Object Lessons: Semiotics of Robot Fashion Edition

Nobody has ever confused me for a Bitcoin bull– the ever-increasing energy consumption of transactions and non-fiatness of the currency has always had me wary. But even supporters, and especially new speculators, should keep in mind that the Bitcoin market is unregulated, shallow, and can be heavily influenced by a handful of investors.

What happened to the legacy premium fashion brands? I bought a Tommy Hilfiger sheath dress a decade ago, wear it weekly, and it still looks brand new! I wonder if clothes from the current class of premium brands– Everlane, Cuyana, DSTLD– will have the same longevity? I expect this new wave of brands will cut quality to lower production costs, particularly during the next recession (thereafter losing their hardcore followers). Everlane’s clothing has rapidly declined in quality over the past few years as they’ve expanded. Maybe that’s just the lifecycle of a premium brand.

When people tell me robots will take all our jobs, I read stuff like this bot-generated Harry Potter chapter and feel a lot more secure.

Speaking of robots, Racked explores how we design and dress female androids reflects whether we’re building artificial intelligence or artificial subservience. (Hint: it’s the latter).

Crinolines: an agent for asserting feminine sexual authority and busting class barriers. Who knew? “Crinoline-clad women, in the reactionary cartoonist’s imagination, crushed men beneath their expanding skirts or caged them within steel frames.” Which kind of reminds me of the women crushing things under their heels trend from the past few years.

In case you haven’t noticed, reality is collapsing into a cheap supermarket tabloid: This article from the NY Times on a secret government U.F.O. research program is the best too-bizarre-to-be-fake news this country needs.

I ❤ Kristen Wiig:

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Object Lessons: Can You Buy Love? Edition

Can you appropriate your own culture? As a mixed-race person I feel this ALL. THE. TIME. It’s weird being in a place where I don’t feel like I can express either side of my ethnic heritage without “faking” it. At the same time, I’m not sure I entirely fit into American culture either.

Revanche thinks this guy’s ongoing gig– pretending to be the father of a young lady at the behest of her mother— is kind of horrifying. And I completely agree! Also, if you’re supposed to be stealthily pretending to be another person, why have your face and real name published in a major publication?

Clearly, this explicit pay-money-for-emotional-labor thing is not just a quirk of Japanese culture though. See, e.g. this American lifestyle hacker, who is offering $10k for someone to set him up with a long-term girlfriend.

Racked did a special series on free swag in the beauty and fashion industry. It has really made me rethink how much vlog/blog-based marketing has manipulated my fashion tastes over the years (here’s looking at you Everlane).

This quote from Sheryl Sandberg in her When to Jump interview has given me a lot to chew over: “One of the most important times I see people not jump when they should is about changing either industries or functions. […] There are so many times I’ve seen people not make that jump because they’re afraid they’re– and I’m doing this in air quotes, you can’t see me but— ‘move backward.’ […] If you can financially afford it, and you’re going to work the next, I don’t know, thirty years… who cares about going down?”

I tend toward simple basics for most of my wardrobe but I am crushing hardcore on this phoenix print dress from Relax Baby Be Cool (sold at Bomb Petite).

Me explaining my creative ideas to friends: