Photos by Peter Stackpole, April 1959
Yesterday, I had to go see a man about a Springer Spaniel and, to edit a very boring story into a mildly entertaining footnote, I thought that it was Monday. Term only ended last week and already freelance work is messing with my brain. I’m going to have to start walking around with my name and address pinned to my sleeve. So, no Sunday post.
It’s doubtful that many people noticed – after all, Sunday is now the day for relaxed reading and there are a lot of websites posting up Sunday links (this particular series being a blatant rip-off loving homage to Ana Kinsella’s Week’s Clicks.
One of my all-time favourite magazine editors recently justified (no names, unfortunately; ‘off the record’ is still very much a thing) using creepy-as-hell photographer Terry Richardson by saying that his work should be separated from his wrongdoings. Which is bullshit, really, as his work is what makes his behaviour acceptable. New York Magazine have released their much-anticipated feature ofnRichardson, asking if he’s an artist or a predator, perhaps conveniently forgetting that you can be both. The piece itself is … weird. Read it for yourselves and make up your mind.
Speaking of creepy sexual predators, this story of an online romance gone horribly wrong will make most sentient women never use their phones for anything other than Angry/Flappy/Zombie Birds ever again.
This is by no means new, but for people who are curious about what cultural appropriation is (note: eating sushi is NOT cultural appropriation and not just because I ate my weight in mackerel sashimi this weekend) please read this.
Drunk texts from famous authors. Much better than getting the following phone call from Barcelona. “I’m at a beach bar! Do you want to hear my Spanish accent? Ola! Olé… *ridiculously deep voice* OLÉEEEEE (trails off).”
James Franco wrote a weird short story about how he definitely absolutely no way didn’t but maybe he did kinda sorta have sex with Lindsay Lohan.
Long long loooooooong read about Donna Tartt and why critics are pooh-poohing her latest literary blockbuster, The Goldfinch.
Britney Spears went to Vegas and this is what happened.
The anatomy of school dress codes.
Them Victorian fashions will kill ya.
This Style Bubble post on fashion houses and rebranding is interesting. Typeface love.
Avocado toast seven ways. Avocado toast is SO GOOD. Seriously.
Literary Mothers is a new Tumblr favourite, but instead of cat GIFs, it’s essays about female literary influence (though if anyone makes a Flannery O’Connor GIF, I might cry with joy).
This woman is the reason we’re all checking our privilege these days.
10+ new essays re-examining seminal feminist texts, and why women need to look backward to go forward.
Street style at Frieze.
Looking for cracks in the fashion publishing machine.
And finally, Sarah Mower remembers Louise Wilson, the late head of the MA Fashion course at Central Saint Martins. One of the most remarkable and terrifying women I’ve ever met.
Well, I read Rebecca Tuite’s new book on the female variant of prep, Seven Sisters Style, and it is just delightful. Really and truly delightful.
I’ve written more on the subject for today’s Irish Times. If you can’t pick up a copy, you can read it right here.
Teaching The Camera To See My Skin – Some aspects of photography are racist. I did not know that.
AnOther Loves Tattoos.
Kurt Cobain died twenty years ago yesterday. His vigil was a covert suicide prevention rally as well as a memorial.
Karl Lagerfeld has the be the most quotable fashion designer alive.
A 6,000 word dissection of 10 Things I Hate About You. You’re welcome.
My Dad sent me this review of the new Lydia Davis book, unaware that I already had a copy. Paternal synchronicity (seriously though, it’s a good book). Super short stories that cut to the bone and experiences that are so specific but so common that you think Davis could be writing just for you and your weird little brain.
An Oral History of Heathers, one of the best teen movies ever made. Bonus points for Winona Ryder trying to sell Heathers 2 to Meryl Streep (co-starring Meryl as the First Lady) while filming in an rural Portugal, where Ryder knew Streep would have no escape.
Lest we forget though, Heathers was a biting satire with a serious amount of disgust for its characters.
Sex Ed for Boys. Communication, communication and more communication.
Kesh Angels, the work of Moroccan-born, UK-based photographer Hassan Hajjaj is a hallucinatory look into a young subculture that most people aren’t privy to – the Moroccan motorcycle girl gang. Women on scooters with Nike djellabas, knockoff designer slippers, heart-shaped shades and a flagrant disregard for perceived speed limits. They’re got the attitude and unblinking, unwavering stares of Russ Meyer film heroines, but the only killing these ladies are doing are with their threads.
It’s only a matter of time before this gets co-opted into an M.I.A music video – or maybe that’s kinda happened already…
P.S – If you like this, you might like this old post on the Hell’s Angels and the women who rode with them.
Kesh Angels is running at the Taymour Grahne Gallery in New York until March 8th
More photos at The Guardian.
Karen Walker is well-known for the originality of their eyewear campaigns, but this one is that little bit extra special.
The Visible eyewear range will be available from February 10th and is partly made in Kenya with a group of artisans under the UN’s ITC Ethical Fashion Initiative. The stars are the people who worked to make special beaded glasses pouches; assistants, screenprinters and specialist Maasai beaders.
A lot of campaigns pay scant lip service to ethical and sustainable fashion initiatives in Africa, so it’s nice to see a company doing slightly more than photographing a wistful celebrity in an arid, vaguely desert-like environment to hawk terrible, deliberately faux-naive looking stuff. “Look how desperate it is here!” the celebrity’s eyes say. “You must buy this bag out of a misguided sense of guilt. Oh, go on.”
What a fucking insult to the people of Africa. Sorry, I’ve gone off on a tangent here. Hopefully this campaign will persuade people to look at little deeper into African fashion in a real, engaged way instead of just pandering to the same old stereotypical images. If Karen Walker can do it, there’s no reason why we couldn’t either.
Pics via Karen Walker
In her day, Leen was better known as a photographer of animals. Perhaps it’s her ability to capture the small, unusual, honest details which make what should be slightly humdrum shots of feet so very special. Some of these pictures are posed, some are not. None of them look stiff or forced.
Only one of them makes me want to stash a comb in my socks or, at the very least, start to wear socks.
It’s getting cold out there, kids.
British Photographer Lacey was an assistant to Tim Walker – and it really shows. Her inventive use of props (by design pair Craig and Karl) and collaboration with make-up artist Andrew Gallimore have made the pages of Vogue Nippon even more mind-bending this month. Styled by Beth Fenton, it’s part Pop, a little Op and a big, glam wheelbarrow of weird brilliance.
Muses: Women Who Inspire is a lavish coffee table book, published by Flammarion, all about the romantic muse. ‘Romance’ is definitely the watchword – almost all of the muses in this book were engaged sexually with their masters (for want of a much better word). The modern muse is disregarded – Edie Sedgewick for her drug use, Grace Jones for her perceived lack of longevity and Kate Miss for, well, just being Kate Moss. The woman in this book cover a period of roughly 100 years, from about 1850 to 1950, from the Countess Castiglioni (who, both hearteningly and pathetically, was her own muse) to Giulietta Masina, the sprite-like wife of Federico Fellini.
This rather large hardback is stuffed to the gills with women, some you have heard of, some who are a whisker away from relegation to the purgatory of obscurity. The selections are wide-ranging from art to literature to film to photography and often quite illuminating, but the treatment of said muses is interesting.
In quite a lot of the profiles, we don’t learn how the women directly influenced the artists – unless it is quite obvious (Salvador Dali using his wife Gala as a model, for example). The women are related to in terms of their influence and not their personality, which is unfortunate. Photographer Lee Miller’s life after her affair with Man Ray is referred to only in a cursory way, which is surprising as that period of her life was the one in which she would make the biggest impact on the world. Rather worryingly, Lewis Carroll’s disputed paedophilia is treated in almost apologetic terms in Alice Liddell’s profile, saying in one breath that his behaviour was dubious and in the next that “one should steer clear of judging a personality that was undeniably complex, paradoxical and disarming”.
The real strength of this book is the layout as well as the selection of muses. A rich and diverse amount of photographs and artworks as well as a rich and diverse group of women are masterfully showcased. The scandals, the heartbreaks, the subtle manipulation – it’s all here. If you like a shot of scandal with your history, you’ll enjoy this book.
Muses: Women Who Inspire is published by Flammarion and is available in all good bookshops.