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TT Vol. 11
Clockwise from Top.
The Spring/Summer 2021 shows in Europe are starting to wrap up. Last week, there was a lot of buzz around the Jacquemus and Prada shows. Jacquemus, the eponymous label started by Simon Jacquemus in 2009, held its show in a wheat field outside of Paris. It was a visually striking presentation, with spectators seated in the wheat field next to the wooden runway. There were a few outlandish pieces (like this one), but mostly classic, elegant silhouettes (Raquel likes this one for her and I like this one for me). We were both especially smitten with a cute plate carry all (see here) that made us daydream about picnicking in the park with friends. It was also an indication that with some creativity (and with a lot fewer buyers - see the bankruptcy post from last week), it’s still possible to have a traditional runway show during the pandemic. The Prada show was the last one with Miuccia Prada in charge (and Prada is one of the few female led houses). She took over the family business in 1978, and has transformed the Prada house into a luxury superpower. So it is somewhat bittersweet that next season, she is passing the baton to Raf Simons (a peripatetic designer who was most recently at Calvin Klein). The show was heavy on black Prada classicism, with some comfortable looking track pants thrown in too as I’m sure Miuccia has been working from home a lot. Raquel liked Look 8 and Look 49 while I gravitated to Look 2 and Look 43.
A while back, we stopped buying kitchen products from Amazon and started buying everything from the food & beverage industry go to webrestaurantstore.com. In a nutshell, webrestaurantstore.com is a digital version of these brick and mortar kitchen supply stores you see on the Bowery. And, you can buy supplies in bulk like 2000 feet of cling wrap. They also have amazing things that are hard to find elsewhere, like sheets of pre-cut parchment paper (I HATE having to rush to try and tear off a piece of parchment paper when I’m baking), pre-cut aluminum foil, and of course, comically large stainless steel bowls (of which we of course own 6) that are great for popcorn or properly mixing salads. We have purchased a number of things before and during the pandemic, with Raquel loving this cutlery holder and me using squeeze bottles for my olive oils like there’s no tomorrow. As someone who cooks a lot at home, and for Raquel, an enthusiastic supporter of my home cooking, we appreciate webrestaurantstore.com for its reasonable prices and streamlined aesthetic. Next purchase: some taco holders (truly an essential purchase, right?).
At some point, we are thinking of taking a trip out to California to see Raquel’s family. We’re still a little worried about flying, which means we would have to rent a car to drive out west. Raquel is additionally worried about staying in hotels. Enter: sleeper van options! We fell in love with Cabana, which rents out vans that are outfitted with a bed, bathroom and small kitchen. They unfortunately only rent out of Seattle currently but are expanding into LA, SF, San Diego and Denver soon. We feel this can be a great, less expensive option for our 14-day quarantine in California before we see relatives (and also mooch off of their driveway). There aren’t a lot of options on the East Coast, but Campervan Rentals is the best option we’ve come across so far in the New York area. The mural exteriors are a little flashy (see here) but we are much more comfortable with renting a van rather than an RV since I don’t want to drive a bus-sized vehicle along the rim of the Grand Canyon.
Whole Foods quietly started updating its private label branding earlier this year. We hadn’t really noticed until recently, as we are only now able to get Prime grocery deliveries here in NYC. They have ditched “365 Everyday Value” in favor of “365 Whole Foods Market” and have cleaned up the graphics, eliminating some of the realism in favor of flat, brightly colored outlined shapes. Raquel and I are sensitive to subtle branding changes (yes, even in our food packaging). This change to a more simplistic logo signals to us that companies are looking to “Marie Kondo” their brands, logos and packaging aesthetics. As kids from the 80’s, branding was to an extent a holistic part of our upbringing in regards to processed food (80’s kids remember these cereals?). Just like anything else, we feel that typeface and design are reflective of our times. With all of the terrible news accumulating this year, brands are seeking clear, comforting and to the point marketing that doesn’t require a lot of fuss. We feel consumer appetite will continue to lean more towards succinct branding, and we go so far to say will be included in our visual vernacular as a recognizable marker for our current era.
Social media has been a curse and a blessing as of late. Raquel has set social media boundaries for herself, but even those are hard to adhere to. Saiyak Rakeeb is a digital wellness advocate who quit social media for a year and now speaks to the ways apps like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter command our attention. With the pandemic, platforms like Instagram have fundamentally pivoted in an important way to become more political, which can also be simultaneously stress inducing and addictive. We like Rakeen because she gives her followers tools to better navigate and mitigate compulsive tendencies that many of us suffer from to some extent. We are of course aware that it’s ironic that she is using her Instagram account to raise awareness about addiction to social media. However, this seems to be an admission on her part that we can’t completely avoid social media in this day and age, and that we need to approach it in the most positive way possible. We have seen a strong aversion and a guilt complex towards social media and influencers in our age group, however it’s normal for younger members of Gen Z, digital natives who grew up with constant internet access, to feel more at home on these platforms. What is interesting about Rakeeb is that she is working to bridge this gap between millennials and Get Z. We also find it fascinating that careers like digital wellness coach can now be considered a new type of influencer.
Why it’s good I only have 60 Twitter followers: last week, thieves broke into Twitter’s system, took over prominent accounts from the likes of Elon Musk, Barack Obama and Bill Gates, posted requests for Bitcoin, and users were stupid enough to send about $100K in untraceable Bitcoin to the hackers.
From the Vanity Fair Archive: A group of LA teenagers started breaking into celebrity homes and stealing jewelry and designer clothes, with the story eventually being made into a not-so-great movie (which we just watched).
Raquel & Chris