Saturday, 19 November 2016

Weekly Reading List 19/11/16

Fashion and retail news and features

Hadley Freeman's Inside Vogue Review - for anyone on the fence about whether to give Shulman's diary of Vogue's centenary year a read, Freeman's review might make up your mind. Like Shulman, Freeman is someone who has worked in fashion journalism but who easily could (and does) do other things, making her the perfect person to cast a critical eye over the book. I'm pleased to find that she thinks it's honest as well as entertaining. Certainly one for my Christmas list.

Why fashion may learn to love Melania Trump - an interesting examination of why some first ladies enjoy a closer relationship with the fashion world than others, and whether Mrs Trump can expect the same. There has also been a slightly contradictory piece on the topic in Elle.

New Balance Created Its PR Crisis. Neo-Nazis aren't helping - and you thought that fashion news might be a welcome relief from the weirdness in the rest of the world. Nope. Turns out New Balance shoes have been given the same treatment as Pepe the Frog with white nationalists declaring them 'the official shoes of white people'. OK then.

Other top picks

These commuters just got surprised by the best journey to work ever - not only am I very envious of the lucky people who got to travel aboard the Belmond British Pullman on Thursday morning, I'm also so pleased to see The Spitfire Sisters (featuring my former piano teacher) getting the publicity they deserve - check them out!

Death of the hatchet job - it's reassuring to know that the recent lack of criticism in the literary world is not just in my imagination. D.J. Taylor painstakingly assesses how this happened and what it means in a lengthy piece for the The New Statesman.

Writing by me

Min and Twinkle - I wrote this a couple of months ago for Oh Comely, and thought it might be a good time to share it on here since the arrival of Christmas decorations and advertising has me thinking about magic and the innocence of being a child once more.

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Weekly reading list 12/11/16

Fashion and retail news and features

Burberry profits down 40% as costs rise - from what I've seen, Burberry has been struggling for a while. Personally I think it's the type of business we need to be supporting in Britain to maintain a global presence after Brexit, so let's hope it can get back on its feet.

Why we still care about royal style - I've just started watching The Crown and loving it. As Jess Cartner-Morley points out here, the show's sumptuous costumes are all part of its success, and that's because we are still - perhaps now more than ever - obsessed with what the royals are wearing.

M&S to close clothing and home stores - ever since I started reading about fashion (about 7 years ago), M&S has been throwing everything at their clothing sales. And it's never worked. I think this is the right move, though I hope they'll be selling their famously good quality tights and underwear in a small seciton in the new food-focused stores.

Lunch with the FT: Tom Ford (£) - lunch interviews are always good for covering a rambling selection of topics, and that seems necessary with Ford, a veritable polymath. Jo Ellison talks to him about everything from business and design to film and family life.

Other top picks

Zadie Smith interviews - with her new novel on the horizon, Zadie Smith seems to be in the pages of every magazine I look at right now, perhaps because the London press and the New York media feel equal claims upon her. Since there are so many, I'll recommend three: Stylist, the New York Times, and (another) Lunch With the FT.

Canadaland: Tabloid! (podcast) - Canadaland's discussions of the media landscape are always relevant, even beyond the Northern border. But on occasion I can find the show a little righteous in its approach, this episode proved to be refreshing listening as host Jesse Brown and writer Marc Weisblott have a lively debate about the future of journalism.

Writing by me

Review: The Power by Naomi Alderman - I mentioned this book a couple of weeks ago, and this week I had a review published by The London Magazine on their site. I thoroughly recommend the novel if you like dystopian concepts, social commentary, and exciting, brilliant writing.

Drink of the Week: Mexican Wallbanger - This cocktail actually contains the (discontinued) Trump brand vodka, should you wish to either toast the President-Elect or drown your sorrows...

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Weekly reading list 6/11/16

Taken at London's Southbank Centre
Fashion and retail news and features

How to make money as a digital influencer - the title is misleading here, as this piece is more of an analytical insight into the world of paid-for Instagram posts and the lives of influencers (using the Beganovich sisters as a case study). An interesting read and a relevant one following last month's Vogue/blogger argument.

Kenzo x H&M: will it all be snapped up by the eBay super-sellers? - as the Kenzo collection dropped at H&M on Thursday, fashion fans fell into a familiar pattern of trying desperately to buy a piece, knowing it was a race against time before the line sold out and started going for 300% markups online. This Telegraph piece questions how far these collaborations can really claim to be 'affordable'.

British Fashion Film Initiative - not an article but an opportunity for young fashion designers: win funding from the British Fashion Council to make a film promoting your upcoming collection.

Philip Green's plan for BHS pension falls short by £100m - even his friend and ally Alexandra Shulman said in a recent interview that Green ought to "do something that makes people feel better about him". This attempt is a start, but for those who relied on the retailer for their retirement plans, it's not enough.

Other top picks

Click plate: how Instagram is changing the way we eat - beautiful prose as ever from Ruby Tandoh as she defends the culture of online food pictures. In case you didn't guess from the header image for this post, I agree with her wholeheartedly.

Ritz boss Andrew Love on running London's most luxurious hotel (podcast) - I loved this interview with the Chairman of the Ritz on the subject of good old-fashioned hospitality.

Unpaid internships reform plan blocked in the commons - relevant for all kinds of industries, but fashion and entertainment were named as some of the worst offenders in the Commons. This bill may not have got very far, but it's brought this important issue into the public conversation again.

No new writing from me this week, but hopefully a couple of things coming up in the next few days. Follow me on Twitter if you're interested in hearing about them.