T LOunge for March 20th, 2023

Posted on March 20, 2023

Sonny and Irene Restaurant – Cape Town, South Africa

KITTENS! Sorry to startle you on a Monday, but we are mere hours away from getting on a plane and going to a far away land where there are castles and cathedrals and museums galore and we can drink wine at 11 am if we damn well feel like it. Can you tell we’re excited? We will, of course, not be neglecting our opinionating duties this week, so you can expect our best efforts at finding content a week after the Oscars, including some posts today, a podcast later and a new show entering our recap rotation at the end of the week. As for where we’re going, well you’ll just have to subscribe to our Instagram to get all the updates, won’t you? Check back in often now, y’hear? Ciao!

Lucy Liu Is the Least-Bothered Person You Know “I’m not here to change somebody’s mind.”
Liu, who received critical acclaim for her roles as Alex Munday in Charlie’s Angels, Ling Woo in Ally McBeal, Kittie Baxter in Chicago, and O-Ren Ishii in Kill Bill: Volume 1 (and has been equally lionized chez nous as Mia Mason in the lesser-known comedy series Cashmere Mafia and as Kristen Stevens in the delightful Netflix rom-com Set It Up!), contains multitudes. As the first Asian American to host Saturday Night Live and only the second Asian American woman to be awarded a Hollywood Star (after Anna May Wong), Liu has done so much for AAPI representation it’s almost as if we take her inclusion alongside blue-chip marquee names as a given. And yet in conversations about diversity, it’s as though we have semantic satiation for her face.


ELLE Escapes: Zurich
Dubbed “The Beverly Hills of Switzerland,” the Swiss city of Zurich is so much more than a finance capital, despite the palpable banker presence. Located at the northern part of its namesake lake, with picturesque waterfront promenades and stunning alpine views—especially via the Glacier Express to nearby St. Moritz—Zurich is a seriously underrated European destination ready to have its moment. Whether you’re planning a vacation or are just in the mood for a healthy dose of winter wanderlust, here’s what to see, eat, drink, and where to stay.


A Brief History of Queen Mary’s Coronation Crown
The 1911 heirloom is being recycled for Queen Camilla’s coronation in May.

Buckingham Palace has promised that the upcoming coronation of King Charles and Queen Camilla will be as much an homage to tradition as a signal of a new modern era for the House of Windsor. How exactly that will all translate may not be clear until the actual event on May 6, but we got a little taste of their intentions last month when it was announced that Camilla would be breaking from centuries of tradition to recycle a former consort’s crown for her coronation rather than commission one of her own.


Ben & Jerry’s Is Bringing Back Free Cone Day After a 4-Year Hiatus
Get your spoons ready!

It’s official: Ben & Jerry’s Free Cone Day is making a comeback after a four-year hiatus.
On Thursday, the ice cream company announced it’s bringing back the free scoop event on April 3, 2023. And once again, guests can choose whichever flavor they like.
Free Cone Day is a big deal for the Vermont-based ice cream shop, which hosted the celebratory day for some four decades. However, Free Cone Day was forced to take a break over the pandemic.


Why Mauve Is the Unexpected Color Taking Over Interiors in 2023
Mauve, a soft purple that sits somewhere between pink and violet, isn’t the most obvious of home decor colors. In fact, when looking at Benjamin Moore’s most popular paints of 2022, it’s not even listed in the top 75. (The three top spots go to gray, white, and beige.)
Part of the reason mauve flies under the radar is due to its position on the color spectrum: those aforementioned, more neutral shades, after all, match pretty much everything and work in both residential as well as commercial settings. Part of it is also due to its long-time associations with a more romantic or feminine style. While that’s far from a bad thing, it can be limiting: many assume mauve works best as an accent, or possibly even on a wall of a teen girl’s bedroom.


The Prince and Princess of Wales Share a Charming New Family Portrait
The world just got a new glimpse of the Wales family.
To mark Mother’s Day in the United Kingdom, the Prince and Princess of Wales released a new portrait of their three children alongside their mom. Taken by photographer Matt Porteous, the picture shows Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis, and Kate Middleton sitting together in a tree on the Sandringham estate in Norfolk.
The family looks notably casual in the image, with Middleton wearing jeans and white sneakers and the kids all in shorts. Such a laid-back aesthetic is becoming par for the photographic course for the Waleses: With the exception of the Princess of Wales’s glamorous 40th birthday portraits, the couple has opted to share images in informal dress and settings when celebrating family milestones.


It’s Time to Revive the Art of the Drinks Trolley
Drinks trolleys, drinks cabinets, drinks shelves, drinks areas: I love them all. Frankly, I just love a drink. There is nothing quite like being served an ice-cold gin Martini freshly whizzed up in someone’s living room, or being poured a nice big glass of whisky straight out of a friend’s beloved decanter. There’s just something about the ceremony and conviviality of it all—plus, of course, the glamour, harking back as it does to the golden age of hosting. Personally, it always reminds me of Abigail’s Party, as Beverly slides back the doors of her oh-so-’70s rosewood-veneer drinks cabinet to Donna Summer’s “Love to Love You Baby,” cigarette in mouth: “Now, would anyone like a drink?”


Taylor Swift’s ‘Eras’ Show Is a Three-Hour, 44-Song Epic That Leaves ‘Em Wanting More: Concert Review
All the old Taylors came to the phone Friday night at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. For the purposes of Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour, these past personas are all very much alive, because what died didn’t stay dead, and… well, quoting lyrics will only get you so far in describing a show that may best first be characterized by its essential stats: 44 songs in 192 minutes. For anyone in her audience who hasn’t yet crossed the bridge into middle age, this show may be like having their lives flash before their eyes, at curfew-pushing length. The elders in their midst might just call it Springsteenian.


Fashion Flashback: 17 Era-Defining Models’ First British Vogue Covers
“The arrival of a major new face in modelling is always a thrill to behold,” Edward Enninful writes in his introduction to the April 2023 issue, which features a trio of models on its cover: Paloma Elsesser, Jill Kortleve and Precious Lee. “Runways become re-energised, editorials fizz with new immediacy and a fresh mood can sweep fashion as someone tilts the very notion of how we want to feel – sometimes, even, of who we are.” In honour of Elsesser, Kortleve and Lee’s inauguration into the supermodel sisterhood, Vogue looks back at other history-making models’ first British Vogue covers.


How Italian Nonna Chic Became The Biggest News In Interiors
If, in a post-pandemic era, our homes have started to say more about our sense of style than ever before, then nonnas are the new super-influencers. Whether it be a handpainted bowl from Puglia, a needlepoint tablecloth from Veneto, coffee cups from Sicily, or a pasta cutter from Umbria, items that have traditionally been associated with the home of the Italian matriarch are finding fresh cachet with the style set.
“It’s funny, because I think that a lot of people are seeing these pieces for the first time,” says Natalie Sytner, who founded Bettina Ceramica in 2020 and quickly found a niche with her ceramic Acquasantiera stoups, traditionally used in Catholic churches to hold holy water. “But they do still represent an era that people feel touched by… whether that’s their granny or something they thought they would never have on their table again.”


The Button-Pushing Impresario of Balenciaga
How Demna engineered the rise—and near-fall—of the luxury fashion house.

A bare white room, smelling of nothing. Nervous coughs going around like the wave. It was eleven-thirty on a Sunday morning in March—the Mass hour, Balenciaga’s traditional slot on the Paris Fashion Week calendar—and editors, buyers, clients, and the odd quidnunc had gathered at the Carrousel du Louvre, a cavernous mall under the museum, to attend the presentation of the house’s Fall 2023 collection. The Business of Fashion was calling it Balenciaga’s “make-or-break” moment; the Times, “the single most fraught show of the season.” The brand was trying to recover from a pair of botched ad campaigns that, in December, had led to a wild farrago of accusations, including that it had sexualized children and condoned child abuse. On each seat sat a white card bearing a message from Demna, the brand’s artistic director. “In the last couple of months, I needed to seek shelter for my love affair with fashion,” he wrote, explaining that he’d found solace in darts and notches, shoulder lines and armholes. He concluded, “This is why fashion to me can no longer be seen as an entertainment, but rather as the art of making clothes.”


J. Crew and the Paradoxes of Prep
By mass-marketing social aspiration, the brand toed the line between exclusivity and accessibility—and established prep as America’s visual vernacular.

Duck boots, barn coats, and turtleneck sweaters seemed deeply eccentric in the sunny, laid-back suburb of Silicon Valley where I grew up, in the eighties and nineties. These garments—among the talismanic offerings of the J. Crew catalogue that somehow appeared in the mailbox—might as well have been for wearing on Mars, and my friends and I, many of us the children of immigrants, were only dimly aware of the heritage that they were inviting us to access. (I had no idea that a person could be called a Wasp, other than the Wasp in my comic books.) But we knew that J. Crew was, enticingly, just out of our reach. And, because these clothes communicated in an insider’s code, lacking the self-identifyin


I’ve been a bridesmaid 125 times. Here are 7 things I see couples regret the most about their wedding.
I’ve worked as a professional bridesmaid at 125 weddings over the past seven years.
I’ve seen couples unable to spend time with one another or eat any food on the big day.
It’s important to thoroughly think the guest list and wedding party over before finalizing them.


93 Quick and Easy Dinner Recipes to Make Any Night of the Week
From chili and chicken cutlets to spaghetti and meatballs and sheet-pan salmon, consider this your ultimate guide to making a fast weeknight dinner.

There’s a time and a place for almost every recipe, and if that time is limited, you’re in the right place. Every one of the 93 (yes, 93!) quick dinner recipes we’ve pulled together in this collection can be made in 45 minutes or less—many of them come together even faster.
Our recipes run the gamut, so you’ll find familiar favorites like spaghetti and meatballs, mac and cheese, and stir-fries, as well as creative takes, like a North African beef stew and pasta with butternut squash and herby, garlicky, creamy Boursin cheese. While many of these dishes do rely on store-bought shortcuts (think rotisserie chicken, refrigerated pesto sauce, pre-made gnocchi, and canned or boxed chicken broth), the vast majority of them draw on raw, everyday ingredients.


Would You Put a Lamp in Your Kitchen? Interior Designers Say Yes—and Explain How to Choose and Style the Right One
Kitchen lamps are trending—and they’re an affordable, simple way to add character to your cooking space.

Incorporating a table lamp into your kitchen may not be the first thought when it comes to redesigning or upgrading this space, but this small detail makes a bold statement and serves a purpose. It’s also an interior designer-approved move, one that’s steadily cropped up on social media. In other words, don’t be quick to write off kitchen lamps as a fleeting trend: This cozy design detail is anticipated to go the distance.


The 11 Most Fragrant Flowers to Plant in Your Garden
While it’s certainly true that non-fragrant blooms—like sunflowers, dahlias, tulips, and calla lilies—are just as lovely as the sweet-smelling ones, your favorite blossoms probably do likely have a scent. It’s part of their appeal: So many memories begin with smell, which is why fragrant flowers so often stand out in our minds. The best way to experience your go-to floral fragrance regularly? Plant the blooms’ shrubs, bushes, or trees in your garden.
Luckily, your fragrant flower options aren’t limited—these blooms come in all shapes, sizes, and types, from ones that grow on trees in the tropics to tiny, compact blossoms that hug the ground.


Stop requiring college degrees for jobs that don’t need them
Employers are finally tearing down the “paper ceiling” in hiring.

The story of college degree requirement creep begins back in the 1980s, as employers started to hire globally for workers and tech automation started to change the nature of many domestic jobs in America. As routinized factory work began to be replaced by machines or outsourced to other countries, one consequence was a shift toward expecting workers to handle more social tasks, with so-called “soft skills” that facilitate collaboration like conscientiousness and the ability to make small talk.


The beginner’s guide to bird-watching
No, you don’t need a fancy pair of binoculars to get into bird-watching, according to avid birders.

You don’t need to be a longtime birder to appreciate the thrill of spotting a new-to-you creature.
Since its inception in the late 1800s, bird-watching has become the hobby of choice for millions nationwide — a population that has grown since the pandemic. What was once considered a recreation for middle-aged white men is slowly transitioning into a demographic of younger, more diverse birders. (Despite the fact that even the preeminent bird conservationist nonprofit Audubon Society recently announced that it will maintain its name, which has ties to John James Audubon, a 19th-century naturalist who enslaved people.)


The Exquisite Darkness of Depeche Mode
Dave Gahan and Martin Gore are back with the group’s 15th album. But after losing the bandmate Andy Fletcher last year, their return was anything but certain.

On Friday Depeche Mode will release its 15th album, mostly recorded in this studio, by a pandemic-era skeleton crew: Gore, the vocalist Dave Gahan, the producer James Ford (Florence + the Machine, Arctic Monkeys) and an engineer/co-producer, Marta Salogni. As always, the sound is foreboding and sleek, sardonic yet soulful — music for lovers in black-leather-upholstered bullet-train compartments, racing toward ominous destinations.
The title is “Memento Mori,” and the dominant theme is mortality — which isn’t, in itself, a departure. “Death is everywhere,” Gore wrote years ago, in a song called “Fly on the Windscreen,” whose narrator goes on to beckon, “Come here, kiss me, now,” because you never know.




[Photo Credit: sonnyandirene.co.za, sodacustom.co.za]

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