Rated Reads shares our pick of the best articles from around the web. This week: how the Simpsons took over Paris Fashion Week and the story behind Adele's long-awaited return.

D’oh! couture: Balenciaga puts The Simpsons on Paris catwalk

One of the biggest surprises this week was seeing everyone’s favourite cult cartoon take over the Balenciaga runway. Jess Cartner-Morley suggests that it’s a sign that the industry will take itself down a peg.

“The red-roped elitism that fashion weeks all over the world have relied on to protect their status feels old-fashioned in an era that aspires to inclusivity. As society attempts to regroup and to bond after 18 months of distance and isolation, the more forward-thinking elements of fashion are working to mirror that mood.”

Cartner-Morley sees this reflected across the board, from accessible shows from Valentino and Chloe.

Delays, divorce and drum ’n’ bass: how Adele’s 30 album went from rumour to reality

Heard the news? Adele is back.

Susannah Goldsbrough looks at why it’s taken the artist so long to return, recapping Adele’s disappearance from start to finish. From rumours of retirement, to lack of inspiration during marriage, to coronavirus, the journalist has dug deep on why we’ve been waiting for so long.

Is your autumn footwear hairy enough?

The furriest high street trend at the moment isn’t coats, jumpers, or hats – oh, no – it’s gloriously fuzzy footwear.  “You are nobody this autumn without hairy shoes,” writes Hannah Rogers. Whether no longer shaving your feet is socially acceptable, to the best beastly deals to watch out for, all the information you need is here.

Why are pop music stans so obsessed with metrics?

James Grieg in i-D looks at stans and why they are so hooked on the numbers.

“Whether it’s Swifties and Livies teaming up to mock Billie Eilish stans for her latest album under-selling, the backlash which ensues every time a popular artist is awarded a Pitchfork ranking of less than ‘7’, or the popularity of Twitter accounts like ‘Chart Data’ (currently at over 1 million followers), metrics form an important part of how fans talk — and argue — with one another about music. It would be easy to dismiss this fixation with data as evidence that “it’s not really about the music”, but this wouldn’t be an entirely fair assessment.”

From the democratisation of streaming to the need for metrics to ensure an artist’s survival, look no further for all you need to know.

Deep Sniff: what poppers mean in the fight for queer liberation

Ever wondered about the connection between queer liberation and poppers? Well, Adam Zmith’s Deep Sniff is here to guide you.

“He cannily blends the drug’s origins as Victorian era angina relief with its latter-day popularity in gay male spaces, innovatively concluding that the unifying ubiquity of poppers is a blueprint for a greater queer future.”

He tells Patrick Sproull: “I think poppers are having a bit of a resurgence both in use and in conversation. In the recent Canadian general election they were a talking point because the main opposition party said they would investigate legalising them if they were elected – which they were not. And more and more people have been doing them in recent years, and brands have been selling artisanal poppers. Obviously, that all goes hand in hand – or cock in hand – with the rise in general visibility of different kinds of sex and LGBTQ+ lives.”


SHINee’s Key on sci-fi, military service, and Bowie

SHINee’s Key chats to Taylor Glasby about the Hallyu Wave, the 80s, military service, his new mini-album ‘Bad Love’ and much more.

He says: “’You know, people ask that kind of question to me sometimes – how am I so honest? – but I just don’t know how to hide myself. […] I can give them a lot of fantasies with my album, but not from me. My personality is just my personality. Sometimes I envy people who can hide that kind of stuff.’”


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