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It’s Friday, and it’s time for dressed.so’s second installment of the State of the Internet! We’ll bring you reading material every two weeks that discusses fashion’s impact on culture, society, Kanye West gossip, and your wallet. I’m Celine, and I’ll be your guide to the rest of the fashion internet.
This week, we have: Adidas branding, past (Run-D.M.C!) and present; art-world ventures into fashion; Modcloth layoff gossip; and what makes a fashion item cool or uncool.
+ Super black is the new black—The Independent reports that R&D scientists at a British company have made a fabric out of carbon nanotubes that absorbs more visual light than any other substance in existence. The ultimate black. You can’t even see the contours or drapes it makes! Personally, I’m excited for the next generation of materials science x fashion designers. #steam
+ Maison Martin Margiela is famous for its philosophy of anonymity, which has defined the brand’s marketing (or lack thereof), press interactions, and aesthetic for 25 years. So Suzy Menkes’s unmasking of the man behind the collections is a huge move. Business of Fashion discusses anonymity for MMM and strategic anonymity for fashion brands in an Instagram age. Fascinating commentary on how anonymity plays into impressions of luxury. (If you want to learn more about MMM, here is the definitive guide on the brand’s history.)
+ Fans of drapey clothing, this one’s for you: The Cutting Class has a thorough article on the technique of draping clothing, and I guarantee you’ll come out of it more informed and able to discuss the socioeconomic implications of Helmut Lang’s kinetic fabric at your next wine tasting. Or, uh, just know more about how beautiful clothes are crafted.
+ Hip-hop, Hypebeast style, and sneakerhead culture wouldn’t be where it is today without the influence of Run-D.M.C. and their hit track “My Adidas”. Business of Fashion charts the beginning of sneaker hype and its effect on the fashion world.
+ NPR has a fantastic historical-fashion piece on how African Americans would use turbans to confound color lines and circumvent discrimination—by presenting themselves as something other than black or white, and therefore slide around Jim Crow discrimination. It’s an intriguing reminder of the power of fashion to transcend ethnicity and class.
Some did it just to get by in a racist society, some to make a political statement, and others to gain access to fame and money they wouldn’t have otherwise had.
+ Notable performance artist Marina Abramović made a…short film? ad? commercialized short film? sellout piece?! with Adidas. Hyperallergic reports on this curious branded collaboration piece, featuring Adidas shoes and Abramović’s signature apron-coats.
+ Fast Company’s design blog investigates the behavioral science behind what makes things cool or not cool. For people alternately amused and befuddled by how the fashion world picks up, hypes up, and promptly discards different trends, this is a great and insightful read. One-sentence recap courtesy of marketing scholar Caleb Warren:
Being cool requires a very delicate balance of doing something that shows that you go your own way and do your own thing, but you do it in a way that is socially desirable or at least acceptable.
To be cool is to be counterculture, but not too counterculture.
+ The past two weeks in progressive model representation: Nordstrom is now featuring models with disabilities in their fall catalogue. It’s pretty cool to see high fashion shot to a segment of the population typically underrepresented in the media.
+ We’ve got Vaunte for women and Grailed for men—but many fashion enthusiasts still swear by eBay for designer fashion finds. Business of Fashion talks about the fashion world’s love for eBay and unexpected deals.
+ Twee-fashion favorite Modcloth (for the few who don’t know what this is—incredibly popular womenswear online retailer for girls who like owl prints) laid off around 70 employees. As Valley Wag notes, that’s almost 15% of their staff. Worrying? Maybe. Rumor has it that this may be why bloggers like Orchid Grey and Calivintage have announced their leave from Modcloth (many stylistically-compatible bloggers were hired by Modcloth as content writers).
+ Into Mind features blogger Caroline (of Unfancy) and her fascinating and well-documented approach to capsule wardrobes. She builds a 37-piece capsule wardrobe for 4 seasons a year, and posts outfits only from that capsule collection. For ladies and gentlemen fascinated by the French Wardrobe and related concepts, this is an incredible read.
+ Refinery29’s excellent two-for-one piece lists 20 womenswear summer trends making their way around brands from Balenciaga to Zara, along with 3 products at 3 price points. Happy to see they’ve featured VPL insertion bras (my longtime affordable-luxe pseudo-sportswear love! wow, that was a mouthful) as an option for sporty bralets. Other featured trends: patterned bombers! bauhaus necklaces! block heels!
+ Gearbottle is calling it—men’s fashion is having a beige moment. They investigate brands from Rag & Bone to KITH, and how the trend is being carried over to 2015 collections.
Thanks for reading! We deeply appreciate that, out of all the distractions on the internet, you choose to spend your hard-earned leisure time with dressed.so.
Intro Photo via Creative Commons
Chat with me in the comments—do you follow a capsule wardrobe scheme? What trends do you love, dislike, and want to see your worst enemies wear? Are you forever convinced that black will always be the new black (and not beige or superblack)?