Thursday, 31 March 2011

Kalocsa - Hungarian embroidery

Today I received a beautiful postcard from a friend who lives in Hungary. It was decorated with a floreal pattern which is typically Hungarian and seems to have originated in a town called Kalocsa.

Kalocsa is 120 km far from Budapest. I have never been there but I definitely want to visit it soon.
I think it s interesting to know that these floral designs were invented something like 150 years ago and were mainly sewed on clothes by Hungarian farmer women.

This colorful style of folk art is still today a very popular home decor. If you happen to go to Kalocsa I have been told that you can see local women sitting on benches in front of their houses chatting and embroidering table clothes or bed beautiful!

I think these pics from Kalocsa at the beginning of the XXth century are particularly impressive!!! (well, I admit it, I love the socks in the 3rd picture)

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency - a movie not to miss

Ok, I may be a bit schizophrenic in this blog..I write and post pictures about the most different topics - but diversity is what I like today it's the turn of Africa once again.
(well, the main reason for that is that the day after tomorrow I m leaving for Mozambique).

So tonight I was reflecting on my trip to Africa and I have suddenly realized that a big role in my attraction to Africa has been definitely played by Erkki Sutinen- the Finnish Professor I work with who is right now in Maputo and whom I ll be visiting- and a movie which I saw at Erkki's house 2 years ago.
I remember it was around Christmas time, I was in Joensuu -Finland (the temperature outside was - 20°C) and I was watching a movie portraying Africa, the sun, beautiful and colorful dresses and an amazing nature. The difference between the cold and snowy Finland and the sunny and warm Africa could have not been more striking.

The movie was The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency - originally a book written by the Scottish author Alexander McCall Smith.
The movie (and the book) tell the story of the delightfully cunning and enormously engaging woman - Precious Ramotswe -  who is drawn to her profession to "help people with problems in their lives" so she opens up a detective agency.The agency is located in Gaborone, capital of Botswana (ok, It's Botswana and not Mozambique..but it's still Africa after all :))
 Immediately upon setting up shop in a small storefront in Gaborone, she is hired to track down a missing husband, uncover a con man, and follow a wayward daughter and a missing eleven-year-old boy, who may have been snatched by witchdoctors.
The whole Africa is in that movie...I was very impressed by the story, by Precious's character- a strong but always smiling woman- and enchanted by the African landscapes.
In the picture below you can see Precious (alias the actress and singer actress Jill Scott)

I loved the fact that most of the film's posters were hand painted following the patterns of many African shop signs

I think these drawings are pure art...and the movie is just wonderful!!
Just take a look at
as an introduction to the movie!!

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Pierre Cardin - Do you still remember his fashion??

Did you know that Pierre Cardin is Italian and that his real name is Pietro Cardin?
I didn't... and to be honest I even thought he had quitted the fashion industry long time ago... but obviosuly I was wrong!
I recently saw the book which was published last year to celebrate 60 years of his wonderful career. I was mainly attracted by its cover page ... (have a look below, it's no wonder why I was attracted to it)

and once I started to fold its pages...I was captured by Cardin’s design from the 1960’s – 1970’s. His designs embraced the themes of science-fiction and travel to outer space. The space age 3-D shift and the astronaut men’s look are his most famous outfits. He used materials never before used in fashion such as vinyl and metal rings.
Have a look at the pics I randomly selected...

I absolutely love this pic of Mia Farrow wearing a Pierre Cardin dress..isnt' she beautiful?

Cardin was a genius in promoting his name. He licensed his name to a wide array of products including chocolate, pens, cigarettes, frying pans, alarm clocks, mineral water, cassette tapes, car-seat covers, and more. He has accumulated over 900 licenses worldwide and his name appears on more than 800 different products in over 100 countries...He keeps saying: " My name is more important than myself."

I also like what he said once in an interview about fashion:
"We undress men and women, we don't dress them any more."...and also

The jean! The jean is the destructor! It is a dictator! It is destroying creativity. The jean must be stopped!”...

ok GIRLS, from tomorrow on..LET US WEAR ONLY SKIRTS!!!

Monday, 28 March 2011

Jakob Nylund - I wonder why my pictures are not as beautiful as his :)))

 Jakob Nylund looks like this...

He is a young Swedish photographer. He works as a senior Art Director at North Kingdom in Stockholm and he has lived in London, Sydney and Stockholm. I discovered his blog almost by chance ...and I am glad I did!! I think he is an amazing photographer. He takes pictures of people like those you can see below...

of places like that...

and apparently he must be madly in love with a girl named Mia as hundreds of pictures portray her. If you have a look both at his blog and website you will notice that Mia is everywhere!

See below for a proof ...

I definitely love his style. He has a good eye for compositions and I like his way of showing everyday life (and yes, Mia too!).
You can ckeck Jakob's website at or his blog at
I am 100% you will love his pics!!!

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Bansky - the art of street art

In the last few years many graffiti have appeared on the walls in Bologna.
In some cases they are creative and beautiful decorations ...but more often they have nothing to do with street art and are just images or letters scratched with misterious meanings (at least for me).

Interesting enough, the first known example of "modern style" graffiti is to be found  in the ancient Greece, Rome and Egypt. Today graffiti  are considered a form of street art and New York city and London are the cities with the greatest number of graffiti.

Personally I love the graffiti made by Bansky, an anonymous British graffiti artist, political activist, film director and painter. According to some, Bansky was born in 1974 and raised in Bristol, England, but nobody has ever seen his face (which is something really fascinating).  In his "paintings" Bansky deals with political and social themes. I love what he wrote down in Wall and Peace, the book he self-published.

"Bus stops are far more interesting and useful places to have art than in museums. Graffiti has more chance of meaning something or changing stuff than anything indoors. Graffiti has been used to start revolutions, stop wars, and generally is the voice of people who aren't listened to. Graffiti is one of those few tools you have if you have almost nothing. And even if you don't come up with a picture to cure world poverty you can make somebody smile while they're having a piss."

Below are some Bansky's graffiti (all to be found in London)

If you have time, have a look at
Some of Bansky's most interesting works are on his website!

Friday, 25 March 2011

Vintage Fashion Denmark - Unique Dresses and Accessories

Thanks to my lovely friend Selian Juul I have recently discovered an excellent website selling vintage clothes.

The website is Danish and sells stylish vintage clothing from the 50s to the 80s, from Europe and the USA. 
I do love the fact that there is only 1 of each piece of clothing, so you can really get something unique (the party dresses are wonderful!) is run by Jannemieke, who is originally from Holland but has been living in Denmark fro more than 16 years. The online shop is the result of her lifelong passion for vintage clothing.
I do love the graphic design of the website which looks like that...

and the beautiful dresses it sells - like the ones you can see below...

Clothes from the 50s

I think it must be added that donates 1 euro for every item sold to the Dutch organisation Microcredit for Mothers (Microcredits for Mothers), an organisation which provides small loans to women in Asia, so that they can build up, or expand their businesses.
This is such an extraordinary initiative! So don't waste time and have a look at

P.S Yes, the model is once again Selina Juul (so, once again..Selina you are stunning :)