All posts tagged: Love Fashion Politics

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Bernie To Bed, Hillary To Wed

Picture this: Six friends having a mid-January, post-New-Year’s “how was your break” breakfast. We are a group of women ranging in age from mid-30s to early-50s, with jobs in advertising, media, law, medicine and publishing. We are all feminists, all mothers and, I was thrilled to discover as the conversation rolled around to the Presidential election, all firmly on Team Hillary. And yet… “She has a likability problem,” said one. “She doesn’t have the charisma that Bill or Barack have,” said another. “Her campaign messages just aren’t as exciting as #feelthebern is.” “If Bill’s Teflon, then she’s Velcro. Nothing sticks to him, and everything sticks to her.” Here we were, firmly in Hillary’s corner and yet worrying that she’s not likable enough? That she’s not charming enough. What could be more exciting than the prospect of electing the first female President of the United States? Were we being typical, apathetic Gen Xers? It felt like déjà vu, 2008 all over again — only worse this time. It’s been a pretty disheartening few weeks for those of …

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What a 60-Year-Old Politician Taught Me About Being Single

On July 15, 2015, a long-shot candidate for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination was asked in a radio interview whether he could be taken seriously as a contender for the leader of the free world with his unorthodox lifestyle of…never having been married. His response, calmly, in a contemplative Southern drawl: “Married people have screwed up the world.” And, with those seven words, I was smitten. Sixty-year-old Lindsey Graham, the senior Republican Senator from South Carolina, was clearly winning at life (even if his pull numbers sucked), and he was my new hero. At the time, I was 30 and was going through the worst breakup of my life. It was a situation that I largely blamed on myself because I had kept the whole thing going out of the impulse that, well, someone in her thirties ought to be able to keep a relationship alive even through the rough spells. In fact, the whole thing was a thoroughly unhappy coupling of two incompatible people, and we’d been in denial over our incompatibility for some time. …

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Talking Politics Without Losing Friends

I used to manage political campaigns in Florida, a truly competitive state when it comes to the number of Democrats vs. Republicans. Dreaded was the moment when I would be asked what I do for a living because that was the point in the conversation where one of two things would happen: Either the person would “spot a friend across the room” or “suddenly have to use the restroom,” ending our conversation, or they would lean closer and say something to the effect of “I knew I liked you” or “fascinating, tell me more” and our relationship would be solidified. Fifty-fifty. That was the risk that my conversation and new friend would evaporate as soon as I revealed my political orientation. Over and over again, I saw how divisive politics were when, just by claiming my political party aloud, I would lose friends. How could I explain what I did for a living without alienating half of the people I met? I experimented with many different ways to say it. For the record, this was …

The Permanent Effect of George W. Bush

The author Lauren Young (in brown hair and glasses on the right) has a chat with W. (Photo courtesy Lauren Young) In the spring of 2001, I was summoned to our nation’s capital to meet with George Walker Bush, the 43rd president of the United States. I had written a cover story about the president’s tax plan for SmartMoney magazine, which is now, sadly, defunct. According to the White House press officer who set up the meeting, the president wanted to talk to me – and a select group of other personal finance journalists – about his blueprint to stimulate the American economy by lowering taxes. Based in New York, I got the necessary approval from my boss to make the trek to DC, contingent on one key detail: I needed to get George Bush’s autograph on the magazine cover. And not with a wussy ballpoint pen. My editor-in-chief wanted the John Hancock-ing done with the permanent ink of a black Sharpie. He was half-joking, naturally. But I did not want to mess around with …

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Why I Took a Trip to Greece to Help Syrian Refugees

Only once — when an overcrowded night ferry backed into Gate E7 at Athens’ Port of Piraeus — did my emotions consume me. My breath grew fast and shallow. I squinted through my tears and stammered, “There are so many of them. There are just so many.” There were more than 2,000 refugees on that ferry alone, 35 percent of them children. As a volunteer with the nonprofit Carry the Future, my job was to approach arriving families with babies and toddlers and offer them free baby carriers to ease their journey along the Balkan Route to Western Europe. The families I met were primarily Syrians, Iraqis and Afghans bound for Germany — as long as the borders stayed open. Over the course of their journey, they would cover 1,000 miles on buses, trains and foot. A structured backpack-style carrier or a cozy infant pouch would make an enormous difference to those toting children along with garbage bags and duffels of their belongings. There are just so many. “One baby at a time. That’s all …

Heels For A Higher Calling

Living in New York, working as a business reporter in the 1990s, and doing freelance lifestyle writing on the side, I got a kick out of all all the PR pitches, launches, and parties. Among them: renting out Ellis Island for a magazine party, Donald Trump’s 50th birthday, and, if memory serves, bringing elephants to midtown to help launch a perfume. So when my best friend Allison, the co-founder of a PR firm, asked me to volunteer to help out on an event where supermodels would be helping Doctors Without Borders, by decluttering their own closets, I couldn’t resist. I agreed to help check in guests and members of the press at the front desk of a high-end garage sale with items pulled from the closets (and storage units) of iconic ‘90s models Shalom Harlow and Kirsty Hume. The items would then be sold for between $10 and $100. It couldn’t have been more of the moment. There was even the requisite article in The NY Post about it by one of the lifestyle and fashion …

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Margit’s Note: Votes, Valentines and Vuitton

This week we’re going for a 3-for-1 theme: Politics, Love and Fashion. With the primaries in full swing, Fashion Week taking over NYC tomorrow and Valentine’s Day around the corner, they all kinda go together in some strange way, don’t they? Just ask Derek Zoolander and Hansel who explained this eloquently on Weekend Update (“Bernie’s a big fan of the 99%. 99% off at J.C. Penny.”). We love — or love to hate — our candidates, and we are so wrapped up in the way they present themselves. A comfy mauve pantsuit, a stacked high heel cowboy boot, a fluttering orange toupee. One minute a candidate is in vogue, the next she’s yesterday’s SNL skit. But we do our best to avoid the 24-hour Twitter-induced panic and remember who really deserves our vote. We travel to far-flung places to do the right thing, buck trends to stay true to the styles we love and share a stylish obsession with a candidate we’d never vote for. Hailing from a family of staunch Republicans, I left for …