ASPIRATIONAL

Gwyneth Paltrow’s new cookbook: Solid recipes, even better sweater porn

Obsession
Fashion
Obsession
Fashion

Let’s talk about what we wear when we cook.

Friday morning before work, for example, I baked a cake. (I was invited to a dinner party, and the cake had six ingredients.) While making said cake, I wore the giant orange New York Mets shirt I had slept in, and purple pajama pants. I threw an army jacket on top to make a bodega run for parchment paper.

Now let’s talk about Gwyneth Paltrow. To be more specific, let’s talk about her sweaters. On the cover of her new cookbook, It’s All Easy, the movie star and lifestyle magnate looks fresh brandishing a crate of perky produce, her aggressively undone blonde hair bright against the backdrop of a loden pullover. (I like to think she calls this her “garden sweater.”)

It's All Easy Cover (1)
So easy. (Courtesy, Hachette.)

Inside the book, Elizabeth Saltzman—the same stylist who has selected some of Paltrow’s most exquisite red carpet gowns—has draped her subject in an absolute symphony of rib-knits, cardigans, and funnel-necks of what appear to be alpaca, cashmere, and lamb’s wool.

Encased in all that luxe knitwear, Paltrow gazes from a veranda, laughs on a couch, and, occasionally, cooks. On the pages between recipes she and her children—Apple and Moses—lounge, eat, and play in outrageously enviable cable knits and shawl collars. Even her teapot has a sweater nicer than any of mine. For the true sweater fetishist, one page features a photo of folded knits.

Screw athleisure. I want them all.

A frequent complaint about Gwyneth Paltrow, and by extension, her lifestyle brand, Goop, is that she exclusively occupies the world of aspiration. “Aspiration,” if you’re not familiar, is a common concept in the realms of lifestyle and luxury, usually in the form of an adjective. Think “aspirational,” as opposed to, you know, attainable. In Goop-land this plays out in the $4,700 gold juicer on the Goop gift guide, a hydrangea-nestled, twinkle-lit barn in Los Angeles, and, of course, Gwyneth herself—lithe, toned, and glowing. Aspirational.

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Even her teapot has a sweater nicer than any of mine. (It's All Easy/Ditte Isager)

I actually love her for it. Paltrow is no dummy. On one hand, she’s in on the joke (juicer). And on the other, she comes by it honestly (lithe, toned, glowing). Paltrow was born to be the object of aspiration, a daughter of Hollywood royalty. She cannot help herself; this is her brand.

That brand is evident on every beautifully photographed, tastefully laid-out page of It’s All Easy. The recipes themselves are relatively modest—delivering on their promise of weekday simplicity for “super-busy” cooks. In this book (unlike her paean to bread/egg/dairy elimination, It’s All Good) Paltrow returns to her culinary roots, echoing such staples as her genius blue cheese dressing and go-to chicken milanese from her first cookbook, My Father’s Daughter.

Where the aspiration comes out is in the styling—of the chef, not the food. Here, a selection of my favorite looks. I may never cook in that Mets shirt again.

Oh, I didn’t see you there! I hadn’t even untucked my hair from this mock-neck when the potting garden beckoned.

gwyneth paltrow
(It's All Easy/Ditte Isager)

I had the dining room painted to coordinate with the tea cozy and cashmere pants, but then set off the color scheme with a tonal sweater—you know, to avoid being matchy-matchy.

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Where TF did Apple get a sweatshirt?

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(It's All Easy/Ditte Isager)

I wonder what life would be like without a sleeve this generous?

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(It's All Easy/Ditte Isager)

Deep V-neck, beach waves, and a basket of scallops—done.

gwyneth paltrow
(It's All Easy/Ditte Isager)

I woke up like this. No, literally.

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