The Monocle Minute

Today’s top stories, opinion and opportunities
Tuesday 7 February 2017

Image: Jaap Arriens/Getty Images

True or false?

Another tweet by Donald Trump, another “fake news” accusation; this time claiming polls outlining that a majority of Americans are against his administration’s travel ban are “lies”. While it’s highly unlikely that polls conducted by legitimate news agencies can be classified as fake news, it’s true that fake news is spreading at a dangerous rate. The phenomenon has been blamed for swaying the US election and with the Netherlands, Germany and France heading to the polls this year, the future of the EU depends on getting the right information out to the people. This is why yesterday Facebook, Google and a group of news organisations including Le Monde launched an initiative to challenge fake news stories in France, where far-right leader Marine Le Pen began her presidential campaign with a populist message à la Trump.

Sign of the times

Increasingly the first task an incoming creative director at a fashion house must tackle is branding. In mid-2014, before Jonathan Anderson had shown his first womenswear line for Loewe, he unveiled a curly, vintage-inspired logo for the Spanish label. Then, last September, at Anthony Vaccarello’s debut runway show for Saint Laurent, he suspended a neon YSL sign above the entrance, notably bringing back the Y that Hedi Slimane had ditched. And now, as Raf Simons prepares to present his first collection for Calvin Klein later this month, the Belgian has revealed a new logo for the US house. Devised in collaboration with British graphic-design legend Peter Saville, the updated insignia retains the black text and white background combination of its predecessor but has swapped sentence-case characters for a full upper-case suite. Whatever its particular merits, it is clear that brands recognise the importance of logo rejigs in signposting to consumers that a new creative force is in the house.

Image: Bernard Weil/Getty Images

Trading with Trump

A US leader’s first overseas trip is usually to Canada but it’s unclear whether Donald Trump will follow the script. We do, however, have a sense of what might be on the agenda when Trump and prime minister Justin Trudeau do meet. A leaked internal document prepared for Trump’s transition team, and obtained by CBC News, reveals the US’s stance on future trade relations with Canada and draws attention to the issue of the US-Canada softwood lumber dispute. There will be much else to discuss too, of course, including the intended revival of the KeystoneXL pipeline, which will be a boon to the troubled oil sands of Alberta. Trade between the two countries was valued at €527bn in 2015 but keeping this up isn’t assured in light of the US’s new-found protectionist policies.

Image: John Piper, Beach and Star Fish, Seven Sister's Cliff, Eastbourne / The Piper Estate DACS 2015

Inspiring scenes

Sussex’s motto “We wunt be druv” (which means “we won’t be driven” for those unfamiliar with the dialect) signifies that the UK county’s people have a mind of their own. Perhaps that’s why Sussex became a magnet for radical artists in the first half of the 20th century. The sixth annual winter exhibition Sussex Modernism: Retreat and Rebellion at London’s Two Temple Place is dedicated to modernist artists such as Eric Gill, Vanessa Bell, Edward James and Salvador Dalí who travelled there at this time. For some the county was an idyllic escape, others critiqued it but all created innovative, experimental art inspired by the rural retreat in one way or another. Until 23 April, more than 120 works will showcase the artists’ curious take on the place. Curator Hope Wolf described it as an exhibition that “shows how seemingly picturesque scenes were reimagined and transformed by the unsettled artist”.

From Monocle 24

Image: Netflix

How does Netflix commission original content?

Robert Bound heads to Netflix HQ in LA to meet the people behind the behemoth of online streaming.

From Monocle Films

The perfect workplace

As employers increasingly acknowledge the quality of life of their workers, Monocle’s Quality of Life Conference in Lisbon addressed the topic of the modern workplace. In this visual essay, Josh Fehnert explores what can be done to create offices that make clocking in a joy.

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