Archive for Stemware

The new automotive priorities

The big thing at General Motors this fall, apparently, is in-car Wi-Fi. A two-page Buick ad in the new InStyle (October) contains this image:

In the back seat of a Buick Regal

The young lady, resplendent in orange, is obviously making best use of her time in the back seat. (Of course it’s the back seat: you don’t want drivers doing this, the curve of the roofline gives it away, and anyway this is the view from outside the car.) Apart from telling you that you can get a mobile hotspot, though, this ad tucks in a couple of additional messages that aren’t spelled out:

  • The average age of Buick buyers has actually been declining, from recently deceased to somewhere in the fifties, but there’s really no percentage to marketing to us old codgers, set in our ways, so let’s show someone about half that age.
  • Fear of cramped back seats haunts us all, or at least those of us who occasionally might find occasion to carry someone in the back seat, so the fact that Miss Tablet can actually cross her legs back there is reassuring, though I’m not sure how close her head is to the ceiling.

This latter point is seldom made by automakers; I can remember only once in recent years when it was blatant, and even then it was only a tweet.

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The adventures of Sophie

Once upon a time, there was a British band called “theaudience,” which was given to songs with fab titles like “A Pessimist Is Never Disappointed” and “If You Can’t Do It When You’re Young, When Can You Do It?”

Theaudience managed only the one album, back in 1998, before breaking up; lead singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor, then nineteen, went on to a solo career, and has now released five albums, the most recent being Wanderlust, from which we extract the current single, “The Deer and the Wolf.”

Definitely a departure from her dance-pop days. And this came out day before yesterday:

I sort of explained Pretty Polly last summer.

This is the cover art from Wanderlust:

Cover art from Wanderlust by Sophie Ellis-Bextor

Why the lapses into Cyrillic? Ellis-Bextor has said that the album is like “a soundtrack to an Eastern European film from the 1970s,” and indeed one track features a Bulgarian choir, recorded at the Bulgarian Embassy in London:

It’s not often I’ve stuffed a post into four different categories.

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Coolen on the side

Nancy Anna Francina Coolen wound up with a shortened name (“Nance”), a career in Eurodance music, and a second career as a TV host, all before turning 40. (She’s 41 tomorrow.) There is, of course, the usual array of slightly exciting pictures:

Nance Coolen

Nance Coolen

Nance was discovered by Ruud van Rijen, who created the dance act Twenty 4 Seven in 1989. She remained with van Rijen through 1996; he continues the group today.

This video, set to Nance’s 2003 solo single “If You Wanna Dance,” contains a brief history of her career:

Last I looked, she was doing Showniews for the Dutch channel SBS 6.

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Wayne’s whirled

Carol Wayne, born on this date in 1942, started out as a perfectly serious figure skater, and later became a perfectly serious actress. Here we see her on an episode of I Spy, making a perfectly serious phone call:

Carol Wayne in The Trouble with Temple episode of I Spy

However, she’s probably best remembered as the Matinee Lady opposite Tea Time Movie host Art Fern:

Carol Wayne with Johnny Carson

I have no idea what that day’s movie was, but I suspect the sponsor was located near the Slauson Cutoff.

She died under mysterious circumstances in Mexico in 1985. All the more reason, I think, to see that she’s not forgotten. (As if.)

Update: Substituted another picture for the second one. (See comments).

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This could go on for a while

“Bengü” is a Turkish adjective commonly used as a given name: it means “eternal” or “endless.” Meet Turkish singer Bengü — last name Erden — born in İzmir in 1979, who has been making records since the turn of the century:

Publicity photo for Bengu, circa 2003

Album art from Saygimdan by BenguIf I’ve counted correctly, Saygımdan (“Out of Respect”), released in 2013, is her ninth album; the title song is up on YouTube but for some reason — presumably, the desire of her record label — is not embeddable. The lyrics are vaguely Taylor Swift-y:

I don’t bow before anyone, but with you I am leveled to the ground,
I always leave and walk away, it is for the first time I stopped and turned around,
I cried, I silently gathered it all within me,
I raged, but then I calmed down.

(Translation found here; it was better, I thought, than Google’s.)

An earlier song, “Unut Beni” (“Forget Me”), from her 2007 album Taktik, which means pretty much what it sounds like:

And a more recent photo:

Publicity photo for Bengu, circa 2014

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As real as it may seem

Former teen dream Debbie Gibson turns 44 this Sunday, and since I’ve been paying attention all along, I’m in a position to toss you a few not-entirely-random factoids regarding the Debster:

Oh, and she still dresses up nicely:

Debbie Gibson at Madison Square Garden

Of course, the main event for the evening was Rockets vs. Knicks, but hey: it’s exposure, and it’s New York exposure.

And because I think highly of this song, here’s Deb’s last official Billboard Hot 100 chart item: “Losin’ Myself,” a seriously moody number written by DG with Carl Sturken and Evan Rogers (Rythm Syndicate), which peaked at #86 in early 1993.

Too much too soon, maybe?

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Winding up like this

From about a week and a half ago, here’s Jessica Alba, doing that ceremonial first-pitch thing for the Dodgers:

Jessica Alba throws out the first pitch at Chavez Ravine

Good form, as they say. Still, the Brewers scored seven runs in the first four innings and the Dodgers failed to catch up, falling 7-2.

Speaking of good form, here’s a January still from Late Night with Jimmy Fallon:

Jessica Alba looking Jessica Alba-esque

Readers of Fashion Bomb Daily approved this look by better than seven to two.

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The Hoffette

I almost titled this “Sand, which is there,” but thought better of it. This is Hayley Hasselhoff, twenty-two on Tuesday, the younger daughter of David Hasselhoff (yes!) and Pamela Bach:

Hayley Hasselhoff at the beach

In 1999 and 2000, she did a couple of episodes of Baywatch, the first alongside older sister Taylor-Ann. Since turning 14, she has worked mostly as a “plus-size” model, though she had a role in the short-lived ABC Family series Huge, playing the skinniest girl at fat camp.

Commenting on that “plus-size” thing:

“There’s two different types of plus size — there’s plus size in the world, which may seem demeaning, but then there’s plus size in the industry, which is completely different… People always want to go to the extreme negative side of things, and it’s the same with plus-sized models. Plus size in the industry means curves. Let me break it down for you. Straight sized boards are models size 0-6. Plus size boards are models starting at a 10. If a size 8 girl was 5’11” and curvy, she’d be on the plus sized board, because there’s nothing in between.”

Hayley is five-seven and wears a 14:

Hayley Hasselhoff posing

She’s represented by Wilhelmina.

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Unfrosted Scandinavian

Let’s say you’re a single mom in her late twenties with a four-year-old boy. What are your dating prospects? If you’re Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby, evidently pretty good, because you met up with Crown Prince Haakon, next in line to the Norwegian throne, and now you’re the Crown Princess.

After writing that, I couldn’t resist passing this on:

Mette-Marit at church

Here, Mette-Marit is attending a service at the Norwegian Seamen’s Church of New York, on the upper West Side. Her Royal Highness is forty-one today; she and the Crown Prince have two children with titles. (Her son from her wild single days is acknowledged, but of course carries no title.)

One more for good measure:

Mette-Marit at the podium

Reportedly, HRH is subject to wild weight swings, and other rumors persist. Then again, what would royalty be without rumors?

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Stronger than Trabants

I admit, I can’t read the model’s expression on this package:

Package of Enda brand pantyhose

It’s a look that definitely predates German reunification in 1990: these are East German tights, mit Gesäßerweiterung, which Google persists in altering just enough to mean “with vasodilation.” So: East German support hose, and why the heck not?

Back then Esda was using some mysterious fiber called “Dederon,” which turns out to be a version of Perlon/Nylon 6 that the DDR chose to name for itself. Esda’s plant in Auerbach, Saxony apparently still exists, though the company is now a part of Ergora Fashion GmbH in nearby Oberlungwitz.

Personal note: Back in the 1990s, I had a dental hygienist who looked almost exactly like this, minus the eyeroll, at least from here up: I never saw her in a dress. Which is probably just as well, since I’d probably have asked her to run away with me¹ to Germany or something.

¹ Yeah, right.

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No sign of the dollar

I admit to not having had much use for Ke$ha, as the singer used to spell it, even if she did move 14 million downloads of “Tik Tok.” Having reverted to simply “Kesha,” she’s pushed herself a little farther, and while looking for something else — isn’t that always the case? — I stumbled across this track from her 2012 album Warrior. It’s the last song in the collection, it’s the only one she wrote herself, and I think she’s won me over:

(If this vaguely reminds you of Sia’s “Chandelier,” a favorite in these parts, well, it’s the same producer: Greg Kurstin. And Kesha’s song came out first.)

And you know, I’m the last guy in the world to complain about blue and/or purple hair, even on the Tonight Show:

Kesha on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon July 2014

(Photo by Theo Wargo/NBC.)

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In the interests of civilization

Meaningless factoid: Lauren Bacall was a first cousin to Israeli president Shimon Peres.

Lauren Bacall and friend

Above, Bacall’s influence on a well-trained critter. Below, Bacall’s influence on a somewhat less well-trained critter:

Bugs Bunny and Lauren Bacall in 'Slick Hare', 1947

Meaningless factoid: Lauren Bacall is the only Oscar winner to have been married to two other Oscar winners: Humphrey Bogart (of course) and Jason Robards.

Something to track down: the dubbed English version of Ernest et Célestine, a French-Belgian animated film based on Gabrielle Vincent’s books, in which Bacall is the voice of The Grey One, caretaker at a mouse orphanage. Released early this year, it was her last film credit.

Not at all meaningless, an exchange between Bogie and Bacall from The Big Sleep:

Philip Marlowe: You wanna tell me now?

Vivian Rutledge: Tell you what?

Philip: What it is you’re trying to find out. You know, it’s a funny thing. You’re trying to find out what your father hired me to find out, and I’m trying to find out why you want to find out.

Vivian: You could go on forever, couldn’t you? Anyway it’ll give us something to talk about next time we meet.

Philip: Among other things.

The world seems a bit less civilized now.

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Double the licks

Electra and Elise Avellán are 28 today; you may have seen them in the Robert Rodriguez segment of Grindhouse or Rodriguez’ subsequent screamfests Machete and Machete Kills. Here they’re just a pair of twins selling sweet stuff:

Electra and Elise Avellan in Two Scoops

Except, of course, that they’re not. Rodriguez’ short Two Scoops — I’d embed it here, but it’s technically unlisted at YouTube, so I’m sending you to Miramax instead — reveals their True Identities and a great deal more. (It helps, if you’re looking for a role in a Rodriguez film, to be his niece; they’re actually related to Rodriguez’ ex-wife, Elizabeth Avellán, but she is still VP and co-owner of his production company, so they’re not entirely estranged.)

And here’s a shot out of costume, I think:

Elise and Electra Avellan at a press conference

Maybe I’ll rethink that vanilla.

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Zooeypalooza 21!

I can go on only so long without knocking out one of these. And it’s slightly bigger than usual: twelve pictures instead of nine, ten or eleven.

Zooeypalooza 21!

As usual, you may click to embiggen.

YesterPaloozas: ZP 1, ZP 2, ZP 3, ZP 4, ZP 5, ZP 6, ZP 7, ZP 8, ZP 9, ZP 10, ZP 11, ZP 12, ZP 13, ZP 14, ZP 15, ZP 16, ZP 17, ZP 18, ZP 19, ZP 20.

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The operative word is “funny”

The Daily Show’s bio of correspondent Jessica Williams:

Jessica Williams is an actress, writer, and all-around funny lady from Los Angeles, California. She credits her ability to be hilarious on her very large funny bone. No really, she has been six feet tall since she was in middle school. At first she was awkward and super weird. Then she became funny and still super weird.

They say “super weird” like it’s a bad thing.

She started on The Daily Show in 2012, reporting from the Republican primary in South Carolina, which gave her the perfect excuse to show up to the Comedy Awards:

Jessica Williams at the 2012 Comedy Awards

I do love that dress. (And I wonder how hard it was to find the shoes, since she admits to a size 11.) She turns 25 on Wednesday.

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You’ll have a ball

And apparently you don’t need to hold it up, either:

1950s advertisement for NoMend hosiery

Mayer-Beaton Corporation of Wayne, New Jersey owned this brand, which was made in a mill in Philadelphia that closed around 1955. The company still owned several brands of unmentionables after that; trademarks owned by them started to show up as Cancelled Section 8 — no declaration of continued use — in the 1980s.

I also got a CD cover out of this.

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In which Mindy projects

There’s actually no projected date for the publication of Mindy Kaling’s second book, Why Not Me? It didn’t stop her, though, from putting up some Instagrams from the photo shoot for the book cover, a couple of which I’ve borrowed, with the help of InStyle.

This first lacy thingumabob comes from Dolce & Gabbana:

Mindy Kaling in D and G

And this, with pockets yet, from 5th & Mercer:

Mindy Kaling in 5th and Mercer

If you’re not familiar with 5th & Mercer, it’s a line designed by La La Anthony, who is married to NBA star Carmelo Anthony. The shoes are all Jimmy Choos.

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Getting procedural

Ever been fired and then rehired? AJ Cook has:

After a week of negotiations, AJ Cook just closed a two-year deal to return to CBS’ drama Criminal Minds as a regular. She will guest star in the series’ sixth season finale on May 18 before re-joining the show full-time in the fall.

Cook departed Criminal Minds after the end of last season when her option was not picked up, stirring outcry among fans of the show. She appeared in the first two episodes of this season to wrap the storyline of her character JJ, who was transferred from the BAU to a job at the Pentagon.

She wasn’t a proper profiler, but was serving as the BAU’s media liaison; when she returned in season seven, she’d apparently been trained as a profiler.

Then again, that two-year deal was signed in 2011. Two years later, here she is doing an upfront at CTV:

AJ Cook at CTV

Criminal Minds finished its ninth season this spring, and will be back this fall; everything I’ve seen says that AJ will be back with it.

From the massive collection of Things I Didn’t Know: As a child, AJ was legally blind, and wasn’t much better than that as an adult. Severe astigmatism, they said:

“I was that little kid with Coke bottle glasses,” she recalls. “I started wearing contacts at a really young age because I was a dancer and I couldn’t dance on stage with glasses on.”

Even laser eye surgery wasn’t an option because, as the actress explains, “They’d have to take away too much of my eye. It’s way too dangerous.”

Then a new procedure emerged called Visian ICL, a lens implant that corrects the impairment. So [in 2007] Cook had the surgery done.

Incidentally, this is the second character on Criminal Minds who’s gotten a mention here, the first being Kirsten Vangsness, who plays Penelope Garcia.

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Like this stuff grows on trees or something

After World War II, DuPont, inventor of nylon, went back to vending it as a silk substitute, but a lot of wholly unrelated requests came in over the transom, and the versatile polymer was pressed (or extruded, or whatever) into service in many different forms. One of the least likely, perhaps, was Remington’s Nylon 66 rifle, with nylon stock and receiver; they sold a million of them, and heaven knows how much .22LR, in thirty years.

But in the 1950s, DuPont’s bread and butter for nylon was still the garment industry, and when they came up with new dyed versions of the fiber, well, this was the result:

DuPont institutional ad for stockings in color

(Note: This embiggens to over 1.2 MB.)

Hosiery manufacturers rushed to take advantage of the new colors, just in time for the Sixties.

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A hint of thirst

First she was Agnes Monica Muljoto, which was quickly shortened to simply “Agnes Monica,” under which name the Indonesian singer released several albums, the last of which was a best-of package called Agnes Is My Name. And then, suddenly, it wasn’t; she resurfaced as “Agnez Mo,” perhaps in the interest of getting some recognition in the States. I think I’d recognize someone like this:

Agnez Mo in 12/13 Regard Magazine

That business about “Coke Bottle” in the text refers to this:

Something of a departure, I think, from her earlier image:

Agnez Mo

Of course, I’m old enough to remember when “Coke Bottle” described cars:

Chevrolet Camaro

And it’s not like Agnez is some sort of throwback, either. In a weird sort of marketing innovation, the aforementioned Agnes Is My Name compilation was distributed through KFC locations in Indonesia: you could buy it separately, or it could be thrown in with the purchase of a combo meal. The album moved about a million copies.

(Now that I think about it, though, it’s probably a good thing that the album came out before the “Coke Bottle” single, inasmuch as the 400-odd KFC stores in Indonesia sell Pepsi.)

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Swiftly moving

Literally tens of pictures of Taylor Swift cross my desk every month. More, even, now that the @SwiftOnSecurity Twitter account is up to teach us civilians about encryption and post observations like this:

But I wanted to run this one, reportedly snapped after she left the gym Monday, because (1) I can’t help wondering what she’s listening to and (2) she’s a trifle banged up, which supports my ongoing notion that anything perfect is fake.

Taylor Swift doing the long stride

First person to ask “You noticed she’s wearing earbuds?” is forthwith banished.

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Some last-century thinking

There are message boards that specialize in girlie pix, and even in sections of girlie pix, one of which (never you mind) was offering this stirring photo of Carole Lombard from here down:

Carole Lombard, mostly

The description hinted that there was something risqué about the full photo, which of course I immediately sought out:

Carole Lombard with John Barrymore

Her partner in crime here is John Barrymore, and this turns out to be a publicity still for Columbia’s 1934 comedy Twentieth Century, much of which is set on the fabled 20th Century Limited train between New York and Chicago. The key number here is 1934, that being the year that the Production Code was first enforced, and needless to say, the Hays Office would have had a problem with this sort of thing. This image wasn’t in the actual film, though, so it fell under the jurisdiction of the Advertising Advisory Council, headed by Joseph I. Breen, later the Production Code’s chief enforcer. An explanation, plus a larger version of the photo:

One wonders which more drew the wrath of the moralist Breen: the acres and acres of lovely Lombard leg on display, or the hint of a nipple just above Barrymore’s hand. Maybe both were equal opportunity offenders. And perhaps Carole and John knew this picture wasn’t going to pass muster anyway, so instead they decided to milk it for all its worth, sort of along the lines of Jean Harlow flashing a topless display “for the boys in the lab” at the end of her rain barrel scene in Red Dust two years before.

Oh, my, yes, Red Dust (MGM, ’32). Even in the surviving footage, the normally unflappable Clark Gable seems seriously flapped.

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Faye accompli

Faye Emerson, born on this date in 1917, sticks in my mind because she did all manner of television in the 1950s: variety shows, game shows, you name it. Of course, she didn’t start out that way: in the 1940s she was on the Warner Bros. studio payroll, and while she never made it up to the A-list, she was pretty much always working, and pretty much always pretty:

Faye Emerson, starlet

Curiously, while I was out looking for additional photos, I encountered this phenomenon:

Faye Emerson wardrobe malfunction

This 1950 clip, once you get past the Pepsi promotion, illustrates how such a thing could be possible in that sanitary age:

Bonus: Steve Allen in his late twenties.

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I have no idea if she’s brassy

When Robert Stacy McCain invented Rule 5 back in 2009, part of his rationale was this:

All politics all the time gets boring after a while. Observant readers will notice that the headlines at Hot Air often feature silly celebrity tabloid stuff and News Of The Weird. Even a stone political junkie cannot subsist on a 24/7 diet of politics. The occasional joke, the occasional hot babe, the occasional joke about a hot babe — it’s a safety valve to make sure we don’t become humorless right-wing clones of those Democratic Underground moonbats.

I’ve never been all politics all the time, but five years later, I can usually count on about 100 extra visitors from whatever hot-babe pictures I can come up with, which is a decent bump if you’re averaging a couple thousand a week. Besides, I do try to challenge myself to come up with something interesting to say, the Zooeypaloozas aside.

None of which really explains how I stumbled across Turkish actress Tuba Büyüküstün, whom I simply had to write about because (1) she’s gorgeous and (2) it’s her birthday and (3) “Tuba” is actually her middle name and (4) did you see all those umlauts?

From the Turkish edition of Elle, December 2012:

Tuba Büyüküstün in Elle Turkey 12/12

Tuba Büyüküstün in Elle Turkey 12/12

Also from Elle, a year earlier, she accepts a Style Award. She’s obviously pregnant in the video; she gave birth to twin girls in January 2012. (She’s married to Turkish actor Onur Saylak.)

Oh, her actual first name is Hatice, and she’s thirty-two today. And yes, this is the second time I’ve reported on a Turkish actress this week. Like I said, I retain a certain fondness for the place.

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Like a Bosphorus

I usually don’t bother to show you jeans advertising, especially Turkish jeans advertising, but one thing led to another, and besides, it’s in Istanbul, which remains one of my favorite cities despite the fact that I haven’t been there in nearly forty years.

Anyway, this is the spot:

The chap is named Francisco Lachowski, as un-Turkish a name as you’re likely to find in beautiful downtown Byzantium, but it was, I must admit, the young lady who caught my eye: Serenay Sarıkaya, twenty-three today, first runner-up in the 2010 Miss Turkey pageant, representing Ankara, the capital. (She was born in Antalya.) Before I saw the TV spot, I saw this still, which someone apparently snagged from a Flash piece:

Serenay Sarıkaya for Mavi Jeans

What prompted all this, actually, was happening upon a reference to Mavi Jeans, a Turkish denim brand: “Mavi” being the Turkish word for “blue,” I got a bit giggly for a moment, and maybe more so when I found their American storefront — which is built on a Tumblr blog.

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Where’s my quest?

Every day is a good day to celebrate Felicia Day, but today is her birthday — her 37th — and she’s out of town, so she won’t notice this. In fact, she’s been in Europe for the last week, meeting up with that sector of the fanbase.

Now that The Guild has run its course, she’s shown up on Geek & Sundry and done several episodes of Supernatural on the CW. Perhaps the biggest event in her year is Comic-Con in San Diego, coming up in late July. Here’s how she looked for last year’s SDCC:

Felicia Day at Comic-Con 2013

I am quite certain that dress is not microwavable.

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Ghosh of a chance

Payal Ghosh, twenty-four, has appeared in eight different films in five different languages, which seems almost reasonable for a young woman from Kolkata with a political-science degree from the Scottish Church College — which is also in Kolkata.

Payal Ghosh in a lawn chair

Her first appearance was in English, a small role in the BBC telefilm Sharpe’s Peril. She has since appeared in films in Telugu, Tamil and Kannada, and is now working in Hindi; her most recent work, in Vivek Agnihotri’s Freedom (in Hindi), is in post-production.

Payal Ghosh kicks back

And will she ever put that political stuff to work? “You never know where destiny will take you,” she says.

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But enough said about that

Eve Hewson, quoted in the July Vanity Fair: “I dress pretty much like a nine-year-old boy.”

My inner nine-year-old girl was immediately curious, and I hit up the search engines, but found nothing really persuasive. Perhaps this is how she avoids paparazzi, and therefore there are no pictures.

I did, however, find several items like this:

Eve Hewson semi=prone

I certainly don’t remember any of that sort of thing when I was an actual nine-year-old boy.

Eve is her middle name: her first name is Memphis, and her parents are Bono (yes!) and Ali Hewson. Despite serious parental disapproval, she started acting in 2005 at the age of fourteen in Erica Dunton’s short Lost and Found alongside older sister Jordan. (Bono, said to be the uncredited producer, presumably is responsible for Eve’s billing as “Brenda M. Stankard.”) Dunton brought her back for the 2008 feature The 27 Club; she’s also appeared in Enough Said (as the daughter of the James Gandolfini character) and This Must Be the Place. In none of these, so far as I can tell, does she look like a subtween boy.

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Seams to me

Socks are not exactly mysterious — I put on a pair at least six days a week — but every now and then I notice that they’re not perfectly lined up. It doesn’t really matter, except for that little area between trouser hemline and shoe top, and probably not there either, but I do get exercised over such things.

Which makes me wonder how in the world women were able to put up with seamed stockings. One answer, circa 1953:

Larkwood hosiery ad from 1953

But seams were on the way out, what with the arrival of circular knitting machines, which had existed since the 1930s but were not perfected until after World War II.

Chadbourn, the Charlotte-based manufacturer of Larkwood, wound up also owning the Hudson brand.

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You’ve seen one, you’ve seen Amal

Or maybe not. George Clooney’s never had any shortage of girlfriends, but Amal Alamuddin seems different somehow. Born in Beirut in 1978, she’s a brand-name barrister at a major British chamber; she has represented Julian Assange, of Wikileaks fame, and former Ukraine prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko. And here, at the Global Summit to end Sexual Violence in Conflict last week, she demonstrates an unusually pronounced ability to stay awake:

Amal Alamuddin at the Global Summit to end Sexual Violence in Conflict

Rumor has it that the pair will wed at a palace in Venice this fall, after one year together, and that Clooney’s been looking for a lovenest in the south of France.

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