The Editors Discuss: Gwyneth Paltrow Vs. Esperanza Spalding

Since there’s NO WAY you’re sick of Oscars coverage yet, here’s a short and sweet Editors Discuss in which EIC Jennifer Wright and Deputy editor Ashley Cardiff hash out the memorably lovely looks from Gwyneth Paltrow and Esperanza Spalding.

Ashley: This is the first Oscars in a while where we have our work cut out for us. By which I mean we have two really, really strong looks on the red carpet… and Tilda Swinton wasn’t even there! Or Cate Blanchett!

Jennifer: I feel really proud of never disliking Gwyneth Paltrow as much as I could. Sure, she wants people to buy $500 paella pans as Christmas gifts at the height of the recession, but good lord, that cape!

Ashley: Yes, that cape. When I first saw her come down the carpet, my thought was, “Oh my fucking god, Gwyneth Paltrow is wearing a cape,” and roughly half a second later, my thought was, “Gwyneth Paltrow is wearing the fuck out of that cape.” How is this possible, God? I asked.

"Because of the neckline, Ashley."

Jennifer: It’s possible because God loves people who make delicious paella. He gives them flat bellies, and a sense of panache.

Ashley: I want to make a joke about why he didn’t smile on Penelope Cruz, who looked silly but is actually from Spain and therefore probably makes better paella than Paltrow, because Paltrow comes from the same part of Britain that Madonna is from. You can tease it out yourself.

Jennifer: But that joke got too convoluted and potentially racist, so you backed away from it, slowly.

Ashley: I don’t think it’s racist to assume anyone cooks anything better than Gwyneth Paltrow. I mean, I assume Jean Dujardin makes better cassoulet than her, too.


Jennifer: Doesn’t she have an outside wood burning pizza oven in her backyard?

Ashley: Yes. Tangentially, I feel like if Penelope Cruz did have that woodburning pizza oven in her backyard, she wouldn’t have the appalling obliviousness to volunteer pizza recipes along with that information. But we’re not saying near enough about Esperanza Spalding.

Jennifer: So you think Penelope Cruz is a liar. That’s cool. I think Esperanza Spalding looked fantastic.

Ashley: That’s because she did.

Jennifer: It was really the hair combined with the dress. If she’d had some delicate French twist going it would have been so boring.

Ashley: She looked phenomenal from head-to-toe. Her makeup was so on point, the dress was so her, etc. She was my favorite look of the night. Though I’ll admit that–a year from now–Paltrow’s will probably be the more memorable.

Needed something to block this out.

Jennifer: I just want to look like Gwyneth Paltrow. I mean, I know I can never look like Esperanza. She is obviously fundamentally cool in a way I will never be. But I kind of think I could pull off the Gwyneth thing if I worked really hard.

Ashley: You mean “steely, emotionally-atrophied patrician”? You mean like you?

Jennifer: But with better abs.

Ashley: They were so flat!

Jennifer: Wasn’t it astonising!?

Ashley: But really, the neckline made it, right? That beautiful slash across her collar between the shoulders of the cape? Man, what a dress. I don’t know how we’re supposed to argue over this, when really we should just be high-fiving that at least two famous ladies showed up and did something interesting that really, really worked. It’s an embarassment of riches.

This is how it fucking feels.

Jennifer: I love it when we agree.

Ashley: So… that’s it? We just agree that they both looked awesome?

Jennifer: Umm… well, yes. Hold on. I hated that other thing you liked.

Ashley: Are you trying to start a fight with me?

Jennifer: You know, that other thing. Kale… liberalism… I’m not including “Brooklyn”, but only out of respect to Truman Capote.

Ashley: Man, the day I told you he lived in Brooklyn Heights must have been really hard on you.

Jennifer: Like a dagger to my heart.

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    • MR

      70 Willow Street is just too low class for you, huh? :)

      • MR

        I just found it on Zillow. You know we used to have a nickname for EIC’s who….

      • MR

        Jennifer, you know I was thinking you could always use the time machine and have Truman invite you over to this his house for champagne. Say around the late ’50s. This way you won’t need to take the subway – yikes – under the East River. :) I always like this house, that is though seeing it only from the outside.

    • Anne

      “Paltrow comes from the same part of Britain that Madonna is from”. Thank you, I will be getting a giggle out of that one for the rest of this week.

    • MR

      Hey, it wasn’t supposed to be Esperanza’s night – and yeah, Gwyneth looked fantastic. Okay Jennifer, last offer on the time machine. I’ll pay for the gas, and drive. Come on, don’t you want to hang out with Truman while he’s drafting ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s'? Otherwise you’ll just have to settle for neighborhood stories, like his living space was the size of half a brownstone, and looked out onto the backyard.

      • MR

        Well not that you were wondering Jennifer, but 70 Willow Street now has a signed contract on it. I’ll end on, it’s a unique property for the neighborhood, because the stardard house is a brownstone normally consists of only half this building’s width. That’s what I meant when I said Truman’s living space in the house was very spacious, because it was equal to two floors of a neighborhood brownstone all on one floor. I wasn’t sure if you understood my meaning, cause I was speaking in brooklyn brownstone-ese. Not so easy for you North Shore Long Island raised women to understand, eh? Or did misspeak and you’re an ex-Westchester woman? :)

      • Jennifer Wright

        You know that Truman totally moved to Midtown as soon as he had the opportunity, right? Sure, he liked Brooklyn until he traded up for a sexier newer model who he truly loved. (But yes, the brownstones out there are stunning, I think Park Slope is beautiful, never tell Ashley I said that or she’ll hold her Brooklyn ways over me all the time).

      • MR

        He was only there for 10 years and was renting one floor from his rich buddy who owned the house – or so the story goes. I think he was only gone about 10 years, when I first heard he once resided in that house. Hmm, we used to skate up to the Park Slope neighborhood, for rollerhockey matches against the locals back in the late ’70s – first down into Cobble Hill, and then through the Gowanus ‘no man’s land’, before climbing ‘the slope’. You know some of the richest people in the world – at the time of our industrialization – lived in blocks just off Prospect Park. But, you still haven’t told me the county where you were raised. You don’t have to if you don’t want to. :)

      • Jennifer Wright

        Supposedly he went around telling everyone the house was his, even when his buddy was right there, inside it. Which is a pretty strong move.

        Ad I’m from the North shore.

      • MR

        Yeah, you have a North Shore feel. My parents were in the financial markets, yep they’re retired now, and sometimes their friends would throw parties out there, and my brother and I would show up too. It’s funny I would tell my parents friends’ kids, who’d look at my ponytail and say: ‘you live where?’ that there weren’t enough lifeboats for us to escape to the rich suburbs. :) Hmm, on a sidenote, you see the stock market is back to Feb 3 levels again today – so the zig-zag sideways continues. I traded two days after the Dow closed above 13000, yeah a pretty good level. Favorable US economic data is all that can carry it up right now – Europe is still a drag.

    • MR

      Jennifer, I keep coming back to this one to see if you’d answered my plea. And now that you’ve disclosed that you’re ‘an “almost” McCain-sey-in Republican’ – hmm, and what exactly does that mean? You like Arizona? :) You know you can always come over to the other side. I was raised by Rockefeller (liberal) Republicans – though my dad, an immigrant, went hardcore Reagan when he brought laissez-faire back into the picture. I settled on FDR cause I saw LBJ’s ‘Great Society’ fail at close range, mid thru late ’70s. FDR also understood the US needed to step out onto the global stage, so a force like Nazism could never threaten democracy again. His economic policies were (and still are) pro-economy and pro-working class. Really, it was in a nut shell what would become Clinton’s economic policies. So you will consider, won’t you? As I told you before, I have lots of liberal friends – yeah, maybe someday Ashley will take me in too. :) Lastly, here’s a write up on ‘The Promenade’ so you see there is culture outside Manhattan. I can visit it anytime I want so I don’t miss it so much.