♥ Why COVID Couldn’t Stop the Hungarian Production Boom (The Hollywood Reporter): “Like the rest of the world, Hungary was hit by the coronavirus pandemic and, like the rest of the movie business, COVID-19 shuttered film and TV shoots at studios in and around Budapest. But Hungary was one of the last places to shut down — low infection numbers in Spring meant there was no formal lockdown during the first wave of the pandemic in spring 2020 — and, because of smart planning and a cooperative, pro-film-industry government, the country’s studios were among the first, in early summer, to welcome back international productions … Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi epic Dune … which had completed principal photography in July 2019, returned to Budapest’s Origo Studios to shoot a few additional scenes. As did Amazon Prime’s Birds of Paradise.”
♥ Pandemic Dressing Takes a Dark Turn (The New York Times): “The essence of a hate-wear is that it is not about thinking you look bad in something … A hate-wear is when you put on the clothing even though — because? — it makes you feel bad. Neither stylish nor particularly comfortable, yet constantly in rotation … Of course I didn’t know what to wear; I didn’t know who I was … Hence, hate-wear. Like an old wannabe goth, I wear ill-fitting black pants on the outside because that is how I feel on the inside.”
♥ What Will Street Style Look Like in 2021? (Vogue): “Aside from masks, which were the biggest visual change in our street style coverage, the trend was for easier, more casual clothing that merged pragmatism and personality. We saw a lot of great blazers and jeans—often flared or bootcut for a bit more polish—and grounded, hardworking boots and sneakers. Showgoers wore those sensible shoes with silk dresses and suits … and favored generous cuts over body-conscious ones. Our eyes skipped over the ‘total looks’ borrowed from the runway, once a standard practice that felt forced this time around. Instead, we zoomed in on surprising details and artfully thrown-together outfits: vintage pieces mixed with new, outsize proportions, and spontaneous layers … Fashion was getting more personal and less trend-driven; the pandemic only hastened that change. We’ll consider it one of the year’s silver linings.”
♥ From ‘Throwing Fits’ to ‘Crime Junkie,’ Podcast Merch Has Become Big Business (The Wall Street Journal): “The podcast merch business … is soaring, as more listeners want to show their allegiance to their podcast of choice through a T-shirt, mug or hoodie … the head of merchandising at Stitcher … said that sales of merchandise associated with Stitcher shows … are roughly doubling every year … the closest cousin to podcast merch is band T-shirts … And like concert T-shirts, podcast gear lets listeners back their favorite sources of entertainment.”
♥ The Endless Debate: Cancel or Rebook? (The New York Times): “In a November survey of 1,000 United States consumers … 60 percent of respondents said they have canceled at least one trip because of Covid-19 … Travel companies have traditionally been able to predict busy and quiet periods. Not so in this year. Since March, waves of cancellations have reverberated … because of rising infection rates, travel restrictions and state and local rules.”
♥ Influencers Feuding After Both Naming Their Babies ‘Baby’ (The Cut): “… Hart recently named her newborn daughter Baby, news that came as an affront to Benz, who named her own daughter Baybi three years ago.”
♥ The Year of Buyer’s Remorse (The New York Times): “While millions of Americans have lost their jobs during the pandemic, consumer spending on goods went up 7.2 percent from January to September … And some of that spending includes items people now regret. Some were meeting basic needs, from canned corn to houses. Others took advantage of big sales to buy clothes they won’t wear this year. And still others bought goods from gadgets to boats they thought would keep them entertained, but are now sitting unused.”
♥ Gorpcore: How Arc’teryx Parkas and Salomon Hiking Boots Became High Fashion (The Wall Street Journal): “Gorpcore … emerged as an outdoor-specific offshoot of the 2010s’ normcore trend … It’s about a deep appreciation of genuine, all-weather brands stretching from Japan’s And Wander to California’s Patagonia … Gorp fans worship practicality, but they also cherish the hints of high design that brands lace into their outdoor gear.”
♥ Living With Karens (The Cut): “There’s no way to really prove the interactions were racially motivated. But there was something in the tone that the Hayats recognized, something that was uncomfortable to explain to outsiders, uncomfortable even for them to fully admit to themselves. The interactions were reminiscent of ones Fareed has had his whole life, from those neighbors in Maryland who arched their eyebrows at his homeownership, all the way back to the time he was thrown in jail for a night because a cop falsely reported that Fareed had assaulted him … There was a sense of entitlement in the way Schulz asked the questions. A sense that, if she asked, they had to answer. And they had answered, every time, for the sake of keeping the peace. They would let it slide and then they would let it slide again, but now it was June 2020. The world was crazier. The woman was crazier. People were paying attention. It was no longer possible — or necessary — to let it slide.”
♥ We Asked: Why Does Oreo Keep Releasing New Flavors? (The New York Times): “Since releasing the Birthday Cake Oreo in 2012 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of its signature cookie, Oreo has introduced 65 flavors, including, in the last three years alone, Hot Chicken Wing Oreos, Wasabi Oreos, Crispy Tiramisù Oreos and Carrot Cake Oreos … Novelty Oreos sell reasonably well. According to Nielsen, sales of flavored, seasonal and other novelty Oreos were up over 12 percent over the last three years. But the sales are not the point. Novelty Oreos … play a much purer role: They help drive consumers back to … the plain old Oreo … And it seems to work. In the time that sales were up 12 percent for novelty flavors, sales of the classic were up almost 22 percent.”
♥ Robinhood Wants More Female Investors. So Does Everyone Else. (The Wall Street Journal): “Attracting more women to Robinhood’s platform will be key to its growth, especially as the company aims to evolve beyond its retail trading roots … executives said Robinhood would be open to expanding to new products, such as financial planning … But as the broader investment industry continues shifting to holistic wealth planning that addresses investors’ long-term goals, Robinhood may be playing catch-up to other players, such as Charles Schwab Corp. and Fidelity Investments Inc. that already offer those services … Robinhood isn’t the only online brokerage to have female users lag behind men. Across the industry, many companies that operate trading platforms say that women account for between roughly 25% and 40% of users.”
♥ Can You Poison Your Way to Good Health? (The New York Times): “Kambo … is not a recreational drug. You don’t trip, in the tangerine-trees-and-marmalade-skies sense. Instead, you vomit … The idea is to make yourself feel horrible so that you may, after, feel wonderful. Its proponents describe it as, essentially, a thermonuclear-scale raw celery cleanse for the body and the soul. Kambo is catching on among the same crowd of coastal New Age elites — Burning Man psychonauts, Silicon Valley disrupters, plant-medicine proselytes — that rallied around ayahuasca, the hallucinogenic rainforest tea, a decade ago. And users should be forewarned: transcendence comes with a price … At its peak (or is it nadir?), subjects can find themselves projectile vomiting into plastic buckets for 15 to 40 minutes, or running to the bathroom with gastric distress.”
♥ The Kindle edition of Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike is currently on sale at Amazon for $1.99.
♥ Gummies: The Only Way Gen Z Will Take a Vitamin? (The Wall Street Journal): “While gummy supplements were formulated and marketed to kids first, a generation raised on Flintstones vitamins has graduated to adult versions. An Allied Market Research report released last year projected that the global gummy vitamins market, which, in 2018, was at $5.7 billion, would reach $9.3 billion by 2026 … Too many gummies may pose a problem, though, given that vitamins, when taken in excess, can be toxic … There is also the issue of ingredient delivery … ‘depending on how it’s manufactured, there may be significant variability in the amount and potency of the nutrients, which can result in ineffective dosing.’ … The key is to be discerning when choosing gummies… [seek] out brands that have been certified by NSF International, United States Pharmacopeia (USP), ConsumerLab.com or the Banned Substances Control Group (BSCG). In the absence of strict government oversight … [look] for Current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMPs) certification. Organic and non-GMO ingredients and vegetable-based food dyes are preferable, and vegans should steer clear of gummies made with animal-derived gelatin.”
♥ Coming Home (The New York Times): “Between March 1 and May 1 … about 5 percent of the population, or 420,000 New Yorkers, left the city, according to cellphone data … Ten months on, many of the displaced have since returned to the city — though how many is hard to quantify, and some may leave again as case numbers and hospitalizations spike.”
♥ Why the Office Isn’t Going Away (The Wall Street Journal): “Even though they may be expensive, offices do matter. The physical interactions they provide do contribute to getting work done, especially projects and tasks that require collaboration. Architecture matters by structuring our interactions, in good ways if done well. The rituals of office life—coffee breaks and the informal connections we make there—matter, as does our general office social life, which helps keep us engaged. Organizational culture matters, and that is conveyed by these interactions. It is hard to keep that going via occasional video chats. CEOs know this; their single biggest concern about remote work arrangements now is how to keep their culture functioning.”
♥ Work-From-Home Scheme Targeting Latinas Netted $7 Million, U.S. Says (The New York Times): “To get in on the working-from-home arrangement … would-be sellers had to pay an enrollment fee of up to $299 that included a start-up kit with perfumes or other goods. The company’s telemarketers told consumers that they would turn a profit of several hundred dollars, but the kits included items that were either counterfeit or cost much more than those sold at department stores … The company regularly insisted that consumers provide it with money orders for the enrollment fee when the kits had been delivered and threatened to take legal action or call credit bureaus if they did not comply.”
♥ Recently purchased: alice + olivia Jasset Roll Cuff Tie Back Dress, Topshop New Utility Joggers, Valentino Garavani Double Strap Rockstud Slingback Ballerina Flats, Sézane Suzie Coat, and J. Crew Jogger Pant in Cotton-Cashmere.
Have a good weekend, everyone!