Weekend Reading is a weekly rundown of our favorite stories from around the web.

A lesson in Avant-Gardism by Olivier Zahm
We're just a few weeks away from the opening of the Venice Biennale, where Xavier Veilhan will design the French pavilion. More than a personal achievement for Xavier, it's another signifier that a generation of artists who emerged in the 90s have reached maturity. In 2015, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster had her own retrospective exhibition at the prestigious Centre Pompidou. Two years earlier, two of the greatest Parisian institutions opened their doors to two great artists: Pierre Huyghe at the Centre Pompidou, and Philippe Parreno at the Palais de Tokyo. For a change it was not just about forums or theories, but about a state of mind and a band of individuals who had decided it was still possible to live differently -- even in the ruins of post-modernism. With this group of French artists, there was no such thing as the solitary artist working solo, tucked away from the world. Gallery owners, curators, critics and publishers, everyone would write together, create together, sleep together and invent new ways to make art collide with life.

via: i-D

Why J. Crew's Vision Of Preppy America Failed
In 2012, Meghan O’Neill, a writer and comedian, started an online video-collage series called 'J. Crew Crew.' Each video was made entirely with images taken from the J. Crew catalogue and followed the J. Crew Crew as it voyaged into a world of surreal intrigue and mystery. In one episode, a willowy detective in a tweed jacket and Ray-Bans travelled to an island wedding, where she attempted to solve a murder with the help of two child ghosts (girls dressed in J. Crew’s kids line, Crewcuts); in another, a woman in a white linen shirt was abducted into a cult in which everyone wears jewel-toned special-occasion dresses. 'J. Crew Crew' made fun of the bizarre alternative reality conjured by J. Crew’s catalogues, in which children and adults dressed exactly alike, Jackie O. and Helena Bonham Carter had combined their closets, and faux-quirky mean girls shared an unlikely, touchy-feely bonhomie. It was funny because it acknowledged how attractive that reality could be.

via: The New Yorker

Breakfast with W. David Marx
'Places like this—they’re never going to build a new cafe with these chairs and these tables.' I am sitting across from the author W. David Marx at a quiet restaurant just a 10-minute walk from Shibuya’s famous scramble crossing, the intersection that has come to represent, for so many tourists, Tokyo in all its bustling futurity. I asked Marx to pick a spot for us to meet that I would never have gone to otherwise. The place he chose, Aoyama Ichibankan, fits the bill. The decor is vaguely Art Nouveau, the interior dark brown wood and matching leather.

via: SSENSE

‘Outstanding’: Inside Gucci’s ascent to record-breaking growth
Kering, Gucci’s parent company, reported that in the first quarter of 2017, the brand saw a revenue increase of 48.3 percent, or $1.44 billion, in organic sales — its highest increase in 20 years, calling the growth “outstanding.” This comes after several consecutive quarters of mounting sales under the tutelage of Alessandro Michele, who has been hailed an artistic visionary since joining Gucci in January 2015. In 2016, Gucci’s year-over-year comparable revenue increased by 12.7 percent, with a rise of 21.4 percent in the fourth quarter alone.

via: Glossy

From The Issue: Ander Christian Madsen Talks To Haider Ackermann
Whenever you go backstage after one of Haider Ackermann’s shows – men’s or women’s – you can be sure of one thing: he will give you an elusive declaration on the state of the world, the material one or possibly his own.I suspect he likes the interpretation game or maybe his distinct aesthetics simply move so slowly and confidently the motives often remain the same. He’s an old soul with old-fashioned principles, and this social media-fuelled fashion landscape isn’t the easiest territory for a designer like him to navigate. 'The only obligation you have is trying to make beautiful clothes. It’s the only thing you’ve got to say,' he once told me on the subject.

via: 10 Magazine

Alexander Fury on the Genius of Rei Kawakubo for Comme des Garçons
Mirrors have returned to Comme des Garçons; but the powerful sentiment behind that action underlines the work of Kawakubo, now 74 years old, and still rebelling. Rei is the ultimate nonconformist. Notions of silhouette, of fit, of colour and construction, of value and display of wealth - all have been exploded by her, over three decades of relentless experimentation. Today, the label Comme des Garçons is synonymous with an affront to the status quo, with fashion that fights against itself, with an impulse to question and a refusal to adhere to any preconceived rules. It is an approach that continues to inspire generations of designers - a resolute refusal to compromise.

via: 10 Magazine

The State of the Trend: Are Trends Dead, or Are They Just Being Recycled in an Endless Loop?
If fashion trends are meant to be a sign of the times—from Millennial pink to athleisure at the workplace—then the state of the trend itself can also be an indicator of the ebb and flow of culture. And as the fashion industry matures in the digital age, trends are not only coming and going at different rates, (is merch really dead?), but also emerging from new and varied sources. Every day it seems there's a new trend to know about, so much that it can be hard to keep up.

via: W Magazine

Edward Enninful’s Unlikely Journey, From Ghana to Hanover Square
A rarity in a business like fashion, where fairy-tale transports are most often town cars, the story of Edward Enninful, recently named the next editor of British Vogue, began on the London tube. Born in Ghana and raised in Ladbroke Grove, an unglamorous neighborhood in west London, Mr. Enninful was discovered in 1989 on the Hammersmith and City Line by the fashion stylist Simon Foxton.

via: The New York Times

First Lady of Fashion
Kawakubo’s international label Comme des Garçons, formed in Tokyo in 1973, is notably famous for setting the monochromatic style and changing the face of fashion in the early 80s. With 'as never seen before' silhouettes – shapeless shapes for her simplistic tent-like shrouds poised in black austerity, her clothes are never about accentuating or revealing the body, but allowing the wearer to be who they are.

via: Dazed Digital

Brands Are a Lot More Responsible for Terrible Factory Conditions Than They Want You to Think
Jenny D. moved to California in 2012 on a tourist visa, intending to take a job as a domestic worker. Her employer, who brought her from Malaysia, promised to pay her $1,000 a month. Instead, Jenny (whose name has been changed because of her immigration status) was made to clean both her employer’s home and office and received $200 every 35 to 38 days. Frustrated with these conditions, she ran away to Los Angeles.

via: Racked

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