Spotting a fashion comeback?

You wouldn’t normally connect fashion and beauty with flies.

The secret code of beauty spotsMessy Nessy
Also referred to as a mouche or fly (insect) by the French, the beauty spot was a very small, often distinctively shaped fabric patch that was applied to the face or exposed upper body, and was solely applied for the purpose of inviting attention. […]

The origins of mouche fashion are a bit of a mystery. Some suggest they were adopted to cover pox marks – although to disguise the damage wrought by a smallpox or syphilis attack would’ve required far more than two or three fly-sized patches. For the elite, they ultimately became a means of sending clandestine messages by means of a familiar design and placement code. Think of them like the social media emojis of the day. At high society gatherings, getting noticed was essential and appearance was the be-all and end-all.

Despite being all the rage for almost two centuries, the mouche made little or no appearance in the grand aristocratic portraits of the 18th century. It wasn’t until “It Girl” Clara Bow was famously photographed with a star on her cheek that mouches returned as a fleeting fad in the 1920s, and again in the 1940s and 1950s when Marilyn Monroe and her natural beauty spot took Hollywood by storm. Then there was Cindy Crawford’s beauty spot in the 90s of course, but in the 2020’s we appeared to have come full circle with cute emoji-style pimple patches to not only hide blemishes, but treat them Salicylic Acid to help break up congestion in pores.

Meanwhile, over at the National Gallery…

The metaverse on the high street

Amazon may have decided to shut up shop, but that’s not put Facebook Meta off.

Meta plans to open its first retail store as it highlights metaverse-related productsThe New York Times
The Meta Store, at the company’s campus in Burlingame, Calif., will open on May 9, Meta said. The store will showcase Meta’s hardware, including the Quest 2 virtual-reality headset, the Portal video calling device and the Ray-Ban Stories smart sunglasses. Customers can try out the devices to experiment with virtual and augmented reality and buy the items in the store or later online at Meta’s or Ray-Ban’s website.

I won’t be rushing to get there.

Mark Zuckerberg’s metaverse obsession is driving some current and former Facebook employees nuts: ‘It’s the only thing Mark wants to talk about’Insider
Last year, it lost $10 billion on its Reality Labs segment, which handles metaverse projects. It intends to spend that much this year, too, and possibly for many years to come. Zuckerberg has said the metaverse is a long-term project that won’t be fully developed for a decade or more. So far, there’s little to show for so much money spent, according to another employee who recently left. “There’s still not much to touch or look at, much less use,” the person said, “for all of its metaverse proclamations.”

Mark Zuckerberg’s augmented realityThe Verge
Animating the push for AR glasses and Facebook’s rebrand to Meta is a desire by Zuckerberg to cast the company he founded as innovative once again, people familiar with his thinking say. The social network’s reputation has been stained by a series of privacy and content moderation scandals, hurting employee morale and faith in leadership. Regulators are trying to break the company up and curb its business of personalized advertising. And among its Silicon Valley peers, it has become known as a ruthless copycat. If the AR glasses and the other futuristic hardware Meta is building eventually catch on, they could cast the company, and by extension Zuckerberg, in a new light. “Zuck’s ego is intertwined with [the glasses],” a former employee who worked on the project tells me. “He wants it to be an iPhone moment.”