The Monocle Minute

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The week ahead, opportunities and observations
Saturday 25 February 2017

Image: Alamy

Where’s the afterparty?

The Beastie Boys weren’t the first to insist on fighting for your right to party – and they won’t be the last. A report released by the Creative Industries Federation (CIF) cites the importance of the UK’s nightlife to its creative industries and claims that nocturnal revelries add about £66bn (€78bn) a year to the British economy, a vast tab by most standards. However, over the past 10 years the number of nightclubs has nearly halved, with more than a third of music venues biting the bullet too. The appointment of Amy Lamé as London’s slightly strict-sounding “night czar” and the later operating hours on the London Underground are a start. But high business rates and nagging residents are winning the war, resulting in more venues being dropped than debuted. As the CIF report suggests, the government and local authorities must do more to safeguard the vitality, serendipity and charm of our cities.

Image: Getty Images

Gucci main

When Alessandro Michele took over as Gucci’s creative director two years ago, few would have bet that he would become the fashion king of Milan. Yet as Milan Fashion Week continues, Gucci has become omnipresent in the city, confirming its revival. Michele’s main show was extravagant, with 119 looks that combined men’s and womenswear, and was followed by an after-show party to which hundreds of VIPs turned up in head-to-toe Gucci. The next day saw a sunglasses presentation at the Gucci Hub, which recently opened near Linate Airport. The former-Caproni aeronautical factory has been renovated and now stands as a celebration of Gucci and its culture, bringing together offices, showrooms, a show venue and photography and graphic studios. With a turnover that reached €4.4bn by the end of 2016, no doubt planet Gucci is savouring the glory.

Image: The Ark at JFK Facebook

Wing and a woof

Anyone who’s travelled with their loyal pooch or haughty feline will know that airports hardly make it a pleasant experience. But those heading through JFK can take heart: this week the New York airport rolled out the first features of its privately owned $65m (€61m) pet terminal, the Ark. Creatures of all sizes, from parakeets to Shetland stallions, will receive round-the-clock care and monitoring, medical assistance, private quarters, à la carte dining and everything in between. Owners can even opt to receive regular emails and photographs of their pets. As lavish as the venture may appear, it’ll see no lack of footfall from loving owners and will surely raise the bar for airports happy to do the bare minimum.

Image: Alamy

Sinister visit?

There’s no need to wait until Donald Trump makes his state visit to the UK this summer as one of the US’s most unsettling figures is coming to its shores this weekend. “American Gothic”, Grant Wood’s ominous painting depicting a farmer couple, debuts today at London’s Royal Academy as part of its show America after the Fall: Painting in the 1930s. It’s a compact exhibition: 45 paintings chart the decade that brought the US from the Wall Street Crash to the Second World War. A line-up of heavy hitters from Jackson Pollock to Edward Hopper is assembled to portray a nation trying to find its place in a time of soul-searching, economic upset and societal fears. Tempted to draw parallels? This sombre reflection on Depression-era America – from rural stillness to urban chaos – is a good exercise in understanding the nation’s complex and ever befuddling contradictions, both then and now.

From Monocle 24

‘Moonlight’

How did a never-staged play become a critically lauded film? ‘Moonlight’ has emerged as a star of this year’s Academy Awards but, as Ben Rylan discovers, its true power lies in the remarkable talent of its creators.

From Monocle Films

Cruise-ship entertainers

The fort was built in 1614 by the beach where Bermuda’s first settlers came ashore from their wrecked ship, the Sea Venture. It is the largest fort in Bermuda, with huge ramparts, labyrinthine tunnels and chambers carved into bedrock. It now houses a museum.

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