♥ May has been good to fast food lovers, from the addition of Cajun Sparkle Boneless Wings & Tots to the Popeyes seasonal menu, to Dairy Queen’s new Mini Blizzard Flight Tray, and I am hoping it’ll end with Chance the Rapper successfully bringing back Wendy’s spicy chicken nuggets.
♥ Rise of the Lady Backpack (The Atlantic): “According to the market- research firm NPD, sales of women’s backpacks are up by 28 percent in the past year, even though men’s backpacks are down … The rise of the lady backpack is mostly being driven by women in cities, especially in New York, Los Angeles, and Dallas, Goldstein says. The impetus is roughly the same as the one behind the rise of athleisure and sneakers as officewear: comfort. Women have stopped accepting that beauty has to be pain.”
♥ Chanel Chugs into the Future (The New York Times): “For the first Chanel cruise show since the death in February of Karl Lagerfeld … the house had reimagined a Parisian railway station… with a loud strike of the station clock and a sharp blow of the station master’s whistle, a procession of 80 models steamed onto the runway, unveiling a collection that crossed multiple historical and geographical boundaries, with one common value: comfort … It was a pretty show, with some new lightness, though predominantly a loyal continuation of legacy.”
♥ Champion Accidentally Hit the Fashion Jackpot (Bloomberg): “The century-old brand best known for basic gym attire is experiencing an unlikely revival. Champion is a benefactor of three swirling style trends that converged to create a teen and millennial fashion craze: Logo apparel is in vogue; throwback gear has returned; and streetwear … is having a moment … Teens in particular are latching on to the label, with 9 percent of upper-income boys and 5 percent of girls starting to wear its clothes this spring … Male teens consider it a top-15 brand, ranking alongside such names as Gucci and Tommy Hilfiger. Last year it had nearly $1.4 billion in global sales. The company hopes to cash in on Champion’s newfound cultural cachet and grow it into a $2 billion unit by 2022.”
♥ My Childhood in a Cult (The New Yorker): “To people who grew up in more ordinary circumstances, my childhood sounds exotic, scandalous, and fascinating. Cults are fascinating—but one thing the Manson Family and the Lyman Family have in common is the banality of daily life inside these worlds. If you live in a large group of people, there are always dishes to wash and heaps of laundry to hang up to dry … In a nation fixated on individualism, cults and communes are easy objects of disdain—and perhaps envy … The truth is far more complex, though no less insidious.”
♥ The Stolen Kids of Sarah Lawrence (The Cut): “The psychological profile conducted during his 2005 custody proceeding had observed that Larry’s ‘power and control are exhibited through the process of wearing down the other person to the point of sheer exhaustion, where one must acknowledge that he has no control of the situation. But Mr. Ray has the control’ … Larry has caused untold devastation in the lives of the people around him. Dozens of people contacted for this story refused to speak on the record for fear of Larry’s retribution. For years, he has silenced his victims by intimidating them physically, psychologically, legally, and, when all else fails, by public shaming and harassment.”
♥ Currently loving: the H&M You & Me collection. Great for those who have a mini-me, but equally great for those who don’t. My order: Wide-leg Pants, Linen-blend Jumpsuit, Dress with Buttons, Wide-leg Pants, and Kaftan Dress.
♥ Philip Green Tries to Stop Topshop Group Falling like a House of Cards (The Guardian): “Sir Philip Green[’s] … Arcadia group … is desperate to secure a rescue restructure that will involve the closure of about 50 of the group’s 570 British stores. If a deal cannot be agreed well before the group’s next rental payment in late June, Arcadia – which includes Topshop, Dorothy Perkins, Miss Selfridge, Wallis, Evans and Burton – could face administration … Over the years, Green has taken millions of pounds out of the business in dividends, loan payments and property profits. The Green family famously took a £1.2bn dividend from Arcadia in 2005, just three years after buying the company.”
♥ Struggling with Style (The Economist): “On days without meetings, men can slob out in T-shirts … and jeans, and no one will think the worse of them … But what works well for men does not translate as easily to women … A survey by Euromonitor found that sales of women’s suits fell by 77% in America between 2007 and 2016. But many women worry that they will be judged as unprofessional … if their clothes are deemed to be too scruffy, or too revealing.”
♥ Instagram’s E-Commerce Plans Are Bigger Than You Think (The Business of Fashion): “Starting May 9, about 50 influencers, designers and media titles … will gain access to Instagram Checkout, a feature introduced last month that makes it possible for users to buy products tagged in posts and stories without leaving the platform. They’ll join 23 brands … who must pre-approve which influencers can link to their products. Checkout marks the beginning of a new era for shopping on Instagram, which has swallowed an enormous portion of the online advertising market but until recently had largely steered clear of becoming directly involved in e-commerce.”
♥ Nordstrom to Add Two Mini Stores in Its New York Expansion (The New York Times): “In September, it will open two small Nordstrom outposts in New York, in the West Village and on the Upper East Side, as part of its new Nordstrom Local chain … The two smaller stores will not carry merchandise. Rather, they will be hubs for online pickups and returns, as well as services like tailoring and personal styling.”
♥ The FDA Says It’s Safe, So Feel Free to Say ‘Yes’ to MSG (The Wall Street Journal): “… xenophobia, not science, explains the initial anti-MSG push a half-century ago that lingers today despite no definitive evidence that MSG causes sickness in humans … four out of 10 Americans say that they actively avoid MSG … Ajinomoto wants to repair MSG’s image by linking it with umami … As Ajinomoto sees it, MSG is just an industrially produced version of the same umami-creating substances found naturally in foods such as tomatoes and cheese.”
♥ The Challenge of Going Off Psychiatric Drugs (The New Yorker) “… as psychopharmacology has become more sophisticated and accessible, the number of Americans disabled by mental illness has risen … psychiatric medications, taken in heavy doses over the course of a lifetime, may be turning some episodic disorders into chronic disabilities … Genetics plays a role in mental disorder, as do environmental influences, but the drugs do not have the specificity to target the causes of an illness … There are almost no studies on how or when to go off psychiatric medications … Most … studies did not consider how such an abrupt withdrawal might compromise the studies’ findings: withdrawal symptoms can easily be misclassified as relapse … To some degree, that makes sense: no one wants to deter people from taking drugs that may save their life or lift them out of disability. But to avoid investigating or sharing information on the subject—to assume that people can comprehend the drugs’ benefits and not their limits—seems to repeat a pattern of paternalism reminiscent of earlier epochs in the history of psychopharmacology.”
♥ Hate Invades the Quotidian (The Atlantic): “Anxiety is the mind’s alert system, a mechanism guarding against the possibility that terrible things will repeat. Anxiety can linger in physical spaces long after the threat recedes, perhaps never really fading. What makes this fact so bitter is that these confines were designed for contemplation and vulnerability, and they now carry an association with harm. The mental toll of an era—of a presidency incapable of mustering opprobrium for neo-Nazis—has woven itself into the quotidian.”
♥ French as It’s Now Really Spoken (The Wall Street Journal): “… wesh and other slang words stir up a strong reaction in many French speakers … the ‘French language is a masterpiece in peril,’ and that linguistic change is ‘set on destroying, one after the other … secular institutions of French identity’ … France is the most diverse country in Europe, and … Paris’s 10th arrondissement … is the most diverse in France, home to people from more than 180 countries, 28% of whom are first-generation immigrants.”
♥ The Penetrating Gaze of the Instagram Shame Silo (Wired): “Through some alchemy involving the accounts you follow, your own posts and geotagging, and general Facebook ad-servicing dark arts, you’ve got a shame silo too … It’s somehow the right kind of invasive: generally interesting but never so persistent that you feel deluged.”
♥ Sonia Rykiel Seeks Bankruptcy Protection in France, Liquidates in the US (The Business of Fashion): “Hong Kong investment group First Heritage Brands, which bought a majority stake in Sonia Rykiel in 2012 and acquired it outright in 2017, is looking for new investors to take control of the label, which has undergone several business restructurings and rounds of layoffs since it relaunched in 2014 … Sonia Rykiel generated €35 million in sales 2018, down from €84 million in 2011. Last year, the company operated at a loss of €20 million.”
♥ Why Doctors Hate Their Computers (The New Yorker): “A 2016 study found that physicians spent about two hours doing computer work for every hour spent face to face with a patient—whatever the brand of medical software … the average workday for its family physicians had grown to eleven and a half hours. The result has been epidemic levels of burnout among clinicians. Forty per cent screen positive for depression, and seven per cent report suicidal thinking—almost double the rate of the general working population … he software changed how people work together. They’d become more disconnected; less likely to see and help one another, and often less able to.”
♥ Recently purchased: Topshop Gingham Off the Shoulder Romper, Topshop Pinafore Button Jumpsuit, Banana Republic Floral Tiered Maxi Dress, Abercrombie & Fitch Belted Drapey Joggers, Sézane Odalie Dress, and Ann Taylor Polka Dot Scarf Print Blouse.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend, everyone!