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WOMEN SAVING AMERICA AND 'NOTES ON CAMP': THIS WEEK'S CULTURE WRAP

What we read, saw, heard and discussed this week. 

 

Edna Chavez and Gabrielle Giffords by Williams & Hirakawa for Harper's Bazaar.

 

By Tamara Abraham

 

This was the week that US President Donald Trump mocked Dr Christine Blasey Ford's powerful testimony accusing new Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh of attempted rape when they were teenagers.  

 

Dr Ford has faced death threats in the wake of her testimony and remains in an undisclosed location, but millions have thanked her for her courage in sacrificing her anonymity. An open letter from the founders of the #MeToo movement — Tarana Burke, Tracee Ellis Ross, Amanda de Cadenet, Glennon Doyle and America Ferrera — lead the charge. It read: "We witnessed you show up for duty not as a superhero, but as a fully human woman. You showed us that the new hero ― the kind of heroism called for in this moment ― is a woman facing the patriarchy with no weapons other than her voice, her body, and the truth." The message was particularly resonant as we considered how to make the world a safer, fairer place for the next generation on International Day of the Girl.

 

You can send your own letter of thanks to: Dr Christine Blasey Ford, c/o Palo Alto University, 1791 Arastradero Road, Palo Alto, CA 94304.

 

This week also saw the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute  announce the theme for its spring 2019 gala and exhibition. Inspired by Susan Sontag’s infinitely quotable 'Notes on Camp', we've been revisiting the seminal 1964 essay. The event will be hosted by Lady Gaga, Alessandro Michele, Harry Styles, Serena Williams and of course Anna Wintour, with sponsorship by Gucci. We are giddy with excitement.

 

The AMAs on Tuesday were hosted by Dannijo fave Tracee Ellis Ross, who wore all black designers, including a suit by Pyer Moss and shoes by Christian Louboutin "FOR THE CULTURE", she wrote on Instagram.

 

In somewhat more tone-deaf fashion news, the conversation surrounding Melania Trump's Africa tour ensembles shows no sign of waning. The FLOTUS says she wants people to focus on what she does, not what she wears, but as the New York Times' Vanessa Friedman observes, "If the first lady really wants people to focus on what she does instead of what she wears, she can do what Hillary Clinton did in her time as a candidate and adopt a uniform to effectively bore people into silence."

 

Back to more inspiring figures, Harper's Bazaar has published a new series in which game-changing women interview each other. The conversations include Jane Fonda and Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Khan-Cullors discussing the evolution of civil rights activism, Rosario Dawson and Laverne Cox on the power of intersectional feminism, and Gabrielle Giffords and Edna Chavez on their fight for gun control.

 

Over in the UK, all anyone's been talking about is a new BBC documentary that explores the impact of fashion on the planet. 'I feel like we understand what plastic does to the Earth but I had no idea what cotton was capable of,' says host Stacey Dooley, who traveled to Kazakhstan to see the devastating effect the crop can have on the environment. If that isn't incentive to buy vintage, we don't know what is.

 

In podcasts, we're loving 99 Percent Invisible's series on fashion. Titled 'Articles of Interest', Avery Trufelman explores the origins of what we wear. We especially enjoyed the latest episode on the history of blue jeans.

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