MAJOR! This Writer Unfollowed Harper’s Bazaar! Find Out Why.

 
Each month, a glossy, plastic-wrapped issue of Harper’s Bazaar arrives, curved ever so gently to fit into the narrow mailbox in my apartment building’s lobby. I leave it on my desk for a few days, still wrapped, to savor the newness of it, to admire it until I have a slot of time suitable enough to dedicate to the transformative journey of flipping through it. I relish each page, pausing to examine advertisements and earmarking spreads that inspire me. Reading the magazine is something that, for the most part, I greatly enjoy. (I could do without the Terry Richardson-lensed editorials, which are predictably boring and oversexed in a way that seems utterly passe. Read what TheBostonista had to say about Terry-gate and Harper's, here.)

So naturally, I followed Harper’s Bazaar on Facebook, hoping to pepper in chic imagery, wise words, and beauty tips between hard-copied issues. I lasted perhaps a year as a Facebook fan, but can only recall actually enjoying content on the site even half as much as I enjoy the content in the mag itself a handful of times. Mostly, a post from Harper’s Bazaar appearing on my Facebook feed is met with an eyeroll and a rapid flick of my thumb as I quickly scroll down, eradicating it from view. 

Invariably, each post includes at least one word in all CAPS - perhaps at the suggestion of some misguided but well-meaning middle-aged, Gucci-clad social media “expert”. Most posts claim to bear breaking news about the latest hot celebrity of the moment. (Read: flash-in-the-pan-hot, not to be confused with “timeless” or “relevant”-hot.) 

At the time I researched this piece, I examined posts going back twelve hours, and what I found was less than encouraging for the state of publishing - and, dare I say, woman-kind. What do I mean by that? Take a look at the breakdown of topics, below:


11 posts about Hair, Hollywood Starlets, and the hair of Hollywood Starlets
6 posts about dieting, weight loss, curbing appetite
4 posts about the Kardashians / Jenners
2 posts about models
1 post about anti-aging
1 post about Amal Clooney's clever, but over-reported courtroom comeback




The bottom line? There are only so many times I can read posts like “You’ll never BELIEVE who just landed a MAJOR campaign” or “HUGE news for Kendall Jenner!”; headlines designed using the basest of knowledge about consumer behavior, and designed purely to generate clicks, the staggering numbers of which will likely then be presented to advertisers as incentive to purchase more ad space. 

And I, for one, don’t want to be used like that. 

As an example, here’s the title for an article from yesterday:

"Brad Pitt In Talks To Star in Angelina Jolie's Next Film: The actor may star in his wife's next project, 'Africa’. "


Even worse: The title tag, or the page’s title that is visible on the tab, is completely devoid of the speculation that such an unverified piece should have, brazenly declaring the affirmative “Brad Pitt To Star in Angelina’s ‘Africa’ Film.” 

It’s meaningless reporting - who care’s if something may happen?! Many commenters of the mag’s Facebook page echo the same frustration. But it's also irresponsible journalism, in the form of unverified, sweeping statements. It's seems that online, Harper’s is foregoing journalistic integrity in favor of SEO and having one of the earliest scoops on developing (read: undeveloped) stories.

Other posts that claim to have “MAJOR” news or that brazenly declare “HUGE congratulations are in order” link to articles on the magazine’s site with titles like “Lady Gaga and Taylor Kinney Reportedly Planning a Summer Wedding” or “Are Kendall & Kylie Jenner Designing for TopShop?” (Spoiler alert: Possibly? No?) 

After clicking one such link with an image of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard, I quickly learned that there were no less than four posts over the course of nearly a year, linked from Facebook, with headlines to the effect of “Johnny Depp and Amber Heard to Marry This Weekend” or that the celeb duo “Secretly Wed Last Weekend”. So far, none proved true.

Click bait is, sadly, a reality of modern media geared towards young people - particularly young women - and, for better or worse, is employed by sites like Refinery29, StyleCaster, and Nylon. But a bait-and-switch, or the promise of an article the facts of which are not yet confirmed is so low that not even TMZ practices it - I checked.



Perhaps one of the most gnawing frustrations I have with Harper’s shoddy content of late is this: 

I’m a writer. 

Having a job writing for a magazine - or the website version of a magazine - of Harper’s Bazaar’s prestige and cultural and historical significance is one of the holy grails of fashion journalism. I’d be thrilled to one day have the chance write for Harper’s - it had been a dream of mine since I was thirteen, devouring my first issues on my canopy bed in my wisteria-purple bedroom. But I never could have predicted that over a decade later in 2015, part of landing a job there could mean having to write garbage articles like “How To Sculpt Your ‘Lady V’ A La Kendal Jenner” for Facebook clicks.




Why has HarpersBazaar.com, and it’s Facebook page, become a dumping ground for celeb gossip and weight-loss tips? And will the integrity of the actual glossy soon be negatively affected, as well? 

On the magazine’s profile page, the short description reads as follows:

America's first fashion magazine, Harper's Bazaar has showcased the visions of legendary editors, photographers and stylists since 1867.

If Harper’s Bazaar ever get’s back to it’s roots, I will certainly click that “Follow” button again. Until then, I’ll be getting my fashion news elsewhere. Or writing it myself.


Cheers,
Renata

The End of Piperlime (and Tales from the Sales)


I ordered a few winter essentials from Piperlime's Sale before I heard the news that the Gap Inc is to permanently pull the plug on the site in favor of focusing on it's successful brands in its portfolio. These include Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Athleta and Intermix.

IMO, I'd have liked the 'Inc to shutter Gap instead, which has seemingly become ground zero for an endless "50% off Store-wide" sale. But with stiff competition arising online - shopbop.com and bloomingdales.com come to mind for their similar brands and aesthetics - and even from within the company itself - parallel brands and Piperlime's higher pricepoint could have brought out the cannibal in Intermix - it seems Piperlime's sales, which at $100 million made up just 1% of Gap Inc's sales, weren't cutting it.

The lesson here? When life gives you limes...shop the sale while the getting is good.




Moto Jacket, Sister Jane at Piperlime (on sale!) -- More sizes at Asos
Sweater, Joa at Piperlime. (Sold out, but it's also available at Lord & Taylor and Shoptiques.)
"Clubmaster" Sunglasses, Rayban


Cheers,
Renata

The 424 Fifth Spring 2015 Lookbook Is Here!




424 Fifth's Spring 2015 collection is, simply put, completely covetable. I just love the origami-like tailoring in a lot of the pieces, and since Cuba is top-of-mind right now, that's really what I kept thinking of as I scrolled through the collection - there's a really easy elegance (with even a bit of toughness) in many of the pieces.


The accessories and shoes are standouts in particular; they flirt with trends but manage to stay completely fresh. Case in point: The embellished baseball cap in neoprene, and the embellished satin Charlette shoe, thus far the only birkenstock-esque shoe that I would ever wear, let alone that I would drool over. The piece du resistance is the Tropical Embellishment Clutch - texture, color, and a sense of humor: in the bag.

On the clothing tip, I love love love the Textured Floral Jacket and Pant, and the super-sweet birdcage skirt - baby pink is a perfect neutral; it goes with just about anything! Another fave? The Flared Dress: I have some great ideas for layering until the weather warms up. (Hint: a black turtleneck bodysuit is involved...) 

Neoprene Hat with Embellishment

Tropical Embellishment Clutch

Charlette Shoe

Fine Gauge Rib Sweater Tank, Easy Luxe Crepe Pleat Pant, Nafis Shoe

Textured Floral Jacket and Pant, Floral Blouse

Fan Floral Lace Topper, Body Suit, Wide Leg Culotte, Bradd Shoe

Textural Paper Yarn Scoop Neck, Birdcage Skirt, Brad Shoe

Flared Dress, Janah Shoe



Which are your faves? Tweet me @scorpiondisco.com.

Cheers,
Renata

Bar Boulud Boston


Bar Boulud

776 Boylston Street / Boston, MA 02199
617.535.8888


I had my gateway Boulud experience a few years ago, by way of buttery, flaky chocolate croissants, apricot danishes, and cappuccinos at Épicerie Boulud in NYC. Located right around the corner from the Lincoln Center, it's a must-stop for NYFW show-goers (well, the ones that eat, anyway). Although in September and February that intersection is a treacherous zone of street style bloggers and high-heel teeterers, it's well worth it for the pastries - and the people watching.


I diversified my Boulud portfolio with brunch at Cafe Boulud in Palm Beach's famous Brazilian Court Hotel, which was easily the highlight of my stay there.



Dessert at Cafe Boulud in Palm Beach.



So naturally, I, along with every New Englander with taste buds and an affinity for non-fussy haute cuisine, was thrilled to learn that Boulud would be opening a location in Boston.


The inside of the restaurant is an airy contrast of rich wood, red velvet, and white walls, the architecture of which reminded me of being inside the belly of a whale. As such, it was only fitting that I started with Thon Cru ($17), a surprisingly hearty (and predictably satisfying) plate of yellowfin tuna, bottarga, espelette, and meyer lemon. 

For the main course, I opted for a full plate of fluffy, homemade cavatelli with pumpkin and chestnut. The Mr. opted for a classic strip steak, served with bearnaise sauce. 

Never one to pass on dessert, I deliberated between a few choices, including a classic Basque torte, but I heeded the server's suggestion and chose the pineapple coconut coupe. It came highly recommended for the diversity of temperature and consistency - the saccharine, sticky orange toile on top, with a warm crémeux, cool sorbet, soft biscuits and chilly pineapple pieces.


Housemade Pumpkin Cavatelli $17/$25
kale, chestnut, sage, brown butter,
pecorino romano

Boeuf à la Moelle $37
brandt farm new York strip steak, bone marrow, watercress salad, sauce béarnaise


Pineapple Coconut Coupe $10
pineapple, lime biscuit, passion crémeux, coconut foam, orange tuile



Head to Bar Boulud for brunch, lunch, or dinner. Lunch is first come first served and is rumored to center around some mean burgers, but you can make reservations for dinner here.


Have you been Boulud-ed? Tell me about it on twitter or below in the comments!

Bon Appetit,
Renata


Customized Red Lace Dress from eShakti

I showed you a preview a couple weeks ago (see it again here) of a dress from eShakti.com, an e-"tailor" that specializes in customizeable clothing. I dressed up my top pick - a red lace dress - with tough leather accessories, and took it out on the town for a spin around Beacon Hill last weekend.

Dress, eShakti (c/o)
Boots, Charles David via Bloomingdales Wrentham (c/o)

Cheers,
Renata