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Louis Vuitton Wine? Yep, It's Happening

Louis Vuitton Wine? Yep, It's Happening


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The French fashion house is expanding into the Chinese wine connoisseur market

XLV wine is now on sale in Hong Kong and in online retailers.

Because we ladies know nothing goes better together than a glass of wine and a fashion magazine, Louis Vuitton is getting into the wine market — in China.

Want China Times reports that the Louis Vuitton wine, XLV, is now on sale in Hong Kong and in online retailers. The wines from Rhone, Champagne, and Bordeaux are named after the fifth-generation family member, Xavier-Louis Vuitton, but it's his son, Quentin-Louis Vuitton, who runs the wine operations for the French fashion name. (Although the family has made it clear that the fashion brand is separate from the wine — but we're sure it's likely to help the wine sell.)

Queintin-Louis Vuitton told consumers at the HKTDC International Wine & Spirits Fair that he has “a passion [for wine] I inherited from my father," and made several trips to Asia to understand the market and palate for wine. The wines start at $47 U.S. for a bottle, and climb upward of $300. Our minds are already spinning with other fashion house and wine collaborations: Chanel? YSL? Can we expect all French fashion giants to get in with their winemaking neighbors?


How To Buy Authentic Native Jewelry


Above:ਏifty to eighty percent of jewelry marketed as "Native made" is actually counterfeit. Photographs by Inga Hendrickson.

TONY ERIACHO JR. ARRANGED A COUPLE of pieces of silver jewelry on the table of his well-marked booth.

He was readying a carefully planned presentation, one he𠆝 given many times before. It was 2013, the first weekend of March, and already warm in Phoenix, where the annual Heard Museum’s Indian Fair & Market was well under way.

The necklaces Eriacho arranged weren’t ones that he or his wife, Ola, made, but to a layperson’s eyes they might have seemed similar to their work. At the very least, they looked like the kind that come from the couple’s home pueblo of Zuni. The specimens were inlaid squash blossom necklaces, an original Zuni design, with a signature Rainbow Man pendant, an abstract figure that arches acrobatically like a rainbow.

His question to those listening was unexpected but simple: “Guess which one is fake?” Liz Wallace, of Diné and Nisenan descent, was nearby, selling her own custom silver jewelry, and came by to participate. Standing above the samples, she looked and chose one, deducing that the other had to be authentic.

Each piece was stamped with a silver hallmark. That much was evident. But it was a trick question. Both were bogus, Eriacho explained. To demonstrate the point, he pulled out a magnet. It stuck. They weren’t silver. Nor had a Native jeweler made them. He had played Wallace just like a magician or a huckster might. But unlike either, he had the goal of actually revealing the illusion, to demonstrate that the visual power of fakes could fool any eye.

Wallace learned that Eriacho had long been familiar with the prevalence of jewelry advertised and sold as Native American but made in factories as close by as Gallup and as far away as the Philippines. He founded the Council for Indigenous Arts and Culture in 1998, made presentations like the one Wallace witnessed, passed out trifold flyers, and spoke at a congressional hearing, in 2000, in an effort to stem the massive tide of jewelry presented or sold under false pretenses.

Eriacho had no qualms about pointing out whether the necklace or earrings worn by a passerby were authentic. He𠆝 even go so far as to critique it component by component. Those close to him describe Eriacho, who passed in 2016, as a one-man force who tirelessly educated anyone willing to listen𠅊nd even those who weren’t�out fake Indian jewelry and the far-reaching economic repercussions for Native jewelers across the state and the nation.

Wallace had already intuited that a fakes market existed years before meeting Eriacho. When walking the streets of downtown Santa Fe, she encountered certain shops advertising Native-made jewelry and suspiciously selling it en masse for impossibly low prices. While there are a number of reputable dealers in town and elsewhere in New Mexico, anxiety crept in at the realization that she couldn’t compete with these shops. Unbeknownst to her, the fakes market had become such a lucrative industry that it had birthed an entire echelon of organized crime. “It was Tony who really opened my eyes,” she says.

Above: Liz Wallace.

He exposed a grim world in which the market for fakes had completely upended the sale of authentic Native jewelry, causing a tectonic shift in buying behaviors so extreme that most people looking to spend money on Native jewelry came to expect the much lower prices of counterfeits. This forced some Native jewelers to produce at price points that only a factory could achieve, earning as little as 50 cents an hour, and pushed other makers out of the market altogether.

𠇎ven if I woke up tomorrow and no more knockoffs were being made,” Wallace says, “they would still be flooding the market for years.”

For all that pop culture tells us about Chinatown Rolexes, knockoff Louis Vuitton bags, and fabled basement Vermeers, it’s far more rare to hear about counterfeit Native jewelry, its prevalence, and who endures the brunt of the economic shock. It’s estimated that a staggering 50 to 80 percent of all jewelry marketed and retailed as “Native made” in the U.S. is actually counterfeit—not made by a Native person. Globally, that number is even higher. For Native Americans in the U.S., 30 percent of whom live below the poverty line, the counterfeit market can “literally take food off of people’s table,” says Ira Wilson, executive director of the Southwest Association of Indian Arts, the organization in charge of the annual Santa Fe Indian Market.

“It’s not a big, rich Fortune 500 company being ripped off,” says Wallace. “It’s impoverished and marginalized Native communities who are experiencing the greatest effects. It’s economic colonization.” 

A CHRONOLOGY
Native adornment is millennia old. Counterfeiting it goes back at least a century. 

Pre-Colombian: Ancestral Puebloans trade turquoise with Mesoamerican tribes. Early Zuni lapidaries use stone, antler, wood, or cactus spine to cut, shape, drill, and polish turquoise, jet, argillite, and red shale.

1850s: Atsidii Sání becomes the first Diné silversmith, adapting technologies from Mexican blacksmiths and using coin silver.

1879: Miners found Los Cerrillos Mining District, in Cerrillos.

1880: The Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway’s branch line reaches Santa Fe from Lamy.

1881: H.H. Tammen Company opens in Denver, Colorado. 1901: Jake Gold and J.S. Candelario open a popular curio shop in Santa Fe.

1935: Congress passes Indian Arts and Crafts Act.

1960: Non-Native author Ben Hunt publishes Indian Silversmithing, a 𠇌omplete how-to book and guide for anyone who appreciates the beauty of American Indian jewelry.” 

1990: Congress amends the Indian Arts and Crafts Act (Public Law 101-644), prohibiting the misrepresentation of Indian arts and crafts produced within the United States. 

1998: Tony Eriacho Jr. founds the Council for Indigenous Arts and Culture. 2007: Rose Morris is the first to be convicted under the Indian Arts and Crafts Act for fraudulently selling imported rugs marketed as Navajo.

20010-2015: Sterling Islands, an Albuquerque company owned by Nael Ali, imports 298 shipments of jewelry manufactured in the Philippines with a total declared value of $11.8 million.

2012: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service investigates Sterling Islands for their purchase and subsequent sale of counterfeit Native American jewelry.

2017: Ali pleads guilty to fraudulently selling, offering, and displaying inauthentic wares at two Albuquerque stores.

2018: Ali is sentenced to six months in prison and ordered to pay $9,048 in restitution.

WALLACE IS WEARING EARRINGS� by the Lakota artist Charlene Holy Bear and her own necklace made of natural turquoise. The jeweler is known for casting creatures from the natural world in her silver jewelry and plique-à-jour pieces𠅋utterflies, octopus, dragonflies, and tiny snails. The necklace represents the one time Wallace tried her hand at whittling natural turquoise to string.

Wallace has also become one of the most public and vocal advocates for authentic Native jewelry.

About halfway through our conversation, she pauses to apologize. “I keep jumping around in time,” she tells me while speaking passionately about the present industry of fakes, only to rewind many decades�, 1900, even 1880—in the same breath. She’s here to talk precedents, to paint a picture of the past that soon looks like a dark specter hovering over today’s market. It’s hard not to feel like what came before is repeating itself.

The books are stacked in front of us, in between bowls of pho and rice noodles at May Cafe, a Vietnamese restaurant in an old strip mall in Albuquerque’s International District. There are aged wholesale catalogs, how-to manuals, and Jonathan Batkin’s The Native American Curio Trade in New Mexico, all carted by Wallace in a rollaway suitcase to our table. My history lesson.

Amid the pile lies a tattered copy of the Denver-based H.H. Tammen Company’s Souvenirs and Novelties, published in 1933. It’s a wholesaler’s bible, with a vaguely ethnic cover design, filled with 150 black-and-white pages of inventory: combs, Lincoln Logs to build “settler cabins,” and children’s cotton parasols. There’s also an entire section of Navajo and Chimayó rugs, what’s classified as “sterling silver totem pole jewelry,” and “Indian Design” everything—stamped-silver spoons, belts, buttons, earrings, squash blossom necklaces, scarf pins, and lavalieres (now more commonly known as bolo ties).

A faded green 50 percent trade discount coupon is in the front pages, ready to be torn out.

“This jewelry is made from coin silver, decorated with hand-hammered characteristic Indian symbols,” the mail-order catalog proclaims in its first pages. It’s a confusing mouthful—𠇌haracteristic Indian symbols”—though a glossary with images attempts to clarify. The 𠇊vany,” for instance, is listed as the “giver of water” (the correct spelling would have been Avanyu). Next to the words are an ambiguously Puebloan design, among several others. The stamped-silver bracelets on the opposite page boasting those very designs are sold by the dozen.

By the time H.H. Tammen’s catalogs became popular, dealers had long been the brokers of a massive curio industry. For almost half a century, they bought from H.H. Tammen and other wholesalers. At the same time, they commissioned Native makers to produce bale-loads of textiles with machined yarn and displayed those alongside machined jewelry. They hired Pueblo and Navajo men to work in curio shops to produce jewelry on-site. They commissioned from non-Native sources, too. In one instance, a dealer negotiated with inmates at a penitentiary in Cañon City, Colorado, to produce Navajo-style silver for Santa Fe shops.

Above:ਊn assortment of turquoise jewelry.

Because the demand for Indian arts and crafts only boomed with supply, a startling array of objects emerged—some truly handmade and authentic, others commissioned by the hundreds, based on dealers’ designs. Others bore more underhanded origins. Here, authenticity could be staged. Jewelry oxidized for aging, symbols concocted, stories exaggerated, and Native-made mixed with factory-produced.

“Native jewelry designs have always been treated as open source,” Wallace says, pointing out the feeble attempts at Native compositions that multiply throughout the catalog. This era, she says, was the prelude to our current spiraling fakes crisis. It was here that some Americans began equating Native jewelry with souvenirs, even if by the early 20th century making jewelry had become a significant chunk of Pueblo and Navajo economies.

The catalog I page through is so old it “sheds paper fur,” as Wallace puts it, tiny pieces of debris settling on our table. The cover is still bright, though, bearing a frontispiece with a dubious indigenous figurine floating against an ocher background, flanked by red and black rays. From its Denver headquarters on the corner of 17th and Larimer Streets, H.H. Tammen successfully dealt curios in the Southwest beginning in 1881, only a year after the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway started ushering carloads of curious tourists into New Mexico.

Those in search of Indian wares could purchase a treasure with cultural cachet in one of several shops in Santa Fe and along the ATSF line. That jewelry is now characterized broadly as 𠇏red Harvey jewelry,” after the entrepreneur who founded hotels and curio shops at train stops.

By the late 1920s and into the 1930s, the market was so jumbled𠅊nd so dominated by dealers’ whims—that then–Secretary of the Interior Hubert Work wrote a report mandating that Indian handicrafts “should be standardized and their genuineness guaranteed.” It was the first step toward creating the Indian Arts and Crafts Act in 1935, to “promote the economic welfare” of Native people. Helmed by John Collier and Rene d’Harnoncourt, the Indian Arts and Crafts Board was tasked with another goal: to differentiate the bona fide Native-made objects from the spurious, to reset the market in favor of individual Native makers who, like most Americans at the time, were weathering the effects of the Great Depression.

IN 1990, CONGRESS AMENDED the Indian Arts and Crafts Act into a truth-in-advertising law. It was the same year they passed the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act. Both were landmark pieces of federal legislation aimed at giving Native people—past, present, and future—some measure of recompense after waves of attempted cultural erasure.

According to the act, it is a federal offense (a fourth-degree felony) for any person to mischaracterize a piece of jewelry (or other work of art) as Native-made when it is not, covering anything produced after 1935.

𠇊 lot of artists will say they make ‘Indian art,’ like it’s quote-unquote 𠆌owboy art,’” says Roy Montibon. He’s the co-founder of Montibon Provenance International, which is developing anti-counterfeiting technology to indelibly hallmark an object. Based in Las Vegas, New Mexico, Montibon is looking to protect Native artists and others from exploitation. “Whether or not the artist is a cowboy is irrelevant. But if you call a painting or anything else ‘Indian art’ when it’s not made by a Native person, that’s a violation of federal law.” Similarly, it’s illegal for a dealer to even suggest that a Rainbow Man squash blossom pendant is Indian made when it’s not.

But national and international counterfeit industries are only growing. In almost three decades, a mere 10 people have been convicted, three of those in New Mexico, according to the Indian Arts and Crafts Board, which receives and screens complaints of possible violations and refers them for further investigation to other law enforcement organizations. The reason is that there needs to be a convincing amount of evidence of fraud, and that it exceeded a certain monetary amount. Anyone can submit a complaint, and they can do so anonymously, but the manpower comes from those partner organizations that work on either the federal or the state level. The most in-depth investigations have taken close to 15 years to bear fruit.

Above: Ira Wilson.

Eriacho didn’t live long enough to witness the verdict in one of the highest-profile cases in the history of counterfeit Native jewelry, one at least a decade in the making. A longtime dealer of fake Native jewelry, Nael Ali, was charged, and later found guilty, for fraudulently selling, offering, and displaying wares produced in sweatshops in the Philippines at two locations in Albuquerque. His sentence included a fine and six months of jail time. The sting, called Operation Al Zuni—which also included charges against his middleman, Mohammed Manasra—was conducted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

More recently, Robert Haacke was indicted for counterfeiting the designs of renowned Hopi jeweler Charles Loloma from his home in Los Angeles. Robert Rhodes, the husband of Loloma’s niece Verma Nequatewa, says that several years back, he and his wife noticed a number of pieces marketed as made by Loloma on eBay. Based on Nequatewa’s experience working with Loloma in the studio, the ones on eBay 𠇍idn’t fit,” he says. “They didn’t capture the subtlety of Charles’ work,” even if Loloma’s hallmark was stamped on them. But once “those counterfeits got out, buyers became disenchanted,” Rhodes says, �teriorating the Loloma market by 30 to 40 percent.”

Over the years, he estimates that $2 million worth of fake Lolomas, cranked out by Haacke and others, circulated online, where vendors would manufacture stories about having found 𠇊 ‘lost Loloma’ in their grandmother’s basement,” Rhodes says. “That doesn’t usually happen. But it was happening a lot on eBay. You realize that someone is stealing from you and your family”𠅊 form of exploitation that he describes as “identity theft.”

According to Wilson, who testified in the Ali trial, he’s seen fakes enter the market within months of a Native maker debuting a new design. In brick-and-mortar shops, dealers have gone so far as sprinkling in a few authentic pieces among the counterfeits—“one Native designer in a sea of non-Native work,” as Wilson describes it, where in a back room “there might be 300 or 400 bracelets that look exactly alike.”

Markets shape-shift when fakes usurp authentic Native jewelry. They change the 𠇌onsumer concept,” says Janie Reano. “There is pride in the fact that we come from generations of jewelers, that we make high-quality jewelry,” she says of her Santo Domingo Pueblo family’s lineage of makers. “We used to make a lot of heishi necklaces in the seventies and eighties, but once the market got flooded with fakes, there was no one willing to pay the price for a real one.”

Up until that point, she says, most consumers wanted “real stuff” and “were willing to pay the price, but when the fakes came, we stopped making them.”

SITTING IN A DARK CORNER OF MAY CAFE, Wallace makes a quick analogy. “If a Navajo person were to go to Chinatown and buy a Rolex for $20, thinking it was real, people would call them crazy.” It’s a telling move to flip the script, but the point sticks. I pause, laugh just a bit, and agree. It would be ludicrous. Yet there’s something about consumer culture in general, and the undervaluing of indigenous people specifically, that makes the analogy so incisive. Countless buyers, she says, come to New Mexico 𠇎xpecting a quality silver piece with natural turquoise for the same price. They need to adjust their expectations.”

So many variables go into pricing. Is the stone natural or imitation turquoise? Is it made with sterling silver or some other metal? What other stones does the piece comprise? Is it handmade or handcrafted? And how many hours did the jeweler put into making it? Native jewelry, Montibon notes, has another, more numinous quality. “It is a cultural object, one that can reflect deep histories. It’s not just a souvenir or trinket,” he says. “It should be treated as heritage and with gravitas.”

Above:ਊ turquoise cuff.

The fakes market, however, asserts that you can buy authentic enough wares for a fourth to a tenth of the cost. Those pieces, like the ones Ali had made in the Philippines (whose country-of-origin stickers were removed) or the ones sold long ago through H.H. Tammen, could be bought in multiples, forcing Native jewelers to compete in the same market. When consumers see a price that rightly reflects a Native person’s time and expertise, “they often experience sticker shock,” Wilson says.

Wallace has seen it happen with her work. “If I made a natural turquoise butterfly pendant, it would normally go for $1,500,” she says, 𠇋ut the knockoffs from the Philippines are $100.” Some people ask her to negotiate that low. Doing so is like haggling with a renowned painter to sell you a masterpiece for the price of a giclພ, or assuming you could get vintage wine for the cost of Two-Buck Chuck.

To many tribes, though, jewelry is prized. It protects and adorns. It gets passed down through the generations. It tells stories. Even while herding sheep, Wallace says, 𠇊 Navajo woman always wore her bling.”

KEEP IT REAL
1. Do your research. Start online, price jewelry, and know your budget. Think deeply about what you’ll enjoy and consider it an investment. As Ken Williams, the manager of the Case Trading Post at the Wheelwright Museum, in Santa Fe, says, “there’s something for everyone and every budget. But always buy the very best you can afford.” The point, he says, “is to feel confident about your purchase.”

2. Learn the difference between handmade and handcrafted. Ira Wilson, executive director of the Southwest Association of Indian Arts, says handmade means �signing and building from the ground up, doing the lapidary work, drawing the silver, and building a piece completely by hand.” Handcrafted means using elements purchased at a jewelry supply store (cut stones and gauged wire) and assembling the piece. Both, he says, are acceptable forms of jewelry, but the difference “will affect the price point.” So make sure to ask when buying.

3. Consider buying directly from an artist at the Heard Museum’s Indian Market & Fair , in Phoenix, the first weekend of March the Gallup Inter-Tribal Indian Ceremonial, August 2� the Gallup Native Arts Market, August 10� We Are the Seeds Santa Fe 2019, a market of an indigenous vendors, in the Santa Fe Railyard, August 15� and SWAIA’s Indian Market , on the Santa Fe Plaza, August 17�.

4. If you don’t buy directly from an artist, buy from an established dealer who does. Always ask for a receipt or a certificate of authenticity, which includes the artist’s name and tribal affiliation, retail price (for insurance), and a description of the piece. Have the lead buyer sign it. If it’s an antique, ask for provenance. The Indian Arts and Crafts Board defines “Indian” and “Indian artisan.” They offer an online directory of recognized tribes, as well as provide information on the Indian Arts and Crafts Act to Native American artists, cultural institutions, and buyers.

5. Be curious. Because of the uptick in counterfeits, fraud detector Roy Montibon suggests going so far as to ask “whether the dealer you’re buying from is under a federal investigation for fraud.” It’s gutsy, but it could pay off.

6. Follow artists on Instagram or Facebook. Liz Wallace often posts design ideas and the steps involved in her process just to show the amount of work that goes into each piece.

7. If you’re really yearning for your heart’s desire, but it’s out of your price range, ask the artist if they’ll work with you on a layaway plan. Or buy in your budget and work your way up to more expensive pieces.

8. The quality of a counterfeit can be very low or very high (and, at times, expensive), but even if it’s well made, that doesn’t make it authentic Native-made jewelry. It’s just a really good counterfeit. If you suspect you’ve bought a counterfeit, call 1-888-Artfake, the Indian Arts and Crafts Board’s hotline.

THE TURQUOISE DILEMMA
Turquoise is a gemstone whose density depends on the amount of copper and aluminum in its structure. Without those minerals, it’s chalky and white. To Diné people, turquoise recalls both sky and water. For others, it has become synonymous with the Southwest. So much of it has been sold for so long that it’s hard to think of Native jewelry without it. Yet many mines have been played out and closed, while other countries, including China and Japan, have cornered the U.S. market.

Because of that global shift, natural turquoise can be out of many Native jewelers’ budgets, costing more than $800 per carat in certain cases. But, as in the market for diamonds, certain buyers can just as easily be satisfied with cubic zirconia. Similarly, stabilized, enhanced, dyed, and blocked turquoise now make up a spectrum of treated turquoise alternatives to natural turquoise. And if a Native jeweler is using any as beads or otherwise, the resulting handcrafted (not handmade) product is still Native jewelry benefiting Native makers.

As long as you know what you’re getting and how much it’s worth, says Joe Dan Lowry, of the Turquoise Museum, in Albuquerque, “it can all be considered art.” Just make sure to ask when buying. And if you do want to buy natural turquoise, then the price will reflect what mine it came from, color and clarity, matrix, and amount in carats. As always, get a receipt detailing your piece.

Learn more at the Turquoise Museum’s newest location: the castle-style mansion of the late Gertrude Zachary, a longtime Albuquerque jeweler. The downtown château holds 8,000 square feet of turquoise, tools for the best education you’ll get. Plus, it’s decked out with a chandelier comprising 21,500 pieces of natural turquoise.


Seven Things We Learned From Rihanna’s Exclusive Interview With T Magazine

As the pop mogul discusses and reveals her luxury fashion line for the first time, here are the takeaways.

Earlier this month, the French fashion conglomerate LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton announced, after months of speculation, that it would expand its partnership with the pop star Robyn Rihanna Fenty, 31, beyond the beauty industry by launching a fashion line called Fenty. It’s the first major fashion brand that LVMH has created from scratch in its history, and it represents another historic shift: Rihanna is now the first black woman at the helm of one of Paris’s luxury houses, long revered for maintaining the highest level (in terms of craftsmanship, aesthetics and, yes, cost — though more on that later) of clothing and accessory design.

Today, in a wide-ranging digital cover story published by T: The New York Times Style Magazine, Rihanna discusses her new company for the first time, explains its genesis and reveals the line by modeling it in photographs that were shot for T in a home near London. In the interview, conducted by the playwright Jeremy O. Harris, she goes deep on her life, her music and her businesses. Here are the seven things to know first.

1. Rihanna has a vision for changing the fashion industry.

When Fenty.com goes live on May 29, it will be one of few luxury brands to commit fully to online sales: There are no plans for runway shows, flagship boutiques or third-party sales through department stores. New clothes will instead “drop” each month on the website, similar to the model pioneered by the streetwear brand Supreme. Prices, which start at around $200 for a T-shirt and rise to around $1,500 for outerwear, are lower than most other Parisian luxury brands, and sizes — which go up to a French 46 (an American 14) — are offered in a somewhat wider range. “It’s a new way of doing things because I believe that this is where fashion is going to go eventually,” said Rihanna, who based this strategy and the collection of clothing, shoes and jewelry on how she wants to shop and dress herself:

“You wear what looks good on you and that’s it. I’m thick and curvy right now, and so if I can’t wear my own stuff then, I mean, that’s not gonna work, right?”

2. Rihanna has new music coming out soon.

In a rat-a-tat exchange with Harris that addresses the rumors surrounding her forthcoming album, the first since she released “Anti” to rapturous praise in 2016, the singer confirmed the following facts: She is making a reggae album it will arrive imminently, but she doesn’t know the exact date yet and, sure, she’s open to working with Lady Gaga, who recently followed her on Instagram. As for the name of her ninth album? Here’s her response:

“So far it’s just been R9, thanks to the Navy,” she said, referencing the term for her crew of fans. “I’m about to call it that, probably ’cause they have haunted me with this ‘R9, R9, when is R9 coming out?’ How will I accept another name after that’s been burned into my skull?”

3. . But don’t expect Drake to be featured on her next album.

The two musicians, reportedly linked by a romantic past, have often appeared on each other’s albums, producing memorable hits like 2010’s “What’s My Name?” 2011’s “Take Care” and 2016’s “Work.”

But when asked if she would collaborate with him again, she was definitive: “Not anytime soon, I don’t see it happening. Not on this album, that’s for sure.”

[Coming soon: the T List newsletter, a weekly roundup of what T Magazine editors are noticing and coveting. Sign up here.]

4. It’s all work and no play for Rihanna these days.

Though some of the most indelible memes of Rihanna online feature her partying on a yacht or walking out of a restaurant with a wine glass, she insists that she doesn’t have time for that anymore. Plus, she’d rather just hang out with her colleagues:

“The party, believe it or not, is at work. I do not go out. I will go to a dinner. I try to have as much fun as I can during work. And even after work, when I’m literally in my kitchen having a drink, I invite all my staff. And we work, still.”

5. Next up in Rihanna’s empire: hair products?

When Rihanna launched her Fenty beauty line in September 2017, she released 40 shades of foundation, from the darkest to the lightest skin tones, reflecting her upbringing in Barbados. “Growing up, I wanted to be darker, always,” she said in T’s interview. In its first year, Fenty Beauty surpassed $500 million in revenue the company has since added 10 new shades of foundation and plans to add more in the future. But that’s not the only way Rihanna wants to increase her beauty offerings:

“As soon as I’m ready to give up the two hours of sleep that I get now,” she said. “That’s for hair.”

6. Rihanna: the movie star — well, eventually.

Barbra Streisand. Cher. Lady Gaga. Though there’s a long lineage of singers who crossed over into Hollywood — and though Rihanna has had parts in a few movies, including 2006’s “Bring It On: All or Nothing,” 2012’s “Battleship” and 2018’s “Ocean’s 8” — she doesn’t quite think she’s ready to return to the big screen, not that she hasn’t been given the opportunity:

“I’ll probably try a little more, but not until I know I can handle a lead and carry a movie on my own, because I’ve been offered,” she said. “I’m always like, ‘Guys, thank you for trusting me, but Angelina Jolie is over there.’”

7. Even Rihanna feels like an outsider sometimes.

Few celebrities wield as much power and influence as Rihanna — that’s one of the main reasons that LVMH is collaborating with her on the fashion line — but when discussing the racist, classist and sexist behavior that often permeates the industries in which she works, the artist admitted that being Rihanna doesn’t necessarily safeguard her from being mistreated:

“It’s never alleviated, you know? You’re going to be black wherever you go. And I don’t know if it’s unfortunate or fortunate, because I love being black. So, sorry for those who don’t like it — that’s the first thing you see before you even hear my voice. There are also other factors: I’m young. I’m new to the family. I’m a woman. Those factors do come into play, but I will not apologize for them, and I will not back down from being a woman, from being black, from having an opinion. I’m running a company and that’s exactly what I came here to do. I don’t know if it makes people uncomfortable or not, but that’s not even my business, you know? I do know that the reason I’m here is not because I’m black. It’s because of what I have to offer. That’s what they’re invested in. And the fact that I’m black is just that: a fact.”


Recipe: Charlotte aux Fraises aux Biscuits Roses de Reims

Or, a Strawberry Charlotte with Roses de Reims cookies!

24 Biscuits Roses of Reims

1 sachet of vanilla sugar (if not available, double the amount of vanilla extract)

½ teaspoon of vanilla extract)

  • Mix the water and sugar and bring to a boil. Add vanilla extract then let cool. Lightly dip the cookies on the unsweetened side in the syrup, garnish the turn and bottom of a charlotte mold of 18 cm in diameter.
  • Place the liquid cream in a whipped cream with the vanilla sugar, then gently incorporate the fromage blanc.
  • Pour half of the cream into the mold, sprinkle with strawberries, then grind over about 4 pink syrup-soaked cookies. Cover with cream and strawberries. Smooth and let sit at least 12 hours.
  • Decorate the charlotte with strawberries.

Serve with a semi-sweet Champagne and enjoy!

Alternatively, you can buy the biscuits from Maison Fossier, manufacturers of the pastry since 1691!


Wait Until You See Why This Is the World's Most Famous Closet

You know you have an over-the-top closet when you can (and have!) thrown parties in it. And that's precisely the case in this home, which is located in Spring, Texas &mdash hey, they do say everything is bigger there. It's a whopping 3,000-square-feet and three-stories tall. Yep. That's why there's a spiral staircase smack dab in the middle and part of the reason it was featured on Good Morning America.

But why does anyone need so much closet space? According to the homeowner, Theresa Roemer, it's to hold over 30 years of collections. She even showcases some of her prized possessions like artwork in a museum along the top of her shelves, including her first Louis Vuitton bag and a signed pair of Christian Louboutin heels. But the most impressive feature in the entire closet has to be the . wait for it . champagne bar. Lovely, right?

Even though it's Roemer's dream closet, her and her husband have decided to downsize from their 17,315-square-foot home. That means someone else will get to nab it &mdash and it's eccentric closet &mdash at an auction on July 30. But prepare yourself: The starting price is $5 million.


Sour Beer And Beyond At Goed Zuur In Denver

On an overcast Saturday afternoon in the Five Points neighborhood in Denver, people packed out Goed Zuur in celebration of the sour beer taproom’s one-year anniversary. The occasion not only marked a successful calendar year of serving beers, bread, butter, cheese, and charcuterie, but the fact that among all the concepts and pairings of food and beverage out there, there’s still only one Goed Zuur.

While being a sour taproom draws the headlines and brings customers in from all over the world—people occasionally show up with suitcases in hand, fresh off a plane—Goed Zuur’s ability to seamlessly mesh high-end customer service and an extensive and impressive menu together is really what makes the place worth going back to again and again.

Goed Zuur manages to cleanly walk the tightrope that is providing a quality experience to people less adventurous while leaving educated drinkers feeling taken care of as well. It’s the product of experts being given the creative freedom to put together a menu while wanting to educate customers on the Goed Zuur experience.

“It’s been tough because nobody’s made a template for this before. If I was going to open another cafe or pizza place I could go to 100 other places doing the exact same thing,” says co-owner and head chef Anthony Lopiccolo. “For us, we needed to figure out how to trickle somewhere between a wine bar, which sometimes can get too pretentious, and a beer bar, which I don’t want my place to smell like urine.

“I was looking for something aesthetically pleasing, but at the same time really made you feel like you were having a special night without having to drop that special night kind of money.”

The “special night” quality Lopiccolo refers to for customers is unique in that it offers people an opportunity to hear an expert dish on an unusual menu item they might never hear about from anywhere else while paying as little as three bucks for a beer and $10 for a cheese board. It offers one of the great low-cost high-reward nights out in town. Selection aside, hearing a server, a co-owner, or a server rave about a food and beverage pairing and offer a peek into the story behind something like the Jester King Spon Methode Gueuze (a terrific, natural wine-obsessed brewery outside Austin) or an upcoming vegan salami option is unlike what customers might find at another taproom. The content itself can be a little tedious to the unenthused, but the joys of watching a person gush about their passions is translatable for anyone.

Powered by Lopiccolo’s extensive experience as a chef, co-owner John Fayman’s exquisite taste in sours, and cheesemonger Rachel Smith’s expertise, along with a team of servers and individuals intent on delivering an experience that goes beyond dropping off food and drink to each table, Goed Zuur’s presence could be the start of a larger trend toward more niche that only caters to a few and less toward the common brewery trying to cater to all.

Styled somewhere between Viking hall, industrial warehouse, and traditional taproom, the interior setup of Goed Zuur features a tower of taps with a wraparound bar, warm glowing lights hanging down, long family-style seating by large windows, individual tables for more intimate nights, and the best seat in the house: the chef’s table.

While sitting at the chef’s table, customers can expect a show. Various meats being sliced with precision, dishes being delicately prepared on an island in the kitchen, fresh bread being pulled out of the oven, and usually a friendly face willing to chat. It’s not reinventing the wheel, but it’s a peek into the whirring parts of the machine that can get overlooked.

With almost no recipes in the kitchen, Goed Zuur’s offerings are tied more to moments of inspiration than what perhaps most customers are accustomed to. This can often lead to menu pairings changing throughout the week and even throughout the day, but it gives customers as many ways to taste a cheese or charcuterie board as they can stomach. Lopiccolo is not shy about his confidence in the taproom or in his staff, but it is not a self-assurance that is unwarranted. He is aware that what they’re doing scratches an itch that a common sour beer or cheese board cannot reach, and being the first sour beer taproom comes with the responsibility of showing customers there is more to the place than just the beer.

“There’s people that slice meat better than us and there’s people that cut cheese better than us, but I feel that the way we present it to customers is very unique,” says Lopiccolo. “That’s our big thing: the time we put in outside of here talking to creameries and talking to different reps. We’re getting real in-depth knowledge about all of these creameries and charcuterie houses.

“Every time we drop a board, we don’t just go ‘here’s your gouda, here’s your blue.’ We give you very intricate details about each one. it’s not just about the flavor profile.”

With natural wine in the works, Goed Zuur has an opportunity to be a hot spot for even more drinkers in the area, in a city whose natural wine scene in only just emerging. It is true that not everyone will have their comfort food and beverage at Goed Zuur, but upon giving the menu a chance, some people might even conclude that natural wine and sours are closer to kissing cousins than given credit for.

This is part of the point of the taproom: sours can be currant or grape-heavy, they can taste and look like a cider, or they can be easy to sip on during the warm summer months, and it’s fun to explore the variations. Some good things are happening at Goed Zuur, and it’s probably some combination of the beer, the menu, the atmosphere and the staff. It’s a sour beer taproom, but give it a chance to decant a little, and it becomes so much more.

Ben Wiese is a freelance journalist based in Denver. This is Ben Wiese's first feature for Sprudge Wine.


Laura Brown Shows Us How to Have Fun with Fashion

Whether she's posing with an A-lister perched on her lap (check out her hashtag, #onLaurasLap, to see what we mean) or collapsing with excitement over meeting Gloria Steinem, this outspoken Aussie and editor of InStyle magazine (a Meredith sister publication) is 100 percent herself: whip-smart, glamorous, and refreshingly goofy for a high priestess of fashion. Consider her work uniform: "A well-priced jumpsuit. I enjoy looking like I can fix a car," she says. Throw in some leopard print and flowy dresses, and you've captured her freewheeling nature. (But no skirts, please: "I'm a skirt failure.")

It's no surprise that Brown's style mantra is to "underthink it. Also my life mantra, actually," she says. When the high-profile editor does need to dress up, her favorite designers for fancy clothes are Valentino and Chanel. "For everyday, I like Étoile Isabel Marant, Ganni, and Dôen," she says. Her interior choices are just as varied and fun as her wardrobe: "My style at home is rococo, midcentury, and marsupial&mdashI have gold koala figurines."

Brown also revels in rich storytelling&mdash"having a mad idea, shooting it, doing an interview, and putting it out in the world"&mdashwhether it's a celebrity profile, a fashion feature, or the Badass Women series, a tribute to female powerhouses. "You can spend all day shaking your fist at what's happening, or you can read about a rad lady and what she stands for," says Brown, whose other mega-phone is Instagram, where she charms her nearly 300,000 followers daily. "It's the magazine of your life," she says. We'll subscribe to that.


55 Things in Your Attic That May Be Worth a Lot of Money

Don't throw away those boxes! You might be sitting on a gold mine.

We get it&mdashyou're stuck at home with a lot of extra time on your hands. You've looked up how to clean blinds and how to paint a room&mdashand then actually did the work! You've even resorted to Googling "What to do when you're bored." So now it's time to consider tackling the long-neglected task of cleaning out the attic or storage room. We all have that stash of boxes, you know the "priceless family heirlooms" that Grandma gave you ages ago. They're those boxes that haven't unpacked in several moves and too many years to count. While there is nothing more satisfying than dropping a pile of forgotten goods at the donation center (you know what they say about one man's trash. ), it might be worth taking a gander through your hoards of stuff to make sure you're not sitting on a treasure trove. Through the years, items can appreciate in value more than you think. So before you toss or donate anything, take a look at this list of 55 items that are worth a lot of money today and may just be hiding in plain sight in your storage. Who knows? Even those garage sale items you bought for a dollar could be worth a fortune now!

Equestrian and hunting paintings reached mainstream popularity in 19th-century England, but horses and their riders have added proper flair to gallery walls for hundreds of years. From formal jockey portraits to action-filled depictions of traditional fox-hunting excursions, the category is popular for casual horse lovers and experts alike. Large oil paintings with original ornate frames garner much higher values, while smaller examples in simpler, more primitive frames bring less.

What it's worth: $200 to $10,000

Video game consoles from the 1980s are nabbing big dollars, especially when they&rsquore unused and/or a rare edition. The Nintendo PlayStation prototype shown here sold at auction in March 2020 for a whopping $360K. Individual video games&mdashwhile available at every price point&mdashcan bring more than $20,000.

What it's worth: $20 to $360,000

Julia Child is one of America's favorite chefs, and her first cookbook swept the nation when it was published in 1961. If you've hung onto an original copy, you may be in the market for more than just a satisfied appetite&mdasha first edition in good condition with the original jacket is rare and earns top dollar on Ebay and other online auctions sites.

What it's worth: $2,000 and up

August 2020 marks the centennial of the 19th Amendment&rsquos ratification, which means &ldquovotes for women&rdquo collectibles are back in the spotlight. Items like those shown here that date directly to the movement&rsquos most active years (1890&ndash1917) are considered museum-worthy with values in the thousands later pieces, such as buttons and pins, are more affordable. Find an extensive index of artifacts at womansuffragememorabilia.com.

What it's worth: $50 to priceless

Post WWII, Americans were in a celebratory mood, and at-home entertaining (especially cocktail parties) was all the rage. Important to the affair was the offering of the appropriate graphic and colorful barware&mdashwith just the right dose of gold glitz&mdashby well-known glassware companies such as Libbey, Federal Glass, Hazel-Atlas, and Culver. As the craze for retro cocktails has grown, so has love for the accompanying accoutrements. But you don&rsquot have to wait for a party to enjoy them. These modern pieces make a fun addition to your everyday table.

What it's worth: $15 to $1,500

Lately, Country Living's style editors have been coveting monochromatic vintage coverlets like the pretty pieced quilt shown here. Their back-to-basics patterns (typically a single color mixed with white) were popular in the 1930s and &rsquo40s and are reminiscent of early quilters&rsquo designs, when color and fabric options were limited.

What it's worth: $150 to $450

When it comes to the nostalgia factor, nothing tops an original concert poster, and the bigger the name (read, the Beatles!), the better. Appraiser Helaine Fendelman advises that framed posters are more desirable and bring in the higher end of the $100-$1,000 range, although those of bigger headliners may bring much more at auction&mdasha poster for a 1966 Shea Stadium Beatles concert sold for $137,000 earlier this year.

What it's worth: up to $25,000

When young lithographer Milton Bradley founded his Springfield, Massachusetts-based printing business, an English board game he'd been introduced to by a friend was very much on his mind. He decided to launch a U.S. version of the game, The Checkered Game of Life, in 1860. The risk paid off in a big way, and so began his company's new direction and the eventual introduction of more than 1,000 games. Some were based on traditional card and parlor games, some gave a nod to cultural themes (money during the Depression, patriotism during war times), while others banked on characters from pop culture (think Superman or Charlie's Angels). When it comes to resale, sealed, unopened boxes often double the value, but the retro nostalgia of childhood family nights equals dollars for most titles.

What it's worth: $10 to $800

These gilt-framed bull's eye mirrors are often capped with an eagle, which was a popular patriotic motif of our then-newly independent country. It's also thought that the 13 balls around the edge symbolize the 13 original colonies. Mirrors of the actual Federal period date to 1780&ndash1830 and fetch top dollar, while nice 19th- or early-20th-century &ldquoin the style of&rdquo examples sell for much less.

What it's worth: $100 to $10,000

Small wall and desk clocks in the Art Deco style reached peak popularity in the 1930s and &rsquo40s. Their shapes and materials reflected the opulence of the era&mdashthink mirrored faces, gold accents, and geometric designs that mimicked the skyscrapers popping up in major cities at the time. Many clocks can be found for under $50, but higher value models by esteemed makers like Westclox and Telechron can reach nearly $1,000 in value. (Tip: they&rsquore super easy to spot. The maker name is usually shown on the clockface itself.)

What it's worth: $25 to $1,000

Still holding on to your old lunch box? Boxes featuring Roy Rogers, The Beatles, The Jetsons, and even Rambo can score a lot of cash.

What it's worth: Up to $3,100

Duck decoys became highly collectable in the mid-20th century and prices have never been higher for pristine items. If you've inherited one, you could earn up to hundreds of thousands of dollars at an auction. Read further for more specifics on what makes for a valuable decoy.

What it's worth: Up to $650,000

If you've hung onto this popular 1967 record from The Beatles, you could be in luck. Copies of the album have brought up to $290,500 at auction, although most sell for a couple hundred dollars.

What it's worth: Up to $290,500

When pegging the value of baseball cards, the general rule is that the older they are, the more they are worth. There are a lot of nuances that determine a card's worth though, so if you've come across a hoard of old cards, it's worth getting them appraised. Based on variables like condition, player, and year, a card can be sold online for thousands of dollars.

What it's worth: Up to $3.2 million

These mini vases measure just four inches tall but pack a decorative punch. Made by Morton Pottery, they&rsquore just one example of the earthy swirled pottery popularized by Midwestern and Ozark-area makers like Niloak and Nemadji in the 1920s and &rsquo30s. Often sold as roadside souvenirs, these colorful vessels are widely known as &ldquotourist pottery.&rdquo Larger vases (12-plus inches tall) with maker&rsquos marks can be worth upward of $300.

What it's worth: $15 to $350

The plush collectable toys that were popular in the 1990s have massive resale value on sites like Ebay, especially if the tag is still attached and the item is in mint condition. While many are only worth a few dollars, some of the limited edition toys have sold for up to half a million dollars online. For example, one of the original Beanie Babies&mdasha lobster named Pinchers&mdashsells for $35,000.

What it's worth: Up to $500,000

Founded in 1919 as a subsidiary of General Electric, the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) was a pioneer in the radio industry. In 1929, RCA purchased the Victor Talking Machine Company (known for the Victrola phonograph), creating RCA Victor and launching their presence into consumer radios. The company followed its original Radiola line with Art Deco-style console and wooden radios that dominated the marketplace in the '30s and '40s. Plastic was all the craze post-WWII, and RCA answered with sleek, colorful tube radios make of Bakelite and, later, other nonresin plastics, like this trio pictured.

What it's worth: up to $4,000

Yep, that record player is worth something too! "This RCA Victor Slide-O-Matic record player is somewhat rare," says eBay's Jim Griffith. "This particular model dates back to the 1950s and made listening to a stack of 45s&mdashthe only kind of record it plays&mdashpretty labor intensive," he says. "Records are inserted one at a time, so you basically listen to a single song before it's time to insert the next one." This model is less sought after than portable versions or a later version that combined the record player and an AM radio in single device.

What it's worth: up to $800

If you were lucky enough to get your hands on a pair of Super Bowl tickets back in the day, you could earn a big payout from holding onto them. Most of these paper tickets have a blue or yellow stripe on the top which, according to Sports Collectors Daily, sell for between $200 to $1,000. If you held onto tickets with white stripes on top, you could make up to $4,000. Of course, it depends on the popularity of the game, as well. Super Bowl II and Super Bowl XII tickets are particularly rare.

What it's worth: Up to $4,000

Vintage clothing and accessories, such as scarves, handbags, and belts, can bring prices in the thousands, and even the tens of thousands if they bear a designer name such as Hermes, Louis Vuitton or Chanel. (A limited edition Hermes Birkin bag sold for $125,000!) Less-famous name-brand items can be snagged at more affordable prices. &ldquoThe key is condition,&rdquo says appraiser Bene Raia. &ldquoLook through all the layers of the fabric to make sure there are no moth holes or damage. Then find a great dry cleaner.&rdquo


In Season: Stinging Nettles

Stinging nettle: the name might lead you to believe that this plant is (1) dangerous to touch and (2) a weed. And you would be right. But despite its name and repellent nature, stinging nettles are also edible and delicious and becoming increasingly popular among foraging chefs, thanks to its abundance in the wild. Now in season, nettles could be the perfect addition to your Spring kitchen endeavors. Want to learn more about this prickly plant? Just read on.

  • The stinging nettle is abundant in North America, Europe, and Asia but can also be found in parts of Africa with moist soil.
  • The plant gets its name from the tiny, prickly hairs on the leaves and stems that detach from the plant when it's touched and inject a painful chemical concoction.
  • Stinging nettles have a long medicinal history with uses ranging from arthritis to rheumatism relief to dandruff prevention.
  • With a flavor likened by some to spinach or broccoli, nettle has become a popular Spring vegetable. Fresh and dried leaves can be steeped in tea that supposedly fights off seasonal allergy symptoms.
  • Look for stinging nettle at your local farmers market. Many home chefs forage for the weed, but it's important to pick the leaves before the plant begins to flower. Eating mature stinging nettle can cause urinary tract irritation and damage.
  • The plant is rich in vitamins A, C, iron, potassium, manganese, and calcium and high in protein for a leafy green vegetable.
  • The stinging hairs on the plant can be removed by soaking the leaves in water, drying, or cooking.

If you manage to track down a bag of stinging nettles, get ready for a treat! Here are a few of the many uses for this culinary weed:


Inside a Star-Studded Dinner Party with Haim

Dusk tints the tips of the palm trees purple and the lights of downtown Los Angeles begin to glitter in the distance, Jon Shook shows Danielle Haim how to choke up on the punch ladle for a maximally generous pour. Her sister Alana stands ready to float a few drops of Peychaud’s bitters into the glasses, while nearby at the stove, Vinny Dotolo tells Este Haim why it’s better to sear the Halloumi cheese before scattering on the thyme leaves and chile shards. (Spices can burn and go bitter.)

The occasion is a New Year’s Eve dinner at Danielle’s new home overlooking Silver Lake. It’s close to the hipster heartland at Sunset Junction but invested with the lush, jungly magic of the hills.

Ariel Rechtshaid and Danielle Haim sip Spiced Rum Punch with Citrus and Luxardo .

Shook, for one, isn’t the type to wax nostalgic. “I live in the future,” says the chef, who, along with Dotolo, owns several of L.A.’s most admired restaurants, including Animal and Son of a Gun. (Add Ludo Lefebvre to the mix and you have the trois mecs behind Trois Mec , still one of the most sweated reservations in town.) “But New Year’s Eve is the one night of the year when I allow myself to get a little reflective,” he adds, “to say, ‘Wow, I did that.’”

The two certainly have a lot to be proud of this year. BA Hot 10 winner Petit Trois , a jewel box of a bistro whose cult omelet is rivaled only by its cult burger, and the rollicking Italian-American restaurant and pizzeria Jon & Vinny’s joined their empire. Meanwhile, their friends Este, Danielle, and Alana have something to celebrate too: Their rock band, Haim , scored a nomination for Best New Artist at the 57th annual Grammy Awards, and they’re fresh off opening for new bestie Taylor Swift on her 1989 World Tour.

Though Shook and Dotolo certainly know their way around a lobster tail and a lobe of foie gras, they’re passing by the more predictable holiday foods for tonight’s menu. When Haim told the guys that they’re on a bit of a lamb kick, the duo conjured a cuisine that Shook calls L.A. farmers’ market Middle Eastern. It’s a riff on the Mediterranean dishes the Haim (two syllables: HI-em) sisters grew up making in the San Fernando Valley, and it comes together with a twentysomething’s kitchen in mind. “We cook in people’s homes all the time,” Dotolo says, downplaying the fact that they’re also Hollywood’s most sought-after caterers, “so we get that most people don’t have a circulator and a food mill.”

The meal was also engineered toward maximal cavorting. The chefs shopped and prepped a couple of days ahead. Salads were assembled that morning, and the dinner’s centerpiece, a leg of lamb that puts a Levantine twist on the classic seven-hour French party dish, has been chilling out (and staying warm) in the oven. “You’re not physically cooking when the party’s happening, so you can actually party,” Shook explains, making a reality out of the impossible dream.

The garden gradually fills with a black-clad legion of friends weaving through the overgrown agaves: guys doing mods-versus-rockers with significant hairdos and a sequin or two women whose frayed layers seem to have something to say about Stevie Nicks , with whom Haim has performed. It’s a music-y crowd: Grammy-winning Beyoncé producer Ariel Rechtshaid , Asa Taccone from Electric Guest , the Swedish producer Ludwig Göransson , Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend alongside actress Rashida Jones .

But tonight’s soundtrack is retro. The punch, made by Shook and Dotolo’s beverage guru, Helen Johanneson (her new wine store, Helen’s, is in the back of Jon & Vinny’s), has an unlocking effect. By the time the platters have traveled the table, “La Isla Bonita” can scarcely be heard over the din of chatter. Come midnight, the candles have melted into baroque puddles, and as Alana stands under the pergola spraying Champagne in frothy jets, Abba’s “The Winner Takes It All” becomes the first song of the new year.