Men’s Fashion: All Eyes On…

Timothee Chalamet. He is part of the menswear vanguard challenging the notion that dressing up means black suiting. He uses color, textiles, and embellishments typically reserved for women — but why should they have all the fun?

Timmy has been consistently delivering impeccable looks for a couple of years now. With a big new movie about to come out, keep an eye on his fashion choices over the winter season.

Below are six favorite recent outfits, each of which has a dominant element that can be taken as inspiration.  While some of the tailoring will be difficult for civilians to pull off, let it inspire you to rethink gender restrictions and body proportions.

  1. Electric Blue.  Regardless of skin tone, there is a shade of rich blue that can work.
Haider Ackermann

2. Embroidery.  High contrast works best when used sparingly.

Haider Ackermann

3. Color Blocking.  Keep the neutral more prominent.

Haider Ackermann

4. Florals.  A black base grounds things and keeps it edgy.

Haider Ackermann

5. Evening Wear Beading.  Okay, we realize this may be double-black-diamond, expert level clotheswearing.  Something to aspire to.

Louis Vuitton

6. Gender Non-Conforming. *Warning: below is a trained professional on an enclosed track. Do not attempt at home.*  His success pulling off multiple femme elements is what makes this his best look ever. You have got the satin, the cinched waist, the curls, cropped pants, and a camisole top all in sync.

Consider trying just one of those elements if you are feeling daring.

Haider Ackermann

Euphoria Comedown

There were lots of reasons to love Euphoria and to miss it now that the season has ended, but the biggest reason came at the end.

Let us start from the outside and work inward: the cinematography was liquid gorgeousness. The music was dope. The makeup was EVERYTHING, especially the gold chain eyeliner. (follow @donni.davy on IG for more). It had a hilarious in-joke about The Wire.

But, the show most excelled at delving into the psyches of the characters (and by extension all of us) by having their motives called out. Regardless of what Rue claims, she IS a reliable narrator; childhood rejections and recognitions set in motion the belief structures for each of the characters. These beliefs then all collided with one another as adulthood approached. Many beliefs centered around how the character wanted to be seen by others, and how they subsequently, rapidly, taught themselves to cater to people’s neuroses to get what they themselves needed to maintain stasis.

How one saw oneself was secondary, but it was a strong undercurrent, which bodes well for the characters’ future, offscreen self-actualization journeys.

In the finale, Jules proved herself to be one of the more self-aware teenagers ever by summing up her modus operandi, which doubles as a gift to the viewer for providing the most compelling case for transgender acceptance in the modern canon.

To Jules, to conquer men is to conquer femininity, and after conquering femininity she wants to, “fucking obliterate it. And then move on to the next level.”

Here’s to you, Euphoria: you may be in recess, but your thought-provocation lives on.

Semantically Drifting in the Internet Topography (and Other Weekend Vibes)

Here is some of what we read and thought about this past week:

  1. There is an insidious, maladaptive focus on zealous employees  during recruitment. (The Atlantic)
  2. Meet the rural warriors stocking your Amazon cart. (The Verge)
  3. Why we assign geographical characteristics to vague concepts, especially in the digital “space.” (NY Times)

Weekly Reading June 24th

Things we have been pondering lately…

People living in urban communities with public amenities have better social ties plus more confidence in local government. AEI.

What do you value in yourself, and will that serve you long term? The Atlantic.

Rest in Power, Pinky. Tampa Bay Times.

Remote work is a boon for those living with disabilities. Angel List.

Subtle dismissiveness. You hate to see it. NYTimes.

…Which one spoke to you most?

Weekly Reading

Articles that Lady in Red found fascinating this week:

  1. When it’s okay to adopt the dialect of your audience: “It Wasn’t ‘Verbal Blackface.’ AOC Was Code-Switching.” https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/04/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-code-switches-black-english/586723/
  2. David Frum elegantly documents Canada’s sweetheart stepping in it: “Justin Trudeau Falls From Grace” https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/04/snc-lavalin-justin-trudeaus-fall-grace/586645/
  3. “Nobody wanted to hear me read ‘Ozymandias.’” Why are we all loving the Varsity Blues scandal?: “They Had It Coming” https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/04/what-college-admissions-scandal-reveals/586468/
  4. The best travel writing you may ever read: “Where Heaven and Earth Come Closer” https://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/11/travel/thin-places-where-we-are-jolted-out-of-old-ways-of-seeing-the-world.html
  5. “‘I am synthetic life form ‘Yoko K.,’ assembled in the US with components made in Japan…designed to assume the role of an ‘electronic musician.’ I am one of many secret agents sent to this time to plant magical thinking in people through the use of ‘pre-22nd century nostalgia Mars pop music.’” How to make hospital beeps more pleasant and more meaningful: “Anatomy of a beep: A medical device giant and an avant-garde musician set out to redesign a heart monitor’s chirps” https://www.statnews.com/2018/09/10/medtronic-musician-redesign-heart-monitors-beeps/

The Light Ahead

Assuming you believe income inequality to be a problem (economically, socially), then we must next turn our thoughts to alternative methods for economic mobility besides a four year degree, benefits of which do not always justify the costs. One such company creating an alternative is Pursuit in Queen’s, NY. Pursuit is a trade school for software development. It is also partly funded by bonds, where graduates pay back a share of income. “I believe tech can be a road to the middle class for large numbers of Americans,” said (Jukay) Hsu, a co-founder and the chief executive of Pursuit, a nonprofit social venture. “But there’s real skepticism about that among people who see the winners in technology as a small network of the privileged.” Pursuit’s success can likely be attributed to its adherence to high-demand, high-paying job skills, however, the model is worth replicating.  Construction, medicine, nursing, graphic design or art…what fields can you imagine creating a bond system?

The Road to Hell is Also Loud

The trend of architectural minimalism as luxury means that many public establishments exceed a healthy decibel limit. Think restaurants, coffee shops, art galleries, and stores. After decades of investing in high-maintenance soft surfaces, proprietor preferences have now put efficiency and disposability over acoustic integrity, and favor metal furniture, exposed ceilings, and open spaces.

To fool us, the claim they are recapturing mid-century modern styles: the last era when American exceptionalism went mostly unquestioned. Yet despite the advertisement, high ceilings and no cloth are actually NOT midcentury style:

According to this article,

“Trends that today’s diners associate with luxury, such as hard surfaces and open kitchens, were, in mid-century, mainly relegated to lowbrow spaces such as cafes, cafeterias, and diners. The finest eateries…were the most highly ornamented and plush. Even high-modernist interiors made extensive use of soft goods, including cloth tablecloths, heavy drapes, carpeted floors, and upholstered seating. Across the board, mid-century restaurants had low ceilings, often with acoustic ceiling tiles.”

Not only are loud restaurants cheaper to build and maintain, but they also encourage diners to spend more.

So, what is trendy is also noisy. So what? So, this admiration of din contributes to the erosion of civil society.  Noise pollution desensitizes us to coarseness in the other senses as well. There may or may not be any studies to back this claim up, but I believe that the more obnoxious the public space, the more likely violence is to follow. This is why people in bars and nightclubs feel free to get drunk, break bottles, punch faces, and grind on the dance floor: the loud DJ!

What’s next? Streakers at Chipotle?  

If you are or plan to be a business owner, I implore you to invest in noise reduction strategies. Or at the very least, use music that will subdue the masses.

Many thanks,

LIR

ModCon Reviews: The Front Runner (film)

The Front Runner, starring Hugh Jackman as former Sen. Gary Hart (D-CO), is designed to make us question the media’s role in creating scandal, and in how much private character affects public service.

After the Miami Herald shames Sen. Hart into giving up his presidential race after catching him nearly red-handed having an extramarital affair, Hart eulogizes the death of privacy. Unfortunately, he is not the right person at the right time to persuade us of this casualty.

Today, the Miami Herald seems to have no regrets with its role in the 1987 scandal or its aftermath.

This affair was supposedly the watershed moment in which judgement of character got put into the hands of voters, rather than letting the political party act as sole judge. LIR strongly supports the democratic discussion of character that has increased since #metoo. Indeed, the film’s strongest asset is actually just in giving us a place to reflect and project on how times have changed, and whether that has been for the better or not.  Decision: better.