Shawl Vaults & Cashmere Thoughts

Dames Nationals, Rolling Stone and Rob Sheffield have given us a real gift this week: a truly excellent interview with Stevie Nicks to mark her second induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Some highlights from this interview:

Stevie on her shawls:

I have my shawl vault — they’re all in temperature-controlled storage. I have these huge red cases Fleetwood Mac bought, all the way back in 1975 — my clothes are saved in these cases. All my vintage stuff is protected for all my little goddaughters and nieces. I’m trying to give my shawls away — but there’s thousands of them. If I ever write my life story, maybe that should be the name of my book: There’s Enough Shawls to Go Around.

On her cashmere thoughts:

I mean, I don’t do casual very well. Even my normal life, I’m in cashmere pants and a cashmere sweater and cashmere thoughts.” Cashmere Thoughts is, incidentally, the title of Dame Sophie’s forthcoming chapbook/buying guide for lovers of luxury knitwear at sensible prices. Look for it in deeply obscure bookstores everywhere!

On Tom Petty:

Had he not given me [“Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around”], let me candidly tell you, Bella Donna might not have been a hit. That song kicked Bella Donna right into the universe. My biggest sadness about the Hall of Fame is that Tom is not here to enjoy this with me, because he would have been the proudest of me of anyone.

On Prince:

But you know, I feel like Prince is with me. When I’m nervous, I’ll talk to Prince. In my solo act, when I do ‘Moonlight,’ I wear this white wolfy coat — I put this coat on and I try to transform into a Dire Wolf from Game of Thrones. And before I go on, I always say, “Walk with me, Prince.”

(If these two quotes affected you as deeply as they did We Your Dames, may we recommend  in the strongest possible terms the episode of Chris Molanphy’s stellar podcast Hit Parade in which he focuses on the joint legacy of Prince and Tom Petty. It will leave you suffuse with tears in the best possible way.)

The whole interview is insightful & celebratory, and most of all, highlights Stevie’s decades-long devotion to collaborating with artists she admires, which is pretty much the entire premise of this very newsletter. In fact, we featured Stevie in the Two Bossy Dames’ first issue, and you can count on seeing her here regularly for as long as we keep this enthusiastic enterprise going!


Dame Sophie’s Luxury Assortment

I mean, have you seen Hannah Beachler’s best? It’s extraordinary!

  • The Oscars is like...well, they’re like my second Oscars, really. My first Oscars is the American Library Association’s Youth Media Awards, where the winners of awards such as Pura Belpre, Coretta Scott King, Schneider, Odyssey, Stonewall, Newbery, and Printz are announced. I wasn’t super feeling it for the Oscars this year, for a whole bunch of reasons I haven’t spent enough time examining, but on the plus side, that means that my little Oscars recap is going to be briefer than usual, featuring only highlights of things I cared about in my bones:

  • I’ve been experimenting with not doing any hate-reading for the last few months & that’s been working for me, but I want to draw a distinction between hate-reading and rage-reading. Rage-reading is when you read something you really need to know about, that brings a red curtain of fury drop before your very eyes, and then prompts you to holler about it to a few thousand of your closest friends in your weekly newsletter. This week’s rage-read is brought to you by this stunning revelation in an NPR piece on attempts to improve childbirth safety: "It's mind-boggling that in this day and age, we still don't understand [even] in a normal pregnancy how women go into labor — what triggers labor," Vink says. "Because we don't understand the normal fundamental mechanisms, we can't identify how things go bad — and then how we fix it when things go bad." Emphasis mine, h/t beloved DamesPal Ann, convenor of The Pallas Network, an online community for GenX and older Millennial women. Call the Midwife, call the National Institutes of Health, call the American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists, call everyone you know and ask them if it’s ever occurred to them to wonder what triggers labor. I know lots of people who have been in labor, including myself, and prior to reading this article, never once had I wondered about why it happens when it does, and now I’m furious about that, too. Why does nobody talk about this?

  • You know what I love? A useful metaphor/schema. You know who’s come up with a great one this week? Fiona, aka the originator of the greatest thread of 2017-18, Cate Blanchett & Harry Styles, Fashion Twins. Behold, a new vocabulary for talking about the many ways the celebrities we love make us feel: The Lenses! Essential for fans of faves everywhere.

  • Listen, I know it’s ridiculous that the 2020 US Presidential election cycle has already begun. I know this. And yet, I’m just not the kind of person who can ignore it for the next year now that it’s already happening. Some things that have caught my eye recently, that I think are worth passing along for consideration by my fellow mid-range political obsessives include:

    • What if womanhood were not a disqualification for running for office, but instead a qualifying asset? I’m delighted that this cycle’s Democratic field includes brilliant, thoughtful women like Elizabeth Warren and Kirsten Gillibrand. Yes, please, let’s talk about the crisis of how life-derailingly expensive childcare is, and get behind some proposals to make it easier for mothers to re-enter the workforce if and when they want to.

    • I’m also very impressed by Pete Buttigieg. In addition to having a compelling personal story and being, at 37, the youngest member of the field, he comes across as being compassionate & responsible on a molecular level. More of this, please.  

    • Stacey Abrams isn’t running for president yet, but she may well run for the Senate to represent her home state of Georgia in 2020. You all know how I love a planner, and Stacy is a breathtakingly skillful layer of philosophically-backed groundwork. Get to know her better by listening to (or reading) this engaging, wide-ranging, and fun interview on Why Is This Happening? with Chris Hayes.

Here’s a super-handy gif of Richard E. Grant, being extremely Lensy for his lifelong crush, Barbra Streisand


What Dame Margaret Could Pull Together Before the Victorian Milk Punch Took Hold

  • Sometimes, the auto-play algorithm on YouTube presently me with an extremely delightful surprise, as with this video of Amy Sedaris discussing the decor of her West Village apartment, perhaps the most perfect encapsulation of my decorating aesthetics that I have ever seen. If you, Dames Nationals, would like to start sending me charming flea market paintings in twee frames, I would appreciate that extremely.

  • Considering that when I saw my first Orolay parka in real life last month, I felt wryly starstruck (as if I had just seen a minor Instagram Influencer at my local bar), I am dead center in the target audience for an article about how a random coat from Amazon achieved this off-beat cache. However, even if you’ve never heard of “the Amazon coat”, I think you’ll enjoy this fascinating article about how it went “viral” and how consumer trend clickbait gets made.

  • Eternal #damesfav (and past guest editor) Jasmine Guillory has been producing some terrific #content about writing romance novels-- a task at which she absolutely excels. A link round-up:

  • Speaking of Modern Love, let me share with you my newest obsession: Netflix’s show Dating Around. It has a very simple structure: you watch one person go on five first dates and, at the episode’s end (~25 minutes later), you find out which of the five people they opt to go on a second date with. The six episodes go down so smooth and fast, you’ll barely even notice you’ve finished. Fair warning, the first episode is the most annoying episode because it’s the only one that focuses on the type of people dating shows usually feature-- a pretty boring straight guy dating pretty normal straight girls. Subsequent to that, however, it’s all combo breakers! An Indian divorcee! QUEER PEOPLE OF COLOR! A 70-something private detective!! They are ALL GREAT! To regain your equilibrium after episode two, you’ll want to read this lovely interview with Gurki Basra, that episode’s primary dater. And, once you’ve binged all six, you’ll need this essential Vulture piece deciding which people from each episode you’d fuck, marry, or kill.

  • And finally, not particularly related to any of the above, Emma Thompson once again justified our love by taking an elegant, concrete stand against rehabilitating John Lasseter, one of the many Hollywood bigwigs felled by #MeToo allegations. She has put a foot wrong on this issue before (by blindly signing a letter of support for Roman Polanski, for which she apologized immediately and thoroughly), so it’s particularly satisfying to see her do the right thing with such unerring confidence.   

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