T LOunge for April 6th, 2021

Posted on April 06, 2021

The London Edition Lobby Bar – London, England

 

Kittens, let’s make today a glittering, fabulous, witty cocktail party. We have just the space for it. Swan about from conversation to conversation, dropping bon mots and asking men to light your prop cigarette holder before laughing and moving on.

Today is TUESDAY. A day to reject the real world and live in your fantasies, in a totally irresponsible manner. Now, dance.

Or not. As always, every LOunge comes complete with dark corners for the introverts or the people in bad moods or bad ways. Sit quietly, peruse our Menu of Distractions, and silently judge everyone else. All are welcome.

 

Mahalia Star Joaquina Kalukango on Portraying the Life of a Legend
Mahalia Jackson was one of the best-known performers of her time. Her albums sold millions of copies, she performed at President Kennedy’s inauguration and the March on Washington, and she toured the world at a time when doing so for gospel singers was almost unheard of. But how much do we really know about the life of the woman behind the legend?
“I knew nothing about her as a person. Even in my research, there’s very little documentation about who she was, so I went off of videos, pictures, and some information in a Mahalia Jackson biography. But a lot of it was in the script; their relationship, her being a pianist, and the journey of who this woman would be. In terms of preparation, I found out [about the role] maybe a month before we were going to go into production, and usually I would have hired some type of piano teacher, but we were in the middle of the pandemic, so that was not an option. Instead, I just bought my own keyboard, went on YouTube to find out how to play the gospel piano, and familiarized myself with it as much as I could, just to look like I knew what I was doing.”

 

The Best Sapphire Engagement Rings
Channel Princess Diana and Kate Middleton with a timeless blue stone.

If you were to ask someone what the most famous engagement ring in the world is, let alone the most famous sapphire engagement ring, the answer would almost certainly be the engagement ring that Princess Diana picked out after she accepted Prince Charles’ marriage proposal. Of course, this same 12-carat sapphire ring from Garrard was then given to Kate Middleton by Princess Diana’s eldest son, Prince William, when they announced their engagement in 2010.
Since then, engagement rings with colored gem stones have become increasingly popular, whether colorful diamonds a la Jennifer Lopez, or even quirky engagement baubles like Ariana Grande’s pearl and diamond ring from Dalton Gomez. Here, some of the most exquisite sapphire engagement rings on the market, so you can channel Kate Middleton.

 

12 Best Spanish-Language Movies on Netflix
From a hit musical comedy (Holy Camp!) to an Oscar winner (Roma), these are a few of the best Spanish films to watch now on Netflix.

Esteemed auteurs from Spain to Argentina (see: Pedro Almodóvar, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Guillermo del Toro, Alfonso Cuarón, Lucrecia Martel, to name a few) have been crafting celebrated, internationally-acclaimed Spanish-language films for decades. Most recently there was Cuarón’s 2018 tour de force Roma, which made history as the first Mexican movie to win the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film (along with netting Cuarón the prize for Best Director). Then a year later, Almodóvar’s semi-autobiographical Pain and Glory earned Oscar nominations for Best International Feature and Best Actor (for its star Antonio Banderas). The Spanish-language cinematic oeuvre is vast, encompassing countries in Europe, Latin America, and South America—and now thanks to Netflix’s continued global expansion, several notable movies have become more easily accessible. Below, 12 of the best Spanish-language films to stream now on Netflix.

 

The Best Chocolate in America
50 of the finest chocolate makers and chocolate shops across the country.

All these fits and starts later, there are certain things we now understand. We know to ask more—so much more—from American chocolate. We’ve changed the way we look at the humble bar, represented in many of our minds as a sugary, milky creature often tasting only faintly of actual cocoa, rarely enjoyed on its own, or at all. In a relatively short period of time, the country has managed to make room in its chocolate-loving heart for an astonishing number of exceptional, and exceptionally minimal, bars of dark chocolate, designed to showcase the unique terroir of its point of origin, often with exceptionally high percentages of pure cacao. (To be considered chocolate in America, all you need is a measly 10 percent—many of the bars on this list clock in at over 70.)
While this list focuses rather narrowly on the finest American chocolate bars, because they are something so richly deserving of celebration, there are more high-quality bonbon and truffle makers out there right now than most of us will be able to sample in one lifetime. The supremacy of the classic drugstore assortment (which still has a place in our hearts, if not necessarily on this list) has been challenged, and very effectively, by a new generation of American chocolatiers. This is something to celebrate, as well.

 

Summer’s Hottest Nail Trend Will Give You Unexpected Nostalgia
Rewind to the good ol’ days with this easy DIY art.

If you think “easy nail art” sounds like an oxymoron, you’re in luck: Negative-space manicures — the season’s trendiest style — are as accident-proof as it gets.
As someone who has tried (and failed) her way through countless DIY designs, I know how frustrating nail art can be. Painting on a canvas that not only moves, but also is barely wider than the brush you’re painting with can feel next to impossible. But this look is a lot easier to create than it looks.
Negative-space manicures invite you to paint only a fraction of your nail, and the abstract patterns easily hide any wrong strokes. The results are effortless and stunning, which is why celebrities such as Kylie Jenner, Dua Lipa and Normani have all dipped their fingers in the trend — flaunting everything from ’60s spirals to ’90s flames.

 

Here’s why FLOTUS’ tights went viral this weekend
An unsuspecting Jill Biden was photographed stepping off a plan on a visit to Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, with no idea of the stir she was about to cause.
So what was the big deal? Well, people seemed to have a lot of things to say about her fishnet tights. FLOTUS wore all black, layering a chic blazer over a top and what looked like an over-the-knee leather skirt, paired with the patterned tights and heeled ankle boots.
Twitter immediately lost its mind, with many users seemingly taking offence at the ‘inappropriate tights’. Some thought she was ‘too old’ to wear the patterned style, while others didn’t think they were classy enough.
Luckily, many came to Jill Biden’s defence, rightfully pointing out that the FLOTUS was a grown woman who could wear whatever the heck she liked, and that most importantly, it really wasn’t an issue worth caring about.

 

Sotheby’s to auction an important royal wedding tiara
The glittering diadem is to be sold at a time of unprecedented demand

On 11 May, an exquisite diamond and pearl tiara that has been passed down through generations of the Italian royal family will be the star lot of Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels auction, to be held in Geneva.
Composed of scroll motifs set with cushion, circular and single-cut diamonds, framing 11 drop-shaped natural pearls (a symbol of wealth and status since time immemorial), the diadem is believed to have been created by the Court Jeweller of Turin and will be on sale with an estimate of between £700,000 and £1.1 million.

 

Lena Dunham is launching a plus-size fashion collection
The actress and writer wants to help break down the barriers in fashion for plus-size women

Lena Dunham is making moves in the fashion industry, launching a five-piece capsule collection with plus-size designer retailer 11 Honoré. The actress and writer is the first celebrity partner for the brand and hopes to try and help break down some of the barriers that plus-size women still face in the fashion industry, particularly in retail.
“There’s so much judgment around bigger bodies and I think one of those judgments is that bigger women are stupider,” she said. “They eat too much and don’t know how to stop. Thin women must be discerning and able to use their willpower. Bigger women must be limited in their understanding of the world, and they keep doing things that are bad for them.”

 

The iconic mansion from ‘The Godfather’ is back on the market at a $105 million discount. Look inside the Beverly Hills estate.
The Hearst Estate was used in several scenes from “The Godfather,” where it portrayed the home of the character Jack Woltz, a movie producer who makes the mistake of crossing the Corleone family.
The home was designed by Gordon Kaufmann, an architect who designed many other lavish mansions in the Beverly Hills area.

 

Nathan Lane, Savion Glover Perform During Historic Reopening of Broadway Venue
On Saturday, the St. James Theatre opened doors for a performance for the first time in more than a year due, marking the first time a Broadway venue hosted live entertainment amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The show was part of NY PopsUp, a statewide initiative developed by producers Scott Rudin and Jane Rosenthal in coordination with the New York State Council on the Arts and Empire State Development as a way to celebrate and jump-start the arts.
It featured only two performers, Tony Award winners Nathan Lane and Savion Glover, performing for 150 masked guests (in a theatre with a capacity of 1,710). The audience was comprised exclusively of frontline workers at the Actors Fund and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, and the performance kicked off a pilot program designed to serve as a model for Broadway houses to reopen safely. On-site, the St. James Theatre employed COVID-19 compliance officers to help ensure all CDC and NY DOH guidelines were met and/or exceeded.

 

The Joy of Watching the Ospreys Return
Last year was a difficult one for them, too.

The ospreys were gone longer than usual this year. Unlike the rest of us, they seemed glad to wait for spring’s arrival. They’d left the previous year on a warm day in September, and I waited six long months for their return. Six months during the strangest year of my life, and the nest I’ve watched on a Webcam for five seasons now is full again. I first encountered the ospreys in the spring of a year of broken promise. Over the course of that first nesting season, the ospreys became a lone constant in my life, a fixture on my computer at all hours, singing with full-throated ease through the darkness of my screen. Colleagues would walk by and catch me transfixed. I would share daily updates, at all-staff meetings, about the goings on of the nest. Sometimes I witnessed what could only have been domestic squabbles over the proper placement of a twig in the nest. Other times, when the birds traded parenting shifts, I would catch a glimpse of three mottled brown eggs, and, eventually, three ravenous, pale-gray chicks no bigger than tangerines, so unlike their parents in every way that I could hardly believe in a few short months they would be catching fish of their own and rippling through the sky with the ease of their ancestors.

 

Bridgerton’s Sabrina Bartlett to star in new adaptation of The Darling Buds of May
The English actress will be taking on the role played by Catherine Zeta-Jones in the 90s hit
The Darling Buds of May was one of the most beloved television shows of the 90s. Set in the Kent countryside in the 1950s, the charming comedy drama was based on HE Bates’s novel series and followed the life of the characterful Larkin family. Featuring a young Catherine Zeta-Jones as eldest daughter Mariette, it’s often regarded as having been the Hollywood star’s breakout role. And now it could be set to shoot another young talent to new heights of fame, with Bridgerton’s Sabrina Bartlett having been cast as Mariette in a remake of the show.

 

New documentary explores the divergent lives of the Queen’s many cousins
From the great-niece of Tsar Nicholas II on her father’s side to the Bowes-Lyons on her mother’s

It is often said that many of us can trace our lineage back to royalty in one way or another, as was highlighted so brilliantly in a recent episode of the BBC’s Who Do You Think You Are with Danny Dyer, who discovered a link to Plantagenet monarch King Edward III. Now, several of the scores of people who count Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II as a cousin have appeared on a fascinating new documentary by ITV and Alexander Armstrong, as the TV presenter meets the relatives whose lives are not so well-known.

 

The pandemic didn’t kill the bra
Soft, no-wire bras are finally getting the support they deserve.

A few months into the pandemic, speculation went wild about the variety of industries it might kill. Influencer culture. Real pants. Lipsticks! One of these prematurely announced casualties was the bra. Finding themselves in new and surprising lockdown conditions, famous and non-famous brassiere-wearers worldwide had stopped wearing them altogether, succumbing to the comfort — or was it the sheer panic? — this new reality brought. The media, looking for pandemic-inspired shifts in our closets, homes, and habits, ate it up.

 

How Amazon and America’s one-click obsession are warping our workforce
A conversation with Alec MacGillis about his new book on Amazon and the hidden costs of its dominance.

Bill Bodani Jr. spent most of his adult life working at Bethlehem Steel, just outside Baltimore.
Around the year 2000, an injury on the job forced him into early retirement in his mid-50s. Not too long after that, Bethlehem Steel went bankrupt and was finally dissolved in 2003. Bodani’s pension was eventually slashed from $3,000 to $1,600 a month. At 69 years old he was forced to take a job as a forklift driver at an Amazon warehouse, located in the same place the old steel mill used to sit, where he was paid roughly $12 an hour, a steep drop from his previous wage of $35 an hour.
These are the kinds of stories you encounter in Alec MacGillis’s new book about Amazon called Fulfillment: Winning and Losing in One-Click America. It’s not a book about the inner workings of the company or the peculiarities of its mega-billionaire founder, Jeff Bezos. Instead, it’s a book about what Amazon has done to the country, about the many ways it has transformed our economy and accelerated its most destructive tendencies.

 

A Cyclist on the English Landscape
Grounded by the pandemic, a travel photographer spent the year pedaling the roads around his home, resulting in a series of poetic self-portraits.

A year ago, as a travel photographer grounded by the pandemic, I started bringing a camera and tripod with me on my morning bicycle rides, shooting them as though they were magazine assignments. It started out as just something to do — a challenge to try to see the familiar through fresh eyes. Soon it blossomed into a celebration of traveling at home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

[Photo Credit: marriott.com]

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