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styles around the world

A worldwide tour of styles that Jules Verne would have loved

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Letting go.


Two words that read like a welcome combination in response to an excess of pressure. Two words that are almost militant in these hyper-connected days. This is the impression that Marcela Makarova and her companion Philippe-Henry offer us in their travelling exhibition (and soon to be book) Around the World in 80 Styles. The idea? Navigate across continents in search of new styles, but also to tell the stories belonging to the many people they met. This interview with Marcela and Philippe-Henry took place at a rest stop between two destinations. We talked about photography, travel, and modern narratives…

“Street-style” sounds like a hackneyed discipline, especially given the glut of content available online and the circus of the hundreds of different Fashion Weeks. And yet, in your world tour, every style is striking. Is this more of an ethnographic study than a work about fashion?
Of course, our approach focuses on travel and discovery, so our editorial angle is very open in terms of the styles that we want to capture. Our only criteria was that the person’s style must call out to us, whether it is eccentric, traditional or fashionable. The originality of our photos also comes from our desire to capture both the person and the setting where we found them. To do this, we chose a wide-angle lens, allowing us to have the background and the person in the foreground both in focus. Each photograph is thus both a portrait – an encounter – and an invitation to travel, given the environment and the context.

What were the criteria to keep the best portraits?

It depended on each part of our project. During the trip, we were writing columns for a couple of web magazines and the choice of pictures was quite large in order to illustrate our impressions of each country. From one photo to another, a journey would unfold in front of the readers’ eyes.

In the book, the series takes on its full meaning; the portraits resonate with each other and allow for a glimpse of the world through clothing style.

Finally, for the exhibition, we privileged the photos that were the most striking visually.


You show that there is still room for original stories. What advice would you give aspiring photographers?

I’m not sure that we are legitimate enough to give advice. We wanted to have a project to complete throughout our trip, but in conditions that suited us. And we wanted it to remain fun. Telling a trip, or rather having people travel through portraits, or photos, seemed like an interesting and feasible idea.


Does working as a couple bring a different perspective to the photographs you take?

For us, working as a duo was essential from the earliest stages of the project. When we’re shooting, it allows for a second opinion, and thus helps us avoid certain errors related to the urgency of shooting on the street. It also allowed us to divide up tasks: one of us was taking photos while the other was asking questions and taking notes, leaving us the opportunity to create a link and make real encounters. For everything else, working together also provides two complementary perspectives, and therefore inevitably enriches the content and result.


When are you hitting the road again ?
Every time we travel, we naturally continue to make portraits. However, right now, we are focussing on our exhibitions in France and putting a book together. We’re also already working on some new ideas… to be continued.

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Instagram account to follow : @thescooterist

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Put together energy and passion of youth, a sparking duo of lovers, a country with unrevealed beauty, a bunch of vingtage Vespas, a stylish gang, and you have probably the most exciting Instagram account in Vietnam.

TheScooterist is the account that documents the adventures and inspirations of two young photographers, taking on the road and giving a unique cool touch to wedding photography along their way.

Cheer for the nice view. #vespa #vesparally #vespavietnam #vespaadventure #scooterist #thescooterist

A photo posted by Đá Nguyễn aka The Scooterist ( on

ayumi lanoire

Instagram account to follow: @agentlanoire – Ayumi LaNoire

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There’s beauty and mystery on Instagram.

One of our last crushes is Ayumi LaNoire. Officially “The Pole Dancing Geisha“, “ultimate entertainer of Pole, Fire, Modelling & Acting“, her Instagram feed is an ode to subcultures, empathic night and fantasies.

Her snapshots are a tender escape; not aggressive sexuality there: just this nice feeling that whatever happens, tomorrow deserves to be seen.




Instagram account to follow: @haavseen – by Vincent Laserson

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Menswear specialist and curator of all good things Vincent Laserson, previously member of the now split-up crew De Jeunes Gens Modernes (all seem to have found greater callings within the creative industries), documents his findings on this inspiring account. Things you think you’ve seen, actually he haasssen. Americans are intrigued by the whimsical concept of La Parisienne. This guy is some great exemple of Le Parisien.

A photo posted by Vincent Laserson (@haavseen) on


aponie paris

APONIE: when a mother and her children decide to create fragrances loaded with meanings and love

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A new French brand has just revealed a collection of four new fragrances. APONIE created by Jocelyne Duval, explores new notes for men or for women, which are echoes from one another through seasons, moods and attitude.

We had a chance to interview her son, Marc-Aurèle Jules.

aponie collection parfums

Aponie is all about hyphenated identities and worldwide inspirations. How did you create fragrances right in this crossroad?

Interbreeding is a chance and a richness, it defines us and we care about it. My mother already grew up between Western and African educations, then in the same way, she raised us in this multiculturality, which opened our minds to cultures and traditions from here and there.

The best example of our love for interbreeding remains the name of our perfume “Mulâtresse” because a Mulâtresse, in French, is a daughter born of the union of black and white parents (it was also the nickname given to Jeanne Duval, the muse of the French poet Charles Baudelaire). Our origins from Europe and Arica, and our discoveries of regions in Asia or America brought us other exotic and cosmopolitan inspirations.

Personally, I have been brought up among perfumes. My mother used to soak, very young, our pillows with the Eau de Cologne by Mr Thibeault, then sprayed the filter of the vacuum cleaner in order to fill the house with the Eau de Parfum Panthère by Cartier, and our walks never missed to stop by a perfumery during the weekend or a manufacture as soon as we were travelling. Obviously, when she decided to make her dream come true by creating APONIE, recent graduate of HEC Paris, I chose with no hesitation to to join her into partnership, and so did my sister!

There is a lot of love and humour in your four new fragrances. A collection as a whole, which is very different from other “blockbusters” like Chanel, focusing on “hero” products like N°5….

Indeed, there is a lot of LOVE in our fragrances, the love of perfume firstly, and above all the love of self which is one of the main values of our House. APONIE extols three values that are the love of self, the teaching of happiness and the sublimation of self, which passes by perfume.

In addition to our philosophy of love and happiness, we put a lot of poetry into our fragrances. We realized bold and previously unseen mixes to reach perfumes “that sing the ecstasy of the soul and senses” as Baudelaire said.

We meant to create essences starting from personalities and characters. In this sense, I think our collection must be understood as a whole set but according to his sensitivity, each and everyone will find its own product-hero.

aponie sybaris

The collection is genderless: how did you operate this fusion?

As I said earlier, our starting point for the creation of each perfume was the personality. Our perfumes carry a non-verbal communication that delivers instantly the message of your personality. The family of our first collection is made up of the proud and fiery woman (Mulâtresse), the elegant and distinguished man (Aryballe), the sparkling and serene woman (Jolanta), and the happy and free man (Sybaris).

Our collection was aiming at two fragrances for men and two for women. Once finished, to our greatest surprise, our perfumes Sybaris and Aryballe, initially designed for men, turned out to be unisex, because they happened to be amazingly worn by women. The perfumes still haven’t given all their secrets to the fusion of genders!aponie mulatresse parfum

Should perfume do a bit of politics? :) 


The House of APONIE features the richness of interbreeding, the mix of cultures, and the teaching of happiness. If these values talks to you, then we’ll think about it in 2017 using as a programme the Perfumes as a model of unity.

You work with the craftsmen of Grasse ; is it something important to work with the French excellence stakeholders?

This French touch appeared as obvious, with the creation in Grasse, the cradle of perfumes, the manufacture in the Cosmetic Valley, expertise and competitiveness pole, and of course the elegance, the charm and et the character of Paris.

Perfumes and cosmetics are among the best ambassadors of France worldwide. We are proud to be French.

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What’s so great about Instagram? An interview with Kristen Joy Watts, Community Team, Art and Fashion Lead at Instagram

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Fashion Weeks used to be a closed network, with buyers and happy journalists. It Girls were fighting for the FROW. But with Social Media and more specifically Instagram, there’s a brand new playground in which new public and new communities gather. It’s not the Front Row that matters anymore, but the backstage, the making-of, the secret stories propagated and shaped by makers. An ongoing and perpetual reinvention of fashion, which goes beyond conventions and traditional rules. Instagram is our favourite social network (you can follow Vu Quan & lilzeon and his new project). It’s a goldmine to wander around others’ dreams and through people ideas.

Instagram, it’s the reality and the perception of this reality.

We had a chance to chitchat with Kristen Joy Watts, Community Team, Art and Fashion Lead at Instagram to share few ideas, crushes, vision about the network.

Let’s go, in, sta, gram.

Instagram has become one of the ‘places to be’ for fashion brands as well as for fashion enthusiasts. Is there a risk of creating a ‘snacking culture’ for brands that are more luxury oriented?

There is a lot of fashion storytelling on Instagram that is light and fun and fast. We also see really sophisticated, unforgettable storytelling from the fashion community, whether Landon Nordeman’s (@landonnordeman) Instagram-first fashion week coverage for The Cut:

#theCutPFW @rickowensonline Rehearsal #pfw for @thecut #eiffeltower #jaimeparis

A photo posted by Landon Nordeman (@landonnordeman) on

…or Richie Talboy (@okrichie) and Lucas Lefler’s (@lucas_lefler) #emptyrunway series for Vanity Fair. In France too there is a growing community of inspiring creatives on Instagram, from Carin Olsson (@parisinfourmonths) to Tiffany Cooper (@tiffanycooper_) to Simon Portes Jacquemus (@jacquemus). Fashion houses, publications and individuals all over the world look to them for inspiration.

"GRIS" #JACQUEMUS FIRST PRE/COLLECTION / @harleyweir @jamesvaleri @aninevanvelzen

A photo posted by SIMON PORTE JACQUEMUS (@jacquemus) on

We are noticing some emerging trends in the network à la Tumblr (such as pro-ANA movements that are creating support groups) and that you have started to recruit people in order to identify and share the community with the world. How do you identify creative community members ? Do you have dedicated tools and contacts with them?

The Community Team at Instagram was created to discover and elevate the most amazing people and storytelling on Instagram. Our small but mighty team has members in Tokyo, London, Moscow, São Paulo, San Francisco and, of course, New York, where I am based. We celebrate the community on Instagram from North Korea to Nebraska. My discovery process involves everything from research on Instagram to asking everyone I meet if there’s anyone they’ve discovered who I need to know about. I always find amazing people when I’m in Paris.

Success is hard to achieve and gaining numerous followers is a lot of work on Instagram. However, some companies such as Instabrand are created with a view to manage Instagram’s talents. What advice would you give to a talent that is starting on Instagram and wants to join the tribe of very followed accounts?

For us, Instagram is all about the fun of sharing your story and discovering amazing people to follow. Here are a few best practices for someone who’s just starting out. First, tell a consistent story. Second, follow some people you know, some people you don’t know and some people you just discovered (for example, I follow many people in fashion and art but I also follow a florist in Moscow and a lifestyle photographer who captures wonderful images of his two Newfoundland dogs. Finally, connect with other people. This can be through likes and comments or even through meeting in person for coffee or an InstaMeet. The InstaMeet phenomenon, whereby Instagrammers meet in a location to take pictures of scenes which inspire them, allows the community to come together and share their passions and creative processes in new, real relationships with others.

davor attention

A Selective Attention Test With The Free Help Guy

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Before reading the interview, do this test. Do it. Seriously.

How did you get on? Did you get it right?

This illustration of our selective attention (originally developed by Daniel Simons and Christopher Chabris) represents an interesting psychology and an almost unnerving duping of the brain.

In this video, The Free Help Guy created a version a bit bolder, a bit deeper. And it’s true: busy we are, busy we claim to be. Whereas very important people and topics are around us, we might lose ourselves in the daily bread.

We had the chance to interview T., the man behind The Free Help Guy, a very interesting platform, connecting free helpers. In a world where we don’t talk much to our neighbours, there might be a need to re-shape social links…

Many experts talk about the fact that attention economy is the new playground for humans; time should be more valuable than money itself. Do you think that basic reactions like empathy, trust, caring, are dismantled by the noise which tries to grab our mind?

I think you’re right. Attention economics looks at our attention as a scarce resource which is exactly what it is, increasingly so, in modern society. As with anything scarce, its value is increasing but I fear we’re most likely to spend this attention on short term gain and instant gratification, whether it be box sets or booze. Empathy, trust development and the act of caring for one another is not a short term game and it’s rarely instantly gratifying, so they’re demoted down our attentive ‘to do’ lists. The aim of our film is to challenge this. To suggest to the viewer that our attention selection can be duped and that there’s often a cost to this – in our case the cost of ignoring the issue of suicide in the UK.

Suicide is a social issue; it’s not that easy to properly identify when someone’s about to commit it. What should we do in order to help, or at least be more vigilant?

Each case of suicide is as individual and unique as one person is from another. But as a foundation to it all, we have to be more aware of the problem and consequently much more open, accepting and pragmatic about its many influencing factors. I think this starts with the everyday person. I’ve heard too many people say whilst shrugging their shoulders that it’s an ‘irrational act’, yet I’ve heard from people who have described the most detailed, measured and rational means by which loved ones have taken their lives. Assuming it’s irrational is a way for that person to shirk their potential to empathize and understand and without this there’s no openness, accepting or pragmatism. If society as a whole started paying attention then there’d be a greater likelihood of people considering committing suicide coming forward and seeking help before they do.

This initiative is part of a more global goal for the Free Help Guy: could you describe your purpose?

I have a hunch that traditional social enterprise and charity work the wrong way round. Organisations develop solutions and then find beneficiaries for them. They but be right and it’s certainly a more obviously scalable approach but the cost is that each issue is dehumanized. I want to explore the alternative, which is taking one person and their problem (or request for help) and creating something that works for them but hopefully helps more in the process at the very least through informing and inspiring a wider audience through documenting each instance of helping. Whether you’re me, a collaborator or simply just a reader of my blog, there’s a real person with a real problem to engage you with each issue and I think this is powerful. Either way, my goal is to do all I can for those who approach me needing help whilst mobilising others to do good in the process – and doing this anonymously!

What can we wish you?

Collaboration. This is what I wish! Individuals, agencies, charities, whoever you are, if you believe in doing good differently then I’d love to hear from you.

To know more how you can help, go visit the dedicated page.