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See What Vogue Editors Purchased (and Loved) in July

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As Vogue editors, we often wax poetic on the latest runway must-haves and home decor treasures, but not every item we gush about on this website ultimately ends up in our closets and homes. Our discoveries are nice to behold—they’re lovely to look at and inspire fun conversation—however, of all these cool things to buy, what did we actually end up purchasing? Each month, we’ll highlight those special finds our editors welcomed into their lives—all the things that made us buyers rejoice.

During the heatwave this past month, Vogue editors were filling our shopping lists with items that would help us keep our cool. A host of breezy fashion essentials took precedence, from trendy tank tops to timeless slip dresses to barely there miniskirts. And our need to beat the heat went beyond finding summer wardrobe heroes.

One of my colleagues stayed cool with help from a sleek portable fan that she unearthed on Amazon, while another sipped on a refreshing healthy prebiotic-filled soda. Find these and more cool things to buy, just ahead.

Alexis Bennett, commerce writer

Right now, I’m focusing on upgrading my casual outfits. And, let’s be real, any gym outfit looks 10 times better paired with a Balenciaga baseball cap. I also bought this chic Stussy x Nike collab to elevate my cozy airport outfits.

Nike x Stussy Air Force 1 mid sneaker

Julie Tong, commerce director

This July, it was peak summer heat here in the city: the season when standing on the subway platform is sweltering and walking around the city is hot, humid, and, quite frankly, miserable. However, one little item saved me from enduring the city’s most tortuous summer days—a tiny, compact portable fan that is not only rechargeable, but also easily fits inside my purse and is ready to go when I need a jolt of cool, fresh air.

Jisulife portable handheld fan

Chioma Nnadi, global network lead & U.S. editor

​​I’m usually more of a bikini girl, but lately I’ve been feeling for a one-piece. Rudi Gernreich is best known for being the inventor of the monokini—if you can believe it, the brand turns 100 years old this year!—and was way ahead of his time. He also designed some pretty sleek one-pieces, including this one that’s originally from the 1970s and named after Jerry Hall. The lipstick red works really nice on my skin with a deep tan.

I’m also always in search of an unconventional tank top, and Selasi, a line created by London-based photographer Ronan Mckenzie, has some really cool twisted variations on that theme.

Rudi Gernreich The Jerry halterneck swimsuit

Madeline Fass, market editor

I love a loafer, and I love a square toe, so I couldn’t resist these buttery Wandler flats at $144. I’ve already started wearing them, but I expect them to pair nicely with my wardrobe when fall arrives.

Clarissa Schmidt, commerce producer

When it comes to summers in the city, I live in thin, slinky dresses that—dare I say—show a little skin. I realized I own quite a few in just about every color except black, so it was a no-brainer for me to quickly add this midi slip to my cart. I love J.Crew’s wide range of sizes that can accommodate my 5’3” frame. I’ve worn this from day to night, as a skirt under a lightweight sweater, with sneakers, and even classic flip-flops. A true, versatile wardrobe hero!

J.Crew Gwyneth curpo slip dress

Mai Morsch, editor

I am in the process of moving, so all of my purchases have been home-related. I’m particularly excited for my new off-white sheets from Parachute, this rattan lamp from Urban Outfitters, and these striped Tekla towels that I’ve wanted for ages.

Parachute percale duvet cover

Urban Outfitters Irena rattan floor lamp

Molly Barstein, content operations associate

I have been searching everywhere for an elevated slide that I can take from summer to fall, so when I found these Chloé mules (on sale!) the other day, it was love at first sight. The comfort level screams slippers from a five-star hotel, and the look says “It girl on the go.”

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How to Make Your Wardrobe Cozy and Presentable, According to Gigi Hadid

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“I’m going to show you how I take the coziest thing I can wear and make it look presentable to the fashion world,” says Gigi Hadid on set in a full Guest In Residence cashmere look for the latest installment of Vogue’s 7 Days, 7 Looks. The supermodel, mom, and designer/business owner breaks down how she masters comfort-first style for any occasion, be it backstage at fashion week to going out for a friend’s birthday party, and just about everything in between. 

Hadid jokingly tells us that a tie-dye knit and relaxed trousers are considered to be on the more formal side of her wardrobe. The model also admits she likes to wear the same things a lot; in fact, she styles a pair of vintage Prada boots with a majority of her looks and can always be found wearing lots of jewelry—she mixes styles from small brands like Susan Alexandra to fine jewelers like Jacquie Aiche, to name a few. And when she’s not borrowing items from sister Bella’s wardrobe,  like a pair of Chrome Hearts sunglasses, Gigi always makes sure to add a funky element to her outfit to make her feel the most like herself. Below, Gigi Hadid shows us how to cozy-ify your wardrobe in seven different looks. 

Monday: Everyday Gigi 

Hadid’s everyday wardrobe foundation begins with a great pair of jeans and a T-shirt and then she “builds from there.” While deciding which sneakers and earrings to wear with her look, the supermodel calls out her current favorite pair of jeans from denim label Etica.  

Guest in Residence ski tee

Ética Altin ripped boyfriend jeans

Thom Browne dropped shoulder oversized jacket

Dmy By Dmy Olsen sunglasses

Susan Alexandra mini Gigi necklace

Nike x Off-White Air Force 1 Low Brooklyn sneakers

Off-White multicolor fun dino earrings

Shop More Etica jeans:

Ética Tyler straight leg ankle jeans

Ética Devon wide leg jeans

Ética Rhea mid-rise straight crop jeans

Ética Rhea distressed jeans

Tuesday: Office Hours

“I just recently became a skirt person,” Hadid jokes, calling the maxi style from Magda Butrym “the new me.” The model’s secret to creating effortless looks is wearing simple fashion items under a cool statement piece, like this floor-length leather duster.

Magda Butrym leather tailored coat

Anine Bing Scarlet sweater

Magda Butrym long denim skirt

Shop More denim maxi skirts:

Khaite Charlene front-slit skirt

Dries Van Noten denim maxi skirt

Zara TRF straight denim skirt

Joe’s x Andrea’s Lookbook Pathway denim midi skirt

Wednesday: Model Off-Duty

During fashion month, Hadid can’t let her outfits get in the way of her work. Her advice? Avoid wearing anything tight or uncomfortable– shoes included. A cargo pant, worn in loafers, a sweater vest, and, of course, a pair of sleek sunglasses is the supermodel-approved formula. 

Re/Done classic cotton-jersey T-shirt

Guest in Residence Layer Up! vest

Prada Cleo leather shoulder bag

Sak Potts Salma cargo denim pants

Shop More super-model worthy sunglasses: 

Lexxola Storm D-frame rubber sunglasses

Saint Laurent Eyewear oval-frame acetate sunglasses

Bonnie Clyde Tomboy sunglasses

Anine Bing Berlin sunglasses

Thursday: Winter Wonderland 

The self-proclaimed “coziest person you know,” Gigi Hadid designed her own line of cashmere goodies such as this set of ski-inspired long-underwear, which she dresses up with an assortment of It girl essentials: sporty sunglasses, an underarm shoulder bag, and square-toe boots.

Guest in Residence Speed Skate hoodie

Guest in Residence Speed Skate leggings

Manu Atelier mini prism shoulder bag

Prada Heeled brushed leather booties

Prada Symbole pendant right earring

Shop More square toe boots: 

Acne Studios heeled booties

Zara block heel leather ankle boots

Miista Noor mid calf booties

Friday: Feeling Colorful

In an Amiri tie-dye knit and trousers and a pair of ankle boots from Alexander Wang, Hadid jokes that this is what she would consider to be “a little bit formal.” 

Amiri Ma tie-dye sweater

$1,190$476

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Amiri cargo wool wide-leg pants

Jacquie Aiche teardrop beaded necklace

Susan Alexandra Aperitivo necklace

Alexander Wang Donovan boots

Shop More tie-dye knits: 

Proenza Schouler tie-dye long sleeve T-shirt

The Elder Statesman Vision tie-dye cardigan

Stüssy & Dries Van Noten tie dyed hoodie

Saturday: Mom On-Duty

For a day in the park or city with her daughter, Khai, Hadid opts for a pocket-heavy set from Reese Cooper, you’ll never know when you’ll need a snack or a sticker book! To amplify the “cool mom” aesthetic, Hadid adds cozy essentials from her label Guest in Residence, including funky stripe socks and a scarf. 

Reese Cooper Two Steps Forward hunting jacket

$728$293

SAKS FIFTH AVENUE

Reese Cooper Two Steps Forward cargo pants

$628$252

SAKS FIFTH AVENUE

Guest in Residence Below Zero blanket scarf

Guest in Residence oversized hoodie

Guest in Residence soft striped socks

Nike Dunk High 70 sneakers

Shop More colorful scarves:

Exteme Cashmere No.201 striped stretch-cashmere scarf

Acne Studios rainbow stripe scarf

Mango tricolor striped scarf

Sunday: Going Out Look

For a friend’s birthday party or occasion that requires a look that’s “superfun,” Hadid opts for pieces from upcoming designer Jade Cropper. “I like to look sexy and cute, but always need to be comfortable.”

Jade Cropper draped mesh crop top

Jade Cropper ruched trousers

Schutz Lou pointed toe pumps

Shop More from Jade Cropper: 

Jade Cropper long-sleeve gathered cardigan

Jade Cropper graphic-print cut-out trousers

Jade Cropper draped midi skirt

Jade Cropper layer maxi dress

Director: Keenan MacWilliam
Director of Photography: Ava Rikki
Editor: Michael Suyeda
Producer: Nicola Pardy
On-Set Producers: Jordin Rocchi, Qieara Lesesne
Associate Director, Creative Development, Vogue: Alexandra Gurvitch
Market Editor: Madeline Fass
Associate Producer: Natalie Harris
Production Assistant: Lea Donenberg
Assistant Camera: Paola Oliveros
Camera Operator: Sinclair Neff
Gaffer: Rommel Genciana
Audio: Gabe Quiroga
Asistant Editor: Andy Morell
Set Designer: Elysia Belilove
Prop Stylist: Liz Grayson
Hair Stylist: Tamara McNaughton
Makeup Artist: James Kaliardos
Wardrobe Stylist: Mimi Cutrell
Wardrobe Assistant: Kelsey Douglas
Production Coordinator: Ava Kashar
Production Manager: Kit Fogarty
Line Producer: Romeeka Powell
Senior Director, Production Management: Jessica Schier
Post Production Coordinator : Jovan James
Supervising Editor: Kameron Key
Post Production Supervisor: Nicholas Ascanio
Director of Content, Production, Vogue: Rahel Gebreyes
Senior Director, Programming, Vogue: Linda Gittleson
Executive Producer: Ruhiya Nuruddin
VP, Digital Video English, Vogue: Thespena Guatieri

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Margaret Atwood Offers Her Vision of Utopia

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Margaret Atwood is one of the world’s foremost writers of dystopian literature, having imagined such worst-case horrors as a theocracy that forces fertile women to bear children for the rich (“The Handmaid’s Tale”) and a bioengineered virus capable of eradicating humankind (“Oryx and Crake”).

But she is also a profound optimist and pragmatist. Despite real-life calamities like the worsening climate crisis and social inequality, Ms. Atwood often dreams of better futures. Shortly before she turned 83 last month, she taught an eight-week course, “Practical Utopias,” on Disco, an online learning platform in Canada.

About 190 students from 40 countries imagined how to rebuild society after a cataclysmic event — say, a pandemic or rising sea levels. Proposals for “real, better living plans that could actually work” (and “not sci-fi epics or fantasies,” the syllabus stated) included amphibious houses built on stilts, high-end cuisine from food waste, and lowering the voting age to 14 to bolster democracy.

Ms. Atwood, who taught the class from her home office in Toronto, surprised students by submitting her own vision for a post-apocalyptic community, called Virgule (“after the French word for comma, indicating a pause for breath,” she said).

In the interview below, which was conducted over Zoom and email, and has been edited, the professor of Utopia gave more details on Virgule and on her class.

Where is Virgule?

Virgule is situated in the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia, Canada, where my grandfather, a country doctor in the early part of the 20th century, once had an apple farm. So I know what you can grow there and I know about the weather. Blizzards in the winter, with a lot of snow, though it doesn’t get ultracold.

How many people would live there?

Virgule is a planned community for 20 families. I moved into a planned community when I was 8, though the contractor had vanished with what remained of the money and my dad had to finish the inside of the house himself.

What types of homes would be built there?

I chose Dome Homes, made by inflating giant balloons and spraying the outside with a liquid compound that hardens, because they are cheap to build and also fast; and because they provide superior insulation, making them cheap to heat. Although earlier ones used concrete and polystyrene, they can now benefit from a new carbon neutral-to-negative kind of cement made from algae.

What would Virgulians eat?

Virgulians don’t eat meat, but they will have a flock of sheep or goats, for the milk and cheese, and a flock of free-range hens. Cooking would be mostly by induction, keeping costs low. Virgulians will have allotment gardens for basic vegetables and fruit, which will have geothermically heated greenhouses. They will have access to fish and shellfish from the Bay of Fundy — locally fished, as large commercial fishing will be limited and marine parks will increase fish populations.

What would people wear?

I have high hopes for clothing exchanges, making garments over and Japanese artistic mending — also for mushroom leather and algae fabrics. Hemp is very durable and so is linen; a plus is that you can eat the seeds of both.

Tell us more about mushroom leather.

Mushrooms are of great interest to a lot of people right now because, as it turns out, you can make building blocks out of them, you can make coffins out of them, you can make packaging out of them, you can make clothing out of them, you can make shoes out of them. An interesting book is called “Entangled Life” by Merlin Sheldrake.

How about basic needs like sanitation and health care?

Just as former villages housed their preachers, Virgule will house a plumber and an electrician, who will be worshiped like gods. This is a figure of speech, but it’s not such a joke if you think about it. Virgule will also have a doctor and a nurse practitioner. Everyone will take a first-aid course and, starting at the public school level, everyone will learn conflict resolution, anger management and elementary carpenter skills.

What happens if someone gets sick?

For more serious conditions, major surgical operations and the like, a trip to a larger metropolis will be necessary. Old folks, when able, will reside in their own Granny Domes within the community. Corpse disposal will be via a respectful composting process.

What kind of government do you envision?

Virgule is a community, so I expect they will vote. To prevent tyrants, the community is divided in two. Each half rules for a year. So they will have to enact laws while they are the rulers that will benefit them when they are the rules. Is this looking like the Quakers, or possibly the Oneida Community? Sort of.

How will gender roles be treated?

Gender preferences will be respected, but not fetishized. Will there be marriages? Open question, but I expect so, in one form or another.

The class featured diverse guest speakers including Dave Eggers and the Canadian senator Yvonne Boyer.

I’m very much not the sage on the stage who knows everything. When you have a mix of people who have been out in the world and know different stuff that is out in the world, you come into learning with a different slant. I’m a person with the same questions everyone else has, so everybody is learning from everybody else. It’s not a one-way street. It’s about a 17-way street.

And the students came from different backgrounds.

One of the most amazing things about the group we gathered is that their ages are all the way from 18 to 80. You wouldn’t find that in an ordinary academic institution. But that is actually the way our species worked for a long time — young people learning from older people, and from other kids. I learned from our fellows and participants because they actually know more than me.

Anything you wish the class had covered in more detail?

Nobody really wanted to delve into prisons and law enforcement. Why? Those are unpleasant topics. We like to think that in our practical utopia, things will go so well that criminality will be beside the point. But if the Disco team decides to do the program again, we might request a bit more planning around that because there would be transgressions of some kind, or we wouldn’t be human.

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Is Your Fireplace Ready for Winter?

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If you’re lucky enough to have a wood-burning fireplace, cold weather comes with a silver lining: an excuse to build a roaring fire.

“Fire becomes this really amazing focal point for a room, whether it’s traditional or modern,” said the New York-based interior designer Thom Filicia. “There’s just something poetic, sexy and inviting about gathering around a fireplace.”

But before you build that first fire, make sure you’re ready. That means not just decorating the mantel — which, of course, steals attention during the holidays — but choosing the right tools and accessories to ensure that your fireplace looks good and works well. We asked Mr. Filicia and other designers for advice.

Not all fireplaces are attractive. In older homes, some have beaten-up mantels and damaged surrounds; in newer homes, they may not have much personality. In either case, a simple change — or a few tweaks — can give a fireplace a new look without tearing everything out.

While you could remove your mantel and replace it with a new one, it’s not always necessary. Never underestimate the power of paint. When Mona Hajj, an interior designer based in Baltimore, Md., was working on a home in Washington, D.C., her clients found the wood mantel in their dining room “so dark and depressing,” she said, that they asked her to scrap it.

But she could see that it was a quality piece, and when she coated the mantel and the surrounding walls in off-white paint, it transformed the look from forbidding to fresh. “It just softened that area,” Ms. Hajj said.

Mr. Filicia used a similar approach while renovating an old colonial-style home in Greenwich, Conn. Instead of white, though, he painted the mantel a dark aubergine and coated the room’s walls and trim in the same color, so nothing stood out. “You simplify it by doing everything in this one beautiful, rich color,” he said. “It turns all of the architecture into texture.”

Changing the surround rather than the mantel can also give your fireplace a new personality. When Amanda Jesse and Whitney Parris-Lamb, the founders of the Brooklyn-based interior design firm Jesse Parris-Lamb, renovated a brownstone in Park Slope, they encountered tired fireplaces that had surrounds of damaged subway tile within attractive original mantels. Rather than replacing the damaged tile with something similar, they chose more distinctive, contemporary tile: a blue-and-white checkerboard pattern from Balineum for one fireplace and a russet-colored floral pattern from Neisha Crosland for another.

“Changing out the fireplace surround is a nice way to update it while still respecting the history of the house,” Ms. Parris-Lamb said.

A pair of andirons or a fireplace grate is critical to help get air under logs and keep them from rolling out onto the hearth. But choosing the right ones is not only about functionality.

“It’s the jewelry. It adds a little character,” said Victoria Hagan, the New York-based interior designer. “I love searching for special and unusual andirons.”

Sometimes it’s the first purchase she makes when furnishing homes for clients, she said, “because it’s the focal point” — not just of the fireplace, but of the room.

Ms. Hagan favors vintage andirons and coordinates them with the period and style of each home, from curly wrought-iron pieces for a casual, colonial-style home to weighty brass ones topped by heavy ball finials in a formal space.

Others opt for more playful designs. When Gary McBournie and Bill Richards, the married partners of the Boston-based interior design firm Gary McBournie Inc., were accessorizing a fireplace on Nantucket, Mass., they chose anchor-shaped andirons.

“An anchor is about as cute as we get,” Mr. Richards said, adding that they like the contemporary andirons made by John Lyle, who crafts models with anchors, fish, stars, human figures and other sculptural elements, as well as more traditional English designs from Jamb.

You could buy a set of matching fireplace tools with a stand that sits on the hearth, but Ms. Hajj and Ms. Hagan prefer a more minimalist approach: They limit the number of tools — often using a single poker or a pair of fireplace tongs — and simply lean the tools against the mantel when they’re not in use.

“I don’t typically like tools in a stand,” said Ms. Hagan, who considers it too formal. “I like them casually placed at the fireplace.”

She buys tools with the longest handles she can find because they tend to be more elegant and are easy to use from a safe distance.

An ash shovel is also helpful for cleaning up after the fire has gone out, but it doesn’t have to be stored near the mantel, so it needn’t match the other tools. “I actually find the shovels awkward,” Ms. Hagan said. “Personally, I prefer a dustpan.”

If your fireplace doesn’t have built-in doors or metal-mesh curtains, a fire screen that will prevent sizzling logs from spewing burning embers into the room is essential. There’s a wide range of designs available — from flat-panel models that nearly disappear when in use, to folding ones with multiple panels and those that curve out into the room, which often look more traditional and provide easier access to the fire.

Whichever style you choose, the most important thing is to use one that matches the size of the firebox opening. If it’s too small, it won’t do its job; if it’s too big, it will look awkward.

“We see a lot of fire screens that are too small or too big, and it looks kind of like the fireplaces are wearing the wrong size clothes,” Ms. Parris-Lamb said. She and Ms. Jesse often order screens in custom sizes from Wm. H. Jackson Co. or Etsy vendors.

Most fire screens are made with a metal mesh, but glass models are becoming more popular. They offer a clear view of the fire, and can block some of the heat — which may be desirable or not, depending on the room.

That was Mr. Filicia’s goal when he designed one dining room with a fireplace. “We chose a glass fireplace screen that almost perfectly fits in the space, so it deflects a lot of the heat,” he said. “It makes it so that when you’re sitting at the dining table, you’re not overwhelmed by the fire. That was really important.”

To keep the fire going, you’ll need logs at the ready — and somewhere to store them. Many manufacturers make special metal racks and leather slings for holding a few logs by the hearth, but almost any large-scale, good-looking container will do.

Mr. McBournie and Mr. Richards usually search out big, sturdy baskets woven from natural materials. “Typically, we’ll have a large basket that can hold at least a day-and-a-half’s worth of firewood,” Mr. Richards said.

Ms. Hajj uses a big Moroccan copper urn in her own family room and has bought similar copper buckets for clients’ homes. “I always try to get these big buckets,” she said.

A bonus: The buckets capture dirt and wood shavings that fall off the logs, keeping the mess off the floor.

“There is a sort of primal interest in fire. It’s an attraction,” Mr. Richards said. “That means people are going to want to sit by it.”

To create the coziest spot in the house, Ms. Hajj likes to put a big, comfortable chair or chaise longue right next to the fireplace.

Ms. Hagan has designed rooms with upholstered stools that sit directly in front of the hearth, a couple of feet from the flames. “It’s a nice place to sit,” she said. “It’s very cozy during the winter.” And in the summer, the stools can easily be moved elsewhere.

In a Brooklyn rowhouse, Jesse Parris-Lamb placed thick, tasseled floor cushions near the fireplace. “It’s nice to have some kind of ottoman, stool or floor cushion close to the fire, so you can cozy up,” she said.

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