Linkwala: Empires

Brace yourself for Paul Tran's stunning film poem, #1 Beauty Salon, published by Cura*. "So when the day comes / and this empire collapses / onto its knees, spooling / in a pool of its own / blood, we will be ready / to make you all so beautiful."

A very smart critique of the Burka Avenger's burka. "[T]he show displaces the myriad meanings attributed to the burka by women who wear it (burka-as-piety, burka-as-dress code, burka-as-fashion) and plays on fears of the burka as a tool for the concealment of mysterious sinister identities.

 Photo: Farnaz Abdoli

Photo: Farnaz Abdoli

I love the work of Iranian designer Farnaz Abdoli  whose elegant and graphic clothes subvert the visibility controls placed on women's bodies by the government. This 2013 profile reveals her as a thoughtful, down-to-earth artist. I also love the clothes for themselves and if wishes were unicorns, I would be wearing this gorgeous teal shawl.

However, I also feel uneasy with simplistic articles lauding the "Western" "fashion revolution" in Iran and setting it up as an antithesis to the chador and oppression and Islam. Here's a brilliant critique that analyzes this particular hype. "This kind of fascination with Iranian women and their sense of dress, however, obscures the complexities surrounding how Iranian women actually practice the mandatory veil." 

Brace yourself again, this time for Jessica Ledwich's Monstrous Feminine photo series on extreme beauty treatments (h/t Jezebel)

How did Italian fashion become so glamorous? The Victoria and Albert Museum wants to know.

*Full disclosure: Laundry has a crush on Cura.