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The Trend Report™: Okay To Cry
Remembering SOPHIE and exploring the latest fashion.
Welcome to The Trend Report™ where you get a capturing of what happened this week.
This week, we’re remembering SOPHIE and looking at new fashion, looking at talk about vaccines and a new advanced slip-on shoe, and ending with a delightfully shitty video.
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Myanmar’s coup, explained
If you need an explainer on what’s happening in the Southeast Asian country, look here. If you’re looking to understand why locals are using the Hunger Games hand-sign, read this really interesting story.
“Sen. Warren joining the Senate Finance Committee"
I will enjoy Jeff Bezos’ heart on a plate as my student loans are absolved.
There's no need to delay second dose of vaccine
Second Shot Rude Reawakening for Immune Cell
If You’re Working from Home, Wait for Your Vaccine
US health workers' vaccine hesitancy raises alarm
Conspiracy theorist barred from hospitals
Did you know there’s a Covid vaccine stumbling out into society? It’s true! Here’s a range of recent-ish stories from most sane to most insane.
Everyday Covid mistakes we are all still making
This week’s Covid must-read. Be diligent, people!!!!!!!!!
I am not a concert person. I am someone who listens to a lot of music, all via headphones or speakers or whatever other personal listening experience. Concerts are loud and impersonal and remind me that I am not the lone fan of an artist, their image tarnished by a drunk person’s vomiting on my legs during my favorite song. I opt out of these communal activities, when such attendance is possible. There are exceptions. There are certain artists who whose work is so monumental, whose visions are so singular that my own dislike for concerts is overridden by a need to interface with history, to be a witness to greatness.
And it was a revolution. Genderqueer artists and fans mingled onstage and off, creating an environment that wasn’t of 2018 but a projection of the future, a sonic vision that yielded an almost literal manifestation of what utopia could be. Rough and raw, catastrophic but cool, it felt like being in a latex womb and, yes, that sounds disgusting and sticky but it also so great. There was an energy, one of queer camaraderie, of strangers helping strangers in a random warehouse south of Downtown, pilgrims seeking the synthetic rhapsodies of a post-human transgender deity. There were technical difficulties (It was the first show of the tour, after all.) but no one had a critique. The event recontextualized SOPHIE’s glitchy pop black hole syrupy circuitry into that of a cult. Like Autechre meets Kylie Minogue via Wendy Carlos, the concert was a moment in history.
All this is to say: last Saturday, a week from today, I woke up before 7AM to a text from an east coast friend. “!!!!!!!!! WTF,” they wrote paired with a Pitchfork article with the headline “SOPHIE Has Died.” It didn’t...seem real? This artist – someone so firmly implanted in my mind as infallible, beyond such trivial things like death – was dead. It seemed like a stunt, perhaps a means to promote a new album. Was it real? As more news stories and details emerged, it was clear: SOPHIE was dead. I hadn’t realized we were the same age until this moment. SOPHIE seemed so ageless, simultaneously 17 and 77.
So why is this obituary included in The Trend Report™? Because a part of contemporary music has died. Everyone dies, every death is sad, but SOPHIE’s death is to the queer and electronic scene what The Day The Music Died was to rock, which is compounded by the young adultness, something echoed by the Aaliyahs and Kurt Cobains and Tupacs and Amy Winehouses and Selenas of the world. If you were on the internet at any point last Saturday, you heard about SOPHIE. Even my aunt texted me that SOPHIE died. Eulogies were everywhere – publications like Resident Advisor, Pitchfork, Vulture, Jezebel, The Ringer, i-D, The Nation, Harper’s Bazaar, NPR, Frieze along with public figures like FKA Twigs, Jack Antonoff, Grimes, Phoebe Bridgers, The Blessed Madonna, Vince Staples, Charli XCX, Rihanna, Lorraine James, Shygirl, Arca, Nile Rodgers, Chester Lockheart, all thoughts that vacillate between genuine and trendy – and continue to emerge a week later.
As someone said on Twitter, the past tense does not suit SOPHIE. The best words are the words of the artist: It’s hard. It’s okay to cry. It’s a whole new pretend world. We hope we never said goodbye. But there’s nothing more to say.
If you’re new to SOPHIE, here’s a playlist that starts to scratch at the artist’s reach. A wake/party hosted by Heav3n, the artist’s local LA haunt, is taking place on Valentine’s Day in their honor. If you want to help keep SOPHIE’s name alive, there’s a petition to name a star system after the artist.
28 Days of Black History
This Black History Month effort got a lot of press this week – and for good reason: it’s a newsletter that delivers well written daily looks into Black history. Sign up!
A 28 Day Buddhability Journey
A lot of us are looking for meaning and community right now and, as a way to solve this, I’ve been very Buddhism curious. I’m doing this and, like the Black History Month daily emails, this is a great something to do to open your mind. Ping me if you’re gonna try so we can chat about it!
"a video essay on Midsommar, Gone Girl and Whiteness"
One of the best essays about film and whiteness maybe ever?
You Can Slip On and Take Off Nike's New Sneakers
These shoes went very viral this week and, if you missed it, they’re a sleek hands-free shoe designed with accessibility in mind.
Now Is the Time to Get Involved In Fostering
This story got me very intrigued about helping out with local foster parenting in Los Angeles. I “knew” that so many queer kids needed help – but not that they were so ignored and unwanted.
DJ Marcelle Everything Not Yet
Song of the week! It’s a year old but DJ Marcelle has a new album coming out soon and it should be great. She also has a recent documentary out where she shares some great thoughts on creativity.
“Your love for Lady Dimitrescu is loud and clear.”
If you haven’t been paying attention, the new Resident Evil game features a character who is a striking milk-white woman – and people are getting really excited (Horny.) about her. This week, the game makers fed the fandom and...probably made them hornier.
We’re in the throes of fashion shows debuting, which will continue through New York Fashion Week starting next week. Some European men’s and couture shows have already made their way online and, after reviewing many, here are three top-line thoughts from the best shows.
Go Somewhere: The idea of travel is huge. Clothes to wear while going somewhere, cozy items to slip through a terminal in, ways to wear that travel into the future. While many cannot travel, allusions to the act are aplenty. Louis Vuitton’s men’s presentation was a mesmerizing survey of (New York) city life, from the 1970s to now. With smart bags, zingy coats and jackets, and battle ready forms, Dior’s men presentation continued moving thoughts. Junya Watanbe’s cozy quilt coats, Sterling Ruby’s wisping cloaks, coats, and totes, Prada men’s sleepwalking one-pieces and over-accessorized accessories, Balenciaga’s Middle Space Ages streetwear, and The Row’s big-and-minimal waiting room wear all suggested movement, a going somewhere, a fleeing.
Crafting A Party: Who is going to a party now? No one. Somewhere between the home and the parties taking place in the theatre of imagination are where another group of shows exist. Alexander McQueen’s couture presentation saw classic party dresses hand-dyed and hand-drawn in home kitchens in the hopes of getting you out of such rooms. Area knitted and wove slinky-bulky tinsel rave dresses for when we can get out of our own boxes. Viktor & Rolf went back to party in the 1970s and 1980s, going to punk clubs via grandma’s closet and drapes and blankies. Loewe used drawn-on garments and sewn-together layers to suggest the feeling of a club bathroom. Schiparelli had surrealist bodywear, carpet-to-dress dresses, earrings-to-carpet hybrids, and a gown made bedding ballroom ready. Everyone wants to party – but they aren’t quite ready to expunge themselves from the home just yet.
Anti-Home: If you weren’t imagining a place to go or crafting a party outfit from homewares, you were pretending there was no pandemic, telling people to envision themselves in a near future, to dress up like nothing is wrong. With a name like “Roots of Rebirth” and inspiration from mushrooms, Iris van Herpen could have used this time to dig into her aesthetic to find something subdued and quiet but...nope, her show was an exciting and almost humorous commitment to clothes that are as impractical as they are ostentatious. Valentino mesmerized with metallics and brights that seemed to balloon and balloon with drama, clothing that demands to be seen in-person – and in-person only. Stéphane Rolland’s court-ready dresses took up space, Giambattista Valli’s need to flounce continued to be even flouncier, and Armani Privé’s pretty, pretty pieces suggested floating away and away, far from your problems. Anywhere but home is the mantra.
"this is too powerful"
Reminder to not talk shit about people in other languages.
I’ve seen a lot of “rectangular February” content but I didn’t know that this phenomena was so rare. Enjoy it, people!
"I taught my housemates 'Feel Special'"
Heal the world by teaching straight men how to do K-Pop choreography!
"aerobics class without realizing that the coup was"
This video is incredible and captures the feeling we all have of trying to live your life as history happens. Find the story behind the video here.
I am LOSING MY MIND over this.
"a 33 year old injured bat that still believes he can fly"
Statler the bat is an inspiration. Full video here.
"Lambert from the Alien movie is canonically trans"
Simply incredible – and that the language used and casting is so progressive.
@ the Qanon mom from earlier in the Report™.
"sledding gone wrong"
This video is…...the shit.
And, finally, me to myself every minute of every day.
Next week, we’re talking about…something I haven’t figured out yet!