The Fashion of Disease

Dr. Brian J. Troth // On January 23, 2020, my ex-fiancé passed away when he was 34. When he was hospitalized, I took great care to select clothes that he loved for his bag and it reminded me of an undeveloped project on my mind: the fashion of disease. Though I haven’t quite threaded the…

(Un)fashionable Illness

Lesley Thulin // When VICE Magazine published a fashion spread that depicted reenactments of famous women writers’ suicides in its 2013 Women in Fiction issue, it was met with outrage. Some critics described “Last Words” as “almost breathtakingly tasteless,” while others chalked it up to “slouching indifference and sloppiness.” VICE’s own last words on the…

Glossier No More: Following the Leadership of Retail Workers

Bojan Srbinovski // Things are happening at Glossier, the cosmetics giant famous for its millennial pink brand palette and its repeatedly stated goal to “democratize beauty.” A recent open letter published by a group called Outta the Gloss, a collective of former Glossier retail employees, indicates that these workers, whom Glossier calls “offline editors,” were…

Is the Face Mask a Muzzle? A Brief History

Don James McLaughlin// On June 26, a video began circulating of a man growling “I will not be muzzled like a mad dog” at a special meeting of the St. Lucie County Commission in Florida, held to discuss a proposal for a face mask mandate. Bared teeth notwithstanding, commissioners voted to approve the ordinance on…

Proust in Pandemic: Part II

Catherine Parker // Proust and Medicine Prior to undertaking the project to read In Search of Lost Time in the coronavirus era, the only biographical fact I knew about Proust was that he insisted on completing his landmark novel in the cocoon of a cork-lined room—an idiosyncratic signature—but perhaps one that would have resonated in…

Behind the Beak: Plague Doctor Iconography in 2020

Madeleine Mant // 2020 is the year of the mask. Whether manufacturing, stockpiling, MacGyvering, sewing, 3D printing, or debating them, masks are (figuratively, if not literally) on everyone’s lips. The efficacy and culture of masks as personal protective equipment has been investigated for over a century’s worth of diseases, including the 1910-’11 Manchurian plague (Lynteris),…

Exercise and the outdoors in the time of Coronavirus

Emily Wheater // The land of UK Lockdown is a strange one, where we are allowed out for essential purposes only. For the time being, exercise outdoors is counted as such an essential purpose due to its importance in maintaining physical and mental health. That fact that exercise and time spent outdoors is good for…