Keep moving ! What surf brought into my life.

 

“Surf teaches us how to confront life.” Said Gerry Lopez, an American surfer from the 70’s extremely known and respected in the field.

Surf is an extraordinary metaphoric expression of life. Waves are wonderful, they are like illusions, coming and going, appearing and disappearing with a mesmerize aura.

They are like archaic poetry.

 

The most cherished place on earth for me is where sand and sea meet; this encounter is impenetrable. I hardly find the word to describe how fascinating I find this place.

 

Surf, Sport, Beach, Lifestyle

 

The waves come to die on the beach and doing so they offer a vibrant sound like no other, the most pacifying and reassuring sound I know.

I always used to say that water is definitely my element, it was no surprise I felt in love with surfing as soon I started to practice it in Tel Aviv 4 years ago. The feeling I discovered while riding a wave is simply the best ever. It’s pure freedom and togetherness with nature as no equal.

It’s a moment of intimacy with yourself and the hypnotizing rhythm of earth.

 

When you surf, you have to “keep moving”, precisely like you have to keep moving in life. In the water, if you want to catch waves, there’s no way you’re going to sit there on your board letting yourself to be taken by the flow. Even though it happens to be very nice sometimes… If you want to catch waves, you have to keep moving, you have to place yourself at the right place, at the right time, and stare at the horizon, being able to recognize which wave will be worth it to swim for. It’s pretty much like living, isn’t it ?

 

“Waves are illusions.

They come from nowhere, take a

material appearance and, immediately,

they break down and disappear.

To chase those floating mirages is a waste of time.

That’s why I chose to make it my life.”

Miki Dora

 

Advised lecture : Petite philosophie du Surf written by Fréderic Schiffter

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Simulacrum, or the power of imaginary.

 

Plural simulacra from Latin: simulacrum, which means “likeness, similarity”.

The word was first coined during the late 16th century in the English language. A simulacrum is a representation or imitation of a person or a thing. It defines an appearance that doesn’t refer to any underlying reality. This is the sense of the Greek word eidolon, which gave idol in Latin and is translated by simulacrum. In opposition, the term icon is translated by copy; The copy always sends back to the imitation of reality, without concealing it. Eidolon opposes to Eidos or idea, translated by form or shape.

In his books Le Platonisme (P.U.F., 1985), Vincent Descombes explains:

“Nor copy, nor model, simulacra is the refutation to distinguish the original from its imitation.”

 

Painting, Art, History of Art, Fable

 

And a bit before Descombes, in La Logique du Sens (Éditions de Minuit, 1969), Gilles Deleuze affirms: “There’s in the simulacra a “go-mad”, a borderless becoming, a subversive becoming, skilled in avoiding the equal, the limit, the Similar.”

Simulacrum are effects of our imaginary that sees what doesn’t exist and makes us believe it totally does. If we can’t deny the existence of reality, we can’t deny neither the power of our imaginary in reinterpreting and transforming this so-called reality.

Imitation, falsification and, illusion… Here are the ideas floating around the notions of simulacrum. As said before, the border between what’s real and what our imaginary lets us believe is truly blurred.

“Nobody can know if the world is fantasy or reality, and neither if there’s a difference between dreaming and living.” Jorge Luis Borges

 

This is what I believe. Everything is made of “Simulacres”. The way we exist, how we present ourselves, how we meet the Others, encounters, work, love… All are masks we create, facing other masks, infinitely dizzying…

Rationality can be a terrible trap, but without it we would fall deep down into the pit of anxiety and despair, incomprehension.

Still, I want to see the world always more and more revealed, diving into imaginary and deconstructed our Simulacres, as far as I adore them…

“Future is female”

Future is female… Present is female, Past is female… The Universe is female, as much as the other half is male as well… But this last part doesn’t need to be developed too much here (yet!). I don’t think I am the only person who got surprised, or chocked according to your level of political/personal engagement in woman positions in society, by this latest trend appearing on catwalks and already got down on Topshop T-shirts.

If some woman are staying indifferent to this current trend of “Feminism”, please, WAKE UP !!!

 

And remember what your ancestors suffered for, and mainly what you are still suffering for (without even being conscious of it apparently).

We, women of the world, have been truly empowered compared to a century ago, and we, human beings, got conscious of women’s conditions, all over the world. This is now the responsibility of each of us to change what’s need to be changed… Each woman can find the strength inside to shape her path.

Feminism, Dior, Fashion, Statement

Reading this interview of Maria Grazie Chiuri published on the Guardian. I got quite inspired to reflect around her own vision of what means feminism. This is an extract from the interview:

“I am not interested in the old stereotypes, of what a feminist looks like or doesn’t look like. I don’t think there is one way to be a feminist.”

 

And I must say I really agree on this. Nevertheless, I have to add something. In my point of view, the term of “feminism” doesn’t exist anymore. We all understood and got conscious that we are living in patriarchal societies, in which the white/heterosexual/able man is ruling.

It’s not a matter of being feminist anymore, because we should all already have integrated those notions inside our lives and it’s the duty of each of us to apply them.

 

Change is slow, especially when we talk about patterns rooted into our sociology for millenniums.

And talking about evolution, I’m really curious to see what will be the next move of Maria Grazia Chiuri, the eventually first woman as creative director of the historical French House…

We are moving forward, slowly but surely !

 

The various mutations of the term grotesque

 

From the Italian term “grottesca”, which means cave fresco, definition and use of the term grotesque will mute through centuries. In 1532, it defines a “capricious ornaments”, and during the XVIe century it designates a caricatured or fantastic figure. Until those times, the expression is mainly used in the field of painting.

During the year 1636, in his book L’Illusion Comique, the French writer Corneille updates the signification of the word linking it to an idea of comical; “(…) causing laughing by its extravagance”. During the XVIIIe century, the Dictionary of French Academy defines it again under its pictorial aspect, explaining that a grotesque representation has one natural part and the other one chimerical.

The meaning continues to evolve through the decades and starts to figuratively nominate something or someone ridiculous, bizarre or extravagant. Nowadays, the dominant idea around grotesque is the one of extravagance; someone or something that lends to laugh by its incredible and eccentric characteristic, and also its bad taste.

There is embarrassment around the notion of grotesque facing the common desire to define it precisely without succeeding to do so.

It is by essence a hybrid word, its strength is to be constantly renewed, evolving and changing.

 

Hybridization disturbs, because it is creating something new, and very often changes and novelties are chocking.

 

Fashion, Collection, Fashion Show, Presentation

 

This is exactly what Hussein Chalayan did with the famous and so-called burqa collection. It’s a political statement about women’s rights and equality. Conceptually speaking, it is about breaking rules and conductively embracing cultural chaos, it that case we are talking about a very precise cultural background in some countries of the world.

 

 

We can put in comparison this statement about equality with the main characteristic of the carnival phenomenon. During this festivity everybody is put in the same level and everything is basically possible. Mikhaïl Bakhtine defines the term carnavalesque as a temporary inversion of hierarchies and values. He develops the idea of carnival as a strong expression of popular culture in its subversive dimension.

Here, Hussein Chalayan is unveiling the body of women to show orifices. He is revealing the social body, in which the natural should be eliminated, putting in evidence orifices, which are the opening self to the world, the connection between the internal and the external environment. The designer is hiding the face and showing the down part of the body; we recognize characteristics proper to the grotesque, the one of every possibility, inversions, and up side down.

Painting, Carnaval,

 

The grotesque is disturbing, because it’s cultivating contradictions and paradoxes.

 

In that sense it is able to break down the prejudiced and move walls of preconceived. It is interesting to have a different look on this collection considering this way of reaching a form a freedom of the body.

The Italian artist Francesco Albano also worked on the concept of grotesque with his sculpture of melting body. On this piece of work, the first thing we see is the orifice, our natural and animal part. We can interpret this shape as an animal in cage trying to escape, and as a metaphor of someone willing to break out from ones social body.

 

Art, Sculpture, Installation

 

This white and blank space made of neutrality reminds a dream, a fantasy in which everything is possible and where you can build your own world. A world that allows to invent a new reality made of paradoxes and hybridizations. A grotesque universe defined by Bakhtine as the unfinished metamorphose of death and birth, growth and becoming, always on the border between reality and imaginary.

Grotesque is forcing Art to integrate its own contradictions. It’s an anti-aesthetic.

Au fil du temps, thoughs on knitwear.

 

If you’d ask me to define knitwear in one word, I would say without hesitating: Freedom. Freedom to create, freedom to evolve and change.

I discovered the world of knitwear 5 years ago, in Paris. I was just getting into my year off, after high school. It was a time when I truly felt I needed to occupied my hand.

I needed to give shape to what I had in mind, even though I didn’t even know what I had in mind at this period…

 

Knit, Wool, Yarn, Lifestyle

 

Really, I was already diving into a strong fashion atmosphere, staying into a 15 m2 one room studio in Neuilly-sur-Seine with my boyfriend at this time. Fabrics, materials, drawings, patterns…. They were all part of my everyday life. I had already integrated this entire world in my mind at a point that I couldn’t understand yet.

One day, I was walking around in the neighborhood Marché Saint Pierre in Montmartre, strolling through old and dusty fabrics, along with shiny and expensive ones. The paradise of textile lover, a place that really makes you feel like going to learn how to sew and make all your garments by yourself.

As I walked out from a shop, at a distance, I noticed a small shop selling wool and yarns; “Chatmaille”. Very curious, I decided to enter there and have a look. Soon enough, it was obvious for me that starting to knit would be the perfect thing to do.

 

Knitwear, wool, Needles, Circular needles

 

I needed something creative, here you go. You have a yarn, and with it you can create any garment you’d like, you are the one who chose how it will feel, the materials, the colour.

You conduct the yarn absolutely as you want and it that way you can create your own fabric.

 

Without speaking about the act of knitting in itself yet, but simply about seeing a stunning shell full of wool balls, gracefully organized by colour and style, this is already pure beauty, because I can see there the output of a long and fantastic process of spinning and dying…

Sheeps, Wool, Nature, Artisan

 Works of traditions and artisans.

 

I felt in love with materials, colours, and the infinite possibility of creation and versatility of this beautiful and chromatic world.

 

Nacho Libre food truck, a dream came true !

 

If you pass to Biarritz or Saint-Jean de Luz, you can’t miss one stop, Nacho Libre food truck, the dream of David and Lucile.

A wonderful adventure that just started, thanks to a crowd funding on Ulule.

 

David comes from Antwerp, where he had been already getting some experience in a Mexican restaurant he opened along with his brother. To cut a long story short, he felt in love with the beautiful and wild Lucile during a surf trip in Biarritz, and in the same time his brother was offered an amazing job position in a restaurant in China.

Seemed that life was trying to propose a new start.

The cooking talent of David plus the knowledge of Lucile of her home country of Pays Basque gave birth to Pedro, the Nacho Libre food truck.

It’s all about freedom, EXCELLENT food, fresh products and… surf.

 

Food, Mexican Food, Lifestyle, Fresh

 

Of course, David and Lucile are both surfers !

This is what brought them to meet up, on the seaside.

 

You’d understood the mood of this wonderful and passionate couple; happiness, positivity and freedom. The products they propose are all about quality and freshness. It’s good vegetables with the right proportion of cheese and guacamole… It’s wrap and burrito… And many others delicious things.

 

Cooking, Food, Fresh Vegetables

 

I met David about 5 years ago during a trip in Antwerp when I’ve been lucky enough to eat in the restaurant he was working at the time. I had never tasted Mexican food and it was a delightful moment ! When I heard about the crowd funding, I was absolutely thrilled about it and really wanted to engage. I knew this fantastic project really needed to be realize and exist. Because those two guys really deserve it, but mainly because people deserve to enjoy this amazing food !

Again, if you’re around, you should definitely pass to greet them, be sure to say hello on my behalf as well ! Once you’ll be in front of Pedro, you won’t be able to resist…

Check their facebook page to know where they’ll stop today !

Nacho Libre, Mexican Food, Foodtruck

American Vintage opens in Florence !

 

A new monobrand store of American Vintage is opening its doors in Florence very soon. And  it’s absolutely exciting for the city of Renaissance !

The occasion of this store opening is a good opportunity to go back to the roots of American Vintage and learn a bit more about the brand history…

Fashion, American Vintage, Advertising Campaign, Womenswear

American vintage is a label of ready to wear for both women and men that takes its origins in Marseille, south of France. It was created in 2005 by Michaël Azoulay. Born in 1978 in Marseille, he made a formation in electricity and air conditioning. He changed job repeatedly, and very soon he understood that his way was in fashion, and especially in the marketing and commercial sides of it.

He was very eager to create his own line and in September 2001 he launched Ana Paola, a line of ready to wear for women specialized in stitching. The label gets some success, but needs obviously to evolve.

After several travels, Azoulay decided to modernize the brand and change the name for American Vintage, officially in february 2005.

 

Two years after, in 2007, he commercialized the men‘s line of ready to wear.

 

Fashion, American Vintage

 

In an interview for fucking young, Michaël Azoulay explains : “We created a product that our customers can identify with. It speaks to them and brings out their unique personality. At American Vintage, clothing is not ostentatious and showy. Instead, it lets customers express their identity. The brand has brought a new concept to the market, with a unique approach and strong social values, which are expressed through the diversity of materials and colors.”

After 10 years, the brand widely expanded and is now well-recognize among the diversy world of fashion. The distribution in well developed in Europe, mainly in France. Yet it expands as well in countries like Israel, where there’re two monobrand stores, and also in Singapore or Hong Kong

“We become not a melting pot but a beautiful mosaic. Different people, different beliefs, different yearnings, different hopes, different dreams.”  Michaël Azoulay

 

It’s super exciting to have a American Vintage store in Florence and it’s going to be fantastic  to stroll there enjoying their wonderful chromatic scheme…

 

Short essay on the extraordinary Azzedine Alaïa

 

Azzedine Alaïa had a particular path full of wonderful meetings and particular experiences that gave him an extraordinary sensibility to the world. His story is full of persons and details that influenced him a lot. From his maternal grand parents, and Madame Pineau in Tunis, to the Comtesse de Blégiers and Madame Simone Zehrfuss in Paris who introduced him to the best artists of those times. Azzedine Alaïa gets in touch with a flow of different characters that affect his life and work forever.

After a few years in Paris, he built an incredible social network in which personalities and artists of all kinds meet and interfere.

Azzedine Alaïa is a singular art and life lover.

 

He has a great culture of literature and History of Arts, which he doesn’t like bringing to light with a respectable unpretentiousness. He owns amazing collections of books, haute couture garments and art pieces.

From the year 1987, he decides to go against the dictates of the regular fashion calendar. Anyway, his work is not about a collection or a season, neither about create a story, because according to him “everything is in the materials”. Azzedine Alaïa loves breaking the established codes, taking inspirations from every little thing that surrounds him or catches his attention and reflection.

His work is at the same time modern and timeless, personal and neutral, as if each garment he creates was a masterpiece.

 

He plays with time in a very original way, inventing new configurations. It’s about a long-term history on both intercultural and multidisciplinary sides.

Art, Creative director, fashion

Azzedine Alaïa is a “passeur”, according to the definition that gives Jerzy Kosinsky; somebody who creates bridges, who understands and explains how crossbreeding happen and identify its mechanism. Alaïa goes through every cultures, periods and genres, for him borders don’t exist and everything is about crossing and mixing.

He drew the most entire and complete vision, the most complex and global definition of the contemporary culture.

 

Perfumes, or poetry of the intangible

What’s more intangible than the poetry perfumes release ?

Perfumes, because they are linked with our sense of smell, the most uncontrollable and mysterious of all our senses, can be the source of intense emotions and extraordinary experiences. From the borders of sin to the frontier of the scared, perfumes stir up our desires and our passions, drawing us into unexplored regions of our emotions and the lost paradise of our memory.

The magic of perfume is that we think we possess them, but they constantly bring us new delight. We think we know them well, but they remain elusive. They are part of us and yet they escape us. They speak to us but we are unable to transcribe their imperceptible harmonies. Perfumes tell of childhood, distant lands, of ecstasy and of the secret rhythms of the world. Perfumes enable us to hear the deafening silence of love.

The Art of perfume is above all, a pleasure. Because odours possess that very rare power of capturing the precise essence of happiness, so difficult to define or formulate. The same is true for love…

An attraction to perfume is never neutral but rather expresses our deepest aspirations. To choose a perfume is to talk about oneself in veiled terms, but it is also to reveal one’s true character. Indeed, perfume is a garment which can develop us, but which sometimes, without knowing it, unmasks us.

They are encapsulated myths, that Emmanuel Ungaro beautifully definded as “at the same time masculine and feminine, fragile and tyrannical, steeped in contradictions.”

Perfume is synonymous of passion and patience…

Coco Chanel used to say that one should wear perfume when she or he’d like to be kissed.

Illustration, Flower, Drawing

“She left a short while ago

And yet remains near me

With her perfume still

Alive, still warm

From her body, so intoxicating”

Fourteenth-century Chinese poem

 

Bill Viola, Electronic Renaissance

 

Palazzo Strozzi foundations organizes in collaborations with Bill Viola Studio an electronic Renaissance in Florence.

The exhibition takes place from 10th of March until 23th of July 2017, and it’s been curated by Arturo Galansino and Kira Perov, who’s been his wife since 1979.

What a perfect location as Florence to organize a retrospective of Bill Viola; His Art was born here. Bill Viola is passionate about Renaissance and all the themes that come around it. The Vitruvian man is at the centre of his work and what he truly focuses on is all about humanity at its essence. Bill Viola represents primitive and archaic ideas through renewed motives and extremely modern ways. He is the founding father of this Art and proposed revolutionary ways to work and express himself at the time he begun is the 70’s.

He shows men and women transfigured by the forces of nature, as fire and water.

 

florence

He is actually fascinated by water and sees it as an element of purification.

He loves Mannerist painters as he sees them as the greatest colourist, which inspires him a lot.

The exhibition in Palazzo Strozzi wisely showcases the Greeting (1995), work of Bill Viola, next to the Visitazione (1528) of Pontormo, this allows a more complete understanding of the work as well as a great pleasure to be able to admire those two master pieces looking at each others. It’s very interesting to know that Bill Viola has never seen the painting of Pontarno in reality when he created the Greeting, but he will see it only 18 years after. In this precise work, he uses slow motion as a central tool so as to showcase our internal timing, deconstructing our deepest internal dynamics.

Bill Viola wants to show things in front of which we just have to surrender. Indeed, for him the limited character of our lives is precisely what gives sense to it:

Immortality and eternity are two sides of a same coin.

What interests this peculiar artist is to slow down the frenetic rhythm we impose to ourselves so as to refocus on humanity, all this through very modern means that he adapts and revisits constantly. We get confused and merged with all those characters he shows us and his work becomes a real introspection among the unlimited possibilities of our inner selves.