Monthly Archives: April 2011

Couture Eggs at Achteinhalb presented by iHeartBerlin

How about some good old charity good-deed-doing for the upcoming Easter-weekend? This Easter Berlin-based lifestyle blog iHeartBerlin.de promises to turn the traditional family holiday upside down and  transform it into a contemporary charity fashion event. In collaboration with Achteinhalb they have asked eleven of Berlin‘s avant-garde designers to create Couture Easter Eggs. The designers are Anna Wegelin, Burkhardt/Möllmann, C.Neeon, Esther Perbandt, JULIAANDBEN, Parsival Cserer, Paula Immich, Phoebe Heess, Proportion, Reality Studio and Von Bardonitz.

These unique eggs will be auctioned off on iHeartBerlin.de from Monday April 18 until Friday April 22, 2011.
The proceeds will be donated to children’s charity and Japan disaster relief organizations. On Thursday the eggs will be presented live at a vernissage at the Achteinhalb Concept Store.

The COUTURE EGGS Auction will take place on the iHeartBerlin blog starting this Monday April 18 in the evening and will run until Friday April 22, 2011. During their vernissage on Thursday you will be able to enter your bids, you have to register to attend though.

Learn more over at iHeartBerlin.de by clicking HERE.

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So, what is “natural” for Ben the Illustrator?

Beautiful weather and beautiful things go together very well, and since you’ve probably been dying to write some good old-fashioned postcards to your beloved friends I bring you the perfect dose of illustration goodness that you just needed.

Behold the beauty of the “Natural” postcard-collection designed by Ben the Illustrator (his website is here) and available at the 1973 online shop (you can get to it clicking HERE). A select few are presented here, which are my favorites. I love the contrast of the vibrant colors with the wooden/stone backgrounds. So, if you feel like sending me a postcard anytime soon, you know where to look. Ha!

And another one that is so perfectly designed to be sent to one particular person I know:

You are so not in the running to become America’s Next Topmodel anymore

OMG Alex, you are probably about to say, so much reality TV in this world and you cover so little of it. What is wrong with you? Alas, the questions shall be answerethed. And I gotta admit: We are already waaaayyy into cycle 16 of America’s Next Topmodel, Tyra’s beloved brainchild. So this post right here is long overdue. But now I have the perfect excuse which is really just a sad sad occasion: My personal favorite, Mikaela, had to leave last week. Tears and nervous breakdowns, y’all.

via rtvgames.com

So, why exactly was Mikaela my favorite? Well, just take another look at the photo above. That face. You know, just to remind me mere human being that every now and then nature decides that it is time to spew out another being that is carrying around remarkable facial features that also look really good. Bwah, thanks, or whatever. So admittedly, I wanted Mikaela to win because she is so pretty, but also admittedly, personality-wise she didn’t really make me explode emotionally.
Apart from that, how terrible was last episode anyways? Alexandria is pulling the major bitch and once a girl calls her out for it and defends her position all the judges and especially Tyra are all like “shut your trap and forget about honesty for like fucking ever.” Way to go, Tyra, way to go. What is all that blabber about role-models and alla that? You’re setting the worst examples by punishing honesty and rewarding fakeness. I know I shouldn’t get worked up about a reality TV show, but no matter what it is or how real those events are, they are sending a message. And last weeks episode sent the worst fucking message you could send out to young girls. Be cute and act humble while bringing up all sorts of assholery but never ever speak your mind and be confident. Argh.

 

via joe-anth-tan.blogspot.com

So, cycle 16, what have you taught us so far? Well, if you are a model with an editorial look that really likes feminism you’re gonna get kicked out, although it’s also kinda weird to think of yourself as this hardcore feminist and then participate in a modelling competition on reality TV.
We also learned that plus size is now fiercely real, because obviously “smiling with your eyes” and “modelling from H to T” are getting a little old.
And being an asshole is better than being honest.
Love, Tyra.

 

via tmz.com

So, what’s left in store for us? Of course we all hope that Alexandria’s butt gets kicked off asap, we can still grin derangedly for the aweseomness that is Jaclyn and her inability to say one single swear-word and hope that either her or Kasia wins, cause let’s be real, Brittani won’t make it no more and Molly is fun but too boring so satisfy us.
And if you’re thinking that I’m totally out of my mind for liking ANTM and writing about it, you are abso-fuckin-lutely right. Sorriez.

Pass your spring in pastels

So, folks, I don’t know about you, but here in beautiful Berlin spring has arrived. This past weekend we had wonderful 20°+ temperatures and if the weather would ask me (for once) I would tell it to continue like that and never change. Encouragement, it is called. Since it got a little cooler again I decided to fight the weather with clothing in purple and white, which of course (duh, what else!) reminded me: I need more pastel-colored clothing.

Lucky me, the fashion world is not one to disappoint. Pastels are the new black, which never went anywhere anyways, so you get to wear it all. Yay!
The picture above shows the principle colors that I demand from pastel wardrobe: turquoise, pink, and yellow. Awesome colors, underrepresented.

The picture is taken from the current collection of McGregor (their website is HERE), a brand that goes for the all-American upper-class sports look, but I says that no matter what class or country, pastels are awesome and should rule your day. Luckily McGregor provides some inspiration with their current collection, and I don’t want to withhold it from you.

These two looks remind us how essential white (in this case cool white shorts) is, when it comes to pastel colors. Love the shirt with the turquoise floral print, and I am always surprised by how the relatively boring combination of grey and pink can be enhanced by throwing in some white.
The polo-shirt below takes it even further by just combining all three colors into one shirt (you can see it in their online-shop here), that goes very well with the light blue shorts (another awesome color, btw).

If your lust for pink is not yet satisfied, their Distinction collection makes some suggestions as to how you could incorporate it into more formal outfits. Love the pink blazer and the pink trousers, though admittedly, the light blue shirt and the white trousers also kinda rock.

Mixing it once more with grey and getting a little more purple-y, here is another pretty outfit, just don’t get too distracted by the awesome marble wall in the back. Which deserves its own blog-entry, really.

Last but not least, behold these three beauties:

I love these belts, their color, their texture, their slimness. Prettey, sez I. Unfortunately they are not yet in the McGregor online-shop (you can get to it HERE), which currently offers a pretty awesome deal: if you buy stuff from either their online-shop (which you’d have to do here in Germany) or in any of their stores in various countries and spend at least 699 Euros they give you and IPad for free. Let’s be real for a second, I’m not gonna spend 700 Euros on clothes just like that, but if I did, I would gladly take the IPad. Ha. Bargain is in my blood. You can learn more about the special offer HERE.

But wait wait wait, Alex, I hear you all scream: Where is the yellow?
Admittedly, McGregor is a little short on that, which is a pity really. I guess we just gonna have to feed off the memories of the light-yellow Odeur jeans from their spring/summer 2009 collection. I so want these (especially now that my light-yellow jeans start to fall apart…).

 

via coutequecoute.de

Ursula K. Le Guin kills another revolutionary – literally

The level of lameness I reach when trying to come up with pun-y headlines… You’re welcome! Of course the above statement is just to lure you in to another Le Guin centered review on this blog, but this time we won’t go for a novel, instead we’ll have a look at her short story The Day Before the Revolution, which is connected to her novel The Dispossessed which was published in the same year (1974) and is set in part on the same planet, cause both of the stories are connected to her larger Hainish-Universe. In case you have no clue what I am talking about: shame on you! So much for not alienating readers. (But really, it’s just a short short story. Go pick it up, read it real quick, and come back here for the review! See you in a sec!)

via goodreads.com

In The Day Before The Revolution (which won a Nebula Award in 74 for Best Short Story) we meet up with Laia Asieo Odo, an elderly woman that we previously encountered as a historical figure in The Dispossessed. Odonians, as they call themselves, derive their ideological foundation from the writings of Odo, who is referred to here in this story – unsurprisingly if you think about it, which we of course did not – as Laia, since it is her given name. And good old Ms Odo has a history of writing influential works on anarchism and anarchist society, since she’s been fighting for ending the oppression of those belonging to the working class (and underclass) on the planet of Urras. Her ideas and ideals, written down partially in prison where she spent years of her life have a distinctively communist touch to me (and I guess others), but it is anarchism, because it is an ideology that rejects any form of state, rule, authority, and hierarchies. In The Dispossessed we see that the ideal and the reality may very well clash, but in this story there she is: the woman who thought it all through, wrote it down, started revolutions and became an icon. She lives in a community-organized house (which used to be a bank, something that gives her satisfaction) and deals with age – remarking also, that the older she gets the less easy she finds it to adhere to all the principles and ideals she’s written about so famously.

via wikipedia.org

We follow her through one day. She wakes up and gets up, dresses, has breakfast, reads, remembers, contemplates, meets guests and goes out in the streets on a sudden urge, and ultimately returns, exhausted.
Because The Dispossessed is such a thoroughly political and also theoretical novel in many ways, it is fascinating to witness this other take on Urras and anarchism (I read it before The Dispossessed which didn’t diminish neither novel nor story, it rather enriched my reading of the novel), where we meet the principal thinker of the movement and encounter a brief narrative about old age. How Laia struggles with her own body, its faltering functionality, and also its ugliness, because she does not find herself pretty or attractive anymore. But she is no fool: Her appetite for sex is nothing she denies. In fact she’d love to have her young and attractive secretary look at her the way he’d look at an attractive woman these days, and finds her wishes to be in vain.
Living where she lives and meeting whom she meets she also sees the discrepancy between her writings, the celebration of her principles, and how reality plays out differently. Even though she spoke out against hierarchies and authority, people see her as an icon and treat her as one. And even though she perceives of this ideological gap she is also quite happy with the comfort it provides her with in her old age.

via amazon.com

The Day Before The Revolution is first and foremost a story about old age and the end of one’s own life. Laia/Odo has lived her life fully, we could say. She has known oppression and a precarious existence, but she has also known resistance, protest, further repression and the strength to survive it. And she has known love. And loss, and grief. In between the events of the day we witness  there are brief flashes of memory, when she remembers her time in prison and her deceased husband Taviri. And even though these glimpses are short, they are profound, bittersweet and melancholic, but also realistic. What is over is over, so what can you do? Le Guin is a supberb writer in many ways. Big shocking confession right here: I read it in German, not in English, translated by Gisela Stege. While I love Le Guin’s prose in the original, this translation reads beautifully and doesn’t diminish the effect. Le Guin’s art shines through: she is able to draw a character with a few lines and strokes, but round and full, because Laia here is believable in her insecurity and confidence, in her longing and acceptance, in her stubbornness and open mind.
Having made it back to the house she walks up to her room, slowly, dead tired, feeling the stroke coming. She will not survive this night. But we already know that the next day all hell will break lose, the revolution based on her influential thoughts will take off and lead to the settlement of another planet. But you don’t need to know about your own future glory to be a grand person.

Still haven’t read it? You gotta be kiddin’ me! Do so now!