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Balenciaga x Angelo Badalamenti

American composer Angelo Badalamenti is perhaps best known for his collaborations with director David Lynch, which include soundtracks to the cult film noir Blue Velvet (1986), starring Isabella Rossellini, and the television show Twin Peaks (1990), for which he won a Grammy. In 2020, two years before Badalamenti died, he began a collaboration with Balenciaga, which will now be launched in the composer’s honor. As part of the Balenciaga Music Series, which spotlights leaders in fashion, music, and entertainment, Badalamenti hand-selected 32 of his own compositions, including the eerily beautiful “I Hold No Grudge,” sung by Nina Simone, and “Laura Palmer’s Theme,” from Twin Peaks. A limited-edition clothing line, which includes a T-shirt and crewneck sweater featuring Badalamenti’s handwritten sheet music for his “Torch Theme,” composed for the 1992 Summer Olympics, in Barcelona, is also available. ( Paulina Prosnitz


Fisherman’s Friend

The wonders of Fisherman’s Friend’s classic throat lozenge—a mixture of menthol, eucalyptus, and licorice that’s as deceptively tasty as blue cheese—are well documented. And you might think that little remains to be said about a company that pumps out five billion of the delicious, medicinal-tasting tablets a year. Yet one almost never hears about the English company’s finest product, a mint pastille to rival them all. What a thrill to light on a breath mint with polar strength that leaves your mouth feeling like an episode of True Detective: Night Country. Pop one of these suckers in and contemplate the charming packaging for long enough, and you’ll start believing you were born to trawl for cod in the North Atlantic, a fierce February gale blowing through your head. We’ve tried every exotic mint there is, from Wilhelmina’s chalky peppermints to the excessively saccharine Romney’s Kendal Mint Cakes (Sir Edmund Hillary carried them on his summit of Mount Everest), but nothing even approaches the perfection contained in a soft pack of Fisherman’s Friend. ($47.98, —Nathan King


Deep Thoughts from a Shallow Grave

Anthony Martignetti is a true jack-of-all-trades. He is the restaurateur behind the Palace in Tribeca as well as the East Pole and Melody’s Piano Bar, on the Upper East Side. He is the vintner at Old Sound Vineyard, on the North Fork of Long Island, which he founded with his wife, book editor Angela Ledgerwood. And, finally, Martignetti is a cartoonist, with sketches published in The New Yorker and Air Mail. His eye for aesthetics and ear for irony are omnipresent in his latest endeavor, an illustrated collection of darkly humorous gravestone epitaphs. The wisecracks, handwritten on simply drawn tombstones, range from I told you I wasn’t feeling very well! to Wish I weren’t so down to earth. Charming sketches of bats and ravens and other graveyard companions dance across black pages. Who knew death could be so delightful? ($19.95, —Paulina Prosnitz



In Diego Vicentini’s debut feature, Simón, a Venezuelan freedom fighter seeks political asylum in Miami after being persecuted for protesting against Nicolás Maduro’s regime. Vicentini drew from his own upbringing—a child of Venezuelan immigrants raised in Miami—to write and direct the movie. Like Vicentini, the titular character inhabits the liminal space between feeling guilty about his privileged life abroad and longing to fight for a better life in his homeland. “I never got to be in the streets protesting like other young Venezuelans my age did,” Vicentini tells me. “So making this film was a way for me to join the fight.” Simón was nominated for Best Ibero-American Film in the Spanish Goya Awards and has sold out in theaters in Miami and Madrid and across Latin America. ( —Carolina de Armas


Van Cleef & Arpels

March brings many splendid things—longer, warmer days, chirping birds on budding trees, and the annual Van Cleef & Arpels Frivole collection. This season welcomes five new designs in mirror-polished white and rose gold and adorned in diamonds. The star of the show is a ring constructed from eight mixed metal flowers, creating a sparkling, pavé bouquet. If you are looking for a more contemporary design, look no further than the between-the-finger ring. And, in typical Van Cleef & Arpels fashion, each piece is impeccably handcrafted. These beautiful flowers might be slightly more expensive than a dozen tulips from your local bodega, but they will last you a lifetime. (from $3,450.00, —Gracie Wiener


Alfred Dreyfus

So many famous names are associated with the Dreyfus affairÉmile Zola, Léon Blum, Marcel Proust—that the man who gave the case its name has faded from memory. Alfred Dreyfus: The Man at the Center of the Affair, a biography by Yale professor Maurice Samuels, brings Dreyfus back into focus, as a military officer turned political pawn, and also as an assimilated French Jew. After the Revolution, the reactionary Catholic right never accepted the French Republic’s new, more egalitarian order, which allowed Jews such as Dreyfus entrée to the top echelons of society. The right used Dreyfus to fan anti-Semitism; his defenders, the Dreyfusards, were fighting to free him but also to preserve religious freedom and civil rights. On Devil’s Island, shackled in leg-irons, Dreyfus was defending his innocence and his honor. This lucid and elegantly written biography explains the confluence of all three. ($26, —Alessandra Stanley

Issue No. 242
March 2, 2024
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Issue No. 242
March 2, 2024