T Lo’s Weekend Pop Culture Reading List

Posted on October 05, 2018

Kittens, in case you still need bits o’ fluff to distract you from the world while we take most of the weekend off (Doctor Who review on Sunday!), we’ve left you a reading assignment loaded up with all the posts, articles and essays that tickled our fancies this week.


Near the entrance is a spot that Ms. Segar described as a “fireplace scene,” which is likely to be a hit among influencers during pumpkin spice season (also known as fall). The chairs by the brick hearth have low backs, partly to avoid “anything reflective” from the mirror on the mantle. “When you think of all the products they’re trying to bring to life, they need as many moments and feelings as possible,” she said.

A Penthouse Made for Instagram by Sapna Maheshwari at The New York Times



On the surface, the story of Celine centered on the brand’s transformation under a new male designer from sophisticated, thoughtful restraint to louche, puerile ostentation. But dig for a bit, and you see the fashion world debating women’s power and agency vs. that of the men who would define them. Long-standing industry bugbears such as ageism, white privilege and body negativity look ever more outrageous in the white-hot light of women’s fury.

“Wanted: Fashion designers who truly respect women. Now more than ever.” By Robin Givhan at Washington Post



What was the thing you learned that surprised you the most?

MULLALLY: Things about his family. I know his family is great, very down-home and kind and cool, but it’s hard for me to imagine that’s that tame. Hearing him say that one time his dad got mad about something and went out the front door — which he never did; he usually went out the back door — and his mom started crying, and that was this huge thing. That blew my mind: That would have been what we did before breakfast at my house.

Any topic, Nick, you were particularly surprised by?

OFFERMAN: Sex. One unique thing about our marriage is that we haven’t actually had sex. I feel a little shy and insecure about talking about that in public.

EW’s long, intimate, increasingly strange interview with Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman by David Canfield at Entertainment Weekly



So how was DragCon?

Trixie: Oh wow! Well, I wouldn’t say hugging teenagers is my strength, but it is my hidden talent.

“Trixie Mattel and Katya on Surviving DragCon, and the Return of “UNHhhh”” By Christopher Rudolph at NewNowNext



This weekend, news spread of a gender reveal party in Arizona at which an off-duty border patrol agent fired a highly combustible substance from a gun, meant to produce a colorful explosion: blue if it’s a boy, pink if it’s a girl. Instead, the explosion triggered a wildfire that burned 47,000 acres of forest. In the grand scheme of gender reveal parties, this was both a highly unusual and yet a totally expected result.

What To Expect When Your Child’s Gender Is Fire by R. Eric Thomas at ELLE



The cardboard box was about three feet long by four feet wide and sealed in at least three layers of packing tape. It was too big to take onto the subway, so I called a car. The driver helped me load the box into the trunk, and on the hour-long ride home we made conversation about the MTA and rent in New York City. It was all very pleasant and normal, but every pause made me nervous. I wanted to tell him there were six cursed objects in the vehicle.

eBay has a range of cursed, haunted, or just downright spooky objects for sale, and as part of my job at Topic, I purchased a range of items to photograph that had been labeled “haunted.” Using that label has turned out to be a weirdly successful way to sell old dolls, or shoes, or mirrors, or a “spirit bra.” The company forces sellers to label their haunted goods as “entertainment,” lest someone actually feel ripped off by the lack of awful occurrences that follow the purchasing of a clown mask.

For Sale: Haunted Shoes. Very Cursed. by Reyhan Harmanci at Topic



First of all we look for the location. Sometimes brands and designers have a really strong vision of what they want, and other times we go to them and say ‘hey, we’ve just found this incredible underground bunker, what do you think?’ Then, we invite lighting designers, sound designers and set designers to do their thing, and we do really get quite involved in that process to help facilitate a brand or designer’s vision.

“What Does it Take to Stage a High Fashion Show?” By Hannah Tindle at AnOther Mag



“Unexpected item in the bagging area” is a shared cultural reference like no other. It is recognizable by demographics so broad, the only thing that connects them is that they have at one point attempted to buy something at one of the nation’s largest grocery stores, pharmacies, or fast-food restaurants. It is fuel for memes, and tweets, and Reddit threads. It is the worst phrase known to retail. “Unexpected item in the bagging area” seems to be passive-aggressive code for “are you a shoplifter or just stupid?” and it haunts dreams. One Twitter user suggested that a good idea for a haunted house would just be a series of fake ghosts saying over and over, “Unexpected item in the bagging area.”

Wouldn’t it be better if self-checkout just died? by Kaitlyn Tiffany at Vox



“The overwhelming response to this has been positive. Also, it doesn’t matter either way really, because it is what it is, and I’m having the best time of my life. I know that for a lot of Whovians, and for a lot of people who’ve never watched the show, this could be a moment that invites them in or it could make them re-fall in love with the show. Because it does tick all the boxes of what you love about it: It is about optimism and change and hopefulness. Everything’s regenerated. We’ve got a new Doctor, we’ve got new friends, we’ve got a new showrunner, new producers. But the thing that’s brilliant about Doctor Who is you’ve got 55 rich years of history to honor. But why keep doing the show if you’re not going to invite change and celebrate that change? There’s just no point.”

Change Is Great for Doctor Who, and Jodie Whittaker Is Proof by Maureen Ryan at TV Guide.



“Shiona Turini, who worked as a costume designer for Season 3, channeled her nostalgia for the 1990s into progressive statement pieces.”

“The Inspiration Behind the Great Clothes on ‘Insecure’” By Darian Symoné Harvin at The New York Times



“I shouldn’t have lost my ability to govern myself in the face of economic interests, leading myself to break the law,” she wrote in a letter, according to a translation by Variety. “Here I sincerely apologize to society, friends who care about me, the public and the taxation authorities.”

“Everything You Need to Know About the Fan Bingbing Scandal” By Nerisha Penrose at ELLE



For instance, the term “sexual harassment” was invented in the early ’70s by women in Ithaca, N.Y., who all had summer jobs. They were coming together discussing their experience trying to name what had happened to them. So we at Ms. magazine did a cover story on sexual harassment, which we illustrated with puppets. We didn’t want it to be too shocking, so we had a male puppet and a female puppet. Even so, we were put off the newsstands.

“Gloria Steinem on the Acts of Rebellion That Have Defined Her Life” By Laura Brown at InStyle



My family was big on the library. We were very much a reading family, but we were more a borrow-a-book-from-the-library family than a bookshelves-full-of-books family. My parents valued books, but they had grown up in the Depression, aware of the quicksilver nature of money, and they had learned the hard way that you shouldn’t buy what you could borrow. Because of that frugality, or perhaps despite it, they also believed that you should read a book for the experience of reading it. You shouldn’t read it in order to have an object that had to be housed and looked after forever, a memento of the purpose for which it was obtained. The reading of the book was a journey. There was no need for souvenirs.

“Growing up in the Library – Learning and relearning what it means to have a book on borrowed time.” By Susan Orleans at The New Yorker



The red carpet menswear revolution coincides with the fashion industry trend of men’s apparel growth outpacing women’s; new, boundary-pushing designers helming luxury houses Louis Vuitton (Virgil Abloh) and Dior Homme (Kim Jones), and women’s brands such as Stella McCartney, The Row, Prabal Gurung and Sies Marjan expanding into men’s styles. “Menswear is an untapped market,” says Neiman Marcus fashion director Ken Downing. “With all of the excitement around street­wear, sneakers and celebrating individuality, guys are looking for cool clothes. You have men in women’s shows, women in men’s shows, there’s much more of a sense of inclusivity in fashion.”

“Lakeith Stanfield and Thom Browne Talk Radical Red Carpet Men’s Style” By Booth Moore at The Hollywood Reporter



But looking beyond specific plot beats, it’s always, at heart, a story about what it takes to be a celebrity in America, as well as what addiction does to close relationships. The faces, details, settings, and character motivation may all vary, but A Star Is Born keeps getting remade for a reason: It’s a story of romance and mortality, with a swooning arc that borders on epic. It feels so familiar, so archetypal, that it seems almost as if someone must also have carved it into cave walls in prehistoric France, or drawn it in cuneiform on some Sumerian scroll.

How — and why — A Star Is Born became one of Hollywood’s most remade stories by Alissa Wilkinson at Vox



Such is the life of a print reporter covering Trump these days: full of uncertainty, packed with potential. Nonstop TV hits. Also: new suits, and much better ones than before. With the extra screen time comes added pressure to always dress the part of a TV anchorman—and some guys on the politics beat are investing in new suits, new stylists, and even new smiles to prep for their close-ups.

Journalists from old-guard print publications like The New York Times and The Washington Post who once toiled in relative obscurity—working the phones and appearing in public mostly through their bylines or Twitter profile pictures—have vaulted to nationwide prominence as on-call talking heads for networks like CNN and MSNBC. High-profile reporters like the Post’s Robert Costa and David Fahrenthold have landed contributor contracts designed by cable-news networks to give their shows a competitive edge with immediate access to context and analysis by the same person who first reports a major scoop. Newbie contributors can receive $30,000 to $50,000 a year from networks expecting exclusive access to their on-camera analysis, while the top tier of in-demand reporters with well-established personal brands and truly unique access to newsmakers can command as much as $250,000.

The Great White House Reporter Glow-Up by Joel Pavelski at GQ


Have a fabulous one, kittens!

[Photo Credit: Jojo Whilden/CBS]

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