Monday, October 29, 2012

Favorite things

Ok. Today I felt uninspired. So I had a major need for inspiration. With inspiration I mean it to be the opposite of feeling empty. 
These are a few of my favorite things that light me up and hopefully will make you feel a little more inspired too:


Yesterday I saw Somewhere by Sofia Coppola. Yes, THE Sofia Coppola, The one that made The Virgin Suicides! It's the story of a famous actor that basically only drives in circles with his fancy black Ferrari, drinks, smokes and has sex with women. This all is interrupted when his eleven year old daughter Chloe, very well played by Elle Fanning, unexpectedly comes to live with him. After her appearance, Johnny decides to start a new life.

You must admit that, after reading this little resumé, the movie sounds really lame and depressingly boring. Well, let me tell you something: You're wrong. Coppola manages to keep your attention, despite the lack of story in the movie. She gets you interested in the silent doubts of a showbiz star and creates an atmosphere of tension that pulls you in until the end.

If you haven't see it yet, get going...


To be honest, I don't like the fashion industry for so many reasons. It's cool to create and dress exactly as you want to dress. After all the fashion industry is very stiff. You have to do this and certainly not that.                                       Unless it's certified frairtrade, have you ever thought about who is making your clothes?
But still, fashion can be very beautiful and inspiring. What I like is the creativity, not the big business.

I wanted to talk about Jean-Paul Lespagnard, a very Belgian fashion designer. He is not quite like the others. His clothes have, as monsieur\mademoiselle says, "Belgian humour, English rebellion, Parisian chic and a sparkling Italian side". Couldn't describe it better. His work is funky, but (often) wearable. The clothes themselves are mostly quite simple, which accentuates the beautifull prints. Lespagnard himself works with children and disabled people and creates costumes for (dance) performances. He is a regular collaborator of choreographer Meg Stuart and lately has been working with the French singer Yelle

made by kids directed by Lespagnard.

This piece is from his women's collection “Ich will’nen cowboys als mann", the title of a song written by Gitte. For this collection, he imagined a colorful character, named Jaqueline, who runs a typicall Belgian Fritkot. Jaqueline has two passions: the kitsch Danish singer Gitte and Texas; particularly its rodeo clowns. He combines the cowboy's trousers, the Texan shirts and the clown's white and red stripes while adding some very Belgian elements.   Lespagnard definetly loves his country.

The Indian-ish dress is cut out from the cloth of a child's teepee.

I basically live with music. It changes my mood so fast. When I feel down, I put on my favorite Beatles cd and it cheers me up. I'm not the only one. You can dance, you can sing along, you can cry... Sometimes I have the feeling that music is like home, there is no place on earth  where I can feel more myself. 
A while ago, I discovered first aid kit. Johanna (17) and Klara (19) Södeberg are two Swedish sisters with stunning voices. They started making music when they where tiny: Their first song, which Klara wrote at the age of 6, was called "We drove 50 miles in our Barbie cars" pretty cool huh?! Of course, their voices and music changed quite a bit since then. It started to get serious in early 2008, when Karin, from The Knife, heard their music on MySpace and signed the Södeberg sisters to her Rapid Records label. At that time they also performed Fleet Foxes' "Tiger mountain peasant song", which became a big Youtube hit. The girls were aged 15 and 18 at the time of the recording—sitting in a forest, both dressed in flannel shirts. 
Have a look. It is in fact, stunning.

Ever since, their voices got much steadier and richer. Klara has a sharper voice, but very honest. When Johanna sings, her eyes grow wide open and her voice comes from something beyond her body. When they sing together, something magical happens. They made Joni Mitchell cry. That should explain it. 
Their second album, The Lions Roar is, according to me, too retouched. Their music is much more powerful when they sing it acoustic. I also caught myself giggling while seeing the video clip of Emmylou: Walking through fields with long dresses and sleeping near a tree next to a fire, long hair, beautiful landscapes and spiritual dancing. I always have the impression that the video is very made up. Even though that's how they are. And c'mon, guys, we are in the 21st century! 
And I present you.... Emmylou! You can close your eyes and listen... 

"I'll be your Emmylou, and I'll be your June/ If you'll be my Gram and my Johnny, too," 


A week ago, my dad was watching a pretty intellectual quiz on tv. The game is simple. There are two players: one answers the questions, the other says whether he agrees or not. One of the questions was: Which Belgian photographer won the Magnum expression awards in 2009? And the answer to that was: Bieke Depoorter. There was a picture displayed and it totally got me. 

The picture comes from a series she made, called "Ou Menya - with me", that won that Magnum award. And I can tell you, It's amazing. There is so much intimacity in Ou Menya. In her pictures, the atmosphere touches you. I often see pictures that don't have any impact on me, they're just beautiful; the photographer has a good technique, but doesn't touch your feelings. After a while it gets boring. A good picture will never, never bore you. Even if you look at it for hours. This is what I feel when I see her photos. 
Bieke went to Russia to make these pictures. She planned to take the Transsiberian Express from Moscow to Vladivostok, but soon she stepped off the train and went to tiny villages instead. The only thing she had (besides her camera and her clothes, of course) was a little paper where was written " Do you have a place for me to stay tonight?" in Russian. Nobody speaks English in those little Russian villages. I admire Bieke for doing that. Behind her photographs, she captures situations that took place at some other time, but you can feel these weren't always pleasant. Some of the places where she stayed were unconfortable, mainly because of the extreem poverty of her so welcoming hosts.                                                                     
And the result is, as I said before, really good. 


Another series she made, this time in the U.S., is called "I am about to call it a day". This is my favorite. I'm sure you'll enjoy it too. 

This is a pretty interesting video you can watch...

Are you inspired now?

Au Revoir,


ps: The logo is coming!

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