V for…Vampires in a Wild Garden

Oh, yes…I have a dark side too. I love vampire stories. This passion of me is not because I’m living in the country of the most important vampire character in the history- Dracula. I just love them. I find in some stories with vampires something romantic and sensual. I find vampires vintage too. I can say that my favorite books with vampires are The Vampire Chronicles by the unique Anne Rice.

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I have read a lot of her books and I say it is impossible not to love her characters. These night creatures are sometimes more human than a human being, more sensible, intelligent and, of course have an unearthly beauty. For them the world is nothing than a “savage garden”. And it’s true…the world is a garden…but a savage one, a wild one. In my last published book “Contes Magiques du Temps d’Autrefois” I have a poem about such a garden:

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A wild garden

A wild garden is rising, it’s all over me

But here are no flowers, here is no tree,

Here is no grass, birds sing no more

It’s something else, not seen before.

 

The wind is a whisper that conjure the Gods,

A new belief for the mortals shall be,

The earth is ending, now it has new odds, 

Black roses are growing out from the sea.

 

The past is gone, it’s now resting in peace,

The world has changed, new Sun shall rise

And it shall give me a heavenly kiss,

Shall caress my hair, shall open my eyes.

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Dracula

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Lestat and Louis

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In such a garden creatures like this vampires are sitting, without moving, elegant, in Victorian outfits with silk and velvet, with precious jewels, waiting for some mortal to put a spell on him or her.

I don’t find this creepy…this is my dark passion. 😉

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I am wearing in this photo a Victorian blouse, vintage jewels and black skirt (no name).

À bientôt!

Why I love Vintage ?

I was asked days ago why I love so much Vintage.

First of all, because it is actually a classic style that makes me feels good. I love the clothes, the movies, the hair styles, music from past eras.

Vintage is not old-fashioned. Oh no! Vintage is elegant, not expensive (if you look in your mother’s or grand-mother’s armoire), stunning, creative, inspirational and you will be observed for sure. Vintage never dies. You can choose from elements from 30’s, 40’s or from the late 1800. Combine these elements, wear them as they are (especially in the case of 40’s or 50’s) or put them together with something actual. It’s hard to fail. Are some tricks to be learned and you will be extraordinary.

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It is important to know how to wear vintage. You have to adopt the attitude without being ridiculous. Vintage woman are ladies from past times, Vintage woman are sexy even if they are dressed from head to toe. I, and this is my opinion, think that a woman who show not much is more intriguing than a woman who shows everything. A vintage woman is not a piece of meat; a vintage woman is work of art- to be admired, desired and treasured.

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When I’m wearing vintage clothes I feel myself, I feel special. Women have the tendency to dress all in the same way. Even if they dress with expensive clothes they look like they wearing uniforms sometimes. I love to be different; I love to be the splash of color.

Do not be afraid to wear vintage. With the right attitude and the vintage clothes you will be unique.

…and my answer was: Because I’m makes me feel unique.

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3 In this picture I am  wearing a vintage blouse from my mother and a vintage skirt ( always from my mother), authentic pearls necklace and earrings.

À bientôt!

Mona Lisa of the North

One of my favorite baroque’s painters is one Dutch, Johannes Vermeer or Jan Vermeer  van Delft (1632-1675), in my opinion a genius of his time, a master of light. His paintings are games of light and shadows used on canvas with techniques used today in photography. The realistic of his paintings is remarkable, the colors are so alive, you almost can feel the insight of each character, allowing to the viewer to enter beyond the earthly texture of the painting. The scenes are in front of your eyes, after so many years, present, full of life and substance. You almost sense the air of that century, you become a part of the action. All Vermeer’s paintings are exquisite but, for me, one is a masterpiece.

The mysterious “girl with a pearl earring” is one of world’s most valuable paintings.  Those big, dreamy eyes, that hidden sensuality are creating an aura of mystery more powerful, I think, than the smile of Da Vinci’s Monalisa. The Nordic traits mixed with an exotic turban are making of this painting one of the most interesting creation of baroque period. Who is that girl? It is a question without answer yet. Some said she was the daughter of Vermeer but it was rejected this theory. At the time when this painting was made Maertge , Vermeer’s daughter, was just 11 years old.

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Also a novel appeared in 1999 telling us an interesting story about how the painting was made. The fiction was written by Tracy Chevalier , an American  historical  novelist. The book “Girl with a Pearl Earring”   was a real success and in 2003, a movie with the same name, appeared on big screens. The girl with the earring, Griet, was interpreted by Scarlett Johansson.

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“Girl with pearl earring” is named also “Monalisa of the North” because of its similarity of Renaissance’s masterpiece. But, in the same time, the difference is big because Vermeer’s painting gives us a character that seems to be alive, more sensual than Gioconda,  with a smile that hides more secrets.

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À bientôt !

Don’t lose your neck…lace

I see and hear, more and more, wearing and speaking about statement necklaces. Every girl and woman has a statement jewel in her wardrobe. It’s chic, it’s cool, has a vintage air and yes, it’s magnificent. I love statement jewels, especially necklaces. But did you know that they have not a recent history? Did you know that the statement necklace is one of the oldest types of jewels on the world?
First of all, a statement necklace is something outstanding, bigger is better for this one. A necklace with gems, beads, pearls, precious or not, a veritable work of art- this is a statement necklace! The purpose is to amaze. A simple dress is fabulous with such a necklace. Back in time, a statement necklace was made for showing the rich and luxury of a noble, of a king or a queen, to show the importance of someone.
The first records are in ancient Egypt. Kings and queens had such of magnificent jewels. They were made of pure gold or other precious metals and stones such as lapis lazuli, carnelian, turquoise, jasper. The necklaces were also offered as a reward, as a symbol of honor for generals or soldier. They were remarkable. The archeologist found some of those jewels in tombs of pharaohs or of some high dignitaries. They are exposed in museum around the world and replicas of those magnificent jewels can be bought. It must be such a feeling being in the shoes of Cleopatra…oops… in her necklace.
Later, in history, I have in mind my favorite queen- Elisabeth Tudor. I remember her outfits. Clothes, jewels, hair- everything was statement to her. Like in ancient Egypt, the necklaces were masterpieces. They were made for a magnificent woman and all precious metal or stone was put there for Gloriana.
A source of beautiful statement necklaces is, no doubt, India. Maybe the most beautiful jewels come from there. The maharajah, their wives, concubines, daughters had an unimaginable number of jewels, with the most precious stones and pearls. Sometimes, I see some Indian movie and I can’t stop looking at the jewels that the actresses are wearing.
So, statement necklaces are not a recent “discovery”. I can only say that I’m so glad that women love that type of jewel and wear it. You can find a lot of beautiful necklaces or you can make your own original and unique pieces. The important thing is to know how to wear such a jewel. You must be an apparition not a Christmas tree.

Some jewels to dream of:

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and these are my handmade necklaces…not from gold but they make me feel gooooooood!!!!

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„Elisabeth Bathory”

 

 

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„Amber dream”

 

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„Plus que tout au monde”

 

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„Tears of the sea”

 

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„Simplicity”

 

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„Prehistoria”

 

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„Mina Harker”

 

À bientôt!

See you later, alligator!

Te sun has set too many times from my last article here…I’m back and I’m hoping to write more often. I was asleep too long…but, my vintage stories woke me up. It is more than a year since I adopted a new personal style…the 50’s one. Beautiful!

What is 50’s style? Well, in my opinion, it was a revolution in all: music, fashion, and way of life. It is the decade of rebels like the icon-actor James Dean or sex-symbols like Marilyn Monroe and rock-and-roll. The fashion changed, especially for women. A diversity of colures was available. The dresses were fit for dance, letting women the ability to move easily. But women were also “free” to wear pants, especially the Capri (actually they were called simply- Capri) and Cigarettes, shorts (the Bermuda), and leggings. Very popular in women’s fashion were the jeans. Actually, it was for the first time, when women were not constrained by barriers of prejudice. Also, the hair was different from other periods of time. The bangs, the short, curly poodle cut, bouffant and beehive, the ponytails were all over. It is not a beautiful image? Imagine all this free, fashionable new women, in the streets or in a 50’s American diner drinking a milkshake or, listen at the jukebox the classic song ofBill Haley and the comets- See you later, alligator! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0bidd0Uhvk

50’s fashion and style:

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Me in the 50’s 😉

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I’m wearing skinny jeans from H&M, vintage dress from my mom ;), white t-shirt (no name), vintage blouses (no-name), no name skirt and bandanas.

À  bientôt!

The fashion of a controversy

I always admired the Italian fashion especially in the Renaissance Age. And I always was intrigued by a female character from this wonderful era- the infamous Lucrezia Borgia.

Well, she was one of the best known ladies in the Italian background for a lot of things: her beauty, her elegance but also her “talent” in the poisoning art, crime and incest. Of course, the last one is just a rumor and her complots have never been proved.

But, I will not write about her private life…I will write about her elegance, her famous beauty and her dress style. It is said that she was one of the most beautiful women of her time. She was also cultured, elegant, and her appearance was similar of a Greek goddess among humble mortals. She was a diva of her time, and if she was alive in our present age, she would undoubtedly grace the front pages of many glossy magazines.

Lucrezia Borgia was a dangerous combination of beauty and intelligence. That was making of her a desirable for a lot of men. In the artistically representations of her (movies, opera, supposed paintings – but not so many unfortunately), I was mesmerized by her costumes, hair jewels and all little things designed to embellish something that was already beautiful. Like a fashion icon of the Italian Renaissance, Lucrezia was using every occasion to show her good taste in clothing, her elegance and social state. But was so simply to have or use a dress or a jewel in that period of time. I think not. The Italian Renaissance clothing style is very elaborate and, for Lucrezia’s position, very expensive.

A costume or dress, for a noble woman was composed of various pieces.

I found explicit und well documented descriptions this extraordinary site http://aneafiles.webs.com/glossary.html. I chose only the pieces from Lucrezia’s presumed wardrobe.

For the head, for example, there was some “decorations” like:

–          A “Balzo” described by the site above like a “turban”, “t was a ring or rounded form rising up at the head, covering the hair of the wearer. The hairline was often plucked, so the forehead was very prominent, and this effect was enlarged by the balzo. The ring had a fundament, assumedly of willow (Herald 1981: 210), wire (Frick 2002: 302) or leather, covered with hair (capello morti), rich textiles, metallic ornaments and/or ribbons and braids.”

–          “Coazzone” was “a broad plait or roll of hair, hanging down the back. Most often decorated with ribbons or braiding, and often worn with a trinzale, a sort of fine fabric or metallic cap covering the back of the head (Herald 1981: 215). It was often „held in place” by a fine adorned string, a lenza crossing the forehead. This string could have a piece of jeweler or another decorative element attached..”

For the actually dress we can start with:

–          “ Bargoni” or “Brodoni” that were “large, decorative puffs in the upper part of the sleeve (Landini 2005: 249). The wide sleeves of the 1510’s started to narrow in the bottom and become wider at the top.”

–          “ Gozzi” were “very wide sleeves that were gathered into wide wristbands, creating a bag shape, like a birds crop (Brown 2001: 67)”

–          “ Camicia” was “ an undergarment protecting the outer layers of fabric because it was worn directly at the body. It was therefore made of a soft, washable fabric, such as linen (rensa), wool (saia) or sometimes even cotton or silk (Herald 1981: 212, Frick 2002: 304). In the early Renaissance it was hardly visible under the clothes, but later on clothes were slashed and cut to reveal the camicia, and it became more elaborate in decoration. ”

–          “Cintura” designate  “an ornamental belt, often of gold, gems and/or pearls, sometimes only a metal chain or a piece of fabric, with various items attached to the hanging end. The items hanging in the end could be small bags, fans and sables (Landini 2005: 165), or also containers of perfume or purely decorative tassels or beads. The girdle almost always follows the shape of the bodice, underlining the points and curves. The demand for girdles was so popular that goldsmiths often made then in large quantities, without commission, to sell on the open market (Musacchio 2008: 179)”

–          “Colletto” signify “both a collar, a partlet and a jerkin (Landini 2005: 250). The partlet is the most interesting item when it comes to female fashion. It started as a rather unornamented shawl-like piece of garb, often of very fine silk. Some were worn on top of the bodice, some underneath.”

–          The “Gamurra” is a “fitted bodice and full skirt worn over the camicia” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamurra) . It is actually the dress. Depending of social state, the “gamurra” was made of various type of fabric especially wool in winter time. Richer was the woman; richer was the “gamurra” ornamented or its textile quality.

–          “Mantello” was “an over-cloak for men and women, long and most often of wool (Frick 2002: 313), and could be lined or unlined. It was draped over the shoulders.”

The costumes were ornamented with pearls, gold, precious gems. Necklaces and earrings were expensive and unique. We can only imagine the “revelation” of such an appearance and if the woman was beautiful too the picture was more astonishing. Lucrezia Borgia was such a woman, and, I think that not only her beauty but also her life, the legend created around her made of this Renaissance’s lady one of the  most interesting, desirable and controversy females of all time.

Lucrezia Borgia in all forms of art:

Paintings

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Opera

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Pictures

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I was wearing for the head a leather belt, for the dress: white shirt (no name), dress from LJR, silver and gold belt, no name jewels.

À bientôt !

Mistress Anne

I always compared the court of King Henry the VIII of England with the harem of a sultan. And I’m sure he was not the only king who had a long number of mistresses. But, for sure, he is one of the most notables. Henry the VIII had 6 wives in that order: Catherine of Aragon; Anne Boleyn; Jane Seymour ; Anne of Cleves; Catherine Howard and Catherine Parr .

From these 6, in my opinion, the most controversy was Anne Boleyn. She was daughter of Thomas Boleyn (1st Earl of Wiltshire) and Elizabeth Howard, and sister of Mary Boleyn and George Boleyn. She was educated not in England but mostly at French court being maid of honor of  Claude of France, princess of France and, later, Queen consort of France. When Anne was 26 years old, King Henry the VIII of England became attracted to her after he had previous seduced Anne’s sister, Mary. Anne was educated, stylish, beautiful, full of life, spiritual. It was not hard for such a woman to become an attraction for a man or even for a king. But Anne resisted him heroically and that was a sure strategy to make the king desire her more and more and to obtain from Henry all she ever wanted…a crown. She achieved something that was never achieved before…making a king to renounce at a beloved and accepted queen in favor of his mistress. Henry annulled his marriage with Catherine of Aragon and married Anne. She becomes queen of all England with the promise of giving to Henry a child, male. But was not so. Like Catherine before her, Anne gave birth in 1533 to a girl, Elizabeth (and she will be one of the greatest monarchs in the history of England). From that moment began the fall of Anne. The impossibility of having a male child, her ambition that became exaggerate and the bad reputation between king’s subjects signed the end of her short reign. In the meanwhile, a new apparition took Henry’s heart – Jane Seymour. The intrigue of Henry Tudor’s court, the political ambitions gave birth of rumors of adultery and incest. It was a sure path to remove a Queen. After some confessions (one was of her brother, George Boleyn) of questionable authenticity Anne was arrested in 2 May 1936 and taken to the Tower of London. Short after Anne was official accused of treason and on 19 May she was executed by beheading… And so ended the life of a woman with high ambition, powerful but also a puppet in the hand of others. Some saw her like a vicious person, being ready to do anything to achieve power. I see her like a victim of others’ desires, a woman whom only blame was to dream and to dare too much. By her tragic destiny she remained in the history a notable figure…maybe the most famous of Henry’s wives.

Art, literature, theater and movies’ world remembered her making of Anne Boleyn a fascinate character in the history, a name on everybody’s lips.

Anne Boleyn

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"Anna Bullen"

Henny Porten as Anne Boleyn

Anna Boleyn (Henny Potten)

Genevieve Bujold as Anne Boleyn

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Merle Oberon as Anne Boleyn

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Helena Bonham Carter as Anne Boleyn

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Natalie Portman an Anne Boleyn

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Natalie Dormer as Anne Boleyn

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…and…the other Boleyn Girl

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I was wearing a red velvet vintage dress, a vintage hat (from my grandmother) with a velvet textile piece fixed on, no name jewels.

À bientôt !

 

 

 

Simply …Frida

The best known Mexican female painter is, no doubt, Frida Kahlo. She was born in 1907 in Coyoacan (Mexico).

Frida was a revolutionary woman of her time, a feminist, a visionary. She was a representative image of the surrealism but also of naïf art. Her life would have a major impact on her paintings, the works of art being like pieces of her everyday moments, capturing the essence of her soul, of her exterior and interior image.

She is best known for her self-portraits, placing the image of Frida-the model- in a fantastic landscape full of hidden meanings and symbols. She said that: “I paint myself because I am so often alone and because I am the subject I know best”.

It is also seen in her art the love for Mexican culture and traditions that she will evocate until her last breath.

Frida Kahlo had a life of physical illness that will seal her destiny and her path as an artist. From age of six she contracted polio that caused her a lot of problems. But the destiny played with her when she had a terrible car incident when Frida was only 17 years old. Her body was badly damaged and will remain like that for the rest of her life. She will abandon her medical studies but the mark of these scientific inclinations will be seen in the major part of her paintings.

Her art was also influenced by her husband, the painter Diego Rivera. Frida and Diego were married two times and both marriages were tumultuous due to the unstable intimate life.

Her art was not promoted until 1980’s by the new artistic Mexican style called Neomexicanismo, “a slightly surreal, somewhat kitsch and postmodern version of Social Realism that focused on popular culture rather than history” (Wikipedia; The Free Encyclopedia).

In 2002, the actress Salma Hayek gave life to this unique arist in the movie „Frida”.

With every article, movie, exibit or only the simple wispering of her name, the personality and strange but also amzing art of this strong woman will became part of our existence.

Frida Kahlo

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A piece of her (he)art

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Frida…2013

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I was wearing a violet dress by “Culture”, red dress by “Gudrun Sjoden”  (www.gudrunsjoden.com) , roses for the hair from „Agnes Toma” (www.agnestoma.ro), no name jewels an pink belt.

À bientôt !

When Facebook was not even a dream (Part 2)

Today, I want to continue what I have began last week…bringing to light the old memories of my family on photographic paper. I do that because I love and treasure so much the past of my family. I am so proud by the fact that I still have these photos and because I can share them with you. It is a way to give them the breath of life, to make them, somehow, immortal, to honor by that the life of my father, my grandparents and of their friends and family. This is my old inheritance, these are the beautiful images of the past form times when Facebook was not even a dream.

Xenia, her family and friends

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À bientôt !

When Facebook was not even a dream

Last week I was to my mother’s house with my daughter. We stayed for some time there. It was like a gathering of three generations. Searching trough the old boxes of photos I found the fourth generation- some other pictures of my grandmother, Xenia Sokolova, and not only. I found photos of her when she was really young, photos of my father when he was just a baby, photos of Vania Sokolov(my grandmother’s brother) and of his wife and son from Montevideo, photos of my grandmother’s friends. I realized that we, this new, modern generation, are not the only to share, like or comment our friends’ photos on the internet, on websites like Facebook, Twitter. In those ages, in the 1920’s, 1930’s, they were doing the same only not virtual but by letters, postcards, exchanging photos, impressions, feelings. The only difference was, that, those photos, of friends and family, were more valuable, dearer to their hearts, more appreciated. The comments were decent and sincere, without jealousy or impolite suggestions.

What I found there, in those old boxes, are not just simple pictures. They are testimonies of life, of the past, of the fact that our grandparents were young like we are, that they had a life with happy or sad moments, and, like us, they wanted to share all those precious memories with their relatives and friends…and with us, present generation.

The question is that, if one day, the computers and the internet will collapse, will we have memories to share for the future generations?

The „vintage” way to share photos…

Xenia, her family and friends  (Part 1)

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À bientôt !