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

The apocalypse, clowns and cows: an art critic on the autumn fashion campaigns
t’s advertising, Jim, but not as we know it. The layers of irony and cultural quotation that are the norm in fashion campaigns are so sophisticated they seem to come from another planet, far beyond mere materialism or glamour – and this autumn/winter campaign images are more bizarrely inventive than ever. Yet there is something uneasy and apocalyptic going on beyond the cleverness. In a world that has lost contact with what it thought it was, the art of high fashion may be peculiarly good at defining our numbed and astounded age.

via: The Guardian

What You Need to Know Before Starting Your Own Fashion Label
How do you set yourself up for a chance of commercial success after you graduate from fashion school? You might've learnt all the technical aspects of design, might have honed your creative vision, but no matter how big a fish you think you are, you're in a small pool filled with sharks.

via: i-D

Nick Knight: “I commit with my heart and soul”
I express my life through my photography. I use it as a way of following my desires. I’m interested in lots of things and photography has allowed me to walk up to anybody and say, “Hi, can I take your photograph?” and therefore, “Can I become part of your life,” or “Can you become part of my life?” Photography has gotten me everywhere from photographing the last closure of the last coal mine in Britain to photographing the Queen of England. It allows you to go from the middle of a bar fight to the corridors of Buckingham Palace. I used to borrow the family camera back in the seventies, and I’d take it out with me on a Saturday night.

via: The Talks

Visvim's Evolution
Like most brands, Visvim, the cult Japanese label created and designed by Hiroki Nakamura, has its Parisian showroom in the Marais. As it happened, the windows of the apartment I rented during this past men’s fashion week looked directly at its entrance. Each morning, as I buttered my baguette, I watched Visvim’s team hook up a huge Japanese paper lantern besides the showroom’s entrance, the only signage it offered. The semiotic message was two-fold – it indicated Visvim’s unabashed Japanese roots and also served as a kind of a secret handshake. You only got it if you knew about it.

via: StyleZeigeist

Menswhere?
Perhaps that’s why, for so long, so many have been tied up in what precisely a man or a woman may wear. The bible lays it out plain and simple in Deuteronomy 22:5: “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God.” In the 18th century, Louis XIV not only decreed what men and women had to wear and when, but who was allowed to make their clothes. He incorporated Parisian guilds that specified that women had to make clothes for other women, bar riding habits and corsets, which had to be made by men. Likewise in London, tradition dictated that men would tailor for other gentlemen; women were diminished, either working as or dressed by mere dressmakers. These gender lines allowed no room for blurring.

via: 10

Where Are All the Asian Men in Fashion?
Earlier this year on 2 March, Pakistani-British actor (a potential candidate to take the role of James Bond after Daniel Craig) Riz Ahmed delivered Channel 4’s annual diversity lecture in parliament. In it he warned that the failure of TV, as well as wider pop culture, to champion diversity is alienating young people in the UK and leading to divisions in society. “People are looking for the message that they belong, that they are part of something, that they are seen and heard and that despite, or perhaps because of, their experience, they are valued, Ahmed said. They want to feel represented.”

via: British GQ

Maestros of the Concert Merchandise Movement
Welcome to the world of elevated concert merch: special collections linked to specific cultural events, limited in availability, and one of the newest and fastest-growing subsectors in the fashion world. From the first half of 2014 to the first half of 2017, the amount of tour-related products sold online increased by 720 percent, according to Edited, a company that tracks analytics at more than 90,000 brands and retailers.

via: The New York Times

How Bots Bested the $1 Billion Sneaker Industry
Last year, the U.S. athletic footwear industry generated $17.5 billion, according to the NDP Group, and its resale industry is estimated to be worth $1 billion. But what once resulted in days-long lines at local malls has today emerged as a global, internet competition for these coveted shoes, with thousands sitting at their computers and phones, often equipped with several bots. These controversial computer programs quickly perform constant iterations of tasks, from adding limited-release items to a cart to entering credit card information, thus bypassing slower, human customers and frustrating shoe sellers hoping to sell their products to real consumers. Once bot owners have completed their orders, they promptly resell the new shoes at a much higher price.

via: Forbes

You Can't Shop Here
"My clothing has always been a conversation piece, the thirty-year-old Brandon Coates told me. When we met in Union Square one chilly March evening, I could immediately see why: Coates arrived in a dark denim jumpsuit, black felt fedora, and a pair of diamond stud earrings big enough to sparkle noticeably under Panera's fluorescent lights. It would be a striking look on anyone, but Coates is a member of a group most fashion brands dismiss as uninterested in or unworthy of style: plus-size men."

via: Esquire

U.S. Independent Stores Stage a Comeback
Ask any Hamptons regular where they shop for fashion on “the Island” and it’s likely that Hirshleifers, which sells everything from Chanel to Off-White, will be their first answer. A decade ago, the 107-year-old specialty retailer, a little over an hour’s drive from New York City in good traffic, was better known for outfitting mothers of the bride. Now, followers of Saint Laurent and Sacai beat a path to its door.

via: Business of Fashion

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