Have a wonderful weekend!
Source: by Photographer Lionel Kazan
Have a wonderful weekend!
Source: by Photographer Lionel Kazan
We already know that the low wages and the appalling conditions of the people who make the clothes are a reality (I am not going to reiterate what recently happened in Bangladesh) so I think it is time for us to take position as this is not a realm where we want to live. This is why today I decided to speak about Cuyana, fashion brand that sells apparel and accessories made with high-end materials, craftsmanship, and sustainably sourced and its last initiative called “Lean Closet” that encourages people to buy a smaller number of well-made items, rather than large quantities of cheap products that perpetuate unfair working conditions and harm the environment. As part of its Lean Closet efforts, Cuyana is offering a program where customers can get their unwanted/used items picked up by nonprofit partners and given to people in need.
“We want to love every item in our closets. We want to revel in the tactile beauty of the world’s finest materials and marvel at consummate craftsmanship. We believe in style, not fashion; in quality, not quantity. We celebrate fewer, better things and strive to live a life of inspired simplicity.”
This summer simple and elegant collection of Cuyana was inspired by Turkey, their summer dresses are made from the “plushest cotton we’ve ever touched, and our versatile cover-ups with soft, gauzy linen and sophisticated silk that made us both dream and swoon.” The design is done in house and material carefully sourced. The production cycle is roughly four months, three times faster than the industry standard, and selling directly to consumers.
It takes a lot of talent and a lot of passion to be an artist, to create what you see on my blog today: lovely fashion illustrator, blogger for Vogue Netherlands and a very charming lady, Judith van den Hoek kindly agreed my invitation for an interview.
No, I definitely never thought about it as a career! I have been drawing since I was a little kid, but never thought of it as a career as it is not easy to enter ”this world” called freelance fashion illustrator. I believe you have to have an elephant skin in this world. Because most people only see the glamorous side, or we (the illustrators) are the ones that show you the glamorous side. But it is a continuous battle to keep your head above water. At least, for me it is. I am just starting and still discovering myself and different styles. I already have learned so much from this job. And really, it is my dream-job. Even when it gets rough sometimes, like cancelled projects. I like drawing so much, but never thought I could make a living out of it. Drawing is in the family. Really. My parents loved to draw, they are not drawing anymore nowadays. But when they were my age, they created the most beautiful drawings. Maybe someday I will post some of their work on my blog. It is too beautiful to hide away in the attic forever. And also, both of my grandma’s loved to draw. One of my grandma’s loved to paint (also really beautiful landscapes) and the other one drew fashion figures when she was around 14 years old. Really gorgeous figures. Sadly, we only have found one illustration back. I have it in a frame in my living room. It’s so sad she wasn’t here anymore when it was posted on vogue.nl. It’s more popular than my illustrations (funny hea?). I’m also inspired by René Gruau. That man really created magic.
2. What inspires (not who this time) you and how would you describe best your illustrations?
I am very inspired by street style blogs and magazines. But also a walk on the street can inspire me. Or when I am in Amsterdam or Paris, I see so many gorgeous people. That’s very inspiring as well. And believe it or not, my best illustrations are created in half an hour. The quick ones.. Illustrations that took me very long, are for some reason always less popular. My illustrations go from very sketchy to very realistic. I am still trying to discover what style fits me the best.
For my sake, I HOPE it’s true haha. Because really, I couldn’t live without drawing and I am living my dream right now. But I think people are right, yes. Illustrations have been out of the picture for a while. But I believe people are/were getting bored by only seeing photos and maybe that’s one of the reasons why illustrations are getting more attention nowadays. And I hope it will stay like this, or that illustrations will even get more and more popular.
Jason Wu and Charles Heidsieck, for sure. Because these are the biggest ones I worked on so far and I’ve learned so much from it and I am so thankfull that I could be a part of it. When I saw my cat (Milu, Jason Wu for Target) on huge billboards in NYC I was blown away. Also when the commercial with my illustrations popped up on the American television. Wow! And when it popped up on CBS for example: here.
I’m just very satisfied!
5. Which are your most important skills, what does an illustrator need to draw such lively and beautiful sketches?
Well, it’s a combination of different things. I believe they also like to call it mixed media. It’s a combination of drawing with pencil, scan the drawing and finalize it in Photoshop. Well, that’s what’s working for me. But I believe every illustrator gots its own technique. And of course, you need to be passionate about it!
6. Which was the most difficult moment in your amazing illustration career?
That was not too long ago. I thought the year 2013 was going to be an amazing year for me. It started out great. I had so many e-mails from many different companies with different projects. Not one made it to the finish line. And of course there was this huge, HUGE project I was working on a few months ago, but was cancelled halfway. So far, this has not really been my year. I also lost my dear grandpa a few months ago, not so long after my grandma passed away. I lost them both in less than a year and I still miss them everyday. It really has been a rough patch and I really got tired of everything, because nothing was really going the way I wanted. Only since a few weeks now, things seem to be getting better and better (luckily!) and I have some amazing things coming up again. It is about time!
Thank you very much, Judith, it was a great pleasure to have you on my blog.
In Shannan-California, 2008, another Eve (not Hemingway’s) found a place (actually in the middle of nowhere) to park her caravan. And photographer Jacques Olivar was right there to catch the moment; no surprise as he inherited the fatal attraction of being the nowhere man from his Andalusian mother, wink! Part of his book that I really want on my coffee table, Forever Young, this editorial caught my attention, not because I am a fan of the caravan traveling, but due to the typical American surroundings and especially that lovely light pink silk feathers long gown 20s inspiration, right?
I read a little bit of its biography and I instantly felt I want to know more about his life, about how after being born in Casablanca, Morocco, during his adolescence in Tangier he learned the smell of the spices in the souks, the “clandestine markets, mafia’s gold freely flowing, and smuggling on every small hidden street“, a rebel child who never liked school, but dreamt about Americans rock and roll life. However, until getting there, he had to learn how to cut wood and pick olives off thousand-year-old olive trees at the foot of Mount Olympus. Hasn’t this story caught you yet?
“I always try to match two different stories together. There is the location of the story—the atmosphere, the light, the colors—and the story of the woman—her eyes, her feelings, her attitude, her clothes. I like to choose for my pictures the least unexpected environment: a junkyard or a trashy diner, a lone street in a deserted ghost town or the poetry of a gas station. Then, I drive it into the ground to get the glamour of the situation.” And you will find almost the same type of location in all his pictures: phone booth, gas station, old cafe, they are all a pit stop on the road to better things, “It’s the classic American fantasy: restless, always hopeful, and never giving up—forever young“, but I think here is a bit of his life, too, never giving up his adolescence dream.
This is what I like about spring and summer weekends, that you can take your car, favorite sunglasses (maybe a scarf) and go anywhere to relax and prepare for a new week. And speaking about long sunny days, have you decided on your swimsuit? If not, check this list created by Vogue especially for us.
What a title, right? Well, I have a new crush, ladies: the H bracelets from Hermes and more important and surprisingly for some of you: not the red or the orange or the blue one, but the one and only black enamel gold plated one. I first saw this little precious worn by Blair, then a couple of days ago Jeannie from the series “House of Lies” had the same one matched with a very grey and very office tuxedo, but the Hermes bracelet changed the entire outfit. Remember that last year I was all about bracelets and could not decide which one to buy? (If you want to know I went for the mint one from J.Crew). But now I know for sure which one, trust me!
Source: atlantic-pacific.com, hermes.com
You are already used with my obsessions: the 20s, Hemingway and the French Riviera (lately). So, what would be more fun than speaking about a couple spending their honeymoon in the south of France in 1927, a story told by Ernest Hemingway in his book Garden of Eden and put on screen in 2008 by John Irvin? Nothing, right?! Flapper Mena Suvari playing the role of Catherine, a rich, bored heiress, who married Jack Huston – David, a young American writer – and decided to spend their long honeymoon part on the French Riviera, part in Spain (same places where Hemignway himself used to spend the vacations with Hadley, his first wife. Some say that this book is the way he sees his break-up with Hadley when he met and fell in love with Pauline Pfeiffer, his second wife, but after reading more books about that part of Hemingway’s life I can say that Garden of Eden is more fiction than reality, the only true detail Papa Bear kept in this book is that both break-ups were on the French Riviera).
I am not going to tell you the story of the book, just let you explore more on this subject and enjoy these lovely outfits. I like a lot the first photo with David wearing those pilot glasses and the one with the stripe classic blouse, a French beret and pearls, tres chic (and those sunglasses)!
When admiring this editorial from Vogue Italy 2006 with Angela Lindvall, some old memories come back to me: old gas stations in US right before the second hurricane that scared us and damaged part of Lake Charles, Louisiana, the town where I spent the summer of 2005, hurricane Rita (the first one in 2005 and a much worst one was Kathrina that brought the disaster of New Orleans). Part of the Romanians working in Lake Charles (me included) rented some cars and headed north to avoid the hurricane and some gas stations on our way from Louisiana to Mississippi and then to Alabama looked exactly like this one. There was no Angela there, no morning beauty.
Have a lovely weekend! And remember: good memories, bad memories, they are all part of us and the persons we are today, right?!
Do you use black pencil for your eyes? Cause I do and it is the only make up that I can not go out without. Lately I heard that the black eye pencil really makes a girl (heading to her 30s, still a girl, right?) old. So, should I change it with a brown one? But my eyes are blue and the black eye pencil accompanied me almost all my life. Stubbornly attached to my black eye pencil, my black eye pencil is not attached to me anymore and he really showed me that (drama!). Why? Well, last week, one morning, right before the trip to my hometown (to a wedding) where I was supposed to make up (not only my eyes), I took out my black pencil from my beauty bag and guess what? It had no top on and my fingers were all black. Panic!!! Did I tell you that I am always late to work so I have to use my eye pencil in the car while driving? Imagine myself with a black hand, the other one on the wheel trying to find a tissue in my handbag. I am telling you, it is hard to be a woman!
So, should I accept this break-up so easy? I was taught one should not give up so easily, but also it takes two for a relationship. Hard decision!
Source: fashiongonerogue.com (Vogue Italy, 2006)
It is all about the stripes shorts from Mango I covet these days and the lady I noticed this morning while driving to work (let’s call her Little Red-Cap). Now that I am thinking further, I remember that while looking for men silk scarves, the stylist in one of the atelier I entered told me that if you put a handkerchief in your jacket’s pocket, it is not recommended to match it with the scarf or the bow-tie or the tie (I am more for the bow-tie) because you become boring and too matchy-match, just like the women that still match their shoes with their handbag. Coming back to the Little Red-Cap, she was wearing a printed long sleeves dress, hemline way below the knees, almost near the ankles, large red belt, red flats and a red handbag. Even if the dress was pretty flattering for her silhouette and all the other items in her outfit were high quality, something was wrong. Yes, you guessed: too much red and maybe the lenght of the dress (though she was not wearing heels). So, I started wondering: when a color is too much? Well, these are my own guidelines:
1. when I decide to go for a bold color in my outfit (and I usually do), like red or pink or metallic blue or green (my favorites), one big item is sufficient (well, this does not apply to small accessories: for example if I am wearing a beige summer dress, I can choose a pink clutch and also some small pink earrings, maybe a narrow belt would also do, but then I waive the earrings. However, I find just one bold color item more sophisticated and more hard work in choosing the other items, such fun!);
2. when I decide to wear light pastel outfit (beige, white, grey, extremely light pink, etc), only the sky is my limit;
3. what about the “one color outfit” that some designers recommend, either bold or pastel? I think this does not apply in my case except for black, I will never say no to an all black outfit. I have the proof below, as for the wedding I attended this last weekend in my hometown (this is why I missed some posts), I went for an almost all black outfit: black long gown, black sandals with a golden strap, golden earring with black details and black stone golden ring.
I am sure you would have other suggestions and you do not have to agree with my “rules”, so please share.
Source: 1 – mango shorts, el potro handbag, 2 – me by C