Author archives

  • May 16, 2014 • Music

    “Problematic” Has Become Problematic

    Last week, my friends and I were discussing Internet lingo. I noted that every time I try to use a term ironically, it slips inevitably into my daily vocabulary, usually lasting as a fixture in my speech for a maximum of three weeks....

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  • May 8, 2014 • Music

    Art-Pop before ‘Art Pop’

    Lady Gaga has embarked on her fourth concert tour, the Artrave. The concert is yet another expansion of her Artpop project. As usual, in the tradition of other Lady Gaga events, the social media frenzy surrounding her creative endeavors...

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  • May 1, 2014 • Music

    ATTN: Lily Allen & Warpaint — You Are Snobs

    I do not like Lily Allen.  But hopefully, this isn’t just about me. The reasons why I dislike Lily Allen should, I hope, reflect some broader concerns about pop music and culture. My current sentiments towards Allen are recent ones. I...

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  • April 25, 2014 • Fashion

    Sculpture, African Fashion, and the Case of the Fashion Colonialist

    Fashion looks upon the world outside the West through an often problematic lens. Specifically, fashion’s relation to Africa has been an odd one. It’s connected to the interworkings of politics, ideology, and economics. And as Europe...

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  • April 17, 2014 • Fashion

    The Right to Photoshop

      A few days ago, I was reminded of Marcel Duchamp’s famous Belle haleine: Eau de voilette from 1921, a readymade artwork whose title translates to Beautiful Breath: Veil Water. The work is an emptied bottle of perfume within a...

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  • April 11, 2014 • Fashion

    Lost in Translation: Grunge and Resistance to Fashion

    Reflecting on the “overwhelming failure” of last year’s Met Gala on punk culture, Sasha Frere-Jones of the New Yorker claimed that “there is no axis along which the exhibit functions properly.” He continues: The basic concept...

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  • April 8, 2014 • Fashion

    Killing Originality: Between Foucault and Balenciaga

    Many writers and cultural figures have cast a cynical eye on the mythos of originality. A particular favorite meditation of mine comes from essayist Fran Leibowitz: “Original thought is like original sin: both happened before you were...

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  • April 3, 2014 • Fashion

    Against “Personal Style”

    I must have been in middle school when I first heard the saying, “Fashion fades, style is eternal.” It has been attributed to both Yves Saint Laurent and Coco Chanel, both of whom were formative in my early introduction to fashion. If...

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  • March 28, 2014 • Beauty, Culture

    Buzzcut Season in North Korea

    If you were refreshing Twitter endlessly over the past few days, you probably saw a few headlines about mandated haircuts for men in North Korea. The reports indicated that Kim Jong Un’s haircut would become the de jure style for all men...

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  • March 26, 2014 • Culture

    Kimye, Vogue, and Creative Gravitas

    Kimye’s recent Vogue cover got me thinking. Specifically, I’ve been thinking about the culture of images that  has proven its influence by the reaction caused among fashion’s closest Internet followers. Where many have written about...

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