Blake Lively and her artisanal fetus (thank you Michael K at Dlisted) are all over Preserve right now – first, with the announcement and now with Bringing Up Baby, a post all about… huh?
I know that not everyone can be Grace Coddington and tell a fantastical visual story, but if this is all about Bringing Up Baby, a few questions need to be asked. Is this a baby shower? And if it is, where are the non-pregnant friends gritting their teeth thinking “I’m wasting my first Sunday off in a month at this sh-t?” Why are they dying onesies? And if by off chance I want to dye a onesie, why are there no instructions (that I could find) on the site? (Also a set of two onesies for $52? Piss off! You can get very good quality organic cotton ones for much cheaper than that.) Is everyone at this party pregnant? Who brought the presents – did they all give presents or just one or two? Why are the kids in the photos older if it’s about babies?
Those were a few of the questions that immediately came to mind. Maybe I’m just a crusty cow but there is a disconnect with Preserve. It is meant to be, I think, useful. Goop can be useful (no I’m not buying a deck of Hermes cards but there is actually a huge range of products covered and some are inevitably affordable and useful). I feel like Preserve is starting with the products, then creating the story, but they are trying to make it look like the story comes first and all of the products are there to support the narrative. Some of the stuff offered is quite adorable (like the coats with animal hoods) but it doesn’t feel exclusive. I think this comes down to Blake’s inexperience as an editor. For a site trying so hard to be authentic and intimate, it feels very muddled.
On the practical side, it drives me absolutely nuts that they sell clothes with such vague descriptions. If I am buying maternity pieces (typically a short investment), I want to know more about the fit – what kind of waistbands do the skirts have? How are the blouses cut? (For both of my pregnancies, I just bought jumbo size from regular brands, as the few maternity pieces I bought were overpriced and made from terrible fabric.)
Preserve’s fall issue isn’t just about babies, it also pays homage to Southern Belles with Allure of Antebellum. (Lainey: ENOUGH WITH THE ALLITERATION.) Now I’m no American history buff, but doesn’t referencing pre-Civil War era manners and decorum feel a little (or very) tone deaf? Like, imagine yourself in this felt fedora, sipping sweet tea from the front porch of your plantation. Of course it’s always the people who had it the best in the “olden days” that romanticize those eras. I don’t think Blake is waving a confederate flag or anything, but she’s celebrating an era of immense violence and oppression while also commending the kind of sexist “be seen and not heard” idea of a woman preening behind a fan and speaking slowly so the boys like her. Also this:
“While at times depicted as coy, these belles of the ball, in actuality could command attention with the ease of a hummingbird relishing a pastoral bloom.” That’s just bad writing.
But why are we talking about racism when Blake is growing a life inside her carefully curated womb – soup squash bowls and wooden toys and old-timey soda syrups, it’s all just so painfully twee, you know? I get that it’s supposed to be boho-chic twee, but it’s saccharine all the same.
And in my experience, parties are not that fun when you are pregnant (because, social drinking). When Lainey was on her book tour, her party in Vancouver was on my due date. So I showed up 9 months pregnant and Lainey offered me a chair and said, “Don’t go into labour at my party.” I think that would scare her more than a haunted house.
Attached – Blake and Ryan Reynolds in Lake Placid last week.