Tech Company Please Give Me Immortality
The zombification of culture, pastel photographs, Swedish Soho House, geometric blankets, a convo with Miuccia and Raf, and more
Or, at least it should, that is how our universe works. Though, over the last decade or two, it continually feels like we are unable to grapple with that fact. Historically, we’ve had tyrannical leaders and deified rulers desperate to create a lineage, leave their mark on the world, and many have. These days, we tend toward the delusional in terms of body modification (freeze your body face to stay young forever!), and even worse, our addiction to culture. We seem to be unable to let things go.
For example, in the last few months, we had Raf Simons shutting down his namesake label after 27 years, and most recently, Rene Redzepi closing the doors of Noma after two decades. The announcements were surprising, no doubt, though after such a long time, why is that surprising? Why do we have this expectation that these cultural entities should last forever? It brings to mind a few things. The seemingly never ending appeal of the TV show Friends, which seems to have it’s own ardent cult in both Gen Z and Millennials. Of holograms depicting dead celebrities, forced to perform ghoulish renditions for capitalistic gains. And don’t even get my started on Game of Thrones, which somehow lasted eight seasons, spanning SEVENTY HOURS, and now it’s got it’s own prequel to keep the money machine churning.
It feels like we’re in a time period of zombification. We can’t let things go. A feeling like these cultural milestones must live on forever, shuffling along endlessly. And I feel like that’s a shame. In Raf Simons’ spring 2022 show, he highlighted text-based paintings by the Belgian painter Philippe Vandenberg, and as Vogue pointed out, they were entirely prophetic, and ring true for everything I’ve written above:
“They’re cruel words, like ‘Kill them all and dance.’ But he didn’t mean killing people,” the designer told Sarah Mower at the time. “He meant killing things that you’re doing creatively in order to move on and explore further.”
📌 — I was lucky enough to come across the photography of Franck Bohbot through a feature on L.A. arcades he shared with the New York Times. Originally from Paris, Bohbot has a unique style where the images are rather low contrast, lots of pastels, and/or the shadows are tinged with color. His approach creates these illusory, candy color images that have such an otherworldly feeling. I would recommend checking out his series on Roxbury Park, Forever Young (a series about waterparks), as well as his portraits of Thuso Mbedu.
📌 — My favorite memory of a Soho House is visiting the location in West Hollywood for meetings. I would drive up in Kyle’s black new Beetle, totally scratched and dirty, walking up like we owned the place. So when I saw the new Soho House in Stockholm, I had visions of pulling up… via train, I suppose. Their newest location is located in Östermalm, inside an old Methodist church, brought into the 21st century. The combination of wood, religious detailing paired with beautiful floral furnishings and bold, warm lighting. And that long brass bar in The Library bar? To die for.
📌 — I have a problem, it’s buying too many blankets. Is there such a thing? I dunno, I keep buying more though, and this Loads of Lines collection from Redduo is currently at the top of my list. The blankets are a wool-blend patchwork made from deadstock fabrics that have hand-painted pieces, meaning each piece is unique. The geometric pattern sings to me, and the colors are obviously exactly in mind with my current inspirations.
📌 — Last week, an interview between Vogue Business and co-designers of Prada, Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons popped up, which gave us a look into their collaborative process, and a touch of info on Raf’s closing of his namesake label. They touch on a lot, like the idea of elitism in fashion and the speed of creativity. Though my favorite part was where Miuccia describes Raf in an interesting way, with a bit of smart advice to take to heart:
“He dislikes more than me that today you have to excite people — that instead of doing your work to create, today you have to excite. And this is bad, I agree. You do a stupid thing, and everybody talks about it, or you do a serious thing and work hard, and nobody notices. But, in the long run, if you are a serious person, you will be recognised — even if sometimes it feels like you have to do tricks.”
🍃 — “m3gan could spider monkey crawl up a Na'vi and slit its throat” — Woodrow White never fails to entertain.
🍃 — Ooof, the new Celiné boutique on Rue Saint-Honoré is a fabulous orgy of marble and mirrors paired with wabi-sabi wood pieces and touches of gold. Dare I describe this as minimal maximalism?!
🍃 — Loving this new print from Malika Favre called “Composed”. Malika always has an incredible way of using shape and lines, and this print is a stunner (sadly the blue one already sold out!).
🍃 — If you’re in London, David Zwirner has a new Dan Flavin installation up until the 18 February. Stop staring at your screens and go stare at some beautiful lights instead.
🍃 — One of my fave musicians Visible Cloaks played a set on NTS last week, take a listen if you need some minimal/ambient sounds to work or relax to.
🍃 — Writer T. Cole Rachel had dinner with Michael Stipe at Via Carota in New York and the ensuing conversation between them is highly entertaining and inspiring.
🍃 — As someone who turned 40 last year, I found Amil Niazi’s piece The Mindf*ck of Midlife relatable in a lot of ways, though, I also feel it could be broadly relatable as we’re all aging 🤗
🍃 — Our homogenization of culture continues get worse, and Michael K. Grynbaum’s piece Is New York Turning Into Los Angeles? is a perfect example. Why do people want the same identical things everywhere they go?