Dames Nation, we know that you knew this was coming.
We just mean... when a moment like this EXISTS, how can you NOT open your newsletter with it, right? Right.
In addition, it pairs PERFECTLY with this news story out of Scotland (found for us by Sir Marcus, Dame Sophie's charming consort): last night, Mhairi Black, a 20 year-old university student, ousted her district's long-term Labour MP and became the youngest MP since 1667/a lone bright spot in the otherwise dire UK election results. When asked by BuzzFeed News if she was nervous about heading to Westminster, she replied “Nope – and I’m not saying that in an arrogant way, I’m saying that because I’m not the one who should be nervous – it’s all of them down there who have to answer for what they’ve done, they’re the ones who have to be accountable...If I become an MP, the nerves should be on their part. Not mine.”
Hello Two Bossy Dames!
I'm traveling to Nice, Monaco, and along the Italian coast later this year and wondered if you could recommend me some good fiction and movies set along the Mediterranean coast? This is my favorite way of doing "research" on places that I plan to visit and I thought you lovely ladies may have some advice for me =).
Your newsletters makes me smile and fantasize about quitting my job to become a librarian every week and for that I thank you!!
Ooooh, we do love a cultural advisory question! Setting aside our profound envy about your upcoming vacation, here are some books and movies that might suit!
Roman Holiday: Audrey Hepburn. Gregory Peck. Princess has a normal day. Iconic.
A Room With A View: Florentine setting, swoony kisses, Dames Maggie Smith & Judi Dench, and an early, almost unrecognizably effete Daniel Day-Lewis.
Cinema Paradiso: Do you love movies? How about love stories? Friendship? WATCH THIS.
To Catch A Thief: a sexy, stylish, witty jewelry heist at Le Cote d’Azure, starring Grace Kelly & Cary Grant.
The Moon-Spinners: a Hayley Mills teen flick about a girl in Greece for the summer, and there’s...a mystery? Dame Sophie watched this as a tween and was entranced by the scenery and the cute boy, and doesn’t remember too much about the plot, to be honest.
Il Postino: Another swoony friendship & romance story, this time about the power of poetry (thanks, Pablo Neruda!).
The Arkadians, by Lloyd Alexander: One of young Dame Margaret's very favorite books, an adventure story about a High Priestess on the lam from corrupt government officials that plunders all the best stories our of Greek mythology and stitches them together again in one long tale.
Beautiful Ruins, by Jess Walter: To be 100% honest, this was a book Dame Sophie did not fall in love with, but many people whose opinion she respects absolutely adore it. And the setting is unquestionably on-point.
My Brilliant Friend, by Elena Ferrante: The first in Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels series, this addictive story tracks the complex and competitive friendship between two girls as their lives take vastly different paths in post-WW2 Italy.
The Queen’s Thief (series), by Megan Whalen Turner: These are fantasy, set in an alternate world that resembles the area around the Mediterranean. To tell you much of the plot is to give away many of the great pleasures of reading these books, but we can say that there are wonderful twists & turns, power plays, and one of the great romances of YA within the pages of the four books published so far.
And finally, there are a bunch of Jeeves & Wooster stories set on the French Riviera, too! So just take a jump into those -- even the ones that aren't location specific will certainly be mood appropriate for your lovely-sounding vacation.
Don't forget to your Dames a postcard!
Fashion Advice Follow Up!
As promised, we've gathered together all your fashion blog recommendations for last week's advisee, M. And, as suspected, you sent us close to a million great ones!
The Clothes Horse (Thus far, the one that's awakened the most profound clothes-lust in Dame M.)
Jamala Johns's many Style boards on Pinterest/also everything she does there, because all of it is INCREDIBLE.
No longer updated, but with inspirational archives:
Scathingly Brilliant (A strong contender, also, for the title "Twee as Hell.")
Highly aspirational, but great nonetheless:
The Mindy Project Style, which documents both the fashion choices of the fictional Dr. Mindy Lahiri and the actual Mindy Kaling.
Our Tunes, Our Selves:
Wynter Gordon’s “Bleeding Out” is languorous and sad and compulsively listenable. We await her forthcoming EP with enthusiasm!
Alt.Latino delves into the longstanding passion many Mexicans and Mexican-Americans have for Morrissey (for The Smiths, too, but especially for their moody, literary frontman).
Hugh Jackman lip-syncs to Bacon Pancaaaaaaakes, Dame Sophie Dies Instantly. (There's an extended remix with Jay-Z and Alicia Keys, but click only if you desire an endless earworm. It is amazing, but is also basically a 10-hour audio GIF.)
FASHION: Turn to the Left!
The best hats at the Kentucky Derby. We do appreciate fine millinery. Dame Sophie’s favorites are the ones with the architectural elements.
These photos of Frida Kahlo’s wardrobe are stunning and not a little heartbreaking. One of the captions notes that the worse she felt, the fancier she dressed.
This piece from the Cut argues persuasively that, in addition to being Just What Dames Margaret and Sophie Like Best, the twee girly style embraced by France's Yé-Yé Girls like Francoise Hardy and France Gall was secretly feminist.
And finally, this profile on Monica Prata, a "feminine image consultant" who helps transgender women realistically inhabit their gender, is incredibly interesting. From how she got into the business to what her clients are like to how she feels, as a feminist, teaching markers of "feminine" behavior that correspond to women taking a passive role in the world, it tackles both the issues you'd wish it would and the ones you might not have known to look for.
Miscellany (Turning Up Like a BRIGHT Penny):
In honor of Mother's Day, let's share today's must-read piece: Dames Favorite Taffy Brodesser-Akner's New York Times profile of Kris Jenner, Matriarch-in-Chief of the Kardashian Klan and the ULTIMATE momager.
We've already highlighted this series, but with a line like "If Carrie Brownstein Were Your Girlfriend, you'd always be able to find jeans in your size, even at thrift stores", we had to bring this latest entry to your attention.
The most prominent visual artists of Empire are not only black but American-born, paralleling the cultural importance of American black music throughout the last century. In this sense, the Lyons’ homes are thoroughly African American spaces; the viewer’s access to their richness is deepened by his or her own knowledge and awareness.
Now THAT'S What We Call Graffiti! Anonymous figures from classic paintings enjoy outings into urban settings.
The rise of high school feminism: we want to meet & high five these girls ASAP.
Royal Baby Royal Baby Royal Baaaaaaaby! You don’t need to be flipping out with delight over the birth of HRH Charlotte Elizabeth Diana Windsor, Princess of Cambridge, (known to Dame Sophie as Smooshable Cheeks McGee) to be psyched about the possibility of making some corgi-themed celebratory bunting. That's a hypoallergenic, everyday mood-enhancer everyone can benefit from.
Redman's MTV Cribs episode stands out for its utterly un-self-conscious lack of glamour.
Finally, #DogsAtPollingStations furnished some much-needed levity on voting day in the UK.