from the world's big
A Post-Vogue Fashion World?
Harriet Mays Powell is fashion director at New York Magazine and a former editor at Tatler. Her work has also appeared in Glamour and Elle magazines.
Question: Is there a future for high-end, alternative fashion magazines?
Harriet Mays Powell: Do I think they are going to be successful? No. I don’t. I think in this economy, and the survival of print journalism holding on, only the strongest will survive, and I’m afraid that these peripheral publications just don’t have the support of the advertising community, they don’ t have the circulation to be able to withstand the kind of pressures that are going on now in print journalism. Do I think they add something? Yes, I do. I think that they add a non-mainstream point of view. I think they’re freedom to be as aggressive and shocking [in a way] that some of the more mainstream fashion publications cannot do given their size, given their readership. They just aren’t permitted to have that kind of aggressive artistic point of view. Yeah, I think it’s great. In an ideal world it would be marvelous if everyone could exist and hold on and we could have choice and point of view from all areas in journalism, particularly in its conversation about fashion. But I don’t feel that they are going to be able to really survive. But Conde Nast, the great Conde Nast publishing empire has indeed launched Love in the United Kingdom, and that is, again, Katie Grand is the Editor-in-Chief and that comes from that world of niche, slightly alternative fashion publication with a point of view. So, it will be interesting to see even with the large support of Connie Nash behind it how that will survive. You know, I have my fingers crossed, but I have my doubts as well.
Question: How does New York Magazine’s approach to fashion differ from Vogue’s?
Harriet Mays Powell: Great question. Yeah. I think under the marvelous leadership of Adam Moss, the Editor-in-Chief, we have tried to position our fashion with a different angle. We’re not trying to be Vogue, we’re not trying to be a kind of second best of one of the big fashion titles. I think we approached our Fall issue in a vernacular and it ‘s actually comes from our spin-off publication that’s temporarily on hold called Look, where we took the ideas of the collections, we extrapolated those, curated them, blew them up and I think in a very graphic, fun, exciting way added that to some really strong written features about the fashion industry and then combined that ultimately with an extraordinary photography portfolio by some of the world’s leading photographers of some of the worlds best photography agencies, and created, I think, a very compelling triad between the features, the Trends section, and extraordinary photography portfolio. I think a great combination of originality and point of view of the season, and really singing to our [own] drum. And I think it’s really puts us apart, we stand apart in a way that I’d like to think we do on a regular basis. And it's also that great freedom that we can do it our way and I think in these times, we are trying to be smart and appeal to the reader, appeal to the advertising community, appeal to the designers and everybody out there in the consumer in a way that makes you take note. And I hope we’ve succeeded. I think we have.
Question: How important is your online content?
Harriet Mays Powell: One of the great advantages we have is we do a spring and a fall issue for the moment, and we do lots of online. And if it’s all about thigh-high boots and big shoulders, we can say that with great conviction and we can say it loud and we can say it proud, and I can talk about the trends of the season in a very powerful and immediate way. When you’re a monthly publication and you’ve got three to four months where you’ve got to talk about a season, by virtue of that, you’ve got to hold on to your information. You can’t give it all up in the August issue; you’ve got to slowly seep into what the season is about. Give everyone a taste and even some stories start in June, July, and then of course August, and then hold your best stories for September, and continue on in October because that issue comes out actually in the middle of September just when you’re starting to think about Fall. So, those big behemoths, those big monthlies like Vogue, and Elle, and Harper’s Bazaar, can’t say here are the 10 things you need to know, her are the 15 items, this is what we love, this is what we love from the shows, here’s the color you gotta have. They have to be a much cagier, quieter, subtler, point of view. And they do it through stories—longer stories where we now say it in a much more brutal out there, slightly more in your face manner which I think is fun and contemporary and of the times and again sets us apart as not being a sort of sloppy second version of those guys.
All of that saying, Vogue does have the power to do those beautiful stories. If anyone has seen the September issue that Grace Coddington and her teammates do. And all the power to them. That’s their world, that’s their vernacular, that’s what they can do. They’ve got the resources and the history to do that and I hope they continue to do that, we just do something else which I think is interesting, equally as compelling, but sets us apart.
Question: Is the Vogue model still relevant?
Harriet Mays Powell: Yeah. I think it will be relevant for Vogue and some of the other ones that survive. I do think there is going to be some attrition and that there will be a whittling down and only, again, it’s a little bit Darwinistic, these times, it’s survival of the fittest and I think Vogue will survive, and some of the, like the great fashion houses. I think the great classics will, but I think some of the peripheral players will have a hard time trying to hold on.
Question: How are you different from Anna Wintour?
Harriet Mays Powell: God, I have enormous respect for Anna. She has been running Vogue with an iron fist for 20 years. She is the industry leader, not only in the publication, but she is the strongest, most powerful person in that industry. I’m always amazed at her ability to turn—six months there was a conversation that Anna might be getting too old and losing her job and that just suddenly morphed into a 60 Minutes profile and then this movie, and so Anna goes from what’s perceived to be, you know The Devil Wears Prada, that just elevated her into the public domain and even a larger place. So, she’s got a miraculous way of turning all of this press, sometimes negative into a positive for her. So, an enormous respect for Anna, what she does. What she has done to Vogue, what she continues to do for Vogue. And may she continue to hold on to that and to do it as well as she does. It’s clearly a formula that works, she’s an iron point of view, she is very decisive, I think her editors respect that, she doesn’t waiver, she’s got a very clear vision on what an American woman wants and what Vogue should be. That’s great.
I’m a different kind of fashion editor. I look at fashion, not that I don’t take it any less seriously, but it gives me great pleasure to buy a beautiful dress, to see a beautiful collection, I get very excited. In that very personal way that fashion can move you. I love clothes. And I was the girl in school that loved clothes; I bought too many clothes, I still love clothes. I like the pleasure that clothes bring. I like to see them on the page. I love to photograph them; I love to buy them for myself. So, to me, I certainly don’t want to compare myself to Anna, but we are very different animals. I look for the pleasure in fashion and how to have a good time doing that. I have the best day job on the planet. I get to look at beautiful things, look at beautiful girls, talk to designers about creativity; pick things that I just happen to think are fantastic. I mean, God, it’s an enormous luxury to be able to be surrounded by craftsman who are involved in beauty and what is beautiful and to get that vicarious thrill of seeing something and wearing it or shooting it and putting it on. So, I’d like to be able to always hold on to the enormous fun that fashion provides. It’s intelligent, the designers are very smart, these are big businesses, this is a huge industry, it is totally not fluff anymore, anyone’s perception of that for sure and there are many, many smart people that are in this industry. But I do think that one of its great lasting things is the great pleasure that it does give in all of the levels that I have described and that’s why I still love it.
Recorded On: September 22, 2009
With magazine sales plummeting and alternative, privately-funded publications on the rise, Harriet Mays Powell discusses the future of the behemoth glossy.
Join multiple Tony and Emmy Award-winning actress Judith Light live on Big Think at 2 pm ET on Monday.
Frequent shopping for single items adds to our carbon footprint.
- A new study shows e-commerce sites like Amazon leave larger greenhouse gas footprints than retail stores.
- Ordering online from retail stores has an even smaller footprint than going to the store yourself.
- Greening efforts by major e-commerce sites won't curb wasteful consumer habits. Consolidating online orders can make a difference.
A pile of recycled cardboard sits on the ground at Recology's Recycle Central on January 4, 2018 in San Francisco, California.
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images<p>A large part of the reason is speed. In a competitive market, pure players use the equation, <em>speed + convenience</em>, to drive adoption. This is especially relevant to the "last mile" GHG footprint: the distance between the distribution center and the consumer.</p><p>Interestingly, the smallest GHG footprint occurs when you order directly from a physical store—even smaller than going there yourself. Pure players, such as Amazon, are the greatest offenders. Variables like geographic location matter; the team looked at shopping in the UK, the US, China, and the Netherlands. </p><p>Sadegh Shahmohammadi, a PhD student at the Netherlands' Radboud University and corresponding author of the paper, <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/26/tech/greenhouse-gas-emissions-retail/index.html" target="_blank">says</a> the above "pattern holds true in countries where people mostly drive. It really depends on the country and consumer behavior there."</p><p>The researchers write that this year-and-a-half long study pushes back on previous research that claims online shopping to be better in terms of GHG footprints.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"They have, however, compared the GHG emissions per shopping event and did not consider the link between the retail channels and the basket size, which leads to a different conclusion than that of the current study."</p><p>Online retail is where convenience trumps environment: people tend to order one item at a time when shopping on pure player sites, whereas they stock up on multiple items when visiting a store. Consumers will sometimes order a number of separate items over the course of a week rather than making one trip to purchase everything they need. </p><p>While greening efforts by online retailers are important, until a shift in consumer attitude changes, the current carbon footprint will be a hard obstacle to overcome. Amazon is trying to have it both ways—carbon-free and convenience addicted—and the math isn't adding up. If you need to order things, do it online, but try to consolidate your purchases as much as possible.</p><p>--</p><p><em>Stay in touch with Derek on <a href="http://www.twitter.com/derekberes" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/DerekBeresdotcom" target="_blank">Facebook</a> and <a href="https://derekberes.substack.com/" target="_blank">Substack</a>. His next book is</em> "<em>Hero's Dose: The Case For Psychedelics in Ritual and Therapy."</em></p>
Chronic irregular sleep in children was associated with psychotic experiences in adolescence, according to a recent study out of the University of Birmingham's School of Psychology.
A time for sleep<div class="rm-shortcode" data-media_id="Mt29uUqI" data-player_id="FvQKszTI" data-rm-shortcode-id="931343dee3c02121445e51e94ba22446"> <div id="botr_Mt29uUqI_FvQKszTI_div" class="jwplayer-media" data-jwplayer-video-src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/Mt29uUqI-FvQKszTI.js"> <img src="https://cdn.jwplayer.com/thumbs/Mt29uUqI-1920.jpg" class="jwplayer-media-preview" /> </div> <script src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/Mt29uUqI-FvQKszTI.js"></script> </div> <p>Previous studies had already suggested a link between persistent nightmares in childhood and psychosis and borderline personality disorder (BPD) by adolescence, but researchers at the University of Birmingham's School of Psychology wanted to see if a similar connection existed between these mental disorders and other childhood behavioral sleep problems.</p><p>To do this, they scoured data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, a longitudinal cohort study that followed approximately 14,000 children born in Avon, England, in the early 1990s. The study followed the children for more than 13 years. During that time, mothers filled out questionnaires asking about the children's lives. Factors looked at included housing, parenting, nutrition, physical health, mental wellbeing, environmental exposures, and so on. </p><p>The cohort study inquired about sleep routines, sleep duration, and awakening frequency when the children were 6, 18, and 30 months old, and then again at 3.5, 4.8, and 5.8 years. It also assessed mental health in adolescence using semi-structured interviews, such as the Psychosis-Like Symptom Interview.</p><p>"We know that adolescence is a key developmental period to study the onset of many mental disorders, including psychosis or BPD. This is because of particular brain and hormonal changes which occur at this stage," <a href="https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/staff/profiles/psychology/marwaha-steven.aspx" target="_blank">Steven Marwaha</a>, professor of psychiatry at Birmingham and senior author on the study, <a href="https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/07/200701125431.htm" target="_blank">said in a release</a>. "Sleep may be one of the most important underlying factors—and it's one that we can influence with effective, early interventions, so it's important that we understand these links."</p><p>After compiling the data, the researchers discovered an association between children with irregular sleeping patterns and teenagers with <a href="https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/psychosis/about-psychosis/" target="_blank">psychotic experiences</a>—that is, episodes when the person perceives reality differently than those around them. Even when depression at 10 years old was considered as a mediating factor, their findings still suggested "a specific pathway between these childhood sleep problems and adolescent psychotic experiences." </p><p>Toddlers with shorter nighttime sleep duration and late bedtimes were likewise associated with a <a href="https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/borderline-personality-disorder/index.shtml" target="_blank">borderline personality disorder</a>—a disorder marked by a pattern of varying moods, self-images, and behaviors—in their teenage years. Depression at age 10 did not mediate this particular association, suggesting a separate and more specific pathway. </p>
A more restful tomorrow<p>While the sample size was large and mental health was assessed with a validated interview, there nevertheless remain limitations to this data. For starters, sleep habits were based on mothers' reports. Because they came from memory, versus a more direct observation method such as actigraphy, these data may be prone to imperfect recollection and reporting error. There are also many confounders that could be secretly nudging the results, such as family conditions, prenatal medicines, and a host of environmental factors. Finally, <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6024884/#:~:text=Sleep%20difficulties%20in%20youth%20with,fear%20of%20dark%20%5B13%5D." target="_blank">the relationship between sleep problems and mental disorders</a> is both complex and two-way.</p><p>As such, the study shows an association between poor childhood sleep later mental disorders but does not prove a causal link. Parents need not worry that a string of nightmares or the eternal struggle settle into bed will be the first ingredients in a witches' brew of debilitating mental disorders. The goal of the study, the researchers point out, is not to create undue worry but improve our ability to recognize the signs of at-risk children and deliver necessary interventions earlier.</p><p>"The results of this study could have important implications for helping practitioners identify children who might be at higher risk for psychotic experiences or BPD symptoms in adolescence, and potentially lead to the design of more effectively targeted sleep or psychological interventions to prevent the onset or attenuate these mental disorders," Isabel Morales-Muñoz, the study's lead researcher, <a href="https://www.healio.com/news/psychiatry/20200702/childhood-sleep-problems-linked-to-adolescent-psychosis-borderline-personality-disorder#:~:text=Sleep%20problems%20during%20early%20childhood,study%20published%20in%20JAMA%20Psychiatry." target="_blank">told Healio Psychiatry</a><u>.</u></p><p>If a parent reading this is worried that their child's sleep patterns are deleterious, the take away should not be despair over an unyielding fate. It should be to seek professional help as soon as possible to begin improving sleep duration and quality. Even if you aren't worried, it's worth remembering that childhood experiences lay the foundation for a lifetime of salubrious sleeping habits. It's so much more than beauty rest.</p>
Construction of the $500 billion dollar tech city-state of the future is moving ahead.
- The futuristic megacity Neom is being built in Saudi Arabia.
- The city will be fully automated, leading in health, education and quality of life.
- It will feature an artificial moon, cloud seeding, robotic gladiators and flying taxis.
The Red Sea area where Neom will be built:
Saudi Arabia Plans Futuristic City, "Neom" (Full Promotional Video)<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="c646d528d230c1bf66c75422bc4ccf6f"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/N53DzL3_BHA?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span>
Are we genetically inclined for superstition or just fearful of the truth?
- From secret societies to faked moon landings, one thing that humanity seems to have an endless supply of is conspiracy theories. In this compilation, physicist Michio Kaku, science communicator Bill Nye, psychologist Sarah Rose Cavanagh, skeptic Michael Shermer, and actor and playwright John Cameron Mitchell consider the nature of truth and why some groups believe the things they do.
- "I think there's a gene for superstition, a gene for hearsay, a gene for magic, a gene for magical thinking," argues Kaku. The theoretical physicist says that science goes against "natural thinking," and that the superstition gene persists because, one out of ten times, it actually worked and saved us.
- Other theories shared include the idea of cognitive dissonance, the dangerous power of fear to inhibit critical thinking, and Hollywood's romanticization of conspiracies. Because conspiracy theories are so diverse and multifaceted, combating them has not been an easy task for science.