Thom Browne on Fashion as Social Mirror

Question: What does a style say about its era?

Thom Browne: Well specifically the ‘50s and ‘60s, everything post-World War II . . . I mean everybody was more . . . it was more like a uniform, and there was something really refreshing about that. Going through the, you know, late ‘60s and ‘70s, more of everything easing up and, you know, the world of, you know, maybe fighting the establishment a little bit. So in a way there were all those kind of times that definitely fashion has changed along with those times. And now I think we’re . . . we’re in a time of people having so much and the resources to be able to buy so much that there are so many choices out there. Which I think sometimes isn’t always the best thing for . . . for people. Hmm. I think in a way it . . . it does. And I think in a way sometimes that’s why when you look at kids and having school uniforms, I think that’s . . . that’s probably a really good idea. Because I think it’s . . . in a way it takes that . . . that burden and that preoccupation with . . . for . . . in the kids that don’t have control over what they actually can buy; of really focusing on what is more important for them while they’re at school as opposed to what they’re wearing. So it does contribute a little bit too much.

Question: Does fashion widen the income gap?

Thom Browne: I think in a way it . . . it does. And I think in a way sometimes that’s why when you look at kids and having school uniforms, I think that’s . . . that’s probably a really good idea. Because I think it’s . . . in a way it takes that . . . that burden and that preoccupation with . . . for . . . in the kids that don’t have control over what they actually can buy; of really focusing on what is more important for them while they’re at school as opposed to what they’re wearing. So it does contribute a little bit too much.

 

Recorded on: 10/29/07

 

 

 

Designer Thom Browne on fighting the man and the uniform.

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The competition between forces from protons and neutrons inside a neutron star create super-dense shapes that look like long cylinders or flat planes, referred to as "spaghetti" and "lasagna," respectively. That's also where we get the overall name of nuclear pasta.

Caplan & Horowitz/arXiv

Diagrams illustrating the different types of so-called nuclear pasta.

The researchers' computer simulations needed 2 million hours of processor time before completion, which would be, according to a press release from McGill University, "the equivalent of 250 years on a laptop with a single good GPU." Fortunately, the researchers had access to a supercomputer, although it still took a couple of years. The scientists' simulations consisted of stretching and deforming the nuclear pasta to see how it behaved and what it would take to break it.

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The team of scientists also included A. S. Schneider from California Institute of Technology and C. J. Horowitz from Indiana University.

Check out the study "The elasticity of nuclear pasta," published in Physical Review Letters.