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Are you really having a good night if the first thing you did when you walked into the bar wasn’t order a round of tequila shots? Not by my standards. But while tequila may have earned itself a slightly messy reputation and there are those who groan with hungover regret at the mere mention of it, there is a way to properly enjoy the spirit, just as you would with whisky, rum or gin. You simply need to know what to drink and how to drink it. First tip? Ditch the salt and lime.

There are three main types of tequila that you ought to familiarise yourself with before you delve into the world of blue agave-based spirits: plata, reposado and añejo, which essentially translates as unaged, rested and aged. The type you choose depends on your personal taste and, sometimes, what kind of drink you’re trying to whip up, but any tequila worth its salt (or lack of) should taste just as good with tonic as it does in a Margarita. Yes, you read that right. Tequila and tonic: it’s delicious and you should try it.

Not sure which tequila to choose when you next fancy a taste of Mexico? Fear not, because we’ve rounded up some of the best on the market right now that will turn you into a tequila convert after the very first sip. Salud!

Satryna

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Named in honour of La Catrina, one of the most recognisable symbols of Día De Muertos (AKA The Day Of The Dead), Satryna is a tequila brand steeped in history, helmed by an all-female partnership between Nitzan Marrun and Elizabet Tovar. Made using 100 per cent blue weber agave from the fields of Jalisco and benefiting from the rich, volcanic soil near Guadalajara, this is a noticeably smooth spirit with complex floral notes, balanced by a sweet and subtle honey flavour. £62.45. At thewhiskyexchange.com

El Rayo

A new brand that is set on moving tequila away from the sombreros and salsa image it’s had in the past, El Rayo is the kind of tequila that is best enjoyed with tonic in a quiet bar. Distilled using a unique blend of highland and lowland agave, both their blanco and reposado tequilas are light and refreshing, perfect for anyone who has bad memories of the spirit and is looking to rediscover the spirit. From £39.95. elrayotequila.com

Clase Azul Añejo

© Dino Gomez 2010 – www.dinogomez.com

The pièce de résistance of top-quality tequila, Clase Azul’s super-luxe añejo is a silky spirit that you’ll want to savour. Drink it neat, ice cold, and you’ll be treated to a smooth caramel flavour that is as easy to sip as your favourite tequila cocktail. The bottle is also just as impressive as the flavour, crafted using traditional Mexican unfired clay methods for a stunning result that is probably more suited to your mantlepiece than your drinks cabinet. Sip this slowly, because you’ll want to make it last, trust us. £605.78. At masterofmalt.com

Código 1530 Rosa

A rosa tequila? Yep, you better believe it. This little number from Código 1530 gets its pink hue after spending a month in barrels that once held Napa Cabernet wine and is made all the more delicious for it. Adding a fruity twist to its already floral notes, this tequila’s unique resting process truly makes it stand out amongst other tequilas on the market. Add a dash of tonic and you’ll forget that GTs ever existed. £49.95. At masterofmalt.com

Patrón Silver

© wonnacott17

The perfect base for a Margarita, Patrón’s Silver tequila is crisp, citrusy and renowned as one of the best tequilas on the market for a reason. If you’re looking for a crystal-clear spirit that retains the authentic flavours of agave, you’d be hard pressed to find one much better than this. Sometimes the classics truly are the best. £44.95. At thewhiskyexchange.com

Don Julio 1942

Another añejo tequila that proves good things do really come to those who wait, Don Julio 1942 has a creamy taste that also makes it perfect for sipping either on its own or with tonic. Each bottle is aged for at least two years in American white-oak barrels, infusing it with sweet notes of vanilla, caramel and tropical fruits for a truly exceptional tequila. £125. At thewhiskyexchange.com

Cazcabel Tequila Blanco

Cazcabel’s blanco tequila is a brilliant and affordable option if you’re looking for a classic tequila, but it’s the brand’s more unique blends that infuse honey and coffee that you should really look out for. Its coffee tequila in particular is unlike anything you’ll have ever tried before and is practically begging to be experimented with by a mixologist. Rich and chocolatey, we can’t wait to give an Espresso Margarita a try with this blend. £25. At masterofmalt.com

Now read

GQ’s guide to the best mezcals on the market

The best gins to make the perfect gin and tonic

Scotch of the week: The Tweeddale Grain Of Truth

All products featured on the website are independently selected by our Editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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Universally acknowledged as the most stylish movie ever made, director Federico Fellini’s three-hour magnum opus La Dolce Vita – rereleased to celebrate its 60th anniversary and the auteur’s centenary – stands as a staggering achievement in the history of cinema.
Acutely apposite for a country that had arisen from the devastation, and consequent poverty, of the Second World War to grasp a new prosperity that, described as “il boom”, the film, when first aired in Milan on 2 February 1960, cleaved the country in half.

Because of La Dolce Vita’s impertinent blasphemy and frank consideration of homosexuality, prostitution, adultery and sex, Fellini was seen as the Devil incarnate by the fundamentalist Catholic right. He was spat on at the premier and received more than 450 telegrams in 24 hours that condemned him as a communist, a traitor, an atheist and a total gobshite. Many others, however, deemed him the new Messiah and cheered him till they were hoarse. Accordingly, the film won the Palme d’Or at the 1960 Cannes Film Festival and became a cri de coeur for the young and stylish. Its title entered the English language to denote a libertarian lifestyle that, not without barbs, is anything but saccharine: its compelling indictment of the decadence of modern life and mass consumerism is even more evident in 2020. Typically, Fellini claimed he’d used the phrase without any irony to indicate “the sweetness of life” rather than “the sweet life”.

The film tells of a week in the life of an insouciant flâneur, Marcello Rubini (perfectly rendered by established matinée idol Marcello Mastroianni), a middle-class scribe who has sidelined his literary ambitions to become a gossip columnist. As such he buzzes about the party circuit reporting on the thrilling undertakings of the well-heeled epicureans who strut and preen around the extremely fashionable Via Veneto. Here, as in real life, international movie stars mingled with mobsters, collided with crooks, jostled with gigolos and piddled with impoverished Italian princes who didn’t have a pot to piss in. It was fertile ground for gossip columnists, who worked for Italian sensationalist magazines and tabloids that turned over a million copies a week.

In Fellini’s aggrandised, slightly surreal depiction of the “scene”, said sybarites on Via Veneto are so immaculate and effortlessly elegant that they’d give today’s coolest cats and kittens a severe drubbing in the pali di stile. They’re a timeless bunch – suspect nouveaux-riche, showbiz casualties, intercontinental nobility and hangers-on. Spot on to the last thread, from Nico’s (later of the Velvet Underground) fabulous beatnik black Sloppy Joe jumper and leggings to Mastroianni’s close-cut single-breasted suits, oversized cufflinks and Persol 649s worn day and night as he drives a 1958 Triumph TR3 convertible. The film, a humongous box office success, has influenced global fashion ever since day of release and thus apportioned Italy its enormous reputation as the world’s most stylish country. Subsequently, one laundered in a Zanussi, typed on an Olivetti and, if fortunate, drove a Lamborghini, Ferrari, Alfa Romeo or a Fiat 500. Nowhere was more hep than Italy.

“These films showed us that there was a different world out there for us to grasp,” recalls early modernist and eminent gentleman’s clothier Lloyd Johnson. “Everything was grey in the UK. If you owned three shirts you were glamorous.”

Accordingly, Rome became the desired destination. And if you couldn’t afford the costly trip you drove a Lambretta or a Vespa, wore sunglasses at night, drank cappuccinos and hung out on the street even though it was often pouring with rain. Italianate became an adjective.

But that was then and this is now. Today, flights to Rome are affordable, so, rather than the trip of a lifetime, a visit to the Eternal City is now within reach for most. To whit, I travelled to Rome in search of “the sweetness of life” and flew into Ciampino airport. This is where the film’s famous Swedish-American Sylvia (played by the outrageously curvaceous Anita Ekberg) alights only to be met by howling hordes of journalists including Marcello. Beside him is his faithful photographer, Paparazzo, whose name has since been purloined in the plural to describe any and all celeb photographers. The surname Paparazzo hails from Italian word pappataci, which describes many a flying, biting, blood-sucking silent dipteran and differentiates them from the noisy, blood-feeding mosquitoes. A fuss today, forgotten a few days later, Fellini’s choice of moniker for his smudger is inspired.

I’d elected to stay at a the rather splendid Palazzo Montemartini hotel: a fine example of true Roman elegance that stands between Michelangelo’s Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli and Roma Termini railway station. The latter, created in 1950, hasn’t changed since its futurist frieze by Hungarian sculptor/actor Amerigo Tot (who played Michael Corleone’s older bodyguard in The Godfather Part II), forever resplendent atop its entrance, as it was when I first arrived here in 1990. On its surface, the city, as if preserved in aspic, hasn’t changed much at all: there are majestic buildings at every turn, while traffic makes no sense whatsoever.

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My first port of call in search of La Dolce Vita was the celebrated Harry’s Bar on Via Venito. The place to hang in the 1950s and 1960s, myriad filmmakers and actors flooded the city – then known as “Hollywood on the Tiber” – to work in its film studio Cinecittà, built by Mussolini on the outskirts of Rome in 1933. Fellini’s star Ekberg was a constant at Harry’s, as was Orson Welles; Sinatra played the piano there. Brando also loved the place, as did, Burton, Taylor and Ava Gardner, while Rino Barillari – “The “King Of Paparazzi” – was forever lurking, ready to pounce on drunken celebrities.

Today Harry’s, although the drinks are great, is a shadow of its former self. As is the Via Veneto, which, like London’s King’s Road, seems now terribly sad having lost its sparkle, rather like a faded actress whose fans have moved on to someone else. The stylish, once so evident, are conspicuous only by their absence: the only person I saw with any personal flair was a high-class woman of abilities decked out in Prada exiting a five-star hotel.

Indeed, the only busy establishment on Via Veneto was the Hard Rock Café.
“It is shameful that Via Veneto, which is famous around the world, has been left in such a state of abandonment,” said Pietro Lepore, the owner of Harry’s Bar, in interview with the Telegraph in 2017. “It is just not acceptable.”
Incredibly, another La Dolce Vita Via Veneto institution, Café de Paris, is now shut, grimy and forlorn. Once Harry’s main rival, it initially closed in 2009 after it was discovered that it was a money-laundering front for the Cosoleto clan: part of the ’Ndrangheta mafia of Calabria, they are responsible for the importation of 80 per cent of Europe’s cocaine. It reopened a year later serving produce from lands confiscated from the mafia but bolted its doors for good in 2014 after a rather obvious arson attack. Its been estimated that 50 per cent of Rome’s cafés and watering holes are used by the mob to clean up their cash.

But all is not lost. Across the road is the Capuchin Crypt, where the skeletal remains of 3,700 Capuchin monks are housed. The city’s unparalleled history constantly overwhelms.

One location that remains thoroughly intact, especially round midnight, is the grand Piazza del Poppolo. Here, Marcello and his well-to-do secret squeeze, Maddalena (Anouk Aimée), picked up a street walker in the early hours and drove her in Maddalena’s 1958 Cadillac Series 62 convertible to her flooded basement slum, where they rather rudely slip off to have sex in her bedroom while she sits and waits on a metal step. Ho-hum.

Looking at the silent empty piazza I was certainly in La Dolce Vita territory. In the hope that the scene had not disappeared but simply just moved on, yours truly moseyed on down to Salotto 42 on Piazza Pietra, a little cocktail bar in between the Pantheon and Via Del Corso. A cosy little cavern that proffers such delicious and exotic concoctions as Lady Bramble (with homemade cardamom gin, Sangue Morlacco, lime and fresh raspberries), the crowd was rather funky and rather promising in that ever so Italian casual way. At 2am the bar closed so I walked the deserted but enormously evocative cobbled streets towards the movie’s most famous location, the Fontana di Trevi. Designed by architect Nicola Salvi in 1732 and completed by Giuseppe Pannini in 1769, this is where Mastroianni and Ekberg so famously waded fully clothed in the film. My hopes to jump in were dashed as the square was half full of tourists taking pictures while an armed guard shouted at folk who came anywhere near the sacred liquids.

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Still on the lookout for LDV I checked into Raspoutine – sister of the Parisian nightspot. Described as Rome’s most fashionable nightclub, it’s decked out like some early 1980s rendering of a club in the 1930s. It reminded me of clubs like Bonbonniere in Soho, or perhaps Tramp a few decades ago: lots of skinny, pretty, designer-clad girls with straight hair, the odd B-list celeb, conspicuous footballers, casually dressed young men with collar-length hair in Gucci loafers and jeans, while its electric house soundtrack was rather predictable. It wasn’t bad, but certainly not up to La Dolce Vita standards.

Then again, what is? The club scenes in La Dolce Vita are the stuff of dreams. The first – a black-tie supper club – features crazy, gold-painted Balinese dancers and a crowd of princes, gangsters and beauties, while the second (perhaps the most amazing club one might ever see) is set within the walls of the massive Baths of Caracalla built between AD 212-217. But it’s not just the setting created by superlative art director Piero Gherardi that is so exemplary, it’s also his Oscar-winning costumes and extras: an East Asian lady in an Anna Mae Wong dress; a middle-aged fashion victim sporting an outrageous feathered hat cheek to cheek with a twentysomething modernist; a matinée idol sandwiched between two grande dames in ball gowns; a gay youth with his older moustachioed beau; and bearded Frankie – who looks exactly like the lecherous Pan – who walks around on his hands, picks up Ekberg and carries her about aloft.

Not surprisingly, there was no party or Pan lookalikes when I was at Caracalla, only my companion and I and a gang of Chinese tourists taking selfies.

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Next morning, after one of the finest hotel breakfasts this well-travelled scribe has ever encountered, I was up another location: the dome of St Peter’s Basilica. In truth, the scene was shot in a studio in Cinecittà Studios but, as the sets have long been taken down and Cinecittà is now a theme park, we had to make do with the real thing. I took a lift up the first 231 steps for €8 then walked up the steep, narrow, single-file 320-step staircase, ascending the steep incline that leads to the open-air dome some 450 feet above sea level. Once atop, what breath you have left will be robbed by this utterly astounding view: a chance to oversee the amazing city that has remained intact since way before the movie.

The most notable change in this still amazing city – which wasn’t evident in 1960 and was certainly negligible in 1990 – is not the millions of tourists, but the thousands of human parasites that feed on them. Swarms of con artists buzz about the must-see sites offering metro tickets, escorted trips, pictures with parrots, etc; but best don’t stop, don’t reply and carry on as if you know where you are going. If you want to go to St Peter’s, the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museums, do not buy tickets that promise no queues. The lines are nothing to complain about (apart from at the height of summer) – entrance to St Peter’s is free, while the Vatican Museums is just £14 to see eight galleries and the 20,000 artworks on display.

After refusing to pay £17 for a slice of Fiorentina pizza from a pizzeria near the Vatican, I thus ate only in recommended typico Roman restaurants, as Fellini would have done. Luciano, near Campo de’ Fiori, served me the most incredible Michelin-starred carbonara (known as “Rome on a plate”) followed by the best tiramisu I have ever consumed. Another – Armando al Pantheon, an eatery run by the Gargiolis (a dyed-in-the-wool Roman family), which opened in 1961 – served me bruschetta with stracciatella and anchovies from Sciacca, as well as Roman meatballs with potato gnocchi that, helped along with a bottle of Brunello, knocked us well into touch. I’m most sure Fellini and his cast ate such excellent grub.

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Graciously, the waiter at Armando pointed me over the Tiber to the cobbled back streets of Trastevere where, he said, I will see typico Roma. He was right: a neighbourhood bursting with little quirky pavement cafés and bars, such as Pimm’s, Barberini and jazz blues venues such as Big Mama (jazz is hip in Italy – check out Mario Biondi), and real living and breathing Romans. I’d wondered where the locals were hiding.

“So many Romans have been priced out of the centre,” says Fabrizio Lombardi, who owns one of the city’s finest antique stores at No20 Via dei Coronari. “This street used to be full of beautiful antique shops but now there are only three left including mine [which is modern 20th-century antiques] as the rest have been pushed out by rising rents, replaced by shops selling exactly the same cheap tourist rubbish made in China. The centre of Rome is almost only tourists now. If it was America they’d charge you to enter.”

As Fellini once said, “My mother wanted me to be a doctor or an architect but I’m quite happy being an adjective.” The same might be said of La Dolce Vita: now more a concept than a destination. I’d certainly pay to enter the world of La Dolce Vita, but to visit and compare Rome now to the picture’s bizarre and quirky portmanteau is a fool’s errand. Yet chasing the film, even in today’s Rome, is still an an immensely rewarding experience.

Chris Sullivan stayed at Palazzo Montemartini Rome. radissonhotels.com. As part of a Fellini retrospective, the 4K restoration of La Dolce Vita, in celebration of its 60th anniversary and Federico Fellini’s centenary, is now on at the BFI and selected cinemas throughout the UK including the ICA, Curzon, HOME Manchester, Glasgow Film Theatre, Triskel Arts Centre Cork and Queen’s Film Theatre Belfast. Find the full list of theatres here.

Now read:

An oral history of how Robert De Niro was cast in The Deer Hunter – and how he prepared for the role

Tears, shoe polish and leotards: Anthony Daniels’ life on the set of Star Wars

The Italian Job 50th anniversary: exclusive interview with David Salamone

All products featured on the website are independently selected by our Editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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Things are different these days for Olivia Colman. When Vogue met the actor (and October cover star) in London this summer, she was awaiting guests in a palatial townhouse crowded with paintings and plush, gilded furniture. “It turns out, you play the queen a few times and then they give you this,” she explains. No matter, however: She could still spare a moment to answer our 73 Questions.

Meandering through her manse, the actor, who will appear as Queen Elizabeth II in The Crown’s much anticipated third season (out this November), humorously describes her rollicking career path, unpacks various Britishisms, amends her wonderful Oscar acceptance speech, and makes a show of pronouncing Yorgos Lanthimos’s name the right way.

But first, the basics: Her first-ever acting role? Jean Brodie (as in, The Prime of Miss…) at 16. The show she grew up watching constantly? ABC’s soapy, Denver-based drama Dynasty. How does she know when she’s nailed a scene? “I think you know when you haven’t nailed it,” she says.

Colman isn’t too keen on self-description (“I think it’s peculiar to describe oneself,” she demurs), but she knows precisely what her brand of humor is—“Quite dark, a bit culty, probably not for your mum”—and what she needs to make a character work (“Good lines and comfy shoes”); not to mention what she likes (big, comfy pants; Barack Obama) and dislikes (the red carpet; selfies).

In other words, she’s not so different from you or me, right? Well, perhaps not. Who is Colman expecting over, anyway? “My mum and some rowdy friends, the Rolling Stones, and some Danish royalty.” Why, of course.

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Harry Potter fans are in for a treat, as a massive superstore themed around the franchise is set to open in NYC. Warner Bros. officially announced that the 20,000 square-foot retail space will be opening this summer right next to Manhattan’s Flatiron Building.

The upcoming store marks the world’s very first Harry Potter flagship — and the largest retail space dedicated to the franchise. It will feature three floors and 20,000 square-feet of space for fans to explore, where they can be transported into the Wizard’s world and browse the largest selection of Harry Potter-themed products. “The store will house the largest collection of Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts products in the world under one roof,” a Warner Bros rep stated.

Fans can expect to encounter their favorite classic products read in the Harry Potter books and seen in the franchise’s films, including personalized robes, exclusive wands and Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans. They can also look forward to “interactive experiences and numerous photo opportunities,” according to Sarah Roots, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Tours and Retail for Warner Bros.

Warner Bros will announce an official opening date soon, but in the meantime, the store’s future address can be found below.

Harry Potter Flagship Store
935 Broadway
New York, NY 10010

Elsewhere in retail, Apple customers spent $1.4 billion USD on the App Store during the holidays.

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Shirt by MARNI. Pants by PLEATS PLEASE ISSEY MIYAKE. Earrings from CAMILLA DIETZ BERGERON, LTD. Vintage Sunglasses from NEW YORK VINTAGE, INC. Ring by CARTIER from KENTSHIRE.

Over the course of a career that has seen her careen among insane, outright deranged characters, Amy Sedaris has remained delightfully inscrutable. The 58-year-old titan of comedy has made it her life’s work to embody more weirdos and psychos than could easily fit into an asylum. And while she will forever be associated with Jerri Blank, the recovered user, boozer, and loser she portrayed on Comedy Central’s seminal show Strangers with Candy, Sedaris continues to amass new personas, most recently as the Rachael Ray-as-rendered-by-David Lynch host of truTV’s Emmy-nominated series At Home with Amy Sedaris. Between Taking Care of Business (you’ll see later), and taking care of her bunny, she took time to consider some questions from her friends and not-so-secret admirers.

———

JOHN WATERS: Is it acceptable to serve liver at a dinner party if you know all your guests are not vegetarian?

AMY SEDARIS: I would only serve liver at a party. If all my guests were vegetarian, I would ask them to eat before they arrived.

———

JERRY SALTZ: When do you keep secrets?

SEDARIS: I keep secrets whenever someone asks me to keep a secret. And then if I don’t like someone anymore, then I’ll spill those secrets.

———

AIDY BRYANT: What are the first things you do when you wake up?

SEDARIS: I do my bunny chores. I give my 4-year-old male rabbit, Tina, a slice of banana and some water. I say hello to my two houseplants. I make my bed. I tinkle.

———

NATASHA LYONNE: Which animal do you most identify with? Do you believe they are secretly capable of doing crafts, like crochet? Separately, which animals do you like seeing most in outfits?

SEDARIS: I identify with rabbits, I guess, because I can also be very quiet and see out the side of my head. And yes, I believe that animals are capable of doing crafts. They build nests, dig tunnels, and spin webs. I love seeing an owl in a graduation cap.

———

BRIDGET EVERETT: I love how you are constantly showcasing lesser-known talents on your Instagram. What excites you?

SEDARIS: Fresh meat. I like to showcase images from new talent who inspire me. I can get really excited about an image. I couldn’t sleep when I saw the image of a floating fork and Mrs. Bellows from I Dream of Jeannie.

———

ADAM SELMAN: What’s your worst habit? Is it something you want to change or accept?

SEDARIS: Lately, my worst habit is picking at my nails because of the anxiety of having ten scripts to memorize. I’m not biting at them, I’m just picking at them. And grinding my teeth. I just had to get one pulled. As far as changing something about myself, I need to not spend so much time alone. But I really enjoy it. I think it comes from growing up in a large family and working around a lot of people. But I could socialize more.

———

MARCEL DZAMA: You’re the biggest wig enthusiast I’ve ever known. Can you talk about your first wig and the best wig you’ve ever worn?

SEDARIS: My first wig was in third grade. It was the fall. It came from JCPenney. They had a wig display, which I’ll never forget as long as I live. And I would steal wigs off the mannequins. I was obsessed with them. I just liked that you could change it up all the time. I still go wig shopping and I still respect the wig.

———

Shirt by ACNE STUDIOS. Earrings and Brooch from CAMILLA DIETZ BERGERON, LTD. Ring by BVLGARI.

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LENA DUNHAM: What do you think makes rabbits the perfect companion for comediennes?

SEDARIS: Rabbits can make you laugh with their jumping and hopping and twirling. They entertain, and it reminds you to be entertaining.

———

COLE ESCOLA: Describe a memorable neighbor you’ve had.

SEDARIS: I have been blessed with many memorable neighbors. I had an incest victim, a 5-year-old deaf child, a Southside-of-Chicago pill-popping, chain-smoking hillbilly who used words like “cocksucker” and “formaldehyde” and had a small dog with one very large ball. I dated a guy who lived in a trailer and owned a fish tank with an Oscar fish, which could never turn around because they grow to the size of the tank.

———

JUSTIN THEROUX: Dear Amy, I’m feeling a little down on myself lately. Can you give me five quick tips that will make me feel more “ladylike” overnight? Signed, Sad Sack.

SEDARIS:

1. Put on a transparent pair of panties.

2. Apply lipstick to your cheekbones.

3. Remove the lice from your hair.

4. Make sausage hair curls using real sausage.

5. Tuck your penis between your ass cheeks.

———

TODD OLDHAM: What film and book have you seen and read the most times, and why do you return to them?

SEDARIS: Movies I’ll watch over and over again are: There Will Be Blood (7 times), Amy (12 times), Leaving Neverland (4 times), and Wild Wild Country (6 times). I reread a lot of books, which is why I hang onto so many. The ones that come to my mind right away are Monkeys by Susan Minot, Truth Beauty by Ann Patchett, Our Guys by Bernard Lefkowitz, Random Family by Adrian Nicole LeBlanc, Is There No Place on Earth for Me? by Susan Sheehan, The Shrine at Altamira by John L’Heureux, and all of my brother David’s books.

———

DAVID SEDARIS: Is there anything you’d like to say to the dozens of children you aborted?

SEDARIS: “No regrets.”

———

MAYA RUDOLPH: I’m having a dinner party for a coven of witches. What should I serve?

SEDARIS: Witch Weenies and cold brew!

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Shirt by MARNI. Pants by ALTUZARRA. Necklace by BVLGARI. Vintage Sunglasses from NEW YORK VINTAGE, Inc. Earrings and Vintage Bracelet from CAMILA DIETZ BERGERON, LTD. Tights by WOLFORD. Shoes by MANOLO BLAHNIK from ALBRIGHT FASHION LIBRARY.

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ABBI JACOBSON: What is your process for creating a character?

SEDARIS: First, I think of the posture; the physicality of the character—Jerri Blank was little on the top and big on the bottom. Then there’s the hair, the shoes, the clothes, and the voice. I like to find it through improvisation so I can play around.

———

SARAH JESSICA PARKER: You are a most coveted guest at dinner parties, gatherings, or, frankly, any social affair. The city is your oyster. But whose home have you imagined being inside that you have not yet seen?

SEDARIS: I would love to visit Frida Kahlo’s house. I hear it is very tiny, like her art. I would love to visit Ernie Kovacs’s house, too. He had his set designer and prop person build a fake bookcase that would open up into secret rooms. I’m curious what Ann Dowd’s and Meryl Streep’s places look like. More than anything, I would like to see what the dressing tables of Prince, Whitney Houston, Amy Winehouse, and Elvis Presley looked like after they died.

PARKER: You love a good day of “TCB.” You delight in a visit to your local post office, green grocer, and butcher—and a good promenade around your neighborhood. Can you describe why you love those days so much?

SEDARIS: You always need something to bitch about. I love going to the post office to talk to Angie, and to Bigelow’s pharmacy to talk to Cece or Vitamin Guy Joe. I want to hear about their lives. It comes from growing up in the South. And I love a good list. It makes me feel grounded. I don’t have a lot of friends, but I know a lot of people, and I want to check in on them.

PARKER: If you were solely in control of our shared money jar, what might you insist we use it for? And I’m curious, what is our total?

SEDARIS: Sarah, when are you going to forget about that money jar? It was a scam. I did it with a lot of people. My guess is that there is about $1,000. We took money out to buy presents for people like Andy Cohen. I will check one of these days. We always said we would go to London, but now maybe we have enough to go to Big Gay Ice Cream. But you have to let it go.

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JULIETTE LEWIS: Do you remember the first character you created?

SEDARIS: My great-grandmother was a character because she was old and hunched over. She had the shaky neck and glasses that made your eyes look really big, and she didn’t speak much English. So, physically, I’d say her. And then I borrowed a few faces from my father. Those are my first two big characters. And then after that it was teachers and anyone else I could imitate. I’m pretty good at picking up that one thing in somebody and then magnifying it.

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JANE KRAKOWSKI: What does the rabbit know about you that no one else does?

SEDARIS: Tina knows what I look like naked.

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Hair: Lucas Wilson using Bumble and Bumble at Home Agency.
Makeup: BO.
Manicure: Mei Kawajiri.
Production:
Joshe Ordonez for Cartel Co.
Location: Slate Studios.
Set Design: Juliet Jernigan at Lalaland.
Photography Assistants: Matt Baffa and Eduardo Silva.
Fashion Assistants: Malaika Crawford and Dominic Dopico.
Set Assistant: Mack Closmore.
Production Assistant: Noah Wali.

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Fantastic Women – Surreal Worlds From Meret Oppenheim to Frida Kahlo at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Copenhagen: June 18 – September 27, 2020

The female pioneers of Surrealism made a marked impact on their movement – André Breton’s inner circle was filled with women artists, many of whom showed in seminal Surrealist exhibitions of the day – but, as is so often the case in art history, their achievements have been overshadowed by those of their male contemporaries. Next summer, however, an exhibition at Copenhagen’s Louisiana Museum looks to redress the balance. The first major survey of the female Surrealists’ output, it will include some 250 works of painting, sculpture, drawing, photography and film by 30 women artists from the US, Mexico and Europe. Big names like Frida Kahlo, Louise Bourgeois and Meret Oppenheim will be displayed alongside lesser-known artists including Kay Sage, Leonor Fini and Toyen. Each artist’s individual contribution to the Surrealist vernacular will be explored, as well as the overarching themes and ideas that link them. A collaboration with Frankfurt’s Schirn museum, the exhibition will show in Germany in February before travelling to Copenhagen. 

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MOTHERWELL: A GIRLHOOD – DEBORAH ORR

When Deborah Orr died at age 57 last year, tributes poured in for the warm, incisive, witty, headstrong writer. Orr’s posthumous memoir, Motherwell: a girlhood is her final masterpiece: a tumultuous, scintillating journey through growing up working-class in Motherwell, south-east of Glasgow, the daughter of John, a factory worker, and Win – a strict, enigmatic woman Orr battles to reconcile with. With unflinching honesty and razor-sharp insights, the book mediates on what it means to ‘mother well’, scrutinising not just her mother’s parenting, but also her own. 

Beyond a retelling of delicate familial relations, Motherwell also provides illuminating social commentary on Britain. From the introduction of council homes to the reign of Margaret Thatcher, to the miners’ strikes and the move away from streaming in schools to mixed-ability education, Orr reflects on the impact each of these political decisions have had on people’s lives with clarity and boundless empathy. (DS)

January, Weidenfeld

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While skinny jeans will never actually be out of style, there are a range of fresh, non-skinny silhouettes that continue to rise in popularity. Yep, we’re talking about styles like flared denim but also a recent favorite amongst the fashion and celeb world: full-length denim. This cut is in a straight fit, typically comes in a lighter wash, and bunches just slightly on top of the shoes. You may remember Hailey Bieber’s recent ensemble last month featuring the Khaite full-length jeans.

Sure, this silhouette is a far cry from the cropped skinny and straight jeans that we’ve been wearing over the last few seasons, but this is one denim style that will be that forward spin to any outfit in the 2020s. We bet the chicest people out there will give these jeans a whirl with pointed ankle boots now or low-heel strappy sandals when the temperatures start to warm up. To highlight this must-try denim trend further, we rounded up how fashion people are wearing full-length jeans now and how they turned up on the S/S 20 runways. Keep scrolling for more and to shop a few pairs as well.

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