The latest internet trend I cant get enough of: gelatin

From fashion to the art world down to the simple charms of a video of Jell-O being spanked gelatin is having a moment For a year now, Ive been a member of a Facebook group for gelatin enthusiasts. Called, amazingly, mutilated sea bass reconstructed with a conga line of gelatin-ensconced shrimp on its back) or jiggle videos of various jellies being cut soap or made a case for the phenomenon of odd satisfaction being a product of the grace of witnessing a perfect fit. What is clear is that jellys charms are catching on: lately, the worlds of fashion and art have also been ready for some jelly. To wit: for SS20, Balenciaga showed petal-like confection evocative of the flowers …

Giorgio Armani: ‘Japan always keeps its soul’

The fashion supremo on how a simple table sparked his love for Japanese design I loved how spare those tables looked, the restraint and grace. What I find so particularly interesting is the sense of calm that pervades all things Japanese. On top of that, I am struck by how in Japan modernity mingles seamlessly with history. The Japanese manage to convey the sense that they are able to look both backwards to tradition and forwards to the unknown future with equal ease. This is quite a cultural accomplishment. In 1981 my interest for the Japanese aesthetic, fuelled by a steady diet of Kurosawa, of old and new, went full-blown in one of my most iconic collections an epic commercial …

Why have Americans given so much money to restore Notre-Dame?

When the iconic cathedral was nearly lost to flames, the wave of grief was felt across the Atlantic as donations came rolling in As news broke on 15 April 2019 that the roof of the French cathedral Notre-Dame de Paris was on fire, phones immediately started ringing at the offices of the French Heritage Society, executive director Jennifer Herlein recalls. People, most of them Americans, some in tears, were offering donations to rebuild the beloved gothic monument. We cannot imagine a world without Paris, and we cannot imagine a Paris without Notre-Dame, the French Heritage Society had said in its call for funds. It was right. The French Heritage Society has so far received $2.45m in donations, mostly from the …

Punk hellraiser Lydia Lunch: ‘I’m chronically misunderstood but I get off on it’

The runaway, singer and counter-culture icon is hitting 60 and is as incendiary as ever, touring and raging against polluters and politicians in a rip-roaring book Lydia Lunch turned 60 this year, but age has done little to dim this counterculture icons lust for life. Decades after her start as the nihilist 16-year-old frontwoman of 1970s no-wave band Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, the New York-born apocalyptician is a revered veteran of the US underground: a writer, spoken-word performer, musician, actor and artist. Lunchs style is raw and incendiary, all sex and death and taboo-busting feminist rage. And in 2019, the sexagenarian is as unapologetic and active as ever still writing, touring, collaborating and performing. Lunch is in Colchester when …

Nico in Manchester: ‘She loved the architecture and the heroin’

She had been a top model, then sang with the Velvet Underground, and in 1981 Nico moved to Manchester. Her friends there share their touching, alarming memories of a true bohemian An imperious blond German ex-model with a voice once described as like a body falling through a window, Nico was already extraordinary by the time she leant her vocals to songs including Femme Fatale and All Tomorrows Parties on the Velvet Undergrounds classic first album, produced by Andy Warhol. Soon after that, she embarked on a solo career, and made records, such as The Marble Index, that were even darker, with despairing lyrics and a wheezing harmonium accompanying Nicos Teutonic tones. By this time, she was no longer blond …

Virgil Abloh: the red-hot renaissance man shaking up fashion

Virgil Abloh is fashions hottest designer. We meet the man whose orange brick has people queuing round the block On an early summers evening on the outskirts of Basel a city almost certainly in Switzerland, but sometimes in France and occasionally Germany hundreds of well-heeled men and women stand in line, giddily, champagne flutes in hand, waiting to buy a 140 brick. It is, naturally, no ordinary brick. Its flag-down-a-passing-aircraft orange, and prominently branded in an edition of just 999. But, crucially, the brick or ceramic block as its parents have christened it has been designed by Virgil Abloh, a 38-year-old from Chicago, in conjunction with the timeless Swiss furniture company GQLouis Vuittons first African-American artistic director, and a rare …

The skyscraper infinity pool sorry, but where’s the diving board?

It is meant to be a boundary-busting punch for the sky. But this design for a rooftop London pool is just another high-rise ego gimmick In 1924, swimming pool designerno apparent means of escape, as if the digital people are in some kind of sublime prison cell for the super rich. We are assured there is in fact a way in and out, courtesy of a rotating spiral staircase which rises from the pool floor, and that this is an entirely buildable proposition that includes an inbuilt anemometer to vary the water level and access to the pool. Underwater swimming … how the pool could look Photograph: Compass Pools The designer, Alex Kemsley, said, the building started life as a …