Meet Anne Marie Bullock–A Style Inspiration To Me– and My Favorite Girl At Tory Burch

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I met Anne-Marie at my Charlotte Tory Burch store where she works  maybe what, a few years ago….I forget. I just know when I decide to visit Tory, she will usually be there and when she is, I know my visit will be fun, inspirational and we’ll be laughing a lot–love this girl. 

Anne-Marie’s got the most incredible skin and I can always count on her to have a strong lip that makes me wish I had the look and nerve to pull off such a statement. She’s gorgeous–and every time I see her, I take thorough note of  what latest Tory Burch ensemble she’s wearing, always to beautiful effect on her petite frame. (She and I share yoga in common and of course we talk about that too!)

I asked her recently when I visited Tory, if she’d mind me interviewing her for The Hip Report because I admire her fashion sense so much, she’s got such a polished look and her personality is just really quite all that. When she said ‘yes,’ I was so thrilled. I’ve been waiting for this moment to publish her interview.  So enjoy. (And can you imagine the closet she has, working as she does for Tory…)

 

Your Hip Reporter:   How would you describe your style  to the rest of us?

Anne-Marie:   My style is about as eclectic as they come. I enjoy designer items and I enjoy Target items. I’m drawn to pieces that are comfortable, feminine and occasionally edgy.

 

 

 

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(Above, Anne-Marie’s favorite Bond perfume, her Grandmother’s cherished ring and the perfect YSL pink lipstick for summer)

 

Hip Reporter:   Favorite perfume? Why?

Anne-Marie:   Bond #9 High Line. It’s a floral based scent with a touch of sweet and musk. Bond fragrances are incredible, plus they are based on boroughs and special locations in New York City (love it).  There are over 50 to choose from!

 

Hip Reporter:   Who’s inspired your style the most and why?

Anne-Marie:   My outlandishly fabulous Grandmother, Betty. She’s no longer on earth but I’d like to think she watches over my shopping adventures. She was an out-of-the-box fashionista that loved bright colors and embellishments.  She lived for pant suits, big jewels and believed nothing was too bold if you loved it. I currently have all her vintage furniture in my house–blonde wood with black and gold finishings and it looks like it jumped off the pages of a ‘Design Within Reach’ mailer! I feel very lucky to have had a person who let me rummage through her closet at my leisure and teach me that style is so much more than what you wear.

 

 

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Hip Reporter:  Your favorite lipstick–because every time I see you, you have the coolest colors on!

Anne-Marie:  My all-time favorite classic shade is MAC Russian Red (above).  It’s sexy, classic and cool. My newest favorite is Yves St Laurent #49–literally the best pink I’ve seen for spring. I had to have it!

 

 

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Hip Reporter:   You’re stuck in an elevator with a fashion designer. Who would you pick?

Anne-Marie:   Marc Jacobs. There’s no real reason behind my choice other than I think he’s fabulous and I would like to be his friend. He’s unique. I enjoy everything he’s had his hand in, from the Stephen Sprouse LV collaboration to his new cosmetic line. It would be a blast to chat with him, get career advice and inquire about his tattoos.

 

 

 

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(Photo of Tory Burch’s father, Buddy in the 1950′s in Cannes)

 

Hip Reporter:   Since you work for Tory Burch, what is it that you’d love about the brand that you’d like to share with us?

Anne-Marie:  Having worked for so many retailers, I can say that Tory Burch is a very special company. Although just 10 years old, there is a rich history and set of values behind the brand that is unlike any company I’ve worked with in the past.

For example, at Tory Burch we adhere to a special code of conduct called ‘Buddy Values.’ These are eight traits (kindness, loyalty, humility, compassion, warmth, integrity, honesty and passion that Buddy, Tory’s late father believed were important to being a successful and a good person.

Tory herself is a philanthropist and believes in giving back. She has exemplified this in her newest loan program that partners with Bank of America. Not only is the company spectacular, the ladies I share the Southpark (in Charlotte, North Carolina) with, are wonderful. I consider my coworkers more than just ‘people I work with’ –those women are some of my best friends. We’ve laughed, we’ve cried, we’ve celebrated birthdays, engagements, pregnancies and of course, sold many, many pairs of Reva ballet flats. We are all educated, intelligent and share a love of people and fashion.

Every day I go to work I feel pride knowing I work for a company that is warm and continues to rise about what can be a harsh and cutthroat industry.

 

Hip Reporter:   What is your best style advice?

Anne-Marie:   Wear what makes YOU happy. Don’t dress for your husband, your girlfriends or to impress anyone. Create your own fashion rules and be your best self.  Everyone can embrace little bits of trends to their taste and everyone can look incredible without spending a million bucks.

 

Hip Reporter:   Favorite piece of clothing in your closet?

Anne-Marie:   I have a love of outerwear that is trumped only by my Mom. One of my favorite pieces in my closet would be a poncho I purchased at Anthropologie this past fall.   It’s army green with stripes and a faux fur collar.  It’s the perfect item to throw on over a dress or jeans. I’m a little sad to retire it for the season!

 

Hip Reporter:  Favorite accessory. 

Anne-Marie:   A ring that was my grandmother’s.  It was given to her by a boyfriend in the 1940s. She didn’t end up with that man but she kept the ring.  I get compliments on it often but moreover, it makes me feel connected to her and the past.

 

 

 

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Hip Reporter:  You’re transported back in time required to wear the fashion of the day. What decade would you land in?

Anne-Marie:   ALL my girlfriends would say I should be transported back to the 1950′s. Every time I try on a dress or skirt at Tory, they say, ‘You look so ‘Mad Men!’. I take it as a compliment.  I however, would love to land in the 1700′s: corsets, ball gowns, and pale skin.  It would be an interesting change of pace and oh so romantic for at least a weekend!

 

 

 

 

 

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(Anne-Marie asks that you kindly walk away from the Bubble necklaces, above.)

Hip Reporter: What do you see as the biggest, most consistent fashion faux pas in women who come in to the store–and you’d like to banish it forever?  What advice would you give?

Anne-Marie:   Bubble necklaces, chevron and don’t kill me for this one–but monogramming. I wis all the little boutiques that sell overpriced polyester would spontaneously combust. While in college I might have thought differently, now I believe the bubble necklaces and chevron prints have seen better moments and they are tired. While I still believe fully believe in a giant statement necklace, the little multicolored ‘bubble’ ones have got to go.

Branch out and try a scarf! Go for an infinity scarf (my favs are from American Apparel) or a silk one tied in a loose bow. If you still must have a necklace, try one made of other materials. I’m currently loving the mixed media pieces that use wood, shells and leather. Especially great for summer.

As for the monogramming, I know we live in the South but I find it a bit gimmicky and overkill to have it on your pants, top, jewelry and handbag. Let’s pick one piece and stick with that.  I’m all for the tasteful and occasional handbag or wallet monogram and I think even the small initial necklaces are nice but simplicity and moderation is sometimes everything.

 

 

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(Tory Burch Reggie gladiator, above, $295 and Tana, $275  at Tory Burch stores and toryburch.com)

 

Hip Reporter:  What do you see trending for spring and summer?

Anne- Marie:   Block heels, mules, neon handbags, sport-themed clothing items, perforated and woven leather, neutral, simple basics, floral prints and backpacks.

 

Hip Reporter:   Favorite place to shop other than Tory Burch?

Anne-Marie:   Nordstrom, J Crew, Anthropologie, Marshalls–I love a good deal on my favorite name brands. They are always fully stocked on designer jeans, Joie and Vince are usually half priced.

 

Hip Reporter:   Three things you’d buy if you won the lottery.

 

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Anne-Marie:  

1.  Balenciaga Bag in Jaune Poussin (above)–A perfect, perfect chartreuse pop of color kind of bag. –To die for. (May have to happen before I hit the lottery.)

2. Black Range Rover–Maybe not a fashion item or accessory but I’ve always wanted one.

3.  Lululemon ‘Run Inspire’ crops in every color made. These crops are the only ones I’ve found that do not fall or need to be adjusted while running. I’ll be honest, I am that girl that wears yoga clothes when I’m not working. I am not ashamed. I do actually work out in them but they are so incredibly comfortable.  Again, my mantra is wear what makes you happy. Yoga pants and a baggier Piko top make me happy.

 

Hip Reporter:   Something you wouldn’t be caught dead in.

Anne-Marie:   This is difficult because I honestly say, ‘never say never.’ I’m kind of an open book when it comes to trying new things so it’s hard to unknowingly veto something but I would choose Crocs.  They look like alien footwear and I can’t get in to that.

 

 

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Hip Reporter:  Best dressed woman in Hollywood?

Anne-Marie:   I’m a fan of Emma Watson.  She always looks put together and so pretty. Her style is rather minimalist, classic and feminine.  SJP (Sarah Jessica Parker) will always be a favorite as well.

 

 

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Hip Reporter:   You’ve been nominated for an Oscar.  Who will dress you for the red carpet?

Anne-Marie:   Oscar de la Renta. Preferably a ball gown style with a a bow or something wild on one shoulder. I would want to look and feel like a princess–no slinky, tight dresses for moi.

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Hip Reporter:   One beauty item you can’t live without. 

Anne-Marie:   My Clarsonic facial brush.  Literally changed my skin.

 

 

 

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(Tory Burch Sandra jacket, above.  $995)

Hip Reporter:  Favorite piece from the Tory Burch Spring/Summer 2014 Collection.

Anne-Marie:   This season without a doubt, I would choose the Sandra jacket.  A classic take on the moto jacket, the Sandra jacket is in buttery soft leather in a perfect neutral, clay beige hue.  It’s on my list.

 

Stay tuned for more women who inspire me with their style and attitude…

 

 

 

 

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When God Says No And It All Works Out…

 

 

 

 

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“I remember a time when I too felt unbeautiful. I put on the TV and only saw pale skin. I got teased and taunted about my night-shaded skin. And my one prayer to God, the miracle worker, was that I would wake up lighter-skinned.”    -Lupita Nyong’o

Lupita has just been named the new face of Lancome.  It’s a good thing God said no to her prayer.  I can’t wait to see her in the campaign.  It’s about time she’s featured more in print.

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How to Dissect

 

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I notice a vast majority of women when I am out and about seem to have a difficult time dissecting the latest trends and then applying them to their own bodies, lifestyle and personality.

Now I’m not talking classics here. I am talking trends. Classics are the pieces we generally feel really comfortable with–the white oxford button downs, the cashmere cable knit sweaters we love from J Crew that look good with anything and the Tory Reva flats that I see on all the passing feet here at my mall in Charlotte.

Classics are safe. Classics look good on any one at any time of their life. You don’t outgrow classics and you don’t look dated in them, provided you add some interesting, thoughtful, modern jewelry and keep your shoes and purse modern and well-maintained. Perhaps the reigning ‘Queen of Classics’ is Ines de la Fressange, a French woman who modeled for CHANEL in the 1980′s. She’s infamous for her mastery of all things tres chic and classic, below.

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But you know, trends are tough. They make us nervous.

Generally there are two things that can make trends feel like an itchy wool sweater that you run from:   proportion and mix.  Yep, those two ingredients to a trend can leave you fleeing to the hills and sticking with a look you’ve been comfortable in for going on, oh, three seasons or more.  And this isn’t a good thing.

 

Jenna Lee King of Bravo's 'Southern Charm' and 'those' shoes...

Jenna Lee King of Bravo’s ‘Southern Charm’ and ‘those’ shoes…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But then on the flip side of that, you see fashion victims: the women who are just too in to trends, often focusing on one or two that really catch their fancy and then it’s just overkill in their closets. (I was watching an episode of Southern Charm on Bravo the other night and Jenna King, one of the cast members, oh she of punk style had large collection of six inch Loubitons, the kind with the spikes and the dagger-like heels, a row of them. It was just overkill and cartoonish because you know this girl’s identity is most likely tied up in those goofy shoes that are bludgeoning her feet.)

So the key to trend dissecting is:

1. Knowing what works for your body type. (Elementary really but sit in a mall and watch the women go by. How many of them do you think are self aware enough to see themselves as they are, not as they wish they were.)

2. Keep a budget and focus on the biggest impact. –Where will your hard earned dollars best be spent, for what trends versus classics? A few trends, many classics– should be the rule. You’ll have a more versatile wardrobe with that ratio.

On the flip side of that, my biggest complaint is that most women I know go too cheap too much of the time. Their closets scream quantity and not enough investment or quality pieces–especially as they grow older, they are often  still buying predominantly cheaper clothes.

But that’s America–bigger is better, more is better. And that’s all a big lie. Here’s the truth—-big closets have the potential to slide in to a slippery area where it’s all overwhelming and you end up wearing  only about  1/3 of what is hanging in it.

The other day, I was talking with my daughter about the art of shopping. She said something to me she’d observed through the years about my shopping habits which warmed my heart and made me rather proud.

I had told her I never wanted to be the person who goes out and shops just to shop and have stuff, just mindless shopping to acquire. She said, “You don’t. I’ve watched you collect your wardrobe with the precision of an art collector. You curate your closet. You develop a list of key pieces you want for the season, you wait for it to get drastically reduced, then you buy. Most women don’t do that; they don’t stick to a list, a formula. You’re like an art collector when it comes to clothing shopping.”

And she’s right.  I just ticked off a beige pair of Manolo Blahniks I’d wanted for a year. They were on my collection list, I saved for them religiously and now they are in my closet, handmade in Italy just for me through the Neiman Marcus BB program.  I had to save for them for a time but it was worth it.

Investment shoes–check. It’s a good feeling.

And so it is, I have my lists, every summer and fall and I curate and build my collection. And I try and remember as I build it that less sometimes so much more.

 

3. Know when to walk away.  Some trends are never going to be for you. And that’s fine and fantastic.

4. Focus on shapes, silhouettes and patterns. Those change all the time. -–Often new shapes mess with our eyes, new proportions seem wrong and new patterns coming down the runway seem odd and dissonant. Be open to something different that feels peculiar at first.

I remember the Prada Spring Collection, 2011 when it came down the runway (below). Those banana skirts and shirts, all mixed up and the graphic stripes done in the nuttiest color combinations–it just seemed like such a mess.  But to me, this one collection signaled a new print and a new way to mix. I couldn’t wrap my brain around any of it.

But now looking back on it, I see the brilliance and art in it all. Today prints are bold, mangled and mixed. Sometimes they aren’t always symmetrical, sometimes you’ll see symmetrical patterns with negative space in the center of the skirt or dress which almost looks space age modern.  A lot of patterns look computer generated. Prada was definitely ahead of their time. Now this collection looks normal and relatable to my eyes.

Knowing that prints can age you, stay fluid and open to how prints change with the times. It’s really quite astounding.

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Prints, they are a changin’. Clover Canyon, above.  Definitely not your mama’s prints…

 

5. God is always in the details. Study them. Study embellishments, shoes, handbag shapes,  the jewelry. Most of this you can knock off cheaply. EXCEPT for your handbag. Shoes, I’ll give you some of the time you can go inexpensive. But please, not with the handbag. Never. Unless it’s a cute, artsy clutch or boho bag from a flea market or a place like Anthropologie, below.

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So this all leads me to a Vogue layout in the April issue. (Yes, the one with Kim and Kanye. And may I add that surprisingly, the interview with them wasn’t as noxious as I thought it would be.) Kim comes off as appropriate and intelligent enough and well, Kanye, he’s always going to have a severe hubris problem to me. That and when he says ‘Dope’–as in:

“We (Kim and I) can help communicate and educate and just bring more dopeness in general. It’s really about the dopeness at end of the day.”– Kanye West in April Vogue

He just looses me.

Back to the Vogue layout. It was of Daria Werbowy in effortless looks, loose shapes (but in no way sloppy), casual shoes and solids only. It struck me and I thought I  simply had to write about in The Hip Report because it signals some new trends that might not feel so comfortable to our eyes and sensibilities. But I urge you to stay fluid in your opinions, stay open to the possibilities and interpretation in your own life.

Here’s the complete, gorgeous layout:

Daria-Werbowy-by-Karim-Sadli-fo-Vogue-Us-April-2014-1 Daria-Werbowy-by-Karim-Sadli-fo-Vogue-Us-April-2014-2 Daria-Werbowy-by-Karim-Sadli-fo-Vogue-Us-April-2014-3 Daria-Werbowy-by-Karim-Sadli-fo-Vogue-Us-April-2014-4 Daria-Werbowy-by-Karim-Sadli-fo-Vogue-Us-April-2014-5 Daria-Werbowy-by-Karim-Sadli-fo-Vogue-Us-April-2014-6 Daria-Werbowy-by-Karim-Sadli-fo-Vogue-Us-April-2014-7 Daria-Werbowy-by-Karim-Sadli-fo-Vogue-Us-April-2014-9

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So what trends do you take from this layout?

-Shoes are casual, even with dressier looks, if you dare. Forget the heels and the sexy this and that–inject a dose of ‘at ease.’ For summer 2014, you don’t always need to bring out the vavoom. Consider placing on your list, a comfy pair of shoes versus the latest heeled sandal. It takes a certain self -assuredness to just walk away from your heels. Somehow, high heels and mile-high sandals don’t look as alluring as they have been for past seasons.

I was talking to a friend the other day and she was commenting about The Hip Report and my piece on the ‘Ugly Shoe’ for spring and summer. She said that no way would she ever consider that trend. I smiled to myself. My patent black Birkenstocks are at the top of my list for summer to pair with the coolest lime green J Crew techno skirt and black sleeveless Theory top. It’s going to look so modern and unexpected–and my feet will love me.

-Easier, looser silhouettes are in. And why not? Down here in Charlotte, that will be a welcome trend come July. It’s as Vogue said, “A softer kind of sophistication.”

Trouser pants are really coming in to their own. And I for one, adore that louche trend. I have about three pairs of wide-legged pants I can’t wait to wear for evenings out with my husband.  The skinny pants can be gone forever for all I care. With my hips and thighs, they’re a trend I’ve personally needed to run from. (But it’s those same hips and thighs that allow my body to hoist itself in to a headstand at almost 51. I’ll keep them, thank you.)

-Embellishment is minimal. I am thrilled. I hate wearing a lot of jewelry in the summer other than small artisan beads. All else sticks to me like tape in this southern humidity.

-Even evening is simple and simpler. The Givenchy pink sequin dress Daria wears with oxfords and fur is just so excitedly modern in its simplicity. We don’t always have to look like vamps when we go out at night. Sometimes you hate to say it, but less really is more. And I guess that’s what Vogue’s Creative Director, Grace Coddington is trying to get us to see with this latest layout.
Think about how these trends can relate to your life this summer. Consider a looser silhouette, more solids, a casual shoe (again, mine will be Birkenstocks–never thought I’d say that!).

How will you welcome this ‘less is more’ aesthetic in to your life and closet? Listen, for a lot of Southern women down here (all my friends here excluded of course), this is going to be one hard vibe to embrace. I’ve already ‘lost’ one friend on the shoes.

Maybe the hardest in all this is letting the clothes speak less for us—and who we really are inside, speak a lot more.

 

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I Love the Countryside– and Good Bye Peacoat

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I was introduced the other day to a gal from Long Island, New York.  She had just moved here and what was so interesting, was to hear her take on the South and specifically the differences between her native Long Island and her new home, Charlotte.

I confess to being completely overwhelmed at anything New York–the brashness of it’s people, the congestion, the extreme competition for resources (land, real estate, jobs, status, success) and the cost. Living there is prohibitively expensive and I just can’t be convinced that quality of life goes up with the taxes and the extreme cost of real estate,  four star restaurants and a Barney’s and Bergdorf’s to shop in.

She and I compared notes–her enjoying Manhattan and all the opportunities and options and me disclosing that if I had a woods or a cornfield (wheat or soybean are fine too) behind my home, all is well in my small life.  We came from vastly different backgrounds and found comfort in very different settings.

So this evening I was glancing through my February Vogue (the one with Lena Dunham on the cover) and turned the page to this bucolic layout (above).  It is of Washington DC  ’it’ couple Alex Wagner (TV newswoman)  and Sam Kass (the President’s personal chef) at Rocklands Farm in Maryland www.rocklandsfarmmd.com a sustainable farm and venue near the Potomac River.

As I stared at this perfect photograph– the field behind this couple, the country fencing, the cows, the eager dog mere inches from the human activity, the peace of it all, I felt contentment.  This to me is life: the outdoors, expansive farmland, a trusty dog–and beautiful, beautiful clothes. 

I fell as much in love with Alex’s look– an Hermes peacoat, Nili Lotan www.nililotan.com cream cable sweater, 7 For All Mankind white jeans and Hunter boots.  This is probably my favorite outfit in all the world. The simplicity of it, the timelessness;  it’s a look that any woman can wear and be immaculate in no matter age, shape or size.

Jackie and her peacoat.

Jackie and her peacoat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fortunately I have two beautiful peacoats–both Tory Burch, one black and one navy blue,  both with gold buttons and a slightly nipped bodice, enough to give it a slightly more feminine shape than the standard boxy peacoat. I just acquired a J Crew cream cable sweater https://www.jcrew.com/womens_special_sizes/xxl/Sweaters/PRDOVR~08873/08873.jsp  which I have immediately fallen in love with and instead of white jeans I wear Joes ripped denim tucked in to Tory Burch riding boots.

Ali Mc Graw in her peacoat in Love Story with Ryan O' Neal.

Ali Mc Graw in her peacoat in Love Story with Ryan O’ Neal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spring is on our heels and yet, by July’s blasting heat, if I am to be honest, I will miss for a brief moment, wearing this look.  I won’t miss winter’s chill but I will miss how hip I feel wearing my pea coats, cable sweater, jeans and riding boots, knowing I am indeed, appropriate enough.

 

Robert Redford in his peacoat.

Robert Redford in his peacoat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And the gorgeous countryside? It’s near–just to my West, the Blue Ridge Mountains and the hippie town of Asheville, North Carolina, a perfect culinary and cultural destination.   I take comfort in knowing it is all vast and open– and close by for me to explore.

All better than any fancy New York restaurant– or any sale at Barneys or Bergdorfs. And it’s always fun to do, looking stylish in the cooler months in my pea coat. Yes, in my forever cool peacoat…

 

The Blue Ridge Mountains with a perfect country fence.

The Blue Ridge Mountains with a perfect country fence.

 

 

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THAT VOGUE COVER

 

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There was a loud &*&^%$#  heard through my family room as I sat last night surfing the internet on my iPad.  I moaned in disgust.

Anna Wintour, Vogue’s Editor in Chief had gone and done it.

She had taken a once glamourous fashion ‘bible’ and further turned it into a glossier but no less insipid and shameful version of Us, Enquirer and Star magazines (with better photography and higher end products to shill to the public, of course).

She has finally caved and put Kanye West and Kim Kardashian on the cover of Vogue.

Anna’s tenure at Vogue has elicited criticism as the years clock by. Vogue went from covers of models in the 70′s and 80′s, to supermodels in the 90′s, to supermodels and a Hollywood starlet here and there to mostly now in the 2000′s, an assortment of ‘of-the-moment’  Hollywood starlets coupled with about an even 50/50 split of often vacuous musicians—the disappointing shift all due entirely to Wintour who thinks America is as in love with celebrity as she is.  Once in awhile we’ll get an athlete or Michelle Obama on the cover but those moments are rare.

A few examples of Wintour’s recent covers:

 

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Lena Dunham who, as the creator and star of HBO’s ‘Girls,’ has now actually become more famous for her soft and untoned body due nude scene after nude scene. I am unfortunately on the fence about Girls; she definitely has talent but I would argue she has a flawed filter.

Lena would insist that her show does not in the least objectify women.  But how can she say this? Her nude scenes are becoming her trademark. Lena’s writing and credentials (which are notable) are not half as talked about as her weird-o ping pong game nude scene or the awkward and demeaning sex scenes she has had with Adam, her (Aspergers???) boyfriend.

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Anna’s also chosen Katy Perry. Her recent hit song ‘Roar’ is now a ditty completely overused at high school pep rallies whose teams are feline mascots:   lions, tigers, jaguars, etc.    She’s also famous for her whipped cream nipples as she performs.

 

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I’ve never been a Katy Perry fan just because of this one costume.  I find it so completely demeaning to women and her audience of young girls, it’s vulgar.

 

 

Then there’s Lady Gaga, who Wintour also insists on promoting. A recent cover had Gaga looking ghoulish, oh she of nude displays and insipid public appearances in asinine garb.

 

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What stars will do to get attention…

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And this month, Rhianna ‘graced’ the cover of the big March Vogue issue looking only slightly better than the slutty image she usually works hard to maintain thanks to her addiction to selfies on Instagram.

 

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I think Rhianna is lost. I think she is a lonely girl looking for unconditional love and it’s all getting mucked up because of her lack of direction and character.

Her private life would be called ‘sordid’ were she not a mega celebrity. You’d never in a million years want your daughter hanging around her. She’s constantly Instagramming herself barely dressed, smoking pot, looking silly and seductive.  It’s like a pathetic bleat for help by a lost lamb.

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Rhianna was just snapped going out for dinner in a totally sheer skirt with her pink underwear (above)  in full view.  Anna Wintour thinks this girl should be on Vogue’s cover?

 

So you can see that Wintour’s recent cover selections are women most of us don’t care to emulate, don’t relate to and we question their character and decisions, knowing yes, we’ll concede they have some talent but that in this whole celebrity ‘thing,’  they’re selling themselves to the highest bidder, giving in return for power, their bodies and their sexuality.  – But that’s what celebrity is so often about.  And it comes with a steep, steep price:  your bank account grows while your choices and character many times, become numb and more suspect.

I just don’t understand the relevance these women have to Vogue’s audience. Hollywood and the media may tell us they are relevant but you and me, we’re definitely not buying such lunacy.

But back to the Kanye-Kim cover.

Instead of some long, windy essay on why I think this was a very very bad decision on Wintour’s part and why Kim Kardashian did not deserve the cover,  I’ll give you six brief points to support my opinion that Kardashian is not a woman worthy  of a Vogue cover and bigger than that, Wintour as Editor of Vogue,  is no longer a good idea.

 

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1. Kim Kardashian is the first porn star to grace the cover as far as I know. I’m thinking that’s not accomplishment enough to get your face on Vogue. Am I expecting too much?

2. Having your boyfriend stump on radio shows and press junkets to get you on the cover seems vulgar, unfair to the process and desperate. Anna Wintour may deny she caved to Kanye’s pressure, but the pressure’s been out there for a long time.  Kanye has a very, very big mouth and a bigger ego and he has the mistaken notion that money equals wisdom.

3. #firsthashtagonvogue:  #seriously? #cheesyfosho

4. Wintour’s set a disconcerting precedence–she’s elevated a reality star to credible celebrity status. America seems so far to not buy it, according to all the backlash this cover is getting. Just having a camera follow you around while you’re eating out and getting manicures doesn’t seem to demonstrate depth or talent –or the honor of being on a Vogue cover.

5. I already dread the social media her sisters will be posting in this cover’s wake. I can only imagine Khloe’s Twitter:   “It’s about f****** time, Wintour. #canlammyandibeonitnext”

6. America is still a great country. All this cover demonstrates is the depth to which the media is out of touch with it’s customers.

Anna lives in her own bubble-ish world where she is surrounded by celebrity and money, powerful people who are often lacking in good sense, good taste, morals and a balanced view of the world around them. She doesn’t understand that most of America is sick of the Kardashians, beaten and weary from all reality shows and tired of the overblown hubris of many celebrities, be they reality stars, sports figures, movie stars, musicians, models, etc. We’re disturbed that real heros out there are the ones who are overlooked and undervalued and underpaid.

 

 

 

We’re smarter than what we’re given credit for. We see right through this Kardashian krap.

And that my Hip Reporter readers is why this cover is so loaded. In all the worst ways.

 

 

 

YOUR HIP REPORTER’S PETITION FOR THE NEXT VOGUE COVER

 

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If I were Editor at Vogue, I would kill myself to get Lupita Nyong’o as the next cover.

Even if she had not won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress, I would still nominate this seemingly fascinating and strong woman. I would very much enjoy reading about her.

So far I have appreciated what has come out of her mouth.  She sounds capable and intelligent.  I admire her work at Yale School of Drama where she graduated from.  I would love to hear about her life in Kenya (and Mexico) and I would enjoy hearing where she wants to go with all this notoriety.

Of course at some point Anna Wintour will get around to putting Lupita on the cover. In the meantime though,  I guess we’ll all be subjected to some serious pain and indigestion by Wintour, with the parade of underwhelming and uninteresting women being shoved down our throats like overcooked lima beans at dinnertime, with the only criteria being now with Kim Kardashian, is simply name recognition and the endless thrust of self promotion.

 

 

 

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Altuzarra on French Women vs American

 

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Joseph Altuzarra, designer was interviewed by vogue.com about the difference between American women and French women. I enjoyed his answer. Thought you might be inspired by it today too. 

I always have Altuzarra on my radar. Think of his style as J Crew taken to the most luxurious and sometimes wildest level, below.
What do you want to preserve of the idea of the stylish Parisian woman?
I think the relationship French women have with their bodies and, I think, the way they think about themselves and their sexuality as they age, I think it’s very wise and very specific to French culture. French women tend to be much less focused on their flaws. They’re much better at enhancing what they see as their assets. There’s much less emphasis on correcting everything, which I think is a big part of American culture. It’s a culture of correction, whether by exercise or diet or plastic surgery. I think French women are accepting of their bodies, and they’re more comfortable with their sexuality as they age. They don’t see themselves as having to stop being seductive or sexy because they suddenly turn 55 or 60. They don’t stop feeling like women, and I think that’s really important.

-Quote courtesy of vogue.com

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Latest Finds

Mauve District, Helen Frankenthaler, 1966

Mauve District, Helen Frankenthaler, 1966

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve always loved Helen Frankenthaler’s dreamy, abstract works. I was hooked the moment I saw one of her pieces on display at the Cleveland Museum of Art years back.

Every time I visited I would simply stare at it, swirled up in my own thoughts and day dreams.  Many say this isn’t art. But when you are standing in front of one of her voluminous canvases and can observe for yourself the layers and techniques that went in to creating something so seemingly simple, well, you begin to rethink that art can only be a perfectly rendered landscape or portrait.

I chose this piece because it makes me feel like spring. The pink, the green–they feel like spring colors. And as I walk into my closet right now filled with black and navy, I long for the day I can switch it all over and see brighter, happier colors like these.

Yet, as spring is wont to be, there’s always a cold day thrown in for good measure just enough to make you loose your mind waiting for the next 70 degree day and sunshine. See that bit of brown-ish yellow in the piece? That’s the lousy day thrown in to the spring mix!

How’s that for interpretation?

Let’s begin The Hip Report. I’ve found a few good things for you to consider trying.

 

 

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GIORGIO ARMANI LUMINOUS SILK FOUNDATION

At $62, this foundation isn’t necessarily affordable.  I had heard about it for quite a long time but have resisted buying it for one reason–I figured once I tried it, it would be like heroin–an expensive habit I couldn’t shake and didn’t really need.

My best friend from college was visiting me a few weeks back and she wanted to go to Neimans to the Giorgio Armani counter.  She’d read my rave reviews in The Hip Report about Armani lipstick and wanted to try it for herself.

As she sampled lip color, I sniffed around the foundations, thinking how I’d like to try a bottle before I die and yet I wasn’t in to slamming down $62 for a whirl at it. The sales associate asked if I’d like to be color coded for it and I said ok, why not.

Fast forward minutes later as my friend and I went off to smell Jo Malone perfume, she handed me a bottle of Luminous Silk she had bought for me  when I wasn’t looking. Love that girl!

Listen. I did NOT want to like this stuff. I do not want to get looped in to buying it but yep,  it’s like heroin. I’ve tried it and I’m a junkie.

Rated best foundation by Allure and InStyle as well as the number one foundation of make up artists, Luminous Silk is just phenomenal. Coverage is extraordinary. Goes on like silk. Makes average skin glow–glow.

I don’t have the  best skin. I’ve suffered with acne and oil and the like so my skin really isn’t ever klieg-light ready. But I am loving the finish it gives to my half-century old skin:

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Here’s what Armani says about their product:

“As seen in the press, capture the glow of perfect skin with this award-winning foundation. Luminous Silk foundation features an exclusive Micro-fil technology. So weightless, it redefines foundation. Its hydrating fluid glides on seamlessly with a silky texture and all-day, buildable coverage. For all skin types.”

That doesn’t really explain adequately how well this foundation works.  If you’re reticent to pay that kind of money for make up, I understand. I was too. But I get it now.

 

 

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URBAN DECAY EYESHADOW PRIMER POTION IN SIN

I would have never tried this product had I not received a sample from my local Ulta store. As it is, I tried and was smitten. I was given a packet with all four of Urban Decay’s Primers to try and out of them all,  ’Sin’ was the prettiest.

I decided to wear my eyeshadow with the Urban Decay then without another day, mindfully, to see if I could tell much of a difference. Oh yes. What a difference. I didn’t want to like this primer.  In some ways it’s getting to the point I need to pair down my beauty routine instead of amp it up with more and more products. (Read: more money spent.)

But I can’t deny it–this is one product that’s worth the expense. And Sin to me is the best because of its flattering champagne tint. It gives my eyeshadow a richness and depth that it just doesn’t have, applied to bare skin. My shadow really does look nicer and it definitely keeps its intensity longer.

At $20 a tube, it is pricey but in my estimation, it will last a long time and be worth the investment. I can’t imagine getting ready without it now.

 

 

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RODAN AND FIELDS MACRO EXFOLIATOR

I get a facial once a month. After years and years of disappointing skin, I’ve decided that it’s a priority and really something I ought to have been doing since I was in my thirties.

My esthetician who does my peels and microdermabrasions recommended I purchase this in-home microderm kit to save money. I was leery until she met me one day for a demonstration.  I trust her opinion and so I listened openly to her as she showed me why this was such a terrific product. The tip which is so important in microderm treatments was almost exactly the same as her professional tip.  That’s big. The power and effectiveness of the Rodan and Fields Macro Exfoliator was right up there with the machines salons use.

If you don’t believe me, go online and read reviews. They praise a product that does a professional job for pennies. In-office microderms can be well over $100. For an investment of $279, this tool can be a big and important part of your skin’s health and complexion. It will mightily exfoliate dead skin cells, leaving you with glowing, baby soft skin, something your cleansers and cream exfoliators cannot even think of doing.

I hate to pull the ‘age card’ again but I must.  Here’s the reality:  mature skin does not turn over dead skin cells as expediently as it does in our youth. All that means is duller skin, heavier lines and less of a natural glow.  This machine can go a long ways in keeping skin bright, fresh and healthy.

Definitely worth the investment. If you don’t believe me, go online for reviews. Available at www.rodanandfields.com.

For more Hip Report posts, scroll down.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Dawn of the Comfortable (Ugly) Shoe

 

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Wow.

More wow.

Who in the world ever thought ‘Teva sandals’ and ‘runway’ would be used in the same sentence?

Not your Hip Reporter.

But this season it’s a trend— so here goes as I swallow hard and try not to break out in a cold and miserable sweat reporting about something that I’ve always found not so very appealing, even if they are functional in the right situation.  You’ll never see a pair of Tevas in my closet. But I guess maybe you knew that already.

Last fall, Celine showed sandals with a decidedly comfortable but very un-sexy edge.  They were slip ons—the kind you might see in locker room showers except these were lined in mink dyed in beautiful, bright colors. So it’s safe to assume they were a little pricer than what you’d have purchased at Dick’s Sporting Goods.

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Cut to Spring 2014 and some designers are deciding to expand on the sport/athletic/Birkenstock/ugly/comfy shoe theme.

Marc Jacobs sent his models down the runway in Victorian jackets sporting an odd combination of Teva-inspired sandals in black.  The clothes made quite an impact because they were peculiar; but those sandals paired with the over-the-top embellished Victorian jackets–well that was really art-school nutty.

But we know when Marc speaks, the fashion world gets very, very silent and listens acutely.

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And Miuccia Prada is the reigning queen of the trend with the athletic shoe inspired looks she sent down the runway, paired with sporty leggings in bright colors for Spring 2014.

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So what does this mean for you and me, those of us who follow the trends a little more loosely than than maybe Vogue suggests?

One thing it doesn’t mean–pairing any of your looks except athletic, with the real Tevas. But you knew that already, right? Save the real Tevas for the real outdoors.

For your Hip Reporter, it means taking this trend and tweaking it a little to fit my lifestyle, budget and needs.

Instead of the mid to high three figure price tag of the Pradas:

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And the Marc Jacobs;

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I will be placing on my wish list, some Birkenstocks–which I said I would never ever buy but some how they seem right for my lifestyle and this fashion season. (I know, I know, I’m eating my words. It’s embarrassing.)

I love them in both silver and black patent.

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At $90, I know I will get a lot of wear from them and love their comfort.  The patent and silver elevate them to a slightly ‘less crunchy’ realm.  Slightly mind you. They’re still kind of crunchy. But I recently had to ditch a pair of Tory Burch Birkenstock knock offs I wore non stop in silver, they were such a cherished part of my summer looks. Tory no longer makes them so this time I’ll have to buy the real thing.

And mandatory in wearing these earthy, granola shoes? A pedicure. –Bright red nail polish is the best, with a slick clear top coat. Why? It lets the world know you may hike and rock climb and love juicing but you’re still all girl.

Time to decide if you’re ready for the athletic shoe plunge.

I am. Do join me.

 

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Grab Your Grocery List–the CHANEL-MART Calls

 

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I’ve been the biggest fan of CHANEL since the days of Ines de la Fressange. I guess that dates me  but I’ll own it. Proudly.

CHANEL in the days of Ines de la Fressange (below)  was impossible to beat.  This was before trashy stars like Rhianna and Miley Cyrus were wearing CHANEL with their boobs hanging out and before Bravo reality ‘stars’ were Instagramming their CHANEL handbags they’d just acquired.

It was all before the muddled-up association with starlets and Hollywood which has sadly, made CHANEL at times, more vulgar than in the 1980′s when I fell in love with the tweeds, the CC buttons, the chains and more chains and the cap-toed pumps.

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Ines being fitted by Karl Lagerfeld.

Ines being fitted by Karl Lagerfeld

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 But wow, have things changed since Ines’ print ads above, where it was all elegance and untouchable chic.

All these years later, most every design house how, no matter how elegant and monied the provenance, has come to understand that their success isn’t 100 percent about the clothes. It’s now about the image, the hype and too, believe it or not, theatricality of the runway shows. The big houses (Vuitton, Dior, McQueen, Jacobs to name a few) are in to the big bang at the Spring and Fall fashion shows.  Theatrical make up, sets, music, props–it’s only motivated by the bottom line and if they can get press for the next big, wild show, then they can sell their wares to an audience of women who want to align themselves with the bling of it all.

And now, we probably have the wildest runway show to date, staged by no other than the House of CHANEL.

Someone in marketing got the idea to stage a CHANEL grocery store, stocked to the brim with real food and household items. Yes. Real. The stage was set up with sections and aisles, with bountiful displays of fruits and vegetables, boxed items, drinks, cheeses, meats, detergents and yes, cash registers at the end.

The details were incredible.

Labels on the products all paid homage to CHANEL and all things Coco.  In all, over 100,000 items were stocked in Lagerfeld’s store with prices being at least 20-50% more than usual. (How ironic.)

There was even a CHANEL chainsaw fit with a real CHANEL chain.  I struggle trying to describe how incredible this all was. Hopefully the pictures do it some justice because I am hard-pressed to explain how each item had some CHANEL reference to it.  It really was brilliant and so entertaining. At the conclusion of the runway show, hordes of attendees descended, trying to ‘loot’ the grocery store but alas, the only goods allowed for the taking were the fruits and candies.

The models walked around the aisles, complete with advertising and shelving and pop art looking foodstuffs like any store in Anytown, USA. Only I think it’s safe to say they were much, much better dressed than they are where I shop.

 

 

Chanel Fall Winter 2014 ‘Supermarket’ fashion show (香奈儿‘超市’秋冬2014时装秀会场) 11

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Look closely Those cola bottles are an homage to CHANEL tweed.)

 

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(Those beans are marked as being from ‘The Garden of Gabrielle’ –as in Coco Chanel.)

 

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The clothes–oh yes–the clothes (!!!)  were a riot of confetti looks and color. Odd shapes to jackets, lots of tweed, trainers for shoes (after all, the CHANEL girl must be comfortable when she shops at the market) and wacky purses were a part of the pop art theme.

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For your Hip Reporter, the most notable on the runway were accessories and hair. Accessories were a riff on the grocery store theme with quilted bags shaped like cartons of milk and wrapped like meat as well as a pricey take on the humble grocery basket carry-all. (Complete with chain and padlock of course.)

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And don’t forget the pop art inspired bags which seemed to channel those bright and wild grocery store ad inserts in your local newspaper.

 

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Hair was fantastic– the best I’ve seen on a runway in a long time. Long pony tails, shaggy and adorned with strips of tweed made for a perfect pop of cool.

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Few runway shows are so spectacular in their planning and detail.

Leave it to CHANEL to  take us to the grocery store in $8,000 outfits.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Little Late But the Oscar Best Dressed Goes To….

 

 

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A little late but I still had to post my Best Dressed for the Oscars:  Sandra Bullock.

Charlize Theron was a close tie but there was something approachable and perfectly All-American about Sandra that night that hit me and just felt right in the moment. Sandra’s always been the pretty home town girl who grew up to be so elegant and appropriate in the moment yet so approachable and relatable.

The girl nailed it in her navy blue Alexander McQueen.

Which got me to sniffing out some of her past red carpet looks and you know, I realized what a truly notable dresser she has been through the years.  She doesn’t really have a laundry list of forgettable missteps nor has she gone through some cringing, shameless phase killing us all with her lack of modesty and she definitely has followed trends but has never been a too-painful-to-look-at fashion victim.

I think too by the way, I know why she doesn’t necessarily make the Best Dressed Lists, yet we seem to always be able to count on her to deliver at premieres and awards appearances:   she dresses as a movie star when she is required to and like a real woman when she is off the clock.

She isn’t some Miranda Kerr, trying to make some big fashion statement as she heads out to live her private life and she’s not in the front row at every fashion show like a lot of her peers.  Sandra’s like you and me–when we have to, we dress, when we don’t, boyfriend jeans and a hip jacket or shirt and call it a comfy but stylish day. And somewhere along the way, it’s the girls who think every day is a silly runway, who get best dressed. That’s kind of getting tedious even to your Hip Reporter.

Sandra was my vote for Best Dressed at the 2014 Oscars this year not just for the navy Mc Queen she did such justice to but for everything she’s been all the years before, the girl who generally gets it, with endless grace.

 

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