Are women’s magazines trivialized or trivializing? It’s a debate as old as third-wave feminism, and not one that another round of think-pieces is going to solve. But this week gives us an unusually illustrative example of how much that question oversimplifies those publications and their role in women’s self-image. Politico’s Sarah Kendzior fired the skirmish’s opening salvo at the beginning of the month by diagnosing “The Princess Effect,” in which glossies’ profiles of highly accomplished women “reduce female political leaders to their supposed fashion and lifestyle choices.” Now Alyssa Mastromonaco, a former White House deputy chief of staff and one of the objects of Kendzior’s critique, and New York‘s Kat Stoeffel have each published rebuttals arguing that the problem lies not with focusing on “fashion and lifestyle choices,” but in believing those choices “reduce” women at all. … Read More
Summer is a time of play and rest, which naturally leads us to reflect on the past and the long months ahead. It’s a time to recharge — but these beautiful meditation spaces and architectural retreats offer a place to replenish mind, body, and spirit any day of the year. Allow these intimate sanctuaries and tranquil havens to soothe your restless soul. … Read More
soccer authority Twitter troll Rihanna’s latest glossy cover is out. It’s not for Vogue, which is currently busy calling out the scourge of lady-centric Facebook groups, or even fellow usual suspects Elle or Vanity Fair. Posted to social media last night, the Ruven Afanador shots are for Harper’s Bazaar Arabia, the Middle Eastern offshoot of a magazine that’s recently taken some flak for continuing to employ Terry Richardson. Given that the cover advertises “Rihanna of Arabia” as a guide to “The New Modesty: Cover Up in Style,” it’s not too surprising that the most revealing outfit in the shoot is the thigh-length Dolce & Gabbana dress Rih’s wearing on the cover.
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Music often drives us to change the architecture of our bodies – if it wasn’t for Rod Stewart’s raw, animalistic beats or Barry Manilow’s thrashing guitar, I wonder if I’d ever move at all. But seriously, the idea of music itself being architectural isn’t too hard to fathom, whether in the way that it’s laid out in blueprint form before it’s actualized, in the way that a series of supporting sounds bolster one another and create a song, or in the 4’33” sense that silences create their own music, just as there’s architecture in empty space. … Read More
Late last year, in what seemed like a lost bet with his label Def Jam, Kanye West did a nationwide commercial radio tour. I’m not talking about the next-level Zane Lowe BBC interview everyone raved over, I’m talking about Kanye going to pop and “urban”-format radio stations with cheesy DJs in nearly every major market where his Yeezus Tour stopped. Some of these interviews made headlines, but mostly the DJs were intimidated by Kanye and let him ramble on about whatever he damn well pleased, be it Adidas or Kardashians. … Read More
When you Google Melissa McCarthy, the top automated search suggestion is “Melissa McCarthy weight.” Sure, McCarthy stars on a popular TV show in which her plus-size status is central to the concept (Mike & Molly), but the fascination with her weight is voyeuristic at best, fat-shaming at worst.
This is nothing new, of course. The public is cruel when it comes to celebrity standards of beauty. But this week came another reminder that the problem extends beyond viewers. Despite being one of Hollywood’s most unanimous sweethearts in recent years — magazine editors, please try out a different tagline than “favorite funny gal” — McCarthy struggles to find designers to dress her on the red carpet. … Read More
The subcultures somewhat meaninglessly signified by the words “redneck” and “hipster” may seem miles apart, culturally, but they do have a few things in common: tattoos, beer in cans, a fondness for skulls, and the latter’s ongoing appropriation of the former. In what seems like a joke on both groups — although the artist claims to have “no goal… in mind, just wanted to [do] some funny shit and go balls to the wall” — Orlando-based designer and illustrator Joshua M. Smith used these shared elements to create the series Redneck Hipster (spotted via Design Taxi). Below, you’ll see a big cat’s face bearing the words “fuck Helvetica, use Comic Sans”; a tattoo-like anchor design that proclaims, “I am not a sailor, but hipsters eat this shit up”; and plenty of other irreverent cross-cultural typography that’s sure to make you smile. … Read More
‘Tis the season for sunny days and impromptu picnics in the park. This summer, pack the Pinot and dine en plein air with these designer-approved picnic sets. Keep it casual, but modern when you kick back for an afternoon of friends, food, and fresh air. Leave the ratty blanket at home and tote your gourmet goodies without sacrificing style. … Read More
The British and the Italians have always done suits better than anybody else, and each of the countries has a style all its own. To understand the differences between the two, you might start by picturing some stately looking British gentleman stepping out of a Savile Row tailor in a suit that makes him looks good because the lines are cut with such classic precision. In contrast, an Italian suit might conjure up a mental image of a sleek-looking gentleman who jumps on his scooter after sipping an espresso with a lemon twist. He’s the definition of modern, and he does it so effortlessly. … Read More