The Monocle Minute

Today’s top stories, opinion and opportunities
Thursday 10 August 2017

Politics

Over the Moon?

Seattle is set to elect its first female mayor but can frontrunner Jenny Durkan see off her spirited rival?

Not only is Seattle’s global profile growing in step with its economy but now the west-coast city is on its way to electing its first female mayor. Following the results of a tightly fought primary race, US attorney Jenny Durkan will face Cary Moon in November’s general election. Frontrunner Durkan has vowed to reform policing and address the city’s endemic homelessness problem, while Moon – an engineer and urban-planner who made her name as an activist within several high-profile planning cases in Seattle – has promised to prioritise transport infrastructure and close income gaps. The selection of Seattle’s new mayor may still be hanging in the air but one thing is certain: everyone seems relieved that outgoing mayor Ed Murray pulled out of his re-election bid after encountering legal battles surrounding allegations of misconduct.

Design

Image: The Australian Embassy

Mission inimitable

Australia’s new embassy in Bangkok shows off the country’s design prowess.

Australia’s foreign minister Julie Bishop has officially opened her nation’s new embassy in Bangkok, built to replace the former complex from 1979. The new site is more central and spacious, which is exactly what the world’s fourth-largest Australian diplomatic mission needed. Just a stone’s throw from Lumphini Park, it encompasses a five-storey chancery and the ambassador’s residence. Not unlike the land down under’s other diplomatic institutions around the globe, it’s also a bastion of Aussie design. Built by architecture studio BVN, the building seamlessly blends modern Australian and Thai influences to celebrate 65 years of diplomatic ties. Its eye-catching curved terracotta-hued exterior, made of brick and native blackbutt timber, is inspired by the deserts of Australia, while patterns and details throughout conjure thoughts of Buddhist temples.

Media

Image: Reuters

Trust fall?

Recent studies suggest that despite discourse to the contrary, faith in news services is steady in the US.

It’s not all doom and gloom in the media. Despite swirling accusations of fake news and the increasingly confrontational White House briefings, US citizens haven’t completely lost faith in the news media. At least, that’s according to a recent study at the University of Missouri’s Reynolds Journalism Institute. The findings show that more than two thirds (67 per cent) of those polled were “likely” or “very likely” to trust the mainstream media. And while the likes of Breitbart ranked poorly in terms of individual publications and Trump’s constant bashing of the “failing” New York Times saw it fall behind the Kansas City Star, UK news outlets such as The Economist and the BBC were among the best received. It seems all is not lost in Trump’s America: there is still faith in serious reporting.

Fashion

Gore blimey

A new book from the US firm behind Gore-Tex reveals how waterproof clothes became sexy.

Few companies can claim to have as much clout in the fashion industry as Gore. The American textile firm was founded in 1958 and became famous for Gore-Tex, the pioneering breathable, waterproof fibre. In a new book, Six Stories of Gore-Tex Products Vol. 2, the Delaware-based brand explores its impact. Published by Gore and launched on Wednesday at Copenhagen Fashion Week, the minimalistic work (with a plain white cover) profiles the company’s relationships with various fashion labels, ranging from Adidas and Norse Projects to streetwear star Off-White. For an insight into how Gore tests its products in a special German lab (complete with a rain machine), grab a copy of the September issue of Monocle, out 17 August.

From Monocle 24

Image: Alamy

Barry Jenkins

The Cinema Show

Nearly six months after his sensational victory at the 2017 Academy Awards, ‘Moonlight’ director Barry Jenkins reflects on his best-picture win and discusses the state of US culture. He also tells us why his upcoming James Baldwin adaptation is his dream project.

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