Ken’s New Fashion Chapter Includes a…Man Bun

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We’ve all known Ken to be a pioneer in the fashion industry since his birth in 1961 from the plastic womb of Mattel. Over the years, he’s been retro…

Courtesy of Mattel (1961).

He’s been avent garde…

Courtesy of Mattel (Ken by Gareth Pugh).

He’s been a whole host of things:

Courtesy of Mattel.

Now, it’s with great pleasure we introduce Ken’s next chapter in his ongoing fashion evolution: a Brooklyn hipster sporting his inevitable man bun:

Courtesy of Mattel.

He’s part of the “New Crew,” a new collection of Barbies and Kens recently unveiled by the toy titan. The New Crew has 15 new dolls, in 3 different body types, with 5 different ethnicities of dear Kenneth. Here’s the whole New Crew:

Courtesy of Mattel.

As the new line drops, so too does the news that an exhibition of the best of vintage Ken, including that fantastic Gareth Pugh version, will go up this Friday at the London-based store Machine-A, Dazed reports.

It’s important to keep a few things in mind as you continue with the rest of your day:

 

The New American Road Trip: Loose in the Borscht Belt

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Illustration by Emma Dibben

The blink-and-you’ll-miss-them river communities on Route 97, along the eastern bank of the Delaware River, have seen good times and bad, but an influx of exurbanites from Brooklyn is breathing new life into faded lumber towns like Barryville and Narrowsburg. In summer and fall, especially, the road from Port Jervis to Callicoon is a seductive jaunt that clings lovingly to the Delaware for most of the 45-mile journey, before the river vistas give way to tumbledown farms and picture-perfect woods.

Start: Port Jervis, N.Y.

End: Catskill Park

Total distance: 100 miles

Suggested length: 2–5 days

1) Foundry 42, Port Jervis

It’s taken a long time, but finally there are signs of “reJervination,” to use Cooper Boone’s phrase, in this old industrial town 90 miles northwest of New York. Boone, a clinical psychologist, singer-songwriter, and foodie, is the kind of local pioneer who sees an opportunity and runs to it. His new venture, Foundry 42+, occupying a two-story 1940 building with tin ceilings, is a miniature ABC Carpet & Home, with bespoke furniture, antiques, grooming products (created by Boone’s husband, Mark Veeder), a café serving local bakes, and—most importantly—hand-made unicorns. Find more info here.

Left: Exterior of Foundry 42. Right: Inside Foundry 42. (Photos courtesy of Foundry 42)

2) Stickett Inn, Barryville

Owners Roswell Hamrick and Johnny Pizzolato have turned this former canal house into an eclectic Aladdin’s den of whimsical art and woodsy comforts. Each of the fours suites is themed—Soak, Drink, Eat, and Steam—so choose your poison wisely. We like the spacious trough tub in Soak, but if you’re in the mood to party, Drink comes with a wet bar. For a gentle hike, the town is close to the Minisink Battle Ground, a half-mile trail commemorating American soldiers who perished in a 1779 raid lead by Joseph Brant, a Mohawk colonel in the British Army. Find more info here.

3) Roebling’s Delaware Aqueduct, Lackawaxen

Though John Roebling is best known for building the Brooklyn Bridge, this Roebling-designed crossing at the hamlet of Lackawaxen is the oldest wire suspension bridge in the United States. Built in 1847 to connect the two parts of the sadly-defunct Delaware & Hudson Canal, it’s now just a regular road bridge, while still retaining its original appearance. Cross to the other side to find the house, now a small museum, where the western author Zane Grey lived from 1905 to 1918.

4) Tusten Mountain Trail

Midway between Barryville and Narrowsburg, the Tusten Mountain Trail is a three-mile loop of pristine woods overlooking the river. Hike through eastern hemlocks and white pines, and in spring, a plethora of wildflowers including violets, red columbines, and pink lady’s slippers. Find more info here.

5) The Heron and The Laundrette, Narrowsburg

Sitting at the narrowest point of the Delaware River (hence its name), Narrowsburg is a happy hunting ground for birders scanning the skies for bald eagles, especially in winter and early spring before the tree canopy grows back. In summer, scramble down the river bank under the bridge and swim off the large flat boulder before hitting one of the town’s bustling restaurants: The Heron, on Main Street, for comfort classics like buttermilk-fried local chicken, or The Laundrette, for inventive pizzas baked in an imported Italian wood-fired oven. Wash them down with a New York Sour on the outdoor terrace with its stunning river views.

Left: The patio at the Laundrette. Right: A pastry and latte at the Laundrette. (Photos courtesy of the Laundrette)

6) Nine River Road, Callicoon

With its wide main street straddling the railway line and the imposing mansard roof of the Western Hotel, Callicoon could be the setting of a Zane Grey novel (see #3) if a tumult of new ventures hadn’t blown away the tumbleweeds. Building on their success with boutique hotels in nearby Livingston Manor and Long East Branch, Sims Foster and Kirsten Harlow Foster have brought their cozy aesthetic to Callicoon with the eight-room Nine River Road. Guests check in with the innkeeper in the kitchen, and the down-home vibe continues with porch swings and hammocks. Or just grab one of the bikes and cycle along River Road for bucolic views across the river and unlimited opportunities for a pre-cocktail dip. Find more info here.

Left: The exterior of Nine River Road. Right: Inside the shop at Nine River Road. (Photos courtesy of Nine River Road)

7) Catskill Brewery, Livingston Manor

If a brewery can represent the future of this region, this is it. Apart from making expert hooch, the brewery’s state-of-the-art facility—which includes solar panels, natural day lighting, and green roofs—makes it among the greenest in the nation. Naturally, nearby resident and environmental activist Mark Ruffalo is a fan. Quench your thirst with a growler of Devil’s Path, an IPA named for a brutal Catskills trail. It’s so much easier to drink it than to hike it. Find more info here.

8) Beaverkill Bridge, Catskill Park

Hallowed in the annals of fly-fishing (the great sports writer Red Smith compared described being there for the opening day of the season as “a little like observing Christmas in Bethlehem”), Beaverkill is possibly the most famous trout stream in America. This spot, next to a 150-year-old covered bridge, is picnic nirvana. There are tables and grills along the river—and you can always fish for your supper. 792 Berrybrook Road Spur, Roscoe

iLoveMakonnen Just Dropped A New EP: Fun Summer Vol. 1

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Photo: @ilovemakonnen.vibes on Instagram

ILoveMakonnen just dropped a surprise 7-track EP called Fun Summer Vol. 1, so you don’t have to only listen to “Sign Of The Times” on repeat anymore.

Fun Summer Vol. 1 was announced over Instagram with the caption “New Vibes” – and it appears he’s really taking that concept to heart, since he deleted all of his previous posts and has his bio set as “NEW Makonnen.”

New Vibes Link in bio. Leave comment of which songs is favs.

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Makonnen also asked listeners to name their fave new song of the set in the comments, and upon scouring the reactions it seems “Dark Blue” and “Kiss For Me” are the early frontrunners for new summer jams, both songs about young love and parties.

Take a listen to the entire Fun Summer Vol. 1 below:


Makonnen most recently released last year’s Drink More Water 6:

He also did a duet in 2016 with Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig:

Lana’s ‘Paris Match’ Photoshoot is the Definition of Glamour

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Photo: @LanaDelRey on Instagram

Lana Del Rey is really making the rounds of fashion spreads ahead of her forthcoming album, Lust For Life. She shut down the Internet this week with her incredible Flaunt shoot with David LaChapelle, looking like an ethereal phantom pageant princess, and she also graced the cover of Dazed serving some Old Hollywood majesty.

Now, she’s taking on French publication Paris Match, where she’s opted to go the route of gorgeous ’60s rich newlywed on her honeymoon tour of Europe’s salons. Here she is giving the bathroom mirror selfie to end all bathroom mirror selfies, while also managing to give some Yellow Wallpaper realness:

Paris Match

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Here, we see the singer framing her own face with the most Lana license plate holder we’ve ever seen:

Paris Match

A post shared by Lana Del Rey (@lanadelrey) on

Here, she’s just being hot and patriotic, testing out the new Polaroid she got for her wedding:

Fun in the Sun w Paris Match!!!!!

A post shared by Lana Del Rey (@lanadelrey) on

Lust For Life is out this soon, and promises to be the precious antidote to the crippling disease that has been 2017 so far.

Paramore Returns With New Video And Announcement of New Album

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It’s been four years since Paramore last released an album – last up was the 2013 self-titled LP that included the single “Ain’t It Fun.” Now, at last, the rock group is back, dropping a certified treasure trove of new material upon us today.

Not only have they released a music video for their single “Hard Times,” they’ve announced an entire new album, After Laughter, featuring the song as the first track. And, to really get us going this Wednesday morning, they’ve released the track list and album art. Take a look:

 

Track list:

01 Hard Times
02 Rose-Colored Boy
03 Told You So
04 Forgiveness
05 Fake Happy
06 26
07 Pool
08 Grudges
09 Caught In The Middle
10 Idle Worship
11 No Friend
12 Tell Me How

And album art:

paramorenewartafterlaughter

Update: Pepsi Apologizes to Public (And Kendall Jenner?) for Problematic Commercial

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Earlier today, Pepsi defended the public backlash concerning it’s latest ad, featuring Kendall Jenner appropriating images from Black Lives Matter and anti-Trump protests. At the time, the company said: “This is a global ad that reflects people from different walks of life coming together in a spirit of harmony, and we think that’s an important message to convey.”

Now, Coca-Cola’s rival seems to have admitted defeat and is licking their wounds. They’ve pulled all of the ads and discontinued any further rollout, in conjunction with this statement:

Very interesting that Kendall has received a direct apology, while protestors and memers of the Black Lives Matter movement have not. Fun, fun stuff!

Sounds of a Genius: ‘Moonlight’ Oscar-Winner on His Musical Passions

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Tarell Alvin McCraney, the man behind Moonlight, shares the songs that inspire him.

“I don’t know if people of gay, lesbian, or queer status are more active dreamers than others,” McCraney says, “but when you are sort of pressed to have an inner world to yourself, you populate it with some fantastic people and things.”

McCraney, who wrote the play on which the Oscar-winning Moonlight was based, has long been an extraordinarily gifted writer, with a string of plays that explore the black experience in America, including Head of Passes, which had its world premiere at Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre, Choir Boy (staged in both London and New York City), and his acclaimed trilogy, The Brother/Sister plays.

“City Called Heaven”  St Olaf Choir

I heard this in my first year of college, during winter break when everyone else had gone home. This song rang out and shone a spotlight on a pain I could not gather and pull out on my own. It spoke of slave narratives and cotton fields but also of not being enough for this world and longing to be accepted, to be gathered up and taken to the next. Something I had felt my whole life but could not express. The lyrics talk about hearing of a city where there is peace and the need to call that city, Heaven, my home.

“Flyin’ High”  Marvin Gaye

I heard this song very early in my life thanks to my parents, who had exquisite taste in music. It made me well up and cry, and I said to my mom, ‘I don’t understand why we would want to listen to it.’ And she said, ‘because this man is a genius. And this is what genius music is supposed to do.’ Later I discovered that my desires, and my need for self-control, as well as the battles with addiction around me, all found a call and response in this song. It is what genius music does. It allows us a conversation that we cannot have alone to come fumbling forward—like those salty tears I welled up the first time I listened to this.

“Free  Deniece Williams

The smell of marijuana in the air, air conditioning, and ocean breeze. This song reminds me of my neighborhood of Liberty City in Miami. The sound is both bitter and sweet, free and constrained.

“Hyper-ballad”  Bjork, Brodsky Quartet Version 

There are films, books, stories waiting to come spilling out of this liquid beauty.
I once saw a piece choreographed to Hyper Ballad when I was in High School and cried so much out of joy and pain, I think it was the first time I had felt or sensed the sublime. I could not explain how free I felt. I thought it was the ballet, but I listened to the song again on the train and instantly the world was animated by the song, the words, Bjork’s voice, the strings stirring… I wept again.

“I’m On My Way (Live)”  Mahalia Jackson 

Have you ever heard a live performance and felt you can see the entire concert in your mind, or at least can see the performer, the way their body moves towards or away from the microphone? This live version of this song, and Mahalia’s siren like call, the piano’s rhythm make me believe I am there, listening, amen-ing, swooning with the crowd as this vessel delivers spirit.

“Paranoid Android”  Radiohead

A masterpiece that shows us what modern day suites should look like. It takes the angst of an ever-growing electronically dependent future and explores the nuances of that generation. The song is so hot, then so cool, then so messy and silly and then smooth and succinct. It serves for me, always, as an example of what a large vision can accomplish.

“Rouge”  Lou Reed

I love this song. I choreograph solos to it in all the bedrooms I stay in around the world.

“Smells Like Teen Spirit”  Tori Amos 

A perfect example of how to take a piece of work and turn it into something all your own, adding your own powers to the conversation that is already there. I love the original, and will never forget the day I came home from school, the video debuted on MTV and my mother was rocking out to this song: “These white boys are getting down.” I didn’t want to smile, although I can today, and did at the time in my heart. I loved that song and I’m glad she did too. But the Amos cover adds another layer that is at one time subdued and yet wild and unmanageable in pathos.

“Sinnerman”  Nina Simone

One, two, three; one, two, three; one, two, three. It’s a lesson in rhythm: where it can take us, where it can leave us, and how we can get back. I wrote my first play to the rhythm of this song. I just played it over and over and over and wrote and listened and cried and prayed and… one, two, three.

“Warda’s Whorehouse”  Phillip Glass & Foday Musa Sosa

Another song, intimate, haunting, refraining. I stumbled across it while doing research on Peter Brook, who used it for a production of Jean Genet’s The Screens. Its tight musical elements hearken to something ancient but serve a style that is contemporary. It wakes in me the want for discipline, but the need for carnality.

Escape Plan: Mexico City

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Photo by Eneas De Troya

Yes, being ranked by The New York Times as the world’s top destination is always a good thing, but even before winning the honor in January, Mexico City—or CDMX as the sprawling capital is now branded—was always a darling destination with much better food at much better prices than other global favorites, like Berlin.

For Americans, in particular, the relatively short distance (from New York, it’s quicker to fly there than to San Francisco) makes it ideal for a long weekend. Or several. And although the city is so vast that one would never manage to explore all of it, the gentrified neighborhoods of Condesa and Roma, with their tree-lined streets and stately villas, make for a happy stomping ground.

The restaurant scene is lively, and there is no shortage of good bars, like Romita Comedor, with its appealing roof deck, and the newly opened Blanco Colima, occupying an imposing white mansion on one of the city’s signature tree-lined roads.

But don’t plan too much—CDMX is made for accidental discoveries, such as 123, a rustic coffee shop (named after its street number on Calle Artículo) first spotted on a leisurely bicycle ride, then revisited each morning for splendid cappuccinos and the moody Charlie Parker soundtrack. A magazine rack on the wall offers customers a selection of vintage journals—a nice touch. Make a beeline for The Divine Spouse, by José de Ibarra, a painting of a rhapsodic Jesus lying in a field of psychedelic flowers at Museo Franz Mayer, a peaceful haven on the site of an old monastery. If you prefer your art contemporary, you can’t do better than Museo Tamayo.

Guests of the Le Méridien get free entry to the Tamayo as part of the property’s unique Unlock Art program. And don’t miss the hotel’s fantastic Sunday brunch: a cornucopia of Mexican specialties, from cactus salad to fried pork rinds. You can work it off afterward on a bike, available through the city’s excellent share program, or from the hotel concierge.

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Museo Franz Mayer

When the World Goes to Shit, There’s Still Whisky

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Oh whisky, what would we do without you? A drink of poets, whisky has felt especially useful during the long dark night that is our national nightmare. One sip and you are transported to a Highland Glen, or a windswept Scottish shore.

There are whiskies for every temperament, of course, from the floral pepperiness of Highland Park, the country’s northernmost distillery, to the sweet brininess of Old Pulteney; but a long-time favorite has always been Bruichladdich (pronounced BrookLaddie), one of Scotland’s more eccentric and most inventive distilleries.

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Back in the mists of time—well, December 2000, to be precise (when we were still arguing about the Gore v. Bush election results)—a gentleman by the name of Mark Reynier took a gamble on a mothballed whisky distillery on the Scottish island of Islay, famous as the home for the country’s smokiest whiskies (most evidenced in the island’s notorious Laphroaig).

But one of those whiskies—Bruichladdich—is not smoky at all, having dispensed with the tradition of using peat smoke to dry its barley in the 1960s. It was this distillery that Reynier salvaged. Under the guiding hand of master distiller Jim McEwan (poached from nearby Bowmore), Reynier and his investors rebuilt the 120-year old whisky distillery, and then set about restoring the lovely and delicate nectar to its former glory. Opened in 1881, Bruichladdich was best-known for the tall and narrow-necked stills used for distilling the spirit, a piece of Victoriana which has been miraculously retained.

More than that, though, the ethos that animates Bruichladdich today is rooted deeply in the idea of terroir—not just the sea gales that batter this rocky outcrop, but locally-grown barley that helps keep island farmers in business. The bottle’s aquamarine color is a tribute to the extraordinary color of the ocean when the sun shines.

Scottish whisky takes time to mature—a good ten years to be considered at all acceptable—but while Reynier and McEwan were waiting for their first bottlings (from 2001) to be ready for market, they challenge the industry’s consensus, launching a young and peaty Scotch, Port Charlotte, as well as investing in a Scottish gin, The Botanist. Experimentation has become something of a hallmark, and now Bruichladdich is known also for Octomore—a super peaty whisky—and its line of Black Art bottlings, made from back stocks of whisky and issued in limited supplies. There are 12,000 bottles of Black Art 5, created by Bruichladdich’s current master distiller, Adam Hannett, in which the youngest whisky is 24 years old. The taste is raisiny, with dark fruits and Christmas spice. At $399 it’s definitely a special occasion whisky, but you’ll have to wait until February when the bottling is officially released to enjoy it. In the meantime there’s still stocks of the more affordable Black Art 4, but catch it while you can. Otherwise, you really can’t go wrong with a $60 bottle of the Classic Laddie, finished in first-fill bourbon, sherry, and French wine casks, and with a lovely floral nose and a lingering taste of honey on the tongue.

For suppliers, visit bruichladdich.com