The Monocle Minute

The week ahead, opportunities and observations
Saturday 24 October 2015

Image: Céline

Rhyme and reason

Fashion house Céline is declaring its love for acclaimed US beat poet John Giorno with signage throughout Paris. The public message draws on the exhibition Ugo Rondinone: I Love John Giorno that is showing at the Palais de Tokyo; it’s part of the Parisian Foire Internationale d'Art Contemporain running until 25 October at the Grand Palais. This is the first retrospective of the life and work of Giorno, a key figure in the US underground artist movement of the 1960s along with Andy Warhol, William S Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg. Rondinone, the Swiss artist behind the retrospective, designed the exhibition in eight chapters, each representing a layer of Giorno’s multifaceted work.

Image: Getty Images

In the rough

Crimes against fashion are a regular sight on the golf course but China has deemed the game itself illegal: the country’s ruling Communist party now lists it as a violation of its code for its 88 million members. The move comes as part of president Xi Jinping’s continuing crackdown on corruption, with golf and golf courses cited as hotbeds of high living; expensive rounds and lavish banquets at many clubs supposedly represent creepingly wayward morals in China. It is a move at odds with the embrace of luxury brands and shopping that many Chinese enjoy; just this week the UK announced a relaxation in visa laws to allow more Chinese shoppers to gain easier access to the country’s retail sector. Whether China’s golfers will now start using their sport as a particularly mild-mannered form of political dissent remains to be seen.

Fashion forward

Harlem-based tailor Dapper Dan’s Boutique kitted out the 1980s' biggest hip-hop stars and owner Dan Day is just one of the individuals whose stories are told in a new documentary about hip-hop fashion. Fresh Dressed, from US film-maker Sacha Jenkins, looks at the role that clothing has played in the rap game across three decades. Day’s signature trick was to combine high-fashion branding with relaxed streetwear styles; it was this liberal definition of “collaboration” (in which brands such as Louis Vuitton were unwitting silent partners) that saw the shop eventually shut down by authorities in the early 1990s. But today his work is regarded as visionary, preceding the contemporary fashion world’s appetite for collaboration – be it Alexander McQueen with Puma or Converse’s flirtation with Missoni – by a good 20 years.

Image: Andrew Urwin

Word on the street

Urban initiatives from Canada to France are making reading on the go more accessible than ever. In Grenoble, publisher Short Édition has debuted eight kiosks that dispense free short stories on pocket-sized pieces of paper, digestible in just a few minutes and petite enough to tuck away in a card case for posterity. Canadian cities such as Ottawa and Edmonton have book-lending kiosks in collaboration with public libraries and Toronto is following their lead: a book-lending machine is coming to busy Union Station. And lovers of the written word in London need look no further than Monocle's latest venture Kioskafé, serving coffee alongside a huge range of magazines and newspapers – including a print-on-demand service – a stone’s throw from Paddington Station.

From Monocle 24

Image: Prudence Cuming

Damien Hirst

Newport Street Gallery in London’s Vauxhall is dedicated to showing Damien Hirst’s vast collection of more than 3,000 artworks. Not many people know what comprises this arty haul so there’s much anticipation about what might end up hanging on the walls.

From Monocle Films

Made in London

Globes, spoons and weaving: Monocle films drops in on three makers helping to reinvigorate the British capital’s artisanal heartbeat.

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