The Monocle Minute

The week ahead, opportunities and observations
Saturday 5 January 2019

Fashion

Image: Alamy

Wardrobe update

Menswear’s autumn/winter season kicks off this weekend – and changes are afoot.

There’s no post-Christmas rest for the menswear industry: the autumn/winter 2019 season kicks off in the UK this weekend before hopping over to Italy and France. London is looking diminished this season (no Burberry, JW Anderson or Wales Bonner) but Florence’s Pitti Uomo and Milan seem fairly solid, while Paris remains strong. Brands are experimenting with how to present collections and there was a notable development at the end of 2018: Dior staged an elaborate pre-fall show in Tokyo, the first time a men’s interseasonal collection has been displayed with such fanfare. The move hinted at a potential splintering of menswear into four shows per year: autumn/winter, spring/summer; and two interseasonal collections by luxury brands. This would put more focus on big brands but, given the staid line-up for the forthcoming season, perhaps a shake-up is needed.

Art

Image: Marvin Zilm

High ideals

In a land of people heading downhill fast, a new museum in Engadin is looking onward and upward.

Eking out the final days of your Christmas holidays on the slopes of Switzerland’s Engadin region? For some alternative off-piste action, divert your attention to the valley’s most enticing new arts venue: Muzeum Susch. Its inaugural exhibition, A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women, opened this week and comprises Polish art collector Grazyna Kulczyk’s private works. As the title suggests, there is a degree of gender commentary to the art on display; meanwhile a key objective of the show is to give exposure to artists who miss out on the limelight. If it sounds like divine inspiration, the fact that it’s housed in a converted 12th-century monastery certainly won’t do any harm.

Culture

Image: Getty Images

Self-preservation society

Unesco starts the new year down by two members. Israel and the US have left for the same reason – but is it justified?

Israel and the US have officially relinquished their Unesco membership. Both countries cite what they perceive as the organisation’s anti-Israel bias as their reason for quitting the educational, scientific and cultural agency of the UN. The two countries have had a rocky relationship with the institution since it named Palestine as a member in 2011 and, in the process, recognised it as a state in and of itself. Shortly after, Israel and the US suspended funding: they are reported to owe $10m and $600m in unpaid dues respectively. In 2017 the US State Department said that, on leaving, it would remain a “non-member observer state in order to contribute US views, perspectives and expertise”. It is a lamentable step: political posturing is eclipsing efforts to preserve areas of cultural significance around the world.

Transport

Image: Getty Images

Full steam ahead

New York’s L train is back on the straight and narrow but is a White House opening behind its averted closure?

Breathe, New Yorkers: the L-train apocalypse has been averted. The threatened (and dreaded) 15-month closure of a vital railway tunnel between Manhattan and Brooklyn, used by some 250,000 daily commuters, is no more. The shutdown was set to begin in April and the idea behind it was to repair damage caused by Hurricane Sandy in 2012. However, New York governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that innovative technology will instead be used to repair the tunnel on nights and weekends, without requiring its closure. While most are celebrating, many Brooklynites have already upended their lives in anticipation of the shutdown and details of the new plan’s cost and effectiveness are scant. Cuomo’s office doesn’t even control the MTA and there is speculation that he’s trying to avoid an infrastructure crisis before a 2020 presidential bid.

From Monocle 24

Image: Flickr

The Best of Tall Stories 2018

The Urbanist

We kick off the year with a recap of the best Tall Stories of 2018, including a secret garden in the desert and a former government building with a mural by Pablo Picasso on its façade.

From Monocle Films

Night mayors

We pull up a bar stool in Amsterdam at the inaugural Night Mayor Summit to hear from pioneering night watchmen and urban provocateurs in cities around the world.

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