Shine On November

Twas a busy weekend for royal watchers. Third season of The Crown aired on Sunday and Prince Andrew, the bestie of the late pedophile Epstein, gave an interview to the BBC on Saturday in which he discussed his sordid life in the most unfortunately obnoxious manner. It was so bad it was really bad. But let’s not forget it is Meghan Markle who will bring down the royal family and everything we hold dear, because she has the habit of cradling her tummy and that, dear people, is fucking disgusting.

(Olivia Colman and Helena Bonham Carter were both fabulous in The Crown. The third season is chock-full of amazing outfits and accessories, so worthy of a binge if only for that.)

In other news, I can report back that Hannah Gadsby’s Douglas was fabulous (she’s currently touring, but might have already left Europe) and if you have the chance to see her live, go for it. Otherwise indulge in Nanette on Netflix (Douglas will follow).

The Marie Antoinette exhibition in Paris was also interesting, but I was a bit disappointed with how little merch they had on display. I am fully aware of the historical fact that the republicans who killed her probably weren’t all that sentimental about safeguarding her dresses and such, but all the same. Definitely worth a visit if you’re in Paris.

I am doing excellent progress with #nonfictionnovember, but realised that my reading list has been mainly very grim, which on the other hand pairs beautifully with the darkness and general shitness. I ordered a short reading list inspired by the Refinery29 list on a whim, and have been very pleased. Here it is for your reference:

  • Jenny Slate: Little Weirds. Light, snacky essays by stand up comedian, actress and children’s author Slate.
  • Carmen Maria Machado: In the Dream House. I loved Machado’s short story collection “Her Body, and Other Parties”, so wanted to give her latest memoir a go as well. It’s a dark story about a relationship gone much sour, but much more than that, and also she’s a brilliantly innovative writer.
  • Lisa Jewell: The Family Upstairs. Almost a bit like reading Dan Brown, but not quite. I’m not usually a reader of blockbuster thrillers, but here we are. Rotting corpses, dark secrets, posh London neighbourhood, there you go.
  • Lindy West: The Witches Are Coming. Hilarious feminist essays by the author of Shrill. West attended a Goop-seminar in Los Angeles as part of her research, and I laughed out loud when I was reading her report from the health and wellness expo. She writes how Gwyneth Paltrow‘s glow was such that she could only be described as a “radioactive swan”. West decided to keep up the Goop-advise after the expo, and “accurately followed Gwyneth’s recipe for avocado smoothies”, which was not a particular success. “As I recall it, this mixture could give diarrhea an existential crisis”.
  • Chanel Miller: Know My Name. I will come back to this book as I think it deserves its own post.

Other than that, I have been enjoying my new, limited edition NARS lipstick, which celebrates the infamous Studio 54 nightclub and the related shenanigans. It comes in a glitter case, is guaranteed NARS-quality, and I wear it daily, despite the fact that my life literally could not be further away from a happening, glittering club-scene (I reckon this to be a temporary glitch in my otherwise very happening life, so I’m all good.)

What Diplomats Wore

The annual, global diplomacy-fest that is the United Nations General Assembly is in full swing in New York. On my first morning, as I was waiting in the main entry hall, I couldn’t help but notice with fascination the outfits people were sporting as they made their way to the assembly.

I realised there and then that I must present evidence that first of all, women are numerous at these meetings, and second, the stuffy old diplomat dress code (similar dark suits for both men and women) has largely been replaced by fantastic, bold and feminine choices.

As I am principally supposed to be working during my work trips instead of checking out people’s outfits (shocking, I know), the quality of some of the pictures is not as good as the subjects would merit, as I was snapping away in a hurry. Also I did not capture nearly all of the super intriguing choices, as photographing was not appropriate everywhere. However, herewith a small selection of what diplomats wore, the 2019 edition.

  1. Dresses

A dress was the choice du jour, a favourite all the way up to the highest political level. Among the Head of State -level dress-wearers I spotted at least the Presidents of Estonia and Slovakia.

This is an important signal to women in all stages of their career: a dress is a serious and appropriate workwear alternative. There’s hardly ever a compelling reason to wear a black trouser-suit to work, unless you work as a pallbearer.

First exhibit: The Austrian Federal Chancellor (the Head of Government).

Second: The Foreign Minister of Norway (colour-matching with her adviser)

Please also note the matching of tones for dress, shoes and handbag:

A classic with polka-dots:

The perennial workwear-classic: the wrap-dress!

2. Shoes you can actually walk in

Forget about any Sex and the City –related Manolo-fantasies of running around Manhattan in vertiginous heels. We are adults here.

My personal conference-day walking record is 14km. That is a very long way to walk in any shoes. Heels can be fabulous, but I would still advise to carry flats in your handbag. This is annoying, because it adds to the amount of stuff that needs to be schlepped around. But your feet will swell, making afternoons pure agony. Slipping into ballerinas or trainers will be a blessing by the time it’s 5pm.

Also, trainers have officially become appropriate footwear to high-level gatherings.

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3. Pattern

Mix, match and be bold.

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4. Uniforms

A woman’s workwear can also be a uniform. Herewith two different examples:

An official uniform:

A fashion uniform, in this case head to toe Gucci:

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Here you are. Quite a family-photo they would make together, the women above.

When It’s August And You Want Everything

It’s the circle of life: after two months of being swaddled in shapeless linen sundresses we are all ready to dress in proper clothes again. Remember the things with sleeves, waistbands and zippers? As mornings inevitably start getting crispier and the September issues hit the shelves, Scottish plaid starts to look inexplicably alluring again.* 

Continue reading “When It’s August And You Want Everything”