Every couple of years ago, I get re-obsessed with Truman Capote. When I do, I go back and read everything. I read his books. I read the biographies. I re-watch the interviews. And I always, always fantasise about the Black and White Ball. Truman is one of the few legitimate writer-celebrities. There will never not be a time when I don’t wonder why he sabotaged himself the way he did. Whether or not it could have been the guilt he felt about In Cold Blood. That book made him a legend (think of how we obsess over true crime now with Serial and Making A Murderer etc) but think about what had to happen for him to be able to write it, how murders had to have gone down, families destroyed, to say nothing of what he had to witness at the very, very end of it. Did he struggle internally with that exchange? Is that why he proceeded to slaughter all of his most rewarding relationships…and himself in the process?
We do a book club on The Social every month. This month the book was The Swans Of Fifth Avenue by Melanie Benjamin, based on Truman and his “swans”, the famous and infamous socialites Slim Keith, Gloria Guinness, Marella Agnelli and, of course, the one and only Babe Paley. This is why I’ve been super into Truman again. As part of the discussion on the show, we play casting call with the characters. I picked Jonah Hill as Truman and Keira Knightley as Babe which… I mean I still think Keira could do it but right now, seeing these pictures of Gwyneth Paltrow yesterday, why the f-ck didn’t I choose my G?
Look at her in these two outfits, the blue pantsuit with the 70s cut and this rose gold pyjama-style suit with the genie sleeves – totally a Babe Paley vibe, right? Babe was the best host, she had the best style, she knew just the right flowers, just the right table settings, the perfect appetisers, the most exclusive wallpaper, she could always get a reservation. And above all else, Babe put on a good front. Of course Gwyneth could be Babe. Agree or disagree?