Adele ‘21’ Review, United Nude Shoe and More Culture Picks
Each week, The Daily Beast sifts through the cultural landscape to choose three top picks. This week, Adele makes listeners swoon, art is found in soap suds and a temple for books, and gossip threatens to overtake Paris Fashion Week. Dive in.
As her excellent new album 21 sits pretty on the Billboard albums chart for the second week in a row, Adele and her powerful pipes are taking the nation by storm. She’s got a retro, bluesy, addictive sound—and is also ushering in a new wave of stardom. After a decade of domination by Britney Spears and her ilk, one celebrity stylist tells Jacob Bernstein, “Five pretty girls in mini-skirts are not going to sell a record anymore.” The reign of the conventional pop princess appears to be over, with starlets that embody conventional ideals of beauty throwing on ever more extreme outfits. Everyone’s scrambling to get noticed, but talent appears to be rising to the top. Will it last?
What do an amazing sculptural shoe, an Oval Reading Room, an artist ladling soup to patrons, and a sudsy car wash have in common? They were all chosen as Daily Pics during the week on Art Beast, The Daily Beast’s section devoted to art, photography, and design. Every day, Blake Gopnik chooses a Pic that’s fascinating and unexpected—and makes you consider the art that’s created in your own life. Take a peek here, then try getting your car washed without comparing the colorful bubbles to modern art. Go on, try it.
It was a constant chatter of “he said, she said, they said” on the runways this week. Typically, lesser-known designers don't get much attention in Paris during runway season, with venerable labels such as Chanel and Louis Vuitton taking up most of the available oxygen. What remains generally goes to people such as Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garcons, Junya Watanabe or, perhaps, Rick Owens—iconoclastic designers who hew to their own eccentric vision and, every so often, change the fashion conversation. But this narrative’s been hijacked by John Galliano’s dismissal and the supposed meltdown of Balmain’s Christophe Decarnin, both of which events cast a dark shadow on the proceedings. Robin Givhan says we should take back the runways, and focus on the unique, confounding, delightful work being shown instead of exhausting gossip.