The Monocle Minute

Today’s top stories, opinion and opportunities
Wednesday 1 March 2017

Image: Alamy

Left-hand turn ahead?

While 2016 may have been a terrible year for liberal democracy, there are signs of hope ahead. The three politicians we interview in the new issue of Monocle prove that there really is an alternative to populism: in Portugal Antonio Costa has shown that the centre-left can still govern (his four-party alliance has an approval rating of 81 per cent); in the Netherlands Jesse Klaver, the young and charismatic leader of the Green Left party, is rising in the polls as his attacks on the far-right Geert Wilders increase; and in France Emmanuel Macron is emerging as the most likely candidate to take on Marine Le Pen. All three are liberal, all three would describe themselves as centre-left or centrist and all three are popular. Perhaps there is still a little life left in liberalism yet.

Image: Alamy

Hit sequels

It’s all about second collections at Paris Fashion Week, which shifts into its second day today. The debut of a new fashion-house creative director is always an eagerly awaited affair but how can these names hope to follow up once the hype has died down? Last night, Anthony Vaccarello rose to the challenge with his second line for Saint Laurent, presenting a collection of '80s-style leather cocktail dresses, big-sleeved frocks and sparkling boots that showed he has the mettle to follow in Hedi Slimane’s sizeable footsteps. Now we look ahead to this afternoon’s Lanvin show, in which Bouchra Jarrar will need to prove that she can make her mark at France’s oldest house after her first collection left some wanting more. And on Friday, in one of the week’s most anticipated events, Maria Grazia Chiuri will present round two after a politically-pointed – and commercially-clever – debut for Dior.

Image: Getty Images

Island expansion

New Zealand’s defence minister Gerry Brownlee has confirmed that his country is in talks to allow Singapore to build a military base and pilot-training facility at Ohakea Air Base on the North Island. The move makes sense: Singapore needs room for manoeuvres and New Zealand would welcome the financial investment that such a deal would yield. It follows a similar deal Singapore struck with Australia last year, which has since run into problems as nearby landowners have resisted selling their land for the base expansion. The space-strapped Singapore military is surely hoping that the New Zealand talks continue apace.

Image: Getty Images

Record highs

More people in Canada bought music on vinyl in 2016 than ever before. The voracious appetite has led a Toronto-based record shop to launch one of the sector’s most surprising and ambitious business moves in recent years. Sunrise Records, founded in 1977, announced on Monday that it is to takeover 70 shops across the country that were once operated by the now-defunct music chain HMV. “Canada needs a physical music retailer that is coast to coast and supports Canadian bands – and with HMV leaving you don’t have that anymore,” says Sunrise president Doug Putman. The first new Sunrise shops open in April and the company intends to make contact with some 1,000 employees laid off after HMV’s closure.

From Monocle 24

Fixing Madrid Fashion Week

As a new generation of young Spanish fashion designers take their battle for recognition abroad, many in the industry are beginning to raise their voices about the changes needed at home. We report from Madrid Fashion Week and talk to the event’s new director.

From Monocle Films

The Monocle Travel Guide Series: Berlin

For a long time Berlin lacked the wealth and stability of other capital cities so ingenuity had to prevail. The city is now known as a place where creativity is fostered, resourcefulness encouraged and originality embraced. Published by Gestalten, The Monocle Travel Guide to Berlin is available now at The Monocle Shop.

Loading...

/

15

15

Live

00:00 01:00