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The Paris Review


I am sorry to report that I am thinking about Paris Hilton. It’s hard to avoid thinking about Paris and as usual, when I think about Paris, when I submit to thinking about Paris, even though I really don’t want to think about Paris, I am thinking: Why?

Trend: Wayfaring Again


All-black for Sienna. Mary-Kate’s been working a vintage white-framed pair. Sofia’s been wearing Marc Jacobs’ homage pair. Unofficially, the Wayfarer is back ⎯ and in the nearly 50 years since Audrey Hepburn made them glamorous in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, the sunglasses have not lost their j’en sais quoi. As of this month, you can make the return of the Ray-Ban Wayfarer official. The brand toasted the re-launch of the original rock ‘n roll sunglasses with an appropriately rock ‘n roll fete at New York City’s Irving Plaza. Partiers such as Mischa Barton, Jimmy Fallon and Molly Sims took in a concert set by Eagles of Death Metal, perused a wall of photographs by legendary lensman Mick Rock, all featuring famous faces in the famous frames, and walked out with pairs of Wayfarers to call their own. Get ready to see them everywhere.

Playlist: Cold War Kids


Gated neighborhoods. Prefab houses. Minivans and manicured lawns. Think you know all about the suburbs? Think again. Indie rockers Cold War Kids hail from that ur-suburbia, the SoCal Valley, but the jolting barroom dirges on debut LP Robbers & Cowards make a persuasive case that the suburbs are the new bohemia. Songs such as “Hang Me Up To Dry” are gritty like the city, mean and pretty, and the perfect soundtrack to an alcoholiday with the fam. You can go home again. You know why? Because you never left.

Designer Jump for Joy: Samantha Pleet


Even as a child, I had a strong sense of personal style. There was the Wonder Woman year, for example, and the year of purple, and – triumph de la mode – the year I wore matching plaid skirt and vest sets. Do not ask. I have no idea.

Beauty: Nailed


Once upon a time in my life, a manicure was a half-hour procedure that involved about ten minutes of coloring my fingernails with waterproof marker, and another twenty sitting a time out for getting red streaks all over the kitchen table. I always went for red, and I generally still do, even now that my DIY days are long gone. But what I have longed for all these years is a nail polish color that goes on the way that marker used to: Sheer and not-quite-red. Rescue Beauty finally delivered the goods, with its Chinoise polish. One coats ‘nostalgia-inducing; two coats’ sexy gleam will remind you that you are all grown up now. Be as bad as you want: No time outs.

Icon: Sunday Girl


I think I was five. I know it was Sunday, because Sunday night was Muppet night, a big event in my house. It could have been a re-run, but for me, seeing Deborah Harry sing her Blondie hit One Way Or Another to a troupe of Muppet monsters was the beginning of something original: Cool. Cool is not a concept that comes quick to a kid; it is too abstract, too subjective and ephemeral, and up to that moment I had no idea that something so obscurely alluring existed in my cozy world. I didn’t have a name for it then, and even now, I find cool a hard thing to define. Maybe it was the slinky way she moved, or maybe it was the insouciant way she wore her slinky clothes. Maybe, perhaps, I discovered cool in her combination of silliness and self-possession: Look up her appearances on the freaky early 80s series TV Party, and she exudes nothing but grace, even when surrounded by a supporting cast more outré than Muppets, and even when she is delivering a lesson on the proper way to pogo. I caught that episode on DVD recently, and was dumbstruck by Debbie all over again. Whatever cool is, she will always personify it for me. And I still wish my hair looked like that.

Back to the Future


The first clothes I ever loved were made for me by my mother. Jumpers, tunics, spin-out skirts that went horizontal when I twirled; much as I resented standing still for measurements in her room filled with patterns and fabrics, I gloried in having a personal couturier. If I wanted butterflies on everything one year, I had them. Life was good.


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