When it comes to all-American fashion, there’s nothing more iconic than denim. It’s the centerpiece of so many memorable outfits, from James Dean’s classic jacket to Britney and Justin’s legendary matching ensembles. And somehow, decade after decade, it’s always on-trend. This month, we’re talking all things denim, and while that means tons of awesome clothing, we’d hate to ignore the amazing ways designers and brands are taking denim into the home space.
Because denim is made of ultra-wearable cotton, it’s basically the perfect upholstery fabric. Plus, the cool-girl vibe that comes with anything chambray, dark-wash, or faded makes it just right for room accessories and accent pieces. Here, nine ways to work denim into every room in your home, even the bathroom.
Has anyone truly ever looked like a million bucks?
Ask Ruth Negga, who hit the gray carpet in a fantastically ornate leopard-print Gucci dress that she paired with—get this—$2.2 million-worth of Tiffany & Co. diamonds. The occasion? The 2017 unveiling of the brand’s Blue Book Collection, hosted by Chairman Michael Kowalski inside St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn.
Negga’s Gucci number reminded us of her fearlessness when it comes to fashion, but those jewels though! The diamond rings were indeed gorgeous, however, you have to take a closer look at the $1.1 million choker she wore. It was the perfect cherry on top of her Best Dressed-worthy outfit. Citing stylist Karla Welch as her secret weapon, Negga told us all about her love for experimenting with clothing.
“If people don’t like it, well, that’s their problem. I don’t wear clothes because I want to piss someone off or anything, I wear it because I think it’s beautiful,” she told InStyle. “Everyone has the right to look beautiful, whatever body shape or however you look. It’s very important that we’re all involved, because it is an art form. I firmly believe that.”
We also spotted the artful jewels on Haley Bennett, who paired her Cinderella-like J. Mendel gown with $700,000 in Tiffany diamonds. Don’t think she’s used to it, though. “I’ve never opened my own Tiffany Blue box. My mother had a few pieces and I always looked up to her. When she was wearing them, I observed that she was more confident,” she told us. “Hopefully she’ll pass those pieces down to me. That would be special.”
For Reese Witherspoon, the evening conjured memories of that final Big Little Lies episode in which her character, Madeline, dresses up as Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s for a party. “I think it’s extraordinarily chic and I love that she has on big eyelashes at 6 a.m., a full face of makeup at 6 o’clock in the morning,” she told us, explaining how much she loves that iconic sleep mask with the white shirtdress.
Jennifer Hudson‘s sexy and yellow ruffled DSquared2 piece caused a commotion on the carpet (“Yes Jennifer! More Jennifer! This way Jennifer!” photographers screamed), while Claire Danes kept it classic in black velvet Monse, which, naturally, required a $525,000 Tiffany necklace. Danes later told us all about the jewel that’s near and dear to her heart. “My husband gave me a watch that’s kind of chunky,” she told us. “I lost it for a while and it reappeared. Jewelry does that. It goes away and then it comes back. It has its own power and I’ve been enjoying its reemergence.”
RELATED: 16 of Reese Witherspoon’s Favorite Things
Let’s just hope Negga didn’t let go of that $1.1 million stunner.
You’ve probably been told that wearing SPF is a non-negotiable beauty rule, but that doesn’t help you find the right product to put on your face. It’s first (and most important) line of business is protecting your skin from cancer-causing UV rays, but it’s also vital for combatting signs of premature aging. Two biggies, right? To help you find all-star formulas you can count on all year long, we reached out to top dermatologists to find out the facial sunscreens they recommend and swear by. Scroll through for all the shopping details.
VIDEO: The Best Moisturizers for Year-Round Dry Skin
Maybe you’ve picked a modern venue and boho dress, or maybe you’d like to infuse a bit of quirk into your otherwise classic wedding festivities. Whatever the case may be, investing in some funky, statement-making wedding shoes is the perfectly easy way to show some sass on your big day.
The great thing about funky shoes is that they just add that little hint of interest, especially if you’re going for a full-length gown. You can prominently feature ’em in photos and reveal them while you’re dancing, but even the funkiest pair won’t upstage your look.
VIDEO: Your Go-To Guide to Finding the Perfect Wedding GIft
Whether you’re a glamorous bride looking for the perfect pair of wedding stilettos or the chill bride who wants to dance all night in sneakers, you’ll find what you want here.
Whether they are touted as free samples or gifts with purchase, we LOVE free beauty products. If you purchase makeup, you probably know that Sephora offers free samples. In brick and mortar stores, you can walk in and get a sample of anything that they can spray, squeeze, or scoop into a mini container. Online, you can choose free samples at checkout from an array of products. So where else can you get free beauty samples? Tons of places!
VIDEO: The Crazy Cost of a Lifetime of Makeup
Samples are great for a multitude of reasons. For one, you save money! You get to try out new products and see if they work for you before committing to a full size (and price tag). Sample sizes are also great for travel. With flight regulations and limited space in your bag, tossing in a sample of something is so much easier than downsizing your product selection.
Here are a few of our favorite beauty brands that offer freebies!
“Sorry, I’m chewing gum,” says Ray Davies five minutes into our interview, before extracting the offending substance from his mouth.
It’s a fitting interruption. We’re here to talk about his latest album, Americana, which charts his love-hate relationship with the US – and there’s nothing more American than chomping on a stick of Wrigley’s.
Of course, our most recently-ennobled rock star is best known for his writing about England on songs like Waterloo Sunset, Muswell Hillbilly, Sunny Afternoon, Dedicated Follower of Fashion, but his obsession with the States started early.
As a schoolboy, he was captivated by black and white cowboy movies and the be-bop records his older sisters would bring home.
After receiving a guitar for his 13th birthday, he devoured records by Muddy Waters and Slim Harpo. His love affair with the blues was so strong that when he wrote The Kinks’ first hit single, You Really Got Me he intended it to be “a blues song”.
“Then it turned out to be a pop hit.”
Somewhat disingenuously, he tells the BBC You Really Got Me was supposed to be The Kinks’ only song (even though it was their third single).
“I wanted that to be a hit and then I was going to get out of town,” he says.
“Unfortunately they asked me to write another one, and another one.”
The Kinks’ success meant Ray and his younger brother Dave could finally visit the Land of the Free – but things didn’t go entirely to plan, as he describes on the new album.
“They called us The Invaders, as though we came from another world,” he sings. “And the man from immigration shouted out, ‘Hey punk, are you a boy or a girl?'”
The band could have overcome the prejudice if they weren’t already in disarray – prone to fighting on stage, and let down by a promoter who refused to pay them in cash.
Things came to a head while taping Dick Clark’s TV show Where The Action Is in 1965.
“Some guy who said he worked for the TV company walked up and accused us of being late,” Davies wrote in his autobiography X-Ray.
“Then he started making anti-British comments. Things like ‘Just because the Beatles did it, every mop-topped, spotty-faced limey juvenile thinks he can come over here and make a career for himself.'”
A punch was thrown, and the American Federation of Musicians refused to issue the Kinks permits to perform in the US for the next four years.
“It was a terrible blow to our career,” says Davies. “We couldn’t tour. We couldn’t play Woodstock.
“Being a bolshie 21-year-old, I said, ‘Let’s make records and tour the rest of the world’.
“But deep down I was really hurt, because America was the inspiration for much of our music.”
When the band were finally allowed back, in 1970, they had to start from scratch, plying their trade in tiny clubs and high school gymnasiums.
“It was quite a humbling experience after being really successful before,” Davies recalls.
Yet the US became the band’s lifeline in the 1970s, providing adulation, success and financial reward as interest dwindled at home.
“We ended up playing Madison Square Garden in 1980, which is a sign you’ve made it back. So it was a 10-year programme. It was hard work but, in a strange way, we built a loyal fanbase in that time.”
So perhaps it’s no surprise that Davies sings “I want to make my home/Where the buffalo roam” on the title track of his new album.
Indeed, he moved to the US for several years, finding his spiritual home – and sanctuary – in New Orleans.
“I’m just another person there, which is really nice,” he says. “And I fitted in with the music scene.”
Living across the road from a church, he would frequently witness the city’s brass band funerals, which stretch through the streets in celebration of local musicians and dignitaries at the end of their life.
But his sojourn in the city ended badly one Sunday evening in January 2004.
Davies was strolling along an unusually deserted Burgundy Street with his girlfriend Suzanne Despies.
A car pulled up alongside them, a young man got out, and demanded Despies’ purse. She handed it over without any resistance, but Davies suddenly decided to give chase.
His assailant was armed, and shot Davies in the leg, breaking his femur.
“Why did I do it? That’s the unanswerable question,” he says.
“I’ve never really been the sort of person who would chase a man with a loaded gun. But I did. Foolishly, perhaps, and irresponsibly. But I did it.
“It was one of those heat of the moment situations, and I have no explanation other than that.”
He ended up in hospital, heavily drugged and, for the first 24 hours, an anonymous “John Doe”.
The experience informed a song – Mystery Room – in which the star faces his mortality for the first time: “My brain’s hit a brick wall / My body’s in free-fall.”
It’s partnered with another track, Rock ‘N’ Roll Cowboys, which equates ageing rock stars with gunslingers about to hang up their holsters.
“Rock and roll cowboys, where do you go now?” asks Davies. “Do you give up the chase like an old retiree? Or do you stare in the face of new adversaries?“
It’s a question that’s flummoxed many of his 60s contemporaries. Has he ever contemplated giving up?
“Every writer who’s written and toured for more than five years reaches a point where they think, ‘Do I keep going?’ or, ‘Where do I go next?'” he says.
“Every day I wake up and say, ‘I love writing songs but do I want to do this?’ and the answer is I do.
“I love making records. I love playing in front of people.”
America is ‘off-kilter’
For the new record, he sought the help of alt-country stalwarts The Jayhawks, whose deft arrangements provide a rich backdrop to Davies’ wry and incisive lyrics.
Was it challenging, I wonder, for him to walk in and take charge of an already-established band?
“It was a diplomatic situation,” he says… well, diplomatically.
“At first, they were trying to sound English in their backing vocals, but I deterred them from that.
“The reason I picked them is because they just play the songs. They don’t embellish too much unless I ask them to, which is great.”
The Americana sessions went so well that there are “another 20” songs waiting to be finished and released, all derived from Davies’s 2013 book of the same name.
“It’s a big work, but I hope it’ll be put together for a deluxe record later on.”
Is he tempted to write something more topical for that record, given the ongoing political turmoil in the US?
“Everyone who knows my work comes up to me and says: ‘It’s time to revive Preservation,'” he says, referring to The Kinks’ 1973 concept album and tour, in which a comedian becomes a dictator, funded by big business and using the media as a tool of control.
“It was a fun show but it had quite serious undertones,” says Davies, “and I think that sums up America at the moment: it’s a fun show with very serious undertones.
“I do hope America balances itself out. It’s slightly off-kilter at the moment.
“He [Trump] has still got to face Congress, and it’s still a democratic country. I think the will of the people will be heard, and America’s constitution is strong.
“It’s a difficult time of re-adjustment for them – but I think in time it’ll balance itself out.
“It’s a beautiful place but a dangerous place, as I found out.”