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CHANEL.COM

EAU TENDRE

THE NEW EAU DE PARFUM

© 2019 Estée Lauder Inc. ^ One per customer, while stocks last.

esteelauder.com.au

Unleash the power to maximise every second of beauty sleep.

Advanced Night Repair

Lack of sleep, blue light, pollution, UV and ozone. Starting tonight, let this breakthrough serum be your answer to the multiple visible ageing assaults of modern life. With its exclusive, patented ChronoluxCB technology, it helps maximise your skin’s natural nightly renewal so you wake up looking beautiful.

In just 1 week, women said their skin felt hydrated, looked healthier and beautifully glowing. *

Our #1 Serum. Patented until 2033. Tested on all ethnicities.

* Consumer testing on 520 women.

Visit Estée Lauder at Myer or David Jones for your free sample ^ , no purchase necessary.

Cate Blanchettgiorgioarmanibeauty.com.au

ELLE

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2019

P26. HOW TO DRESS FOR SUMMER The best heatwave-ready dresses, shorts and sandals.

P46. THE ELLE HOT LIST An early adopter’s ultimate guide to 2019 (like the sunnies you need NOW).

P98. LIFE OF LARA Model mogul Lara Worthington on loving life and looking to the future.

P124. HOW TO BE WELLE IN 2019 Easy ways to be an even better you (think turbo barre).

P146. WHERE TO WEEKENDER NOW Book, pack and head to these fabulous hotels.

P155. YOUR ALL-STAR GUIDE TO 2019 Your astrological predictions for the year ahead.

ON THE COVER

Photography:

Darren McDonald at Artist Group. Styling: Marina Afonina at Assembly Agency. Hair: Christian Marc at Forward Artists. Makeup: Sarah Uslan at The Visionaries. Production:

Flower Ave. Lara Worthington wears: dress, $7,200, GUCCI, gucci.com/au; Wave necklace, $415, bracelet, $8,750, both TIFFANY & CO., tiffany.com.au. On subscriber’s cover:

Wave necklace, $415, bracelet, $1,600, both TIFFANY & CO., tiffany.com.au

FIRST

LOOK

P19. FRESH TAKE Do resort season right.

P20. SEE THE LIGHT Add edge to linen looks.

P22. TWIN SETS Go double or nothing.

P24. MY WORLD

A Parisian creative

consultant’s dream abode.

P34. PASS IT ON

A slow fashion label’s sexy

take on hand-me-downs.

P36. IN FULL BLOOM Lily Allen’s cool comeback.

P38. MADE A NYE RESOLUTION TO GET OUT MORE? Skip Netflix, do this.

P40. HOW TO TOP YOUR PERSONAL BEST What Bel Powley did to win us over completely.

P41. I GET BY WITH A LITTLE HELP Newsflash: pets are the new therapists.

P42. A REAL SONG AND DANCE MAN Meet the genius behind

Mary Poppins Returns.

P44. PERSPECTIVE Fernanda Ly’s fight for inclusion in pop culture.

FEATURES

P52. WHO’S YOUR GURU? The new cult of celebrity enlightenment.

P54. NO TURNING BACK We’re still totally into Cher.

P58. THE REAL PRICE OF EMPOWERMENT Don’t be fooled by those “fauxpowerment” promises.

P62. GHOST CHILD The story that bagged the ELLE fiction competition.

FASHION

P68. ACTION REPLAY High-vis activewear and neon swimsuits.

P78. BEST WESTERN Felt hats, fringed jackets and faded denim.

P88. CUT LOUCHE Give your nine-to-five a French twist.

BEAUTY

P115. THE SCENTS OF THE SUMMER Rosy spritzes to revel in.

P116. AN INSTANT GLOW IN YOUR LUNCH BREAK A fast and gentle way to resurface your skin.

P118. THE AWAKENING Millennials get a libido boost.

P120. SAVING FACE How to fight back against complexion pollution.

P130. ANSWERING ONLY TO MYSELF Beth Ditto shares her bad-ass gym philosophy.

P132. WORLD CLASS Our global edit of this year’s best beauty buys.

LIFESTYLE

P138. HOME ON THE RANGE

A Byron Bay entrepreneur’s

enviable farmhouse retreat.

P152. HOW I’M WIRED

Sarah Ellen’s secret geeky pleasures (from steamers

to smoothie makers).

P169. PRIVACY NOTICE

AND MORE…

@ELLEAUS

FASHION

FASHION FEATURES DIRECTOR GRACE O’NEILL FASHION EDITOR CAROLINE TRAN MARKET EDITOR SAMANTHA WONG FASHION OFFICE CO-ORDINATOR NICHHIA WIPPELL CONTRIBUTING FASHION EDITORS EMMA KALFUS, SARA SMITH

BEAUTY

BEAUTY AND WELLNESS DIRECTOR JANNA JOHNSON O’TOOLE BEAUTY WRITER KATE LANCASTER

ADVERTISING

Commercial Luxury Manager Analise Gattellaro (02) 9282 8935 Luxury Manager Stella Berry (02) 8114 9420 Ad Production Manager Kate Orsborn (02) 9282 8364 Senior Events Manager Cate Gazal (02) 8116 9342 Brand Executive Jennifer Burke (02) 9288 9145 Head of Key Accounts, NSW Karen Holmes (02) 9282 8733 Director of Sales, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia Jaclyn Clements (03) 9823 6341 Head of Direct Sales, Victoria Will Jamison (03) 9823 6301 Head of Sales, Queensland Judy Taylor (07) 3101 6636

Overseas Advertising Representatives Europe Magazine International SRL +39 02 796 451

ELLE

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

GENEVRA LEEK

CREATIVE DIRECTOR CARLY ROBERTS

FASHION DIRECTOR NAOMI SMITH

EDITORIAL

CULTURE DIRECTOR ELLE MCCLURE

COPY DIRECTOR NATALIE REEVES COPY EDITOR ALEXANDRA ENGLISH CONTRIBUTING COPY EDITOR REBECCA HOOTON SENIOR EDITORIAL COORDINATOR KATE SULLIVAN

LAGARDÈRE ACTIVE

Chairman & CEO Lagardère Active Denis Olivennes CEO ELLE France & International Constance Benque CEO ELLE International Media Licenses François Coruzzi SVP/International Director of ELLE Valeria Bessolo Llopiz SVP/Director of International Media Licenses, Digital Development & Syndication Mickael Berret ELLE International Productions Charlotte Deffe, Virginie Dolata Deputy Syndication Team Manager Thérèse Genevois Syndication Coordinator Johanna Jegou Copyrights Manager & Digital Syndication Séverine Laporte

INTERNATIONAL AD SALES HOUSE:

LAGARDÈRE GLOBAL ADVERTISING

CEO François Coruzzi SVP/International Advertising Stéphanie

Delattre/stephanie.delattre@lagardere-active.com

Lagardère Global Advertising, 124 rue Danton, 92300

Levallois-Perret, France

WWW.ELLEAROUNDTHEWORLD.COM

.COM.AU

ART

ART EDITOR MICHELLE JACKSON CONTRIBUTING ART EDITOR AMIE JONES

DIGITAL

DIGITAL CONTENT DIRECTOR SUSANNAH GUTHRIE DIGITAL MANAGING EDITOR MAHALIA CHANG

EDITORIAL ENQUIRIES

54 Park Street, Sydney, NSW 2000 (02) 8114 9431 ELLEAUSTRALIA@BAUER-MEDIA.COM.AU Want to intern? Email your CV

BAUER MEDIA GROUP

Chief Executive Officer Paul Dykzeul General Manager Publishing & Digital Sarah-Belle Murphy Associate Publisher Shane Sutton Commercial Director Paul Gardiner General Manager Media Solutions Jane Waterhouse Marketing Director Louise Cankett Senior Marketing Manager, Women’s Entertainment and Lifestyle Jillian Hogan Brand Manager Sarah Webster General Manager, Subscriptions and E-commerce Sean McLintock Research Director Catherine Ross

ELLE is published by Bauer Media Pty Limited, 54 Park Street, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. © 2018; the contents of this publication are not for reproduction, redistribution or reuse, by any means whatsoever or in any form whatsoever without the express permission of Bauer Media. Printed by PMP Print Pty Limited, 31 Heathcote Road, Moorebank, New South Wales, Australia. Distributed by Gordon and Gotch Australia Pty Limited, 26 Rodborough Road, Frenchs Forest, New South Wales, Australia. All prices quoted include GST, are approximate and are in AUD unless otherwise stated. Bauer Media accepts no responsibility for damage to or loss of material submitted for publication. Please keep duplicates of text and illustrative material. For all subscription and sales enquiries, visit magshop.com.au; email magshop@magshop.com.au; orphone 136 116 between 8am and 6pm (AEST) Monday to Friday. Correspondence should be addressed to: Magshop, GPO Box 4967, Sydney, NSW 2001. ISSN 2202-7254.

Trademark notice The ELLE trademark and logo are owned in Canada by France-Canada Editions et Publications, Inc. and in the rest of the world by Hachette Filipacchi Presse (France), each LAGARDERE ACTIVE Group companies. ELLE is used under license from the trademark owner, Hachette Filipacchi Presse.
10

Photography: Darren McDonald. Lara wears: dress, $4,660, Alexander McQueen, alexandermcqueen.com/au

NEW YEAR,

NEW YOU?

WE THINK THE OLD ONE IS JUST

FINE

WELCOME TO 2019. YOU MADE IT. The new year is gleaming in front of you like a shiny new pair of boots, just waiting to be tried on for size. Oh, the places you’ll go. The new heights you’ll reach. Those shoes are so box-fresh it’s tempting to want to throw everything else out and start again. But while we love a wardrobe cleansing metaphor as much as the next fashion obsessive, the trouble with starting over is that you lose all the good bits as well as the bits you’d like to let go. The same goes for sweeping New Year’s resolutions that vow to overhaul your life, your look, your livelihood. Chances are, you’re already pretty damn amazing. (In fact, if you’re reading ELLE, we can guarantee you are!) And we’re guessing it’s the small tweaks that are going to make all the difference to the year ahead. After reading our beauty and wellness director Janna Johnson O’Toole’s guide on new ways to be well, I’ve decided those tweaks, for me, are going to be getting serious about sleep, switching my phone to “do not disturb” mode more often and uncrossing my legs (who knew?). For Lara Worthington, who radiates confidence on this month’s cover, it’s about looking ahead, embracing change and livi ng life on her own terms. With two beautiful boys and a home base in LA, the Australian model mogul

is redefining what is important by evolving her beauty brand The Base in order to shine a light on the causes closest to her heart. At 31, she is finally feeling as though she’s exactly where she needs to be: incredibly content and comfortable in her own skin. And it shows. If there’s one message that jumps out from every page this month, it’s optimism. From the most inspiring women in music — Cher, who’s finding ever greater success in her seventies (p54), Lily Allen, who’s revelling in her return to the spotlight (p36), and Beth Ditto, who details her positive relationship with the gym (p130) — to the uplifting summer fashion and beauty buys that will inject freshness and fun into the coming weeks, which will hopefully be filled with swimming, snoozing and sipping lambrusco (culture director Elle McClure calls it as the new prosecco in the ELLE Hot List on p46). And at a time when finding hope and meaning is more important than ever, Lauren Sams asks, “Who’s Your Guru?” (p52). Right now, I’m looking to astrologer Susan Miller, who returns with her horoscope guide to the year ahead (p155) and says I have every reason to feel optimistic about my financials. So that shiny new pair of boots isn’t completely out of the question, then. Lucky, because I already have an Isabel Marant pair earmarked (p78). Enjoy.

@GENEVRA

A _ LEEK

© 2018 Estée Lauder Inc.

THE NEW FRAGRANCE

esteelauder.com.au

Photography: Dave Wheeler; Alex Tran

THE PEOPLE BEHIND THIS ISSUEREVEAL THEIR HOT LISTS

MICHELLE JAGER

The winner of our fiction

competition (“Ghost Child”,

published on p62) has

a PhD in creative writing from

the University of Adelaide

and is obsessed with

anti-heroines. She’s also

the ultimate “odd-job lady”,

working as a university tutor,

research assistant, pet-sitter,

court report editor, wedding

photographer, pharmacy

assistant and writer.

On my playlist: Garbage,

The Jezabels, Beyoncé,

Nirvana, Kristin Hersh, Demis

Roussos and Johnny Cash.

I recently discovered

Montaigne and I’m hooked

on her song “For Your Love”.

On my reading list: Yoko

Ogawa’s The Diving Pool

and Maxine Beneba

Clarke’s Foreign Soil.

On my to-do list: Keep

a plant alive. I do not

have a good track record.

On my wish list: To publish

a novel. And to have a home

where I can keep a dog

— or many dogs.

On my bucket list: A road trip

around New Zealand.

On my blacklist: People

who chew gum on public

transport.

SARAH ELLISON

@ sarahellisonstudio

A Byron Bay local, Ellison

multitasks as a furniture and

homewares designer and

interiors and fashion stylist.

She leant her simple, modern

aesthetic to our “Home On

The Range” shoot on p138.

On my playlist: RUFUS,

Paul Kelly and Led Zeppelin

(they’re my four-year-old’s

favourite band).

On my reading list: At the

moment I’m reading TC

– former pro-surfer Tom

Carroll’s autobiography.

On my to-do list: Start to

design a lighting collection.

On my wish list: Sparkly

Balenciaga slingbacks and

a Buds lamp by Foscarini.

On my bucket list: To show

my son as much of the world

as I possibly can.

On my blacklist:

Unnecessary plastic

packaging in supermarkets.

GRACE O’NEILL

@ grceoneill

Our fashion features

director’s little black book of

celebrity interviews includes

Pamela Anderson, Kim

Cattrall and Alexa Chung.

She wrote our “How To Do

Summer” manual on p26

and plans to spend her days

off sans phone, with a stack

of books at a beach house.

On my playlist:

Hall & Oates, D’Angelo

and the Vanguard, Rhye,

Underworld and a lot of

George Michael.

On my reading list: The Rules

Do Not Apply by Ariel Levy, Personal History by

Katharine Graham and

Kitchen Confidential

by Anthony Bourdain.

On my to-do list: To get

my driver’s licence!

On my wish list: Vintage silk

shirts by Dries Van Noten

– I have about 10 sitting in

my The RealReal basket.

On my bucket list: To try the

hot pastrami sandwich at

Langer’s Deli in LA – Nora

Ephron wrote an essay on it.

On my blacklist: Dogmatism

– now is the time to engage

with ideas that challenge

JANNA YOTTE

@ jannayotte

The art director turned

collage artist creates pieces

that deal with human nature,

femininity and vulnerability,

and her work has been

published from New York to

The Netherlands. When she’s

not creating striking imagery

(like the art for our horoscope

guide on p155), she’s tending

to her bower of orchids.

On my playlist: Charlotte

Cardin, Christian Löffler,

MorMor and loads of

podcasts.

On my reading list:

Mindsight by Daniel J. Siegel.

On my to-do list: A serious

closet clean-up, too many

dessert recipes and getting

that work/life balance.

On my wish list: A piece by

[sculptural taxidermy artist]

Polly Morgan, a vacation

somewhere warm and

inspiring, and some cute

and warm-enough-for-a-

Canadian-winter boots

(suggestions welcome).

On my bucket list: Many

feelings to amplify, many

fears to get rid of, many

connections to make. So

many places to travel and so

much food and drink to try!

On my blacklist: Rudeness.

your world view.

contributors

Words: Claudia Jukic. Styling: Dannielle Cartisano. Model: Laura Kluenter at Priscillas

HEART

& SOLE

Chunky, comfy and cult – a stompy sandal is all the more want-worthy when emblazoned with Gucci’s retro logo. How to dial down the irony? Pair them with pretty pieces like pastel suits and floaty dresses. Your feet (and outfit) thank you in advance. E

PHOTOGRAPHY BY

ADRIAN PRICE

Jacket, $179, pants, $99, both ZARA, zara.com/au

SANDALS, $1,205, GUCCI, GUCCI.COM/AU

18

Collage art: Gus & Stella

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Louis Vuitton

Chloé

Hermès

Chanel

Zimmermann

Fendi

Words: Grace O’Neill. Photography: Sevak Babakhani (still-life)

Salvatore Ferragamo

Bag, $945, GUCCI,

1300 442 878

Sandals, $670, HERMÈS,

(02) 9287 3200

MOOD BOARD

FRESH

Sunglasses, $260,

HOLLY RYAN X PARED,

paredeyewear.com

H at, $150, AVENUE,

a avenuethelabel.com

HISTO RICALLY, Resort season

with

loungin g

Saint-Tropez

has

R

g

b een

be

associated

around

or sippi ng Negronis in Positano

which w is to say, not too

“real

bars –

readily

life”. Bu t as we approach 2019

n

ut

associated

with

and

o

o

ur

attitudes

towards

shoppin g

n

continue

to evolve,

we no lo

onger have much interest

o

in buyi ng pieces to wear for a three-week

sojourn , only to relegate them to the back of

our war rdrobes along with our suitcase.

Vers satility is everything, which is why we

particularly smitten with the Resort 19

were p

collecti ons. They just felt so… wearable.

Closer to home, Z

Zimmermann made retro

shapes feel more modern than ever, layering

polka-dot blouses under all-in-ones, and Matin

reminded us of the enduring style chops of khaki

shorts. (With a linen shirt? Check. White tee?

Check. Black one-piece cossie? Check.)

Chanel

showed fresh white two-pieces with

Are you reading this thinking, “Well this is

simple

boater hats (and layered strings of

all well and good for weekends but what

pearls

– it is Chanel after all), Salvatore

about work?” Resort may feel like an anti-

Shirt, $1,100, ZIMMERMANN,

zimmermannwear.com

Shorts, $295, MATIN,

matinstudio.com

Ferraga

amo

gave

the

blazer

a

appropriate upgrade in eggshell

linen, while Fendi made its signature

monogrammed jumpers feel fresh in

a cropped and sleeveless V-neck

design. Paired with high-waisted

blue denim jeans, the latter will be

your best friend on those not-hot-

enough-for-shorts summer weekends.

summer-

office season, but to write-off its corporate

potential is to seriously

underestimate it. Chloé’s ivory

slip dresses look just as good

with tailored blazers and

pumps as they do with strappy

flat sandals. And a pair of wide-

legged pants from Hermès are

as likely to elicit compliments in

the office kitchen as they are

“The POWER is in how you wear it”

over brunch with mates.

As with everything we’re

fawning over, the power is in

how you wear it. Get creative

– and ignore the rules. E

Dress, $1,100,

ZIMMERMANN,

zimmermannwear.com

19

Words: Claudia Jukic. Styling: Dannielle Cartisano. Hair: Keiren Street at Vivien’s Creative. Makeup: Kristyan Low at DLM. Model: Laura Kluenter at Priscillas

UP CLOSE

SEE THE LIGHT

20

Natural fibres get a sharp new spin

PHOTOGRAPHY BY

ADRIAN PRICE

Shirt, $599, KITX, kitx.com.au

Shirt, $395, BASSIKE, bassike.com

Dress, $989,

LEE MATHEWS,

leemathews.com.au

No summer wardrobe is

complete without touches of

cream and khaki. Select suits,

shirts, balloon-sleeve dresses

and bucket hats in airy,

breathable fabrics for the

long, hot days ahead.

Top, $135, ALBUS LUMEN, albuslumen.com; pants, $250, BEC & BRIDGE, becandbridge.com.au; slides, $950, CHRISTIAN DIOR, (02)9229 4600; hat, $60, MARLE, marle.co.nz

Corsage blazer,

$1,100,pants,$550,

both ZIMMERMANN, zimmermannwear.com; shirt, $289, AKIN BY GINGER & SMART, gingerandsmart.com

Miu Miu

Hermès

Chanel

Gucci

Words: Grace O’Neill. Still-life styling: Samantha Wong. Photography:

Jason Lloyd-Evans; Getty Images; Sevak Babakhani (still-life)

Jacket, $85, skirt, $60,

both TOPSHOP,

topshop.com

Top, $60, shorts, $80,

both SPORTSGIRL,

sportsgirl spo sg .co com .au au

Top, $325, skirt, $375,

both ALICE MCCALL,

alicemccall.com.au

TRY THIS

twin

sets

Our new-season style MO:

DOUBLE or NOTHING

SERIOUS QUESTION:

why have we overlooked co-ords for so long? A synced set, in bright block colours, checks or fresh neutrals, offers a simple way to look polished and put-together with minimal effort. Plus, consider the economic benefits: your tops and bottoms can be worn with other separates, turning one outfit into three. E

Words: Alice Cavanagh

24

INSIDER

MY

Very few Parisians can claim to live in an actual house, with its own front door, but Claire Thomson-Jonville, Scottish creative consultant, former editor-in-chief of high-glamour cult magazine Self Service and mother of two, is one such lucky resident. She lives in a charming three-storey maison. “A house, in the 8th arrondissement!” she says, still with a trace of disbelief.

WORLD

ELLE explores the life, style and maison of creative consultant Claire Thomson-Jonville

PHOTOGRAPHY BY

THOMAS CHÈNÈ

A devoted Nike fan, Thomson-Jonville has a stash of more than 3O trainers, with her Off-White x Nike Air Jordan styles on high rotation. Monogrammed pouches and fashion blankets are also

a favourite — one by Hermès is artfully folded in the bathroom, and a green

Céline throw (much loved by her daughter Georgia, 4, and son Étienne, 20 months)

is draped over the bannister.

At weekends, Thomson-Jonville’s pace slows significantly and she seeks out family time, heading to the Jardin des Tuileries, Parc Monceau and other green spaces. While she rarely has time to cook (“I just can’t be bothered,” she says, with refreshing frankness), she clearly relishes downtime at home when she’s not travelling for photo shoots or fashion weeks.

Thomson-Jonville is keeping an eye out for a vintage mirror and coffee table. “My phone to-do list is literally ‘buy furniture’, but I wanted to live in the space and then start buying things,” she says. “But I have no time!” This year has been full of change: along with the new address, she left her post at Self Service after 10 years to break out on her own as a freelance creative consultant. E

Prints by photographers Juergen Teller and David Sims hang on the walls, along with iconic imagery by Corinne Day (including the endlessly Instagrammed black-and-white portrait of a young Kate Moss). Her bookshelves are chock-full of carefully curated back-issues of magazines, and the surfaces are artfully cluttered with Byredo candles and stacked Hermès boxes.

THE

ELLE

MANUAL:

HOW TO

DRESS

FOR

SUMMER

2019 heralds a renewed sense of playfulness, and we couldn’t be happier about it

There’s a temptation in summer to stick to your tried-and-tested rotation of white tees, denim shorts and linen day dresses. But why limit yourself when there’s a smorgasbord of fresh new trends to experiment with? More is more – so proceed without caution.

Blazer, $610, RAG & BONE, (03) 9563 1617

Top, $250, GANNI, tuchuzy.com

Pretty, understated gingham or big, bold, bright plaid – why not throw caution to the wind and pair them together?

Dress, $99, ZARA, zara.com/au

Shirt, $420, BASSIKE , bassike.com; skirt, $9,705, sandals, $670, both HERMÉS, (02) 9287 3200; scarf, $580, BULGARI, (02) 9233 3611

Skirt, $599,

LEE MATHEWS,

leemathews.com.au

Scarf print is the pattern du jour for 2019. Whether it’s a statement-making maxi or a demure silk shirt worn with jeans, consider this your easiest entry into on-trend summer dressing.

Scarf, $390,

HERMÈS,

(02) 9287 3200

Pants, $139,

THE EAST ORDER,

theeastorder.com.au

Top, $410, SANDRO,

(

(02) 9327 3377

) 9

Sandals, $100, $ SOL

SANA, sol-s sana.com.au

Sandals, $140,

A.EMERY, aemery.com

SOLE PURPOSE

This season we’re trading in our black sandals for brown. Why? It feels fresher and more modern – but still goes with almost everything we own. >

Dress, $99, ZARA,

zara.com/au

Sandals, $9 9,

ANCIENT GR EEK

SANDALS ,

davidjones.c om

Dress, $932, TORY

BURCH, farfetch.com

Sandals, $199,

MARIA FARRO,

mariafarro.com

27

THE

ELLE

MANUAL:

HOW TO

DRESS

FOR

SUMMER

Bag, $395,

BUILDING BLOCK,

building--block.com

Bag, $2,225, GUCCI, gucci.com/au

H

H

Handbags ar

g

re, at their

heart, a practical accessory

– which makes the current

crop of sculptural totes and

clutches all the more fun.

We’re lusting over Gucci’s

medicine ball-esque

number – among others.

Bag, $650, COACH, coach.com

Bag, $5,890, CHANEL, 1300 242 635

Bag, $3,780, PRADA, prada.com

Bag, $4,800, CHRISTIAN DIOR, (02) 9229 4600

Gucci

Prada

Miu Miu

Pants, $365, MIH,

edwardsimports.com

Groundbreaking? Maybe not – but who cares about stamping out new ground when you’ve got a proverbial greenhouse of prints on offer? Daisies, daffodils, peonies… we’ll take the whole bunch.

Dress, $715, SALONI ,

matchesfashion.com

Necklace worn as

anklet, $159,

RELIQUIA,

r eliquiajewellery.comm

Dress, $795,

ZIMMERMANN,

zimmermannwear.com.au

Anklet, $450, LUCY

FOLK, lucyfolk.com

WELL

GROUNDED

All hail the return of the anklet: summer’s most nostalgic accessories trend. >

Dress, $745,

MOTHER OF PEARL,

parlourx.com

Bracelet, $480, CHRISTIAN

DIOR, (02) 9229 4600

Anklet, Anklet $129, $129 KIRSTIN KIRSTIN ASH, ASH

au.kirstinash.com

29

G urungPrabal

Pringle Of Scotland

THE

ELLE

MANUAL:

HOW TO

DRESS

FOR

SUMMER

Sandals, $670, HERMÈS, (02) 9287 3200

From floaty maxi dresses to tees and scarves – consider this iconic hippie print an instant injection of joy.

Top, $169,

THE UPSIDE,

theupsidesport.com

Shoes, $1,090, CHRISTIAN DIOR, (02) 9229 4600

The resurgence of all things ’00s has extended to our footwear. Barely-there sandals, ballet flats and even humble thongs are all staging a comeback.

Top, $105, GANNI, tuchuzy.com

Heels, $399, MANNING CARTELL, manningcartell.com.au

Shawl, $1,010,

LOUIS VUITTON,

au.louisvuitton.com

Dress, $660, MARYSIA, marysia.com

Ports 1961

Rosie Assoulin

Miu Miu

Skirt, $69.95, ZARA,

zara.com/au

Dress, $360, BY JOHNN

NY,

byjohnny.com.au

Bag, $425, LUCY FOLK,

lucyfolk.com

Bag, $7,865,

HERMÈS,

(02) 9287 3200

T-shirt, $29.90, UNIQLO,

uniqlo.com/au/store

Stripes feel sporty and modern this summer, reworked in chunky bold prints and a zesty citrus colour palette.

Shirt, $95, RPM,

rpm.co.nz

UNDER

THE PALMS

The non-ironic Hawaiian shirt (or shirt-dress) is this summer’s answer to the Dad sneaker. >

Shirt, $8 80, RUSTY,

au.ru usty.com

Shirt, $2,820,

LOUIS

UITTON,

au.louis

uitton.com

Shirt-d ress, $170,

RUE STIIC C, ruestiic.com

31

Emilio Pucci

Louis Vuitton

Words: Grace O’Neill. Photography: Adrian Price; Sevak Babakhani (still-life);

Still-life styling:

at Vivien’s Creative.

Makeup: Kristyan Low at DLM. Model: Laura Kluenter at Priscillas

Street Cartisano.

Dannielle

Keiren

Styling:

Wong. Hair:

Getty Images.

Christian Dior

Jukic; Samantha

Jason Lloyd-Evans;

Claudia

THE

ELLE

MANUAL:

HOW TO

DRESS

FOR

SUMMER

Did shorts ever really go away? No – but we’ve been under-utilising them for the past few summers. Choose from high-waisted and belted, linen and striped or ‘70s-inspired paisley.

Shorts, $29.90,

UNIQLO,

uniqlo.com/au/store

Shorts, $300 0,

SIR THE LABE L,

sirthelabel.co m

Shorts, $169 9,

KOWTOW W,

au.kowtowclothin ng.com

Shorts, $350, LU CY FOLK,

lucyfolk.co om

Shorts, $35 50,

ZIMMERMA ANN,

zimmermannwe ear.com

Earrings, $380,

PRADA, prada.com

Bag, $515,

SIMON MILLER,

mychameleon.com.au

Shirt, $395, FRAME,

edwardsimports.com

JUST ADD:

Tunic tops, statement-making earrings, pastel loafers and raffia wedges are your shorts’ new best friends this summer.

Sunglasses, $290, ILLESTEVA,

mychameleon.com.au

Loafers, $495,

LACOSTE,

lacoste.com.au

Wedges, $80,

ASOS, asos.com

Christian Dior

Louis Vuitton

Gucci

Dress, $299, SPELL & THE GYPSY COLLECTIVE, shop.spelldesigns.com.au

Shake up the blazer’s office connotations by opting for soft tailoring, breathable fabrics and a muted palette of sorbets, eggshells and whites. They’re best over a pretty, calf-skimming day dress – cue: the checks, stripes and florals you’ve already stocked up on. E

Dress, $695, ZIMMERMANN, zimmermannwear.com

Dress, $229,

ELKA COLLECTIVE,

elkacollective.com

Dress, $669, GINGER & SMART, gingerandsmart.com

Jacket, $590, MICHAEL LO SORDO, michaellosordo.com

Blazer, $179, ZARA, zara.com/au

Blazer, $490,

ALICE MCCALL,

alicemccall.com

Jacket, $695, SANDRO, (02) 9327 3377

Jacket, $599, MANNING CARTELL, manningcartell.com.au

Kudrat Makkar

WITH RESPECT FOR THE PAST AND AN EYE TO THE FUTURE, NEW LABEL

MASTANI IS MELDING

TRADITIONAL WITH VISION FOR SLOW FASHION WITH A SOCIAL CONSCIENCE

IN FOCUS

PASS

IT

ON

Top, $499, pants, $699, both MASTANI, mastanilabel.com

Above left: kimono, $1,399, pants, $899, both MASTANI, mastanilabel.com

Words: Georgina Safe. Photography: Will Davidson, Tracey Lee Hayes

@mastani.label

AS A YOUNG GIRL GROWING UP IN THE TOWN

of Jalandhar in India, Kudrat Makkar would drape herself in her

mother’s handmade saris and shawls. “My love of fabric and fashion started when I was raiding mum’s wardrobe,” she laughs. “Because I come from a very small city there was really no contemporary fashion at all, but mum had a lot of heirloom pieces and that’s how I learned about quality and craftsmanship.” As she grew a little older, Makkar would accompany her mother to visit the artisans who made those garments. “Mum would go to all these small embroiderers and craftspeople who worked by hand and she would explain how everything was done,” says Makkar. “In those days you had to buy the fabric, use

your imagination and then let the craftspeople work their magic.” From those early studio visits with her mother, Makkar’s own imagination was sparked and she vowed that one day she would work in fashion. Three decades later the result is Mastani, a label based in Melbourne with an atelier in India and a design team in Milan. The brand’s name comes from that of an Indian princess who was a symbol of both strength and femininity, two values Makkar aspires to embody in her designs that fuse Indian skills spanning centuries with modern cuts and silhouettes. Traditional hand-looming

techniques and intricate embellishment and

beading are the hallmarks of the label that aims to preserve and revitalise Indian crafts while educating its wearers about the culture of the hands that shaped their garments. After two years of boarding school in the Himalayas, where Makkar’s father sent her to instil a sense of independence and strength, she moved to Australia, where she completed an architecture degree at the University of Melbourne. “I always wanted to do something in fashion but coming from an Indian family they really wanted me to do

a degree and I thought architecture was the closest thing while

still staying in the design field,” she says. When she graduated, an opportunity arose to run an education business, which Makkar did for five years before founding Mastani. “Running a business helped me build my business skills, and studying architecture enabled me to understand craftsmanship and construction with the kind of experience you just can’t get in fashion school,” she says. She decided to bring her creative and commercial nous together with Mastani two years ago after she went home to India to see her family. She visited several remote villages

Dress, $699,

MASTANI,

mastanilabel.com

meeting artisans whose traditional techniques spanned generations. “We were visiting a few villages because my

father does a lot of charity work in India and I suddenly realised I could do something that could make a difference,” says Makkar. “I’d always appreciated the beauty of hand-looming and embroidery through my upbringing, so I thought I could do something to help sustain their skills and also, in some small way, to give back.” Today, Mastani’s atelier is located

in Bengaluru in the Indian state of Karnataka and consists of a small team of 20. Artisans are provided with above-average working conditions and pay and guaranteed minimum orders to foster the preservation of their expertise. “I commit for, say, the next five years, to an order of a certain amount every month so they don’t have to worry about going out and finding other work,” says Makkar. “A lot of these traditional techniques are dying because there is

not enough regular work so people have to stop and become labourers or do odd jobs instead.” Textile waste at the atelier is minimised, in line with Mastani’s focus on sustainability. Fabric scraps are kept for finishing and used on trims on garment bags and some styles, and samples and garments that do not pass quality control are either upcycled by the atelier or donated within the local community. “We pride ourselves on not letting anything go to waste,” says Makkar. Mastani’s new spring/summer collection also scores high on desirability. Easy inky tunic tops, wrap jackets with matching silky

trousers, oversized kimono coats and exquisitely embellished eveningwear are among the pieces in the range designed to be worn this season, and for seasons to come, in line with the original pieces beloved by her mother. “I want to create heirloom pieces that 10 or 20 years down the line people will still want to wear,” she says. E

“Her designs fuse Indian skills SPANNING CENTURIES with modern cuts and silhouettes”

35

Words: Lauren Sams. Photography: Getty Images

MUSIC

in

full

bloom

After a tumultuous decade in the

spotlight,

Lily Allen

is back – with a whole new attitude

@lilyallen

If it feels like Lily Allen has been narrating your entire adult life, it’s because she has. From dodging dodgy blokes at the bar (“can’t knock ‘em out/can’t walk away”), to bemoaning the guys who just don’t care that you’re not quite getting there, sexually speaking (“you’re supposed to care/that you never make me scream”), to lamenting lost friendships (“could you please find it deep within your heart/to go back to the start”), to deeply relatable body image debates ( “I wanna be able to eat spaghetti bolognaise/ and not feel bad about it for days and days and days”), to true #goals (“I want loads of clothes/and fuckloads of diamonds”), there is a Lily Allen lyric for every stage of a woman’s life. After a four-year stint without an album (she calls Sheezus, her 2014 album, “a commercial and creative disaster”), Allen came back – both musically (she released No Shame last year,

to critical and commercial success, and is in the

midst of a world tour) and with her first book

– a memoir called My Thoughts Exactly. Calling anyone “the voice of a generation” seems trite, but in Allen’s case it just might be true: she’shonest(tothepointofsensationalism) about absolutely everything. When it comes to Lily Allen, nothing (sex, drugs, alcohol, body image, mental illness…) is off the table. Which might be part of the reason she’s been tabloid fodder since she burst onto the music scene back in 2006 with her first album, Alright, Still. The UK tabloid press are notorious for their voracious pursuit of celebrities and Allen seems to be particularly targeted. “Oh,” she says plainly, when asked why she thinks that is. “Because I was a young woman who expressed my opinion unashamedly.” From day one, every move Allen made was scrutinised by the press. It got so bad that at

one point, she lied and put out a statement saying she’d had

a miscarriage, because she was afraid the papers would find out

she’d had an abortion. Her only form of recourse, she says, is to sue the publications for defamation. When asked how much she’s spent on lawyers so far, she rolls her eyes. “Millions.”

Fame, she says, isn’t something she’s interested in anymore.

“I want to move on from the craziness of the last decade of my life.

I’m not focused on being famous now, like I was before I had kids. I want to create. I look forward to getting up in the morning, going

to the studio and writing great songs – not writing great songs and

then getting them on the radio and going to an awards show. That stuff just doesn’t feel very real to me anymore.” In an ideal world, she’d move back to the country, to a place like the one she lived in with ex-husband Sam Cooper, and their daughters, Ethel and Marnie. “I like my peace and quiet. When I got to the end of my driveway I felt like I was completely alone; I do miss that.” The book is exactly as no-holds-barred as you’d imagine: from Allen’s mid-air romp with Liam Gallagher to her struggle to have

an orgasm to the breakdown of her marriage with Cooper, and the various vices she used to cope at the time (sex with female escorts, drugs and alcohol). But it’s the less salacious bits of the book that are the real meat in the sandwich: the passages that muse on a lonely childhood spent buffeting from one distracted parent’s house to another, the devastation of losing her firstborn, George, to stillbirth and the emotional wreck she was during the

first year of Ethel’s life, due to a life-threatening illness the baby suffered. Then there are the pages that detail exactly how hard it is

to succeed as a musician: from Allen’s early days cutting out her

own record covers on the floor of her mum’s flat in London, to

losing millions in royalties because she “accidentally ripped off Take That and couldn’t be bothered to do the paperwork”, to the grind of constant touring, something she says contributed to the breakdown of her marriage.

She wanted to write the memoir, she says, partially as a record for her daughters. “This is a very important period of their lives that they won’t remember, but it will shape so much of their future. I wanted them to hear how it all happened from me, not on the internet.” She says writing was cathartic (“I mean, kind of depressing to go through all of it again, but yeah, positive in the end”) and allowed her to take responsibility for her actions. Writing the book, she says, helped her “grow up” and draw a line under the past decade of her life. But it’s not the sort of memoir that leaves the reader with a sense that everything’s going to be alright. She’s honest about her shortcomings, her vulnerabilities and mistakes. Body image is a particular concern: “It’s an ongoing battle; every day I look at myself in

the mirror and see the flabby bits on my waist

or legs and I have to say over and over, ‘It’s okay, you don’t have

to look like those girls on Instagram, like a model.” She worries about the effect of social media on her children and tries to be

a positive role model, but that, too, is a work in progress. “The

conversation is always evolving,” she says. The one constant in Allen’s career, the thing she’ll always love,

is touring (she’ll return to our shores in early February). If you’ve

ever seen her live on stage, you’ll know exactly how electric and alive she becomes when she’s got a mic in her hands. Glastonbury

– where her dad, the comedian Keith Allen, organised the

comedy tent for years – is her favourite place to perform, but, she says, “I’ll perform literally anywhere. It’s an honour, and I genuinely

mean that. I’m always shocked that people will pay money to see me perform, it’s overwhelming to think I can fill a room with thousands of people.” She smiles and leans back. “I’ll do it until people don’t want me to anymore. There’s just nothing better.” E Catch Lily Allen from February 2-12; lilyallenmusic.com. Her memoir, My Thoughts Exactly, is out now ($34.99, Penguin)

“I WANT TO CREATE. I LOOK FORWARD TO GETTING UP, GOING TO THE STUDIO AND WRITING GREAT SONGS”

Neneh Cherry

Nick Cave: UNTIL

Nick Cave

Wendy and Brett Whiteley

Clara Luciani

BOOK OF THE MONTH

Christie Goodwin; Wolfgang

Prinz; Whiteley

Wendy

James

copyright

Getty Images;

Whiteley archive,

Photography:

of Brett

“The Lady Of Shalott”

McClure.

courtesy

Words: Elle

Tillmans;

38

GRAND DESIGNS

American artist Nick Cave (no, not the musician) has created his most impressive installation yet, comprised of millions of plastic beads, crystals, ceramic birds, flowers, wind spinners, gilded animals and… Christmas decorations. You can even climb one of the artwork’s ladders and take in the view from the top. It needs to be seen to be believed.

NickCave: UNTIL is on until March 3;

carriageworks.com.au

MODERN CLASSICS

Some of the world’s most recognisable and beloved pre-Raphaelite works have journeyed from London’s Tate gallery to Canberra’s National Gallery of Australia, so it’s worth making your own jaunt to the capital. Don’t miss the chance to get close to John Everett Millais’ famed “Ophelia” and John William Waterhouse’s “The Lady of Shalott”.

Love & Desire: Pre-Raphaelite Masterpieces From The Tate until April 28; nga.gov.au

POP YOUR CHERRY

Neneh Cherry has long been a pillar of pop (along with ageless, cool style) but now she’s back in a big way. In October she released the Four Tet-produced Broken Politics – her first solo album in four years – and now she’s headed to Australia, performing as part of the Sydney Festival and Tassie’s MONA FOMA (held in Launceston). Snap up tickets quick smart – and prepare to bust out some big accessories.

January 15-16, sydneyfestival.org.au;

January 19, mofo.net.au

ARTS

Made a NYE resolution to get out more?

Stick to your guns and hit these happenings

LOVE INTEREST

Art aficionados will flock to world- premiere performance, Brett & Wendy:

A Love Story Bound By Art, which mixes acting, dance and live music to bring to life the colourful and turbulent artistic and romantic partnership of Wendy and Brett Whiteley. Choreographed by the Australian Ballet and Sydney Dance Company’s Lucas Jervies and directed by Kim Carpenter (behind performances by Melbourne Theatre Company and Sydney’s Belvoir St Theatre) it’ll be a not-to-miss piece dedicated to two of Australia’s greatest creatives.

January 18-27; sydneyfestival.org.au

SHE SOUNDS

The summer festival stretch is packed with girl-power acts. Leading the way is Francophile delight So Frenchy So Chic’s first all-woman line-up, including Parisian songstress Clara Luciani. Falls Festival is a departure from last year, when it copped flak for a lack of female acts – get excited for Jack River, Tkay Maidza, Odette and Hatchie. Then Laneway offers big-ticket acts like Jorja Smith and Courtney Barnett.

So Frenchy So Chic runs January 11-19,

sofrenchysochic.com; Falls Festival runs

December 28 – January 6, fallsfestival.

com; St Jerome’s Laneway Festival runs

January 28 – February10,

lanewayfestival.com

CAVE DWELLER

Musician, author, composer and Gucci front-rower Nick Cave (yes, that one) will take to stages around the country for a series of candid conversations and solo piano performances. Get ready to hang onto his every prophetic word. E

January 5-23; nickcave.com

CALL ME EVIE

BY J.P. POMARE

As you prepare to while away your summer days, you’ll need a new must-read thriller to tear through feverishly. Enter Call Me Evie, the latest in the vein of Gone Girl-style suspenseful tomes. You’ll be compelled by trying to figure out what the hell happened to land Evie in New Zealand, held hostage by a man whose identity is known only to her, but who’s adamant he’s only protecting her from herself.

Call Me Evie is out now ($29.99, Hachette)

This is the latest instalment of the ELLE Book Club, where each month we recommend one read we know you’ll love. For a chance to win a copy of this one, head to ELLE.com.au/win

*

@jenna_coleman_

STREAMING

WHAT

HER

HIGHNESS

DID

NEXT

her marriage [with Prince Albert]. I think she had this ambivalence toward them because she was somebody who had fought for her independence, only to [marry at the age of 20 and become pregnant the following month]. Obviously there were no contraceptives, and that often meant being pregnant without choosing to be – in Victoria’s case, nine times over, with no pain relief during labour. To have nine children and also be queen of an empire is unbelievable to get your head around. As someone who wanted to go out and see the world, but had to live her life in a different way than expected, really took a toll. At the same

time, almost every other sentence in her diaries is about her children, and [she and Albert] spent

a lot more time with them than what was usual

within their court. She seemed torn between resentment for having to give up her independence and also her love for them.”

As one of few female leads

in sci-fi hit

Doctor Who,

the “perpetually pregnant” queen of England in period drama

Victoria, or the

mother of

a

new psych-thriller

series The Cry,

Jenna Coleman leads with aplomb – but admits she still has crises of confidence

missing baby in

ON THE CRY

“Filming was an emotional marathon; I had to really manage my mental endurance because it was incredibly dark in places. [The series centres around the kidnapping of a child in a small Australian town.] I kept trying to think about my character’s [separation from] her child on

a physical level, as though it was a physical thing

that was happening to her, like losing her arm.

I gave myself a bit of a hard time at first – I spent

the first couple of weeks of filming thinking I had been grossly miscast because I am not a mum, and I kept thinking there was something

I wouldn’t be able to understand, because of what everybody says about that bond being so primal. But then

I thought that I also don’t know what it is like to be Queen Victoria, and that’s my job.”

ON SWOTTING UP TO PLAY QUEEN VICTORIA

“[Queen Victoria’s] diaries are all online – she wrote pretty much daily, over 62 million words. What’s quite amazing is that I can read her diaries along the same period of time as we’re filming. On my way to work or while I’m in makeup I can look up the dates

we’re about to shoot, say ‘April 1848’, and get everything. We’ve just filmed

the French Revolution, when King Louis-Phillippe was kicked out of France and went to stay with [the British Royal Family], and I could read in her diaries what the king said to her on his arrival. In terms of research it’s amazing. She’s very unexpected, and is completely not what her portraits and her public image, in all her straight-laced collars, would suggest. She is incredibly frank and really, really

funny with a complete lack of patience. If she likes you she is loyal to you forever, but if she doesn’t like you she’s horrible.”

The Cry airs February 3 on the ABC

ON WHAT’S UP NEXT

“I choose roles on a script-by-script basis and

often it’s led by a project feeling like a departure to what I’ve just finished. After Doctor Who, Victoria was the perfect antidote and then after Victoria, The Cry felt very different. I’d love to do some theatre, it’s just a matter of finding the right play, and obviously the right timing. I’ve basically been looking every single night at the minute. But I finished filming The Cry on a Saturday and began Victoria on the Monday, so for now I’m potentially going to take a holiday!” E

ON VICTORIA’S MATERNAL INSTINCT

“Victoria is not thought to have been a very affectionate mother – she would tell her children they spoilt her honeymoon and the first years of

TV

how to top your personal best

Bel Powley (who’s

way more than just

the

Teenage Girl

she won us over with) explains how to win at life

Bel Powley experienced a rocket-fast ascent to fame with her first-ever major film, The Diary Of A Teenage Girl – her portrayal of 15-year-old Minnie’s coming of age saw her nominated for more than a dozen awards (several of which she won) and named “female revelation of the year” at Cannes. So how do you back that up? For Powley, it was by sticking to her guns with a considered choice of meaningful, complex and feminist characters. The latest? As drug addict Dawn Wershe – opposite Matthew McConnaughey – in White Boy Rick, based on the real-life case of the FBI’s youngest-ever informant. Consider this your how-to for the ultimate in personal reinventions.

DON’T FEAR THE UNKNOWN

“It was weird that my first film [The Diary Of A Teenage Girl] was such a success, because afterward it was like, “What happens now? Is it all downhill from here?” It was a hell of a starting place

– I loved working with the director

[Marielle Heller] and I related to the character of Minnie so much because I’d never truly seen a teenage girl portrayed

like that – and so coming off the film and its press tour and going back to the grind was an adjustment. The challenge was

in finding projects that excited me in the

same way, but I eventually did.”

GET OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE

“Theatre and film feel like two completely different jobs, because it’s like I’m exercising completely different muscles, but I really couldn’t do one without the other. I learnt most of what I know from being on stage; it’s kind of the basis from where I work. I love the immediacy and rawness of theatre. When you do a movie, you can change your performance 10 times in 10 different takes, but with theatre you only get one shot on that particular night. But then you do the same play every night and it’s interesting the way your character develops really slowly – by the 70th night it’s morphed and changed but you haven’t even noticed it happening.”

NEVER DO THINGS BY HALVES

“I watched a lot of YouTube videos

of people smoking crack to prepare [for the role of Dawn]. It sounds ridiculous, but I found out that’s what Naomie Harris did when she played

a crackhead in Moonlight. It was really

the only way to add that to my repertoire

– it’s not like I could draw on my own

experience. Matthew and I were also very in-character on set. Our characters’ [father-daughter] relationship is quite

WHILE YOU

WAIT…

…for your favourite series toreturnto TV screens, catch some of their biggest stars in a swathe of new movies.

BIG LITTLE LIES’ Meryl Streep in

Mary Poppins Returns (January 1) and Kathryn Newton in family drama Ben Is Back (January 31).

GAME OF THRONES’

Gwendoline Christie in the uplifting Welcome To Marwen (January 10) and Sophie Turner in X-men spin-off Dark Phoenix (February 7).

STRANGER THINGSSadie Sink

in creepy horror flick Eli (out January 31).

strained, so we had to stay in that space to make it truthful. We weren’t fully ‘method’ but we did keep our distance. I think it would have been weird for us to play those characters and then go and have a beer afterwards.”

AVOID REINVENTING THE WHEEL

“A role doesn’t have to be completely new to be interesting; I much prefer seeing new takes on existing people or narratives. I recently did an independent film directed by Haifaa Al-Mansour called Mary Shelley – Elle Fanning played Mary and I played her stepsister Claire. Mary was famous for writing Frankenstein, which is a story we all know and love, but the director Haifaa wanted to show Mary and Claire as people had never seen them before – as the young feminists they were. It’s important to go back in history and pluck out female figures and get to the bottom of who they were, because often we think of them as quite one-dimensional. Any female character that is multi- faceted will do for me right now!” E

White Boy Rick is out February 7

Words: Elle McClure; Cat Rodie; Elle McClure. Photography: We Are The Rhoads/ Trunk Archive/Snapper Images

@lenadunham

@arianagrande

SELF

I get by with a little help

EMOTIONAL SUPPORT ANIMALS make their humans calmer, happier and better able to cope with life

A SURE SIGN THAT MILLENNIALS

are bucking the stigma of mental health is

the current popularity of emotional support

animals (ESAs). More than just your average pet, an ESA (often a dog or cat,

but possibly a chicken, rabbit or, yes, even

a pig) helps their owner cope with

2019-grade stress and anxiety. There’s singer Ariana Grande, who, when faced with criticism of her new companion, a pig named Piggy Smalls, tweeted: “SHE’S AN EMOTIONAL SUPPORT PIG I NEED HER.” Then there’s Lena Dunham and her “happy zoo”. “I’m the kind of anxious that makes you like, ‘I’m not going to be able to come out tonight, tomorrow night or maybe for the next 67 nights,’” she has said of her paralysing anxiety disorder. After a series of medical issues — including a hysterectomy, in 2017, at the age of 31, and the removal of her left ovary a year later — she added three Sphynx cats, Candy, Irma and LouLou, to

her collection of pets.

It’s not surprising that the popularity of ESAs is on the rise. Emotional support animals have been known to assist people who suffer from severe depression, generalised anxiety disorder,

post-traumatic stress disorder and many other serious conditions on the spectrum of mental illness. According to the Black Dog

Institute, one in five Australians experience

a mental illness in any year, and half of us

will experience a mental illness in our lifetime. As anyone who’s been triggered by the horrors on their newsfeed can attest, we’re living in tumultuous times.

ESAs are fast becoming mainstream. Last year, Townsville Airport teamed up with local organisation Sensitive Companions to bring a therapy dog into the terminal to help soothe anxious travellers. Therapy dogs are also popping up in hospitals, courtrooms and schools. The trend is booming in the US, where airlines noted that between 2016 and 2017, there was a more than 50 per cent

increase in the number of passengers flying with their own ESAs. Stories, like that of

a woman travelling with her duck (dressed

in red shoes and a Captain America nappy), are raising awareness of ESAs, while breaking down the taboo of mental illness. Why are so many people turning to animals for the extra support they need? Melanie Jones, a psychologist at Lead The Way, a Melbourne-based animal- assisted therapy organisation, says the reason is more of us are living in isolation. “There is a rise in single-person households and many people are delaying

parenthood. Psychologically, animals are meeting our basic need for attachment and connection. They’re providing people with a reason to live, in some cases.” As yet, not much research has been

done into the benefits of ESAs, but several studies have detailed the perks of spending time with pets. “People feel happier, calmer, more trusting and less stressed,” explains Jones. When it comes

to finding the right animal for the job, she

says it’s a very individual process: “Many people have found their ESA by accident.” This was the case for Dunham and Bowie,

a Yorkshire Terrier she inherited from a

friend. When Bowie died last year, Dunham took to Instagram to pay tribute, writing “[Bowie] made me feel safe and strong in a sea of change and reminded me that joy needn’t be diminished by

a bunch o’ imperfect body parts.”

The law in Australia doesn’t yet recognise ESAs (they’re considered pets, unlike assistance dogs, which are medical aids). However, you can ask a GP or

mental health professional to document the role your animal plays in your life, which can prove useful if you want to

bring your ESA to a public place or if your landlord doesn’t allow pets. Of course, if you want to take to the skies, you’ll need

to check with the airline first, and if your

ESA is a duck, squirrel or miniature horse, be ready to field a lot of requests for #animalselfies from fellow passengers. E

“Animals are meeting our basic need for attachment and connection”

MAN

A REAL

SONG

AND

DANCE

MAN

He’s won a Pulitzer,

reinvented the modern musical and is happily married to his high school sweetheart. He’s now set

to star in

Mary

Poppins Returns,

which begs the question:

could we possibly love Lin-Manuel Miranda any more?

With Mary Poppins Returns co-star Emily Blunt

Words: Lauren Sams. Photography: Jason Bell

The first rule of celebrity interviews is not to ask the same old questions everyone asks. But when it comes to Lin-Manuel Miranda, it’s hard to hold back. So, when is Hamilton coming to Australia? The answer is “at some point,” which is vague but hopeful. It’s also extremely polite, given that this interview isn’t about Miranda’s Tony Award-winning, record-breaking, cultural atom bomb of a musical. No. It’s about what comes next, when you take the life story of one of the US founding fathers, Alexander Hamilton, turn it into a smash hit hip-hop Broadway musical, blow everybody clean away, and turn your sights to other things. Specifically: Mary Poppins Returns. The film is a sequel to the 1964 Julie Andrews classic; Emily Blunt plays the titular Mary, and Miranda is Jack, a lamplighter and Mary’s love interest. “It’s

daunting to remake a beloved film like Mary Poppins,” he says. “I think it’s very smart not to do a reboot, it’s following on from the story.” Miranda, who one imagines could have his pick of roles, was drawn to the project for the chance to work with director Rob Marshall (Chicago) and co-star Blunt, who he says is “so generous with every member of the cast and crew”. Miranda says he was one of those lucky kids who “always knew” what he wanted to do. His a-ha moment? Watching The Little Mermaid. “When

Sebastian the crab sang ‘Under The Sea’, it was like my life before then was black and white and my life after that was in colour. I don’t know what it is about that song and that moment but it was the most transported I have ever felt in a movie theatre.” At university, he started a hip-hop troupe, Freestyle Love Supreme (more on this later) and wrote a draft of In The Heights, the musical which would first bring him popular and critical acclaim. Nearly 10 years later, in 2008, it opened on Broadway and went on to win 13 Tony Awards. From there he worked on Bring It On: The Musical and in 2012, he began performing a show then known as The Hamilton Mixtape. Three years later it was born again as Hamilton, and the modern musical changed forever. Since Miranda left the production in 2016, he’s won a Pulitzer for it, been nominated for an Academy Award (for the songs he wrote for Moana), written music for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, been nominated for an Emmy for hosting Saturday Night Live and, in an almost too-perfect full-circle moment, is now composing music for The Little Mermaid reboot. “My job is to be the biggest fan of The Little Mermaid. Done.” Married since 2010 to his high school sweetheart, lawyer Vanessa Nadal, and a father of two, Miranda says getting the work-life balance is just as tricky for Broadway royalty as it is for the rest of us. “We struggle with that just as much as anybody on earth, really. When you have two kids it’s sort of divide and conquer – like I’ll run after that one, you take that one.” He laughs. “We’re figuring it out every day.” I ask him what the

“It’s daunting to remake a beloved film like

Mary Poppins.

I think it’s very smart not to do a reboot”

secret is to being with one person for such a long time – how do you keep the romance alive? “I have no idea. Take holidays? Actually, that’s where I started writing Hamilton, on vacation one year. My wife made me go, we hadn’t been on holiday for such a long time. But then I got this idea for Hamilton, and I had to run with it. So maybe that’s not right. That was not

very romantic for my wife.” Miranda is known for his work promoting charitable causes. He released the song “Almost Like Praying” to aid Puerto Rico after the devastation of Hurricane Maria, and next year Hamilton will open on the island to promote tourism there and hopefully raise “millions”. He also recently fought to reclaim the film rights to In The Heights, which were owned by The Weinstein Company. “It was important, as a man, to stand up and say I wanted the movie out of those hands. And now we’re back on track, and Warner Brothers have the rights. The hope is to film next summer.” Miranda reassures us once more that Hamilton will definitely make it down under. “I love Australia,” he says. “I was there about 10 years ago, maybe more. I got my first tattoo in Melbourne.” More than getting his first ink, Australia is a reminder of how far he’s come, he says. “I don’t think I’ve ever told this story before. When I was in Freestyle Love Supreme, we were in this comedy relief show in Melbourne. Nobody knew who we were, we were literally filler. And I’ll never forget it because as they did the live promo for the next ad break, the announcer says something like, ‘Coming up next… Eddie Perfect! Tim Minchin!’ And then the camera pans to us and the announcer clearly doesn’t recognise us at all, so he says, ‘And… shitloads more!’ So that’s who we were for a long time: Shitloads More.” He laughs. “I love the history of being unacknowledged and unappreciated in Australia. I wouldn’t trade it for the world!” E

Mary Poppins Returns is in cinemas January 1

As told to: Alexandra English. Photography: Instagram/@warukatta

PERSPECTIVE

“I DON’T WANT PEOPLE OF ASIAN HERITAGE

TO FEEL LIKE THEY DON’T EXIST IN THE

WORLD”

Model Fernanda Ly is on a mission to fight for inclusivity

I’ll never forget meeting with modelling agencies in New York – who usually had a total of one Chinese model on their books – and being told, ‘We aren’t looking for another Asian.’ Modelling really opened my eyes to the lack of diversity in media, and then I started noticing it in all pop culture. Once you realise it, you can’t ignore it. The majority of people on earth are Asian, yet we have always been a minority in

lead. I don’t know why it’s taken us until now to start seeing Asians in major roles – ones that aren’t the stereotypical know-it-all geek, the kung-fu master or the mysterious geisha – but it feels like change is finally happening. As the director of Crazy Rich Asians, Jon M Chu, said, “It’s not a movie. It’s a movement.” We can finally watch these films and think, ‘These characters really do look and act like I do.’ Constance Wu – star of

Crazy Rich Asians – wrote an open letter about the significance of the film, which has since been quoted over and over. She wrote: ‘My friend Ava DuVernay says, ‘I work in an industry that really has no regard for my voice and the voice of people like me and so, what do I do? Keep knocking on that door or build your own house?’ My dear Asian-American friends, we are building our own damn houses. We got the tools, the ability and we definitely got the style.’ I want to use my platform to build our house; to support and advance Asian representation in Western pop culture, and I want to see it flourish. Our generation, Asian or not, needs to fight for inclusivity. Everyone needs to see these films, and not only that, to see the relevance of them. Start to notice when our culture has been misrepresented and speak up about it. We also need non-Asian culture consumers to speak up so that those at the top of the industry hierarchy will accept us as being no different from themselves. The media needs to represent the people who consume it, and that is all of us. There is a movement happening. And as long as we have people like Kwan – who turned down a huge pay cheque from Netflix so he could reach wider audiences in the cinema – championing our representation, and actors and actresses like Wu imploring us to build our own houses, next time a film with an all-Asian cast appears in a Western cinema, we can finally call it normalisation rather than cause for celebration. E

popular culture. Growing up, the only actress I remember who looked like me was Lucy Liu. I definitely don’t remember seeing any Asian models. There were a lot of male martial-arts masters – no-one that I could relate to. You could say I found success as a model because people saw beyond my non-whiteness and believed in me. I definitely feel the pressure as one of the few Asian models who openly speaks about our representation – or lack thereof – in the general media. I don’t want other people of Asian heritage to feel like they don’t exist in the world because they’re not seeing accurate depictions of themselves in pop culture; and I don’t want to see our culture being used as a sprinkle of decoration on an otherwise whitewashed film. One thing that inevitably comes up in conversation with first- and second-generation Asian people living in Western countries is about how our culture has either been misrepresented or erased from Hollywood altogether: traditionally Asian roles have been rewritten for white actors wearing yellow face. Despite our multicultural society, it’s still such a battle for Asians to be represented on-screen, which is why the film adaptations of two novels – Kevin Kwan’s Crazy Rich Asians and Jenny Han’s To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before – have been so widely celebrated. Crazy Rich Asians is the first Hollywood film with an all-Asian cast in 25 years [since 1993’s The Joy Luck Club], and To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before has a female Asian

Gregory Jewellers Ambassador Monika Rad & Alesandro Ljubicic

CELEBRATE LOVE

SYDNEY | MELBOURNE | 1300 700 950 | GREGORYJEWELLERS.COM.AU

THE

ELLE

HOT

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO HEAD INTO THE NEW YEAR

WITH CRED

(DON’T DO 2019 WITHOUT IT)

@pandorasykes

ELLE HOT LIST

@emilisindlev

Capitano

Capitano

Lambrusco is back baby

Lambrusco is back, baby.

“It’s one of the most

underrated sparkling wines

on the planet,” says James

Hird, group sommelier for

Sydney venues including

Icebergs and Bondi Beach

Public Bar. “Lighter styles

made from the Sorbara

varietal are perfect for

summer drinking.”

Cam

che

d

ecks, tartan and geometric

mo an

pr rints – this summer we’re

em

goo

mbracing so-bad-they’re-

od clashing combinations.

Loo

ok to Instagram It-girls such

as British journalist Pandora

Sykes S and cooler-than-

ool Copenhagen-based

co

stylist Emili Sindlev

for inspiration.

2017 Paltrinieri Lambrusco Radice, similar styles available at drnks.com

A bunch of openings are

making Italian great again,

from Capitano (by the

folks behind Melbourne’s

beloved Bar Liberty), to

Alberto (the Italian cousin

to Sydney’s Restaurant

Hubert) and Don Peppino’s

(a year-long pop-up from the

folks behind Acme and Bar

Brosé). It’s almost as good

as a jaunt to the source.

This y

f

year, the trappings of

th

t

i

your fitn ness routine should be

workin g harder than you do.

These m

marble dumbbells pull

their w

weight as homewares,

too – m eaning that if they sit in

the cor ner of the room, it’ll be

a style statement, rather than

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Dumbbells, $99.95 each, ADDITION STUDIO, additionstudio.com

ELLE HOT LIST

@franlreale

Paris Georgia

@giorgiatordini

Max Mara

Maya Hawke, one of the new faces joining Stranger Things this season, may be familiar (she played Jo in Little Women and is the daughter of Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke, after all), but you should also check out Francesca Reale, who’ll play pool lifeguard Heather. Binge her show Haters Back Off! on Netflix.

A handful of restaurants

– including new Sydney opening Bistecca (bistecca.com.au) – are enforcing a no-phone- at-the-table rule, with patrons asked to hand their device over before being seated. Embrace the tech break and take a sabbatical no matter where you dine. Turns out your parents were onto

a good thing all along.

48

Sunglasses, $570, CELINE, matchesfashion.com

Sunglasses, $510,

CELINE EYEWEAR,

celine.com

Sunglasses, $570, LOEWE, net-a-porter.com

While we’ll always have a soft spot for black, white and cream, we’re reconsidering our colour MVPs. Powder blues, deep browns and greys have earned “neutral” status thanks to Paris Georgia, Albus Lumen, Max Mara and Jacquemus.

Sunglasses, $398, CHLOÈ, net-a-porter.com

Forget BDE, this year it’s all about BSE: Big Sunnies Energy. From Gucci to Loewe and Celine, all signs are pointing to the cool factor of giant sunglasses (not to mention the UV-busting factor). So long, small-lens trend.

Sunglasses, $552, GUCCI, gucci.com/au

Colour Control Cushion Compact, $85, AMOREPACIFIC, mecca.com.au

-

Korea has been ahead of the beauty game for years – but we’re catching up. Get on board with the latest cult brands to hit our shores:

AmorePacific (via Mecca) and Innisfree (the Super Volcanic Clay Mousse Mask sold out in 15 days when it launched in Korea).

Super Volcanic Clay Mousse Mask, $32, INNISFREE, innsifree.com.au

@cacarrracha

Silk Hydration Face Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50+, $15.99, HAWAIIAN TROPIC, priceline.com.au

Sensitive Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50+, $27.95, WE ARE FEEL GOOD INC, wearefeelgoodinc.com.au

Hawaii recently passed a bill to ban

certain chemical sunscreen ingredients in

an effort to protect reefs from bleaching

(it’s estimated 14,000 tonnes of sunscreen

are deposited into the world’s oceans

annually). Until Australia does the same,

do your part by switching to oxybenzone-

and octinoxate-free varieties.

Since hitting the scene in

2016, Brit muso Rex Orange

County (aka Alexander

O’Connor) is an OS festival

trail favourite and will fin

hit our shores for Lanew

slots. Even if you don’t n

tickets, consider his jaz

soul/electronica hybrid

soundtrack to your sum

Laneway runs January to February 10, lanewayfestival.com

From th e runway to street

style, s horts are the new

mini-dr ress. Top summer

legs w

with your shorts of

choice:

bike, bermuda or

athletic

c, and wear them

with an oversized tee and

strappy

y sandal (just add

a blaz

zer for after-dark).

Vintage Colette books, similar titles available from penguin.com.au

Intrigued by the Keira Knightley-fronted movie,

Colette (out now)? Use your summer reading time to

revisit the cult-hit Claudine novels, penned by French

author Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette, yet first published

under her husband’s name in the early 1900s.

Suffering swipe fatigue?

Old-school “personals” are

back and leading the way

is @_personals_, created by

New Yorker Kelly Rakowski

for the LBTQIA+ community.

Those interested in an ad

(ie. “Must love: cats, breakfast

food & astrology memes”) are

encouraged to get in touch via

DM. Call us old fashioned.

Want your home to

feel as spirited as the

rest of your life? Inject

personality into your

space by snapping up an

irreverent work of Sydney-

based artist Carla Uriarte

– a celebration of colour,

quirk and random thoughts

– while they still fall into the

“affordable art” category. >

carlauriarte.com

Stella McCartney

Louis Vuitton

Coach 1941

The Young Pope

Hermès

Jil Sander

Two People

Fendi

@kingprincess69

(still-life); Wong.

Jason

Compiled and written by: Elle McClure. Additional words: Janna

Lloyd-Evans; Bao Ngo; Tim Hardy; Jack Bridgland; Getty Images

Tran; Samantha

Babakhani

Caroline

O’Neill; Sevak

Little Simz

Rygaard;

Grace

Michael

Johnson O’Toole;

Photography:

Emily King

From Mary Queen Of Scots

to the runways, scarlet hair is

a thing of envy. Faking it is easy,

says Anthony Nader, founder

of Sydney salon Raw (rawhair.

com.au). “To get a bold, full-

pigment red your hair will need

to be pre-lightened, so those

with naturally light hair will fare

best and darker shades will

need more of a helping hand

before colouring.”

Pour yours self a c

cherry Coke

Zero, becau se Th

e Young Pope,

the Jude La

aw-led

d HBO show

and spaw ner of f memes, has

a follow-up

p, The

e New Pope.

Gothic nu n serie

es Lambs Of

Go

od will al

so be bingeworthy

wh hen it hits s scre ens in 2019.

CCoC

Conside

converted.

nsidere us converted.c

er us c

With Nile Rodgers and Chic

about to join Cher on stage

as she tours her ABBA-themed

album Dancing Queen

(read more on p54), and

rumours that Chaka Khan

is working on a new album and

tour, we’re about to witness

a disco renaissance. Have your

flares at the ready.

Bags, $60 each, LEMONADE, lmnd.com.au

Celine’s anti-It-bag It-bag,

the blue-and-white string tote,

achieved cult accessories

status. This summer, work

one with a sturdy handle and

room to carry more than just

your groceries. Our pick? This

version from Lemonade.

2019 will be a huge year for

music, with debut albums from

artists of the moment (think King

Princess and Two People),

new stuff from local MVPs (Julia

Jacklin and Meg Mac, to start)

and highly anticipated albums

by Emily King, Mark Ronson

and Little Simz. Press play.

ELLE HOT LIST

Valentino

Shoes, $960, MIU MIU, (02) 9223 1688

Carry yo

our high holiday spirits

through h the New Year with

bags an nd shoes punctuated

with pop s of colour, old-school

fonts and

d novelty embroidery,

like Miu

Loewe. T

Miu, Louis Vuitton and

The memo? It’s OK for

your ac cessories to be moree

extrov erted than you are.

With his penchant for

the romantic, Pierpaolo

Piccioli of Valentino is

fashion’s current golden

child. Spring/summer 19

was more of the good stuff:

voluminous gowns (worn

with flats!), feather trims

and a delicious palette of

bold prints. Get thee to the

newly opened Westfield

Sydney store, stat.

Bag, $3,800, LOUIS VUITTON, 1300 883 880

Bag, $5,150, LOEWE, (02) 9135 5436

Camille Charriere championed

next-level practical footwear

when she injured her foot in July

and documented her footwear

choices on Instagram. Now,

Chanel’s orthopaedic-style

sandal — favoured by

Alexa Chung and wised-up

magazine editors — is set to be

the defining shoe of the summer.

Our arches couldn’t be happier.

Stylecolor, $33.95 each, KMS, kmshair.com

Forget the music-festival-

appropes, brightly coloured

hairsprays of teen years past

– the latest temporary dye

spray formulations are from

s alon-quality brands and come

i n subtle colours

a soph isticated way to add

highlig hts and dimension…

if only

y for a few hours. E

YOUR

GURU?

Why we’re seeking a guiding light in turbulent times

Is your luminary Jess Magic, the musical storyteller who runs

WORDS BY

LAUREN SAMS

invitation-only Soul Salons for the rich and famous? Or Amanda Chantal Bacon, Moon Juice founder. Perhaps it’s her more famous contemporary, Gwyneth Paltrow? Maybe you visit the HairWitch when you’re in Brooklyn and get

a side of Sanskrit healing with your blow-dry? Do you follow

Instagram affirmation queen Cleo Wade? Progressive pop-stars Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez? How about the self-help author Gabrielle Bernstein, who says “the universe has your back”? Or are you more into memoirist-turned-civil rights spokesperson Glennon Doyle? Is your guru Oprah? The woman you buy crystals from? Or is it someone so cool and niche we haven’t even heard of them yet?

n age of the guru, where it seems as

meone to turn to in times of trouble — or hen we’re scrolling through Instagram,

d of a boost to get us through the rest of

about everyone I follow (and by that ollow) on social media has something

n for faith and affirmation. I’ve lost count ve seen someone credit their massive ry from heartbreak/long-awaited en major life milestone here] to their ook or a citrine crystal.

e more inclined than ever to believe that

success, it comes as little surprise that eriously on the decline. According to the ensus, in 2016, “no religion” is now e, ahead of Catholic, Anglican, Uniting

st, Presbyterian, Eastern Orthodox, stal, Lutheran and Sikh. Furthermore,

g paganism, Wiccan and even druidism rs. Where traditional belief systems suffering from major PR crises (the Royal ex abuse, for one), smaller, more re gaining traction. And alternate forms as — from astrology to self-help to ations — are cropping up everywhere. new philosophy, one that doesn’t give ender identification or socioeconomic

and influencer Cori Amato Hartwig en). Many millennial women feel these offer a type of inclusive, accepting ways found in more traditional forms of why people are into this stuff, even if to

e kooky. Jess Magic, the musician who the living rooms of tech billionaires Man at home”), encourages all

, smile and have a “songversation” with as turned her Instagram affirmations

ir bestseller Heart Talk: Poetic Wisdom

come a guru for the millennial feminist ended the March For Our Lives in gans for their placards. “[Girls] revere would adore your favourite loving, ster,” says Reese Witherspoon of called her “the millennial Oprah”. hs could not have come at a better time pularity is indeed due to the current ring moments of political and cultural rong narratives and solutions to tricky the ability to put the question out there urton, writing in The New York Times, of these new forms of faith to a future We’re trying out new things that are

actually old things,” she says, referring to crystals, astrology and the positive kind of charismatic leadership. “We’re seeing what else could make life a little more meaningful, a little more bearable.” As the world gets (literally) hotter, as house prices rise and rise and as politicians continue to disappoint, is it any wonder we’re turning to ourselves (through the guidance of others) for introspection and nurturing? This quest for personal transformation — whether it be fuelled by gurus such as Gabrielle Bernstein, Elizabeth Gilbert, Cheryl Strayed, Sheryl Sandberg or even Oprah — is nothing new, says Cristina Rocha, an associate professor at Western Sydney University. “It has its roots in the Human Potential Movement of the ’60s and ’70s, and other counterculture movements,” she explains. “It’s about understanding and healing yourself — constantly being on the lookout for ways to improve who you are.” Sophi Bruce, who teaches at The School of Life, says the desire to be more self-aware is noble. “People need to be nourished in different ways, and if looking inside yourself to find healing can help you, then I think that’s fantastic.” The flipside of this, though, says Rocha, is that these new forms of faith are so introspective they don’t allow for collective action and collective growth. “Turning to something like astrology because you feel lost is fine, but it doesn’t allow you to look at the structural problems in society and what role you might play there.” If there are any women in this brave new world of gurus who have a real shot at making lasting changes that could overcome structural inequality, it’s those like Glennon Doyle, who have parlayed their fame in this new sphere into true political activism. Doyle, a Christian mummy blogger turned bestselling memoirist, who ELLE US referred to as “the guru of the moment”, has positioned herself as the leader of the Christian resistance to Trump. She told ELLE US last year, “We wake up in the morning and literally say to each other, ‘Coffee and revolution.’” The guru movement is not without its detractors, of course — there are those who dismiss astrology or affirmations or self-help as inconsequential and lacking in substance. Banu Guler, co-founder and CEO of popular astrology app Co-Star, says she’s used to people seeing her field as silly. “We’re so quick to dismiss things that are embraced or driven by women — think about fashion or beauty, how quick we are to write those off as trivial.” Astrology, she says, is a “social glue” that helps women, in particular, find a sense of community. “Politically, we’re in a tumultuous moment,” she says. “The situation is untenable, so people want something to cling to that can make sense of the chaos.” When it comes to the dissolution of faith, Guler points out that people aren’t just losing their faith in politics, it’s social media as well, especially after Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica data-leak fiasco. “People want to find meaning and structure. So what if they find that in astrology or crystals or in reading a book with new ideas? I just don’t get why you’d want to dismiss that, if someone found real meaning in it. Isn’t that what we all want?” E

NONO

TURNINGTURNING

BACKBACK

With a new hit Broadway musical

underway,

Cher

opens up about a singular life filled with love, failure, loss

and success beyond imagination

HAVE YOU EVER STOPPED TO THINK ABOUT CHER? You are aware of her, of course, the way you are aware of the

sun, with its blinding light, its rising and setting. But have you ever considered the totality of Cher — not just the celestial body herself, and not just the epic arc she has travelled, but the sheer range of stellar explosions she has undergone? Let’s review. She became famous as half of Sonny and Cher in 1965, at the age of 19. They sold millions of records, morphed into

a lounge act, then drew more than 30 million viewers a week on

their hit show, The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour. Cher launched

a solo career on the side, releasing three number-one singles:

“Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves”, “Half Breed” and “Dark Lady”. After divorcing Sonny in 1975, she starred in her own damn TV show, thank you very much, which was called — what else? — Cher. Many more Chers followed. There was Disco Cher, Punk Cher and Rock’n’Roll Cher. In the ’80s there was Best Actress

Cher, who starred with Meryl Streep in Silkwood, Jack Nicholson

in The Witches Of Eastwick and Nicolas Cage in Moonstruck.

She ended the decade with one of her biggest hits, “If I Could Turn Back Time”, giving the world Battleship-Thong Cher. She’s long been a fashion icon. Cher was the first megastar to wear a “naked dress”, decades before J.Lo, Rihanna and Kim Kardashian did. In fact, we’re currently in the early stages of a new version of Cher. Did you notice how her mid-2018 Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again cameo segued into a surprise ABBA tribute album? Those amuse-bouches have recently culminated in her new musical, The Cher Show. It’s only when I set foot in her presidential suite at the Sunset Marquis one balmy night and begin climbing

a spiral staircase, that it hits me: Wait, Cher is

also an actual human?

show, and she is still working with its writers to get the script right. “I’m fussy ‘cause it’s my story,” she says. “I want it to be honest and right and funny and sad, like my life.” While you might guess a personality as strong as Cher would suck the oxygen out of any room, her physical presence — we are now sitting alone on a leather couch next to a grand piano — is quiet, still, calm, even delicate. The word vulnerable also comes to mind, yet doesn’t feel quite right, since it’s so often taken to mean “weak”. It’s rather that Cher is open and listening, and thus exposed. If in her work she is on output, in person she is on input. Powerful but not overpowering. Nicolas Cage gets at this quality when I ask him to describe her acting talent. “Cher is a person with a huge heart, and that really comes through not only in her music but as a screen performer. She has an extraordinary blend of strength and vulnerability on-camera,” he says. Micaela Diamond, the 19-year- old actor who plays a young Cher in the new musical, used this quality in her interpretation of the star. “I just tried to find her superpowers. My favourite is her combination of power and vulnerability. To be so vulnerable and yet have the most power in the room, that’s a hard place to stand in. She was born with that.” There is a unique irresistibility to Cher; she is both otherworldly and relatable. “My earliest impressions of her were when I was

a freshman in high school, and ‘I Got You Babe’ was number

one,” remembers Meryl Streep. “I knew she was also high-school age, but she had such a deep, velvet, mature voice. I sounded like Tweety bird at that age. And her hair was like a dark curtain that swung and shone, and she had one crooked tooth that made her even more perfect.” In an alternate universe, the world doesn’t

meet Cher at all. Her mother, Georgia Holt, was a 19-year-old aspiring actress. Her father, John Sarkisian, was a young truck driver. The two met at a dance in LA and married soon after. By the time Holt realised she was pregnant, she’d left Sarkisian. Holt’s mother gave her daughter a choice: go back to your husband, or abort the pregnancy. Holt chose the latter but then couldn’t go through with it. Cherilyn Sarkisian was born in El Centro,

a border town in the Imperial Valley. “My father’s father had a refrigerated-truck business, and they were just driving through,” says Cher. Sarkisian was

a ne’er-do-well with a gambling and heroin habit, and Holt

divorced him a year after Cher’s birth. Though Cher had a series

of stepfathers — Holt was married eight times, to six different men

— she mostly watched her mother survive alone. Cher spent some

of her childhood in an orphanage in Pennsylvania, most of it in Los

Angeles, and very little of it with Sarkisian. Cher grew up poor in close proximity to Hollywood, and her mother socialised with an illustrious group, including comedian Lenny Bruce and actor Robert Mitchum. Cher vowed to become >

“I’m fussy

‘cause it’s my

story. I want

it to be honest, funny and sad, like my life”

But there she is, standing at the top, wearing

a black blouse, black pants and black boots,

with an unearthly glow emanating from her porcelain face and platinum bob. She’s been interviewed all day, by many different people. I gather that most, if not all, were men, because as I enter her line of sight and extend my hand to shake hers, Cher beams a cheeky smile and exclaims, “A woman!”

Talking to Cher, she’s exactly who you expect her to be, and also the opposite. She’s the same woman who called David Letterman an asshole on the air and, more recently, offered this critique of political lobbyist Paul Manafort on Twitter: “FYI… Manafort… [gangster] John Gotti called… he wants his look back!!” When I ask if she’s ever met Donald Trump, she says she doesn’t think so, then adds: “I do remember seeing him once in a place I used to go to and thinking, ‘God, what an idiot.’ And all he was doing was walking around.” About the genesis of the musical, she explains that a producer first approached her with the idea more than a decade ago, “but then that script was terrible”. It has taken years to develop the

a star when she saw her first colour movie, at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. It was Dumbo. “I was in the movie, right along with those elephants and crows,” she later wrote in a memoir. “That was my first career ambition: to be a star in animated films.” She was a precocious teenager. She got her driver’s licence as soon as she turned 16 so she could cruise Sunset Boulevard in her stepfather Gilbert’s Skylark. One night, while passing popular hangout Schwab’s pharmacy, she was crashed into by a white Lincoln convertible. “Are you nuts?” she remembers saying to the guy. “Then I looked at his face, and I thought, my god, it’s Warren Beatty.” Spoiler alert: Cher and Beatty started dating. “But you can’t call it a relationship,” Cher tells me. “It was very Warren.” Cher didn’t get home until well after curfew that night. As punishment, she was barred from seeing Beatty the following night. Beatty called Holt and negotiated Cher’s release. This was right around the time that Cher met Sonny Bono. Their

first encounter was at Aldo’s Coffee Shop in Hollywood. “Everyone just disappeared,” remembers Cher. “He was the most unusual person I’d ever seen. He had longish hair, and he had the most beautiful suit on, and beautiful long fingers, and Beatle boots, but they were Cuban heels.” By then, Cher had dropped out of high school — “I was dyslexic, so school for me was one big nightmare” — and moved into an apartment with a few other women. Sonny moved in next door. When Cher lost her apartment, she moved in with Sonny. Sonny was working for Phil Spector, and soon Cher was singing backup in Spector’s arrangements, including the Righteous Brothers’ “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’” and the Ronettes’ “Be My Baby”. Sonny was gunning to produce Cher as a solo act, but Cher didn’t want to be onstage alone. So they began recording and performing together, first as Caesar and

Cleo, then as Sonny and Cher. Sonny once described them as “the first unisex couple”, which pretty well captures their sound and look. Cher says none of it was calculated. “When we first started out, I wore a dress and he wore a suit, and then they lost our luggage at Cow Palace, and we had to go in our day clothes. That was who we were. Sonny wore that bobcat [vest], and I wore huge bell-bottoms,” says Cher. “We didn’t think, ‘Oh, we’re breaking some taboo’ or ‘We’re avant-garde’ or any of that. We just loved the way we looked.” They didn’t resonate at first. “Kids liked it, but adults just hated us,” says Cher. “I mean, really hated us. Fistfights hate.” When “I Got You Babe” came out, in 1965, they went to London. “It sounds so dumb, but everything happened so fast,” says Cher. “I didn’t even know where I was. One day we were poor.

Two days, three days later, we were famous.” Meryl Streep recalls, “It was the first time I had ever seen anybody wear sheepskin inside out, with the scratchy stuff on your skin. I thought that might be unpleasant. And how do you wash it?” There was a run of hits, including “The Beat Goes On”. But as the movements of the late ’60s picked up — free love, psychedelics — Sonny and Cher, a straight-edge couple, lost their aura of cool. By 1968, they were facing a backlash. “We broke big barriers, but we didn’t do drugs,” says Cher. “And we didn’t change our sound. That was really wrong.” They had their child, Chastity, in 1969. Then they went on the road, performing in nightclubs — or, as Cher has referred to them, “nightmarish clubs”. To entertain the band during slow nights, they started talking. Without meaning to, they had turned their banter into a comedy act. The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour premiered on CBS in 1971 and became an instant hit. Cher was an obvious star. “You couldn’t watch her show and not recognise her natural talent as an actress,” says Streep. “She made everybody else on TV look like they were trying too hard, pushing. She was so immediate, free, and she was canny about landing the jokes. Skilled, but it was invisible.” The marital barbs may have been the biggest draw. They were usually delivered, deadpan, by Cher, with Sonny providing the set-up. Sonny: “What, you think you’re living with a dummy?” Cher: “I never said this was living.” If that sounds tame by today’s standards, consider this: when Rolling Stone profiled Sonny and Cher in 1973, the writer included this: “Many of my friends favour the belief that after work, Sonny beats the shit out of her with a tyre iron. They had asked me to reaffirm this.” There was another lure. Cher had brought on Bob Mackie to design her costumes, as

many as 13 looks a week. “To be cute and pretty back then, you had to have a turned-up nose and lots of blonde hair,” says Mackie. “But Cher is an amazing-looking girl. She can look like anything. She loved getting dressed up, and nothing intimidated her. By the end, people were turning on the show just to see what she was going to wear.” Colours were bold, sequins were plentiful, coverage was minimal. “Almost nothing he ever made me did I hate,” says Cher. “The minute I started getting beads, I didn’t care what happened.” As the show took off, the marriage tanked. Sonny had more than an eye for other women. Cher began to chafe against the constraints Sonny put on her. They separated in 1974. Some time that year, Cher’s new boyfriend, David Gefen, urged her to seek information about her business arrangements with Sonny. When she did, Cher learned that

CAPTIVATING

CHER FACTS

SHE AND MERYL STREEP saved a girl from being mugged on the streets of New York.

ANDY WARHOL once crashed a party at her house. “Best crasher I ever had,” she says.

SHE MAKES JARS of chicken bolognese for friends at Christmas, with labels that read “Diva Pasta”. That’s a list we’d like to be on.

Words: Abby Aguirre. Photography: Getty Images

MORE

CHER WISDOM

La Bohème. Watch the scene knowing this: “There was no-one onstage. The director was whispering what was going on, what was happening: ‘And now she’s dying, and now the snow,’ and all that. And I started crying,” says Cher. In Streep’s words,

Moonstruck was when she showed how completely effortless her fully-rounded talent was — funny, heartbreaking, inimitable — no-one else could’ve done it that way. She owned that part. She jumped out of the screen. It was like we’d been waiting for her, and round the corner she came: ‘Yeah, and I can do this, too!’” When Cher accepted her Oscar, on her way to the stage, she tripped, lost an earring, and said, “Shit!” At the podium, she addressed the audience, including her children, Chastity and Elijah Blue, her son with Gregg Allman; Cage and Streep; and Rob Camilletti, the bagel baker she still describes as the love of her life. The average person might need a rest after all this. In any event, the average person definitely does not then release a music video in which she straddles a cannon aboard the USS Missouri in front of thousands of sailors. But the really un-average thing is that Cher is still at it. Just this morning, she went back to Television City, where she and Sonny once

filmed the Comedy Hour, to be a guest on The Ellen Show and to promote her new ABBA album, her new Broadway musical, and her Here We Go Again tour. How on earth do you fit all this into one

Broadway musical? How on earth did Cher fit it into one lifetime? We haven’t even gotten to the part where Chastity became Chaz five years before Bruce became Caitlyn. If you must know, Cher was scared at first, mostly about the public’s reaction and especially for Chaz. But this, she weathered: “All of a sudden, this person comes in, and it’s fine. That’s the child that you love, just in different wrapping paper.” And we’ve barely touched on the time she magically knew the robotic Auto-Tune effect would be the next big thing a decade before everyone else, knew it with such conviction that she told an executive he could change the effect “over my dead fucking body”, and thus unleashed, at the age of 52, what remains her greatest-selling single to date, posing the question: “Do you believe in life after love?” Before I leave, I ask Cher why she thinks following fun and acting on instinct has, in her case, produced so many pivotal moments. “It doesn’t always,” she says. “Look, I’ve had huge failures in my life. Huge dips and ‘Oh, you’re over. You’re over.’ This one guy once said, ‘You’re over,’ every year for I don’t know how many years. And I just said to him, ‘You know what? I will be here when you’re not doing what you do anymore.’ I had no idea if I was right or wrong. I was just tired of hearing him say it.” E

“MY MUM SAID TO

ME, ‘YOU KNOW, SWEETHEART, YOU SHOULD SETTLE DOWN AND MARRY A RICH MAN.’

I SAID, ‘MUM, I AM A RICH MAN.’”

“ALL OF US INVENT

OURSELVES.

SOME OF US JUST

HAVE MORE IMAGINATION

THAN OTHERS.”

“I FEEL LIKE A BUMPER CAR. IF I HIT

A WALL, I’M BACKING UP AND

GOING IN ANOTHER DIRECTION. AND

I’VE HIT PLENTY OF FUCKING

WALLS IN MY CAREER. BUT I’M

NOT STOPPING.

she was not an owner of Cher Enterprises, the company Sonny had founded in her name. Sonny owned 95 per cent of Cher Enterprises. Their lawyer owned the other five. Cher suggested to Sonny that they become business partners. Sonny wouldn’t do it. Instead, he warned her that if she left, “America will hate you and you won’t have a job.” Cher filed for divorce, claiming that Sonny had tricked her into “involuntary servitude” and that their business dealings amounted to a violation of the Thirteenth Amendment. When the divorce became final in 1975, Cher walked away with nothing. Worse, because Cher Enterprises had outstanding contracts Cher broke by leaving, she owed Sonny millions. That same year, Cher was on the cover of Time, alone, in the original beaded nude dress Mackie designed for her. In some parts of the South, people ripped off the cover. But it didn’t derail her. She’s had decades of hits and paradigm- shifting fashion moments, plus won an Oscar. If you somehow have not seen the movie Moonstruck, go to YouTube right now and pull up the clip of Cher’s character Loretta Castorini watching

THE

REAL PRICE

OF

EMPOWERMENT

IT’S BECOME ONE OF THE MOST OVERUSED WORDS IN THE CONVERSATION AROUND FEMINISM, SO HOW DO WE CUT THROUGH

“FAUXPOWERMENT”

TO FIND WHERE THE TRUE POWER LIES?

WORDS BY

HANNAH BETTS

A QUARTER OF A CENTURY AGO – possibly your entire lifetime – I taught feminist theory at Oxford University. Back then, our poster-thinker was Judith Butler, whose most famous works argued that gender, sexuality and man and woman as biological entities could only be determined in performance – as it played out, so to speak. Our heroine argued this in language so convoluted it rendered us cross-eyed. How we fretted, how we thrilled. Fast-forward to 2018, and I found myself gazing at some newly released gingerbread biscuits, Godfrey and Annie. Annie sports a frock and a red (lipsticked?) smile. However, according to their producer, neither are gingerbread men, making it clear they are gender-neutral biscuits. “Christ,” I thought, “We did this. A couple of decades on, our elaborate academic wranglings are being packaged and sold with a ‘Have a nice day.’” It’s not just gingerbread snacks being deployed in the battleground for gender equality: in recent years, more and more brands are pushing supposedly empowering messages, often specifically aimed at women, to sell their products. As a journalist, I might receive 900 or so emails a day, legions of them banging the empowerment drum over the latest hair thickener or protein bar. Femvertising is nothing new (hell, there are even #Femvertising Awards) – lessons in female empowerment have been thrown at us from all corners of consumerism. Take the furore over Scottish brewer BrewDog’s pink “beer for girls”, launched for International Women’s Day – allegedly to highlight the gender pay gap – and lambasted for being the marketing gimmick it was.

However, in the fight for equality, aren’t there bigger, more pressing issues than the gender of your gingerbread biscuit or the colour of your beer bottle? Aren’t these, in fact, just further examples of what one might refer to as “fauxpowerment” — the overselling of false or banal so-called empowerment to women? For empowerment has become one of the most used – and abused – terms in the conversation around feminism, in a way that serves to dilute and undermine the cause itself. Bandying the word about for everything from childbirth to chocolate, fitness to floor cleaner is stripping the term of any meaning at a time when genuine power is still lamentably far from women’s grasp. So from where did this omnipresent word spring? Its first appearance in the English-speaking West occurred in the ’70s, in relation to African-American communities. Feminists began using the term in the ’80s and ’90s, tending to deploy it in reference to changes within the developing world. As the century staggered to its end, women’s magazines increasingly appropriated the word to buoy their readers, bolstered in turn by the Spice Girls’ championing of so-called “girl power” (an ideology that occupied an uncertain territory encompassing pinching Prince Charles’ bottom and being nice to your pals). Then, in 1998, came HBO’s Sex And The City, and empowerment became enmeshed with conspicuous consumption. “Hey, Manolo lover,” the commercial clamour went, “prove your independence by enslaving yourself to a credit card.” Not only did this transfer empowerment from some sort of collective experience to an individual high, it put it firmly within the realm of the (designer) wallet, conflating consumerism

with female autonomy. In 2003, the satirical website The Onion ran the headline “Women Now Empowered By Everything

A Woman Does”, with “does” meaning “buys”.

Big business was not slow in striving to exploit the idea of “women’s lib” as a commodity. Whether it was an It-bag,

an It-restaurant or an It-shoe, the “It” we were being sold was empowerment; because we were worth it. The global financial crisis of 2007–2008 looked to have thrown

a spanner in the works of consumer feminism, but, in fact, it

merely forced it underground. When it emerged, it was no longer confined to luxury goods,

but became a marketing free-for-all. Today, anything can be sold as empowering, from leggings to lingerie, weight-loss programs to wine, sanitary items to Kim Kardashian’s arse. As Laura Bates, founder of the Everyday Sexism Project, notes: “The idea of selling individual women ‘empowerment’ can be an easy way for brands to jump on the bandwagon of

a thriving feminist movement without actually engaging with the

systemic, ingrained issues women are really battling. It is frustrating when we are sold the idea that women themselves could solve the problem of institutionalised discrimination and

abuse by simply buying the right shampoo or T-shirt.” That’s not to say organisations and companies can’t adopt meaningful feminist messages, “but they need to put their money where their mouth is if they expect it to be convincing,” says Bates . “It’s no good slapping feminist quotes on your merchandise if your senior leadership is completely dominated >

Photography: Getty Images

“We need less stuff and FEWER POWER POSES:

more action, progress, rights”

by men, or if you’re paying your female staff less than their male counterparts.” This attitude – separating genuine feminist commitment from mere bandwagon leaping – lies at the heart of the issue. Kate Bosomworth, chief marketing officer at M&C Saatchi’s UK branch, argues that today’s fauxpowerment explosion was inspired by

a handful of genuine attempts by businesses to engage with

women’s issues. “The 2004 Dove [Real Beauty] campaign was

the first of its kind,” she tells me. “Then we had Pantene’s #Shine Strong. These campaigns were challenging, disruptive and truly tipped norms. However, those that have followed suit haven’t always been that authentic. Like us, they need to apply real insight into how to solve problems and help; how to bring a truth that no-one’s talked about before. Not just putting women in their adverts – consumers can see through that in a nanosecond, as they can find out very quickly whether organisations are true

to their word.”

It is this lip service to empowerment that brings us so many platitudes: from one Dove campaign imitator too many informing us that our chubbiness is emancipatory, to Hollywood’s tokenistic rehashing of male-focused hits. And so here we are, in a world in which we are presented with “empowering” control knickers, rosacea cures and rosé, with power something you can buy into so long as you’re not disempoweringly poor. Call me a killjoy, but doesn’t this seem tawdry given that the issues women might more obviously seek empowerment over include voting access, equal pay, equal parenting, abortion rights, forced marriage, genital mutilation and rape as

a weapon of war? Moreover, at a time when the pussy-grabber-in-chief occupies the White House, isn’t the notion that getting your power can be reduced to the perfect pink drink a tad Marie Antoinettish? In this fauxpowerment-saturated world,

we need to distinguish the faux from the real deal. Sure, I bought myself a mock prefect’s badge saying “feminist”. It was funny and playful, and feminism is not without these qualities. But right now we need less stuff and fewer power poses: more action, progress, rights. Sam Smethers, chief executive of gender equality lobby group the Fawcett Society, tells me: “I’m not po-faced: there is a value in having fun with the message. We sell great feminist T-shirts and Tatty Devine jewellery and they get people talking. However, the concept of empowerment is something we slip into for want of something better, or clearer, to say. It suggests that women move from being powerless to powerful, when it’s more about recognising your own power, then recognising the structures and barriers designed to make women feel less powerful. It’s these barriers that need addressing: not changing the individual, but the system they find themselves in.” As the novelist Naomi Alderman, author of the prize-winning The Power, asserts: “Products, my friends, are very nice. But they are not the same thing as doing the inner work to increase your confidence, or knowing you have a group of female friends to rely on, or understanding truly in your heart that the fact that you feel shit about yourself a lot of the time is not your fault and that there are societal forces trying to make women, in particular, feel shit about themselves. Enjoy the products – why not? But do the work, too.” You said it, sister. E

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GHOST

CHILD

BY

MICHELLE JAGER

THE GHOST CHILD APPEARS early one morning. Clem notices it on her way to the toilet. It sits in the hallway, sucking on one of the dog’s bones. She is surprised that the child can pick up the bone with its transparent hands. Surprised to see the bone wet with saliva. But not so much that she stops to look for long. Sleepy and cold, she needs to wee and the child seems content enough. Clem wees and goes back to bed. “There’s a ghost child in the hall,” she says, pulling the doona over her head. Eli mutters something and gets up. Moments later, he climbs back into bed and confirms that, yes, there is a ghost child in the hall. “What shall we do about it?” he asks. “Sleep on it,” says Clem. The ghost child is in the kitchen when they get up. Playing with the dog’s water bowl. Butch, the dog, is sitting there watching, managing to look both curious and affronted. The child is dipping the TV remote in and out of the water and laughing. Clem and Eli agree that the child has a nice laugh. It makes them laugh.

Eli begins cooking breakfast. He drops a big yellow knob of butter into the frying pan and soon the room smells of bacon. Butch is drooling. A long strand hangs from the corner of his

mouth then drops straight through the child’s head onto the floor. “Butch, gross,” Clem reprimands. The child, unperturbed, squints momentarily before resuming the game with the water bowl and remote. “She’s hefty for a ghost,” says Clem and stabs her fork into

a rasher and cuts, mixing it with egg before scooping it into her

mouth. Yolk drips down her chin.

“He’s a baby,” says Eli. “Babies are meant to be chubby.” “He?” says Clem. “She?” says Eli. Clem is short for Clementine. She is named after a character

in a James Baldwin novel. Eli is short for Eliyahu. He is named

after an Israeli football player. Ghost child has no name. No parents. No gender.

Clem suggests checking the nappy to see if they can designate one, but the ghost child is hard to catch. It slips through their fingers just when they think they’ve got a hold, or disappears and reappears out of reach. They can’t agree on a pronoun. “You’re such a narcissist,” says Clem. “Why?” “Because you’re a man you want a boy. A mini-Eli.” “No, I don’t. I just think he looks like a boy.” “Babies don’t look like anything,” says Clem. “They’re just babies.” “Well, what about you then? You want it to be a girl. Are you

a narcissist?”

Clem ignores him. They stick to “it” though both are uncomfortable with this. The child offers no comment. It can’t speak and seems unconcerned by the matter. Eli offers the child a doll and a truck as a way of determining. Clem tells him he’s being ridiculous. That such desires aren’t

innate but cultivated by culture. The child plays with the doll and the truck. Then discards both for Butch’s bone. Clem can see herself and Eli in the child. She’s sure she’s not imagining it. Eli’s nose – broad and wide-nostrilled – and her

mouth – fat-lipped but pinched. It’s hard to tell definitively though, because they often get lost in the background. The pattern of

a cushion or bedspread distort the child’s features.

Sometimes there’s a familiar expression: Eli’s look of surprise, eyebrows up in perfect arches; Clem’s look of concentration, furrowed brow, curled lip. It’s disconcerting. Seeing her mannerisms mimicked. Clem wonders if her mother felt the same. Ghost child crawls or sometimes toddles around the house. It’s hard to keep track of, particularly as it can pass through walls. It’s often silent, except for a squeak or a sudden laugh. It rarely cries. In the middle of sex, as they are changing position from Clem on top to doggy, Eli lets out a shriek, grabbing the doona and

FICTION

upending Clem. On the floor, legs and arms akimbo, a sharp pain in her shoulder, Clem sees the child standing at the end of the bed, watching. “Fuck,” she snaps. “Don’t swear in front of the kid. Cover up,” says Eli, throwing her a blanket. “Why don’t you knock, kid?” says Clem. “Babies don’t knock. They don’t know to,” says Eli. “Read the baby books.” Clem looks into the baby’s eyes and thinks, bullshit. Ghost child laughs, turns, and toddles out. “I think he has my eyes,” says Eli. Clem agrees but doesn’t say so. She comes home to find Eli clearing out the study. There are piles of books, his computer, her laptop, the desks, her easel and brushes and paints and paintings lying out in the hallway and lounge. There is a crib and a change table alongside the desks.