Monday, 12 November 2007

Redesigning the Costa...

To discover a proper design magazine in the Costa Del Sol is a breathe of fresh air. I am sick and tired of pseudo-fashion, pseudo-design publications, 99 percent of which are plain ads of tacky restaurants and bloody properties where no one dares to buy anyway. So when I saw a stack of the new MODERN DESIGN MAGAZINE in our building's cafeteria, I was so glad that at last, a kick ass magazine about kick ass architecture and design has been born!

Don't get me wrong though. The province of Malaga has a rich and diverse architecture that dates back to the numerous culture and civilizations that passed this historical part of Spain.
Moorish inspired houses and buildings dominated the architectural scene. It is quite unsurprising though since the whole province was under Moorish hands until the end of the 15th century. Under this occupation, historians called the era the "Golden Age" not only in architectural aspect but because in this era, Malaga grew to a rich merchant area, in fact, one of the biggest in the Iberian Peninsula. The best example of the best of Moorish architecture is the Gibralfaro Castle and the world renowned Alhambra Palace in Granada.
Most buildings and palaces are made by bricks which undoubtedly stood the test of times ; with fabulous intricate designs innate to Arab design. You can also see traces of Roman occupation though the Roman Theatre in the centre of the city as well as Gothic,Renaissance and Baroque architecture.

However, the 60's and the 70's were witness to the province's fall in architecture. With the mushroom business of hotels, hostels, and cheap accommodations for tourists, the area was populated with seedy, tacky concrete buildings which sadly, are still existing up until today. Like this:Anyway, going back to what I am raving about. Modern Design Magazine is breed of its own. Their website says, " It was conceived for one simple reason; the need for culture found here on the coast. It's a magazine that brings the most recent and cutting edge design to it's readers, as well as all the latest concepts and information surrounding the architecture, interior design and art worlds. Our magazine contains various articles about contemporary design and it's different origins and influences. Modern Design invites it's readers to adapt themselves, and change themselves, if necessary, to their ever changing environment; to keep up with today's world, so to speak."

I think the idea behind the magazine is brilliant although not a lot of retirees and pensioners who have settled in this area agree. The coast has a slow pace of live and that's what they came here for. I too, would love to live in place with history and culture but definitely not surrounded by rotting buildings from the 60's and the 70's, thank you very much.

Modern Design is an intelligent publication which features not only design and architecture but they also showcase masterminds like professional photographer Albert Watson, whose works graced VOGUE, Rolling Stones and Time magazine covers, Daniel Libeskind, the man chosen by the World Trade Center Commission to re-design Ground Zero; and up coming talents such as this month's feature, Brazilian designer Bruno 9li (real name although I bet nobody knows how to pronounce it) who was a participant to the 2006 International Outdoor Urban Art Exhibition in Barcelona.Two rather good looking men are the brains behind the publication---Michael Earl, American, Editor, architect and professor and the owner of Earle Diseño, a design and construction company in the Costa Del Sol; and Luis Gallardo, the magazine's director.

The magazine is free so look out for copies in your office. I bet you've got stacks hiding somewhere.

And for the ladies, if you think that the magazine is just about buildings and weird architectural designs, think again. They also have a fashion section! You heard it right. This month they feature Lanvin! Lanvin? Lanvin! I wish these guys are still single! Ladies check out their website and don't forget to send your CV's. :)


Sunday, 11 November 2007

All about Evita...

My gay friend Jorge from Argentina came back last week with a vengeance from a 6 month hibernation in his motherland. I have been insinuating from our text message exchanges that I wanted an exotic gift from Argentina since I've never been there and I thought he would bring me back a can of corned beef just to take the piss but I was actually excited when he stood on my doorway with a little bag marked with unmistakable face of an icon---who else? Argentina's very own people's princess: Eva Peron.

Now ladies, be warned. This entry does not not suggest anything about my political beliefs or sides. The truth of the matter is , I am apolitical. I care about the environment, the children, the poor, the animals and I am totally despise the use of drugs but I am neither a leftist or a rightist. I am for fashion and everything bright and beautiful in this world and that's it. Amen? Amen.
Going back to my flamboyant friend Jorge (pronounced whore-hey. :)) he said I should be stoned to death because I love dictators like Evita and Imelda Marcos. The truth is, I don't love dictators but I definitely love strong and powerful women. Madonna is not a dictator, is she? She never required everyone to wear her cone bras, for crying out loud. These women are icons not only for their beauty and style but also because of their contribution (as infamous as those might have been) in the society. Spain (where I live) until now has a strong tie with Argentina due to the latter's unprecedented help during the second world war. When the Spanish were dying of hunger in those era, Argentina was the good Samaritan who shipped them beef, lard and other food. And whose idea was it? you guess it right...The great Madam Peron. If you want more info on Evita or history, you will be disappointed as I will not dwell much into that. My blog is about fashion and style so you can either can get a history book or click on Google to know more her.It turned out that Jorge did a little trip to the Evita Museum in Buenos Aires before he came back last week for the precious little gifts. I mean gifts because aside from the hand painted Eva Peron sleeveless shirt, it came as well with tidbits of brochures and a memoir of the late dictator's wife including a catalogue of silverworks inspired by Eva Peron beautifully crafted by Argentinean jewelry designer, Alfredo Toledo.The Reason of My Life Necklace
Evita The Actress Necklace
The Rose Brooch

May Sunshine Brooch

Hmmm...a little bit of royal tackiness for my taste.
The Figure

The artist, who is a big fan of Evita wrote in the book:

" She was for some people the lady of hope: for others, the Blond Fairy and for most, the Saint that granted wishes and flew towards God. A controversial figure that aroused love and hate, Evita died at a young age, after a long agony. The increasing prayers of the people, first asking for her favours and then imploring for her health, converted her into a myth long after her death.
Her life has been portrayed over the years by artists - from all over the world; the arts including cinema, the theatre, photography, painting and many others, have paid her homage.
Today is my time. The time to show you through each of my works, what the figure, the woman and the myth in Evita awakened in me."
---Marcelo Toledo

No, he didn't give me any of this awesome pieces of silver however, he gave me a tacky E.P. shirt just for laughs. It's more of like a jumper that you can wear on top of a white long sleeve shirt or something. I still haven't worn it. I'm still waiting to find the right moment and the right accessories to go with it.

I love Eva Peron...although I'm not sure about singing to my people in a Town Hall's balcony or something. I leave that part to Madonna.


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