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Oliver James

The days of struggling to stay afloat on a giant pink flamingo are, blessedly, over. (At least for the non-influencer set.) Enter Oliver James, a new brand that specializes in upholstered pool floats that will withstand the elements while considerably upgrading the look of your backyard. The founder, Oliver Micklewright, who spent much of his childhood summers floating in the pool at his family house in the South of France, was often enlisted to repair punctured inflatables. As an adult, he set out to break the cycle with these extra-durable floats that were created with (stylish) adults in mind. (Sorry, kids.) Bonus points for the quick-dry fabric coverings. Now, the only question remaining … piped or striped? ( —Ashley Baker



Métier founder and designer Melissa Morris is something of a mind reader, because the very minute we begin pondering a far-flung getaway, she debuts a collection destined for such affairs. Vacanza, which includes beach bags, beach blankets, and even a smashing backgammon set, has many virtues, but we’ll be starting with the Market Weekend Bag. It has all the ease of a soft, lightweight leather tote but is full of functional hidden pockets and wide, comfortable handles. A detachable strap allows its interior pouch to be used as a crossbody, and its intuitive design ensures that it will lie comfortably. Morris created it with carrying on in mind, but it also holds its own as a day bag. Has there ever been a better-looking place to stash finds from the farmers market? ($2,750; ⁠—Ashley Baker

Julia Haart, the star of the new Netflix reality series “My Unorthodox Life,” in the West Village neighborhood of Manhattan, July 7, 2021. Less than a decade after fleeing a repressive ultra-Orthodox Jewish community, Haart heads a global talent empire. Her next challenge? Letting viewers peek behind the curtain.

My Unorthodox Life

Think Keeping Up with the Kardashians but New York, intelligent, and Jewish. The reality show follows the successful fashion mogul Julia Haart and her family as they live the high life while trying to balance religious faith with modern reality. Haart, who grew up in a strictly observant community in Monsey, New York, left for the city at the age of 41, changed her name, and launched a line of shoes—a strict no-no for women of her background. She went on to be named creative director of the lingerie brand La Perla, and then C.E.O. of the modeling and talent agency Elite World Group. The show expertly twins fashion and drama, and Haart shamelessly plugs her self-bestowed freedom through her dress choice, sex life, and success. My Unorthodox Life begs the questions: Does the show cast a dim light over the traditions of Judaism or, rather, encourage a world where God and six-inch-heel-wearing female bosses can coexist? We’ll let you decide. ( —Ariella Paradise



Just in time for the dog days of summer, enter Attersee, a new brand of easy and breezy basics from editor turned designer Isabel Wilkinson Schor. These are clothes for escapists—the name is a nod to the Austrian lake where Gustav Klimt once spent his summers. And Attersee’s caftan is an homage to the floor-length style that the artist sometimes wore while painting in his rowboat. Made of a cotton-and-linen herringbone blend, it’s light enough to filter out the heat but sufficiently weighty to feel like a proper garment, as opposed to a cover-up. Finish it off with the brand’s rope belt for a dressier look, and while you’re perusing the Web site, give some serious consideration to the Fringe dress as well. ($575, —Ashley Baker

The Podcast Logo - Pike as Edith Wilson


It’s refreshing to see a new podcast that is both engaging and not true crime. Starring Academy Award–nominated actress Rosamund Pike as former First Lady Edith Wilson, it comes with a telling subtitle: “The Untold True-ish Story of America’s Secret First Female President.” Behind the heady, humorous, and fast-paced script are TV writer Gonzalo Cordova and political journalist Travis Helwig. Together, with no shortage of liberties and anachronisms, they outline the fundamental details of how and why, for several months in 1919, Edith made presidential decisions and held court, while at the same time kept it a secret that her husband, Woodrow Wilson, had suffered a stroke that left him partially paralyzed. ( —Bridget Arsenault


Extraordinary Voyages

Chilean with a Scottish mother, Francisca Mattéoli grew up between Brazil and Santiago, and now lives in Paris. A respected travel journalist and author of 11 books, Mattéoli was the ideal choice to write Extraordinary Voyages, a new, 400-plus-page illustrated history of travel commissioned by Louis Vuitton. Printed on thick terra-cotta-colored pages and filled with 300 elegant, vintage images, Mattéoli’s book recounts 50 adventures from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and the vehicles used and discovered along the way—from hot-air balloons to space shuttles to transatlantic liners. And what the author reveals are not only the adventures had but how travel and exploration allowed travelers to understand the world in an entirely new way. ($56, —Bridget Arsenault

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Issue No. 106
July 24, 2021
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Issue No. 106
July 24, 2021