Are tattoos still for badasses? What does it take to create a pop hook that’s worthy of being a Rihanna hit? And what is it about Paris that makes it such a destination for young girls looking for their own elevated levels of sophistication?

Plus, talking with Diane von Furstenburg, and how a woman’s role in the workplace has changed over time. Our round up of 5 weekend reads, after the break.

fashion lifestyle weekend reading

Tattoos: from alternative to mainstream

Is the ancient art of tattooing on the verge of a massive sellout, asks Alex Halperin for Guernica Magazine? He visits tattoo conventions and thinks about getting inked to answer the question.

“Are tattoos still for badasses when they’re common in malls and on elite campuses?”

Read it here.

Diane von Furstenberg talks crazy business

Diane von Furstenberg talks to her Creative Director, Yvan Mispelaere, about their partnership, being serious about a crazy business, and shared inspirations.

“YM: One thing you said really made an impression. You said you liked serious people. I do think I am a serious person, but in fashion that is not necessarily seen as a good quality. You are supposed to be crazy. So I liked that you liked that I was serious.”

Read it here.

The music machine: how hits are made

Exploring the people behind the hits, and how pop has overtaken rock not just as the genre of top 40 choice, but creatively.

“How did this happen? How did mainstream rock, once the source of the catchiest hooks in popular music, become robotic, unimaginative, and predictable, while pop, always the soul of artifice, came to seem creative, experimental, and alive?”

Read it here.

Sex and the office

How a woman’s role in the workplace has changed – considerably – over time.

“Men, fearful already for their jobs, were looking not for competition but for subordinates. A 1935 article in Fortune spelled out the advantages of striking the right gender balance in the office. With “their conscious or subconscious intention some day to marry, and their conscious or subconscious willingness to be directed by men,” women made for “amenable and obedient” little workers.”

Read it here.

Studies abroad in Paris

How did visits to Paris shape Jacqueline Bouvier, Susan Sontag, and Angela Davis? A new book explores why Paris is such an appealing destination on the quest for sophistication.

“Light and fun as it is to read, Dreaming in French flirts, in appropriately Gallic fashion, with deeper questions: Why is the study of French connected so deeply in the American mind with sophistication? Exactly what is missing in American culture that our young women sought (and continue to seek) in France?”

Read it here.

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