The hills of California are known for their showy displays of wildflowers that appear every Spring with a Fantasia-like abundance. Acres and acres of vivid color blankets the landscape in a manner that defies belief. And much like any natural phenomena today, where there is beauty, there is chaos: masses of people bent on capturing that moment also appear (and ironically often destroy it in the process.) However, a new movement to solve this may just be afoot. Imagine gorgeous displays in nature, created by man. Bruce Munro, an artist, has done just that. In a Christo-like move, he has blanketed acres of land in Paso Robles with thousands of solar powered colored lights, offering a feast for the senses. Originally slated as a temporary exhibit, the “Field of Light at Sensorio” is now on tap to become permanent. We predict cities and countries around the world will soon follow suit with their own technology fueled nature sites.
You know the old saying, when coronavirus gives you too much dragon fruit, make pink bread… Wait – you don’t? Whoa!! Ok. So, a little back story. There is currently a glut of dragon fruit in Vietnam, due to the recent iron clad trade restrictions on produce exports into China. Vietnamese customers could only consume so much of the delicacy raw. But one local bakery chain, ABC Bakery, had a hunch that they could transform this problem into an Instagram-able opportunity. With a bit of fancy baking footwork, that dragon fruit excess has become beautiful loaves of highly photographic pink bread. The folks at ABC are supposedly churning out up to 20,000 loaves a day, forcing cashiers there to impose a 5 loaf a day limit to their customers.
Heloise Letissier (better known by her nom de plume, Christine and the Queens) has always been one of our favorite fashion icons of the music world, and her latest offering kicks that status up a BIG notch. Alongside her new EP “La Vita Nuova” is a an accompanying 13-minute short film, (think Michael Jackson on steroids), directed by Colin Solal Cardo, and shot in and around Paris’s historic Palais Garnier.
Here, we get to see her as a triple threat: amazing vocals, astonishing dancing, and brilliant fashion. According to her stylist, “She wanted to have this dandy-ish look, but with bright colors, something fresh and playing with that line between masculinity and femininity. A little bit of Bowie, a little bit of John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever. We were also looking at a lot of Bob Fosse movies, those ’70s shapes and that sense of movement.” The music, and the movie take us to emotional vistas we have never visited before but are sure to again. Your welcome.
Can’t Buy Me Love?
Swiping culture has gotten so bad that singletons are beginning to abandon the process entirely; it all seems like one big phishing scam. Well, Hinge, the app that calls itself ‘the dating app designed to be deleted,’ is doing something about it. They have launched a promotion rewarding users who are willing to take it to the next level: getting off your phone entirely.
For 2020’s National Day of Unplugging (yes, apparently this is a thing) on March 6, the dating app will actually pay users $100 to get off their phone — with a few caveats. There are forms to fill out, and fellow users to confirm the date happened, (and a $25,000 cap on the hundos being handed out) but still – it’s a pretty strong incentive for taking the plunge. After all, there are a lot of ways to get lucky ;).
Can I Get Fries with That?
Brand collabs can be funny, ironic or just plain gorgeous. The successful ones tap into a deep sense of emotion (love marks), often based on nostalgia. Released in 1988, Eddie Murphy’s Coming to America was a massively important movie at the time, showcasing the struggle of immigrants in America (despite its humor). Tying in with the movie’s planned sequel later this year, Nike is set to release its latest iteration of the Blazer Mid. Sporting those fresh McDowell color’s, the shoe hits the nostalgic mark while making a more subtle reference to the immigrant challenges of today. We are just waiting on the bow-tie merch.
A Tale of Two Queens
Women in power is obviously still an uncomfortable premise, both in the corporate and the political world. Despite years of rallying and pushing for change, we seem to be no closer to gaining a foothold for women to make policy (well, besides Selina Meyer, obvi). In an interesting juxtaposition, two documentaries focused on exactly that have been released mere months apart. One tells the story of a villain reborn as a beloved public servant, and one speaks of a devoted public servant recast as a villain.
First up, Lauren Ellenberger, the wildly talented documentarian who brought us “The Queen of Versailles” captures the corruption and charisma of Imelda Marcos in all her bejeweled glory, weaving a tale of sinister acts and sartorial chicanery that simply mesmerizes. Ellenberger is an expert in visual storytelling, and “The Kingmaker”is no exception.
In Hillary, a new four-part documentary that will air on Hulu, director Nannette Burstein posits the story of Clinton’s career as a fable of the feminist journey of these past few decades. Mercilessly pummeled by the expectations of – and fears about – the new ‘breed’ of power women beginning to emerge around the Millennium, Clinton found in the end she could please no one, possibly not even herself. Both films are smart, compelling and thoughtful – worth a watch!
You Oughtta Know
Alanis Morrisette might have screamed it, but today’s kids are far more likely to text their personal struggles. In a sharply rising trend of medfled, people 35 and under are showing a marked disdain for the opinions of their doctors and turning instead to friends and family – both IRL and online. Reddit – long a source for the last word by scores of young people, has taken notice and has launched a partnership with the Crisis Text Line. Users can reach out free of charge, 24/7, and ask for help for themselves or a friend. A live counselor will be available for help and assistance, as long as is needed. Thoughtful, smart and timely as mental health becomes a topic young people are increasingly aware of, and worried about.
So often, we describe geographically connected members of local animals and plants with a dry, almost Medieval phrase: flora and fauna. One artist has taken this crispy trope and woven it into beautifully and incredibly pleasing works of art that simply delight – let us leave you with a smile… (and cue Joe Crocker, please…)