Quick Reads: Betsey Johnson in The New York Times

betsey johnson 1988

I’m a second-generation Betsey Johnson customer—my mother wore Johnson’s original Alley Cat line, and my own attachment to the designer’s stretchy floral-print miniskirts, lacy tops, and corset-waisted frocks began twenty years later. I started wearing Johnson’s designs when I was sixteen, and I still haven’t quite stopped…

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Quick Reads: Annabelle Gurwitch on “Free Samples”

friends with money

I really enjoyed writer-comedian-actor Annabelle Gurwitch’s short essay about free samples, “The Treasure in a Small Package,” as published in The New York Times over the weekend. You can read it here.

Gurwitch begins,

“You’d think I had asked for a swatch from the Shroud of Turin. That’s how my request for a free sample of La Prairie went over with the sales associate at the Bloomingdale’s cosmetic counter…”

Image: Catherine Keener and Jennifer Aniston in “Friends with Money.”



Covet: Cityscape Vintage Dress in NY Times


I would wear this dress in a minute, if I could afford it — it was just displayed at New York’s Winter Antiques Show by an antiques dealer who priced it at $135,000. (Yes, six figures.) It dates to the 1930s, and its textile print resembles a photo-collage of New York City during those years of Deco and the Depression. The Times has written an interesting little focus piece on this dress; you can read it here.

Things That Make You Go Hmmm: Perfume in the (Luxury) Bathroom

Screen Shot 2013-09-01 at 2.02.12 PM

I don’t know why I even bother to read the Real Estate section of The New York Times. I’m not looking for a new place, and even if I were, I’m certainly not in the same income bracket as the people they feature in columns like “The Hunt” or articles like today’s “The Gold Mine in the Hall,” about older apartment buildings that repurpose former hallway closets or unused stairwells as additional rooms for existing apartments.

Here’s the story behind the bathroom in the picture above:

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Quick Read: “International Velvet” in The New York Times

vetvet two

One sure sign that it’s the end of summer: The New York Times Style Magazine, which is always printed on the last Sunday in August.

Velvet is apparently making a come-back in fashion—did it ever really go away?—and the magazine features a cultural history of the fabric, compiled by Carolina Irving, Charlotte di Carcaci, and Miguel Flores-Vianna. It ranges from fashion history to film to art, so it’s right up my alley. You can view this feature here. (There’s also a video, which I found less interesting.)