Arts
CULTURE

Free Us From the Miu-Miu Cropped Set Industrial Complex

The skin-flashing set has captivated stylists everywhere, but it only accentuates the fashion industry’s inherent thinness fetish

Miuccia Prada ate with that set … but at what cost

Every once in a while, a brand’s product line holds literally every stylist captive. From the cult of House of Sunny, Paloma Wool, and other avant basic trends, to high-fashion, it-items like the Bottega padded cassette bag. Or, do you remember that week when everyone was wearing The Row. Sometimes everyone is on the same page. Each time, it reflects something about the state of the industry.

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CULTURE

Loungewear Worthy of an Olympian

If even the most physically impressive athletes can take some time off and lounge around in cozy PJs, so can we.

You heard it here first folks: the holiday season is for resting — fully and unapologetically.

While it’s now culturally acceptable to spend our precious holiday season running around doing errands, catching up on work, or — perish the thought! — trying to get ahead for the New Year. Enough!

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CULTURE

Jonah Hill, Tom Holland, Machine Gun Kelly, Pete Davidson, and the Art of Duo Dressing

Style icons are stepping out in twos to break the conventions of menswear

The menswear revival is in full swing. As gender expression becomes more playful amongst all genders, people are experimenting audaciously with garments and colors, and silhouettes.

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Music Features

Remembering John Lennon 40 Years After His Death

The world lost a legend on December 8, 1980

John Lennon released the song Imagine in May of 1971.

I was born less than six months later in that same year, the third child of a couple hippies who had no business having kids. But they had truth - and so did John.

He had love and truth and he was the BEATLES, same as Mick Jagger is The Rolling Stones, and Shane MacGowan is The Pogues. And Chuck Berry is... Chuck fg Berry.

And then consider these inventors of all that we listen to, those who create the sountrack for our lives: Buddy Bolden, Robert Johnson, Professor Longhair, David Bowie, Fats Domino, Kendrick Lamar, and Van Morrison.

In an alternate universe they would be seen as Joyce, Shakespeare, Fitzgerald and Hemingway. Frederick Douglas, James Baldwin, Maya Angelou, Walter Mosley, Seamus Heaney - the beacons of truth through the dark and dimly-lit tunnel of sociological change and evolution.

IMAGINE. (Ultimate Mix, 2020) - John Lennon & The Plastic Ono Band (with the Flux Fiddlers) HD www.youtube.com

Read More: 11 Musicians Who Predicted the Future

Instead, Lennon was feared by parents for being a "rock-n-roll" musician, for playing "black" music. Imagine that. Wow.

"People have always been trying to stamp out rock 'n' roll since it started, I always thought that it's because it came from black music and the words had a lot of double entendre in the early days. It was all this 'our nice white kids are gonna go crazy moving their bodies', y'now the music got to your body and The Beatles just carried it a bit further, made it a bit more white, even more than Elvis did because we were English." - John Lennon.

We miss you, John, and thank you for inspiring people to learn to love truth and for honoring the invention of our African American brothers and sisters. You stayed true. You will be missed.

WORKING CLASS HERO. (Ultimate Mix, 2020) - John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band (official music video HD) www.youtube.com

Read More: Paul McCartney Buries Lennon Rivalry and Settles the Beatles vs. Stones Debate

Below I lay some flowers at your grave - the track my brother Joey wrote - inspired in large part by your style and sound, your truth.

Joey was part of a Dublin band that charted in the UK, trying to model your mojo. He wrote this song when he got back to the States, but continues to busk in front of the Dakota with his band mate, Nigel Williams, on the date of your birth - whenever possible.

You are missed and remembered, John. Slainte.

by Kevin Fortuna

CULTURE

Michelle Zauner of Japanese Breakfast Spins Indie Songs Into Music Video Gold

The musician directed the video for Charly Bliss's new single Capacity, the latest in a string of gorgeous videos helping to solidify her reputation as a star in multiple mediums.

"I was watching a lot of heist movies at the time," said director Michelle Zauner of her work on the music video for indie pop up-and-comers Charly Bliss's new single Capacity, released today. With its dizzying series of shots featuring neon cacti, speeding cars, blurry TV screens, and plenty of cash, the video plays on all the best tropes of kitschy-crime 80's shows and films like Twin Peaks and Badlands in a display of what's becoming its director's signature style: dreamy slow-motion sequences and vaguely cultish imagery that both leans into and laughs at vintage pop culture's most extravagant excesses.

Charly Bliss - Capacity [Official Music Video] www.youtube.com

The video is another installment in the growing body of directorial work for which Zauner, most famous for her excellent solo work as psychedelic-indie-rock musician Japanese Breakfast, is becoming increasingly noted. Alongside frequent collaborator Adam Kolodny, she directed the videos for Jay Som's "The Bus Song," which captures a blissfully homey Californian summer, and Conor Oberst and Phoebe Bridgers' new project Better Oblivion Community Center's "Dylan Thomas," which transports the viewer to headquarters of a mysterious, quasi-religious cult.

Jay Som - The Bus Song [OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO] (Amazon Original) www.youtube.com

Better Oblivion Community Center - Dylan Thomas www.youtube.com

She's also directed most of the visual counterparts to her own songs. " Boyish," from her excellent 2018 LP Soft Sounds from Another Planet, is a dismally gorgeous interpretation of a high school prom. Zauner dons a suit, slips into her characteristic bath of ethereal pink and purple lights, and soundtracks one girl's shift from pining over a boy to taking the stage and shredding on her guitar.

Japanese Breakfast - Boyish (Official Video) www.youtube.com

It's a similar narrative to the story told by Mitski's Your Best American Girl video, in which the protagonist exchanges her unrequited desire for an archetypical, all-American guy for a much more satisfying love affair with her bass. Japanese Breakfast joined Mitski and Jay Som on tour in 2016, a lineup of all Asian American women that—although musically very different—were unified by a sense of creative ambition, talent, and a knack for crafting lyrics that cut through all bullshit.

Mitski - Your Best American Girl (Official Video) www.youtube.com

Zauner is also signed to Mitski's label, Dead Oceans. The label's interest and that subsequent 2016 tour with Mitski was a marked surprise for her, for earlier that year she had been working at a "soul-leeching" ad job while quietly dealing with her mother's death by writing what would become Psychopomp, an album that explores many dimensions of grief through waves of reverb-heavy electric guitar and lyrics, sung in her distinctive wail.

A psychopomp, in Greek mythology, is a nonjudgmental tour guide who carries the soul from life to death; and the eponymous album's composition served this purpose for Zauner, providing catharsis in the midst of a storm.

Image via Rolling Stone

Since then, she hasn't stopped creating. Her first published essay won Glamour's nonfiction contest, and she hopes to turn a lauded essay about Korean food and grief published in the New Yorker into a full-length food memoir about her childhood growing up Jewish-Korean in a predominantly white town.

In the midst of it all, she's found time to turn her knowledge of heist movies and crime dramas into Charly Bliss's newest visual. Judging by the quality and the sheer breadth of the output she's been gifting the world with over the past few years, "a lot of heist movies" probably means endless numbers of films watched at all hours of the night. Zauner seems like the kind of person who's constantly uncovering new conspiracy theories, always knee-deep in a rabbit hole of pop science and personal reflection.

Via emmiemusic.com

Certainly her own music videos belie a huge variety of filmic and cultural influences. 2016's " Jane Cum" is hypnotic and haunting, following Zauner on a journey through misty woods to a fiery ritual. Directed with Kolodny and House of Nod Productions, the video borrows from vintage movies, mostly riffing on the 90's horror flick The Craft. 2018's "Road Head" continues this tradition of using occult themes to express the complexities of human feelings.

Japanese Breakfast - Jane Cum (Official Video) www.youtube.com

Japanese Breakfast - Road Head (Official Video) www.youtube.com

"Machinist," also from Soft Sounds, is a nod to sci-fi, inspired by Alien and 2001: A Space Odyssey, and takes inspiration from the Mars Project, an initiative meant to eventually make Mars habitable. It's a trip through a subterranean laboratory that finds Zauner writing love letters and dancing beneath glowing wires and flashing TV screens, using a vocoder and autotune to tell a cyborgian love story; throughout, she almost seems to be laughing at the surreality of our modern technology-saturated world while relishing in its aesthetic beauty.

Japanese Breakfast - Machinist (Official Video) www.youtube.com

"The Body is a Blade," of the same album, is also a tribute to 80s nostalgia, as well as to her mother's memory. It shuffles grainy, faded shots of summertime fields and beaches with family photos as Zauner sings about the body's persistent will to live in spite of all odds. It's classic Zauner: aesthetically beautiful and effortlessly dreamy, a tradition that Capacity dutifully follows, its lurid celebration perfectly framing the song's sonic buoyancy and moody lyrics. Maybe soon enough we'll be getting our own full-length feature film from her, but until then, it seems a safe bet that there are more cyborgs and redemptive senior proms to come.

Japanese Breakfast - The Body Is A Blade (Official Video) www.youtube.com


Eden Arielle Gordon is a writer and musician from New York City. Follow her on Twitter at @edenarielmusic.


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Humor

Star Wars - It's a Map!

A San Francisco designer retold The Original Trilogy in the style of the London Tube Map.

Not many people sit down and watch George Lucas's classic trilogy and then think to themselves: What if this was a public transit map? What if we viewed every destination the various characters encounter on their journey as subway stubs? Luckily, Jacob Berman not only had that thought but spent several weeks acting on it. It should be mentioned that he has made numerous maps in the past, so he clearly sees the world and its culture in terms of cartography.

Fifthythreestudio, Jacob Berman

Now, of course there is no better way to incur the rage of internet geeks than by remastering anything Star Wars-related. So Mr. Berman attempted to reduce the rage by posting a drafted version in the place with the most concentrated rage: Reddit.

In his own words, he was "torn apart by people who were quite passionate about the subject." If you want to see a classic Reddit explosion, checkout the whole post here. It has some important facts about the original film, including the fact that "C3-PO was throwing dead Jawas into a fire." I, for one, didn't know that.

Fifthythreestudio, Jacob Berman

Also, the Reddit post led to some amazingly specific jokes about Star Wars and the New York City Subway system, including parodies of its delays such as, "THIS SAIL BARGE IS CURRENTLY RUNNING EXPRESS. EXPRESS EXPRESS EXPRESS EXPRESS. WE WILL NOT BE MAKING STOPS BETWEEN 59TH STREET-JABBA'S THRONE ROOM AND 125TH STREET-SHUTTLE TYDIRIUM."

Reddit

Reddi

Nonetheless, Berman used the exchange as constructive criticism and integrated the helpful feedback into his final products. Check them out and stay tuned to see if he is going to validate the prequels by incorporating them into his next designs! Or, god forbid, see if he draws inspiration from the new films.

Fiftythreestudio, Jacob Berman

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