” she adds, describing hauls of redfish and drums that she and her brother, Luke, who turns ten this month, pull in. “We fish in the brackish water where the river starts to meet the sea.” Not only was modeling a possibility for this teenager from a pine-forested part of North Florida, it now seems almost an inevitability. Grace Elizabeth has become a sensation—a favorite, for instance, of Karl Lagerfeld’s (she opened Chanel’s fall 2018 show and was looking very aquatic, come to think of it, in this spring’s campaign video) and beloved by others, too. “She’s a wonderful person, outgoing and down-to-earth,” says Inez van Lamsweerde, one half of the Dutch photography team Inez & Vinoodh. “She has this innate sense of how to project a certain kind of woman in a photograph.” You understand what van Lamsweerde’s referring to when you see Grace Elizabeth looking very Linda-era supermodel (violet cropped wig, big open smile) in the spring Versace campaign, and then evoking a Marcello Mastroianni costar on the cover of Italian Vogue, wearing a flick of liner and a crisp coral lip. “There are a lot of models who look beautiful in photos,” van Lamsweerde continues, “but she [knows] how to move—and this is not something you can really learn. You are born with it, and all the greats over the years have had it.” It’s not much of a surprise, then, that Grace Elizabeth has just been announced as the newest face of Estée Lauder, and astute students of beauty will recall that she is not the first model to wield a rod and reel. Karen Graham represented the brand from 1971 to 1985; in 1999, after retiring to become a trout-fishing guide, she returned to be photographed again in a Catskill stream, promoting face cream in waders and a fly vest. Grace Elizabeth is pleased to be the latest piscatorially inclined spokesmodel, as well as a little shocked. “I was thinking maybe I’d do a test shoot,” she says. But just like that, she joined an all-star team (“Carolyn Murphy, Hilary Rhoda, all these beautiful strong women”)—with the emphasis, for Grace Elizabeth, on team. “When you are a part of something, it just makes it that much sweeter—a group effort, a collaboration.” But even the girl who wanted to catch fish and play Olympic volleyball can mark her life in terms of makeup. At age four, she got into the cosmetics that her mother kept out of reach above the refrigerator (“I drew lots of circles on my face—not sure where I was going with that!”); her grandmother worked the Estée Lauder booth at the mall. (When Grace Elizabeth broke the news to her family, “we all kind of freaked,” she says.) Now she’s become something of a
fragrance-and-makeup expert, which she credits to her experience in the field. “I like to pay attention to what the makeup artists do, what the stylists do,” she says. “It’s not, in my opinion, enough to just show up and have your picture taken. You want to understand what everyone’s trying to create. It’s your job to take what they have given to you and blow it out of the park.” Makeup, she argues, amplifies that expressive potential. “It magnifies what you’re feeling,” she says. Off-camera, she hews to the classics, like bright-red lipstick, which makes her a perfect face for Lauder’s new high-end collection launching this September. “I also love a nude pouty lip,” she adds, referring to the way in which Brigitte Bardot overdrew the contours of her Cupid’s bow. “For me, it was just supersexy to see a smoldering eye and this beautifully lined lip.” She keeps it simple in other ways, trying to stay faithful to her yoga-and-boxing regimen, and to her online nutrition studies. On this visit home, you might have seen her hanging out at Marion Street Bistro with childhood friends and ordering her fave, the Buddha Bowl: quinoa with kale, red cabbage, and walnuts, topped with baked chickpeas. “It’s probably the healthiest meal around here,” she says, “but I do have a sloppy joe now and again.” And she still goes fishing—her family is heading to Maine to try catching lobster this summer, if lobstering counts as fishing—and swims in the Florida springs. “We have tons of clear streams and rivers,” she says, “and the Ichetucknee River is quite famous.” It’s full of underwater caves and connections, such that in 1972, the river’s main spring was declared a National Natural Landmark by the U.S. Department of the Interior. “You can dive in and end up in one of the other springs!” She relates swimming from one stream to the next to gliding between the fashion world and the everyday one. “They’re both beautiful in their own way,” she says. “In the beauty world, you can create a character, and you can express anything. And then you can take a step away.”
G RACE ELI ZA BE T H: HA I R, TA M AS T UZES. M A KEU P, J EN MY LES. P H OTO G RA P HE D I N WEST COPAKE, NY. GRAHAM: SKREBNESKI PHOTOGRAPH © 1975. DETAILS, SEE IN THIS ISSUE.
“Grace Elizabeth has this innate sense of how to project a certain kind of woman in a photograph,” says Inez van Lamsweerde
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FAS H I O N
“I have a fear of the undecorated,”
Chasing the Sun
Vacui (Latin for “avoid emptiness”),
In the digital-shopping age, your warm-weather wardrobe can travel even if you don’t. By Rachel Waldman.
British monarchy, a love of louche
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SANAYI 313 Conceived by brothers Enis and Amir Karavil, Sanayi 313 is a lifestyle boutique located in an abandoned car-repair shop in Istanbul, with an atelier designed by longtime friend Serena Uziyel. Their shoes—which Uziyel describes as “a mash-up of Turkish tropes like Ottoman weaving, natural linens, and traditional tones with a twist”—feel surprisingly modern, whether you’re sea- or city-bound. SANAYI 313 MULE, $785; BERGDORFGOODMAN.COM.
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Spanish designer Montserrat Alvarez’s twoyear-old label, Heimat Atlantica, is a study in mixing found crafts and cultures. Her brightly colored reed bags are hand assembled by local artisans in Portugal, adorned with porcelain talisman charms and cowry shells in Galicia, and finished with leather linings from Andalusia. Look for them at the Webster, Dover Street Market, Barneys New York, and MatchesFashion .com (there’s also a collaboration with Comme des Garçons launching this month).
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TA L E N T
Big Little Deal
With turns in Emmy- and Oscarwinning productions, Kathryn Newton isn’t starting small.
“I HAVE A POODLE PROBLEM!” confesses the actress Kathryn Newton. We’re sitting on a bench overlooking Manhattan’s South Street Seaport, sipping Nespresso from dainty china demitasse cups. Newton points to her shoes: blindingly white Miu Miu sneakers, the uppers bedazzled with sparkly poodles. Then she shows me a photo on her phone of her actual poodle (Jack, one year old, adorable) and another photo of her ceramic-poodle collection (vast, slightly unnerving). From the ankles up, Newton, who played Reese Witherspoon’s elder daughter, Abigail, on Big Little Lies—you know, the one who considers TA L E N T> 5 0
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CHECKING IN THE ACTRESS IN A FENDI COAT, A GOLDEN GOOSE DELUXE BRAND SHIRT, AND A BOTTEGA VENETA DRESS. ALEXANDER MCQUEEN CHOKER.
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V L IFE BILLIE LOURD IN GUCCI.
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auctioning off her own virginity—is wearing an outfit that channels a couple of recent roles: Her vinyl Fiorucci pants and pink Chanel belt are inspired by the live-action Pokémon movie she’s currently filming, her first appearance in a major tent-pole franchise. Her top is a vintage Birds and Bees blouse by Hollywood Golden Age costume designer Edith Head—a nod to Blockers, the raunchy ensemble comedy she starred in this spring, about three high school girls determined to lose their V-cards and the parents bent on stopping them. You may be picking up on a theme: “I know,” she says drily. “The virgin thing.” Newton, for the record, has never had a boyfriend. She’s 21, looks fifteen, and has been acting since she was four, when she landed a recurring role on a daytime soap opera. When she was twelve, her family moved to Los Angeles, where she attended a big Catholic high school, played a lot of golf (she’s good enough that going pro is still on the table), and was absent so frequently for acting gigs that when she ran for class president, the student body drew a blank. “I made T-shirts, gave out Kit Kats: ‘Kit Kat for Prez.’ They were like, Who is Kathryn Newton?” She lost, but she shrugs: “I made new friends.” She brings a similar equanimity to auditioning. “Not getting a job, you could really let that hurt your heart. I’ve always made auditioning fun, an opportunity to act.” Last year, Newton managed something of an awards-show hat trick, appearing in three of the year’s biggest projects: Big Little Lies; Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri; and Lady Bird. Coming up, she’ll take on the role of youngest sister Amy March—“genuinely my favorite March girl”—in the BBC/PBS adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women. (For this she filmed in Ireland, grew superclose with costar Maya Hawke, and became a corset convert. “I bought one and wore it on top of T-shirts.”) And then there’s Big Little Lies, season two. “I can’t be specific,” Newton demurs about her character’s plot arc, “but I know it’s going to be the hardest thing I’ve ever done.” She’s been struggling to understand a mystifying decision Abigail will make, chewing it over with Witherspoon: The actress, Newton says, “changed my life.” Some might be cowed; not Newton, whose outward breeziness belies an increasingly apparent inner intensity. (She casually mentions that she’s teaching herself Mandarin during breaks on the set.) “We don’t know,” she says about why Abigail does what she does. “And that’s so exciting for an actor. That’s a lot of life. You never really know why you make the choices you do.”—JULIA FELSENTHAL
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V L IFE FAS H I O N
Peak Performers The ultimate après-ski outfitter unveils a new collaborative concept called Moncler Genius. MONCLER WAS IN EXCELLENT financial condition when its Italian CEO, Remo Ruffini, recently decided to upend its business model. With a turnover of more than $1.5 billion in 2017, the ski jacket–maker didn’t need fixing. But Ruffini saw what was happening on Instagram and came to the conclusion that twice-yearly product releases just weren’t going to cut it with consumers anymore. His new strategy, which he’s dubbed Moncler Genius, involves monthly product releases, along with accompanying editorial projects with a group of eight name-in-lights designers. “The idea was to talk to different generations,” Ruffini says, “the young and urban; women looking for a coat for a special occasion; and people who take a more conceptual approach.” Unveiled at the start of Milan Fashion Week, the Geniuses are a truly impressive cohort, with Pierpaolo Piccioli of Valentino and his couture-like cloaks on one end; the logo-heavy, streetwear-influenced parkas of Fragment designer Hiroshi Fujiwara on the other; and distinctive talents like Simone Rocha and Craig Green in between. “What impressed me about Remo’s project was the idea of freedom, the idea of individuality,” says Piccioli, whose collaboration will arrive in October. “It was kind of democratic.” Piccioli envisions his “technical Madonnas,” which are rather sensationally grand despite being made from Moncler’s most basic material, paired with evening gowns and with jeans and sneakers. Rocha, for her part, has wasted no time incorporating the black parka and the classic black puffer gilet with vertical frills and pearls that she designed for her collaboration—due in September—into her own repertoire. “I wanted to make this hybrid of Moncler’s technical expertise and my feminine aesthetic,” she says. “I feel like it’s going to be a positive thing.” If Ruffini’s concept connects, count on more brands following in Moncler’s monthly-delivery footsteps. One of the virtues of the setup, the CEO points out, is its versatility. “We have the product to cover all the generations. But, having said that: The Genius-building doors are open.”—NICOLE PHELPS BLOW UP FROM LEFT: MODEL MOUNA FADIGA IN A 1 MONCLER PIERPAOLO PICCIOLI COAT ($4,135) AND DRESS ($2,710). MODEL SOPHIE KOELLA IN A 4 MONCLER SIMONE ROCHA JACKET ($4,560), SHIRT ($500), DRESS ($4,275), AND BOOTS. MODEL AMANDA SMITH IN A 4 MONCLER SIMONE ROCHA JACKET ($1,840), DRESS ($2,710), AND BOOTS. ALL AT MONCLER, NYC. HAIR, TAMARA MCNAUGHTON; MAKEUP, ROMY SOLEIMANI. DETAILS, SEE IN THIS ISSUE. PHOTOGRAPHED BY SEAN THOMAS. FASHION EDITOR: JORDEN BICKHAM.
S ET D ES I G N , OW L A N D TH E E LE P HA N T. P RO DUCE D BY C LEV EL A ND JO NES FO R 3 6 0P M .
V L IFE BOOKS
Sunshine & Shadows A trio of powerful new books for the elevated beach read. By Megan O’Grady.
In Rachel Cusk’s Kudos (FSG), the culminating volume of the trilogy that began with Outline, Cusk’s heroine, the flinty writer Faye, is touring European literary festivals. She’s remarried, seemingly content—and has just as sharp a filter. This time, the less glamorous sides of creative life come under scrutiny via the voices of long-winded journalists and publicists, a bottom line– minded publisher, and a handful of other writers, all of whom speak to the ways in which we construct our realities— our sense of identity, purpose, and even nationhood. This “state of painful
Florida A sense of fragility and civilization’s-edge peril pervades Lauren Groff’s Florida (Riverhead), but it doesn’t come from snakes and alligators (though there are those, too). In what is easily the year’s best story collection, the threats are human-made—a graduate student loses her funding and resorts to living out of her car; a pair of sisters marooned by a storm reckon with a far more fundamental abandonment— and the Sunshine State serves as a protean reflection of a larger sense of American decline. Groff’s novels, edged in beauty and doom, have always had a prescient quality; now that our uneasy times have caught up with her, these indelibly vivid tales read like inoculations against cynicism.
self-awareness where human fictions lose their credibility” feels high-stakes and bracingly compelling, and Cusk’s brilliantly reasoned argument against the false security of narrative continues to hit a nerve.
The Verdun Affair As evocative as it is unflinching in its verisimilitude, Nick Dybek’s second novel, The Verdun Affair (Scribner), begins shortly after the First World War in an ossuary, a makeshift memorial of sorts where unidentified remains of soldiers are gathered. Into this metaphorrich setting a young American wife arrives seeking answers, and a precarious romance ensues with the man who tries to help her. The identity of an amnesiac soldier is the mystery at the novel’s ambiguous heart, but capturing the fragmented textures of war’s afterlife, and the private desires that seem to glow with even greater intensity in memory, is Dybek’s true ambition.
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H E A LT H
Tick Tock As Lyme disease continues its alarming spread, researchers are taking novel tacks. Ginny Graves reports from the front lines—and backyards—of a confounding crisis. ine years ago, when Deanna Needell was in grad school at UC Davis, she was beset by stomach pain after a bull’s-eye rash swelled around a bug bite—a telltale sign of Lyme disease. “Because I live in California, where Lyme is less common, none of the doctors I saw early on even mentioned it,” she says. The lapse was costly: Needell developed migraines so impervious to medication that she often wound up in the ER; years later, when she started having muscle spasms, her doctor was concerned she might have ALS. (Left untreated, Lyme bacteria can spread to the muscles, nerves, brain, and heart, triggering debilitating complications.) A friend finally floated the possibility of Lyme, and Needell got tested. After a diagnosis and intermittent courses of antibiotics, most of her symptoms have abated. Now a mathematician at UCLA with a Ph.D., Needell, 37, is seeking answers in big data. Since receiving a National Science Foundation grant in 2017, she and her colleagues
have come up with new ways to comb through LymeDisease .org’s registry, which houses more than two million data points from 9,000 patient surveys. The ambitious effort aims to uncover patterns of symptoms that could inform testing procedures and lead to more effective, personalized treatments for a disease that presents differently from patient to patient. Already Needell has noticed more women than men in the survey. “Maybe that has to do with gender bias in medicine, or maybe women’s immune systems respond differently to the bacteria. That’s one of many complex issues we’d like to illuminate.” Transmitted by the black-legged tick (also known as the deer tick), native to a swath of the U.S. that spans the Northeast into the Midwest, Lyme is caused by a spiral-shaped bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi—a wily foe H E A LT H > 6 0 TURF WARS TICK-FIGHTING YARD SPRAYS ARE NOW ROUTINE FOR MANY IN AREAS WITH LYME. PHOTOGRAPHED BY ARTHUR ELGORT, VOGUE, 2012.
V L IFE that, instead of circulating in the blood, hides in body tissue, where it’s far harder to detect. Traditional blood tests won’t find the bacteria, so labs look for the next best thing: antibodies that show you’ve been exposed. But the approach is hit or miss. According to Brian Fallon, M.D., director of the Lyme and Tick-borne Diseases Research Center at Columbia University, the current two-step diagnostic process is only 35 to 50 percent accurate early on, when treatment is most successful. That ambiguity only compounds the suffering, as Porochista Khakpour writes in Sick, a new memoir charting her labyrinthine ordeal with Lyme. “To pinpoint this disease, to define it, in and of itself is something of a labor already,” she says in a fact-filled author’s note, which includes the startling statistic that the “number of outbreaks each year has more than tripled since 1980”—a rate that stands to grow as black-legged ticks continue their alarming territorial expansion. “They’re in at least 30 countries and nearly half of all counties in the U.S.—twice as many as 20 years ago—and there’s compelling evidence that their spread is due, in part, to a warming climate that’s more accommodating to ticks,” says Mary Beth Pfeiffer, author of Lyme: The First Epidemic of Climate Change. As the illness reaches pandemic proportions—with hundreds of thousands of cases in the U.S. annually—innovative efforts are under way to confront and contain it. Fallon’s colleagues at Columbia are homing in on a more sophisticated antibody test to identify eight common tick-borne pathogens;
potentially transmitted in a single bite, these other strains can cause additional diseases (like Rocky Mountain spotted fever or Heartland virus, for example) that often confound doctors and complicate treatment of Lyme. Meanwhile, researchers at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Dutchess County, New York, are trying to stop the spread of Lyme at its source. The Tick Project—their five-year trial involving nearly 1,000 high-risk households—is testing two interventions: a fungal yard spray as well as a tiny bait box that brushes curious rodents with a tick-killing product. Though deer are often associated with the spread of Lyme, “most ticks pick up the bacteria after feeding on white-footed mice,” explains disease ecologist Richard Ostfeld, Ph.D. MIT scientists have an even more radical proposal: They want to edit the DNA of white-footed mice so they and their offspring are immune to the bacteria—or, better yet, repellent to the bugs themselves. “Either way, it means far fewer infected ticks,” says Kevin Esvelt, Ph.D., an evolutionary engineer, who conceived the initiative. He has approached the island community on Nantucket, where 40 percent of households have been affected by Lyme, about potentially releasing thousands of genetically modified mice there. Implementation would be years into the future—much like the Lyme vaccine, recently granted a fast-track designation by the Food and Drug Administration—but Esvelt is thinking big. “If it’s effective, we might be able to create a modified version that would work for the mainland as well.”
Belle de Jour 60
FIRST CAME THE INSTAGRAM feed of envy-inducing interiors featuring an elegantly curated selection of whimsical oldworld objects. Then came the Amagansett pop-up. This June, Annabelle Moehlmann will launch Land of Belle’s second temporary store, in Manhattan’s Nolita; a website; and a wedding registry. Her collection includes internationally sourced wares like hand-blown drinking glasses from Murano, oneof-a-kind Iznik vases from Turkey, and ceramic anemones (LEFT) from the Naples-based porcelain house Riccio Caprese. Not everything had to cross an ocean; the table linens are hand-sewn in New York. “I wanted to create a destination where like-minded people could find unique pieces from different parts of the globe in one place,” says Moehlmann.—NOOR BRARA
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Black-legged ticks are in at least 30 countries and nearly half of all U.S. counties, says Mary Beth Pfeiffer, citing a warming climate
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Extra, Extra Thanks to stars like Cardi B, nineties-style maximalist manicures are bringing the bling.
“MY NAILS MIGHT blind y’all,” the hip-hop artist Cardi B warns, flashing her iridescent, crystal-studded, two-inch claws in an Instagram video seen by nearly two million people. The Bronx native behind the No. 1 album Invasion of Privacy hasn’t just signaled a new reign of the female rapper. With a talon-tipped finger on the pulse, Cardi B is part of a contingent bringing back the full-tilt manicures of the nineties— only this time with the kitsch dialed up and piled up. Two decades ago, when Lil’ Kim’s manicurist, Bernadette Thompson, blinged out the rapper’s tips with a cut-up dollar bill—inspired in part by her cameo on the 1995 Junior M.A.F.I.A. track “Get Money”—it sparked a wave of copycat designs. (Last fall, the Museum of Modern Art filed away those iconic “money nails,” along with other wearable archetypes, in “Items: Is Fashion Modern?”) “If you a fly gal, get your nails done,” Missy Elliott said in 2002’s “Work It,” and
the artist was still taking her own advice this past February, when she turned up at the opening for Junie Bee Nails. Run by singer and Yeezy protégée Teyana Taylor, the Harlem salon is a throwback homage, complete with uniforms designed by the streetwear couturier Dapper Dan. But it’s B who’s the current ambassador for next-level tips. “Cardi used to ask for ice-cream cones and cupcakes and 3D pink balls— little-girl stuff,” says Jenny Bui, the New York–based manicurist who has been her collaborator for five years. “But then I introduced her to Swarovski. She’s extra,” says Bui, “so I give her extra.” At Bui’s Bronx salon—where a chandelier modeled on Chanel’s double-C logo hangs from the ceiling, and a doormat printed with a $100 bill marks the entrance—an appointment buys you a guaranteed two hours with the nail artist, whose kit includes rulers to precisely measure each tip, acrylic brushes, powders, polishes, and trays (and trays) of crystal rhinestones. The results last up to five weeks, with an added perk. “You wear my nail, you don’t need to wear jewelry,” says Bui. It’s an enticing thought: that maximalism like this can be an unexpected route to simplicity. Now mad manicures can be worn with oversize denim jackets and sweatpants for a look that’s still chic, says Mei Kawajiri, whose nail creations—accented with fashion-house logos or political statements—have made her a backstage fixture at Tom Ford and Balenciaga, not to mention a favorite of Kanye West’s. And don’t dismiss the designs as cumbersome: “It’s easier to maneuver now than when I had a flip phone,” says Elliott, her middle finger adorned with gems encircling a portrait of Prince. Gigi Hadid, one of Kawajiri’s devoted clients, similarly takes any impracticalities in stride. “Mei does really creative, big, and bulky nails where you can take off parts,” the model says of the modular constructions. “It’s worth it,” adds Kawajiri, who once adorned a special set with Barbie’s pink pumps, the detachable plastic accessories plucked straight from the doll herself. “Def extra.”—KATE BRANCH FLASH FORWARD MODEL NISAA POUNCEY IN A BURBERRY JUMPSUIT AND SWAROVSKI-STUDDED NAILS BY JENNY BUI. PHOTOGRAPHED BY RÉMI LAMANDÉ. FASHION EDITOR: KATIE BURNETT.
HAIR, ADAM SZABÓ. MAKEUP, ERIN PA RSONS. DETAILS, SEE IN THIS ISSUE.
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Caroline Weber unveils the inspirations for Proust’s Duchesse de Guermantes. REIGNING OVER FIN-DE-SIÈCLE PARISIAN society was no simple matter, at least according to Marcel Proust. His epic novel, In Search of Lost Time, recounts the intricate network of affairs, betrayals, put-downs, and comeuppances linking a coterie of aristocrats with rare outsiders who, by wealth, flattery, or talent, gain access to their gilded salons. At the summit of this fictional beau monde, the Duchesse de Guermantes—in Proust’s words, “the most cheated-on, if the most beautiful, woman in Paris”—exerts a particular fascination. Her lineage, high style, dry wit, and sophisticated tastes captivate the narrator, until he is drawn closer into her world. This indelible character didn’t spring fully formed from the author’s imagination. In Proust’s Duchess, Caroline Weber, a professor of French at Barnard and the author of an acclaimed study of Marie Antoinette’s wardrobe (Queen of Fashion), leads us through the lives of three glittering stars of Paris whom Proust worshipped, mostly from afar. Dazzlingly well researched and compulsively readable, Weber’s book posits the Vicomtesse Greffulhe, Laure de Chevigné, and Geneviève Halévy Bizet Straus as artists of self-presentation. Élisabeth de Riquet de Caraman-Chimay (the future Vicomtesse Greffulhe) had received, for a girl, an unusually thorough education, often accompanying her father, a Belgian prince, on diplomatic missions. Her marriage at eighteen was a mismatch: The vicomte disparaged his bride’s dark beauty and intelligence, favoring blonde, blue-eyed
mistresses. Laure de Chevigné’s ancestors included the notorious Marquis de Sade and her namesake, the poet Petrarch’s muse. She parlayed an early marriage to a lackluster count serving the exiled French court in Austria into a leading role among the gratin of Paris. Her salty language, gender-bending fashions, exaggerated links to the ancien régime, and near total independence from her husband delighted members of the all-male Jockey Club, even as they raised eyebrows—and blood pressure—elsewhere. But it was through Geneviève Halévy Bizet Straus that the young Marcel (despairingly bourgeois but an assiduous flatterer) first penetrated society. An assimilated Jew (like him) and the mother of a school friend, Geneviève was a fragile, glamorous Bohemian. Her first husband, composer Georges Bizet, died on the eve of achieving world renown with his opera Carmen, whose Gypsy heroine, it was whispered, owed much to his young wife’s dark, Sephardic looks and skill at flirtation. Known as the “Mauve Muse” for the half-mourning she wore for years, Geneviève would loll in a peignoir on her daybed beneath a haunting portrait of herself, to pull the strings of a salon packed with high-profile artists, politicians, and writers. What did these muses think of Proust? “A displeasing little man who was forever skulking in doorways” was how the elderly Mme Greffulhe recalled him to her grandchildren— proof, yet again, that we are always the stars of our own lives, however history may judge us.—LESLIE CAMHI
LE FT: U D E PA RN S. IN A RESTAU RANT IN THE BOIS DE BOULOGNE IN PARIS , LATE 19TH CENTURY. COLOR LITHOGRAPH. BIBLIOTHÈQUE DES A RTS D ÉCORAT I FS, PA RI S, FRA N CE /A RCHI V ES CH A RME T/ BRI D G E MA N IM AG ES. GR EFFULH E AND D E CH ÉVIGNÉ: © MINISTÈR E D E LA CULTUR E/ M ÉD I AT HÈQU E DU PAT RI M OI NE , D I ST. R MN - G RA N D PA L A I S/A RT RESOU RCE, NY. H ALÉVY: PAUL NADAR /PVD E/BR ID GEMAN IMAGES.
ÉPOQUE BELLES FAR LEFT: A PROUSTIAN SCENE IN THE BOIS DE BOULOGNE. CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: THE COMTESSE GREFFULHE, THE COMTESSE ADHÉAUME DE CHEVIGNÉ, AND GENEVIÈVE HALÉVY BIZET STRAUS.
Food in Vogue is a chronicle of the fashion authority’s long-standing fascination with culinary culture, drawing together images that have appeared in Vogue from the world’s top photographers— Irving Penn, Helmut Newton, Anton Corbijn, Annie Leibovitz, and others—as well as the journalism of food writers, including James Beard Award–winning Jeffrey Steingarten. Foreword by Phyllis Posnick Introduction by Taylor Antrim
PUBLISHED BY ABRAMS
Available wherever books are sold
V L IFE BEAUTY
“BACKSTAGE, I ONLY have five or six bottles of foundation in my kit because I can mix them together for a perfect shade match,” says makeup artist Peter Philips. “We can’t expect the everyday woman to do that.” Still, in an age when pro products fly off the shelves and tutorials come at the tap of a finger, there’s room for an arsenal rigorous enough for life on set and user-friendly enough for the real world. That’s what Philips, creative and image director for Dior Makeup, had in mind for Dior Backstage, a sweeping new 61-piece collection. Only this time, along with finely tuned eye shadows, lip colors, specialized brushes, and a contour palette (“inspired by Bella Hadid—she loves it”), he’s delivering something that for a long time didn’t exist: an encyclopedic shade range of foundations. It’s a far cry from two decades ago, when model Debra Shaw, fresh from a breakout appearance in Vogue, had to tote around her own foundation because makeup artists rarely knew how to work with her dark skin tone. Her first job with Philips was “like a Cinderella situation, the perfect fit,” she says, recalling his skill at matching complexions, which extends to the Face and Body Foundation. Available in 40 shades, the waterproof formula wears like real skin, for confidence without complication.—LAUREN VALENTI
Pro Shop A new Dior Makeup line reimagines backstage essentials for every day—and everyone.
SHORE THING SAOIRSE RONAN STARS OPPOSITE BILLY HOWLE IN ON CHESIL BEACH. BE AU T Y: JOS EP H I NE SCH I EL E. P RO P ST YLI ST, PAU L P ET ZY. M OV I ES: RO BE RT V I G LASKY/BLEECKER STR EET.
In Dominic Cooke’s On Chesil Beach, a touching adaptation of Ian McEwan’s novel about the bad old days of 1962 England, naive newlyweds Florence Ponting (Saoirse Ronan) and Edward Mayhew (Billy Howle) have the worst wedding night in history. Charting Florence’s and Edward’s emotional shifts with enormous sympathy, this intimate film reminds us that the line between bedroom farce and tragedy can be scarily thin. Music is the food of love for Frank Fisher (Nick Offerman), the hero of Brett Haley’s tuneful empty-nest comedy Hearts Beat Loud. With his life coming apart, this Brooklyn widower is feeling blue until he talks his reluctant daughter Sam (Kiersey Clemons) into forming a band with him. Clemons fills the screen with her radiance: When she sings, this amiably shambling movie suddenly takes wing.—JOHN POWERS
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V L IFE N O S TA L G I A
Run, Baby, Run
The arrival of a group of strong, beautiful, black female athletes in the nineties gave a young Alexis Okeowo a new way to be in the world.
t was 22 years ago, the last, sticky afternoons of summer break, right before I had to return to the dreariest parts of being an eleven-year old: homework, early bedtimes, rules about when I could see my friends. But, for that moment in early August, the Olympics were on television. And the games felt tantalizingly close; they were being held in Atlanta, a mere two-hour drive from my hometown of Montgomery, Alabama. If my family took a spontaneous trip there, our Southern version of New York City, I imagined I would probably run into at least a few athletes. The TV would have to do. I had never been athletic, preferring to immerse myself in novels or play Super Mario with my brothers, but those Olympics, and the Winter Games that came a few years later, felt like the start of a new phase. In the most vital and captivating sports, young black women were dominating. In Atlanta, in 1996, Jackie Joyner-Kerseeâ€”lean, graceful, and powerfulâ€”won a bronze
in the long jump, even with a leg injury. There were more like her in the other sports I was beginning to love: Dominique Dawes in gymnastics, Surya Bonaly in figure skating. They stood out to me like unicorns, brilliantly radiant athletes who, in the case of Dawes and Bonaly, were not much older than me but were crashing down the popular ideas of what a champion could look like. They had dark skin, thick hair, an intangible but real glamour, and the kind of ambition that had not usually been associated with black women. I was mesmerized. I wanted to do what they did, look like they looked, be them. My parents watched me with amusement: My father was a professor, and my mother would later become one as well, and they preferred that I focus on my academics. I had my father take me to the local bookstore N O S TA L G I A >74 WINNING STYLE JACKIE JOYNER-KERSEE, PHOTOGRAPHED BY HERB RITTS, VOGUE, 1988.
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Track and Field
and the public library so I could dig through magazines for profiles of Joyner-Kersee and linger on past photos of her, including the striking 1988 ones of her in Vogue, mid-stretch and leap, gliding on the page. I liked that she was exceedingly feminine and that she possessed extreme physical strength and skill. She could run fast, and jump high and far, and also wear bright dresses and lipstick. Joyner-Kersee wanted to be the best at her sport, and to be beautiful. As a young girl, I was still trying to determine where I fit on the beauty scale. I didn’t have much concern for perfect hair or skin—I ran from my mother when she attempted to relax my hair every eight weeks and failed to see the point of makeup—but I still wanted to be attractive, desirable. I coveted the clothing of the most popular girls in class, begging my mother to take me to the Limited and the Gap to buy the latest preppy designs. I would realize only later that those clothes didn’t suit me at all.
nd so despite being a creature of resolutely indoor pursuits, I decided to try to be an athlete, too. My eleventh year was also my last year of elementary school, and I considered my options. Track was already mandatory: We had to run a mile behind the school each week, and we all competed to get the fastest time. Maybe this could be my sport. One Friday I vowed to give it my best shot instead of my usual bored mix of jogging and walking. I managed to go faster (better than the time I tripped on my bell-bottom floral jumpsuit, at least), but still not fast enough to place. More important, I didn’t enjoy it. Next I considered ice skating. Bonaly, a French teenager when she had burst onto the competitive–figure skating scene like an explosion, was a black girl with a contagious energy who performed the kinds of daring jumps fans had never seen before. Each time she did a seemingly impossible turn, you couldn’t help but hold your breath in fear and anticipation—and yet she nearly always landed beautifully. She was a rebel, too, strong and defiant and so unlike the girl-next-door image represented by skaters like Nancy Kerrigan. In my hometown we had exactly one public ice-skating rink, in a mall I had visited at friends’ birthday parties, where I clung to the sides. I loved the idea of ice skating: the grace of ballet on a thick, hard sheet of ice. But in practice it was terrifying, no matter how comfortable I became balancing on two blades. The economics of it were also tricky: The skates, uniforms, and training sessions would run into the thousands, certain to be a burden for our middle-class family. And life had its own plan. Not long after these experiments, I learned during a routine physical that I had scoliosis. My spine was curved in two places, so my parents
and I went to an orthopedic surgeon with apprehension. After surveying my X-rays, the doctor recommended that I wear a corrective brace to hold the deep bends straight as I grew. My parents were devastated. For the next two years, I would visit an orthotic specialist who regularly wrapped me from chest to hips in wet strips of plaster that, when dried, made a mold of my spine. It felt like being fitted with a medieval corset, and I moved like a robot at first. Although the surgeon had joked about another girl with a brace who dared boys to punch her in her (now well-shielded) stomach, I was worried about my classmates’ noticing it. Sports, much less gym class, were out of the question. During these years, my father and I swung between getting along wonderfully and not at all—often within a single day—because we were so much alike: intellectual, moody, and, back then, short-tempered. Our biggest fights revolved around his disciplinarian vision for my life and my need for the freedom to make my own mistakes. But while the brace was on, my dad was my coconspirator, hunting for new novels and music, whatever made me temporarily forget I was wearing it. And when the brace came off in high school and I still wanted to be Jackie Joyner-Kersee, he, surprisingly, embraced my sports-hopping. I now see that it was his way of demonstrating that he understood I had endured an experience that was both difficult and unexpected. And so he followed me, shuttling me to practices, sitting in on games. The man who once would have hesitated to let me sign up for a team, wanting me instead to focus on academics, was my biggest fan on the field or mat or court. We went through each sport together, seeing in each other qualities that were new to us both. I signed up for gymnastics. At fourteen I was as tall as the teacher and almost twice the age of the other girls in the introductory class, but I couldn’t have cared less. I dutifully learned to tumble and stand on the balance beam. My dad proudly came to watch me roll on the mat with the other girls; we both laughed uncontrollably afterward about how I loomed a head over everyone else. My dad was in the stands when I joined a girls’ soccer team, too, the last endeavor of my athletic career after a spirited, though disastrous, bout of tennis. Finally I had found my place. I immediately took to it. I was a defender, responsible for blocking players from the opposing team, and my position was near the goal. Once, during a heated scuffle for the ball, I bounced it off my head away from the net; my coach told me he was impressed. It was electrifying to realize that I could be good, that I had some kind of secret penchant for this sport, and I soon imagined myself Joyner-Kersee-like, turning heads as I ran across the field. It was a stretch, but only in the literal sense. Along the way, I had managed to acquire confidence. A lot of things began to seem possible.
The athletes had dark skin, thick hair, an intangible but real glamour, and the kind of ambition that had not usually been associated with black women
A Perfect Balance Glowing skin is a natural canvas for jewelry designer Stella Simona’s modern heirlooms
or all of the double taps and adoring Instagram comments dedicated to Stella Simona’s jewelry line, Haati Chai, there are three words for her supernatural complexion. “Flawless,” “Perfection,” and “Gorgeous” are written en masse beneath smartly cropped closeups of her shoulders, midrif, and collarbones bathed in sunlight. For the entrepreneur and mother, healthy skin is not only a sign of internal wellbeing, but also a source of inspiration. “I think of my skin as my canvas,” she says. It’s a ﬁttingly straightforward approach for the ﬁrst-generation Angeleno, whose designs streamline the extravagant Bangladeshi heirlooms she grew up wearing for the modern woman’s everyday wardrobe. She
has developed a pragmatic morning beauty routine that won’t wake up her two-year-old son and won’t compete with her signature cascade of necklaces, earrings, and bodychains. With a pressing of hydration-sealing moisturizer onto her face and a pass of Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion on her body, Simona is all but out the door. On occasion, she admits, a swipe of glinting highlighter along her cheekbones helps to make her already lit-from-within skin shine as brilliantly as her cultish jewelry designs. “I keep it simple in the morning,” she says. “After becoming a mom, [you realize] it doesn’t have to be so complicated.” Still, a stress-free morning, says Simona, is the product of an indulgent nighttime ritual that keeps her skin smooth and her mind clear. After her son goes to sleep, she draws a bath that she describes as “the working
woman’s ultimate multitasking beauty hack.” In the bath, she can do a mask, read, meditate, unwind, and give herself a full-body scrubdown. Afterwards, Simona mixes fragrant oils into her stalwart Aveeno lotion. “It’s the moisturizer we grew up with,” she says of the lightweight but high-impact formula that was especially adept at combating her childhood eczema. Now, when she blends it in her hands with a relaxing drop of eucalyptus, mint, or lavender oil, it settles her thoughts while promising to seal in hydration well through the next day. “It keeps that balance in my skin,” she says—and in her schedule. Come morning, the only decision she has to make is what jewelry to wear.
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RIHANNA FOR REAL A candid chat with Queen Ri about skin color, undies, turning 30, body image, Drake, and— oh, yes—internet dating. By Chioma Nnadi. Photographed by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott.
IT’S A FOGGY SPRING NIGHT in Paris, and Rihanna has just wrapped up a meeting with her accountant in the penthouse suite of the Four Seasons hotel, a place that will serve as her makeshift office for the next few days. The evening panorama from the terrace is about as picture-postcard pretty as Paris gets, though at this late hour the lights on the Eiffel Tower have long since gone out. Robyn “Rihanna” Fenty is a night owl. Her most intense bouts of creativity often come after midnight, a rhythm she picked up early in her music career. In the dark, soundproofed environment of a recording studio, time is elastic. And when you’re Rihanna, and the world is your oyster, then time is really elastic. It’s perhaps why she doesn’t seem particularly bothered that today’s to-do list is far from done. There is a stack of Fenty Beauty campaign printouts piled high on her desk awaiting her approval; a flood of unanswered emails from Fenty team members in various time zones, all happily waiting on her too. Right now, though, there is a more pressing issue on the agenda, one that demands her full attention: Rihanna has decided that it’s time to fix my love life. “So wait, you’re on a dating app? You don’t seem like the dating-app type,” she says as her almond-shaped green eyes peer into my iPhone. “Come sit here; you gotta teach me how to do this swipe thing.” Rihanna is all curled up in a cozy hotel bathrobe and has a pair of comfy Fenty Puma slides on her feet, and yet she radiates flawless glamour—hair tousled
in loose waves, skin luminous. Though I have taken great pains to put together what I think is a Rihanna-worthy look— Jacquemus blouse, vintage Yves Saint Laurent tuxedo pants—it’s hard not to feel like a tarnished penny next to a freshly minted gold coin as I sidle up to her on the sofa. Rihanna asks if she can take a look through the photos on my app, and I oblige. “What is that dress? Is that vintage Jean Paul Gaultier?” she asks, pausing on my profile picture, a bathroom selfie taken in a swanky Hollywood hotel. “You better werk, girl; you look gorgeous!” I do my best to play it cool, but the little fangirl inside me is freaking out. Hanging out with Rihanna is every bit as fun as her costars in the upcoming Ocean’s 8 movie make it sound: You know you’re in the presence of a superstar, but it’s like you’re chatting with an old friend. “It’s a combination of being starstruck and being immediately put at ease,” explains Sandra Bullock. “She also has this warmth, and when she shines it on you, it makes you feel pretty damn amazing!” Before long, we’re on the hunt for potential suitors. “This guy is too pretty—if you’re pretty, you at least gotta have wrinkles,” Rihanna says, sizing up a male-model type who’s posing bare-chested on a surfboard. And so we’re on to the next. “OK, and this one is giving me Charlie Manson. No?” I nod in agreement; psychopaths are not an option. After swiping through a dozen profiles or more, she lands on a good one. “Now, this is your type!” she says.
She’s not wrong: This man is scruffy but handsome, age appropriate (36), and appears to be gainfully employed (an actor, not my first choice, but hey, nobody’s perfect). “He looks smart, he’s British, and he’s got edges!” (Translation: He’s got all his own hair.) She swipes right, and a message pops up almost instantaneously on the screen: It’s a match! We both throw our heads back and start screaming with laughter.
ut don’t be fooled: The giddy highs and lows of singledom are fast becoming a distant memory for Rihanna. Right now, she’s in a relationship. “I used to feel guilty about taking personal time,” she says, “but I also think I never met someone who was worth it before.” Though she’s reluctant to talk about her partner by name, rumors have been swirling around her connection to Hassan Jameel, a young Saudi businessman, since paparazzi photos of her vacationing with a handsome stranger in Spain made the rounds last summer. These recent romantic developments are, however, part of a much bigger sea change for Rihanna, who turned 30 this year. For the first time in her life, she’s fully committed to a healthy work-life balance. “Even mentally, just to be away from my phone, to be in the moment, that has been key for my growth,” she says. “Now, when I come to work, I’m all in. Because before you know it, the years will go by. I’m glad I’m taking the time. I’m happy.” Still, making those kinds of pivotal lifestyle adjustments isn’t always easy—especially if, like Rihanna, you’ve been on the celebrity treadmill since you were a teenager. It’s even tougher now that she’s not only the face of her personal brand but also the CEO of a burgeoning global beauty-and-fashion empire. Pulling double duty as both badass rock star and savvy businesswoman across a working orbit that spans California (home base for her new lingerie collaborators) and Europe can take a physical toll on even the most intergalactic of superstars. Since giving up her apartment in SoHo, New York, last fall, Rihanna spends most of her time in either London or Los Angeles, though to hear her tell it, she basically lives on a plane. I witnessed her pushed up against her limits just a few days earlier, when, hours before the cover shoot for this issue, she was suddenly taken ill. The setting couldn’t have been more breathtaking—a villa overlooking Es Vedrà, the mythically charged, rocky island off the southwestern coast of Ibiza that’s said to be the third-most-magnetic place on the planet. But not even adamantine willpower could overcome the exhaustion that Rihanna was feeling in that moment. “I don’t know if it was too much magnetic energy for me, but it sure knocked me on my ass,” she says in Paris, explaining that she often experiences the same symptoms around this time of the year, usually between touring and awards-show season. “It
The success of her cosmetics line was unprecedented, reportedly racking up a staggering $100 million in sales within 40 days
HIGH PROFILE The singer describes her home, Barbados, as paradise. “People save for their whole lives to go on vacation there, and it’s easy to take that for granted,” she says. Stella McCartney Swimwear. Jennifer Fisher earrings. Fashion Editor: Tonne Goodman.
was like my immune system had just had it with me.” The next day she appeared to be back to her old self, cracking jokes with photographers Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott and pulling goofy faces between shots when she thought they were not looking, though it was clear her energy levels had taken a beating. She headed to Paris on a private jet a day early and rescheduled our interview, so I followed her flight path.
ihanna might be a force of nature, but she’s not superhuman. She’s been thinking more seriously about taking care of herself since she celebrated her birthday in New York this past February. That night she was tucked up in bed well before 4:00 a.m. (believe it or not, this is early for Rihanna) and woke up the next morning without any trace of a hangover in time to see her closest friends and family off to the airport—hardly the kind of behavior we expect from the woman we’ve come to know as @badgalriri on Instagram. These days she shares the same anxieties about her well-being as many young women her age: “OK, so now that I’m 30, are there things I’m supposed to do? Should I be worried? Should I be freezing my eggs? What do you do at 30?!” But if you think that means she’s slowing down, think again: Judging by the list of her upcoming and ongoing projects, Rihanna is gearing up for what is poised to be one of the most productive periods of her career. There’s the much-anticipated release this month of Ocean’s 8, in which she plays Nine Ball, a street-smart hacker with waist-length dreadlocks in an all-female crew of bandits (Sandra Bullock, Sarah Paulson, Cate Blanchett, Mindy Kaling, and Helena Bonham Carter) plotting a heist at the Met ball. (The real-life plot twist here is that Rihanna cohosted this year’s gala, alongside Donatella Versace and Amal Clooney.) Ocean’s 8 director Gary Ross remembers first spitballing ideas for the film with Rihanna backstage after a concert she played in Malmö, Sweden, in 2016. It was during that late-night brainstorming session that they decided to tie Rihanna’s island roots into her character profile and make Nine Ball Bajan. “Rihanna is so bravely authentic. She doesn’t care what people think of her; she’s fully invested in being herself,” says Ross. “She also has a seriousness of purpose and focus that not a lot of people have. It’s all about the work, and it doesn’t come with any excess personal baggage.” On the heels of the insanity of making a blockbuster movie, Rihanna somehow managed to launch Fenty Beauty in collaboration with Kendo, LVMH’s incubator for cool new makeup brands, last September. Leading with a range of foundations that cover a full spectrum of skin tones (there are 40 different shades), the brand shook up the beauty industry in ways few currently within it could have predicted, prompting a broader conversation about inclusivity that had long been ignored. The success of her cosmetics line was unprecedented, reportedly racking up a staggering $100 million in sales within 40 days. The wait lists at certain makeup
counters continued for months. (I was among hundreds of women who lined up outside Harvey Nichols in London last fall, only to find that my shade had already sold out.) Rihanna was initially taken aback by the response. She had grown up watching her mother apply makeup, so thinking about foundations for darker skin tones came naturally. “As a black woman, I could not live with myself if I didn’t do that,” she says. “But what I didn’t anticipate was the way people would get emotional about finding their complexion on the shelf, that this would be a groundbreaking moment.” She’s taken the same approach with Savage X Fenty, her newly launched direct-to-consumer lingerie line in partnership with online retail giant TechStyle, offering a range of nude underwear that goes far beyond the bog-standard beige T-shirt bra. She’s not alone in questioning the limited notion of “nude”: Kanye West’s debut fall 2015 Yeezy collection featured a diverse cast of models in flesh-toned looks that encompassed a wide range of colors, from palest white to richest brown. Now Rihanna is pushing that idea one step further, shedding light on the frustrations that many black women face in dressing their bodies at the most intimate level. She has said in the past that her biggest regret about the sheer Adam Selman dress she wore to the 2014 CFDA Fashion Awards was that she didn’t throw on a bedazzled thong, mostly because the nude undies she ended up in weren’t the right match—“not my nude,” as she points out. It should go without saying that the new line will carry a body-positive message, too. Rihanna’s lingerie models come in all shapes and sizes; they are real women with real bodies who stand as a refreshing counterpoint to the impossible supermodel dimensions that have defined the look of lingerie for decades. Like Gigi Hadid and Serena Williams, Rihanna has been the target of body-shaming internet trolls. Her public responses have been rare, but when she does brush off the haters it’s usually done with a razor-sharp dose of wit: Last summer she posted a hilarious before-and-after weight-loss meme of the rapper Gucci Mane, a tongue-incheek nod to her own fluctuations on the scale. Because what could be more sexy than a sense of humor? “You’ve just got to laugh at yourself, honestly. I mean, I know when I’m having a fat day and when I’ve lost weight. I accept all of the bodies,” she says, shrugging her shoulders. “I’m not built like a Victoria’s Secret girl, and I still feel very beautiful and confident in my lingerie.” And yet Rihanna’s most impressive body of work begins and ends with her music. While it’s been more than two years since she released Anti, she continues to dominate the pop charts, and she set yet another benchmark this March as the first female artist ever to surpass two billion streams on Apple Music. With her next record—her ninth—Rihanna is moving the needle on her creative output all over again: She plans to make a reggae album. Though it’s too soon to name a full list of collaborators, one early influence may be Supa Dups, the Jamaican-born record producer who has worked with such dancehall greats as Beenie Man, Sean Paul, and Elephant Man. If Rihanna had to name her favorite reggae
“Rihanna doesn’t care what people think of her; she’s fully invested in being herself,” says Ocean’s 8 director Gary Ross
BA RRY W E TC HER
fingernails. “As women, we’re looked at as the needy ones, artist of all time, though, it would have to be Bob Marley. the naggy ones, the ones who are going to be heartbroken (Descriptions of the Bob shrine she once built in her home in a relationship. Savage is just the reverse. And you know, are all over the internet.) “I’m gonna sound like a real tourist guys don’t like getting the cards flipped on them—ever.” when I tell you my top Bob songs,” she says, pausing to scroll Fans will recognize a version of this mission statement through a playlist on her iPhone before rattling off many of from the lyrics of “Needed Me,” the hit single from Anti that his most beloved hits: “Three Little Birds,” “No Woman, has gone platinum five times over. In the video, Rihanna is No Cry,” and “Redemption Song,” a Marley classic she has a woman on a revenge mission who assassinates her former covered on tour. It may surprise you to learn that of all the lover in the smoky back room of a Miami strip club. The tunes in the reggae icon’s catalog, “Buffalo Soldier” is the one singer has been criticized for glamorizing violence, though that resonates with Rihanna on a deeply personal level. The her defenders say that this subversive imaging speaks to song’s theme of upheaval and displacement is a familiar refrain the culture’s shifting power dynamics. It’s funny to think for the singer, who was whisked away from Barbados to New York within months of being discovered by record producer Evan Rogers at the tender age of sixteen. Her risk-taking instincts and taste for danger have often earned her comparisons to Madonna, though in fact the similarities between Bob Marley and Rihanna ring truer, even beyond the obvious island connection. Like Marley, Rihanna is possessed of an unstudied yet wholly electrifying sense of cool. Her ability to continually recalibrate the mood of a generation in the way she sounds, looks, and moves through the world has unwittingly positioned her, just as it did him, at the global axis of popular culture. Rihanna is well acquainted with the pressures that come with being thrust onto the world stage at a young age. She has been obliged to play out many of life’s messiest rites of passage in the public eye. It’s why she HEIST SOCIETY has always been reluctant to embrace the idea Sarah Paulson, Sandra Bullock, and Rihanna in Ocean’s 8. of being a role model. “That title was put on me when I was just finding my way, making that Anti dropped long before the dawning of Trump, or mistakes in front of the world. I didn’t think it was fair,” she says. “Now I understand the concept, but at that time I was #MeToo, when you consider the spirit of resistance that the same age as the girls who were looking up to me. And quietly pulses through the record. Even the apocalyptic set that’s a really hard place to be in as a teenager.” Though design and wardrobe for the tour—somewhere between Mad she’s certainly older and wiser now, the role-model tag still Max and Blade Runner—seemed to foreshadow darker days. doesn’t quite fit. It implies a conventional mind-set that is The album received a lukewarm reception at the time of its at odds with her fiercely independent spirit. Rihanna’s vibe release. Some critics wrote it off as scattershot and uneven, is more mutable, her instincts more counterintuitive, her laden with pop songs that were anything but sweet. Others energy almost impossible to contain. And her willingness to called it self-indulgent, made to please herself. In the end be vulnerable and bare her soul only amplifies her mystique. Anti defied all expectations, landing more number-one hits Even Hollywood’s most polished veterans seem hopelessly on Billboard’s dance-club-songs chart than any other album spellbound by Rihanna’s preternatural self-assuredness. Cate in its history. And though it was famously snubbed at the Blanchett describes her as “like the Sphinx. She is ancient, Grammys, Rihanna would end up scooping the prestigious mysterious, unique, wicked.” Mel Ottenberg, the stylist who Vanguard award (MTV’s equivalent to a lifetime-achievement has helped orchestrate the singer’s most audacious fashion award) at the VMAs. moments, lovingly likens her to “a cat that can jump out of a It was one of the most memorable appearances of her cawindow wearing stiletto heels and still land on her feet.” She’s reer, with a medley of songs performed throughout the night not afraid to indulge her primal impulses, either. Her favorite and a string of jaw-dropping wardrobe transformations. And bedroom is painted black, and she has fitted out one of her yet the whole event was overshadowed by a more titillating homes with a man cave–style den—she calls it her “kitty cave.” chapter in pop-culture history: After taking out a billboard in As it happens, the name Rihanna gave her lingerie line Los Angeles a couple of days earlier congratulating Rihanna, perfectly encapsulates her state of being right now—and it’s Drake presented her with the award while professing his spelled out in gold letters on a chain hanging around her neck: undying love for her on live TV. Suddenly what should have s-a-v-a-g-e. “Savage is really about taking complete ownbeen her big moment became all about him. Rihanna winces slightly at the mention of the rapper’s ership of how you feel and the choices you make. Basically name before her eyes glaze over with cool indifference. making sure everybody knows the ball is in your court,” she “The VMAs is such a fan-focused awards show, so having says, twisting the nameplate between her purple-lacquered
LOCA L PRODUCTION BY CA RAMBA PRODUCTIONS IBIZA & FORMENTERA. PRODUCED BY AC ROSS MEDIA PRODUCTIONS.
ALL GROWN UP The star recently had a big birthday. “OK, so now that I’m 30, are there things I’m supposed to do? Should I be freezing my eggs?” Chanel swimsuit. Tiffany & Co. Elsa Peretti earrings. Yeprem hand jewelry. Lynn Ban ring. Christian Louboutin sandals. Photographed at Casa Salomon.
SILVER LINING Rihanna is well acquainted with the pressures that come with being thrust onto the world stage at a young age. Alberta Ferretti dress. Christian Louboutin sandals. Jennifer Fisher earrings.
that energy around me, and knowing the people who had received the award in the past, made it feel like a big deal,” she says. “Waiting through that speech was probably the most uncomfortable part. I don’t like too many compliments; I don’t like to be put on blast.” When I ask about the current state of their friendship, her attitude is sanguine. “We don’t have a friendship now, but we’re not enemies either. It is what it is.”
he next afternoon Rihanna invites me over to her hotel suite to try out the new makeup from her Fenty Beauty line. I’m hoping that I might pick up a few tips to up my selfie game, too—that profile picture on my dating app is almost a year old, after all. When I arrive, she’s dressed in an airport look: camo pants, a cozy black hoodie, and clear Manolo Blahnik mules. She’s busy applying a light foundation base to Jahleel Weaver, a member of her creative team. There are pots of brightly colored powder neatly lined up on the dresser, including one called Sangria Sunset, the hot-pink shade I recognize as Rihanna’s avant-garde beauty look from last year’s Rei Kawakubo–themed Met ball. I’m already wearing her best-selling Pro Filt’r foundation #360, which I’d finally scored at Sephora a couple of months after the launch. To add to that, I’m instantly drawn to the lipsticks, including one in a deep shade of plum called PMS, and another in zingy violet called One of the Boyz that pops with intense pigment when I test it on the back of my hand. “All the guys in Hollywood wear makeup on the red carpet, even if they won’t admit it,” she says, turning her attention to me. “You know that, right, Chi Chi?” It seems that, after last night’s rendezvous, I’ve become part of the family. In fact, Rihanna treats her mostly female circle of young employees with the teasing affection of an older sister. Loyalty, she explains, is her number-one priority. When new people are initiated into the Fenty camp, they usually have to learn the ropes as her assistant first, so she can watch them. That said, it’s hard to rival the deep bonds she’s formed with her extended family in Barbados. Binge-watching clips of Majesty, her precocious three-year-old niece, might be Rihanna’s favorite pastime. The adorable video messages she has archived on her phone offer comfort on the days when she misses Barbados. She has vivid memories of the first time she ever felt homesick, two years after moving to the States, an intense longing that prompted her to get on the phone to her younger brother Rorrey, and tell him just how much she loved him. “I basically grew up in paradise. I mean, people save for their whole lives to go on vacation there, and it’s easy to take that for granted,” she says. But even paradise hasn’t been immune to the gun epidemic: On Boxing Day of last year, Tavon Kaiseen Alleyne, Rihanna’s 21-year-old cousin, lost his life in a shooting. Rihanna has spoken out against gun violence in the past, though her approach to activism is more subtle than that of many of her celebrity peers. She quietly founded a nonprofit—the Clara Lionel Foundation, named after her grandparents—that
focuses on education and health care in impoverished communities. (She recently partnered with French president Emmanuel Macron on a global education initiative.) Yet despite these philanthropic efforts and the influence she wields on social media—lest we forget, when she called out Snapchat for making light of domestic violence in an ad they ran about her, the media company lost an estimated $800 million in market value overnight—she feels the same sense of powerlessness that many of us do in the endless scroll of the current news cycle. She prefers to issue her goodwill via more private channels, communicating with fans who direct-message her on Instagram whenever she gets a spare moment. For Rihanna, raising public awareness with an Instagram post is one thing, but at what point is it just lip service? How can we effect change in a bigger way? Rihanna doesn’t pretend to hold all the answers, but she understands that her greatest strength right now is her unflinching realness. In that sense, any political stance she takes will always be tethered to her personal experiences. “I really hugged my cousin the night before he died; I didn’t know why. Now each time I hug somebody lately, I hug them like it’s the last time. That may be my biggest life lesson, not to wait on anything, not even tomorrow,” she says, pausing to gather her thoughts. “Tomorrow is too late in my opinion.” The star’s maternal instinct is obvious. I ask her what kind of mother she thinks she’ll be one day, though it’s abundantly clear that she’ll be the kind who loves hard. “I’m not gonna be able to take my eyes off my kid. I know that already about myself,” she says. “They’re going to have to force me to hire a nanny.” Even her taste for reality TV tends toward feisty matriarchs. Lisa Vanderpump, the 57-year-old star of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, might be Rihanna’s biggest girl crush. “Tell me who is a badder bitch than Lisa Vanderpump! She’s goals AF!” she says, cracking open a gold highlighter called Trophy Wife. “She’s chic but still funny. She likes to be at home with her husband and then goes and handles her business. Maybe there’s a couple of thousand Birkins in her closet, but she’s still focused. I love that about her.”
“I know when I’m having a fat day and when I’ve lost weight,” she says. “I accept all of the bodies”
I try to imagine what Rihanna’s life will look like 25 years from now. Will she be living the quietly opulent and überglamorous life in the Hills like Lisa Vanderpump, a man at her side and a pack of yapping Pomeranian puppies at her feet? Maybe yes—but probably no. The truth is, trying to anticipate the superstar’s next move is virtually impossible, and that’s what makes her all the more thrilling to watch. Her Spidey sense takes her to places that most of us wouldn’t dare to go. Ask yourself “What would Rihanna do?” in any given situation, and the answer is guaranteed to be outside your comfort zone. “So did you message the actor guy? You know, on your dating app?” she asks. Admittedly I haven’t reached out to him yet, but really I should. This weird rule I have about not making the first move suddenly feels horribly old-fashioned. Rihanna is right. Life is too short.
FEELING SAVAGE “It’s really about taking complete ownership of how you feel and the choices you make,” Rihanna says. Michael Kors Collection swimsuit. Alexis Bittar earring. Bangles by RJ Graziano, PONO by Joan Goodman, and Alexis Bittar.
DIAMOND DIPPED Dismissing internet trolls, Rihanna says, â€œI feel very beautiful and confident in my lingerie.â€? Her Savage X Fenty line embraces all shapes, sizes, and skin tones. Paco Rabanne dress. Lynn Ban ear cuff and ring. In this story: hair, Yusef Williams; makeup, Lisa Eldridge. Details, see In This Issue.
S P ECI A L T HA N KS TO CA RI CA BA Ã‘ ERO LOSA FOR ES XARCU BEACH , AND TO WAJ ER YACH TS.
SKIN IN THE GAME Sultry and saturated, this serpent-skin coat is sure to turn heads. Tame the look with layered monochromes underneath. Model Fran Summers in a Valentino python-skin coat and sweatshirt ($1,200); Valentino, NYC. Paco Rabanne boots. Fashion Editor: Camilla Nickerson.
CAT’S MEOW Crimson with leopard spots makes for a kind of savage elegance. Model Birgit Kos in a Vetements dress, $2,150; Bergdorf Goodman, NYC. Ambush choker. Givenchy boots.
It’s a jungle out there this summer as wild, fierce fashion takes cues from the animal kingdom— from spots and stripes to scales and otherwise untamed graphics.
Photographed by David Sims
CREATURE COMFORT This boyish pairing of a blank white canvas and a black-and-white zebraprinted coat calls to mind a riotous glamour at ease with itself. Summers in a Michael Kors Collection coat; select Michael Kors stores. CĂŠline tank top and pants ($800); CĂŠline, NYC. Marine Serre earring. Alexander McQueen bag. Calvin Klein 205W39NYC boots.
ANIMAL MAGNETISM This shearling topper takes the very concept of statement-making into uncharted territory. Kos in a Calvin Klein 205W39NYC coat, tank top ($390), and pants ($990); Calvin Klein, NYC.
ON THE PROWL Thereâ€™s an eighties New Wave vibe to the zebra slashings of Balenciagaâ€™s pantashoes. Summers in a Balenciaga layered coat ($4,800) and pantashoes; Balenciaga, NYC.
FERAL FLAIR Take a closer look at this seemingly blown-out animal print and youâ€™ll find where the wild things are. The motif is at once electric, eclectic, and superchic. Model Grace Elizabeth in a Victoria Beckham dress, $3,355; victoriabeckham.com. Calvin Klein 205W39NYC bag and boots.
BEAST INTENTIONS The look here is elegant, on pointâ€” and ready to pounce. Elizabeth in a Versace coat; select Versace boutiques. Heron Preston pants, $2,000; heronpreston.com. Andy Wolf Eyewear sunglasses.
LEADER OF THE PACK Go for a menagerie moment with a mixed bag of the best and boldest animal prints. Model Mayowa Nicholas in a Chanel coat; select Chanel boutiques. R13 hoodie, $595; r13denim.com.
GAME PLAN This graphic, almost abstract take on an animal print adds an optical wild edge to an otherwise simple silhouette. Summers in a Marni dress ($1,870) and bag; Marni boutiques. Givenchy boots.
P RO DUC ED BY LAU RA HO LM ES P RODUCT I O N
MEOW MIX Dabbling with different spots and texture and color is the surest way to make yourself into one hip cat. Kos in a Louis Vuitton coat; select Louis Vuitton boutiques. Givenchy dress, $4,740; Givenchy, NYC. ChloÃ© bag. In this story: hair, Duffy; makeup, Lucia Pieroni. Set design, Max Bellhouse. Details, see In This Issue.
Life After Harvey When numerous women spoke out about Harvey Weinstein, his wife remained silent—until now. Marchesa designer Georgina Chapman opens up about her marriage, her divorce, and her future. By Jonathan Van Meter. Photographed by Annie Leibovitz.
ON THE DAY IN LATE FEBRUARY when I arrive at Georgina Chapman’s town house in the West Village to interview her, it’s unseasonably hot, nearly 80 degrees. I am ushered to the parlor floor, where, even though it feels like August outside, a fire is roaring away. As I wait, it suddenly dawns on me that I am sitting in Harvey Weinstein’s living room. He purchased the six-story house in 2006, the year before he married Chapman, and she has since put her stamp all over it: black floors and white rugs, chinoiserie, lots of gilt and glass, hydrangeas in a vase, a Jo Malone candle burning. On a console table are silver-framed photographs from happier times, mostly of the couple’s children: India and Dashiell, seven and five. All evidence of the original occupant would appear to have been scrubbed away—except for a large piece of art hanging in the hallway. At the bottom, it is signed, for harvey weinstein. The drawing is dominated by a large empty circle, next to which it reads, the moon was here. I had been introduced to Chapman, dressed in a floorlength dark print dress, a couple of weeks earlier at the West Twenty-sixth Street atelier of the fashion company, Marchesa, that she co-owns with Keren Craig. That day, she struck me as hyperalert: flitting around, wide-eyed and nervous, uncomfortable in her skin—or lack of thereof, as it were. She mentioned, almost in passing, that she hadn’t been out in public in five months—not since the news broke in October of so many unbearably similar accusations by so many women of harassment, abuse, and rape perpetrated by her husband. When she appears today, dressed in jeans, a white T-shirt, ballerina flats, and an armful of gold bracelets, she is more relaxed, though there’s a gallows humor—a morbidity—firmly in place. When I mention the disturbingly warm weather, she laughs and says, “Think of all the poor plants that are going to spring out and then die.” We head downstairs to the ground floor, where most of the living takes place: a big, casual, open space with lots of color, modern furniture, and surprising art. There’s a huge, elegant
â€œI have moments of rage. I have moments of confusion. I have moments of disbelief!â€? says Chapman. In this story: hair, Benoit Moeyaert; makeup, Gucci Westman. Sittings Editor: Tabitha Simmons.
kitchen that looks out onto a backyard, and a TV room where Dash, on spring break, is sitting on a sectional, ensorcelled by some kind of electronic device. At 42, Chapman looks younger. Or is it that she seems younger? In photographs, she has often reminded me of Victoria Beckham—chiseled and somewhat brittle-looking. But, today, dressed so California-casual, her hair now long and blonde, with wideset blue eyes and fine features, she looks more like a younger Michelle Pfeiffer. Though she is English to her core, using whilst and learnt in a thick, posh accent, she is more goofy than I had imagined. As we sit down to lunch—a simple spread of veal Milanese and eggplant parmigiana—she seems a bit flustered, unable to maintain a hostess facade for too long, or even to decide where I should sit. Our meeting, in her soon-to-be ex–town house that her soon-to-be ex-husband recently sold, was meant to be the moment when Chapman would finally, publicly address for the first time what happened. The night before, she had called me fairly late, and I thought she was going to back out. She sounded worried, apologizing profusely, talking fast. She was not ready to address anything too difficult, did not feel prepared. I reassured her that we could talk about her life before Harvey or about Marchesa—which is exactly what we did at first. Not long after the news broke, common wisdom had it that no actress would ever wear a Marchesa dress again, and no bride would ever walk down the aisle in a gown designed by Chapman. In January, she canceled the runway show for Marchesa’s fall 2018 collection, which fueled rumors that the brand was in trouble. But Chapman says she herself made the decision not to offer any clothes for awards season. “We didn’t feel it was appropriate given the situation,” she says. “All the women who have been hurt deserve dignity and respect, so I want to give it the time it deserves. It’s a time for mourning, really.” But she also has loyal supporters. “A lot of people reached out and said, ‘Let me wear something,’ ” and Scarlett Johansson picked a Marchesa gown to wear to May’s Met ball.
parading around with all of this going on? It’s still so very, very raw. I was walking up the stairs the other day and I stopped; it was like all the air had been punched out of my lungs.” I ask if she’s been seeing a therapist. “I have,” she says. “At first I couldn’t, because I was too shocked. And I somehow felt that I didn’t deserve it. And then I realized: This has happened. I have to own it. I have to move forward.” She takes a long, deep breath. “There was a part of me that was terribly naive—clearly, so naive. I have moments of rage, I have moments of confusion, I have moments of disbelief! And I have moments when I just cry for my children. What are their lives going to be?” She has been crying through most of this, and now she breaks down into sobs loud enough that her assistant appears with a box of tissues. “What are people going to say to them?” She is crying so hard she has to take a moment. “It’s like, they love their dad. They love him.” It is almost unbearable to witness, this broken person in front of me. “I just can’t bear it for them!” Chapman grabs a tissue and wipes her tears away—“I wasn’t prepared to say any of that!”—and lets out a deep, guttural laugh. Things are less fraught when, two weeks later, I meet her at her office at Marchesa and she is surrounded by her team, easily smiling and engaging the world—or at least her world. One of the few working ateliers left in Manhattan, Marchesa is a surprisingly big operation, with about 80 employees, and sewing machines whirring away. Chapman is wearing black leather pants—leggings, really—with zippers at the backs of the ankles, an untucked white tuxedo shirt, and a pair of bedroom slippers studded with fake pearls. Her hair is pulled off her face with a band, and she’s absentmindedly eating from the bag of popcorn that’s sitting on her desk next to an achingly beautiful arrangement of pale-pink and white roses. Keren Craig is in her office, along with a couple of other women on the design team, as they look at fabrics and swatches and mood boards in search of inspiration for the resort collection they are just beginning to work on. Craig is dressed much like Chapman was the day I first met her: long black floral-print dress to the floor, but with creeper boots, also studded with fake pearls. When I ask if they bedazzled their footwear together, they shout “No!” in unison and crack up laughing. “They came bedazzled,” says Craig. Chapman rolls her eyes. “We don’t have time to bedazzle our shoes, unfortunately.” The two women met when they were seventeen, during what the British call a foundation course at the Chelsea College of Art and Design. After stints at different art colleges, in the early 2000s they were both living in London. Chapman was getting work doing music videos and, in one particularly odd job, making costumes for a female wrestler. “Crazy getups!” she says. In 2004 Chapman and Craig rented a studio together and came up with the name Marchesa because Craig was enthralled with the book Infinite Variety, about the eccentric
“All the women who have been hurt deserve dignity and respect, so I want to give it the time it deserves. It’s a time for mourning, really”
ashion now is such a social business—so many parties, so much self-presentation. Turns out, Chapman has felt insecure and awkward at social functions for much of her life. She does not enjoy being the focus of attention, which is one of reasons she has a tendency to redirect focus onto others. As the actor David Oyelowo, her friend of 25 years, tells me, “It’s something she’s had to cultivate: the ability to try to fade into the background. That’s why, when she’s at a party, she spends a lot of time and energy making other people feel comfortable, listened to, important.” As our lunch is winding down, I ask, almost in passing, if Chapman really hadn’t been out in five months; she seems to shrink before my eyes as her mouth goes dry. “I was so humiliated and so broken . . . that . . . I, I, I . . . didn’t think it was respectful to go out,” she says. “I thought, Who am I to be
FR ED E RI KE H ELW I G, VO GU E, 2006
season was nearly $13,000, fin de siècle glamour-puss and we couldn’t stop sellMarchesa Luisa Casati. Their initial idea was to creing it. And then there’s an ate a loungewear company. evening gown we make a Just weeks into this new venversion of every year that ture, the two women were sells for around $4,995.” invited to a Louis Vuitton Chapman runs down the party in the English counhall, grabs one, and dangles tryside, and, as Craig puts it in front of me. “It’s quite it, “We were like, Now that sexy. You’ve got a corset, it’s off the shoulder, you we’ve got this fashion label, get some drama around the we really ought to make ourneck with these feathers, it selves something to wear.” nips you at the waist, gives They wound up seated at a you a bosom, and you get a table with Isabella Blow, who bit of leg! When you get it was so taken with Chapman’s out, you know you’re going dress that she borrowed it to to feel good in that dress.” wear to the Paris couture. The formula has worked Once Blow took them unfor them. As recently der her wing, they started as 2016, actresses wore to make real connections Marchesa more often than and then caught a series of any other designer on the lucky breaks: a sponsorship red carpet. As Christy Rillfrom Swarovski; advice from Jimmy Choo cofounder ing, who fitted Michelle Tamara Mellon to focus on Obama into nearly every red-carpet dressing; meetdress she wore as First THREE TALL WOMEN ings with powerful publiLady, says, “Their atelier is Chapman (LEFT) and Keren Craig (RIGHT) flank model Jacquetta cists and stylists like Nanci really special. And they’ve Wheeler before the 2006 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Awards. Ryder and Rachel Zoe. gotten better over the years. By now, Chapman was I’ve seen what they do for dating Weinstein as she went back and forth between Lonthe Oscars—they really make magic happen.” don, Los Angeles, and New York, and it did not hurt that One of the criticisms that has been leveled at Marchesa he came to every Marchesa show, usually with a celebrity in is that they’d have been nothing without Harvey Weinstein, tow. Marchesa managed to get a dress on Renée Zellweger who, people have claimed, bullied stars into wearing his for the premiere of Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason in wife’s dresses. “They absolutely had a push from Harvey,” London. “The next morning,” says Craig, “she was on the says Chapman’s friend the writer Neil Gaiman. “But you cover of every single British newspaper with a picture of our cannot hype something from nothing and make it last. And dress.” One day they got a call from Neiman Marcus with an Harvey’s hyping worked because George is actually an artist. offer they couldn’t refuse: to put Marchesa in multiple stores I’ve watched her at work and been impressed and fascinated. and help with production to create a diffusion line, which She has a vision, and she’s really good at it.” became Marchesa Notte. “In order to make that happen, I One morning in early April, Chapman texts me a photograph had to move to New York,” says Chapman. “I only meant of a young girl in a very grown-up dress: It’s gray, with a wide to come for a few weeks, and then never left.” skirt made of tulle and a silk corset, all of it covered with When you ask about her fashion inspirations, Chapman pink flowers. “Just found this picture of a dress I made when cites John Galliano and Alexander McQueen—two of the I was eleven! Things haven’t changed that much!!!” most theatrical, outré designers imaginable—but there is Chapman was born and raised in Richmond, an afflunothing even remotely edgy about what she does. She is unapologetically romantic, clinging to a decidedly unfeminist ent suburb on the Thames about eight miles from central ideal that there is no happier moment in a woman’s life than London. Her father, Brian Chapman, was the founder of when she finally finds that perfect dress. As one fashion insidPercol, the first ground-coffee company on the shelves to er puts it, “Georgina puts pretty girls in pretty dresses—and bear the Fairtrade mark. Her mother, Caroline Wonfor, there’s value in that.” And Chapman has no illusions of being was a journalist who worked for Reader’s Digest for many avant-garde. She describes Marchesa dresses as “keepsakes,” years. She has a younger brother, Edward, who is the CEO to be worn “lots of times” and then hopefully handed down of Marchesa, and even though their parents divorced when to a daughter. “We’re not doing disposable fashion,” she she was in her 20s, they are a very close-knit group. “My fasays. “We treat each dress like a piece of jewelry, an entity ther is self-made,” says Chapman. “He came from a council unto itself, with its own journey. It’s not just one in a queue.” estate, left school at sixteen, and he built his own company That being said, they do have bestsellers and perennial with an incredible work ethic. He’s a true entrepreneur, favorites. I ask Chapman about price-point sweet spots. and he’s always been deeply involved with philanthropy, a “It really depends,” she says. “One of the gowns we did last forward-thinker that way.”
She admits she had a very awkward childhood. She was born with a hip defect, “which meant that I had terrible pigeon toes, so I couldn’t walk to the top of the street without falling over. I was incredibly clumsy, and it set me back at school socially. I was always that kid who was the last to be picked for any sport because I literally couldn’t do it.” She was also severely dyslexic, which went undiagnosed until she was eight. “I remember going to the library and everyone else could read and I couldn’t. I had terrible anxiety. In class when they would go around and everyone had to read . . . it was just torture.” Some unholy combination of going to the Victoria and Albert Museum costume department at seven, seeing Princess Diana’s wedding on TV that same year, and being deeply envious of her Catholic cousins “going through all of their ceremonies in these beautiful white dresses” planted the seeds for her future. When Chapman was at boarding school— Saint David’s in Ashford, Surrey—she took up drawing and painting. Her roommate there was Andrea Remanda, now a songwriter living in Los Angeles. “Her side of the room looked like a bomb exploded,” Remanda says. “She had a Guns N’ Roses poster, and I was into Prince. When we were in prep—forced homework time after school—she would draw sketches of what we did during the day, and they were amazing. I still have them.” Remanda spent a lot of time at Chapman’s parents’ house on weekends. “When we were sixteen we went clubbing one night, and she had bought a secondhand man’s blazer from Oxfam for 25 pence. She got out her sewing machine—I don’t even know how she found it in her crazy messy bedroom—and she did a few stitches and put it on, and I just couldn’t believe it! It’s my favorite outfit she’s ever worn. Everyone was like, Where did you get your dress? It looked like a Vivienne Westwood.” Chapman was scouted by an agent when she was seventeen and modeled for a few years, but as she puts it, “It was very much to make ends meet. I had three jobs: I worked in a bar, I was working in a ski shop on Saturdays—a job I took because I could drink coffee and smoke cigarettes—and I was also waitressing. And I was a terrible waitress. I was so forgetful, I was clumsy, just the worst waitress ever.” Remanda tells me that Chapman did not love modeling. “Being scrutinized as you are in that industry—‘Too short for the catwalk!’ ‘You’ve got to lose weight!’—I don’t think she really wanted to be a part of all that.” She was interested in acting, though, and when Chapman was eighteen, she took a train to Hull in northern England to check out the drama-studies department at a college there. The train broke down for three hours, and while she waited she got talking to another young, aspiring actor who was heading the same way for the same reason. It turned out to be Oyelowo, who would go on to play Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma. “Well, anyone who has seen Georgina, the first thing that hits you like a ton of bricks is how beautiful
she is, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t notice that,” he recalls. “But as we talked, I found her to be an interesting and deeply friendly person. She had none of that frostiness that could be associated with a model.” Neither one of them wound up going to the drama school in Hull, but they’ve stayed friends. “I was part of a youth theater group at the National Theatre in London,” Oyelowo recalls, “and I invited George along to be part of it. She’s a wonderful actress. I remember clearly thinking that she had a very real career ahead of her had she wanted it.” A couple of years later, Chapman invited Oyelowo to an art exhibition at her college. “A lot of the drawings were of fashion, and her work really stood out,” he says. “I was blown away.” So much so that Oyelowo asked Chapman to make the costumes for The Love of the Nightingale, a play he was performing at the Edinburgh Festival. “And these costumes arrived, made from transparent material into which she’d sewn pieces of mirror to reflect the light. They were extraordinary. They upstaged everything else.”
ne Friday afternoon in late March, I head back to Chapman’s town house for another interview over lunch, this one served by her daughter, India, playing waitress. Chapman’s mother, an elegant woman with silver hair in a shag cut, is visiting from London: She comes often these days and spends long stretches, helping out with India and Dash. “She’s such a happy-go-lucky person,” says Chapman, “so she always lifts the mood and the spirits.” When the one-two punch of all of the allegations against Weinstein landed in early October—first the New York Times investigation, followed by the much more damning piece in The New Yorker a few days later—Chapman was in a kind of stupor. “I lost ten pounds in five days. I couldn’t keep food down.” I ask her how long it took for her to absorb the information. “About two days,” she says. “My head was spinning. And it was difficult because the first article was about a time long before I’d ever met him, so there was a minute where I couldn’t make an informed decision. And then the stories expanded and I realized that this wasn’t an isolated incident. And I knew that I needed to step away and take the kids out of here.” She fled to Los Angeles with the children, while her partner, Craig, did her best to steady the ship. “Our friendship always comes first, so foremost, I was worried for Georgina,” Craig says. “Secondly, we have so many talented, loyal people who work for us, some who’ve been here for twelve, thirteen years, so my concern was to get to the office and get the collections out, so that people could be paid and pay their rents.” Chapman eventually went to London to be with her parents, but first she took refuge with an old friend. “I kind of found myself in a first-responder capacity,” says Oyelowo.
“There was a minute where I couldn’t make an informed decision. Then I realized it was not an isolated incident, and I needed to step away and take the kids out of here”
S ET D ES IG N , MA RY HOWA RD
“My wife and I were right there with her two kids, and this catastrophe was unfolding in real time across the globe, literally your worst nightmare in terms of a marriage, in terms of the future of your kids and your business. And none of this was your own doing and yet you are entirely lumped into it. The thing that was the most difficult to witness was that she quite rightly took the stance of not going out there and defending herself, because there was just too much white noise and too much bile headed in her general direction. She felt, How dare I raise my head and say, ‘Oh, by the way, I’m suffering too?’ ” Because of the scale of Weinstein’s abuse and manipulations—and the lengths he allegedly went to to cover them up—there is a widely held assumption of complicity on Chapman’s part. “She must have known” is what so many people say at dinner parties. “The thing that pains me,” says her friend the model and singer Karen Elson, “is that when anyone finds out that I know George, that’s the first thing they say. Like she is somehow responsible for his hideous behavior. When I say, ‘Well, actually she didn’t know,’ it becomes this other judgment: ‘How could she not have known?’ Or: ‘Well, that’s on her if she didn’t.’ It’s so complicated.” It’s complicated, but it is also the oldest story in the book. Even Chapman points out that—putting aside the enormity of her situation—women are betrayed by their husbands every day because they turn out to be not the men their wives thought they were. “I don’t want to be viewed as a victim,” she says, “because I don’t think I am. I am a woman in a shit situation, but it’s not unique.”
isn’t like that.” When I tell her that a friend of the couple’s told me that Weinstein gave Chapman confidence, she says, “Yes. Absolutely. He was a wonderful partner to me. He was a friend and a confidant and a supporter. Yes, he’s a big personality. . . . And . . . but . . . I don’t know. I wish I had the answers. But I don’t.” When I ask the people who have known Chapman the longest what they thought of her marriage, the common thread is how surprised they were by it—but for very different reasons. “I first met him at a polo match,” says Remanda, “and I had no idea who he was. I know George very well, and she’d had, like, two boyfriends before Harvey. So my initial reaction was, Whoa. He’s older, he’s brash, he’s American. Who is
Chapman first met Weinstein socially, at a party, and they began dating on and off. “I was living in England, and I had just A PLACE FOR US come out of a relationship, so it was very Chapman, with children India (LEFT) and Dashiell, plans to move to a rambling farm with horses, goats, and donkeys as a sanctuary where her children can thrive. slow.” Was it a good marriage? “That’s what makes this so incredibly painful: I had what I thought was a very happy marriage. I loved my he? We sat down and I think we laughed, belly-laughed, life.” Asked if she was ever suspicious about his behavior, falling off our chairs, for two hours. I thought, She’s going she says, “Absolutely not. Never.” For one thing, he traveled to marry this guy.” constantly. “And I’ve never been one of those people who Oyelowo also vividly remembers the day he met Harvey. obsesses about where someone is.” “I was in my car on Mulholland Drive, and I got a call from It’s very difficult now for people to imagine that there was George. She said, ‘Come to Shutters on the Beach; I want ever anything good about Harvey Weinstein. But the fact you to meet my new boyfriend.’ George was there, and the remains that before all of the horrifying revelations, most very famous producer Harvey Weinstein was there, and I people thought Weinstein could be an asshole and a bully, was still waiting for the boyfriend to emerge until it sort of but they didn’t think he was a monster. There is always that became evident: Oh, this is who she meant! And I will be 100 beauty-and-the-beast mystery: What does she see in him? percent honest with you: I was very skeptical. But as time When I ask Chapman what the initial attraction was, she went on, as they got married, had children, there was no way says, “Well, he’s a wonderful father to my kids. But initially? of denying that this was a genuine couple.’” He’s charismatic. He’s an incredibly bright, very learned Last summer Chapman got to know Huma Abedin, a few man. And very charitable. He paid for a friend of mine’s months before the news of the allegations about Weinstein mother, who had breast cancer, to go to a top doctor. He broke, during play dates between their sons. Now they are was amazing like that. He is amazing like that. That is the supertight. “We just . . . bonded,” Abedin says and lets out a tough part of this . . . this black-and-white thing . . . life dark laugh. “In allll kinds of ways. C O N T I N U E D O N P A G E 1 4 2
ROYAL TREATMENT FROM FAR LEFT: Hailie Sahar, Dominique Jackson, Indya Moore, Angelica Ross, and Mj Rodriguez. Sittings Editor: Phyllis Posnick.
Glee wunderkind Ryan Murphy breathes new life into New Yorkâ€™s 1980s underground LGBTQ-ball scene with a big-budget television series. By Hamish Bowles. Photographed by Nigel Shafran.
POSE, RYAN MURPHY’S evocative new eight-episode series (premiering June 3 on FX), weaves a narrative between the worlds of eighties Gordon Gekko–esque high finance and Trumpian conspicuous consumption on one hand and the tragedy, invention, and joy of the competitive Harlem ball scene on the other. A decade ago, following on the success of his series Nip/ Tuck, Murphy had been working on Pretty/Handsome, a pilot about a trans character, played by Joseph Fiennes, and was devastated when the studio he was working with decided not to pursue the show because they felt their advertisers wouldn’t support it. A mere month later, though, Murphy’s Glee was green-lit, and then American Horror Story, The Normal Heart, American Crime Story, and Feud, and now, with a decade of phenomenal success under his belt, he finds both himself and the world in a very different place. “I’m at this point in my career where I think I can get pretty much anything I want on the air,” says Murphy, “and I put my money on this.” After initially deciding to option Paris Is Burning—the electrifying 1991 Jennie Livingston documentary that serves as most people’s entry point to the underground LGBTQ ball culture, where members of various “houses” compete against one another—Murphy was met with resistance from surviving family members of several of its key figures. Meeting the Afro-Latino writer Steven Canals, though, gave him a renewed focus. Canals was working on a script about Damon, a young African-American boy (played here by the endearing newcomer Ryan Jamaal Swain) with dreams of becoming a dancer. After Damon is thrown out of his home by his righteous Christian parents when they discover that he is gay, he is forced to survive on his wits in New York City before joining a kind of surrogate family—an experience that mirrors that of several of Pose’s cast and crew. Murphy and casting director Alexa L. Fogel spent six months in the community before emerging with
MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE FROM LEFT: Kate Mara, Evan Peters, and James Van Der Beek depict the other side of Pose’s 1980s story: Wall Street’s greed-is-good culture.
a roster that showcases more trans people—both in front of and behind the cameras—than any other project in television history. (The cast includes trans actresses Mj Rodriguez, Indya Moore, Hailie Sahar, Angelica Ross, and the commanding Dominique Jackson, a legendary figure in the ball scene.) The Tony- and Grammy-winning Billy Porter, who plays Pray Tell, the hilariously shade-throwing master of ceremonies at the balls, claims that he didn’t have to do any research for the project. “I lived it,” he says. “My life has been the research—choosing truth and taking all the hits that have come with that: thirteen years of no work,
of bankruptcy, living on sofas, living in the car. I’m so grateful that I lived long enough to see this time.” Ross was a showgirl in drag performances at bars across the country, often working mainly for tips. Rodriguez grew up in a supportive home environment in Newark—her mother had a friend with whom she would attend the balls and “duel” dance together. She watched Paris Is Burning when she was twelve and was mesmerized by Octavia St. Laurent, “the icon—alongside Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson—that any trans woman would look up to.” At fourteen, telling her mother that she was attending an after-school program, Rodriguez experienced the
ball scene for herself, finding both community and comfort there. “That’s why we are here today, able to do a show like this—because people in the LGBT community fought for us.” Jackson is a case in point: She survived a traumatic childhood on the Caribbean island of Tobago. “Once you start crossing over and displaying feminine ways, you’re a target,” Jackson says. “It’s sad, it’s humiliating, and it’s confusing.” After a number of suicide attempts, Jackson fled to Baltimore and found herself in the ball culture there, living with a supportive network of friends. “We slept on the floor and ate potatoes, and everyone in the house were my brothers and sisters,” she
HA I R , C HRI S CLA R K, BA RRY L EE MO E , JA MESO N EATO N , SA BA NA M A JE ED. MA KEU P, S HE RRI BE RMA N LAU REN C E , N I CKY PAT T ISO N I LLU M, CH RI S M ILO N E, D EJA SM I TH . P RO DUCE D BY L EON E IOA N NOU AT P ON Y P ROJECTS. SE T D ESI G N, P E TE R KL EI N . WA RD RO BE : LOU EYR IC H, A N A LUCI A MCG O RT Y, CHRI ST I N A HI R BA R , RU DY M A NC E, JI M HA M ME R, DA RRYL G LOV E R. D ETA I LS, S EE I N TH IS I SSU E.
recalls. “I could live in my truth.” Soon she moved to New York and walked at her first ball. “The entire room just erupted,” says Jackson, who stands six feet two in flats and carries herself with a proud swagger that is equal parts Naomi Campbell and Diahann Carroll in Dynasty. “By the time I got to the front of the judges’ panel, they were handing me a trophy.” Of course today’s political reality, as producer, writer, and director Janet Mock notes, creates its own issues. “The heightened visibility that we have is amazing—but it also makes our communities targets,” she says. “It’s no coincidence that violence against trans women of color has risen over the course of the last two years as we’re being pushed out of public spaces and restrooms and schools and the military and denied health care. Right now I think we’re craving portraits of ourselves where we’re the center of the story, not the martyrs.” Since Murphy estimates that 95 percent of his cast have never acted in front of a camera before, Pose was a learning experience on both sides. (For the first time in his career, he notes wryly, he followed advice from his collaborators.) Two of the four writers on the series are trans, and no one’s shy about coming forward if they feel a word or a look rings inauthentic. Murphy and his Pose team reached out to historic figures in the ball community (and hired paid consultants as well)—the judges in the series, for example, are among the survivors from those seen in Paris Is Burning. Murphy is also giving all of the profits from the show back to the trans community via college scholarships, youth-shelter protection, and health-care programs with a focus on HIV prevention. That word—survivors—isn’t used lightly. “People were surviving a plague,” says Mock of the devastation wrought by HIV/AIDS. “At the same time, people can’t just live off trauma. I tried to center my writing in a way that shows the brilliance and the creativity and the resilience in the midst of all these forces.” Murphy grew up in Indianapolis, with a conflicted relationship with his family over his teenage sexuality, and so after high school worked three jobs to put himself through college in nearby Bloomington. “I never really had a
place,” he says, “and I think one of the reasons that I’ve been so ambitious has been to create a place.” He now employs 1,000 people. “We support each other,” he says. “It’s become a family affair, which is always what I wanted.” He says that Pose is his most expensive production to date, and it certainly looks the part. His longtime costume collaborator, Lou Eyrich, draws from a trailer full of wonders gathered with her associate Analucia McGorty, who road-tripped across the country piling up her car with vintage finds at stores from Santa Fe to Minneapolis (and grappled with the challenges of
At the cast-and-crew screening, Kate Mara says, “people were
screamı̇ng at the screen and clapping for each other— we exhausted ourselves from laughing and
finding period shoes in size 10 to 14). While the moneyed Elektra (Jackson’s character) references Iman and Vogue (and flaunts a wardrobe including originals by Mugler, Lacroix, and Versace), Ross’s Candy looks at Patrick Kelly and cotton-candy colors, Moore’s Angel is dressed in what Eyrich calls “Bohemian hippie meets Taxi Driver,” and Sahar’s Lulu has a “curvy, Janet Jackson vibe” and an inspiration board filled with images of a young Whitney Houston and pages from Ebony and Jet. The young newlyweds Patty and Stan (Kate Mara and Evan Peters), meanwhile, live the white New Jersey suburban dream—with Peters inhabiting an aspiring Gordon Gekko–like character—while James Van Der Beek plays the chemically stimulated Trump-world titan Matt. (Van Der Beek describes Matt’s wardrobe as
“bulletproof ”: “I mean, my character’s initials are monogrammed on the inside of my sleeve.”) Production designer Jamie McCall (and Judy Becker, who designed the first two episodes) struggled to capture the grittiness of New York in the eighties and had to research far into the outer boroughs to find locations that looked authentically ungentrified. Meanwhile, Murphy and his creative team looked at period references as eclectic as William Friedkin’s Cruising, Martin Scorsese’s The King of Comedy, Alan Parker’s Fame, and Adrian Lyne’s Flashdance, along with Oliver Stone’s Wall Street. For Murphy, Frank Simon’s cult 1968 documentary The Queen (about “drag queen” beauty-pageant contestants, as they were once described) has added resonance, as does Mahogany, the splendidly campy 1975 Diana Ross vehicle. “It’s all about the haves and the have-nots,” he explains, “the Trump world versus the ballroom-artist world. Baroque, stunning stuff juxtaposed with poverty—and that idea of how you create magic on a budget.” Freed of such restraints himself, Murphy and his team have created their own brand of magic. At the cast-andcrew screening of the first two episodes, Mara says, “people were screaming at the screen and clapping and cheering for each other—we all exhausted ourselves from laughing and crying.” “It was transcendent,” Van Der Beek says, “because I was watching a group of people watch their story being told in all of its complexity, with sincerity and with class, maybe for the first time.” Murphy’s ambitions for the show, while far from modest, have little to do with ratings or critical acclaim. “Television is perhaps our most intimate experience,” he says. “When you watch television, the characters you watch become your friends—you let them into your house; you invite them into your world. You see their pain, and you understand them; it changes your perception. I know that from Glee. We were on the shoulders of Will & Grace and Modern Family, and I think those three shows helped bring about gay marriage in this country. And I think people who see these characters will love these characters.” “I just hope this changes minds and hearts,” says Rodriguez. “That’s all.” 107
REFLECTION PERFECTION Pleached lime trees mimic the geometry of the pond, where the water is treated with an inky dye to achieve a mirror-like surface. OPPOSITE: Silka Rittson Thomas walks among clouds of cosmos in the orchard. Sittings Editor: Miranda Brooks.
The Secret Garden A painstaking restoration of a Jacobean manor led to a few delightful surprises for Hugo and Silka Rittson Thomas. By Polly Devlin. Photographed by Oberto Gili.
COUNTRY LIFE CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: A view into the H (for “Hugo”) garden, where clipped rectangles of Quercus ilex stand single file. The exterior of Walcot House, nearly demolished 300 years ago by the Duke of Marlborough. The kitchen’s second floor was removed to create a light and comfortable dining area.
and does not come easily in the Cotswolds, a sought-after area of outstanding natural beauty. It is countryside with exquisite views of green fields, unfolding wolds, and valleys that roll into the distance. Sylvia Plath once described this part of England as “a country on a nursery plate.” There are no towering crags here, no unruly romantic chasms. There’s also not much spare land hanging around, populated as it is by sundry gentry, ex–prime ministers, general cognoscenti, and the occasional media villain. Nevertheless, seventeen years ago photographer and collector Hugo Rittson Thomas stumbled upon Walcot House, a sixteenth-century farmhouse that had been almost demolished by the Duke of Marlborough in order to provide cut stone and masonry for Blenheim Palace, and promptly snatched it up. The remnants of the original Walcot are still traceable in ghostly demarcations; one of the old cellars lies deep below an ancient garden wall. “When I first saw it, I fell in love with its wild energy,” says Hugo. But the old manor was sorely derelict. The airy,
FAR SIGHTED CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: Encased by balustraded parapet, a grass terrace overlooks the groundâ€™s carp ponds and orchards. A painting by Sergej Jensen is stationed in the entryway. A garden bench offers views of the Oxfordshire idylls.
high dining room adjoining the kitchen, with its old flagged floors and long refectory table, was, in his words, “a damp and unpleasant place. The soil outside came halfway up the windows.” Hugo and his wife, Silka Rittson Thomas, a curator and art adviser, added a huge and handsome “garden room” (their drawing room) and renovated the bathrooms, one of which features a Moroccan tiled fantasy. They kept some original treasures: enormous oak beams, twisting staircases, paneling in the dining room, and a vast wisteria covering half the main facade of the house. Now the overall effect is of a sunny, delightful space with room to hang contemporary art in sometimes startling juxtaposition. In the outer hall, for example, a postcard hunting collage by Gilbert & George sits next to quintessentially English country jackets by Purdey—more usually associated with a hearty philistinism—and a photograph of a younger Hugo with Princess Diana. (His book The Queen’s People includes unique portraits of Her Majesty and members of her family: Prince William, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, and swagger portraits of traditional courtiers and servants of the royal household.) Elsewhere in the house are paintings by, among others, Gillian Carnegie, Nate Loman, R. H. Quaytman, and Friedrich Kunath, whose painting of moonshine on a lake hangs in the kitchen. A chintz-covered resin armchair, which obligingly lights up when sat upon, squats in the garden room. Above the mantel rests a composite drawing by Pablo Bronstein of a version of Walcot superimposed on an image of Blenheim Palace—Hugo and Silka, in homage, have jokingly christened the painting Bleincot. Outside, the garden incorporates elements of English traditional grand gardening at its best—topiary, allées, pleached lime walks and parterres, meadows, orchards, stone terraces, ancient walls, cascades, and ponds. High, square yew hedges cut like sculpture loom above the swimming-pool garden, where a leprous-looking gargoyle gushes water. The swimming-pool cover slyly disappears into a crevice. Magic! “No . . . German engineering,” Hugo says. A miniature arboretum has been planted by landscape gardener MarieChristine de Laubarède, who also helped with the design. There, yew trees now look like bustling green-crinolined Victorian ladies vying for space in a ballroom. The Rittson Thomases’ bittersweet challenge is the deer, who are thrilled to bits by the new dining opportunities. “The dear little deer,” Hugo says gloomily, “are a blooming pest—they chomp everything in and out of their path.” The Quercus ilex trees anchoring the new parterre around the glittering circular pool and fountain have somehow escaped the deer’s depredations and are already significantly large, echoing in their steep topiary the roof of the house behind them—one of the biggest roof rakes or slopes, they’ve been told, of any house in England. On another axis, a clipped yew hedge leads toward a wild bank of grasses and showstopping flowers. Silka uses homegrown blooms and grasses from the Walcot
EARTHLY DELIGHTS Topiary points, feathery Stipa gigantea plants, and Japanese anemones surround a raised pool.
“When I first saw it, I fell in love with its wild energy,” says Hugo Rittson Thomas
estate at her TukTuk Flower Studio in Mayfair, where she creates seductive bespoke creations. She is responsible for the constant planting and design of new gardens— along with the cutting garden, the vegetable garden, and a wild meadow. Lime trees border a green walk riven by a rectangular mirror pond, its surface reflective and tenebrous due to a special dye that keeps its water as dark as polished ebony. A balustraded parapet guards a steep decline where wide steps plummet down toward the woods and startling carp ponds. When the garden designers Julian and Isabel
Bannerman initially came to look at the grounds, they told a surprised Hugo that there might be deep ponds lying buried in the adjoining woods. Since the soil was entirely dry, he was somewhat skeptical. But the house had reportedly been part of a monastery before the Reformation, and carp traditionally provided the food for monks; Hugo (with the help of English Heritage, which operates and guards historic properties) discovered five carp ponds fed from a cascading spring. These watery medallions are now classified as ancient monuments with the same rating as Stonehenge. “The thing we love most,”
says Hugo, “is walking out every night when it’s clear and enjoying the stars.” The soil spoil from the excavation of the ponds was used to create a rising spiral mound with a mushroom-dotted summit. The hope is that one day this mound will become an amphitheater for plays, concerts, and other events. In the meantime, it makes a viewing point over the enticing countryside. “What we are doing now,” Hugo says, “is seeing how the garden goes on by itself. But however it is, I like it. A garden is never finished. That’s what is exciting about it. You think you’ve almost got it finished, and then you start again.” 113
Party Time With his vibrant portraits and surreal compositions, Swiss artist Nicolas Party is going head-to-head with Magritte. Dodie Kazanjian reports. Photographed by Stefan Ruiz.
THE IMAGES in Nicolas Party’s paintings are simple, vivid, inexplicably funny, and profoundly odd. He paints the face of a man in a brown hat with a large snail on top, against a background of cerulean blue. Or a still life of three pears, one red, one yellow, and one green, cuddling up to one another like kittens. Or a landscape of red, leafless, sticklike tree trunks whose sparse upper limbs reach out but fail to connect. Party’s paintings are figurative and grounded in the three traditional genres of landscape, still life, and portraiture, and he is never at a loss for things to paint. “There’s a big traffic jam of images in my head,” he tells me when I visit him in his Brooklyn studio. “They’re calling out, ‘Hey, look at me.’ ‘I’m good; what about me?’ ” A 37-year-old Swiss who divides his time between Bushwick and Brussels, Party is shockingly versatile. His paintings come in oil, watercolor, spray paint, acrylic, and, for the past five years, in the somewhat arcane and fragile medium of soft pastel. He makes sculpture—giant portrait heads in wood, plaster, and metal, some with the ability to talk. He creates environments, rooms entirely populated with his decorative flourishes and jeux d’esprit. Also murals: Last June, he completed sunrise, sunset, a 400-foot landscape-inthe-round at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C. It was inspired by Barack Obama’s statement, after the 2016 election, that “no matter what happens, the sun will rise in the morning.” As Ali Subotnick, who curated an earlier mural project by Party at Los Angeles’s Hammer Museum, describes it, “Nicolas collapses the past with the present and future. A finger can conjure Michelangelo’s The Creation of Adam and at the same time illustrate the swipe of an iPhone. He never gets stuck in a formulaic pattern.” “Dinner for 24 Elephants,” Party’s first show in a commercial gallery, took place at the Modern Institute in
COLOR STORY Nicolas Party, 37, a wildly versatile and imaginative artist, pictured here in his Bushwick studio. Sittings Editor: Phyllis Posnick.
Glasgow in 2011. It was also the first in a continuing series of animal-themed dinner parties, for which the tables, chairs, plates, and surroundings are all Party-made, a stage set for an evening-long performance piece in which the artist, as an inept waiter, is one of the performers. In place of the usual gallery dinner after an art opening, the dinner is the show. In Glasgow, 24 selected guests (curators, artists, collectors) sat at a long table on wooden cubes painted to look like pachyderms. “Everybody there lost a bit of his or her own character and merged with an elephant,” he explains. “And you can’t really be serious on top of an elephant stool.” Whether anybody actually felt elephant-like is debatable, but the event was widely talked about, and many heard Party’s name for the first time. Since then, he’s done dinners for 24 dogs, 24 sheep, and 24 assorted animals. “Nicolas has a great sense of humor but also a poetic seriousness,” Toby Webster, his Glasgow dealer, tells me. Just over six feet tall, slim, with neatly trimmed dark hair and beard, Party projects a fast-moving, playful energy. He grew up in the French-speaking part of Switzerland, in a sixteenth-century house in Villette, a ridiculously picturesque village of 300 people on a lake outside Lausanne. (Charlie Chaplin spent the last years of his life nearby.) His English is fluent, rapid-fire, and occasionally hard to understand—van Dyke is “van Dick”; moss is “moose.” His clothes are impeccably Italian—Gucci, Missoni, Prada—and his self-executed tattoos include an elephant on his right foot. Two items he’s never without are an iPhone-size sketchbook and an oval Alvin artist’s eraser. He doesn’t drive or know how to pump gas or go to the doctor. He’s never been married, but three years ago he met Sarah Blakley-Cartwright, an ebullient young American writer and editor, and they’ve been together ever since. Marriage is definitely in the air. “If we stay together, we’ll have kids,” he tells me, “because that’s what we humans do.” When he’s not traveling, Party is in his studio, two large rooms with a view of the Manhattan skyline, from nine to six every day, making new work. His five galleries—in Glasgow, Zurich, Brussels, Milan, and New York— have no trouble selling it. When I visit, he’s working on a group of pastel portraits and landscapes. An industrial-size vacuum cleaner, which he uses several times a day to keep the pastel dust from building up, sits in the middle of the room. Some of the pictures here are bound for Art Basel Hong Kong, others for the Magritte Museum in Brussels, where he and the Belgian Surrealist will go head-to-head in a late-spring exhibition—Magritte and Party are well matched in the aesthetic-oddness department. In the new wave of figurative painters, Party is one of the most original, and definitely the most playful. “His work is a bit like de Chirico’s, a kind of metaphysical painting pervaded by a sense of stupor,” says Massimiliano Gioni,
Party’s twin passions as a child were drawing and bêtise, meaning dumb pranks that your parents don’t know about, “like playing with fire, breaking things”
artistic director of the New Museum in New York. “He combines memories of Magritte with the dream of a distant and imaginary Orient . . . an invented geography.” Party recently bought a large town house in Brussels “because I kind of needed to invest a chunk of money instead of buying Gucci and art,” he says, laughing. Most of the art he buys is not contemporary; he has his eye on a “not very good” Tintoretto drawing that’s coming up at auction. “I’ve always preferred Monet over Manet,” he confides. “Nobody prefers Monet over Manet.” In spite of having a house and studio in Brussels, he currently plans to live in New York for the next ten years. Consistency is not his strong point.
s the middle child in his family (older brother, much younger sister), Party had what he describes as a “fantastic childhood,” living in that idyllic village and skiing on weekends at the family chalet in the mountains. His father, Philippe, now retired, was a government-employed tax accountant. His mother, Catherine, was a stay-at-home housewife until Nicolas was in his teens, when she took over the bookstore in Lausanne’s Hermitage Foundation museum, which is focused on Impressionist and early modern art. Party never expected to have a show there, but several of his paintings and a large mural are in “Pastels,” the museum’s current show of paintings from the sixteenth to the twenty-first century, which includes such masters of the medium as Degas, Manet, Redon, Klee, and Picasso. Party’s favorite relative was his Scottish grandmother, who scandalized the family by leaving her husband for her female lover. “My grandmother gave me a lot,” he says. “She was telling me 24 hours a day how amazing I was, and how I would be the next Picasso.” She took him to Paris on his tenth birthday and introduced him to the Louvre and the Musée d’Orsay. Party’s twin passions as a child were drawing and bêtise, meaning dumb pranks that your parents don’t know about, “like playing with fire, stealing, breaking things.” The drawing led to painting, first in watercolor, then in oil—deftly realistic images of the mountain landscape around him. Bêtise led eventually to graffiti and street art. In 1992, when he was twelve, he and a friend began spending their weekends breaking into rail yards and spray-painting trains. The graffiti craze that hit New York in the seventies and early eighties had spread to Europe, and Party, with his brother, Ian, and the friend, were obsessed by it. They got caught a couple of times. “There was an epic chase, the best one, that lasted the entire night, with dogs and a lot of policemen.” Tagging trains, spray-painting vacant houses that they broke into, and getting chased were so exciting that they often took precedence over going to school. Party was kicked out of high school as a result, and never graduated. As we walk from his Bushwick studio to the apartment he shares with Blakley-Cartwright, street art is all around us. “I want to do a mural on that wall,” he says, pointing to a huge, tan warehouse with no windows on one side. A few blocks farther, a group of people listens intently to a woman talking. “Look, that’s a street art tour with a docent,” Party
FRO M TO P LE FT: N I COLAS PA RTY. L ANDSCA PE , 2016. PAST EL O N CA N VAS, 8 1 X 3 3.8 . INSTALLATION VIEW, CIMAISE , CAN : CENTR E D’ART NEUCH ÂTEL, NEUCH ÂTEL, 20 16. PH OTO: AN TO N SAT US. COU RT ESY O F T HE ART IST AN D T HE MOD E RN IN ST I T U TE /TO BY W EBSTE R LT D., GL ASGOW; R ED P ORTRA I T, 2017. PAST EL ON CAR D, 31. 5 X 22. 2. COURTESY OF TH E ARTIST, TH E MOD ER N INSTITUTE/TOBY WEBSTER LT D., G LASG OW, AN D KARMA, N EW YO RK. PHOTO : TH OMAS M ÜL LE R; I NSTA LLATI ON V I EW, SNA I LS I N NOTT I NG H I L L , R I SE P ROJ ECTS, LOND ON, 20 15. PH OTO: ANDY KEATE. COURTESY OF TH E ARTIST AND TH E MOD ER N INSTITUTE/TO BY WE BST E R LT D., G LASG OW.
PAINT THE TOWN ABOVE: Landscape, 2016. RIGHT: Red Portrait, 2017. BELOW: Nicolas Party, installation view, Snails in Notting Hill, RISE Projects, London, 2015.
says. “Sometimes they take pictures of me and ask, ‘Are you a local?’ ‘No, I’m a white Swiss kid who’s come to Brooklyn.’ ” The neighborhood is rapidly gentrifying, though, and street art’s days are numbered. Party finally left tagging behind after graduating from the Lausanne School of Art in 2004 and deciding to be a full-time artist. (He got his MFA at the Glasgow School of Art in 2009.) Becoming an artist today is a lot easier and a lot harder than it used to be. Anything goes because there are no rules. “The big time of modernism, which lasted for almost a century, ended some years ago,” Party says. We’re now in his Bushwick apartment, a loftlike second-floor walk-up. It’s full of books, his drawings, small objects and period furniture, and a great, weird canvas on the sitting-room wall by Louis Eilshemius, an American painter whom Marcel Duchamp helped discover in 1917, and who has become a favorite of Ed Ruscha, Jeff Koons, and other artists. “In 2018, when you do a painting, especially if it’s a portrait, you obviously don’t try to be original—to make something 100 percent new,” Party says. “It’s probably more like 5 percent.” Only 5 percent? “Well, maybe 6,” he says, winking. “Painting is a much more modest kind of practice now. We are not the revolutionary artists. They are probably in video, where somebody like Jordan Wolfson can break things up and bring in something new and aggressive. With figurative paintings, you’re not going to shock anybody.” Whatever the percentage of originality in Party’s work, it doesn’t look like anything else being done today. It’s a beguiling mix of influences and borrowings from many corners of art history, recent and mostly not C O N T I N U E D O N P A G E 1 4 2
Wedding cakes are statement cakes. But should yours say romance or rebellion? Tamar Adler investigates.
W I LL COTTON . D EL I CI OUS, 200 8. P OLYST YRE N E, AC RYLI C P O LY ME R, P I G M EN T, GYPSUM, 30 ᥱ X 20ᥱ X 20ᥱ. COURTESY OF MARY BOONE GALLERY, NEW YORK.
ABOVE CUT A LITTLE WHILE AGO, I received an email from a dear old friend with a delicate question. Hello! How are you? What should we serve for dessert at our wedding?? For some food writers, answering would be a breeze: An eight-layer chiffon sponge with citron curd, crème Chantilly, and Valrhona ganache by Frou Frou et Frou Frou or something like that. But I don’t like desserts, and I’m a bad novice baker. At my own wedding, these flaws were embraced. My mother baked a canola oil–based blueberry cake (we were on an island off the coast of Maine) that tasted more like a breakfast bread. The afternoon was misty. Foghorns called to each other in the distance. Guests ate clams and lobsters and corn and blueberry cake—and some pie, I think—as day turned to night. I fondly recall serving my mother’s cake to the Lions Club members who cooked our lobsters, and watching them wash it down with rum. I do know that a wedding dessert is not just a dessert. It is a statement! A prominent Beverly Hills wedding planner I call for advice, Mindy Weiss, is adamant that it “represents a couple’s love story.” The cutting of the cake is the bookend to the promise I do. (Sometimes, when my husband and I fight, I wonder if we should have cut a cake.) It is also political! Even as I write this, the Supreme Court is pondering what it means to help make that statement, via Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission—a.k.a. the “cake artist” case. I consider recommending breakfast bread and rum, but my betrothed friend likes dessert and is a bit old-fashioned. To be traditional, he would break a cake of barley over his wife’s head, as ancient Romans did for good fortune. Or serve fruitcake, ambrosia of the royals. Even Kate and William’s eight-layer confection was, beneath the fondant, I DO, I DO, I DO Wedding cakes today can be anything: stacks of meringue, fantasies of fondant, fruit pies, layered “naked cakes,” savory creations of rice flour, et cetera, et cetera. Delicious, by Will Cotton, 2008.
fruitcake—that mortar-like substance dating from at least the mid-Renaissance. (Harry and Meghan are rumored to be planning a lemon elderflower cake, but a lemon is also a fruit.) Or be French and serve croquembouches, or Italian and serve crostate and confetti. For further ideas I turn to those great witnesses of fashionable contemporary culture, Twitter and Instagram, and discover that some wedding cakes today are stacks of meringues (Vera Wang Pour Ladurée). Others are stacks of Oreos (actress Katie Lowes). A food publicist directs me to “naked cakes,” like Christina Tosi and Will Guidara’s seven-tiered one—these are outré and unfrosted and, according to famous planner Marcy Blum, served by “rebels.” Speaking of rebellion, some mavericks choose dessert tables full of cupcakes and dump cakes and pies—as did Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent—or hire soft-serve ice cream trucks, as did Boston-area chef Will Gilson. I could be pedantic and point out that in British English, dessert means “a serving of fresh fruit after the main course of a meal.” I love fruit. Why not gorgeous bowls of transparent greengage plums? Or what about one of those recent “cheese cakes” that are just stacks of cheese, starting with sturdy Cheddar and ending with a heart-shaped Brie de Meux, with their implicit claim that nothing says “I love you forever” like stinky cheese? My friend does like cheese. But when I interrogate him further about his confectionary preferences, I receive only the following: I like layers. Why so terse? Then I remember that he, like my husband, is from Vermont. I consider the character of the New Englander. Their signature quality is not asking for help. If my friend actually wanted me to make this layer cake, it would go against his fiber to request it. After considering several cryptic replies, I settle on: I’m working on it. But I’m still not sure where to start. So I appeal to Maggie Austin, a Washington, D.C., ballerina turned cake designer (she prefers designer to the tendentious artist) who has made sugar chimpanzees for Jane Goodall, sugar topiaries for the Obama White House, and bespoke sugar-flower edifices for anyone able to meet her (minimum) $10,000 fee. Online her creations are featured with headlines like 9 stunning cakes that belong in a museum. One made me cry. Austin arrives at my house on a cool morning, hair in a neat bun. Black-clad and petite, she walks with the ramrod-straight posture of a dancer. I’m pleasantly surprised to see that all her tools fit into one rolling suitcase and C O N T I N U E D O N P A G E 1 4 3
ORANGE ALERT Model Ellen Rosa in a Balenciaga sweater and fluorescent eye pigment. In this story: hair, James Pecis; makeup, Dick Page. Details, see In This Issue. Fashion Editor: Phyllis Posnick.
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ultra Neon SUMMER BEAUTY IS ABOUT MAKING MAKEUP FUN AGAIN— WITH A QUICK SLICK OF SUPERBRIGHT COLOR ON EYES OR LIPS. PHOTOGRAPHED BY TANYA AND ZHENYA POSTERNAK.
IF YOU ARE SEARCHING FOR MEANING, or solace, or even just a bit of laughter in the dark in these wildly uncertain times, why not do so with a burst of cadmium yellow slashed across your face? Think about it: You can either bury your features in foundation and hope to fade into the landscape, or you can paint up and go forth boldly into that good night. On fall runways from New York to Milan to Paris, makeup artists emphatically chose the latter course. “What feels modern, and strong, is to be playful with makeup,” Thomas de Kluyver, the man behind the take-no-prisoners eyes at Sies Marjan, explains. “That Instagram ideal of beauty, where there’s a lot of foundation, is quite fake,” he adds, “and with the conversations of the past year, women want to stop using makeup as a mask.” The “conversations of the past year”—the new surge of activism, the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements—may be informing this rainbow-hued rebellion, but the penchant for pigment has its own colorful history. Our punk and New Wave ancestors gleefully explored the joy of sexy saturation—think of David Bowie’s iconic Ziggy Stardust lightning bolt! And with the words gender fluid dripping from so many vermilion-stained lips, the idea of using one’s face as an expressionist canvas—as a billboard for radical change—has new currency. This hypervisual renaissance of electroclash, this refusal to blend into the wallpaper, came to full flower at John Galliano’s Maison Margiela, where Pat McGrath steeped matte mouths in cobalt blue, tangerine, and emerald. In one case, McGrath even echoed an iridescent Margiela suit by drenching the model’s ultraviolet lips in glitter and gloss, turning her pout into a facsimile of a high-end holograph. At Dior, Peter Philips offered raccoon-rimmed eyes in hot pink, cranberry, and daffodil—so what if this flourish was half-hidden under color-coordinated sunglasses? And in what was perhaps the most lavish illustration of this predilection, McGrath anointed seven models at Prada with dramatic multihued swoops, further decorated with Swarovski-crystal studs, turning their orbs into dazzling winged victories. Sometimes the news was in the bleachers. The Khadra sisters, Simi and Haze—twin DJs sitting front and center at Alex Wang—sported identical poppy-orange lips accompanied by tremendous sweeps of turquoise on their quartet of lids. The blue blasts continued at Chromat, where the nontraditional casting—a stunningly diverse array of shapes and sizes—was riveting and the energy was contagious. (Could this rhapsody in blue presage the upcoming wave the current U.S. Congress is so worried about?) Just about now you are thinking, OK; me too! But there are no Swarovski crystals in my dressing-table drawers! Fara Homidi, the makeup artist who offered a pared-down take on the trend at Maryam Nassir Zadeh’s show, has some advice. She recommends creating a relatively subtle neon flash by simply dipping a brush in water (you have a brush and water, right?) and adding a whisper of brightness. “The water saturates the color,” Homidi explains. “That’s really the whole trick. The key thing is that you don’t want to overdo it. . . . It’s just you with a pop of color that says, ‘Yeah, that’s right; here I am!’ ” And what could feel more right at the moment than shouting, “Here I am!”—leaving the self-effacing face at home and taking to the streets, an optimistic cerulean streak dancing beneath your brow?—LYNN YAEGER
Summer fashion embraces surrealism with otherworldly effects, shape-shifting silhouettesâ€”and a joyous mash-up of colors, textures, and patterns.
Hour Photographed by Craig McDean
© 201 8 A DAG P, PA R I S/AV EC L’A I MA B LE AU TO RI SAT I ON D E M. P I E RRE B ERG É , P RÉSI D E NT DU CO MI T É JE A N CO CTE AU.
EYE SPY Outrageous shapes and graphics scream fun-house fashion. Model Vittoria Ceretti (with brother, Guglielmo Ceretti) in a Bottega Veneta coat and dress; (800) 8456790. A.W.A.K.E. hat. Oscar de la Renta earring and necklace. OPPOSITE: Jean Cocteau’s Ohne Titel (Orpheus), 1960. Photographed at Villa Santo Sospir, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat. Fashion Editor: Tonne Goodman.
GET THE PICTURE Take one smock skirt; add one deconstructed, then reconstructed camisole. The result? An artsy and inimitable faux-dishabille allure. Marni top ($1,440), tank top ($2,790), and skirt ($3,500); Marni boutiques. Roksanda earring. Burkindy rings. Mulberry shoes.
BLENDING IN Morph into the background in masterly tailoring, but make no mistake: This medley of brocade and bold lines is anything but discreet. Dries Van Noten blouse ($810) and skirt ($560); Saks Fifth Avenue stores. Tom Binns earrings. Bottega Veneta necklace. BEAUTY NOTE Master the art of effortless shine. OGXâ€™s Protecting + Silk Blowout Thermal Primer Cream safeguards against damage and leaves hair sleek and polished.
S ET D ES IG N , RE NAU D D ESC HA MPS. P RODUCE D BY RO MA I N AT KI TT E N P RO DUCTI ON.
THROWING SHADE Make shapes, pattern, light, and color your working materialsâ€”and channel Calder in chandelier earrings that mimic his mid-century mobiles. Fendi top, $990; fendi.com. Gucci hat. WKNDLA earring. Tiffany & Co. rings.
DRAWING THE LINE Accent a dramatic gown with freehand drawings by Jean Cocteau. Dior dress; Dior boutiques. Sophie Buhai earring. In this story: hair, Orlando Pita for Orlando Pita Play; makeup, Peter Philips for Dior. Details, see In This Issue.
ALONG FOR THE RIDE
S ET D ES IG N , A ND RE A HU ELSE
Delhi-born actor Ali Fazal happened upon acting via a happy accident. When he dislocated a shoulder in college and could no longer play basketball, a friend suggested he get out of his slump by trying out for the school play— Shakespeare’s The Tempest. “I was instantly, madly in love,” says Fazal, who recently wrapped Amazon’s Mirzapur and is now on to filming Milan Talkies. Canadianborn Avan Jogia (NEXT PAGE), though, couldn’t get enough of the spotlight from a very early age. “My parents worked fulltime, so I ended up doing a lot of things on my own,” says Jogia, who took that entrepreneurial spirit and turned it into a career that includes a role in Gregg Araki’s show Now Apocalypse; an ongoing musical venture, Saint Ivory; a book of poetry titled Mixed Feelings; and a supporting role in The New Romantic, out this fall. A mere glance at their résumés is enough to prove that these guys get around, traveling to sets and locations from Los Angeles to Mumbai and beyond. Fazal keeps things simple, whether in-flight or onboard, in vintage denim, a tee, and boots; Jogia, meanwhile, proclaims that “functional luggage has changed my life—my bag has a charger, so whenever I go, I’m always plugged in.”—RACHEL WALDMAN
READY TO ROLL Model Pooja Mor in a Céline top ($1,500), skirt ($2,250), and belt; Céline, NYC. Actor Ali Fazal in a J.Crew coat. CMMN SWDN shirt. Calvin Klein Underwear T-shirt. J.Mueser Bespoke pants. Photographed by Annie Leibovitz. Fashion Editor: Grace Coddington.
SE T D ESI G N , A N D RE A H UE LSE . P HOTOG RA P HE D AT W H I P PA N Y RA I LWAY MUS EUM , N EW JE RS EY.
FINE PRINT Model Saffron Vadher (FAR LEFT) in an Altuzarra cardigan, $1,650; Neiman Marcus stores. Dries Van Noten dress, $1,185; Barneys New York, NYC. Miu Miu belt. Actor Avan Jogia (CENTER) in an Our Legacy shirt. Polo Ralph Lauren pants. Model Bhumika Arora (NEAR LEFT) in a Paco Rabanne dress, $1,150; Barneys New York, NYC. Marni pants, $1,290; Marni boutiques. Louis Vuitton sneakers. In this story: hair, Jimmy Paul for Bumble and Bumble; makeup, Diane Kendal. Menswear Editor, Michael Philouze. Details, see In This Issue.
FAMILY TRADITION Thereâ€™s a bucket hat for everyone in the brood. Actress and model Devon Aoki in a Burberry hat, $420; burberry.com. Alexander McQueen dress. Hunter (FAR LEFT) in a Fendi hat, $550; fendi .com. Eleanor (CENTER) in a Mini Rodini hat, $49; minirodini.com. Alessandra (BELOW) in a Sies Marjan hat; siesmarjan.com. Fashion Editor: Jorden Bickham.
BUCKET LIST The formerly floppy hats have gone hauteâ€” thankfully, just in time for summer. Get your head in the game. Photographed by Sean Thomas.
CROWNING GLORY Give a gauzy white gown a little punch with easy and elegant accessories. Clyde hat, $174; clyde.world. Calvin Klein 205W39NYC bag, $1,350; Calvin Klein, NYC. DSquared2 dress. Me&Ro earrings. Necklaces by Pamela Love and John Hardy. Bracelets by Jill Heller, Bow & Arrow, and David Yurman.
BALANCING ACT We can certainly get on board with a plush, logo-splashed bucket hat thatâ€™s soft to the touch. Fendi hat ($890) and bag ($1,710); fendi.com. Ralph Lauren Collection dress. Pamela Love earrings. Necklaces by Irene Neuwirth, Pamela Love, and Me&Ro. Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello bracelets.
PLAYING THE FIELD Playful hats—floppy in shape and tilted with attitude—are trending. TOP: Model Anne V in a Versus Versace hat, $225; versace.com. Paco Rabanne bag, $1,150; Barneys New York, NYC. Marni shirt and skirt. Aoki in a Tory Burch hat, $158; toryburch.com. Calvin Klein 205W39NYC shirt and skirt. Proenza Schouler bag, $1,895; Proenza Schouler, NYC. On Hunter (TOP, SECOND FROM RIGHT): Prada hat, $330; select Prada boutiques. On Alessandra (TOP, FAR RIGHT): The Animals Observatory hat, $54; theanimalsobservatory.com. ABOVE: Loewe hat; loewe.com. Pierre Hardy bag, $1,195; Carla Martinengo, Dallas. Michael Kors Collection blouse and skirt. Sophie Buhai earrings.
HEAD GAMES Make memories out of head-to-toe prints and patterns. CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Aoki in a Versus Versace hat, $225; versace .com. Tory Burch dress. Faris earrings. Rosalia Luczo in a Mini Rodini hat, $45; minirodini.com. Alessandra in a Mini Rodini hat, $45; minirodini.com. Model Agatha Luczo in an Adam Lippes x Albertus Swanepoel hat; adamlippes .com. ChloĂŠ dress. Anne V in a Prada hat, $330; select Prada boutiques. Gucci bag ($3,200) and dress; gucci.com. Leigh Miller earrings. Fendi boots. (Also in the story: Anica, George, and Cosimo.) BEAUTY NOTE
Sun protection is a family affair. Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Face Dry-Touch Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50 has a lightweight, mineral-based formula that is gentle enough for all ages.
S ET D ES IG N , OW L A ND T HE EL EP H A NT. P RO DUC E D BY C LEV E LA N D JO N ES FOR 36 0 PM.
HANG TIME Structured hats and totes serve as perfect counterpoints to soft, pretty, feminine pieces. TOP: Aoki in a Tory Burch hat, $158; toryburch.com. Sonia Rykiel bag, $1,320; Barneys New York, NYC. Brock Collection dress. Jill Platner bracelet. ABOVE: Versus Versace hat, $195; versace.com. CÃ©line bag, $1,950: Barneys New York, NYC. Echo scarf tied on bag. Chanel blouse and skirt.
DYNAMIC DUO Key accents call for accompanying pieces. After all, what’s a bucket hat without a bucket bag? Anne V (with Alaska) in a Loewe hat and dress. Hat at loewe.com. Hermès bag; Hermès boutiques. Necklaces by Pamela Love and Me&Ro. In this story: hair, Tamara McNaughton; makeup, Romy Soleimani. Details, see In This Issue.
Index PORTRAIT: MIKAEL JANSSON, VOGUE, 2010. MORROW: © 2018 HARPERCOLLINS PUBLISHERS. THE HIGH SEASON: © 2018 PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE. ALL OTHERS: COURTESY OF BRANDS/WEBSITES.
Look the part while your mind wanders off into these summer reads. 140
Head to England via Julia Whelan’s debut novel, My Oxford Year (William Morrow), which follows Ella, an ambitious and ever-on-track student whose study-abroad experiences are what college dreams are made of. Ella’s return to Washington, D.C., where a coveted job awaits her, comes into question when she falls for Jamie—who is, of course, her English-lit professor. If this tale sounds more Hollywood than Oxford . . . well, that might be by design: The story is in the midst of its big-screen adaptation. —MICHAELA BECHLER
HOUSE OF CARDS Across the bay from the sceney Hamptons lies the town of Orient—the summertime destination of moneyed Manhattanites who prefer to leave the social circuit behind. In Judy Blundell’s The High Season (Random House), Ruthie rents out her beachfront home in Orient each summer to stay afloat. This year, she hands her keys over to the much-photographed Adeline, who, as Ruthie soon learns, comes with an agenda. It’s a perfect book for your beach bag—even if you’re not Long Island–bound.—LILAH RAMZI
1. CHLOÉ BAG, $1,750; CHLOÉ BOUTIQUES. 2. BOTTEGA VENETA TOP, $810; (800) 845-6790. 3. TORY BURCH SANDAL, $398; TORYBURCH .COM. 4. GAYA DE GARNAZELLE NECKLACE; GARNAZELLE.COM. 5. VALENTINO SUNGLASSES, $460; VALENTINO.COM. 6. LOUIS VUITTON BAG; SELECT LOUIS VUITTON STORES. 7. SOLID & STRIPED SWIMSUIT, $178; INTERMIX STORES. 8. CHANEL COCO MADEMOISELLE EAU DE PARFUM INTENSE SPRAY, $140; CHANEL.COM. 9. DVF SKIRT, $298; DVF STORES. 10. FAITHFULL THE BRAND BIKINI TOP, $79; FAITHFULLTHEBRAND.COM. 11. PANDORA JEWELRY BRACELET, $175; PANDORA.NET. 12. AGL SHOE, $610; AGL.COM. 13. ALBERTA FERRETTI SHORTS, $710; BARNEYS NEW YORK, NYC.
LIFE AFTER HARVEY CONTINUED FROM PAGE 103
This particular club, ironically, it’s not such a small one: women who have had to endure it in such a public way, women like Georgina and me. People don’t feel sorry for us; you don’t get that empathy. People think you’re beautiful, you’re thin, you’re rich, you’re photographed on the red carpet, and you get stuck in this category. There’s so much more depth beyond all that with Georgina.” Over the summer, Abedin came to see that depth. “You look at her from the outside, if you don’t know her, and you think, She’s perfect,” says Abedin. “She could be a model for the clothes she designs. But when you go to the house, she opens the door without any makeup on, and she’s stunning, and she’s funny and goofy with her children—who are clearly the most important people in her life. She’s at the stove making chicken fingers and French fries, and she’s one of the realest people I know. There’s nothing entitled about her. You believe she is someone who works really hard at being a good and present mom, and doing her job really well.” A friend of Chapman’s told me that, because of the divorce, money, the kids, Georgina is in regular contact with Harvey. I ask her, “Is there anything you can say about his state of mind?” “Well,” she replies with a roll of the eyes, “not really. Clearly when I was married to him I didn’t know anything about his state of mind, so I’m probably not the best person to ask.” Chapman’s close circle is rallying around her and hoping she will have a fresh start. “What I want for Georgina,” says Elson, “and it’s going to take time, and it’s impossible to come out unscathed, but let this be a moment in her life where she realizes that this is what made her. This is what made her a woman.” When I ask Chapman if there’s anything she can say about her finances, now much changed, and her future, she replies, “I’m just living moment to moment. Is it difficult? Of course. But one adjusts. Is it going to be for the worse? Maybe not.” On the day I visited her office, I noticed that Chapman kept checking her phone, like she was waiting for news.
Turns out, she was: She had put a bid on a house in upstate New York—a farm—and was hoping to find out if the bid was accepted. “Fingers crossed,” she said. With the sale of all the family homes—in the Hamptons, Connecticut, and the West Village— Chapman is trying to get herself and the children situated. “As soon as this happened, I had this crazy vision: I know what I need to do. I need to move to a farm upstate. My daughter loves riding; my son responds to animals. I need to build a farm.” Indeed, when the kids came in after school. Dash was carrying an enormous stuffed giraffe, and India was galloping in like a horse. “She’s obsessed,” says Chapman. “And when she’s not with a horse she’s pretending to be a horse. I’ve had to look at my life, and maybe I’m going to create something better for my children out of this.” The farm, she says, is “rambling, it’s magical, it’s private, down a long driveway. And it’s connected to horse trails, so you can just ride off of the property. I promised the kids donkeys and goats.” Chapman finds out that I live in Woodstock, New York, and brings up Neil Gaiman, who also has a house there. They met when she hired him to write the screenplay for a ten-minute short she directed in 2013; Gaiman had collaborated with Weinstein on Hayao Miyazaki’s Princess Mononoke. “Neil still possesses that magical quality of having a child’s imagination,” she says. “When you see the way that he works and the way that he thinks, it just reminds me of how one thought when one was younger—that sense of endless possibility, just pure . . . untrapped creativity.” The word untrapped hung in the air. Unlike other friends of Chapman’s, Gaiman did actually worry about her being married to Weinstein. “One reason is that I watched the person he tried to be when he was around her—which was sort of, at least to some degree, uxorious—which was not the person that he tried to be the rest of the time. But I never felt that there was anything going on other than that Georgina was actually in love with him. There’s that point where Harvey stops being a person and becomes a cultural phenomenon,
though it is worth reminding people that there are human beings here. And that one of those human beings could be affable and charming if he wished to be and also bullying and deceitful. And he was obviously very good at this.” He pauses for a long while and says, finally, “She’s a good person who married a bad person. Or, if you want to be less judgmental, she’s a good person who married a person who did some terrible things. And who now has to make a go of it on her own. And I know she can. And I’m sure she will.”
PARTY TIME CONTINUED FROM PAGE 117
so recent, and refreshingly purged of complex or virtuoso techniques. “Monet comes in all the time, and I’ve been looking at Félix Vallotton for at least ifteen years.” Last summer, getting ready for his debut show at Karma, his New York gallery, he was thinking about Christian Schad and Milton Avery. Images or fragments of images from works by other artists find a home in his paintings—trees from Fragonard, a Vallotton nude, a Morandi jug, a Georgia O’Keefe lower, Gerhard Richter’s single candle. “The red sun in that one,” he says, showing me his Hirshhorn mural on the computer, “is Henri Rousseau. We had a Rousseau poster of The Snake Charmer in the living room when I was growing up.” His word for this is not appropriation but sampling. It was when Party discovered pastels that his art really came into its own. A medium that lourished in the eighteenth century as a quick way of doing portraits, pastels had a second life with the Impressionists and Postimpressionists, and then largely disappeared from big-time art. Party got hooked in 2013, when he was “totally stunned,” as he put it, by a Picasso portrait called Tête de Femme, in a show at the Fondation Beyeler. There was something unforgettable about the image, the shading, and the intensity of the color. “When I saw it, it was ‘Oh, my God! I want to do exactly that.’ ” He bought a postcard of it, went straight to the art-supply store, picked up a box of pastels, and started copying the Picasso “over and over,” he recalls. “It’s been the source of all the faces I’ve made since then.”
Tête de Femme came from Picasso’s Classical Period, after World War I, when he abandoned Cubism to revel in his own playground of early Greek and Roman sculpture. The face is smoothly rounded, expressionless, and virtually androgynous. Party, who had been painting still lifes and landscapes, did only portraits for the next year— although portraits may not be the right word. The subjects are not people you know, but everybody you know. The colors are arbitrary, unexpected, and much more intense than any other medium. There’s no emotional expression, but the visual impact is indelible, and the eyes just won’t let go of you. The quickness and freedom of using pastel gives him the same kind of thrill he used to get from graiti and street art.
living room did for him. “It didn’t take me to the jungle,” he says. “It took me to his world, just like Hergé’s Tintin comic strips did. I believe that what humans are creating culturally is much more powerful than the reality we live in. Nothing I do at the moment is based on the real world. It’s based on a very imaginary world that is created in painting.” He pauses, then continues: “The main thing is I love making art. I love the making and seeing things appear. When I inish a painting, I just want to start another one.” Before we hang up, he texts me the image he’s been working on. Nearly finished, it’s the man in a brown hat, looking straight at me. “I’m going to do a snail on his hat,” he says.
A CUT ABOVE Party is just back from Europe, where he and Blakley-Cartwright went to the openings of the “Pastels” show in Lausanne, and of his latest gallery show in Milan. She had to leave early, and when she got back to New York, his “Good Morning” card was waiting. “Every morning we’re apart, Nicolas paints me a small picture that says, ‘Good Morning,’ ” she tells me. “He takes a photo of it and sends it by text so it’s there when I wake up. When we’re reunited, he gives me the paintings. He’s never missed a day.” They met online three years ago. Their irst date began in Central Park. They took in “an intimate show of four van Gogh roses and bearded irises” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and had their irst kiss in the Astor Chinese Garden Court. “He struck me as someone with utter clarity and conidence,” she says. Party’s future direction as an artist is unpredictable. “I’ll probably never make abstract art,” he says during a phone interview. “I don’t see abstraction, don’t get the language, but who knows? If I felt like trying it, I would.” Throughout the conversation he is working on a pastel in the studio for his Magritte Museum show. The delicate and sometimes rapid scratching of his sticks on canvas is a pleasant obbligato. What he’s after, in the long run, is to make images that will transport people to other worlds, the way Rousseau’s Snake Charmer poster in his childhood
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 119
and a hatbox—from which she produces a beige top hat. It is not a hat, I learn, but a piece of Styrofoam covered in sugar fondant. “But can’t we decorate a real cake?” I ask. Anyone can bake a cake, Austin explains. Today we will be making the fragile edible art that turns common pastry into visual poetry. Or a match for the centerpieces. Or a status symbol. A statement! Such edible art is made, I learn, of gum paste. It is a combination of confectioners’ sugar, egg whites, and a gum additive called Tylose. I wonder if we might take a shortcut by using Elmer’s glue. But Elmer’s doesn’t dry the right way and is inedible, if nontoxic. Plus, this is no time for debate. We must make leaves! We roll and squoosh green gum paste with what look like cuticle sticks for giants (they’re called CelPins). We press it into silicone molds shaped and textured like the two sides of a live leaf. And voilà!: lovely leaves, looking ready to flutter in the wind! These quickly dry in whatever position they ind themselves, ixed forever in graceful organic motion—a pretty, if entirely too optimistic, symbol for wedding another person. My eyes fall upon the clock. An hour has yielded two leaves. “How many leaves per cake?” I ask nonchalantly. “A lot,” answers Austin with the calm steeliness of a ballerina.
I write down squoosh and roll, uncertain whether these are terms of art or personal illustrative words. An hour later, we have produced two hydrangeas. “And how many of these?” I inquire in a convincingly casual tone. “A hundred, maybe.” I begin squooshing and rolling with urgency. A hand lutters onto my CelPin. “You have ridges on your hydrangea.” It’s true. I do. “People’s personalities,” Austin explains, “tend to come out in their lower work.” Both fondant and gum paste have a reputation for being tasteless. I don’t know if it’s my lagging stamina or my palate, but I ind both oddly delicious. They taste like the outer candy shell of a gumball-machine gumball—fleeting but nostalgic. It is time to begin construction of our statement lower: a perfect replica of a rose by British breeder David Austin. There are dozens of layers of nearly transparent peach petals to make. “You want to do this all in one sitting,” Austin tells me. I take the wrong meaning from this and sit down. A half hour later she says, “Let’s get out the vodka.” This is exciting because I need perking up, but it’s not for me at all. We mix it into rose-gold edible paint, with which we edge our rose petals, hydrangeas, and leaves. Austin efortlessly arranges our few but lovely flowers, along with dozens she brought with her, by sticking them by loral wire on the fondant-covered “cake.” She steps back. My breath catches. It all makes sense. Sprays of periwinkle hydrangeas burst in feckless disarray from clutches of kiwi-green leaves, a leafy halo for the diaphanous peach rose. The flowers appear brushed by the gentlest breeze, the sweetness of a leeting moment captured for eternity. (Gum paste holds its shape and remains edible forever.) I feel hopeful, innocent, confident in the promise of the future. Austin departs on her tiptoes, probably ferried in a chariot pulled by centaurs. Have I internalized it all? Will I be able to reproduce our meticulous work on my own? No! Not in the slightest! Still, I can’t tarry. There’s the vital matter of the part of a layer cake one actually eats. I decide to whip up a few options. But after C O N T I N U E D O N PAG E 1 4 4
putting on an apron, dusting off my mixer, and louring cake tins, I am hindered by the discovery that I’ve collected pastry books more for their poetic lavor than their practicality. I’ve chosen three cakes from Malinda Russell’s 1866 A Domestic Cookbook—the irst cookbook known to be written by a black woman, brimming with beautiful-sounding confections. I’d settled on A Queen’s Party Cake (1 qt sour cream, 6 lbs sugar, 6 lbs butter, 5 lbs raisins . . . whites of 18 eggs, yolks of 10 eggs, 1 tsp soda, 2 tsps cream of tartar, lour); A Wedding Cake (3 lbs each of flour, butter, and sugar, a lot of brandy, rosewater, 30 eggs); and A Bride’s Cake (24 egg whites beaten to a stif froth” and
very little lour, lavored “with peach or lemon”). But these enticing recipes lack elementary information. Mix what with what? When? Cook how? For how long? This leads me to the award-winning pastry chef Natasha Pickowicz of New York’s Flora Bar and Café Altro Paradiso, who has recently created a stir with her cakes. She tells me that her resolution last year was to learn more about layer cakes. “I’d been a little traumatized by bad cake experiences,” she says. “But the last thing you taste at a meal is what you remember, so I had to start making them.” I meet Pickowicz, who wears black Blundstone boots and a dishwasher’s shirt, on a warm, drizzly morning in the
In This Issue Cover look 18: Dress, price upon request; select Dolce & Gabbana boutiques. 18K white gold earrings, $7,200; Sidney Garber, NYC. 18K white goldand-diamond bracelet, $22,000; davidyurman .com. Sterling-silver bracelet, $600; tifany.com. Manicure, Maria Salandra. Tailor, Della George. V Life 40: Embellished-denim jacket, $795; coach.com. Tie-neck denim jacket, $329; Frame stores. 42: Coat, $598; ralphlauren .com. Sweater ($370) and jeans ($345). Sweater at pooleshopcharlotte.com. Jeans at shopbop.com. Turtleneck, $695; Chloé boutiques. Photographed in West Copake, New York. 44: Dress: Also at Capitol, Charlotte, NC. 46: Coat, $3,390; fendi.com. Shirt, $590; goldengoosedeluxebrand .com. Dress, $2,200; (800) 845-6790. Alexander McQueen choker, $1,290; alexandermcqueen.com. Falke knee-high socks, $24; falke.com. 52–53: On Koella: Clutch ($1,135), leather straps (priced upon request), gloves (price upon request), and boots
($1,945). Clutch at Barneys New York, NYC. Leather straps, gloves, and boots; similar styles at Moncler, NYC. Earring, $410 for pair, Dover Street Market New York, NYC. On Smith: Clutch ($645) and boots ($1,835); similar styles at Moncler, NYC. Hair clips, $130– $245; Simone Rocha, NYC. Manicure, Ashlie Johnson and Nettie Davis. Tailor, Susie Kourinian. 62: Jumpsuit, $990; burberry .com. Manicure, Jenny Bui. RIHANNA FOR REAL 84–85: Swimsuit, $255; similar styles at Stella McCartney, NYC. Earrings, $650; jenniferfisherjewelry .com. 88: Swimsuit, $950; select Chanel boutiques. Earrings, $525; tifany.com. Hand jewelry, $29,500; Neiman Marcus, Beverly Hills. Ring, $3,500; Jefrey, NYC. Sandals, $795; christianlouboutin.com. 89: Dress, $1,150; Saks Fifth Avenue stores. Lynn Ban rings, $500–$4,000; Jefrey, NYC. Sandals, $925; christianlouboutin.com. 91: Swimsuit, price upon request; select Michael Kors stores. Earring, $175 for pair; alexisbittar.com.
RJ Graziano bangles, $55–$95; rjgraziano.com. PONO by Joan Goodman bangles, $115 for three; intermixonline.com. Alexis Bittar bangles, $85–$100; alexisbittar.com. 92–93: Crystal-and-metal dress, price upon request; pacorabanne.com. Ear cuf ($5,350) and ring ($4,000); Jefrey, NYC. In this story: Manicure, Maria Salandra. Tailor, Della George. Special thanks to Wajer Yachts, wajer.com. CALL OF THE WILD 94: Coat, $25,500. Sweatshirt, similar styles at Valentino boutiques. Boots, $940; Just One Eye, Los Angeles. 95: Dress, similar styles at Bergdorf Goodman, NYC. Choker, $430; Dover Street Market New York, NYC. Boots, $2,195; similar styles at Givenchy, NYC. 96: Coat, $7,500. Tank top, price upon request; similar styles at Céline, NYC. Scarf earring, $198; Barneys New York, NYC. Bag, $2,690; Alexander McQueen, NYC. Boots, $995; Calvin Klein, NYC. 97: Coat, ($9,500) and boots ($1,495); Calvin Klein, NYC. 98: Pantashoes, $3,400. 99: Bag ($1,290) and boots ($1,495); Calvin Klein, NYC. 100: Coat, $10,950. Sunglasses, $423; net-a-porter.com.
kitchen of SoHo’s Café Altro Paradiso. She begins with some philosophy. “It has to taste delicious,” she says, pulling two industrial baking sheets illed with buttercup-yellow genoise sponge from a refrigerator. “That’s the only thing that matters to me.” What about gum paste? CelPins? She laughs. “I don’t even use cake pans except to cut circles out of these big sheets.” Pickowicz is radically au courant in other ways. “My cakes are almost all gluten-free. I want as many people as can possibly eat them to eat them.” Sometimes they’re made of millet; today’s is rice lour. She gives me a simple recipe for making the sponge and shows me how to use a 9-inch cake round as an
101: Coat, $6,250. 102: Bag, $3,300; Marni boutiques. Boots, $2,195; Givenchy, NYC. 103: Coat, price upon request. Bag, $2,390; similar styles at Chloé, NYC. In this story: Manicure, Ama Quashie. Tailor, Ian Hundley. STRIKE A POSE 110–111: In this story: Prop stylist, Patrick Head. PARTY TIME 123: From top left: Nicolas Party. Landscape, 2016. Pastel on canvas, 81" x 33.8". Installation view, Cimaise, CAN: Centre d’art Neuchâtel, Neuchâtel, 2016. Photo: Anton Satus. Courtesy of the artist and the Modern Institute/Toby Webster Ltd., Glasgow; Red Portrait, 2017. Pastel on card, 31.5" x 22.2”. Courtesy of the artist, the Modern Institute/Toby Webster Ltd., Glasgow, and Karma, New York. Photo: Thomas Müller. Installation view, Snails in Notting Hill, Rise Projects, London, 2015. Photo: Andy Keate. Courtesy of the artist and the Modern Institute/Toby Webster Ltd., Glasgow. ULTRA NEON 126–127: Sweater, $1,050; Balenciaga, NYC. In this story: Manicure, Rieko Okusa.
COCTEAU HOUR 129: On Ceretti: Coat and dress, price upon request. Hat, $353; totokaelo.com. Earring ($195 for pair) and necklace ($650); Oscar de la Renta boutiques. On Guglielmo: Burberry T-shirt, $295; burberry.com. 130: Earring, $420; net-a-porter .com. Rings, $850 each; burkindy.com. Shoes, $635; Mulberry, NYC. 131: Earrings, $5,000; Dover Street Market New York, NYC. Necklace, $4,600; (800) 845-6790. 132: Hat, $540; gucci.com. Earring, $250 for pair; wkndla.com. Rings, $500–$1,150; tifany .com. 133: Dress, price upon request. Earring, $1,600 for pair; sophiebuhai.com. MOMENT OF THE MONTH 134–135: On Mor: Belt, $2,200. On Fazal: Coat, $450; jcrew.com. Shirt, $310; Barneys New York, NYC. T-shirt, $40 for three; calvinklein.com. Pants, $650; J. Mueser, NYC. The Frye Company boots, $318; thefryecompany .com. 136–137: On Vadher: Belt, $630; select Miu Miu boutiques. On Jogia: Shirt, $260; ourlegacy.se. Pants, $295; ralphlauren.com. On Arora: Sneakers, $1,090; select Louis Vuitton stores. In this story: Manicure, Yuko Tsuchihashi. Tailor, Lucy Falck.
A WORD ABOUT DISCOUNTERS W HI LE VO GU E T HO ROUG H LY RESE A RC HES T H E COMPANIES M EN T I ON E D I N I TS PAG ES, W E CA NN OT GUA RA N T EE T HE AUT HE N TI CI T Y O F M ERCH AND ISE SOLD BY D I SCOU N TE RS. AS I S A LWAYS T HE CASE IN PU RCHAS I NG A N I T E M FRO M A NY W HER E OTH ER THAN THE AUTHORIZED STORE, THE BUYER TAKES A RISK AND SHOULD USE CAUTION WHEN DOING SO.
extra-large cookie cutter. I taste a leftover corner. It’s only barely sweet. “Sugar is not a flavor,” she says. “It tends, actually, to obliterate lavor.” She has no such prejudice against booze, and we drench each layer in lightly sweetened Prosecco until it emits a burble of wine when pressed upon. “Never skip the soak,” she warns. “It makes the transition to the filling more subtle.” Then come sour passion-fruit puree, passion-fruit seeds, celeriac mousse, and celeriac crumble. The mousse is airy and tangy, and I would love it as much with pink lamb chops as inside a cake. The crumble is lightly crisp and muted—understated savory cotton candy. Our work is quick and casual. “If
BUCKET LIST 138: On Aoki: Dress, $5,295; Alexander McQueen, NYC. On Hunter: Bobo Choses vets, $89; bobochoses .com. The Animals Observatory shirt, $90; theanimalsobservatory .com. Bonpoint pants, $160; Bonpoint, NYC. Converse sneakers, $55; converse .com. On Eleanor: Brock Collection x Maisonette dress, $175; maisonette .com. Hunter boots, $55; hunterboots.com. On Alessandra: Caramel Baby blazer, $153; Caramel, NYC. Bebe Organic dress, $97; maisonette.com. Bonpoint socks, $30; Bonpoint, NYC. Ariat boots, $89; ariat.com. 139: Dress, $6,370; dsquared .com. Earrings, $320; meandrojewelry.com. Pamela Love necklaces ($360-$580); pamelalove .com. John Hardy necklace, $2,395; johnhardy.com.
things don’t line up perfectly, it doesn’t really matter.” The cake is chilled, then frosted with a heavy whipped cloud of barely sweet Swiss buttercream. Onto this go a few live (inedible) cherry blossoms, pilfered from dining-room arrangements, and three small branches on a wabi-sabi slant. I delight in Maggie Austin’s artistry, which is of a diferent caliber, more sculpture than baking, but there is something to be said for how little time—under ten seconds, by my watch—it takes to decorate this one. On my two-hour train ride home to Hudson, Pickowicz’s cake gets quite warm; when I open its white plastic container, I see it has acquired a Tower of Pisa tilt. But I rechill it and serve it
Jill Heller bangle, $1,250; jillhellerjewelry.com. Bow & Arrow cuf, $449; bowandarrownyc.com. David Yurman cuf, $2,300; davidyurman.com. 140: Dress, $2,190; select Ralph Lauren stores. Earrings, $350; pamelalove.com. Irene Neuwirth necklace, price upon request; Irene Neuwirth, West Hollywood. Pamela Love necklace, $280; thedreslyn.com. Me & Ro necklace, $2,150; meandrojewelry.com. Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello bracelets, $595– $695: Saint Laurent, NYC. 141: Top photo: On Anne V: Shirt ($1,420) and skirt ($1,870); Marni boutiques. Paco Rabanne boots, $990; Just One Eye, Los Angeles. On Aoki: Shirt ($1,200) and skirt ($960); Calvin Klein, NYC. Echo scarf, tied on bag, $129; echodesign.com. Agmes earrings, $540; agmesnyc.com. John Hardy necklace, $1,295; johnhardy
.com. On Alaska (far left): Bebe Organic dress, $97; maisonette.com. Salt Water sandals, from $39; mysaltwatersandals.com. On Alessandra: The Animals Observatory hat, $54; theanimalsobservatory .com. Bottom photo: Hat, price upon request. Blouse ($895) and skirt ($2,195); select Michael Kors stores. Sophie Buhai earrings ($475) and bracelet ($2,100); sophiebuhai .com. 142–143: On Aoki: Dress, $998; toryburch .com. Earrings, $195; farisfaris.com. On Devon: Oeuf cardigan, $80; oeufnyc.com. Brock Collection x Maisonette shirt ($110) and pants ($95); maisonette.com. On Rosalia Luczo: Mini Rodini hat, $45; minirodini.com. The Animals Observatory sweatshirt, $90; theanimalsobservatory .com. Gucci camisole, $1,600; gucci.com. On
after a dinner party, and its layers are still beautifully defined. The flavors are subtle, barely sweet, sour, tingly, a luscious array of contrasts that blend beautifully in each bite. I’ve missed the window for advising my friend. He gave up on me ages ago, anyway, and has planned to order right off the dessert menu at Olmsted, the Brooklyn restaurant where his (tiny) wedding is taking place. I should really reply to his note about layers, though, before sipping champagne with his grandmother at the ceremony next week. omnia vincit amor! (“Love conquers all!”), I type to him, thinking that, in truth, a wedding dessert is something everyone should choose for himself.
Bailey: Mini Rodini hat, $45; minirodini.com. On Luczo: Hat, price upon request. Dress, $5,750; Chloé boutiques. Mondo Mondo earrings, $340; mondo-mondo.com. Dannijo cuf, $195; dannijo .com. Jill Heller bangles, $500 each; jillhellerjewelry .com. Altuzarra boots, $1,595; modaoperandi .com. On Anica Luczo: Caramel blouse, $102; Caramel, NYC. Petite Plume nightgown, $48; petite-plume.com. Ariat boots, $95; ariat.com. On Cosimo Luczo: Trico Field / Denim Dungaree $246; Trico Field, NYC. On George Luczo: Trico Field / Denim Dungaree overalls, $254; Trico Field, NYC. Petite Plume pajama shirt, $58 for set; petite-plume .com. Ariat boots, $90; ariat.com. On Anne V: Hat, $330; select Prada boutiques. Dress, $4,700. Leigh Miller earrings, $299;
leighmiller.us. Eye M by Ileana Makri necklace, $370; eye-m-ileanamakri.com. Fendi boots, $1,190; fendi .com. 144: Dress, $9,500; modaoperandi.com. Bracelet, $9,700; Jill Platner, NYC. Scarf, $39; echodesign.com. 145: Hat (price upon request for similar styles) and dress ($2,150). Dress at Bergdorf Goodman, NYC. Bag $7,300. Pamela Love necklace, $1,200; pamelalove.com. Jill Heller bangle (on left), $1,250; jillhellerjewelry.com. In this story: Manicure, Ashlie Johnson and Nettie Davis. Tailor, Susie Kourinian. INDEX 140–141: 4. Necklace, $14,235. 6. Bag, price upon request. LAST LOOK 146: Backpack; gucci.com. ALL PRICES APPROXIMATE
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Gucci backpack, $2,390 It’s possible that this backpack has something for everyone—the devout Yankees fan, the vintage-textile lover, the handbag obsessive who has run out of hands to carry her It bag. But it could have come from only one mind: that belonging to Gucci’s Alessandro Michele, whose signature look is a riotous, seemingly discordant, yet utterly perfect amalgamation of looks. Sport this multipocket, satin knapsack all summer long. Who cares if school just let out? P H OTO G RA P H E D BY E R I C B O M A N
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