There’s a lot to be said for doing one thing exceptionally well. Enter Kassl, a brand founded in 2018 by a coterie of Europeans who were sufficiently obsessed with an old fisherman’s coat that it inspired their entire line of outerwear. They’re utterly fixated on cuts—a very good thing in this particular line of work—which is why they can’t seem to keep this masterfully designed Rubber coat in stock. Don’t let the water-repellent material dissuade you; it’s cleverly designed to ensure that it drapes as well as many sleeker fabrics. (There’s also a vent in the back to ensure breathability.) We’re partial to the butter-yellow color, but the coat also comes in an appealing burnished red. ($900, net-a-porter.com) —Ashley Baker
The Netflix series starring Sandra Oh isn’t about a death-row execution but something almost as bad: becoming the chairman of the English department in an old, liberal-arts college where the faculty is almost all white, male, and elderly, and the student body is aroil with woke passions. Oh plays the first woman chair of her department, and its first Asian-American, and she is torn between protecting her sclerotic crew of older colleagues and bringing youth—and diversity and social relevance—into a very old-school establishment. Jay Duplass plays a hopelessly dysfunctional professor in the tradition of Simon Gray’s T. S. Eliot scholar in the play Butley, but some of the best performances are the dotty yet knowing professors fighting emeritus status, played by Bob Balaban and Holland Taylor. In real life, academia can seem like a total joke, but The Chair is a sophisticated comedy, written with sympathy as well as satire. (netflix.com) —Alessandra Stanley
Based in Bristol, U.K., husband-and-wife team Ben and Cathryn Bailey sell simple, well-designed furniture, the type they’d like to see in their own home. The couple sources from contacts across Europe, and came by the business honestly, having first spent years learning about the industry through Ben’s parents, both of whom are antiques dealers. Founded eight years ago, Cart-House offers elegant 18th- and 19th-century wooden tables, cabinets, upholstered furniture, and Moroccan rugs, all featured on their Web site and social media in beautifully shot and styled images. And if you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for, they will happily scour the markets and their contacts to try to source it for you. (cart-house.com) —Bridget Arsenault
The Plot Thickens
After her multi-week break from shooting The Bonfire of the Vanities, Melanie Griffith arrived back on set with brand-new, much bigger breasts. This posed only a minor problem for director Brian De Palma, at least compared with the many other unexpected woes of adapting Tom Wolfe’s 1987 novel (including exceeding Warner Bros.’ budget by $10 million). But the production team’s lack of foresight did result in some good: they let the film critic Julie Salamon record and write about the entire process. Salamon has since teamed up with TV commentator Ben Mankiewicz to adapt her 1992 book, The Devil’s Candy: The Bonfire of the Vanities Goes to Hollywood, into the second season of The Plot Thickens, a documentary podcast about movies. Listeners can hear De Palma and Bruce Willis discuss the drama in real time because Salamon kept all of her tapes in storage. (theplotthickens.com) —Jensen Davis
Face masks and self-care products did a booming trade over the last year and a half, in particular disposable South Korean–style sheet masks. But times have changed, and the throwaway, single-use element is now being called into question, which is why U.K.-based skin-care brand 111 Skin has taken the ingredients from its beloved cellulose masks and bottled them. The new collection of six reusable masks has been formulated to target specific skin-care concerns, and offers much-appreciated solutions, including firming, hydrating, and blemish control. (from $135, 111skin.com) —Bridget Arsenault
You probably know by now that we love a ribbed knit, but surely you can’t hold that against us. Australian designer Anna Quan specializes in minimalist pieces made of just that, ensuring that her dresses, tops, skirts, and even pull-on pants hug the body without clinging to it. Both weekend and weekday styles can be elevated with the Laurel ribbed-knit cotton maxi polo dress, which is made entirely of cotton and embellished with contrasting buttons and trim. It’s just the thing to transition from summer to fall, especially when worn with ever so slightly heeled boots, and perhaps a blazer thrown jauntily over the shoulders. ($395, modaoperandi.com) —Ashley Baker
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