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Stories du Moment
A French basketball wunderkind, fashion legislation, water basins, and tourism!
I’ve just returned from a week in Greece, my first time in the country and my first time taking an extended break since the end of last year which I am not proud of (have I learned nothing from Rahaf Harfoush?). That being said, I did plenty of reading and thought these stories, events, or ideas should be on your radar.
PSG is squandering Mbappé’s talents so he’ll take them elsewhere next year, eek! (The Guardian)
I can’t wait to see what happens this week for Victor Wembanyama in the NBA draft lottery. Who is he? What’s the back story? Why do we care? I got into all of that on my latest podcast episode with historian and sports diplomacy expert Lindsay Krasnoff!
Apparently cliff diving into the Seine is a thing. I wouldn’t do it but I’m intrigued by the fearlessness of these divers! (Replay in English on YouTube).
ON MALIGNED PARIS MONUMENTS
We’re approaching the 50th anniversary of the Montparnasse Tower which means 50 years of contempt! (I particularly like the “tragic street lamp” critique, here. CNN)
ON FASHION, ICONS, & SUSTAINABILITY (OF BOTH)
LVMH banks on American talent for success, now with Pharrell at the helm of Louis Vuitton Homme (NYT, unlocked)
Somewhat related: should we uphold the legacy of certain “Parisiennes”? Brigitte Bardot, the coquettish actress turned intolerant activist, looms large in the French and foreign imagination when it comes to representations of womanhood and feminine appeal and yet there is plenty of reason to let her image fade for good. Apparently, the national TV networks disagree and have devoted a six-part miniseries to her stardom. I was happy to offer some thoughts for this new piece from journalist Iris Goldsztajn (with whom I chatted with for another essay) that digs into the impact of deifying the Bardot aura, if not the woman herself. (British Vogue)
The EU parliament has proposed legislation to cut down on textile waste, overproduction and exploitation. As explained in this excellent newsletter by Tiffanie Darke that I’ve been following with great interest:
“MEPs want products sold in the EU to be more durable, easier to reuse, repair and recycle, to be made of recycled fibres where possible, and free of hazardous substances. To tackle overproduction and consumption there is an explicit ask to end “fast fashion”, starting with a clear definition of the term based on “high volumes of lower quality garments at low price levels”.
Other recommendations include an end to greenwashing and the prevention “without further delay” of the release of microplastics and microfibers into the environment. Well, hooray: the great transformation is underway. And by the way this is not just for fashion: every industry in the world is going to have to fix their supply chains, transform their raw materials and form a circular business model before long.”
Not a fashion issue but one related to another environmental question stirring heated debate across the country: mega water basins, good or bad? I thought this was a very thorough and helpful explainer of these projects, properly weighing its pros and cons. I understand the protests now. (The Atlantic)
FINALLY, ON TOURISM
If it feels like everyone and their grandma are back to boarding flights and lugging around oversized suitcases to Paris (because you’ve seen the lugging in the streets, of course), you’d be right: we’ve nearly reached pre-Covid tourism numbers in the city. From what I observed in Greece, I’d wager the Greeks have long met their pre pandemic rates or surpassed them. (Le Monde, paywalled but the preview packs some interesting data)