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Volume 361

How do you like your eggs? This week’s coolsh*t we honour design legend Virgil Abloh, buy ovary based NFT’s, dive into drag race, the metaverse and dancing garms. After all, who doesn’t need to get their hips moving this holiday season?


Even though Drag Race has always championed and supported gender experimentation among unexpected participants – Maddy Morphosis is the first heterosexual, cisgender male contestant in fourteen seasons of “RuPaul’s Drag Race”. And yet, much ado was made about her inclusion in the cast. Shouldn’t it be a positive milestone that elevating the community has rubbed off on the broader culture? It’s created make-up melting, heated debate amongst the scene despite the many examples of hetero male contributors to drag culture. Morphosis believes in drag to challenge the concepts of masculinity and femininity and does not see that her sexual or gender orientation is a factor in her drag performance. Is Morphosis stealing a queer competitor’s thunder? Well, don’t be a chillona – BGB!

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Who hasn’t been shaken by the death of Virgil Abloh? With a green light from his family, Mercedes-benz pays tribute to Off-White founder and Louis Vuitton Artistic Director Virgil Abloh with project MAYBACH. ‘Designed to inspire the next generation, and forever question the status quo.’ The result of their collaboration is a two-seater show car (or should that be show-off car?). A 6-meter go anywhere grand tourer with seats that fold down into a luxe flat bed – so basically a driving boutique hotel room. “A modest contribution to Abloh’s design legacy”, as Mercedes-Benz says. Abloh’s passion was to challenge the status quo and rewrite the rules for sophisticated design. To us, it looks like he really wanted to work with Maybach’s major competition, judging from the lines of this limo, there’s more than one Ghost on project Maybach.

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A biorobot (sorry, a reconfigurable organism) that can reproduce itself? Don’t know if I’m fascinated or f*cking terrified. It’s hard to believe that biotech has advanced to the point where we question whether frog cells will bring about the end of the human race. But here we are! Scientists have succeeded in developing bio-organisms, Xenobots – whose organisms use a new form of self-replication. How it works (please feel free to use Austin Powers style “air parentheses”): the “machines” collect hundreds of individual amphibian cells and assemble them into “baby” Xenobots. After just a few days the “babies” then “evolve” to look and behave exactly like their “parents”. Kinda cute no? And for now, we can rest assured – as long as they are controlled in secure government surveillance labs AKA a petri dish on a bench, we are safe. Well, I feel a lot better now!

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In the last year, non-fungible tokens have become the hottest topic amongst the art and DeFi scenes. After Lionel Messi, Grimes and Paris Hilton, it appears anything is possible in the world of tokens. Enter Narine Arakelien to take us to peak NFT. An Armenian contemporary artist exhibiting at the 2021 edition of the annual art fair underway in Miami, her website describes her as an artist that ‘feels that humans are energy waves which transform our reality’. And she’s promised the buyer of her artwork – titled “Love, Hope, Life” – one of her eggs. Arakelien takes the title quite literally, saying that she hopes the buyer – preferably a couple – will use the egg to conceive a child. “The child is a child when it is born, not a work of art,” Arakelien said. It’s all a beautiful act of reality transforming creativity until Charlie Saatchi comes along and gets his chequebook out.

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Istituto Marangoni Miami, in collaboration with Zepeto, is offering a Metaverse Scholarship for fashion students. Who hasn’t created their own avatar on a South Korean social media app and had it chill out around London / the world? For those who don’t know (where have you been), Zepeto creates personalised 3D avatars that can interact with others within its metaverse, presumably checking out your virtual sneaks and asking where you got your virtual handbag when they’re all still stuck on a virtual container ship somewhere.

The platform has already partnered with Ralph Lauren, Gucci and Dior to take advantage of the technology and introduce virtual brand collections and immersive spaces for users.

The school wants to promote the importance of interacting with the next generation of consumers via the virtual world. So now it’s your turn. Simply create your very best capsule collection, cast your chain-smoking avatars to walk it, and assemble your best virtual frow to sneer at the models and judge your creations.

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Remember the last time you danced like no one was watching? Me neither, but that’s cos I’m a blatant exhibitionist. Anyway, Hamburg-based, multi-disciplinary designer Vincent Schwenk brings us to the beats with “When the K hits”, a joy inducing, washing bag explosion of digital art set to catwalk music. His latest piece is a reflection on how much he and everyone has missed dancing (and maybe its unlicensed accoutrements?) over the past year because of the globally imposed covid-19 lockdowns. It showcases a dynamic 3D video of an anthropomorphic ball of dancing fabrics with futuristic candy-coloured blobs and glossy shapes. Schwenk’s aim is to bring joy and let his audience float in nostalgia. Can you feel it kicking in yet?

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