My Latest Score: The Petit Bateau Sweater.
I had been hemming and hawing over the perfect ice blue sweater for a few weeks and finally decided to go with this Petit Bateau one (more colors and sizes here) after a few of you wrote to rave about Petit Bateau’s quality, and then seeing it on the precious Mackenzie (isn’t she a dollbaby?). Expect to see this a lot in coming Instastories…
You’re Sooooo Popular: The Book You Need to Read RN.
The most popular items on Le Blog this week:
+The book I’m currently reading. (Along with every other 20 or 30 something woman in the US, especially now that it’s being made into a movie with the likes of Reese and Kerry in it!)
+This delicate ring, which my sister had, then lost, and now needs again.
+My new favorite tee. (WTTW: runs very big. I mean, it’s meant to be boxy, but I would size way down if you want it to be at all scaled to your frame.)
#Turbothot: Jackie O.
I’ll try to make this my last post about Jackie for awhile (I know I’ve written so much about her and the four-hour podcast about her that I obsessed over recently!), but I had some concluding remarks to share after marinating on Jackie for several weeks now — Jackie the person (as best we can understand her from what’s been left behind), Jackie the brand (she was a branding genius), Jackie the historical figure.
I watched Natalie Portman’s rendition of Jackie the other week and was horrified. While I give the movie top marks for attention to detail (it deftly, thoughtfully presented a lot of things that happened in real life, according to historical records), cinematography (it was beautifully shot), and, of course, costumes (ugh, the costumes!) — I was entirely put off by Natalie’s painful Jackie voice. I sat through the entire movie, seeing nothing but Natalie struggling to keep up with Jackie’s admittedly odd breathy baby voice. If I were the director, I would have said: “Look, Natalie, don’t kill yourself over the accent. I’d rather have a real and authentic performance and not have the Jackie voice get in the way.” Because we all know Natalie can act! It was that damned accent, and her attempt at mimicking Jackie’s weird, stiff way of walking (you can see a Youtube video of her giving a tour of the white house back in the day, and Jackie really did walk in a bizarre, arms-out-to-the-side twisty shuffle) — it all felt so rehearsed, so put-upon. It made for borderline impossible viewership, in my opinion.
I also felt that the movie was attempting to do what so many modern movies attempt to do — expose the darker side of things, point out the flaws and struggles, lift the curtain to reveal the depressing underbelly — and the whole maneuver feels hackneyed. I mean, I get it. I’m no Pollyanna. And certainly there is artistic and historical merit in presenting a more truthful vision of a time that was very shrewdly, very artificially presented as “Camelot.” But I sometimes find myself wondering, “To what end? OK, yes, another movie that reminds us that life is no joyride, and that no one is perfect. Got it. What else?”
But the movie, the podcast, the other articles and essays, even the Lee book I’ve torn through in my current obsession with Jackie cannot diminish her magic. She was a complex woman, and many described her as unknowable, tough, distant, snobby. She was also a woman who lived through a string of traumatic events, beginning with her parents’ divorce at a young age, her father’s famous womanizing, possible abuse at the hands of her mother (if not physical, certainly emotional), a seemingly politically-arranged marriage that left her in the grasp of a very tough family with a husband who had affairs with dozens of women, a stillborn child, a miscarriage, the death of a newborn baby, the murder of her husband IN HER ARMS, the quick shift from political wife to widow, the assassination of her beloved brother-in-law, Bobby. And yet she brought such incredible vision to her role as first lady — the stories of her determination to refurbish the White House, to bring class and the arts to the office, to elevate the cultural profile of the US within the world — are nothing short of awesome (and I literally mean full of awe) for me. It takes serious personality, taste, perseverance, and intelligence to bring such lofty goals to fruition — but she did so, and without a lot of self-congratulation, I might add. Further, a lot of her decisions were shaped by her love of history — she was an avid student throughout her entire life — and she took great pains to, for example, model her husband’s funeral procession on Abe Lincoln’s in the hopes of bringing dignity to his untimely death. I am convinced that one of the reasons we still think of JFK in a positive light is because of her non-trivial exertion in lionizing him for all of history.
In short — I left this intense period of studying Jackie more impressed than I had been back when I just knew her as the elegant, cultured, multi-lingual first lady in the pillbox hat. I have more respect for her knowing about all of her heartbreaks and tragedies, the tough political family she inherited, the stresses and strains she endured. She was a woman of substance — tough as nails, full of vision, and serious about her many roles.
P.S. Thank you to Hitha for making me aware of this very Jackie O.-esque bag that I now can’t unsee, especially in the pale blue.
P.P.S. There’s something so Jackie-in-mourning about this black dress — is that indelicate to say? The hemline would have been longer, but that capelet, and the black gauze…fetching.
#Shopaholic: Le Denim Dress.
+A love this well-priced denim shift — the frill adds some interest!
+I don’t know why J. Crew styled this top as it did — it looks like pajamas! — but I love the idea of the linen top with some high-waisted white denim! DARLING.
+Can I justify the purchase of this headband? I WANT. Perfect blend of ladylike and edgy.
+Love this midi skirt — so easy breezy, and in such a fun color for summer.
+Into the star print on this evening dress — perfect, and unexpected!, for a mid-summer wedding.
+Meanwhile, this well-priced floral dress LOOKS like a Self-Portrait (love the floral print), but rings in at under $140.
+Have you scoped out Nordstrom’s new Athro Home selection? I think I need these.
P.P.S. Gifts for teens.
P.P.P.S. My favorite Amazon purchases.