Who else wants to pretend that the world isn’t going to hell in a five-door Tesla? Great, because in 2019, we’ll be ignoring diplomatic dick-swinging from the world’s nuclear powers, we’ll look the other way as the UK flops out of the Europe Union, and we’ll keep telling ourselves that reusing our plastic bags will pull the planet back from the brink of environmental catastrophe.
Not really, of course, but away from all of that, there are some genuine reasons to be cheerful about the next 12 months – mainly cultural if we’re honest. Times of strife tend to bring out the best in artists of all kinds, and in film and TV, fashion and music, art and literature, there are new releases on the way that have us genuinely pumped. With people so bitterly divided on so many issues right now, these things we can surely agree on. They’re going to be great – spread the word.
The Return Of Tarantino and Scorsese
Two of cinema’s great directors return to the screen this year with films that sound like classics before we’ve seen a trailer for either. Martin Scorsese and Robert de Niro reunite for the ninth time (and the first time since 1995’s Casino) in mob story The Irishman. Frankly, that’s all the marketing we need, but Al Pacino and Joe Pesci are also in it, so the buzz is next-level.
Then Quentin Tarantino decamps to 1969, spinning a Tinseltown tale that’s set against the backdrop of the infamous Manson Family murders. Of all his films, he says Once Upon A Time In Hollywood is the closest he’s come to Pulp Fiction and features a what-seriously cast that includes Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, Margot Robbie, Al Pacino (again), Dakota Fanning, Michael Madsen, Tim Roth, Damian Lewis and Kurt Russell. Expect dialogue you’ll quote with Tourette’s-like self-control and the best-looking wardrobe department of 2019.
Shopping Kim Jones At Dior
Last year was a big one for matinee-name designers shacking up at the biggest maisons in menswear. The appointment of Virgil Abloh at Louis Vuitton was more groundbreaking, but it’s Kim Jones at Dior who really has our buy-now finger twitching. The designer has still been in the job for less than a year, and so far, all anyone has been able to get their hands on is a spring/summer capsule collection. That’s set to change soon. His first spring-summer collection was all dusky pinks and other wearable pastels with a pleasing mix of classic tailoring and sportswear touches, while his Japanese-influenced autumn/winter collection is more metallic and futuristic. Frankly, we want it all: luxury clobber you actually very much want to wear.
Mega-Hyped Music From…
…well, everyone. Stormzy’s second studio album will continue his bid for world domination. We’re looking forward to more screeching modern punk from Idles. Indie favourites Foals are back, as are Rihanna, Dua Lipa and Lana Del Rey. Want stadium guitars? See The 1975 and Bastille. Nostalgic indie more your thing? Look out for new drops from Weezer and Death Cab For Cutie. On top of all that, we’ll be streaming Childish Gambino’s final album, an intriguing hook-up between Karen O and Danger Mouse, oh, and most likely Kanye’s much-delayed next project. Even if it is called Yandhi.
Getting Excited About Going To Ikea Again
This year, hype is coming flat-packed, as the man behind Off-White and the creative director of Louis Vuitton releases his first collaboration with everyone’s favourite Scandi homestore. Virgil Abloh’s Ikea collection is called ‘Markerad’ and is aimed at students and young people moving into their first home (although you can bet that hypebeasts of all ages will be queueing up). No pricing information has been released yet, but the collection will include Abloh’s signature playfulness and several items that include his oft-used quotation slogans, including a Persian-style rug that says, ‘Keep Off’. Incredibly, there’s also a glass cabinet intended for showcasing your best sneakers.
Nerding Out All Year Long
Our inner 15-year-old all-but had an aneurysm looking at the film and TV set to scorch our retinas this year. There’s ice versus fire in the final season of Game of Thrones, Jedi hijinks in Star Wars Episode IX and the culmination of 10 years of Marvel superheroics in Avengers: Endgame. On top of that, there’s geeky goodness in Toy Story 4, Stranger Things season three, It: Chapter 2, Captain Marvel, live-action versions of both Aladdin and The Lion King and Joaquin Phoenix playing the Joker. We’re trying to play this cool, but honestly, it’s not going well.
Phones From The Future
These days, new smartphones rarely match the hysteria that builds before they’re released. This year could be different. A suite of next-gen technology is set to roll out from pinhole cameras that don’t stick out from the shell of the handset to fully foldable screens. On top of that, the 5G network is due to launch in the summer, promising greater data speeds than ever. So much for the digital detox.
Mega-Franchise Video Games
As with movies, the video game releases everyone gets the giddiest over tend to be sequels and reboots of existing fan favourites. In that sense, 2019 is no different. And if you like gore and apocalyptic ultraviolence – really, who doesn’t? – this could be a vintage year with releases like Far Cry New Dawn, Mortal Kombat 11, Tom Clancy’s The Division 2, Gears of War 5 and Resident Evil 2 all bringing the guts. Oh, and don’t be surprised if a new generation of consoles is announced, either.
Van Gogh Coming To London
The prize for 2019’s most hotly anticipated exhibition goes to Tate Britain, which has lined up the kind of blockbuster that appeals to everyone, not just seasoned gallery hounds. Van Gogh and Britain features the largest collection of the artist’s work to be exhibited in the UK for a decade, including world-famous paintings like Sunflowers, Starry Night Over The Rhône and one of Vinny’s iconic self-portraits. The show will explore how the painter was inspired by British art literature and culture, from John Constable to Charles Dickens, but also detail how he in turn inspired a generation of new UK artists, including Francis Bacon.
Finding Out Who Gets The Top Job At Calvin Klein
In a surprise Christmas present to the fashion press, it was announced on 21 December that Raf Simons would be parting company with Calvin Klein, eight months before the end of his contract. The Belgian designer is one of the industry’s biggest names, and since he became creative director at Calvin Klein two years ago, the all-American brand rediscovered its edge with divisive but talked-about collections, the new 205W39NYC line and attention-grabbing pieces like a fireman-style coat.
However, reports of poor sales and growing internal tensions culminated with Simons’s untimely departure, and the brand has also pulled out of New York Fashion Week in February. High drama. Now, the fashion world is watching to see who will replace him, whether the brand will change direction again and what it all means for our wardrobes.
Setting Our Sights On Sri Lanka
Every year, guidebook bible the Lonely Planet reveals its hot tips for the best places to travel in the 12 months ahead. For 2019, it’s backing Sri Lanka, and we can see why. The sizeable tropical island in the Indian Ocean is perfect for surfers, eco-tourists, wellness travellers and lounger addicts alike, plus, if you want culture, the country is a beguiling mix of religion and traditions. That has, of course, been the root of decades-long civil war, which makes it all the more remarkable that Sri Lanka is one of the most welcoming places in the world for tourists.
Books That Make The World More Manageable
In 2018, we tried sticking our heads in the sand and it didn’t work. So in 2019, we’re going to attempt to understand this increasingly senseless world by burying our heads in enlightening books instead. There are four non-fiction explainers we particularly have our eye on. Merchants of Truth is written by a former editor of the New York Times and attempts to explain how news media has changed in the last 10 years from the birth of Facebook to fake news. In White, Bret Easton Ellis (of American Psycho fame) uses his first non-fiction book to launch a polemic at the failings of the 21st century, with particular ire saved for social media. Why Young Men is an unflinching investigation into the radicalisation of young men into Isis and neo-Nazi groups alike. And The Witches Are Coming sees the achingly funny Lindy West explain how the patriarchy, misogyny and general intolerance brought us to where we are today.
Days And Days Of Bingeable TV
Even showrunner Nic Pizzolatto admits that the last season of True Detective suffered from difficult second album syndrome. Still, that’s done little to blunt our enthusiasm for season three of the grisly anthology show, which sees Oscar-winner Mahershala Ali take the lead role in a story set over three time periods.
Beyond the HBO goodness, our planner is set to record more moreish police work in the new Line Of Duty, a George Clooney adaptation of Catch-22 and an intriguing drama, starring Emma Watson set in the days and weeks after the Chernobyl disaster. Plus, to distract us from the real world, there’s the return of a triptych of brilliant British comedy in Fleabag, Catastrophe and Alan Partridge. Oh, and Queer Eye is back. We’ll barely open the blinds in 2019.