Have you ever admired a particularly stylish stranger at close range? Maybe the color of their overcoat popped out in a crowd, or you noticed the way they stacked fancy rings in a “What, these old things?” kind of way. Whatever draws your eye, and no matter how you think about good personal style, you probably know it when you see it.
I like to think of those kinds of details as “the exuberance of individual choices” — all the small decisions that go into getting dressed, coalescing into a unique package. These are the magic moments we try to capture in “Style Outside,” a column by the newest member of our team, photographer Simbarashe Cha.
Last February, Simbarashe and I sat down to dinner in Paris, after a long day spent covering fashion shows. He told me about his passion for portraiture and the joy of walking around and observing people; how the toss of a scarf, the fade of a haircut, or the way the cuff of a man’s pants hits his ankle was the manifestation of attitude.
Simbarashe said he appreciates the way someone looks, but also how they respond to being asked for a photograph, especially when they aren’t necessarily posing. He also told me of a fateful day, in early 2012, when he was walking in Riverside Park after a snowstorm. He stopped a woman and asked if he could take her picture. She said yes, then told him, “You’re like Bill Cunningham.” But Simbarashe, a self-taught photographer (and former banker) was not familiar with the legacy she was referring to; Cunningham was a New York Times photographer who chronicled people on the street and at parties for the paper for nearly 40 years. The woman insisted he go home and watch the documentary about Cunningham that night. He did, and decided then and there he’d devote his life to this medium.
Following in that tradition of fashion reportage, in which clothes come alive off the runways as much as on, Simbarashe is out and about, all over the world, snapping pics of whomever he finds interesting. It’s a hobby I share with him: forever noticing the tender quirks of personality on display all around me, though I’m not holding a camera.
I recently met a Milanese woman who wore a single long strand of cobalt beads over an orange dress covered in tiny monkeys, paired with New Balance sneakers. I would never have thought to combine those items! Her sensibility was so specific to her that it felt revelatory — she was the embodiment of “sprezzatura,” as the Italians call that type of studied casualness — and I was captivated. When I raved about her style, she told me the name of the shop in Sardinia where she had bought the dress (it’s called “Foresta G”). A compliment had turned into a tip for a reporting mission.
THE WEEK IN CULTURE
A lost work by Raymond Chandler, best remembered for his hard-boiled detective novels, was found. It’s a poem.
Four months after the British Museum fired a curator suspected of stealing from its Greek and Roman stores, the institution said about 1,500 objects were missing. Gold taken from some other items has probably been sold to scrap metal merchants.
The Brooklyn Academy of Music’s dance-heavy upcoming season will feature a rock opera by the performance artist Taylor Mac and a film retrospective of the actor Jeffrey Wright.
The actor Andre Braugher died this week at 61. Stream seven of his memorable performances, including “The Tuskegee Airmen” and “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.”
Cardi B announced that she had separated from her husband, the rapper Offset, Billboard reports.
“Curb Your Enthusiasm” will officially end after season 12 next year, Variety reports.
A judge ruled that there was sufficient proof that Prince Harry’s phone was hacked by a U.K. tabloid.
In Miami, Kanye West previewed his first album since a string of antisemitic comments threatened to end his career last year. Onstage he wore a pointed black hood that resembled a Ku Klux Klan robe.
THE LATEST NEWS
A jury ordered Rudy Giuliani to pay $148 million to two Georgia election workers, Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss, whom he falsely accused of trying to steal votes from Donald Trump.
Israeli troops mistakenly killed three Israeli hostages during combat with Hamas in northern Gaza, the Israeli military said.
An autopsy found that the “Friends” star Matthew Perry died from the “acute effects of ketamine,” the Los Angeles County medical examiner’s office said.
Material from the investigation into 2016 Russian election interference went missing in the final days of Trump’s presidency, people familiar with the matter said.
Several women at the fast-growing real estate firm eXp said they had been drugged and assaulted by two star agents, and that the company long ignored their complaints.
“It’s a suicide mission.” For two months, Ukrainian marines have fought over a muddy patch of land along the Dnipro River. Soldiers say the combat is brutal, with little to show for it.
Sheikh Nawaf, the emir of Kuwait, who took power in the oil-rich state during political infighting in 2020, died. He was 86.
🎬 “American Fiction” (Out Now): Jeffrey Wright stars in this lacerating satire as Thelonious “Monk” Ellison, an underappreciated novelist who, under a pseudonym, releases a book stuffed with “deadbeat dads, rappers, crack” and other Black literary clichés that he has long resisted. To his amusement, then horror, it’s a hit. For bonus points, check out “Erasure,” by the great Percival Everett, which the movie is adapted from.
📺 “Maestro” (Wednesday): In the microgenre of classical-music dramas, last year we had Lydia, and this year we have Lenny. After a brief theatrical release, this biopic is now streaming on Netflix, with Bradley Cooper as a larger-than-life Leonard Bernstein (Cooper also directed and co-wrote the script) and Carey Mulligan as his wife, Felicia Montealegre Cohn Bernstein.
During the chaotic excess of the holiday season, it’s often the simplest dishes that hold the greatest appeal. Eric Kim’s brothy miso soup is just the thing to simultaneously satisfy your appetite and calm your spirit. It has the deep umami flavors of kombu and wakame, rounded out with a little bit of sake and mirin for complexity, and a dollop of soft tofu for texture and heft. Sip the soup as is, or use the recipe as a base for all kinds of additions. As Eric notes, sliced shiitakes, fried tofu, clams, chicken or even a tiny bit of butter can be delicious stirred into this gentle, warming soup.
Object by object: How Anderson Cooper deals with grief and memorializes his family at home.
What you get for $1.1 Million: A circa 1720 stone house in Kerhonkson, N.Y., a 1912 Colonial Revival home in Wilmette, Ill., and a 1926 Craftsman cottage in Seattle.
The hunt: Homing in on Lenox Hill, could a young couple find a one-bedroom on the Upper East Side for less than $1 million? Play our game.
Female renters: A new study puts a spotlight on the challenges faced by single women living alone, who are more rent burdened than single men.
Genius loci: As travel boomed again this year, we offered new takes on classic destinations as well as surprising coverage of some lesser-known places. Here are some of your favorites.
Pain: Getting an IUD hurts. Why aren’t more women offered pain relief?
E-commerce: With retailers like Shopify rolling out chatbots, this holiday shopping season might be the first to be powered by A.I.
Losing hair, gaining followers: Hair-loss influencers say they are destigmatizing an insecurity. Critics say they are cashing in on a vulnerable audience.
Quiet superfood: Flaxseeds have many potential benefits, from boosting heart health to lowering inflammation. But they can’t do everything.
ADVICE FROM WIRECUTTER
Two essential tools for cookies
If you’ve got big holiday cookie plans this year (and how could you not, with this recipe lineup from NYT Cooking?), a couple handy little tools will make the messy, sugar-dusted operation go smoother. As the senior editor of Wirecutter’s kitchen coverage, I swear by a good bench scraper and nimble offset spatula from our guide to holiday cookie baking gear. Use the bench scraper to divide dough, scoop up a pile of chopped nuts, level a measuring cup or scrape your counter clean. The offset spatula can deftly smooth frosting, spread jam or pry a delicate cut-out cookie from the counter. — Marguerite Preston
GAME OF THE WEEKEND
Texas vs. Nebraska, N.C.A.A. volleyball championship: Early this season, Nebraska became the center of the volleyball universe when the team drew more than 92,000 fans to a match — setting a world record for attendance at a women’s sporting event. They have lived up to the hype since then, going 33-1 and earning the No. 1 overall seed in the N.C.A.A. tournament. After sweeping Pitt in the semifinals, Nebraska will face Texas, last year’s champions, in the finals. The teams have met in the championship twice before — in 2015 and 1995 — and Nebraska won both. Tomorrow at 3 p.m. Eastern on ABC.
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