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In the News 03.09.15 : Today’s Articles of Interest from around the Internets

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In the News 03.09.15 : Today’s Articles of Interest from around the Internets

Images: @eleonorebridge | @leparisblog | @reemkanj

I am not a story

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Each of us constructs and lives a “narrative”,’ wrote the British neurologist Oliver Sacks, ‘this narrative is us’. Likewise the American cognitive psychologist Jerome Bruner: ‘Self is a perpetually rewritten story.’ And: ‘In the end, we become the autobiographical narratives by which we “tell about” our lives.’ Or a fellow American psychologist, Dan P McAdams: ‘We are all storytellers, and we are the stories we tell.’ And here’s the American moral philosopher J David Velleman: ‘We invent ourselves… but we really are the characters we invent.’ And, for good measure, another American philosopher, Daniel Dennett: ‘we are all virtuoso novelists, who find ourselves engaged in all sorts of behaviour… and we always put the best “faces” on it we can. We try to make all of our material cohere into a single good story. And that story is our autobiography. The chief fictional character at the centre of that autobiography is one’s self.’

Read the rest of this article at Aeon

Why Natalie Massenet’s Departure From Net-­a­-Porter Matters

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So Natalie Massenet, founder of the online luxury retailer Net­a­Porter, is going offline. On Wednesday, in the wake of a merger with yoox.com, Ms. Massenet resigned as executive chairwoman of the Net-­a-­Porter Group (she was to be executive chairwoman of the combined group; the Yoox chief executive, Federico Marchetti, was to be group chief executive). Thursday morning, she issued an official statement. “After 15 extraordinary and exceptional years at the Net-­a­-Porter Group, the completion of the merger with Yoox Group is the right time for me to move on to explore new ideas and opportunities,” she said in the statement.

Though the move was not a big surprise — when a merger of equals happens, executive fallout is inevitable; one company cannot serve two masters, and all that — it will be interesting to see how it affects the image of Net-­a­-Porter. Image, of course, being one of those entirely ephemeral, but nevertheless crucial, ingredients in retail and luxury success. Because the thing is, when it comes to image, Ms. Massenet pretty much defined what luxury online shopping looked like.

Read the rest of this article at The New York Times

The Soho House Plan For World Domination

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The rooftop pool deck of New York’s Soho House at 11 a.m. on a Tuesday answers a lot of questions I’ve had for a while now. Such as: Who skydives because there’s a deal listed on Groupon? Who subscribes to the Thrillist? Who is buying all that rosé that liquor stores run out of every summer? And more generally: Who joins a private club in 2015? The answer, it turns out, is right in front of me.

The accoutrements of semi-creative success—MacBooks plastered with Supreme stickers, unblemished Stan Smiths, Parliament Lights—are strewn everywhere. Atop every other table is a half-finished green smoothie. Suntan lotion perfumes the air. The male uniform of Vilebrequin swim trunks (and nothing else) takes business casual to its logical end. To be clear though, people are working.

Read the rest of this article at GQ

Making Marc Jacobs

In 1982, 21-year-old Marc Jacobs landed a coveted spot at New York’s Parsons School of Design. He started his first semester with undeniable talent and a particular kind of resilience, quickly becoming known for his exceptional sketches and the funky sweaters he designed..

Read the rest of this article at Racked

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Non-stop action: why Hollywood’s ageing heroes won’t give up the gun

Shootouts and fist-fights are no longer a young man’s game. Hollywood is rebranding ageing actors as action heroes – but it still discards older women

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Male careers in the movies have always been longer than female ones, but until recently there was only one real route to on-screen immortality – to the certified, gold-standard agelessness of, say, Cary Grant. (In North By Northwest, Grant, then 55, not only appeared opposite a woman 20 years younger than him, Eva Marie Saint, his screen mother was played by someone only seven years his senior.) The key principle is suavity: the refusal to break a sweat; sophistication with the faintest hint of self‑mockery; the actor letting us know that he is old enough to know how silly this all is.

There are still disciples following that path up the mountain to the sunny uplands of longevity – perhaps we should think of this as Mount Rushmore being reconfigured to include a huge stone likeness of Grant himself, like the ones he scrambled over so urbanely in North By Northwest. Over there, do you see? There are George Clooney and Hugh Grant (both 54) in their hiking shorts, clambering for dear life as the career shadows fall, and a little further down is Colin Firth (also 54), trying to make sense of the map. Richard Gere (65) is sitting cross-legged on a boulder and seems to be meditating, though he may just be taking a nap. Suddenly they all freeze (though with Gere it is hard to tell). What’s that sound? Gunfire. But it seems to be coming from further up the mountain, where the old-timers are plainly not putting their feet up.

There is now apparently no age limit to an action career in Hollywood. The expendables are no longer unemployables, and actors in their 60s and even 70s are high-kicking in can-can routines of choreographed violence. After making a third Indiana Jones sequel in his mid-60s, Harrison Ford was over 70 when he joined the grizzled crew of The Expendables 3 (with Sylvester Stallone weighing in at 68 and Arnold Schwarzenegger at 67), in which the mercenary group does battle with its founder, now resolved to destroy them. In Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, the camera keeps its distance from Ford’s stunt doubles – the charisma of an ageing action star has more to fear from obvious fakery in fights than from facial close-ups, since not much more is required of him than rugged scowls and glares of baleful defiance. Ford’s return as Han Solo in a forthcoming instalment of Star Wars after a third of a century is a melancholy prospect, like someone dressing up in late life to match a graduation photograph.

Read the rest of this article at The Guardian

P.S. previous articles & more by P.F.M.