T LOunge for August 25th, 2021

Posted on August 25, 2021

Pippa Rooftop Bar and Restaurant – Bangkok, Thailand


LUSH LUXURY, darlings! Today calls for such things because it is WEDNESDAY and that means self care/party time. Kick back and enjoy the view.

It is SUCH a weird time to be doing what we do, kittens. August is always a month light on celebrity promotional content, but because we live in the times in which we live, there seems to be SO much swirling around in the culture stew at the moment, from Bennifer to the Afghanistan withdrawal; from the Delta shitstorm to the Ted Lasso backlash to the Jeopardy host debacle. Much of it does not fall within our purview (although you can expect a podcast and a newsletter circling around some of these topics soon), which leaves us in this weird position of looking for content in the middle of a veritable content storm. We just want everyone to simmer down and wear something cute for us. Is that so much to ask?

Anyway, try the appetizers!


Monica Lewinsky consulted on ‘every word’ of Impeachment: American Crime Story
Some of the stars and producers discuss working with Lewinsky to bring the 1998 Bill Clinton scandal to life on screen.

It’s no secret that Monica Lewinsky was involved with the Impeachment season of American Crime Story, which dramatizes the events of the 1998 Bill Clinton scandal. But some of the cast and crew explained just how involved Lewinsky was in shaping the story being told during a Television Critics Association press tour panel held virtually on Friday.
Lewinsky got a say in “every word” and “every script page” of the show, says actress Beanie Feldstein (Booksmart) who plays the former intern-turned-activist.
Speaking specifically to the second episode, Feldstein said, “When I received the scripts, I knew that every word that I was saying was approved and had been to Monica first… [The producers] would go through the scripts with her and [she would] give all her feedback and her notes. And by the time it got to me, I was sure that everything in there was something that she felt comfortable with, she felt was real to her life and represented her.”


Femme Fatale
When Zoe Whittall discovered the word femme as a teenager in the 1990s, it felt like a homecoming and transgression all at once. But what meaning does the word hold now that you can buy t-shirts emblazoned with it with a click of a button?

I rarely thought about the meaning of the word femme until I began to see it used incorrectly, specifically as a synonym for any straight or cis woman who embraces femininity. If I had to define it, I’d say a femme is someone who presents in a feminine way and identifies on the LGBTQ spectrum. You don’t have to identify as a woman to be a femme. There’s something that’s tougher, brighter, louder to it. (In the aughts, this would manifest in every femme wearing pleather skirts, leopard everything, lingerie as outwear, the reddest lips.)


This Is Why Wine Costs So Much at Restaurants
You’re not just paying for the bottle.

Ask yourself what you’d expect to pay for a perfectly cooked prime cut of New York strip at a top steakhouse. Now, consider what you’d be willing to pay for that same piece of meat, straight from the butcher. Most diners don’t blink an eye at the substantial price difference between the two, yet they fundamentally struggle to understand why the Napa Cab they ordered to go with that steak costs twice as much at the restaurant as it does at their neighbor- hood bottle shop. “Even though we provide a service for storing the bottle, curating the list, and talking about the wine, [diners] don’t see it the same way as a big prepared steak on the table,” says Elizabeth-Rose Mandalou, beverage director and partner at WM Restaurants in Sacramento, California.


The Mindy Kaling Cinematic Universe Is Ever-Expanding
The writer-producer-actress talks Never Have I Ever season 3, The Sex Lives of College Girls, and why she was terrified of writing for teens.

If you’re in the bad business of comparing your output to others’, might I suggest avoiding Mindy Kaling’s resume? In the years since her acclaimed turn as Kelly Kapoor on The Office and the success of her self-styled rom-com The Mindy Project, her rise in Hollywood has expanded to a whopping writer-producer-actress dominion—and she’s also published three books, most recently the 2020 Amazon Original Stories essay collection Nothing Like I Imagined. Let’s see, what else? Her teen dramedy Never Have I Ever is one of Netflix’s greatest success stories; she has an HBO Max series set to debut this fall; and she’s gearing up to voice one of animation’s most adored (and, arguably, misunderstood) icons: Scooby Doo’s Velma Dinkley.


In Defense of Ed Hardy
Bella Hadid isn’t the only reason to dig out your Ed Hardy skull tee.

As the resurrection of the Ed Hardy brand is set in motion by the Regina George of fashion herself, I thought it only appropriate to set the record straight about the man behind that infamous signature. Or rather, I thought I should find out who he is. I realized recently, I have no idea what Ed Hardy, the man, looks like, even though I could pick out anything by Ed Hardy the brand from a mile away (his swoopy signature, the tigers, koi fish, and “M O M” tattoo fare on so many trucker hats and tanks).


Fashion Fair Is Back! Inside the Legendary Cosmetics Brand’s Long-Awaited Relaunch
By the early 1970s, the Ebony Fashion Fair had become an institution. But the women who walked in it—confronted by an industry that dealt in foundation shades of porcelain on the lightest end of the spectrum and olive on the darkest—were still mostly improvising when it came to their makeup. So in 1973, Johnson Publishing launched Fashion Fair Cosmetics, successfully developing a makeup line exclusively for Black and brown women with chocolatey bases and golden undertones, all wrapped up in pretty pink boxes. Carried exclusively by major department stores, it quickly became a standard-bearer for luxury Black beauty, its advertisements fronted by the likes of Cleveland, Diahann Carroll, Aretha Franklin, and Natalie Cole (and printed in the pages of both Ebony and Jet).


In Newport, an Entrancing Performance Piece Responds to the Rising Seas
Up at Rough Point—one of the stately, old mansions along Bellevue Avenue in Newport, Rhode Island—something wonderful is happening on the waterfront: The artist Melissa McGill, whose Red Regatta was the toast of the Venice Biennale in 2019, has mounted an entrancing new public art performance.
In the Waves—on view for free twice a day, at 3:00 and 4:00pm, through this Saturday—engages the landscape, the winds, and a spirited team of community members both to evoke the world’s rising sea levels and to emphasize our dynamic, collective power to do something about them. (The project is presented by Art&Newport and the Newport Restoration Foundation’s Keeping History Above Water initiative, a response to the immediate threat of climate change to the area.)


The 17 Most Important California Vineyards All Wine Lovers Need to Know
A great trick for buying the best bottles of California wine? Memorizing the names of top vineyards so you can spot them on labels.

Prepare yourself. You’re about to learn a new life hack in the realm of wine selection. No longer will you stare blankly in the grocery store wine aisle wondering which wines are the ones you want to take home; no longer will the wine labels stare back at you and laugh with disdain at your ignorance; no longer will you bring home a dud and lose the respect of your family and friends.
If you can’t memorize the thousands of winemakers around the world and keep a mental note of which wines are guaranteed to delight and which wines should get drained down the sink, there’s one trick to identifying the best potential bottle of wine: knowing the name of top vineyards that might appear on the label.


Reckoning With the Monumental—and Damaged—Legacy of Chuck Close
Chuck Close, who died of congestive heart failure last week, was an oversized art-world presence for more than half a century. As Roberta Smith pointed out in her compelling New York Times appraisal, Close’s career had three phases: the enormous photo-realist, mostly black and white portraits and self-portraits that brought him instant fame; the looser, more colorful, partly abstract ones that he amazed us with after suffering a collapsed spinal artery that left him paralyzed from the neck down; and the charges of sexually abusing women that brought about his downfall and banishment from the art world.
Time will reveal how he fits—or doesn’t fit—into the art history of this period, but there will always be an asterisk attached to his name. Here are the voices of fellow artists—some of whom he painted—and curators on the Chuck Close they knew.


Kathy Hochul Is Officially the First Female Governor of New York
New York Governor Kathy Hochul was officially sworn in on Tuesday, becoming the first woman to ascend to the state’s highest office and the ninth female governor in the United States. With her hand on a Bible held by her husband, Bill Hochul, the former lieutenant governor took the oath of office in a private ceremony just after midnight in the capital city of Albany, and again at a ceremonial swearing-in on Tuesday morning.
Of making history, Hochul, a 62-year-old native of Buffalo, N.Y., called it an “emotional moment,” saying she “thought about all the women that came before me, including my mother who was not there, but a lot of women through history… I felt they passed the torch to me.”


In Four New Exhibitions This Fall, Mickalene Thomas Explores the Beauty of the Female Form
When Mickalene Thomas was growing up in New Jersey, she kept telling her family that she was going to move to Europe. “Here she’s talking about Europe again,” she remembers her cousins teasing her, saying, “Girl, you don’t know about no Europe.” She’s been there more times than she can count since then. This fall, 31 monumental new works—including collage-like paintings of magisterial Black women and social-political “Resist” pictures—are appearing in New York, London, Paris, and Hong Kong as part of an exhibition collectively titled “Beyond the Pleasure Principle.” At the age of 50, Thomas is one of the most dominant and fearless artists of her generation. The New York Times’ critic Roberta Smith, looking back on Thomas’s 2012 mid-career survey at the Brooklyn Museum, wrote, “No Manhattan museum had the nerve to do a show that questioned so many different norms.”


The Surprising History of Pumpkin Spice
The ubiquitous spice blend is more than 223 years old.

When we talk about pumpkin spice, it’s important to distinguish between two eras: before the PSL and after the PSL. PSL, of course, stands for Pumpkin Spice Latte, the seasonal, cream-topped Starbucks beverage that returned to the company’s cafes on August 24th—the earliest rollout of the drink since its original launch in 2003.
Before the PSL, pumpkin spice referred to a blend of spices that was used to flavor pumpkin pie, often combining cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, and cloves. The spice blend has long been a part of the American baking tradition. In fact, there are two recipes for spice-filled “pompkin” pie in Amelia Simmons’ 1798 reprint of her cookbook American Cookery; one made with nutmeg and ginger, the other with allspice and ginger.


Nirvana sued by naked baby for child pornography
After claiming he wanted to make money off his nude appearance on the Nevermind cover, and using it as a pickup line, Spencer Elden is now suing Kurt Cobain’s estate

The man who appeared on the cover of Nirvana’s Nevermind album as a four-month-old baby is suing Kurt Cobain’s estate, alleging child pornography and sexual exploitation. Spencer Elden filed a lawsuit in a Los Angeles court against the band on Tuesday (August 24) regarding the infamous image of himself: a baby with his genitalia exposed grasping for a dollar bill.


The redemption of Bennifer
The Jennifer Lopez-Ben Affleck recoupling is the greatest gossip story we’ve had in years.

If there is a shining bright spot in the world right now, it’s the reunion of Bennifer, the greatest celebrity gossip story the world has experienced in years. Since Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez first reunited this spring after breaking off their engagement in 2004, they’ve been gracing the world with photos of their coupledom: glowy, aspirational “this is what Hollywood love looks like” iconography. The reception has been one of overwhelming delight.
Yet the rapturous reception to Bennifer 2.0 is a far cry from the world’s fascination with Bennifer 1.0. Then, the public treated the relationship as tacky, embarrassing, tarnishing both their images. Now it’s discussed as the only good thing in the world.


Pack it up Hermione! Your tote bags are killing the planet, too
That Sally Rooney merch will outlive the earth itself

Sad news for fans of wild water swimming and “the heath”, today. As per a report by The New York Times, tote bags have now been cancelled. According to the newspaper, there are simply too many cotton carryalls being produced to warrant claims of sustainability. Despite being hawked as an alternative to plastic bags, they too are actively damaging the environment. Yes, that which once winked to the cultural cognoscente – signalling that you, also, subscribe to The New Yorker, pore over Sally Rooney novels, and get your hand sanitiser from Aesop – is now a death stare, with the flames of global wildfires flickering in the reflection of your eyeballs.


Charlie Watts: Remembering the dapper, tailored style of a Rolling Stones gentleman
Tributes pour in to commemorate the coolest, best-dressed member of the band who has died aged 80

Following the announcement of the death of Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts yesterday, tributes have flooded in. Most citing his ‘subtle magnificence’ on the drums and his impeccable, mild-manners, as the ultimate antidote and buffer to the hell-raising, rock ‘n’ roll antics of Jagger and Richards. He is also remembered as a fabulously stylish, dapper gentleman – a man who preferred Savile Row tailoring, sharp collars (aligned with his cheekbones) and well-polished brogues to his bandmates’ favoured ‘outlaw’ attire.


Are you ready for the return of prep?
TikTok is rediscovering preppy fashion, except this time it’s called the “old money aesthetic.”

From seventh grade to sophomore year in high school, my outfit on the first day of school was almost always the same: a denim miniskirt that barely abided by the “must reach the end of your fingertips” rule, ballet flats, a string of pearls, and an Abercrombie polo. It was the mid-2000s, and this was what I understood to be the pinnacle of cool.
I think of this genre of outfit often, not because it looked particularly good but because arguably the biggest fashion trend of the moment is Y2K, or a modern take on the bright, busy, bubblegum styles of the early 2000s, which themselves were inflected with ’70s psychedelia and overt sexiness. This style is sometimes affectionately referred to as “trashion.” It stands in opposition to the aesthetic that I’d argue played a more defining role during the actual 2000s, at least for other middle-class white girls in New England: prep.




[Photo Credit: paradigmshiftstudio.com, pipparestaurant.com]

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