Commentary

Town & Country

Ivanka Trump looks like an ancient Egyptian cat on the cover of this month's Town & Country: almond-eyed, long-necked, and a bit superior. She is, after all, the rising star of an American dynasty, and as such, she's a great cover subject, particularly fitting for the kind of old-school, upscale magazine that might as well substitute a dollar sign for the ampersand in its logo.

Trump the younger is, by all accounts, smart, gorgeous, hardworking and well-spoken, the anti-Paris Hilton, if you will. So it always comes as something of a shock that she also seems to have inherited the wind, signature Daddy-Donald style, in terms of offering the endless bragga-Trumpio:''More than thirty million viewers watched the first 'Apprentice' finale,'' Ivanka is quoted as saying, "more than the number watching 'American Idol' at the time.''

To be fair, the profiler, Kristina Stewart Ward, has a tough job writing anything more than a press release, given that right up front the magazine carries a double-paged ad for Trump International Golf Club and Residences, which Ivanka oversees, and that the publication also has a long history promoting her mom and dad, Ivana and Donald, at the height of their big-haired, big-shouldered, marble and gilded '80s coupledom.

Certainly, Ivanka is Trump-lipped about her life: ''Architecture inspires most of my jewelry designs,''' she is quoted as saying, offering a perfect self-promoting double-header, alluding to the Trump Organization, where she is the vice president of real-estate and acquisitions, and also her own jewelry line, for which she already has opened a lavish boutique on Madison Avenue in New York.

There's no way to write about her parents' numerous marriages without sounding disparaging (The oft-quoted New York Post cover featuring Marla Maples, Donald's third wife -- "Best Sex I Ever Had'' -- is mentioned, for example), but Ivanka seems to take it all in stride, including having to be the maid of honor at her mother's recent wedding at Mar-A-Lago, where 59-year-old Ivana married her 35-year-old Italian boyfriend, complete with a lineup of elderly bridesmaids every bit as freakish as the team assembled by Liza Minnelli.(No mention is made of freakish and rich elderly bridesmaids, however, only that Ivana's jewelry from the '80s inspired Ivanka's jewelry designs.)

The piece has an awful title, ''Daddy's Little Girl,'' but there was a glimmer of something interesting in there in how a kid with such publicly embarrassing parents copes. For now, Ivanka proves that it's easier to internalize than fight.

There's actually an excellent, well-written section on the art of the memoir that's worth checking out. But most of the magazine is the traditional and usual, from the spread on jewelry to the curiously old-fashioned bridal announcements. Most of the grooms have at least four names, like Mr. Pierce Burrell Talbot Crosbie. (His bride's the former Vanessa Maria Farah Der Calousdian, by the way.)

Sad to say, the most insipid parts of the magazine are the ones carrying the byline of Pamela Fiori, its editor. In her overly long Editor's Letter, she explains how she took Angela, the younger of her two sisters, and Angela's two children, on a mini-vacation, to Atlantis in the Bahamas. Through it all, she's weirdly condescending and just plain out of it, child-wise. Thus, she has to explain that when she took the kids to the pool, ''keeping an eye on them is no casual task and required uncommon vigilance.'' Ya don't say!

Because the kids couldn't sit still in a restaurant, they ended up ordering in. ''It wasn't exactly my kind of room service,'' she writes "(turn on the TV, cozy up with a glass of wine, east slowly and quietly, and exhale,) but it worked for our circumstances.''

Them's some tough circumstances! ''I can't say that ours was the most relaxing holiday I've had....'' she later writes. And with qualifiers like that, who needs love?

Her other piece, about a visit to Ireland, her husband's ancestral home, (with photos by her husband) was pretty obvious and dull also, except for the part where, according to The New York Post, she also included "a glowing review of an Irish business run by a convicted child-porn freak.'' That's the Ballymaloe House and Cookery school, where Pam and her husband were ''given a tour of the organic vegetables'' and later returned for dinner. "T&C loves perv's produce,'' was the way the newspaper put it.

The Post quotes "a subscriber'' asking ''Are these the people Town & Country really wants in its pages? It's horrible.''

In its own unconscious way, T&C offers the new social register. And it's not so much horrible, as weird and depressing.

MAG STATS

Published by: The Hearst Corporation

Frequency: Monthly

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