Week In Review

Week In Review

The Week in Review is a roundup of interesting, inspiring, or thought-provoking things I've read this week, covering Fashion, the Environment, and Humanity. 

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Fashion

Lucy Chambers, Fashion Director, British Vogue. Photo: Marcy Swingle for The New York Times.

Lucy Chambers, Fashion Director, British Vogue. Photo: Marcy Swingle for The New York Times.

Don't Dress Your Age | Julia Baird | The New York Times

I feel very strongly that no one has a monopoly on style- we should all feel that we have the permission and privilege to use our clothing to express ourselves, no matter our age, size, shape, budget, and the list goes on. So when I came across this piece, it actually stopped me in my tracks to consider that women of a certain age are encouraged, whether overtly or covertly, to somehow tone down that sense of self expression through style. I think this merits a full on revolution: WEAR WHAT YOU LOVE.

"Women are not praised for dressing like fabulous young things now. As we ascend the ladder of wisdom and maturity, we are cautioned to adopt restraint, to be 'classic,' 'sophisticated,' to eschew skin in favor of prim. And with every passing year, to occupy less space and be more demure — and dull.

We are also told to monitor our appearance in a way men are very rarely told to. Find me a man leafing through a magazine that tells him to upturn his collar to hide his neck wrinkles, and I will upturn it for him."

Junya Watanabe, One of Fashion’s Foremost Thinkers | Alexander Fury | T Magazine

We've briefly touched on the role of fashion designers here before and it's a subject I keep coming back to. Should fashion designers challenge us to think about our clothing in a new way? Should they challenge us to see our style in a different light? This piece on designer Junya Watanabe invited me to revisit these questions. 

"Watanabe has created garments that have shifted the way people think about clothing, not just fashion. His work is about experimentation, endlessly reworking garments into fresh constructions. In an industry where referencing — of other cultures, of other historical styles — runs rife, Watanabe’s pieces have the rare, almost unique attribute of seeming like stuff we’ve never seen before. It’s all the more striking because Watanabe works with what he calls “dumb” clothes: trench coats, biker jackets, the white shirt. The ordinary becomes extraordinary."

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The Environment

Coral bleaching in the Great Barrier Reef. Photo: Photograph: the Ocean Agency via The Guardian.

Coral bleaching in the Great Barrier Reef. Photo: Photograph: the Ocean Agency via The Guardian.

The Great Barrier Reef is under severe stress – but not dead yet | Oliver Milman | The Guardian

As the effects of climate change reveal themselves throughout ecosystems around the world, I think it's important to recognize the role we can still play in mitigating those negative effects. Often, the scientific community is caught in a catch 22; being dire about the situation might compel forward progress, but it might also make people feel powerless to do anything to stop the effects of climate change. Here's a piece that reminded me how powerful human agency is for the issue. 

"I have studied corals off Christmas Island in the Pacific where 85% of them have died, it was a graveyard. But even there, I was shocked to see remarkable resilience. Amid the graveyards of the reefs there were areas that looked like nothing had happened. There is a lot we can do to minimize climate change and we need to get going on that. To say reefs are finished and we can’t do anything about it isn’t the message we need going forward.”

- Kim Cobb, Coral reef expert at Georgia Tech

The German Auto Industry is Finally (Maybe) Done with Gas | Jack Steward | WIRED

Germany, a country with a long history in automative manufacturing, has taken a bold step towards a future in which cars are powered by cleaner energy by ratifying a non-binding resolution to ban fuel and diesel cars by 2030. Could this lead to a tipping point for carbon emissions linked to cars?  

"The best place to find the future of the automobile? Its homeland. 130 years after Karl Benz patented a three wheeled vehicle powered by a single cylinder engine, Germany is home to 41 car and engine plants, which make one in every five cars sold worldwide...Yet last week, the country turned its back on that history. The Bundesrat, which represents German states at the federal level, voted to ban all diesel and gasoline cars by 2030. Yes, in just 14 years, the country wants all new cars to be emissions-free." 

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Humanity 

Women Waging Peace march near Jericho. Photo: Abbas Momani/AFP/Getty Images via Mideast Daily News. 

Women Waging Peace march near Jericho. Photo: Abbas Momani/AFP/Getty Images via Mideast Daily News. 

These Israeli women marched from the Lebanese border to Jerusalem. Here’s why. | Ruth Eglash | The Washington Post

With a gridlock in the negotiations for peace between Israelis and Palestinians, women are taking a stand to demand a new approach. Women Wage Peace, an NGO based in Israel, organized a march from northern Israel to President Netanyahu's residence in Jerusalem to demand that the Israeli government resume peace talks with the Palestinians. The move for peace reminds me of one of my first jobs, an internship at the radio show, Peace Beat, which aimed to cover news of tolerance, reconciliation, and a shared sense of humanity on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. 

“Two years ago, my son was in the army; he fought in the Gaza war. I decided then that I did not want to launder army uniforms anymore. I want peace.” 

- Miki Rom, who participated in the march

The Lost Virtue of Cursive | Mark Oppenheimer | The New Yorker

As we consider how the tools of our modern lives have made us more (or less) productive and more (or less) connected, what is the role of handwriting, particularly of cursive? This essay had me wondering about all that will be lost when cursive is a thing of the past. 

"The laminated papers with cursive-writing instructions, taped to every one of the tyke-size school desks with the sweeping attached arms, were sad and beautiful at once, in the special way of obsolete educational technology, like the Apple IIe, or the No. 2 pencil itself. For me, a writer of strong fuddy-duddy credentials, the sad dramatic irony really was too much. You see, cursive isn’t being taught in my daughters’ school anymore, and hasn’t been for at least six years, as long as I’ve had children in the public schools. Who would tell the cursive that it was no longer needed?"

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What have you read this week? 

 

Feature image Mark Conlin/Getty Images via The Guardian. 

Do The French Really Have Better Style?

Do The French Really Have Better Style?

Zadie Smith On Identity

Zadie Smith On Identity