Inside the Fashion Bubble

PARIS — When a parade of black-robed figures files solemnly by, each wielding a long, narrow black scepter, or spear (it was hard to tell), and then carefully mounts the walls of a giant reflecting pool and begins to dip the sticks into the water — and all this happens on the same day that…

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The Gift of the Missing Men

I am the daughter of a “holiday man,” a term my grandmother used to describe three generations of our family’s absentee fathers who, like clockwork, would return around Christmas before disappearing again to whereabouts unknown. Back when I was coming-of-age and grappling with the absence of my own father, my grandfather, a former holiday man,…

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Who’s Irish Now?

TRALEE, Ireland — Ask about the Rose of Tralee International Festival, held each year in this west coast town in County Kerry, and participants will immediately tell you what it’s not. It’s not a beauty pageant. Also, it’s not a competition. Then things get complicated. Because to the uninitiated, the event, held this year in…

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