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A Small Affair

Vera MacDonald is poised for greatness—she’s young, beautiful, and at the helm of a rising fashion brand. What could possibly stand in her way? A highly publicized murder-suicide quite swiftly does the trick. When MacDonald’s wealthy ex-boyfriend (of a few dates) and his wife are found dead in their Cobble Hill brownstone, a note left behind blames MacDonald. Flora Collins teases through past and present in her second novel, A Small Affair, craftily unveiling the events leading up to this deadly conclusion. First, readers are thrown into MacDonald’s world, and then that of the murdered wife. Get comfortable, because you won’t be going anywhere until you discover the shocking truth hidden at the center of one of New York’s most elite circles. ($17.99, —Paulina Prosnitz


Yves Saint Laurent

Occasionally—very occasionally—there is a coat that stops traffic and breaks news. It appears in the dreams of both fashion-lovers and lesser designers who lament that it is not their own creation. Such a phenomenon happened this season with Saint Laurent’s gray herringbone wool-blend tweed coat (a rather dull name for something that refuses to be ignored). Cut wide across the shoulders and generous through the arms, it has jaunty notched lapels and attitude to spare. Such a piece belongs on a reboot of Dynasty, in the front row of a Paris couture show, or in the coat check at Le Rock or Scott’s, waiting patiently for the best-dressed diner to finish her meal. Its most subversive elements are its length—dramatically floor-grazing—and positively serpentine shape. Caveat: this coat does not belong anywhere near a Rangers game or a CVS or even the subway. But don’t you already have something for that? ($6,190; Baker



Those who came of age in Lower Manhattan during the early aughts may still have a few of Rebecca Taylor’s embellished tank tops lying around somewhere. Just a few weeks ago, the brand announced that it was set to close, after a 27-year run. But the designer who started it all is still around. In fact, after selling her stake in her namesake brand to Vince, in 2019, Taylor and her family moved back to her native New Zealand. And, as if on cue, she is now back in fashion with A’Court, a new collection of shirting, one dress, and a knit shawl loosely inspired by the heroines in Victorian novels. Men’s-wear tailoring and fabrics are at A’Court’s core, but each style is garnished with a soupçon of femininity, which made Taylor a household name to begin with. We will be acquiring the Edith blouse in the shade Rose Water. The soft-pink cotton features an ever so slightly puffed sleeve and delicate mother-of-pearl buttons. Welcome back, Ms. Taylor. ($365, —Ashley Baker


Salie 66

While looking through the archives of the historic French silk mill Prelle, James Shalom—the designer behind the New York–based clothing brand Salie 66—was struck by a 1927 motif dreamed up by Émile-Jacques Ruhlmann. Now, nearly a century after its inception, the pattern’s subtly whimsical winding lines, originally woven to adorn the Art Deco master’s signature architectonic chairs, can be found anew on a double-faced cashmere blanket offered alongside Salie 66’s classic coats, crewnecks, and cardigans. Expertly crafted at a 100-year-old, family-run Florentine factory and available in soft shades of taupe and dove gray, the hand-finished, fringed forever piece is proof of Ruhlmann’s dedication to enduring design: “To create something that lasts,” he once said, “the first thing is to want to create something that lasts forever.” ($2,200; —Zoe Ruffner


Galerie Bar

Months after opening Smyth Tavern, in Tribeca, restaurateur John McDonald is back with a cocktail lounge right next door. Like its neighbor, Galerie Bar is complete with mahogany wood, warm lighting, and a rotating collection of artworks. (Current photographs feature Andy Warhol and Marilyn Monroe.) While lounging by a fireplace, enjoy small bites such as house-made pigs in a blanket and caviar on crispy potatoes. Espresso-martini-lovers must try the Café Terrace at Night, for a smoky winter alternative. And for those who prefer something more refreshing, opt for the Girl with a Pearl Earring, a jasmine-infused Tito’s cocktail with grapefruit and peach essence. ( —Clara Molot


The Rest Is History

When James Marriott, the esteemed young columnist for The Times of London, wrote that The Rest Is History was his favorite podcast, that was enough for me. After spending hours with it, I can understand his enthusiasm. Hosted by Dominic Sandbrook and Tom Holland, both well-regarded popular historians, the podcast brings events of the past to life the way few teachers or professors ever do. I found myself shaving more slowly the other morning, just so I could finish their discussion of the fate of Jane Seymour—a subject which I previously had absolutely no interest in. Their discussions on the rise of Nazism, and a two-parter with Jonathan Freedland on his book The Escape Artist, about the first Jewish prisoner to escape from Auschwitz, are riveting. ( —Graydon Carter

Issue No. 185
January 28, 2023
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Issue No. 185
January 28, 2023