Blake Lively is on the cover of Vogue for the third time. In the accompanying interview, we learn a lot about her burgeoning lifestyle brand ("Preserve"), as filtered through the lens of the magazine's sense of smug and slightly inscrutable fashion-whimsy.
Dear reader, there is a lot going on in this piece. Blake Lively speaks in a riddles and references to Martha Stewart. And contributing Vogue editor Jonathan Van Meter, who penned this masterpiece, utilizes words the way that silken neck kerchiefs and printed blankets were deployed in the accompanying photo spread: in both cases, the guiding principle seems to be "just drape enough of these upon Blake Lively, no matter how mismatched, and the end result will be a Vogue magazine feature, all right."
I have taken the liberty of ranking several of the most stunning sentences in this piece, on a scale of "Huh." to "What, please, God, no!!!!!!" Here you are:
7. "Jackson Hole, Wyoming, is one of those startling American places where 'purple mountain majesties' becomes gloriously real, no longer a patriotic abstraction from a song learned in grade school."
This is how the piece opens, splendidly setting the tone for the rest of what follows. (I'm interested in learning about the other startling American places where "purple mountain majesties" are removed from the realm of patriotic abstraction. The T.G.I. Fridays endless appetizer bar? An Iron Throne made out of 4th of July edition Budweiser cans? Sarah Palin's house?)
6. "[W]hen we find ourselves in a windowless dining room with a handful of older couples quietly eating lamb chops, our hearts sink. She stares at me with a look that says, Really? It came highly recommended, I say. 'By whom,' she asks, 'someone who hates us?' It takes a second for me to get that she's kidding (I think). A waiter approaches us to ask if we'd like to start with something to drink. 'Can I have the French onion soup to drink?' says Lively."
The French onion soup thing was also a joke. But probably Blake Lively's worst enemy would attempt to force her to eat lamb chops around old people, so that's not really a laughing matter.
5. "How this girl keeps her curves in the right places is a mystery to be solved by another writer."
FREE PITCH IDEA FOR ANOTHER WRITER: How Does Blake Lively Keep Her Curves From Going to the Wrong Places? Sub hed: This guy from Vogue saw her eat eggs once.
4. "I said to Ryan [Reynolds, Mr. Blake Lively], 'Darling, I made a new friend.' And he's like, 'You only make friends with senior citizens!' "
This is from a story about meeting Jane Fonda.
3. "Perhaps because of the scorn that has been heaped on Gwyneth Paltrow and her Web site, Goop, Lively is quick to point out that she is 'not trying to show you the perfect life or the aspirational life. It's real life. It's the thing that blindsides you on an idle Tuesday that's tragic but that also makes you who you are.'"
Blake Lively's new online venture is the lifestyle curatorial equivalent of suddenly being hit by a car while crossing the street? Is that what this means? Help.
2. "'I am really excited about [her lifestyle blog]," says Ivanka Trump, another willowy workaholic who knows a thing or two about brand extension."
ANOTHER WILLOWY WORKAHOLIC.
WHO KNOWS A THING OR TWO ABOUT BRAND EXTENSION.
In hell, Satan reads you this sentence over and over again.
1. "Not many women can wear denim overalls, strappy Louboutin stilettos, and a Navajo-blanket poncho and get away with it, but Blake Lively can. "
Image via Vogue.