TT Vol. 102
Beyoncé, Prada SS23, Amazon Go & Louis Vuitton SS23
Clockwise from Top.
Break My Soul
Not to be outdone by Drake (which we talked about here), Beyoncé released a track called Break My Soul from her forthcoming album Renaissance.
British Vogue EIC Edward Enninful was one of the first people to hear the album, describing it as so:
Instantly, a wall of sound hits me. Soaring vocals and fierce beats combine and in a split second I’m transported back to the clubs of my youth. I want to get up and start throwing moves. It’s music I love to my core. Music that makes you rise, that turns your mind to cultures and subcultures, to our people past and present, music that will unite so many on the dance floor, music that touches your soul. As ever with Beyoncé, it is all about the intent. I sit back, after the wave, absorbing it all.
Perhaps in response to the Drake album release last week, Break My Soul hit the streaming services earlier this week. It’s more of a real club song, in comparison to the Drake album which was really more of a “sit down, nod along” type of work.
We squeezed in a few plays of Break My Soul in the car, on the way to the mall, in between work calls. Very 2022. And perhaps apropos of the world we are in right now, it has become the anti-capitalist anthem of the Summer. Everyone is overworked and tired and sick of work creeping into personal life, to which shesays “release ya job, release the time, release ya trade, release the stress.”
And yes, there were people talking about the song on social media:
We talk more about the song on this week’s podcast!
In Milan, Raf and Muccia showed their SS23 Menswear collection. Lots of black suiting, and surprisingly, leather and gingham lab coats.
Most talked about were the cowboy boots that were on the runway! And we were particularly taken by this Mondrian-esque knit top:
You can see the full collection here on YT.
As e-commerce shopping ebbs, returning to it’s pre-pandemic trajectory, old school in-person shopping is making a comeback.
Amazon has started to aggressively roll out “Just Walk Out” Go stores on the West Coast. Go stores include Just Walk Out tech like cameras and sensors that track customers in the store, and automatically charge the shoppers when they leave with their items. No need to wait on line to check out with a cashier, and fumble around for a credit card to pay.
In exchange for the convenience, you do need to scan your phone as you enter the store. I have to image Amazon is working on a facial recognition system that would allow for an even more seamless check-in process.
The Go stores are all bodega sized, and very neatly organized. They are not jam packed the way a 7-11 might be - likely a concession that cameras need to recognize each item being grabbed by customers.
Perhaps the most important consideration - the quality - I came away impressed. I grabbed some decent breakfast and a coffee, and got on with my day. And most impressively, Amazon accurately tracked what I left the store with, sending me a receipt as I walked through the door.
This video on YT shows what the process looks like from the customer perspective. It may be only a matter of time before this starts to replace Whole Foods cashiers, and becomes a service other retailers can purchase to keep labor costs down.
Virgil’s Last Show
At the Louvre, Louis Vuitton showed its Men’s SS23 collection. While former creative director Virgil Abloh passed away suddenly in November, the very long production schedules in fashion means that this collection was still his designs, and in a way was a final capstone to his career.
Like Prada, we felt there was a shout out to a modernist, this time Gustav Klimt; maybe it was all of the yellow?
And perhaps it’s because we have been listening to too much Beyoncé, but the paper plane outfits somehow remind of unruly school children, apt to grow up and defy their bosses.
More shows to come next week!
Samuel Hines’ Show Notes on Pitti.
A WSJ profile of art world rising star Anna Weyant.
China is testing a thorium-fueled nuclear reactor.
This article about the USC Medical School dean is bonkers.
Chris & Raquel
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Well, technically Big Freedia has this verse.