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France has a new Marianne figure on stamps, and it’s a Femen

It’s a massive news in France and potentially worldwide: Francois Hollande, French president, has just revealed the new figure of Marianne, which will be present in every stamp in France in the coming weeks.

David Kawena and Olivier Ciappa, who designed the stamps, did something bossy: they declared that Inna Shevchenko, one of the founders of Femen, is one of the main sources of inspirations.

It’s very brave because there’s still a huge debate in France around the wedding for all (so called gay-marriage around here) and that a lot of people tried to intimidate the progressive French. It’s also brave because when you vote for a President, this guy often forgets his commitments. Saying that the new Marianne supports this strong political move is not only a sign: it’s the proof that you must be proud of decisions that won’t be consensual in the short term but which will matter in the coming years.

Well done.timbres marianne femen

 

 

Inna-Shevchenko-jpg_154528

 

 

 

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A PEACE TREATY scarves collection FW 13

When ethics is an opportunity to bring back to life amazing motifs from foreign places, it makes us dream. The guys of “A PEACE TREATY” embraces our dreamlands with this new scarves collection. Magics.

A PEACE TREATY is an evolving collection aimed at creating ethically-produced, artisan-level accessories and apparel for the luxury fashion marketplace.
A PEACE TREATY’s F/W 2013 collection emerges from the mysteriously sacred American Southwest. Shaped by a confluence of peoples, this land has both endured tension and inspired vision. In our quest to pay homage to the heritage and to the handmade artifacts from these intertwining cultures, APT delves deep into the essence of this romanticized tenet of Americana. Symbols of life such as the sun and squash flower are juxtaposed with those of
finality like arrows and spears, while repeating patterns and spirals emphasize this mystical cycle. Colored by the glowing tones of the desert at dawn, HÓZHÓ speaks to the brave Southwestern spirit, at once steadfast and ephemeral.
HÓZHÓ’s luxurious cashmere and wool scarves lure the desert rambler to stay warm by the fire. Delicate fibers are adorned with stripes, folk symbols, and ceremonial patterns. Scarves are inspired by bandanas and patchwork quilts and feature teepees and arrowheads – converging separate relics of both traditions into one unifying design. Radial patterns reference the intricate art form of sandpainting, an ancient spiritual healing ceremony. All pieces are hand-woven and hand-printed by artisan co-ops in Kathmandu and Jaipur. This collection brings together influences from both the roaming cowboy and Native, echoing the APT ethos and marking HÓZHÓ as a collection of shared heritage”.

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adidas by Stella McCartney collection | Fall/Winter 13

There’s something irreverent and ever challenging with Stella McCartney designs for adidas. Whereas most of the products for winter either focus on performance or suggest non-wearable clothes, the new FW13 collection looks like a playground. Technical issues become new fashion opportunities to reinterpret parkas and winter outfits.

We love it.

“adidas by Stella McCartney brings inspirational warmth to the Fall/Winter 13 season with a spectrum of vivid color tempered by an atmospheric wash of blurred urban print – adding a twist to any workout. “

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Dates, Channel 4: Mia, David and the Londoners on modern dating

When TV shows try to describe modern love, it most of the time fails in clichés. And when TV shows also mention internet dating, it’s even worse: a lack of sensitivity, of understanding of why people go on Meetic etc.

It’s the absolute opposite with the new Channel 4 TV series, “Dates“. Created by Bryan Elsley, the show explores the complicated relationships of grown-ups in London. The episodes are directed by diverse talents, so as the series is interesting both for her sociological understanding and for her anthropological essay about London.

There is Mia, glamorous and somehow neurotic young woman. Her femme fatale attitude quickly fades with a need to fall in one’s arms; one of the girls who want to rule the world but without the right weapons. It asks the question of what’s real female power at the end? A creation, an illusion in men’s eyes or something that should be different?

There’s is a lorry driver and a doctor. There are people who already got married and who have children, and who after their second dates seem in a hurry to introduce all their past to their potential love. It also raises the issues of privacy in the era of Social Media: what’s your digital footprint when you meet someone new?

What I love is this epic mess, caught in a very deep and very touching way in Dates. Instead of promising love stories that don’t exist, the cast and directors achieve to keep this exact experience of what London nights can be: a very lonely city, which sometimes offer rays of hopes to wannabe couples.

Oh and of course the theme song, Chloé by Hannah Peel, is magics.

Cast:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Wearing caps: yay or nay?

This is a controversial topic, especially in London: is it OK to wear baseball caps if you want to look stylish with your friends?

I’m going to be honest: for ages, I thought that the guys who could wear caps were part of very few crews.

– gangsta rappers: I still don’t get the point to keep the stickers saying it’s an original cap. I mean come on, you’re no longer sharing cards in kindergarten with your friends

– your dad when he takes care of the barbecue, most of the time in Texas or Nevada

– the no-style men, who wear caps…for no special reason

I was wrong. Caps are now one of the most interesting accessories for men, like ties and belts. It’s just that we don’t have any good education about it that we’re afraid of wearing them.

Let’s take one example: Patrice (the afro-German superstar) wears caps and hats regularly. It gives a structure to the overall outfit; it’s a fashion statement that tells a lot about one individual.

It’s not a come-back of the nineties, as many magazines wrote last year. It’s far more subtle, and the reasons why caps are now on the edge of fashion are very new:

– workspace has changed a lot; London or NYC are the new paradises for the tech or arty businesses. With this fundamental shift (remember that agencies are now buying spare desks in the City!), men can now wear whatever they want. The suit is still key for special events or in particular corporate cultures, but we now need more imagination. Flat caps are too related to certain laborers’ imagery, while hats can be considered as too sophisticated. Caps are a more discrete twist of personality that you can expose without being considered as “you know THIS fashion guy”

– you know have decent collections for caps: New York Yankees were for a while the only option if you wanted to get rid of Nike, Reebok logos. But now, a lot of indie brands have interesting caps, like Religion.

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– you can wear caps with a lot of outfits; a bit like a clock, your cap can be a daily companion

 

So guys: go for caps. They should be not too big nor small. They should have this strange balance between statement and discretion.

Let’s see if in the coming years, you’ll be allowed to wear them in formal clubs. After all, we got rid of too formal shoes, why not free our heads?

 

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The Feet Project (RE-UP): the teaser

It’s a project we’re pretty happy to present today as we’re producing it: the Feet Project.

The question can seem absurd: do you ever think about your feet?

A lot of people have never considered it. And it’s amazing to a certain extent as we all walk, wear shoes, swim; and at the opposite, if you don’t have feet, your life is totally changed.

We’ve been interviewing passer-by, shoe designers, fashionistas, experts, reflexologists. And we’ll release the full documentary in September.

The Feet Project teaser from RE-UP on Vimeo.

As it’s a creative research project exploring what feet mean to people, we need you. If you have something to say, if you want to share your feet, well…do it on our Tumblr. A lot of bloggers or anonymous already played the game. Join us.( feet-project.com ) by RE-UP ( thisisreup.com )

 

Credits:

A film directed by Flavie Trichet Lespagnol ( flavie-trichet-lespagnol.com/ ) and Marion May ( marion-may.com/ )

Music: DAYS by Exsonvaldes ( exsonvaldes.net/ )

Creative Director:
Chris Aldhous

Creative strategy:
Laurent Francois

Project direction:
Tristan Nicolas
Pierre Humeau

Content strategy:
Elisabetta Giusta
Karishma Puri

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Nabilla Benattia at Jean Paul Gaultier Couture FW13 Show
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Why Kanye “Yeezus” can conquer Paris with style

While commenters have given a harsh welcome to Kanye West for his first steps into the world of fashion design, we shall agree to disagree. Although we won’t claim that Kanye will revolutionize luxury fashion, we’re pretty sure he’s gunning rightly for the title of most influent artist in the world. As exemplified yesterday in Paris, French iconic designers have no more grasp on world trends. After successful stints alongside Madonna and Lady Gaga, Jean-Paul Gaultier has given light and patronage to a blingy and brain-dead real-TV starlet: Nabilla Benattia.

This late one has famously confessed being admirative of top-level TV star (and Kanye’s girl) Kim Kardashian.

The trouble is: Kanye may well be dating a TV star, he’s just got on to set the record straight with his latest album Yeezus. Creatively speaking, the man has grown into standards of both entertainment (Runaway / My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy) and experimentation (Yeezus). Thus he’s been proving that art is both a subject for radicality and compromise.

Whereas Jean-Paul Gaultier has just been shooting at people in the light of media for attention, while not proving much on the creative grounds. There’s finally another symptom of Paris and French creativity rigidified in the old patrimonial comfort of history. Paris Fashion Week seems to have trouble dealing with the present and with the tough competition on the international fields of creativity. As trade talks between the US and Europe are heating up, good old France is trying to protect something quite obsolete, while american artists are inventing the future of culture.

Nabilla Benattia at Jean Paul Gaultier Couture FW13 Show
Nabilla Benattia at Jean Paul Gaultier Couture FW13 Show
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Rachel E. Dahl,A La Mode St. : “Fortunately, both my grandmothers were very stylish”

We’ve been following Rachel E. Dahl‘s amazing blog for some years now. A mix of indie style and great stories to share. We wanted to know more about the delicious American woman who inspires us on a daily basis. A free soul with amazing taste. The anti girls girl. There’s an old French Song about a Baltimore girl that says:

Si tu vas jusqu´à Baltimore
Quand tu descendras sur le port
Va dire à la fille aux yeux d´or
Que je l´aime encore

Enjoy.

When did you start blogging and why?

I started blogging in April 2010 back when my blog was called à la Modest (now à la Mode St.). I wanted to convince myself that I made the right decision to dress somewhat modest and different. I was feeling really alone and scared for a while because of that change in lifestyle. It was really hard to change how I used to dress, to go against the grain, because clothing obviously means a lot to me and the other girls were still following trends.

I tried as much as I could to blog regularly, to document how I could still be creative with my style while under restriction. I wanted to write about what I learned, how it changed my life, and how I think others could learn from it. I wanted to also find and bond with like-minded people, because even while modesty is rare today, the Internet makes our world smaller.

© A La Mode St.

“Fashion can change the world”: what do you think about that?

Absolutely, I 100% agree with that. It might sound cliche, but there is no doubt that fashion has shaped our world to how it is now. Changes in fashion have led us to define what is acceptable and normal. For instance, when the bikini was first introduced, no woman dared to wear it. So when they advertised it to the general public, the people behind the bikini had to hire a stripper to model it. Women even before flapper-days showed their rebelliousness by exposing their knees. Social revolutions and subcultures almost always were accompanied by a change in fashion. An inward change has to somehow manifest itself outwards in appearance. That change, good or bad, is influenced by fashion in some fashion!

You want to “reflect a woman who is confident of her own beauty and worth without the need to put out because of public pressure”. How can you help with your blog?

I hate to sound like a broken record or like a parrot, because you will see a ton of different other modesty sites and blogs that have the same sort of “mission” statement— that you can “dress fashionably without being frumpy.” It’s an awesome statement, because the stigma with modesty is that you have to dress like your grandma. Fortunately, both my grandmothers were very stylish.

However, what I think sets à la Mode St. apart is its integration with a bit of non-mainstream pop culture, and pop culture (mainstream or indie) is not quite in sync with my beliefs. There are very few people who will and can marry faith and pop culture together. To show that it is possible to enjoy both, I think, gives people inspiration on how to live without having to abandon the other. So in terms of fashion and beauty, women can customize their styles without having to completely follow the trends, and trends usually show too much skin.

What are your sources of inspirations?

I draw inspiration from what I watch, read, and listen to. That could be anything, really. Lately, I’ve been inspired by a lot of brave individuals like Edward Snowden, Pussy Riot, and Ai Wei Wei. They inspire us all to be braver, to voice out our concerns while rejecting the fear of rejection, to stick with your guns no matter what you believe in. I honestly really need to kick myself in the butt for acting defeatist these days, because it has not been easy writing for me.

You used to highlight some modest clothing outfits: is it still the case?

Yes it is generally still the case. Although, I’ve been associating my kind of modesty now with what I think is trying not too hard to draw sexual attention—and not following rules for the sake of rules or guilt trips. A lot of people who try to go against culture through their faiths can get caught up with that at times. A lot of my outfits now aren’t typically “modest” and can look somewhat sexy but without showing cleavage, belly, or thighs.

I changed my name from à la Modest to à la Mode St. so that I can keep my domain name without having to be the shining example for modesty (which I am surely not) that was part of the old name. I still follow my own standards of what isn’t too sexually enticing through lifestyle and clothing but at the same time, I don’t want others to be thrown off by calling myself “modest.” I don’t want to lower anyone’s standards or confuse anyone, which I think was the problem with attaching that word to my blog name. I’m representing an idea that is controversial and subjective. I try my best to be modest at all times without self-proclaiming righteousness.

What are the blogs that you follow?

Ah, there are a lot of them including friends I have linked on my blog! Sea of Shoes was probably my first favorite personal style blog, because Jane has an amazing sense of style, aesthetic, and taste in pop culture. I like to think that her taste is almost identical to mine, but I’m not really sure if we’d be friends because of it!

Any recent digital crush?

Recently, I’ve been following a lot of yogis and Russian fashionistas on Instagram for inspiration and serious crushing. It’s an odd demographic to follow, but hey, you asked!

What can we wish you?

More open-minded people to read what I have to say who can discuss objectively and civilly. Also, a cooler summer without this horrible heatwave!

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