“The New Look” Stumbles Over Couture History, and Other News

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Still from “The New Look.” Image courtesy of Apple TV+

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The New Look Stumbles Over Couture History

While watching The New Look, the recently debuted series by Todd Keller, one quickly learns that the atrocities of World War II also played out in Paris’s haute couture fashion houses. The Apple TV+ series focuses largely on Coco Chanel (played by Juliette Binoche) and Christian Dior (Ben Mendelsohn) as rival couture designers who found themselves navigating the same tragic wartime quandary—both fashion designers had family members imprisoned by Nazis—and the hurdles they jumped through to try to get them back while also saving their own houses. 

The show’s title draws from Dior’s debut 1947 collection, which Harper’s Bazaar editor-in-chief Carmel Snow (Glenn Close) famously called the New Look. Though it sparked backlash at the time, the collection ended up revolutionizing women’s fashion and re-established Paris as a nexus of the industry after World War II. In a Time cover story, Dior explained that he wanted to turn women into “flowers with soft shoulders” after long stretches of war with “soldier-women with shoulders like boxers.” The show also doesn’t overlook Coco Chanel’s thorny involvement with the Nazis, the extent of which has been contested by biographers, though some critics took issue with the show treating such weighty subject matter with “kid gloves”—and portraying couture struggles as “more debilitating” than the atrocities faced by European Jews. —Ryan Waddoups

Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine by Weiss/Manfredi. Photography by Albert Večerka/Esto

Weiss/Manfredi receives the 37th Louis I. Kahn Award for contributions to architecture.

Weiss/Manfredi has received the 37th Louis I. Kahn Award by DesignPhiladelphia. Founded by Marion Weiss and Michael Manfredi, the firm is celebrated for its diverse portfolio spanning cultural institutions and urban landscapes, all rooted in contextual awareness, sustainability, and human-centric design principles. Renowned projects include the Brooklyn Botanic Garden Visitor Center, the Singh Center for Nanotechnology at the University of Pennsylvania, and Hunter’s Point South Waterfront Park in New York. The Louis I. Kahn Award, established to commemorate the architect’s legacy, recognizes both outstanding architectural achievements and supports design education initiatives.

The French agency contracted to help the Royal Commission for AlUla is under audit.

Afalula, the French agency tasked with transforming Saudi Arabia’s AlUla region into an arts destination, is under internal audit following the arrest of Amr al-Madani, the former CEO of the Royal Commission for AlUla, on charges of abuse of authority and money laundering. Jean-Yves Le Drian, the former French foreign minister now leading Afalula, initiated the audit around the same time as Saudi Arabia’s investigation into al-Madani. Despite the controversy, Afalula’s budget doubled to $65 million in 2023 as part of a ten-year agreement between France and Saudi Arabia to consult on cultural projects in AlUla, aligning with Crown Prince Mohammed Ben Salman’s Vision 2030 plan to develop 200 cultural attractions in the region by 2030.

Still from “Dahomey” by Mati Diop. Image courtesy Les Films du Bal—Fanta Sy

Mati Diop wins big at the Berlin Film Festival for her film about looted Benin artifacts.

French-Senegale director Mati Diop has made history by winning the Golden Bear at the 2024 Berlin International Film Festival for her documentary Dahomey, becoming the first Black director to achieve the honor. The film explores the return of 26 artifacts to the Republic of Benin, shedding light on colonial plundering by French forces in 1892 and sparking conversations about repatriation amid pressure on European museums. Narrated from the perspective of a looted artifact and King Ghezo of Dahomey, the documentary captures the artifacts’ journey from Paris to Benin and the celebrations upon their return. 

Plans for Hudson Yards Phase Two may involve building a new Wynn Resorts casino.

Related Companies and Wynn Resorts have proposed a mixed-use casino complex for New York’s Hudson Yards, filing plans with the city’s Department of City Planning. The site, west of The Vessel and currently occupied by the West Side Yard, would expand the Hudson Yards development towards the Hudson River, bordered by the High Line. The plans include two scenarios: one featuring three towers with residential, office, and retail spaces alongside a hotel and casino, and another alternative scenario replacing the casino with additional office and residential towers. Construction for either plan is estimated to take five years, with completion projected for 2030 at a cost of $12 billion.

Adidas initiates another sale of leftover Yeezy sneakers following its breakup with Ye.

Adidas has initiated a third sale of Yeezy sneakers following the termination of its partnership with Ye, previously known as Kanye West. The company, which cut ties with the rapper in Oct. 2022 due to his antisemitic remarks, will accompany the sales with donations to organizations combating antisemitism and other forms of hatred. With $1.3 billion worth of unsold shoes, Adidas aims to responsibly manage the remaining Yeezy inventory throughout the year.

Furniture by Disney Home. Image courtesy of Disney Home

Today’s attractive distractions:

Creating grown-up Disney superfans may have been the corporation’s plan all along.

After laying off 90 percent of its staff, the disruptive mission of Thinx might be dead

AT&T reimburses customers a measly $5 after last week’s massive network outage.

Grimes declares that Google’s Gemini is the decade’s “most impactful art project.”

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