"I am decisive, you know."

Anna Wintour


“I am decisive, you know. I don’t believe in wasting anybody’s time. I like to be honest. I like to be clear. 

In my own personal career, I have felt almost the most difficult thing to deal with is someone who doesn’t tell you what they are thinking.”

--Anna Wintour in the New York Times


Anna Wintour responded with her characteristic class to the latest subtly-gendered jabs in the press about her management style. Turns out, what trendy Silicon Valley people are now calling 'Radical Candor,' Anna has been doing all along.

"Some sort of anger"

"When Obama brushed dirt off his shoulder during the 2008 presidential campaign in an obvious reference to Jay’s song ('Dirt Off Your Shoulder'), Jay was amazed. 'I was like, This is not happening in the world...growing up, if you had ever told a black person from the hood you can be president, they’d be like, I could never. If you had told me that as a kid, I’d be like, Are you out of your mind? How?' 

When I asked him if the only way black kids thought they could get out of the projects was by being a rapper or a basketball player, Jay said, 'Exactly. That’s the only thing we saw.' 

...But he added, 'The middle class has been eliminated; it’s so hard to make a living now. There’s a bigger gap between the haves and have-nots, and that’s what creates the problem. It’s going to bring some sort of anger, it’s going to boil over, and there’s going to be a conflict. Everyone has to participate in this American Dream, and if everyone’s not participating, then there’s a problem.'

'It’s not cool—the trajectory that this is going. We have to figure out how to include everyone.'"

-- The whole Jay-Z profile in the November 2013 issue of Vanity Fair is good, and fortunately it's all available to read online. This is just one standout bit.

(And you can see the video of President Obama dusting his shoulders off back in 2008 here.)

"A complete Gump moment"

"...The small audience of elite editors and buyers, squashed together like bugs, stares at this strangeness [in the Comme des Garçons runway show]. No face seems to say, 'Hey, what gives here?' There is fierce applause.

Backstage, Rei Kawakubo awaits the people who will come to congratulate her, and to seek an explanation. The founder of Comme des Garçons hardly ever goes out on the runway. She is a tiny woman, a force of will.

An editor asks in earnest about shape, silhouette.

Ms. Kawakubo mumbles something in Japanese, which her husband, Adrian Joffe, next to her, translates:

'She says she couldn’t think of anything new, so she decided not to make any clothes.'

It was a complete Gump moment, as when the Tom Hanks character decided to stop running and return home to Alabama, leaving his followers stranded in the middle of nowhere. What did it mean? It meant absolutely nothing."

Once again, Cathy Horyn's writing in the New York Times Style section is by far the best reason to pay attention to fashion news. I wish she'd do more of her individual profiles.

Also, between Comme des Garçons bascially punking everyone and Rick Owens' decision to showcase his Spring 2014 designs on several gorgeous step teams (instead of on a fleet of emaciated teenaged models, which is unfortunately the norm), it sounds like this might have been the best Paris Fashion Week of all time.

Lilly Pulitzer on parties

what life is all about. Let's have a party. Let's have it tonight."

I have never been a big fan of Lilly Pulitzer's dresses (though many stylish women have sworn by them through the years. I think you may have to have gone to prep school or been in a sorority to really pull them off?) But after reading up about her since her passing this past weekend at the age of 81, I am definitely a fan of her snappy bon mots and laid-back approach to entertaining (and shoes, and underwear, and life in general.)

Recommended reading: Vanity Fair's July 2003 profile "Palm Beach's Barefoot Princess" and W Magazine's December 2008 profile "Lilly Land."