Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Visit my new home!



Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Once Again, the other Murakami

In 2008, I wrote a blog post about the brilliance of Japanese designer Takashi Murakami which was picked up by Fabsugar as one if its must read of the day.  Two years later, the magnificent Murakami is making news again through his recent POP magazine cover featuring Britney Spears dressed as a Japanese Lolita. The cover obviously didn't escape the blogosphere's radar. In fact, wonder kid Tavi has written her interpretation of it. It is amazing how a 15? year old can translate a magazine cover into a thought provoking topic correlating  to our culture's obsession to pop stars, their sex lives and the how the world in general is so hooked to images of young girls portraying sluts and the freakishness of it all. As a 30 year old man, I would like to think as a 15 year old kid and translate this cover as nothing but a mere Japanese obsession--not with sex and schoolgirls---but with channeling their inner child.

Takashi Murakami also known as the "Andy Warhol of Japan" is the most coveted Japanese  artist the western world ( his record in art auction was for than fifteen million dollars).  His artworks have reached mainstream pop culture even enabling himself to collaborate with the likes of Kanye West and Marc Jacobs of the luxury brand Louis Vuitton in 2008.  The partnership with Louis Vuitton, was a big surprise as nobody would have thought that such a luxurious bags would suddenly have rich rainbow colours painted on its products. How dare Takashi be so blasphemous to taint a regal bag with such flamboyant palettes?  But in the end,  was a big hit, thanks to the clever idea of Marc Jacobs.

With Murakami's collaboration with pop, I want to look at it in a perspective that it is just a mere Japanese art which capitalizes on it's race's obsession with being and feeling like children again.  Japan, a country that earns billions by selling toys, gadgets, comics, mangas, etc. for an adult market, it is not surprising  that such  a magazine cover directed by one of its people has the same influence.  But you ask, why Britney?  and why is she posing so provocatively in that cover?  I say, why not? Britney with her massive success in the mainstream pop culture from a very young age, it is without a doubt that she was stripped of her childhood. Something that Takashi might have thought would be nice to re-live and be inspired with. Why not bring it back at least for a cover of a magazine? I would have suggested Michael Jackson as a good but for obvious reason, it would impossible.  Yet it would have made my point clearer. I believe that when this magazine hit Japan, it would just like be another normal cover to them.  Yes, there must be hint of her sex with her sexy Rodarte  outfit and Bridal gown but isn't it every girl's dream to be a bride?  As a line in the movie the "Devil wears Prada goes "isn't this multi billion business is all about, inner beauty?"--or something to that effect. Britney has been in the business for long to know that beauty does sell, all angles of it.

Japanese obsession with everything childlike has started after the second world war and the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The depression of the war made them want to feel alive and happy again.  Where did they get inspiration from?  Happiness as seen in the eyes of a child. From then on, this culture has spawned to many other things that even technology and pop culture were influenced by it. .  It is the feeling of being child again, the purity and happiness that we experience in that stage of our lives. The joy of having little things that are special to us. Which was exactly the point of the Luis Vuitton collaboration as I view it.  That the feeling of having something luxurious is tantamount to pure happiness.  The kind of joy similar to a child's when he got his first toy...the journey itself from dreaming about it to final acquisition. It would be a shallow interpretation of joy for some but in a culture which is luxury obsessed as Japan, this form of happiness is as real as night and day.

Here's The video for the Louis Vuitton/takashi collaboration. 

Sometimes we do over analyze things which is  sometimes is unnecessary.  Britney's cover for me is a celebration of her childhood years that never was enjoyed at all.  Yes, she is a grown up woman now and she knows that it will be interpreted in so many ways. yet to be a child again even just for a magazine cover must be thrilling for her.


Monday, 23 August 2010

Postcards from the Urban Jungle

Barcelona---When things become too stressful you go far, far away for refuge.  My source of calmness is the complete antithesis of a spa.  I needed the sounds of the cars, the whiff of stale carbon monoxide, the chaos of lights and the madness of people.  Balance madness with madness and you'll come with a neutral effect.  It is a science that has not been proven to be precise but for me, it definitely is.

Nothing. Not even the one hour delayed flight, the drama of the Catalan weather and air turbulence can stop me getting to where I wanted to go.  I switched off my Blackberry and I let the real world  fade along with its blinking red light. 

Once again, I was in a a world I was accustomed to. The place I have left for the calmness of the seaside.  Here's some snapshots of my first two days in Barcelona.  My ode to the (urban) jungle...
where the dragons live...

and super heroes exist.

Where you can be who you want to be...

and where you can roar like a lion.

Where everything turns into gold...

where beauty is ageless...

where you can take things lightly...

where the impossible becomes possible....

where the colour becomes you....

where hellos and goodbyes are one and the same...

where the past becomes the present...

where happiness is as soft as cashmere...

where people discover new boundaries...

Where nature is nurtured...

Where everything is not sombra

And where broken hearts are healed.


Note:  As my I am having with my wordpress again(!), let's do with this site for the moment. Thanks.

Friday, 13 August 2010

Miss J, Unplugged.

The past two days marked the hottest temperature I have experienced in six years of living here on the Costa Sol.  Don't ask me how hot it was but it definitely crossed Sodom and Gomorrah Celsius to me. As we all know hot weather brings out the best and the worse in people---Summer romances,  unwanted pregnancies and weddings are celebrated more in this season.  Blame the sun, the sea and the saline in the air but I definitely succumbed to the temptation of madness and at the middle of the night did an impromptu photoshoot of myself.
Cue "Beautiful ones" by Suede, here's Miss J. mincing in her bathroom in an epic glamrock style. Do I hear a LOL? 

Tuesday, 23 February 2010







Thursday, 18 February 2010

It's Teresa's Time

All eyes are on Teresa Helbig's debut in this month's Cibeles Madrid Fashion Week.  Winner of Marie Claire's 2009 Best New Designer and Barcelona Es Moda 2009 award for Best Professional designer, we are betting that this lady could  possibly be  the next Amaya Arzuaga.

Even I, am very excited with Teresa's debut, I am inspired to wear a white dress with a giant bow belt on the day of her show for some tribute.  Too bad, I'm not going to Madrid for the Fashion Week.  I will be in my bed, sulking like a spoiled brat denied of his sweets.  I will be twittering like mad though so if you want to join the bashings, follow me on Twitter.


One thing that sets Teresa apart from her contemporaries is her eye for details. Her designs are fresh, well-defined and ultrafeminine.She channels the 50's influences without forgetting the womanly silhuettes and curves of the 70's.

Teresa started out as a window dresser and her  entrance to the world of mainstream fashion was sort of a cliché:  She was in the right place at the right time.  This time, the right place was in a friend´s wedding where she came wearing her own creation: an 80's inspired dress with feathers that she made in her mother's work shop.  The dress caused a wave of interest among the guests including the bride and one of her friends that they asked her to do a small collecion especially for them.  And the rest, as they say is history. 

Well, not really.  Teresa's debut in this month's Madrid FW will be a history for her:  She is more than a pro though in being featured in fashion mags everywhere in Spain including the big shots, Vogue, Marie Claire etc.

My personal favorite collection is the "Dans Ma Cage AW09/10" featuring the fun mini dresses with feathers, stripes and giant bow belts.  The collection  screamed "love me!" and I succumbed.

Teresa Goes for the Gold in Her Summer 2010 collection

Well, good luck Teresa. It's your time to shine and you deserve it.  In September, I will pull hair and claw my newly manicured, inch long purple nails if I can't come and see you in Cibeles. IFEMA you've been warned. :)


Tuesday, 16 February 2010

The Best and Worst of the Goya Awards

Sunday night was Spain's version of the Oscars---The Goya Awards.  Giles, my editor for Hot Magazine was tweeting like crazy about the winners and although I was itching to see it, I don't have a Spanish telly unfortunately. Yup, ask me what's happening in Iran or the UK or Afghanistan and I can definitely tell you but ask me the weather forecast in Spain and I wouldn't have a clue.

Thanks to the internet though, I can bring the winners in the fashion category judge by yours truly.  Let take the piss shall we?

The Losers

Paz Vega:  I know you haven't had any movies lately honey but this Hannibal Luna gown didn't give you much help either to get noticed again. Two words:  too much.  Too much gown, too much hair.

Manuela Velasco looks fresh, pretty and innocent in a Christian Dior but she could have at least make an effort to put some make up on no?  She looks pale as snow!

 Pilar Castro in Manoush: Oh c'mon.  Really?  For the Goyas? Can someone give this one some professional help stylist please?!!!

Dafne Fernandez in Dolores Promesas: I can only forgive her if she is pregnant.  Is she?

Clara Lago is Wearing a Dior but the waistline is just so heavy, it totally hid her curves.  She looked like a barrel here.

 Sorry Pe (in a Vintage Versace) but we have been bored with your safe style lately. Safe hair, safe gowns, safe everything. I  know you look good in everything you wear and that you are one elegant, classy lady but your looks have been so predictable, we are yawning.

And now, the WINNERS:

 The Ministry of Culture's Angeles Gonzales Sinde in a stunning  Amaya Arzuaga (my favorite) gown.  If all public servants are as stylish as her, I will enlist myself in the army.

 Model/Singer Bimba Bose in a David Delfin suit added some colourful androgyny to the night. 

and my overall WINNER

Maria Reyes in an Ana Locking gown:  This is how you do the red carpet, bitches!  The hair... the gown and the dog! I love, love , love the Mae West look with a hint of Cruella Deville mixed with fiercesome tranny attitude.  Perfection. 
Calling the Oscars, Invite this beauty to your award show this year for some added attraction. 
She would be glad to bring a Toro next time.



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