What to listen to, what to read, drink and buy: get ready for the weekend with these great diversions.
In recent weeks, US toy behemoth Mattel has launched a new Barbie. And if you’re thinking Barbie might not be a bastion of positive self-image, think again. This one has been developed in partnership with the National Down Syndrome Society to help more children “find a toy that represents them”. Wearing blue and yellow – the colours of Down syndrome awareness – and a pink pendant representing the chromosomal variation that creates the physical characteristics associated with the condition, she’s the latest addition to Barbie’s new “Fashionista” range, which also includes a doll with a prosthetic leg and another in a wheelchair.
Meanwhile, British Vogue, that grand old dame of fashion media, is championing the rise of radical inclusion by featuring five disabled people on alternate covers of its May issue. Described as “Dynamic, Daring and Disabled”, they include Down syndrome model Ellie Goldstein, actor Selma Blair, who has MS, and accessibility advocate and little person Sinéad Burke, who believes that telling the stories of disabled people is a “movement, not a moment”. Long may it continue. (Catch Burke in conversation with Ben Law in this week’s Dicey Topics.) Amanda Hooton
The genius of The Rest is History podcast is that Tom Holland and Dominic Sandbrook – two posh-sounding, impeccably educated, book-loving English chaps – sit atop a mountain of material that could easily overwhelm them and the listener, yet it feels nothing like a history class. Instead, it’s like a dinner party where two erudite friends riff on the Caliphate of Córdoba, young Churchill or medieval treason while lovingly taking the piss out of each other. It’s wonderful to see a history podcast hold its own alongside true crime. The past is back, baby, and given the state of the world, it’s just in the nick of time. Melissa Fyfe
In June last year, iconic Sydney jeweller Martin & Stein, famed for its stash of Georgian, Victorian and art deco dazzlers, closed its QVB store after three decades in the wake of family tragedy, the owners citing escalating rent and the COVID-19-related tourism drop-off. Now, the Martin & Stein Fine Jewellery Collection, one of the largest selections of antique jewellery ever offered at auction in Australia, will go under the hammer at Leonard Joel on June 6, with previews held in both Melbourne and Sydney. Items include a circa 1810 diamond pendant necklace once modelled by Nicole Kidman. Estimates for some of the 278 lots start as low as $100. Prepare to be enthralled. Frances Mocnik
Missing Ken, Logan, Shiv, Roman and Connor? Wishing Succession’s dysfunctional, super-rich family would return, whispering the masterful mutterings of Tom, Cousin Greg, Matsson and Gerri? Quell withdrawal with Faber & Faber’s Succession: the Complete Scripts (varying release dates and prices), four weighty tomes flooded with the dazzlingly sharp, funny and obscene dialogue that made this multi-award-winning, globally successful TV show such a necessity. Written by a team of mostly comedy writers, the scripts include deleted scenes, alternative dialogue, character directions and an introduction by creator and head writer Jesse Armstrong. It can’t play the sinister piano intro, but Logan’s every snarling “f--- OFF” will always be close at hand. Lenny Ann Low
The once humble flannelette shirt has something to brag about. The unofficial uniform of the working-class man and grunge-rock disciple has received a style promotion from Japanese designer Keizo Shimizu at Needles (“7 Cuts”, $340). Comprising assorted layers of upcycled flannel, the cosy farmhand staple is now back-paddock couture. Panels of clashing plaids pay quiet tribute to the punk revival; thanks to the considered craftsmanship, though, no safety pins are required. Damien Woolnough
“Every page of writing is the result of a thousand tiny decisions and desperate acts of will.” Not only does Helen Garner’s riveting quote appear on the label of The Writer’s Gin ($89), it also inspired its thoughtful, aromatic blend of Australian peach, native thyme, raspberry and lemon myrtle botanicals. Launched by the Archie Rose Book Club with online bookstore Booktopia, editor Michael Williams and book designer Evi.O Studio, the gin can also be value-added with two top reads (Birnam Wood by Eleanor Catton and Pip Williams’ The Bookbinder of Jericho; $129). Because who doesn’t want to curl up with a good book and a G&T? Jill Dupleix