Oh, Pippa Middleton – you should have gone full Eurotrash. Not be a Sloane married to a stuffed cashmere jumper
Her honeymoon wardrobe of prissy dresses is the epitome of dull royal conformity. Plus: Gwyneth Paltrow is the narcissistic gift that keeps giving.
Pippa Middleton’s honeymoon wardrobe, OMG.
Oh. Em. Gee. Well said, Lauren, or, to use words more native to you, “bien dit”. (Oh, yeah, baby, that A-Level in French does not go to waste around here!) I have been keenly studying Pippa’s honeymoon wardrobe – or “trousseau”, as I prefer to call it, given the Middleton sisters do seem to have walked straight out of a 19th-century novel. But we’ll save my extensively developed theory involving Kate and Pippa and the work of William Thackeray for another day, given that I have already exceeded my pretentiousness quota for this week, and we haven’t even got out of the first paragraph.
As I said, I have been keeping a keen eye on Pippa’s honeymoon wardrobe – indeed, I have little choice in the matter, given that every morning I get approximately 17,127 emails from fashion PRs hysterically telling me Pippa wore their client’s disgusting quilted handbag while eating room service in a £11,000-a-night suite in Sydney Harbour and, excitingly, not a word of that is an exaggeration.
It really is a testament to the tenacity of fashion PRs’ belief that all publicity is good publicity that they think such an announcement is worth the email it’s written on. Even the Daily Mail – not exactly known for its support of the fashion cutting edge – sensed which way the wind was blowing when it put on its front page a photo of Pippa and her husband, James Matthews – who I genuinely think might be three Sloaney children standing on one another’s shoulders inside a Boden jumper – beneath the headline “Mr and Mrs Middle-aged on Honeymoon”. Now, given that Matthews is 41, one could claim this headline is not so much a diss as a statement of fact, but I think we all get the inference: Pippa’s wardrobe is boring. The boxy jackets, the tortoiseshell sunglasses and those espadrilles – oh, God, those espadrilles – which, of course, she totally loves. Pippa’s honeymoon has been an extended sartorial reminder about what she actually is (a Sloane) as opposed to how some of us hoped she would be (not a Sloane.)
I’ve got to hold my hands up here and admit to erring on the side of foolish optimism when it came to Pippa. Maybe it was the way she so clearly enjoys the spotlight, gifted to her purely by dint of who her sister married, but I entertained dreams of young Pip embracing the Eurotrashiness that often infuses the royal satellites. Pippa on yachts with people with names such as Spiros, wearing Roberto Cavalli kaftans; Pippa holidaying in Portofino with both Dolce and Gabbana; Pippa having a racy affair with a married Venetian prince. Basically, two cups of Princess Margaret, a cup of Lee Radziwill and a pinch of Diana is what I wanted. Instead, I got a boring Sloane in prissy dresses married to a stuffed cashmere jumper, and all I can do is kick myself for having ever expected anything else. But not in espadrilles, obviously. I’m not that cruel to myself.
I see Gwyneth Paltrow has said something. What’s happened now?
Gerry, by email
Yes, it is my duty to inform you all that Gwyneth hath spake again, this time in an interview with an online magazine. Now, Gwyneth knows people feel this way about her, but, Gwynethly, she doesn’t understand why. Rather, her theory about why she is widely mocked is so unimprovably Gwynethish I’m going to have to quote it in full: “People were fine with me as an [actor], but with Goop it was like, ‘Stay in your lane.’ Women in general get a lot of pushback, especially if you’re successful and attractive.”
Oh, Gwyneth, Gwyneth, Gwyneth: you are truly the gift that keeps on giving. I admire that you – someone who advocates fastings and vaginal steamings – are attempting to harness feminism as your defence, but people don’t dislike you because you’re a pretty actor who does other stuff. If they did, they would hate actor/children’s author Julianne Moore, or actor/entrepreneur Reese Witherspoon, or actor/writer Mindy Kaling, and they don’t – everyone loves those women. No, they mock you because you promote crackpot fasts, barmy pseudoscience and overpriced tat on your website. They mock you because everything you say reeks of blinkered privilege, such as when you said it was “exciting” Donald Trump was elected president because “everything is kind of up in the air” and it is “such an amazing time for entrepreneurship”. Because you talk about yourself as such a hard worker, so “ruthless” and “disciplined”, without ever acknowledging that life was handed to you on a plate, including the moment you “broke” into movies when your godfather, Steven Spielberg, gave you your first film role. Because you are like the human emoji for overprivileged white narcissism.
But you know, maybe we’re all looking at this the wrong way round. Sure, some of us wish Gwyneth would spend less time steaming her vagina and more time taking her head out of it. But perhaps she is actually an extended piece of performance art, warning us all about the dangers of capitalism? Because increasingly I feel like she was a warning satire about the current president, another overly privileged white person who was born on third and thought they hit a triple, and we just didn’t grasp the clues. “Once you get over the idea that you need external reinforcement to feel good, life opens up in an incredible way,” she trills in this interview. Trump could not have put it better.