Sunny Sunday

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It happens in Paris that it is not always raining but now and then, the sun comes out and might actually shine for several days in a row. During those rare and exceptional moments, you must go out and enjoy the sun like a blessing, a reward for the long waiting months of previous shitty weather. Paris suddenly bursts and you realize how many people actually live inside the city (and in the near areas). It becomes a true hive of activity and suddenly you starts regretting those times when you were almost walking “alone” in the streets, may it rain! You are all aware of the high pollution state we reached last week. It was everywhere in the news, the city was compared to Shanghai and some quick measures were taken before the elections (happening today) to show the good example: free public transports for 4 days and one day of alternating traffic. What an environmental breakthrough! Anyway, my friend and I decided to meet for a picnic at Champs de Mars, just by the Eiffel Tower because sometimes we forget that we actually live in a wonderfully rich city, just thinking about the architecture and history. I love the Eiffel Tower, every time I see it I get sentimental! I just got a new bike (because the last one got stolen) and a brand new pair of Swedish Hasbeens clogs and I thought it was the perfect day to take them out for a ride (not particularly comfortable to bike with those but never mind!) The jacket/teddy/bomber, however you want to call it, is an unexpected finding from Bershka in Berlin. It was so incredibly on sale that I felt obligated to buy it. Plus I’ve always wanted a cool teddy. And it says “Junior” in the back. And it is my favorite color! The t-shirt and jeans are from Top Shop in Israel (shopping is always part of my travels!). I love the high-waisted/90’s style of the MOM jeans. You might have recognized the velvet sunnies from previous post, the perfect pair of Italian sunglasses I found during my exchange study in Rome (good times). And the cute little socks are from H&M. Always wearing socks with my clogs!

Merci à Julia pour les photos ❤ Vous pouvez revoir son article ici

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“Good morning Theodore!”

her_5085073 HER her-olivia-wilde “It’s a kind of form of socially acceptable insanity” – Her

Speechless. I felt so many different feelings while seating in my favorite dark room tonight. I already knew from friends’ feedback that it was a must watch but I didn’t know exactly how I would react to this unusual scenario. The movie takes place in a “looking-like-Shangai” Los Angeles setting with a majestic skyline and what seems to be a dense frog. Ok so the future will be polluted. What else? Oh, right, the clothes and the style in general. Very strange choice of Spike Jonze to dress the characters very old fashion, kind of throwback to the 70’s with lots of colors but in a monotonous way. Everybody is just dressed the same. No fashion in the future then. The furniture is not futuristic at all (good point) but rather minimalistic beautiful vintage. They don’t need much, just a bed and a computer. Actually they don’t even need a computer anymore because they have a little earplug constantly stuck in their ears (how annoying) that give them everything they need: weather forecast, emails reading, breaking news etc. and everybody just seems ISOLATED. Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) has been antisocial for so long that he’s having sex phone with strangers when he can’t sleep and when he finally goes on an actual date with the gorgeous, cat-eyes, Olivia Wilde, he bails on her. What a creep! But a very sensitive one… he’s a writer; he writes beautiful letters and touches everybody around him. But he’s alone (divorced from beautiful, again, Rooney Mara) and he can’t get emotionally involved. One day, he meets Samantha, an Operating System first generation, and she seems to be exactly what he’s been looking for. Somebody to talk to. And who wouldn’t like to talk to Scarlett Johansson’s sexy voice? That “relationship” is pleasant, fun, physically unattached, and wide open. You would think the perfect one. But, like in any relationships, it gets complicated… An absolute must watch movie with brilliant actors and amazing performance of Joaquin Phoenix. You get so intimate with the main characters that you don’t even realize that Samantha is an actual computer anymore. She’s real. So real…

FLOLOVE Spring/Summer 2014

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The other day I was invited to a very special event. Florence, a young and talented French designer was doing a preview of her new collection in le Marais for the brand she created, FLOLOVE.

You see, nowadays it takes some audacity to start a creative company especially in France which I think, is not helping young entrepreneurs enough. But Florence did not care about the down sides, instead she jumped into the wild and decided to live her new adventure fully invested and completely on her own: WOMEN POWER! I love it. Florence: “I just wanted to be free to create my own designs, to express myself in every single way.”

FLOLOVE is based in Paris and it already has few sales points in Japan (Japanese are crrrrazy about Parisian style!). Of course you can find the brand online here and easily buy a brand new dress on the e-shop to look stunning in the coming spring. The spring/summer collection is very romantic, completely white made of cotton with lots of lace and beautiful small details embroidered by hand in India. There is a fresh, feminine and very summerish feeling in that collection. I can already picture myself wearing that adorable little dress in the lavender fields or at a terrace zipping (too much) rosé in Provence (if not, in Paris). Florence: “My dreams came true when I built my brand and I have no regrets. If I had one advice for every young designer it would be to stay passionate about what you do.” I wish her a bright future and to keep spreading joy through her lovely collections! #SupportYoungTalents
(You can read the full interview here)

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I am wearing the blouse Amoureuse, find it here

Attirance Natural Cosmetics

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I have just received my order from Attirance and I wanted to share this very special brand with you. I discovered it through Ma Boîte à Beauté (probably THE best beauty box, you should try it!); they put in my selection a body yoghurt melon and I instantly fell in love with the fresh summer smell and the soft texture. When I emptied the pot, I was in great despair; I couldn’t find anything similar in beauty shops. Luckily Attirance, which is based in Annecy, has an on-line shop and I found what I was looking for as well as many other good things. I have been rejecting for a while now industrial cosmetics full of bad components that actually makes your skin drier and dull. Instead I have been looking for natural cosmetics and Attirance has everything I need. It combines natural and organic products with original flavors – fruit tastes, tea tree, bamboo, and my favorite, almonds and honey which put together gives your skin a magical feel. This is high quality cosmetics so don’t expect to find cheap prices there but it seems that sales are lasting: they now offer 50% discount on everything so don’t waist another minute, take care of your body, treat it with respect and respect the nature, follow my advise and try Attirance Natural Cosmectics, I guarantee complete satisfaction!

BERLIN: Aunt Benny

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During my last visit in Berlin, I wanted to try the breakfast/lunch at Aunt Benny because I read an article about it in the famous lifestyle blog – Stil in Berlin – and it looked like a place for me! Needless to say, I was not disappointed! A very cozy atmosphere that reminded me of Copenhagen’s coffee places, friendly staff and various choices of delicious pastries, toasted bagels and sandwiches with homemade cream cheese or spread chocolate hazelnut. Yum! I could have stayed all day seating there, just reading, relaxing and enjoying a tasty meal. Turns out there is twin bar called the Antlered Bunny where they serve cocktails until 2 a.m. I should try it next time! So if you live in Berlin or you are going there soon, make sure to stop by Aunt Benny to start your day in a great mood, sensational coffee guaranteed!

Aunt Benny – Oderstrasse 7 – 10247 Berlin Friedrichshain

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BERLIN: The Wall

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Behind this photo shoot, there is a story about peace and friendship.

Last month, I was meeting my friend Tal in Berlin and we stayed at Mohamad’s place for a few days. We all know each other from an exchange study program we did a year ago in Rome, at Luiss University. What an amazing time! I feel lucky that I was able to travel during my studies. It truly opened my mind and I had the chance to meet incredible international people. I would advise anybody to do the same; there are only positive outcomes from moving.

Mohamad was born in Lebanon and he learned French in High School. So when he moved to France to do his studies, he was already fluent. One thing that amazes me about him is its multilingual skills. He can speak Arab, French, English, Spanish, Italian, German and some Hebrew. Very impressive! He lived in many different places and countries but if you’ll ask him he will tell you that France is where he feels the most “at home”. Welcome then!  Tal is from Israel – so actually she and Mohamad come from neighboring countries. I was lucky to visit her last September.  What an amazing country! It was good to see it from my own eyes (wide open) and not from the TV where only bad reflections are always coming out. Right after she finished High School, she was in the army for 2 years (mandatory in Israel). Then she spent some time in Guatemala where she did some voluntary work in an orphanage. Every time she told me stories about that period it was with sparkles in her eyes! Now she studies “Conflict Resolution” at Master level and is currently looking for a job in this field which turns out to be more complicated that she thought. No kidding, the sad reality is that war makes more job than peace! When I realized that we were going to be reunited in Berlin, a symbolic peace place, I grabbed my camera and I made my very special Libanese and Israeli friends pose for me as there is no better example of what life should look like in the Middle East. A united place, beyond boarders and religions. If only men could find a way to make peace in their heart…

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The Art School

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The other day I took the regional train and I left central Paris for the suburbs! What an adventure! Somewhere in the North West there is a little town called Cergy and the municipality decided that it was the perfect place to settle Universities, for the best interest, of course, of the lucky students that now have to endure a daily public transportation time of approximately one hour (one way) to reach their study place. Another way to say that it really requires a lot of motivation to go to lessons (in addition to that…)! My friend, Najma, is one of them. She studies at the National School of Art to become, well, an Artist. I love her for that. When she finished high school, nobody put pressure on her to study medicine, law or business. As a matter of fact, next to the Art building, you can find the famous Business School, ESSEC, ranked no. 2 in France, right after HEC. That’s another way to approach life. So, Najma decided to follow her instinct, her dreams and passion and, four years later, she is now a Master student that dedicates her time to “making Art”. And she is incredibly talented. You see, Art can be interpreted many ways, and that’s where it gets tricky, abstract and for people like me, confusing. Especially contemporary Art. I get lost for sure. The only thing I can relate to is a painting of Cezanne or Matisse. So when I visited the Art School, I was surprised that nobody was holding a pencil! Instead, I found all sort of workman tools such as drills, saws, press, hammer… and they were sanding, cutting and gluing pieces together. Of course my favorite place where the photo lab, where you can do all of the developing process yourself in the dark room. I would love to learn how to do that!

So what does the art student actually do? He goes to lessons, of course, there is always a theoretical part in every field. But most of his valuable time, he spends it in the Atelier where he actually does something with its hands. The fun part. Since January, Najma shares the Atelier with three guys and it is quite a team! Najma: “They manage to bring seriousness and, at the same time, casualness in the life of the workshop, which makes working alongside with them very enjoyable. They do not hesitate to lend a hand, even when you’re not soliciting them. They each have a great “expertise”, primarily sculpture, which I find very interesting.”

While I was there, I really wanted to capture the special bond between them and the happy atmosphere of the workshop. They spend so much time together in a rather “small” place; they look like a little family. I really like the idea of community in studying which reminds me a little bit of group work back then when I was a student myself (which I still am, but in a writing phase only). But it feels different; they look much more involved in something they actually love. Something I didn’t always feel during my studies. Now to talk a little bit about Najma’s personal work, “modularity” is at the heart of her work: “My approach is strongly influenced by space. I have great interest in architecture and the modular is my central them. In personal care where storage space is limited, or nonexistent, I try to create forms that can still be spread as much as be restricted. A reminder to childhood may be visible in my work, while keeping a certain distance; it does not become playful for all.”

I met Najma through interposed person, and we became really good friends throughout the year I just spent in Paris.  She was born in Morocco but has been living in Paris since teenagehood. I find her radiant especially when she smiles. She is one the most generous and devoted person I know, you can always count on her and she is always in for a party, and enjoying life in general. It’s actually her birthday this month. It’s gonna be a happy one!

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Some of Najma’s work:

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“Sans titre #1  (2013) : modules en plâtre (moulage de boîtes d’oeuf  puis assemblé) sont  un projet qui rappel le plus l’enfance, puisqu’ils ont l’aspect d’un jeu de construction (lego).  La boîte d’œuf était la forme la plus convenable pour permettre un bon emboîtement des modules. La partie supérieur de l’installation reste ouverte (aucun élément vient refermer l’assemblage) d’autres modules peuvent alors être ajoutés. Un protocole peut alors être présenté ainsi, à chaque fois que cette installation est présentée, un module doit être ajouté, un work in progress.”

Najma Darouich (sol modulable 2013)

“Le sol modulable (2013) sont des éléments qui viennent supplanter l’espace dans lequel ils sont installés. C’est un travail que je souhaite développer à l’avenir. D’autre espace que le sol soit modifié, tel que les murs, les plafonds, mais aussi ajouter d’autres volumes intérieurs. Avec ce projet je modifie le sol, en lui apportant des hauteurs différentes avec des pleins et des vides, j’augmente ainsi l’attention du marcheur vers le bas.” (Références Hans Was Heiri de Zimmermann et De Perrot)
Najma Daroucih(Anvers 2013)

“Le projet à Anvers (2013) est une découpe du plan architectural du lieu dans lequel la résidence a été faite, dans des planches de bois de tailles différentes. Ces dernières sont assemblées dans des combinaisons diverses venant ainsi ponctuer l’espace extérieure de la fondation (plusieurs hectares). Le plan est ainsi modifié et la vision de l’espace aussi.” (Références présentes dans la fondation : Aeneas Wilder et Jason Von der Woude)