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“Yes, women are stronger than us. They face more directly the problems that confront them, and for that reason they are much more spectacular to talk about.”—Pedro Almodóvar
The Best of Paris Fashion Week
Shortly after the last look showed at Louis Vuitton, the international fashion cabal started scuttling off to Charles de Gaulle airport, thus signifying the end of Fashion Month. Of course, Paris Fashion Week is no mere coda to the whole circuit but rather its crescendo. And there were certainly some surprising stylistic staccatos on the runway this season. Clare Waight Keller’s Givenchy and Hedi Slimane’s Celine showcased jeans (in both cases, often ripped and frayed) on the runway in a bit of bourgeois kismet. Thom Browne, meanwhile, went full nobility with hoopskirts and Marie Antoinette wigs (imagine that one VMA performance of Madonna’s “Vogue,” but done up in pastel tweeds instead), a vibe that was also echoed, in its typically warped way, by Comme des Garçons. John Galliano, at Martin Margiela, and Rick Owens, meanwhile, channeled dark visions. Owens drew from his Mexican heritage and local folklore for a collection titled Legend of Iztaccíhuatl and Popocatépetl (which featured more than a few models with majorly receding hairlines). Galliano, meanwhile, tapped into his own strict Roman Catholic upbringing for a show that featured some deconstructions of nun-wear. Virginie Viard continued to put her own spin on Chanel, but mostly stuck to the house’s codes. However, a YouTube prankster certainly broke some codes by storming on stage to walk with the models during the finale. Gigi Hadid, of all people, was there to personally escort her off the set. Finally, Nicolas Ghesquière presented a collection at Louis Vuitton that riffed on belle epoque–era Paris, but even when Ghesquière ruminates on the past, he can’t help but keep his eyes on the future and the cutting edge of the present. Instead of playing up the period inspiration, the set decoration was essentially just a giant screen that projected the underground producer Sophie’s 2017 music video “It’s Okay to Cry,” the first time the formerly anonymous producer used her own image in her work and came out as a transgender woman. Sophie has already worked with pop stars like Madonna, Rihanna, and Charli XCX, but who knows, maybe front row attendees like Mark Ronson or Justin Timberlake might suddenly be open to a collaboration. As always, you can see the best street style from outside the shows here.
The Bieber-Baldwin Wedding
In the eyes of both the United States Government and the United States Tabloid–Industrial Complex, Justin Bieber and Hailey Bieber (née Baldwin) have been married for over a year now, having done so in a quicky courthouse ceremony in New York City. However, the pair were not married in the eyes of their Lord, nor in front of the eyes of their friends and family members. For that occasion, they decided to hold their grand nuptials in South Carolina (curiously, a state neither seems to have much connection to; Baldwin was born in Arizona but raised in upstate New York and Bieber, famously, is Canadian). Those friends included a good chunk of the Kardashian-Jenner clan (including a suddenly single Kylie), models like Joan Smalls and Riley Montana, Jaden Smith, Scooter Braun, Justin Skye, and a good chunk of the Baldwins (though apparently Alec Baldwin skipped out). Details of the actual ceremony have remained pretty tight—the bride even approached the wedding venue underneath a white tent that was moved along with her by security guards, lest paparazzi get a peek at her dress (which, we assume, will eventually be unveiled somewhere).
Natalie Portman in Space
Joker won’t even be out until Friday, and yet we’re already exhausted by all the discourse around it. The backstory here is that Todd Phillips, the director behind the “The Hangover Trilogy,” has decided that the culture is now too woke to make comedy movies (we guess somebody didn’t see Girls Trip), so he’s decided he’s throwing his jokes out the window because he wants to make something real. Or he wants to make shameless Martin Scorsese rip-off films. The DC film bosses, desperate to make everyone forget things like Justice League and the non–Harley Quinn parts of Suicide Squad, were just like, “Yeah, sure, make a dark movie with our clown boy.” Joaquin Phoenix signed on (reportedly after Leonardo DiCaprio was first considered), and now it’s here. The film pulled off a shock by winning the Golden Lion at the Venice International Film Festival, but critical reception has been more mixed. While Phoenix’s performance is mostly getting praise, some critics are definitely behind Phillips’s vision, while others point out that it’s like someone took parts of Scorsese’s Taxi Driver, mixed it in with Scorsese’s King of Comedy, turned it up to 11, twisted it to appeal to lonely, angry, straight Internet fanboys, and then put clown makeup on it. Meanwhile, some law enforcement agencies across the country are worried that the film could trigger episodes of “incel violence,” though there’s been no specific threat. Really, our only hard take on the matter at this moment is that if you’re going to watch this thing, you should even it out by also watching Phoenix in last year’s criminally underseen You Were Never Really Here, from director Lynne Ramsay. There he also plays a lonely, depressed man prone to violence, but it’s far less likely to incite incels, to say the least. It’s streaming on Amazon Prime.
While you’d think Joker would provide a good opportunity for another studio to put out some counter-programming (say, a Mandy Moore rom-com or one of those movies where Diane Keaton and Ellen Burstyn decide to take MMA classes or something), your only other options are in limited release. Noah Holloway, the prestige TV auteur of Fargo and Legion fame, gets his crack at the big screen in Lucy in the Sky, which finds Natalie Portman as an astronaut who starts to crack up after going to space. Unfortunately, it’s getting blanked by the critics. Fun fact: Reese Witherspoon was originally signed on to star before pulling out to make Big Little Lies season two work. It’s probably for the best. Meanwhile, the latest from the beloved Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar hits our shores this weekend. Pain and Glory is the first of his films to prominently feature Almodóvar’s two greatest muses, Antonio Banderas and Penelope Cruz, and is also his best-received feature since Volver. It’s also his most autobiographical film to date, with Banderas playing a director looking back at his films and loves. A well-received Almodóvar feature is always a threat in the Oscars’ foreign language film race, but Banderas is in the Best Actor discussion as well.
Television premiers have slowed down since last week’s big network spree, but on Sunday, the CW introduces us to Ruby Rose’s take on Batwoman, if that’s your thing. Though maybe we’re most excited for Phoebe Waller-Bridge hosting Saturday Night Live with musical guest Taylor Swift.
The Spanish singer Rosalía is making her movie debut in America this week, and also had her American fashion mag premiere as one of our most recent cover stars.