Small Talk: 'Alright, Alright, Alright'

The people, places and parties you need to know about this week

26th August-1st September

1. The scent

Lancôme has launched its first refillable fragrance, Idôle, and at 15mm thick, it’s the size of a smartphone. More than 200 stores in the country will top it up for you (at a discounted price), and its sustainability creds don’t stop there – fairtrade ingredients are transparent, the perfumers responsible for the rosy scent are all female and the face is 22-year-old feminist Zendaya. It’s the scent of the late summer – it hangs about when sprayed on hair, postcards and pillows. £48 for 75ml lancôme.com

2. The event

Alessandra Mastronardi hosted the opening of Venice Film Festival, which kicked off with La Vérité, Japanese director Kore-eda Hirokazu’s first piece of cinema in French, starring Catherine Deneuve. Eagerly anticipated is also The King, The Laundromat featuring Meryl Streep and Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story starring Scarlet Johansson and Adam Driver. None will be as big as Deneuve’s lapels, though, which alone deserve to take home all the prizes. Bravo Jean-Paul Gaultier’s haute couture team. labiennale.org

3. The hotel

The hospitality cool kids at The Hoxton open their latest hotel in Southwark this Monday 2 September. It’s got all the angular minimalism of the Williamsburg bedrooms and the unbeatable location of the Amsterdam outpost. It’s big and boutiquey but with all the Hoxton brand’s best bits such as a breakfast bag and late check-out options for when your night in the theatre district turns into karaoke and cabaret. thehoxton.com

4. The art

While Boris has set in motion the prorogation of parliament, Dover locals have been distressed by the disappearance of a Banksy mural close to the ferry terminal. Depicting a workman in white overalls chiseling away at one of the stars in the EU flag and inadvertently sending cracks into the ring and the structure on which it’s built (whatever could this mean?) the mural appeared in 2017 in a town often seen as a gateway to the rest of Europe. Earlier this week, scaffolding appeared and white paint appears to have been painted over the mural, a neat metaphor for the whitewashed destruction our government seems intent on leaving in its wake. On a lighter note, I was relieved to learn that there is an actual magazine about scaffolding (I mean, it's about time) called ScaffMag, who chimed in with this much more important message:

5. The crush

The University of Texas has announced Matthew McConaughey as a professor of film studies, starting this autumn and unofficial statistics* suggest a 5000% increase in applications for taking the subject. Rumours* suggest the actor is contractually obliged to end every lecture on ‘alright, alright, alright’.

*fabricated entirely by me. 

6. The outfit

This is the 2019 twinset: a cardi and a matching bra. Katie Holmes hailed a cab in New York and fashion editors the world over couldn’t deconstruct the look quick enough. There’s the nonchalantly-slung-backwards YSL bag, the lazily-buttoned, dense-knit cardigan, the $520 underwear. Both are by Khaite, a New York designer, and sold out with an hour. khaite.com

7. The other outfit

How many times can I shoehorn Phoebe Waller-Bridge into this column before my editor has an intervention? (If you’re reading this, I’ll be taking her approval as a carte blanche on Fleabag content for the rest of time.) PWB wore a brilliant emerald green crushed velvet suit by Victoria Beckham, who wrote on Instagram ‘#PhoebeWallerBridge looking amazing at the opening of @bbcfleabag!’ These two might be the only things making us proud to be British right now. victoriabeckham.com

 

8. The town

Not heard of Bruton yet? But darling, where have you been? Gallerists Hauser & Wirth first put the small, Somerset town on the map in 2014, and this week the doors opened on another big-name project in the area. The Newt, previously Hadspen House, was picked up by businessman and hotelier Koos Bekker (owner of Babylonstoren in South Africa and Little Karoo) who has transformed the 17th-century country house into a green-fingered hotel with plenty of history.

9. The twinkle

I’ve only ever watched Downton Abbey to take tips from Maggie Smith, for whom the phrase ‘doesn’t suffer fools’ was invented. But the Dowager also needs diamonds - and they’ll be provided by Mayfair jeweller Bentley & Skinner in the form of three antique tiaras, on screen this September in the DA movie, out on the 13th. 

10. The tweet

A video of cows crossing the road and jumping over line markings for absolutely no reason whatsoever is doing the rounds (see also: @caenhillcc on Instagram). Happy Friday.