Kittens, once again, we pass on all the little posts, essays, articles and announcements that caught our eyes, piqued our interests or ticked our fancies, just to keep you entertained through the long, hard weekend bereft of our entertaining opinions. Have a shot of the zeitgeist and a fabulous weekend, dolls!
Andrew Bolton, Wendy Yu Curator in Charge of the Costume Institute, has framed the exhibition around Susan Sontag’s seminal 1964 essay “Notes on ‘Camp,’ ” which posited different ways in which the concept could be construed. Bolton explains that he found Sontag’s writings—in a nutshell, she argued that camp is the “love of the unnatural: of artifice and exaggeration . . . style at the expense of content . . . the triumph of the epicene style”—so timely with what we are going through culturally and politically that, “I felt it would have a lot of cultural resonance.”
Sexual exploitation has become a part of black women’s collective history and memory. For centuries, white men routinely harassed, abused, humiliated, and raped black women, especially those who worked in white homes as domestic servants. As a result, the historian Darlene Clark Hine has written, black women developed a “culture of dissemblance” that “created the appearance of openness and disclosure but actually shielded the truth of their inner lives and selves from their oppressors.”
One Year of #MeToo: The Legacy of Black Women’s Testimonies by Allyson Hobbs at The New Yorker
But all of these visuals also served to highlight another reality: What was true on the runway was not, necessarily, true behind it. The contrast between the diversity of the models and the uniformity of the people watching them was striking. Not in terms of celebrity guests — Amandla Stenberg and Spike Lee were popular invites — but in terms of the industry power structure itself: the editors, retailers and decision makers.
The runway may have become the front line of diversity, but it definitely is not the end.
The Most Diverse Fashion Season Ever on the Runway, but Not the Front Row by Vanessa Friedman at The New York Times
This season there’s little willingness on the part of casual observers or passionate fans to forgive designers who get lost in their own imagination. There’s no patience for trussed or hobbling clothes. No patience for shows that send a homogeneous parade of wasted-youth models down the runway. To hell with the muses, the “it” girls and wannabe influencers.
What have designers got for a woman who takes her style seriously but also has work to do and a life to live?
Wanted: Fashion designers who truly respect women. Now more than ever. by Robin Givhan at The Washington Post
“Blake also has a huge appetite for a big scripted show with a really interesting writer who I can’t talk about yet that she’s targeted who will bring to life a scripted show that will be excellent and culturally relevant and original and all those things, but it will also have a connection to a merchandising opportunity,” Salke told Variety. Salke didn’t confirm or deny whether Lively will also star in the series, but teased that the deal is “a moment from done.”
Blake Lively Is Teaming Up With Amazon to Produce a Scripted Fashion Series by Nerisha Penrose at ELLE
The elder Mr. Shepard said his family had long searched for a fitting resting place for his son, who was once an altar boy in the Episcopal Church. They considered spreading his ashes over the mountains and plains of Wyoming, but still wanted a place they could visit to talk to him. They considered splitting the ashes.
Matthew Shepard Will Be Interred at the Washington National Cathedral, 20 Years After His Death by Jacey Fortin at The New York Times
The largely incoherent message was paired with a long, rambling caption in which he called out many in the company’s inner circle, then went on to name hotels, restaurants, other cosmetic companies, “so many porn ‘studios,’” Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Tom Ford, Mark Zuckerberg, Donald Trump, Richard Branson, Tim Cook, and Leonard Lauder, the patriarch of the Estée Lauder company. It’s unclear what the nature of the financial crimes Truaxe refers to are, or why they necessitate closing some — but not all — stores, another step the brand has taken this week.
Deciem’s Brandon Truaxe: the world’s most controversial beauty CEO, explained by Cheryl Wischhover at Vox
I was happy when Fox picked up The Cool Kids because networks have had such an aversion in recent years to comedies about people over 50 or 60. It’s like they don’t remember how well The Golden Girls worked.
The problem with the executives is that they live on the Coast, and they have no idea that there’s an entire country in between. They really don’t. That’s why Mama’s Family did not succeed on NBC, because those executives didn’t understand a rural comedy, number one. They did not understand a young woman playing an older woman, number two. They just never really gave her a chance until we went into syndication.
Vicki Lawrence Finally Reclaims TV Stardom by Josef Adalian at Vulture
Identity isn’t taste. And the history of exclusion isn’t taste, either. These things matter, of course, and not in a secondary way: These considerations set the terms for what “taste” is even allowed to look like, the metrics of what even gets to be made, screened, and divvied up for consideration in the first place. But the role of a minority critic isn’t merely to be a “minority critic,” with all the firsthand knowledge and cultural experience that this implies. And the role of a woman critic isn’t to give soap operas like Life Itself a free pass out of some feigned loyalty to soap operas “because they’re for women.” Their role is much more urgent: Be honest. And be smart.
What Do We Want from Critics in the Morality Wars? by K. Austin Collins at Vanity Fair
“We slowly go from seeing her in her Los Angeles city life and into Jack’s world,” explains Benach, about the subtle country rock-inspired details. “She enters his sphere and she is inspired by it and she acquires some pieces along the way to fit that world, but that also feel like her.” Considering Ally probably packed very light as she spontaneously rode off on the back of Jack’s motorcycle, it makes sense that she’s accumulating vintage finds at concert stops in Arizona and Colorado. But some items like Ally’s leopard print pants — worn with the tied-at the midriff sleeveless T-shirt and Jack’s signature hat — may look vintage, but they’re not. “I think they were YSL,” teases Benach. “She’s having fun with it. She’s gone on tour and living the dream a bit.”
Lady Gaga Wears a Mix of Vintage and Custom Gucci in “A Star is Born” by Fawnia Soohoo at Fashionista
The best antihero dramas of the early 2000s, like the best great films of the ’70s, were cautionary tales, deeply moral stories about how, in some ways, the men at the center of them stood in for an America — or at least a white male America — that couldn’t stop gobbling up everything it saw. The shows suggested, always, that even if their protagonists didn’t get their comeuppance onscreen, it was coming, unless they could change their ways. Only a handful of those protagonists, most notably Mad Men’s Don Draper, eventually came close to doing so.
But even now, these shows leave open the question of just how we’re supposed to grapple with the idea that many viewers will always see them as instruction manuals, or as validation of dangerous ideals. What are the takeaways for an audience that doesn’t want to dig into the moral and ethical nuance of The Sopranos and just wants to see Tony whack more enemies, or that believes Skyler White is the true villain of Breaking Bad?
The Protagonists by Tod VanDerWerff at Vox
[Photo Credit: vogue.com]
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