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Kate Herron Won’t Return For ‘Loki’ Season 2. But She’s Left Her Mark on the MCU.

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If she could turn back time, there isn’t much Loki director Kate Herron would do differently. She transformed a beloved side character into a protagonist. She blessed Marvel fans with their first canonically bisexual character. And she introduced the multiverse, drafting up perhaps one of the biggest cliffhanger reveals since the end of Avengers: Infinity War. In other words, Herron’s Loki was a humongous deal, even by Marvel’s increasingly oversized standards.

Still, it’s not easy for the director, who’s also known for her work on Sex Education, to hand off the reins. Herron has revealed to press that she has no plans to return for Loki season 2, preferring to leave the chaos of the multiverse to the whims of another. Marvel just keeps getting bigger and bigger, and she has other characters to conquer. But the MCU will continue to feel her impact for years to come, should the studio’s Phase 4 become a Phase 5, 6, 7 and 8.

After Loki season 1’s momentous finale—in which Jonathan Majors appears for the first time as a variant of Kang the Conqueror, named He Who Remains—ELLE.com grabbed some time with Herron to learn what went into such a carefully crafted reveal. And the director took a few moments to say goodbye.

When you first signed on for this show, did you have a solid understanding of how important it would end up being to the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe?

I knew from day one. I think we were always ironing out story in the sense of, we wanted to get there in the best way. But it was always the intention that they would meet He Who Remains at the end and the multiverse would be born. So I knew that massive secret going into it, yes, and I’m very honored that I got to be part of launching that part of the next phase.

How does the larger Marvel plot structuring process work? Do you have the, uh, overlords breathing down your neck as you’re developing the story? Do you have a point A to point B you need to establish but the rest is yours to orchestrate?

I would say [Marvel Studios president] Kevin Feige, his whole company is very collaborative. He has his plan and his design for where he wants the films and the TV shows to go with these characters, but it’s really a collaborative studio. And it’s generally I think always a case of ”best idea wins.” None of the creative team ever felt we were being restrained. On our show, we had a producer called Kevin Wright who was an executive at Marvel, and he essentially was steering the Marvel side of things and making sure that, yeah, we weren’t venturing places we couldn’t, but also he was so key in the story as well.

Tom Hiddleston as Loki in Loki.

Marvel Studios

Before I ask you anything else, I have to know the story behind Alligator Loki.

[Laughs] That was from the writer’s room. The alligator was there from day one. I think for me, as a director, the tightrope was always, “Okay, well, we have to give this alligator moments where it could be [seen] as a Loki,” and most of the moments were actually like, ”No, man, that’s an alligator.”

I just thought it was so funny, and I loved it. And I loved as well how [Richard E. Grant] played it—it’s how we talk to pets, like, “Oh, they feel like this,” and the owner would be like, “Well, no, that’s not what they’re saying.” That felt very real.

Were you always a fan of the character of Loki or has your love for him developed more recently?

I’ve always been a fan. It’s how I got the job because I saw Tom [Hiddleston] in Thor, and I was like, “Oh, this is such an interesting interpretation of the character.” I was just so excited with what Kevin Feige was doing with him in the MCU, and I think Tom’s performance brought such empathy and wit and charisma to this amazing character. But at the same time I loved the vulnerability there and the pain. It was so exciting to me watching him go from villain to antihero over the last 10 years. So when I found out they were making a show about Loki, I was very determined to get in the room for it, and they luckily met me and here I am. I would say I chased heavily after it as a Loki fan.

director kate herron, owen wilson and tom hiddleston on the set of marvel studios' loki

Director Kate Herron with Owen Wilson and Tom Hiddleston on the set of Loki.

Chuck Zlotnick

How much of Loki’s character development came from you, and how much was from Tom?

Something with Tom that was always really key is that he knows Loki so well. He’s been playing him for the last 10 years. When we were filming the time theater in episode one, for example, me and him would talk about The Avengers—because this is the god from New York, and he’s very different from where we take him in episode six.

I have an “emotion Bible” I wrote when I was working on the show to help me track where characters were at different points in the story. With Tom—for example, that speech he gives to Sylvie at the very end of the show? That was something we were working on right up to the day we filmed it. The line, “I just want you to be okay,” that came from Tom. I love that the Loki we have at the end doesn’t want the throne, when in episode one he does.

Something that I thought was cool that I wanted to bookend was: The first thing said to Loki in our show is, “Who are you?” And we end on the same line as well at the very end: “Who are you?” And I think that’s sort of the big question of the whole show.

What was it like directing Jonathan Majors in what will likely be several if not many MCU appearances?

On the one hand, yes, as a fan I’m like, “Oh wow, this is a big responsibility.” But I think the fun thing in [He Who Remains] being a variant—which alleviates some pressure, not all pressure, but some pressure—is that he’s a variant of his own kind, so he’s He Who Remains. He’s not Kang.

Working with Jonathan, he’s one of the greatest actors out there. So I think, for me, it was just about giving him the space to play. He improvised a lot of lines around the wonderful script. Even in his clothes by Christine Wada, I loved that you can’t necessarily place his outfit in time or a specific culture because he’s this character that’s lived across so many different lives. But also the clothes have a pajama-like quality to them because he lives at home. So I think, in the hands of an actor like Jonathan, that’s just really fun, working out where do we go big and where do we make it small and draw the audience in.

he who remains jonathan majors in marvel studios' loki

Jonathan Majors in the Loki season 1 finale.

Chuck Zlotnick

A big theme in the first season was, “What’s the right thing to do? Between two evils, which is the greater?” Did you want all of your characters to exist in that moral gray area?

Yes, something that was always important to me across the show was this idea of good and evil and gray area. For example, Mobius and Sylvie had that conversation in the car in episode five, and she’s like, “You hunted me like a dog.” And he thought it was for the greater good. But he still has done things that are not completely good, and I think that’s what’s so key to all the characters. Renslayer when she deletes Mobius? I didn’t want it to be like a “villainous” time. Because it’s not; he’s her friend, and [pruning him] is more complicated than that.

She has that amazing moment with [Mobius] in episode six where she’s like, “You betrayed me.” And I completely agree with her! He betrayed their friendship, and he sided with Loki, and when she’s making these decisions she does think it’s for the sake of the Sacred Timeline. So I’m excited to see where she’ll be going.

It’s been fun watching this show become a cultural talking point. As each episode has dropped, there’s usually been something that has created a stir online. The big news of Loki and Sylvie and their variants being bisexual—was that something that you went in knowing would spark a huge reaction from fans?

It was important to acknowledge because it’s founded in the comics. Loki has been written as bi, he’s also been written as pan, and it just felt like this is a show about his identity, so let’s acknowledge it and make it canon. You can never predict how people are going to feel, but we assumed that probably there’d be discussion around it just because it is a big moment for him.

You’ve announced that, though the series is headed for a second season, you have no plans to be involved. So as you leave these characters in another’s hands, what are your hopes for them?

So there’s a shot of Loki in episode six that was so important to me. It’s toward the end when [Sylvie has pushed him back through the TemPad portal] and we push in really slowly on him because he’s gone on this amazing journey. He found someone he connected with, and he looks heartbroken. But it was important to show that “Lokis always survive,” and so you have that moment where he collects himself and thinks, No. I still have fight. And I’m going to fight.

So, for me, I’m excited to see, where is Loki? Where are they going to take him? We’ve done so much groundwork in his character, I’m just excited because I feel like there’s so much more about his identity to be explored.

And then all these amazing other characters we have: Where did Ravonna go? Who is B-15? Where are Mobius and Sylvie? We leave her in the Citadel, and she looks shell-shocked and full of pain, and she’s on a much earlier part of her journey [than Loki] in terms of self-healing, so I think it’ll be really fun to see where she ends up going. I’m really proud to have been part of Loki’s story. I gave it everything in my heart and my soul. I’m excited to see what fresh eyes will bring.

Watch Loki on Disney+

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How To Watch US Women’s Gymnastics Compete In The 2021 Tokyo Olympics

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The US Women’s Gymnastics Team is headed to Tokyo for the summer games. In June, the team’s roster was finalized at the Olympic Trials. As expected, Simone Biles will lead the team to compete for its third consecutive title. Sunisa “Suni” Lee, Jordan Chiles, and Grace McCallum will join Biles to compete in the team event. Jade Carey and MyKayla Skinner will compete in individual categories.

Here’s how to watch the US Women’s Gymnastic Team compete in the Tokyo Olympics.

What time will US Women’s Gymnastics compete?

The Olympics announced that US Women Gymnastics would compete in Subdivision Three. Here is the schedule for each event that US Women will compete in.

Sunday, July 25

  • Women’s Qualification for Subdivision Three will start at 2:10 a.m. ET/11:10 p.m. PT (Saturday). Women’s All-Around, Vault, Uneven Bars, Floor Exercise, and Balance Beam is scheduled to compete at this time.

    Tuesday, July 27

    • Women’s Team Final starts at 6:45 a.m. ET/3:45 a.m. PT.

      Thursday, July 29

      • Women’s Individual All-Around starts at 6:50 a.m. ET/3:50 a.m. PT.

        Sunday, Aug. 1

        • Women’s Vault Final starts at 4:55 a.m. ET/1:55 a.m. PT.
        • Women’s Uneven Bars Final starts at 6:27 a.m. ET/3:27 a.m. PT.

          Monday, Aug. 2

          • Women Floor Exercise Final starts at 5:00 a.m. ET/2:00 a.m. PT.

            Tuesday, Aug. 3

            • Women’s Balance Beam Final starts at 4:53 a.m. ET/1:53 a.m. PT.

              How can I watch the US women’s gymnastic team compete?

              The opening ceremony will broadcast live on Friday, July 23, at 6:55 a.m. ET/3:55 a.m. PT on NBC, the NBC Sports App, and NBCOlympics.com. NBC will replay the ceremony at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT if you don’t want to wake up early. (Tokyo is 13 hours ahead of New York time.) On July 15, NBCU launched a Tokyo Olympic destination for Peacock subscribers. The app will have around-the-clock live coverage, original programming, full-event replays, and highlights of big events–with the expectation of US Basketball. Peacock Premium subscription starts at $4.99 and ad-free content starts at $9.99.

              Watch The Olympics On Peacock

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The Return of the Repressed Is Coming For Fashion

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Dua: Instagram; Juicy: Getty Images; Courtesy of the brands.

style points

Style Points is a weekly column about how fashion intersects with the wider world.

It might have been the return of low-rise jeans that broke people. Every other aughts craze, from UGGs to Juicy Couture sweatsuits, had had its high-fashion moment by that point— the former collaborating with “It” names like Telfar and Molly Goddard, and the latter getting a renaissance on the Vetements couture runway and a collab with Parade. TikTokers are even digging into the rich oeuvre of Ed Hardy. And this season, the bleeding-edge-cool Parisian brand Koché linked up with Von Dutch on trucker hats, bowling bags, and T-shirts. (Designer Christelle Kocher said she was inspired by the style of Britney, Justin, and Paris, no last names needed.)

early aughts trend revival

A look from Koché x Von Dutch.

Courtesy of the designer.

But pelvis-skimming denim was a harder sell. One person on Twitter said she was responding to their revival “like a vampire responds to a tanning bed.” A viral three-part TikTok series, by Carly Aquilino, shows an anguished woman lamenting, with an operatic level of vocal fry, “the comically large belts” and “the layering” that constituted Y2K style, as images of low rider-clad Gwen Stefani and Christina Aguilera flash behind her. The era’s bizarre looks are less an uncanny valley than a chasm we dread falling back into.

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And yet, there’s not much that can be done to fight it. With Gen Z embracing trucker hats for the first time and Gen X’ers like Kim Kardashian returning to the fold of the velour sweatsuit for her SKIMS line, everything uncool is cool again. It’s hard to imagine a 2000’s trend that hasn’t dazzled us like a crystal-bedecked Razr. (For what it’s worth, those are back, too.) While no one is compelled to wear anything they don’t want to simply because it’s newly deemed on-trend again, thinking we can stem the tide of these revivals shows a misunderstanding of how fashion works. This is what always happens: every era brings once-reviled items we’d forsworn to our metaphorical donation pile back to the surface. Freud would have a field day.

emily ratajkowski lowrise pants

Emily Ratajkowski tries out low-rise pants.

Robert Kamau/Getty Images

Even ’10’s style seems to be showing an uptick in relevance, challenging the old saw that it takes 20 years for something to be considered “vintage.” There was the revival of the hit Isabel Marant wedge sneaker in June and the interest in O.G. Gossip Girl style stirred up by the show’s reboot. (Balloon-hemline silk dresses and round-toed Mary Jane heels might be the next castoffs to pop up.)

Courtesy of the brand.

UGG X TELFAR Fleece Mini – Heather Grey

For those who are encountering these trends for the first time as adults, their novelty seems like the primary appeal: when Addison Rae wears a trucker hat, she’s not likely to be aware of the item’s Kitson-era history. But for those looking at it from a more distant vantage, part of the concern might be wrapped up in the less-than-enlightened body standards of the time (low-rise jeans were often accompanied by the expectation of Britney abs) or the inherent classism of some of the trends (like trucker hats, worn by celebrities and fashion people as a kind of working-class cosplay) or even their association with the kind of predatory paparazzi culture that has recently led us to re-evaluate pop figures from Britney Spears to Paris Hilton to Jessica Simpson. Our associations aren’t just with the clothes themselves, but the context that clings to them.

irina shayk lowrise jeans

Irina Shayk is also firmly aboard the low-rise train.

Raymond Hall/Getty Images

Nordstrom

Isabel Marant Balskee Wedge High Top Sneaker (Women)

ISABEL MARANT
nordstrom.com

$770.00

The time many people had to devote to indulging their nostalgia and re-evaluating what they used to love during the pandemic explains the everything-old-is-new-again quality of recent fashion, where, just as it does in Hollywood, a time-tested reboot so often wins out over something brand-new.

But it’s not just nostalgia that’s driving this phenomenon. It’s our unresolved relationship to the whole epoch. When something pops back up on the horizon like this, it’s often a sign that we didn’t deal with it properly on the first go-round, and that’s why these trends aren’t simply random recurrences. It’s no coincidence that they’re floating back up at a time when we are re-evaluating so much about this time period. The Depression-era styles of the ’30’s found a surprising new resonance in the recession-stricken ’70’s, and when old, regressive views of femininity took hold in the Backlash ’80’s, they brought with them a host of ’50’s revivals that recalled another repressed time. Now, as we look back at an era that saw the dawn of reality TV and social media as we know it, we’re questioning how that era shaped and perhaps harmed us. And now that the past is all easily accessible, a Netflix stream or a Google search or an Instagram rabbit hole away, it’s never really past.

telfar ugg collaboration

Designer Telfar Clemens in an image from his UGG collaboration campaign.

Courtesy of the brand.

To make our peace with, and perhaps even enjoy wearing, these clothes again, we need to grapple with what they once meant, and what they mean to us now. As designer and LVMH Prize finalist Conner Ives told me earlier this year, the Y2K notes he strikes in his work are accompanied by a new, less restrictive approach to fashion, “the shedding of the whole idea of what we can and can’t do.” Perhaps we can all find a way to make like a TikToker and embrace them like it’s the first time.

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Off-White, Nanushka, and Alexander Mcqueen Jeans are On Sale At Saks Fifth Avenue

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Every closet comes with the essentials. I’m talking about your classic white T-shirts, a trusty go-with-everything sneaker, and a pair of shades that withstand any trend. Yet, no wardrobe feels complete without a good pair of jeans. Since Jacob Davis and Levi Strauss developed denim in 1873, the sturdy twill fabric has been sported from the workplace and beyond, seen on today’s (and years past) Hollywood elite, royals, and almost every person under the sun. It’s the one piece of clothing that can stand the test of time.

Whether you’re a light wash kind of wearer or a hater of skinny jeans, the power of denim is everlasting. Thus making the need of buying a new pair of jeans, jorts, or the pièce de résistance of any closet, the denim jacket, feel all the more necessary, especially when it’s on sale. Thankfully, some classic styles (and not-so-classic cuts) from brands like Off-White, Nanushka, and more are on sale at Saks’ Fifth Avenue Designer sale. Get ready to add another staple to your closet, now.

1

Crossover Denim Shorts

R13
Saks Fifth Avenue

$365 $219 (40% off)

The asymmetric crossover style of these jean shorts turns one of your favorite wardrobe essentials into something a little edgier.  

2

Two-Tone Straight-Leg Jeans

Off-White
Saks Fifth Avenue

$680 $306 (55% off)

Contrasting color-blocked hemmed jeans from the mind of Virgil Abloh? Yes, please!

3

Le Mini Distressed Denim Skirt

Frame
Saks Fifth Avenue

$195 $136.50 (30% off)

A rough-around-the-edges mini skirt is always a good idea, especially if it comes in a versatile tone like this white option. 

4

Kamila Denim Cropped Top

A.L.C.
Saks Fifth Avenue

$225 $135 (40% off)

Found: your next date night top courtesy of New York brand A.L.Ac.  

5

Brielle Tailored Shorts

Cinq à Sept
Saks Fifth Avenue

$265 $159 (40% off)

The contrasting stitching details on these shorts make them a step above the rest. Wear them with your favorite band tee for an outfit that is as comfortable as it is cool. 

6

Distressed Mid-Rise Boyfriend Jeans

Denimist
Saks Fifth Avenue

$265 $185.50 (30% off)

The ’90s fashion revival is here and thriving, and these light wash distressed jeans are further proof. 

7

Relaxed Faux Fur Vivienne Jacket

Paige
Saks Fifth Avenue

$249 $130.72 (48% off)

Take your trusty denim jacket into the cooler months with this ivory-colored trucker option adorned with a plush faux fur collar. 

8

Upside Down Denim Mini Skirt

Monse
Saks Fifth Avenue

$590 $236 (60% off)

It’s a classic staple made new thanks to its upside-down and inside-out design while still giving you the silhouette you love, thanks to the concealed side zipper at the waist. 

9

Shayne Lace-Up Ribbon Jeans

Alice + Olivia
Saks Fifth Avenue

$495 $222.75 (55% off)

The ribbon lacing detail down the legs of this pair of these straight-leg jeans is *chef’s kiss.*

10

Berga Denim Fray Jacket

Maje
Saks Fifth Avenue

$340 $204 (40% off)

Get one step closer to the Canadian tuxedo ‘fit of your dreams with this frayed hem denim jacket from Maje. 

11

Chace Drawstring Jeans

Nanushka
Saks Fifth Avenue

$445 $200.25 (55% off)

It’s all in the details. The addition of the built-in drawstring belt in these jeans makes sure you get a flattering fit every time you wear them. 

12

Sasha Belted Mini Denim Dress

Jonathan Simkhai Standard
Saks Fifth Avenue

$395 $276.50 (30% off)

The perfect denim dress doesn’t exi—.

13

The Hustler Ankle Fray Jeans

Mother
Saks Fifth Avenue

$228 $159.60 (30% off)

Does your body type lean more on the petite side? Your search for the perfect pair of jeans is finally over as this straight-leg pair rests right at the ankle. 

14

50S Denim Dress

Alexander McQueen
Saks Fifth Avenue

$2,090 $836 (60% off)

If you love to hover between modern and retro, this belted denim wrap dress has your name written all over it. 

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