Coco Chanel

Hello everyone,

Prima di tutto, buon 2017 a tutti! Che sia un anno meraviglioso, pieno di progetti e passioni. Non posto sul blog da qualche settimana, essere a casa mi fa perdere il conto dei giorni e mi fa diventare davvero pigra. Diciamo che mi sono goduta le feste in ottima compagnia di famiglia e amici e adesso sono pronta a ricominciare con tanti nuovi progetti e opportunità. Mi sono ripromessa (ancora una volta) di scrivere sul blog con costanza, almeno una volta a settimana. Lo scorso term universitario è stato pesante, il prossimo che arriva dovrebbe essere più clemente e quindi concedermi un po’ di ‘spare time’ da dedicare ai miei interessi.

Oggi voglio riprendere la mia rubrica sui libri: l’anno scorso (ancora non mi capacito che il 2016 sia già volato) mi ero ripromessa di pubblicare un post riguardante un libro ogni due settimane. In realtà non è andata proprio così, ma non è mai troppo tardi per riprendere le buone abitudine. Quindi in questo post, come avrete già intuito dal titolo, voglio parlarvi di un libro illustrato che ho letto tutto d’un fiato: Coco Chanel, un’icona di stile di Megan Hess, una fantastica fashion illustrator. Hess ha realizzato tre libri legati alla moda, tra cui appunto Coco Chanel. La copertina bianca, semplice e con il ritratto di Coco mi ha subito colpita in libreria, così senza pensarci due volte l’ho acquistato e sono rimasta davvero soddisfatta dopo averlo concluso.

Coco Chanel è un’icona di stile da sempre, da quando nel 1910 apre il suo primo atelier come modista a Parigi, in Rue Cambon 21. Da quel momento fa molta strada fino ad arrivare al grande personaggio che conosciamo noi oggi come esempio di bon ton e stile.

Why I love the book:

DSCN0774 (1).jpg

  • La storia incanta ° Il libro racconta la storia di un’icona di stile, di una donna forte e indipendente e di una lavoratrice instancabile e perfezionista qual era Coco. Ogni amante della moda conosce spizzichi e bocconi della vita della stilista, in parti letti su riviste di moda, in parte ascoltate in televisione. Ma pochi sanno delineare con precisione e chiarezza i momenti importanti della vita di Chanel. Il libro della Hess parla con semplicità e fluidità della vita della stilista, senza caricare il lettore di notizie aride, ma usando brevi e coincise descrizioni. Inoltre il libro è diviso in tre sezioni ( La donna, il marchio e la leggenda) che permettono di apprezzare al meglio e fissare mentalmente gli avvenimenti importanti della vita di Coco.

DSCN0750 (1).jpg

  • Le illustrazioni ° Megan Hess è a dir poco bravissima nell’illustrare Coco e la sua storia. I personaggi somigliano a figurini di moda, sempre perfettamente abbigliati e ricchi di particolari, ma con un tocco di estro; il logo di Chanel è ripreso quasi in ogni pagina, come una vera celebrazione del marchio e la figura di Coco è bella ed elegante ad ogni tocco. Inoltre, mi è piaciuto molto l’uso sapiente dei colori: le illustrazione sono per la maggior parte in bianco e nero con dei tocchi di rosso, beige e rosa, colori spesso utilizzati dalla stilista. Sfogliare le pagine dona una sensazione di pace e bellezza fuori dal comune.

DSCN0755.jpg

DSCN0759.jpg

  • Le citazioni ° Dopo ogni numero di pagine ci sono delle citazioni di Coco stessa, legate allo stile e all’eleganza, un modo per sentirsi più vicini alla designer e seguire alcuni dei suoi consigli più azzeccati. Una delle mie preferite recita: ‘Per essere insostituibili bisogna essere originali’. Nulla di più vero e Coco è sicuramente riuscita nell’intento.

dscn0769

  • Il blend ° Con il blend intendo il blend di moda, beauty e determinazione che condiscono le pagine del libro. Si parla di Chanel stilista e quindi della sua passione per la moda e la sua lungimiranza in un campo che all’epoca era dominato da fronzoli e gran fiocchi, ma si parla anche di Chanel N°5, il suo celeberrimo profumo (che tra l’altro è davvero buonissimo e lo consiglio a tutte!) e della personalità di Coco: precisa, determinata e perfezionista. E’ bello appassionarsi ad un personaggio conoscendo tutte le diverse sfaccettature e non solo quelle prettamente legate al lavoro.

DSCN0760.jpg

  • Il dopo e Karl Lagerfeld ° E’ interessante sapere cosa successe dopo la morte di Coco, come la sua casa di moda è passata di mano in mano fino ad arrivare nelle mani miracolose di Karl Lagerfeld. Sicuramente un noto personaggio nel mondo della moda, conosciuto per la sua stravaganza, ma soprattutto per il suo stile moderno e in grado di cogliere l’essenza della maison Chanel con innovazione e gran gusto. I due non si conobbero mai, ma Lagerfeld considera Coco ‘lo spirito della donna moderna’. E possiamo affermare che in effetti è proprio così.

DSCN0767.jpg

Il weekend si avvicina e io vi consiglio di immergervi nella lettura di questo fantastico libro, magari con una tazza di tè fumante e una coperta fluffy, mentre fuori il freddo non dà ancora tregua e noi aspettiamo impazienti la primavera.

Buona lettura e buon weekend,

Giulia

Advertisements

Beautiful and Christmassy Milan

Hello lovelies,

It’s almost Christmas, isn’t it? I love this period of the year: everything looks so glittery, the atmosphere is warm and cozy and families finally get together after one year without almost seeing each other. I have just come back few days ago from England and I found Milan colder and obviously, foggy. Anyway, I am really happy to be home with my family and old friends. A couple of days ago I wandered around to buy the last presents and I found the city more beautiful than ever. So here are just few tips if you are gonna spend a weekend in Milan around Christmas time.

  1. Look at the Duomo: the beauty of the cathedral leaves people speechless. Seriously. Even if you live in Milan or you pass by every day to go to work, in winter the atmosphere gets really fascinating. The fog creates an air of mystery around the Duomo and the square, the colorful glass windows of the Duomo are visible from the outside while you are walking down the main road and the gold ‘Madunina’ glimmers in the dark. I swear you just want to sit in front of the church and stare at it for hours and hours. Nothing more.
  2. Look at the Christmas tree: okay, we all love Christmas trees, right? I mean, who doesn’t? They are the symbol of Christmas and donate a sensation of joy whenever they are around. It is even better when they are big and glittery. That is why you should stop in front of the tree in Piazza Duomo and simply admire it. Maybe with a hot chocolate and a friend, just before walking around the lovely Christmas market right close to it. Oh, I love Christmas!

img_3010

  1. Go for a walk in Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II: so, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II was called the ‘Salotto dei Milanesi’ many years ago because it was the place where people from Milan and the suburbs used to go on a Sunday afternoon to have a stroll around and window shopping, sitting in a café and chatting with friends. Today, it is mainly a posh place, where expensive restaurants and luxury brands attract curious tourists. However, it is still a lovely place to go to have a look around the shops, enter in the beautiful bookstore close to Piazza della Scala and most importantly, during Christmas, admire the beautiful tree by Swarovski and the stunning lights on the ceiling of the Galleria. Oh my, they are so beautiful that you would just sit there and watch them forever. Seriously. Judge by yourself.

img_3016img_3017

  1. Look at La Rinascente: this is a very famous multi brand shop which is a symbol of Milan. There is a bit of everything, from clothing to toys, from gadgets to cosmetics. It is worth to take it into consideration for two reasons: first, there is an adorable terrace on the last floor which is a restaurant/cafè (perfect for a break during the hectic shopping days) where you can see the city and the Duomo from above. Second, they design wonderful and very creative shop windows that look like artworks. And over Christmas it is even better because they set up a multitude of lights on the facade of the building and this year even a waterfall of lights right in front of the entrance in the gallery. Beautiful.
  1. Pop into a Laudurée shop: okay, so if there is something I really really love is to buy a macaron from Ladurée. As you enter the shop, it feels like Alice entering wonderland: countless types of macarons in light colours and chocolate in cute forms welcome you as you open the door. If you had a tough day at work or you simply need to buy the last present for someone you love, Ladurée in Via Spader 6 is always a good idea. They have the best macarons in town with the best flavors and colours. So don’t hesitate to pop into the shop and treat yourself. It’s Christmas time, after all!

img_3029

After a lovely day in Milan I felt relaxed and excited to celebrate Christmas with all good food and good company. Oh Milan is always Milan. I missed it so much and it always feels great to come back to my city.

Have a lovely Christmas full of love and laughs and a fun Boxing Day with all your loved ones,

merry

Giulia

About resolutions, about life

Hello lovelies,

finally the end of the term. This means I have done all my assignments (most of them at least) and I can go home to enjoy the joyful Christmas atmosphere. It’s just one week to go before Christmas day and I still have to do most of my presents. This is because I have been so busy in the past few weeks that I couldn’t manage to do everything and now I kind of start panicking. But I am sure I will be fine cause tomorrow I’m gonna fly home and I will still have some time to put up the Christmas tree and find the right gifts for everyone.

This term at Uni has been pretty tough, but it also taught me a couple of important things that I would like to share with you:

  1. Balance your life: it is fine studying or working, but it is also important to take time for yourself everyday to enjoy life or even better, do everything you have to do while enjoying life. I know it sound cliché and everything, but it is actually the secret for happiness. Just laugh, hang out with friends or watch the video of your favorite vlogger in your free time and make your studying/working enjoyable. In summary, look at the positive side of things and do something to improve the quality of your life.
  2. Be determined: determination is what gets you there. Truly. I am a huge fun of determination because I do believe that only if you are well determined to reach a goal, you will actually reach it. You have to fight, to lose sometimes and put the pieces back together. But no matter what happens, only if you are determined to reach the goal, to win, you will get at least close to it. None has ever got something simply by wishing for it and not taking action. So be strong. Try hard. And start playing. Check out this Asics advert to give you some motivation!
  3. Make the most out of opportunities: I have just realized how great it is to have choices and opportunities. They are all around us and sometimes we even face them but we not seize them completely. Sometimes it is because we are fearful or scared, or maybe because we are not confident or we think we don’t really care, but in fact we actually do. So from now on, I will try to stop complaining and try to exploit every opportunity I get as much as I can. I am sure this strategy will soon or later pay off and in the meanwhile I will enjoy the journey. Yep, because as I said before, being positive about life is the key.
  4. Be kind to people: be kind to your neighbor who had a difficult day, be kind to the waiter who is trying his best his first day of service and be kind to your friends even when they are moody. Yes because kindness makes people around you feel better but it also makes you feel more satisfied with yourself. And the great thing is that it doesn’t cost anything! A smile, a compliment, a nice word, it is something we can all handle with no difference.

christmas-2

I guess these few points will also be part of my 2017 resolutions that I am planning to write over next week. I can’t believe one year also already passed by and summer is closer, yuppie!

Hope you all have a wonderful week,

Giulia

Well deserved relax

Heya everyone, how’s life going?

I am pretty tired. Seriously guys, I’m super tired. These first couple of weeks at uni have been so hectic and I feel as I need to refuel a bit but there’s still so much  I have to do, so I won’t have time to stop and relax until Christmas holidays. I guess it’s life, but it’s all good because I won’t have any chance to feel bored. But this is also why while I was scrolling down the pictures on my phone and I happened to the ones I took when I was at the Milan hot springs I started daydreaming. After a good ten minutes of staring at the pictures I decided that I couldn’t do it anymore (it was too painful) and I took action. I put down my phone and got to my readings again. But while I was doing it, I actually thought it would be a good idea to share my experience with you guys here on the blog and let you know how great the hot springs are.

Address QC Terme Milano: Piazzale Medaglie D’Oro 2, Milan

The hot springs are called QC Terme Milano and they are placed close to Porta Romana underground station. It is easier and quicker to get there by tube than by car. It was my second time there so I knew what to expect. My boyfriend and I arrived around 9 am (tip: make sure you book in advance if it’s a weekend) and we could enjoy a very tasty and healthy breakfast before diving into a relaxing day. There are not too many facilities because the structure is not too big, but it is very well designed and comfortable. Outside there are around three/four hot water pools where you can enjoy whirlpools and small waterfalls. There is also the so called ‘Wellness Tram’ which is an old city tram wagon transformed into a very nice bio-sauna. It is very quiet and cozy inside it. As you exit the wagon, a marble bath tub full of very cold water is waiting for you to tone your muscles up. In the space outside there are also some aromatic plants and places to sit down and chill.

Inside, there are no pools but only relaxing rooms, saunas and steam baths (not a huge fun of them, seriously too hot). Personally, my favorite space is the  ‘Room of the fire’ where there are some big and very comfortable nests where you can lie down and enjoy the silence. If you are more a water person, don’t worry because there are also two rooms with a water theme where you can lie down on a wobbly waterbed. To finish, you can book some beauty events that will clean and energize your skin.

img_2718img_2715

img_2719img_2720img_2726

The best part of the Terme (nice Italian name for hot springs) is without any doubt the light buffet where you can find all the healthy but tasty things such as vegetables, fruits, cookies, honey and chocolate breadsticks (literally in love with them). Ah we can’t forget the lovely vanilla yoghurt with granola. I would live on those if I could. And the most joyful part is that the buffet will be there for the entire day which means you’re allowed to eat at whatever hour you want without judgement. Love it. If you’re not happy with the buffet you can even order sushi (as we did) or pasta. There’s plenty of choice.

img_2722img_2721

I really enjoyed my day at the Terme ad even if I felt very tired when I got home I was actually very relaxed and distressed. A day like this is something that I need every now and then to recharge my batteries and move on to the next big thing. Now I can just crave it while I am watching the winter soon approaching and the cold getting harsher every day. Oh well I will treat myself with a good cinnamon hot chocolate and a Grey’s Anatomy episode.

Good night guys, sleep tight 🙂

Giulia

Discovering Design

Hey world, I’m back in town, literally. I’ve been quite busy over the last week because I moved back to England and I have started classes on Monday. Pretty tough. Being back at uni is a weird sensation: it means summer is officially over, winter is coming and I will have to start caring about my future again. SO STRESSFUL. However, before coming back to the north, I had a lovely week with my family and friends and I took the opportunity to visit a quite new museum: the Museo del Design in Via Borsi 9, Milan. So, in this post I want to briefly talk you through this beautiful experience I made. Let’s start.

I discovered the existence of this museum when I got lost (my boyfriend is actually to blame) around the area of the Navigli one hot afternoon of August. I saw a glass construction and I was intrigued by it; I looked around and I saw signs reading “Museo del Design 1880-1980”. Amazing, I thought! Finally a proper museum dedicated only to a fairly new art: design. I have to be honest with you: I don’t know much about design, but I have always been interested in it. So one of the last days I was home I went there with my mum to have a look around and enjoy a relaxing sunny day.

The Museo of Design offers a collection wanted by Raffaello Biagetti, a previous painter very interested in design in period when design was not even a thing. Biagetti, with the help of Giovanni Klaus Koenig, Filippo Alison and Giuseppe Chigiotti, created an amazing collection in 1988, involving many famous designers such as Gae Aulenti. The museum first opened in Ravenna but mainly because of its hidden location it didn’t get much notice; then last year the collection was brought to Milan for the Salone del Mobile and it became a permanent collection in summer 2015 with its personal museum. The collection has more than 130 pieces realized by the most prominent designers of the time, starting its journey from the Art Nouveau with Mackintosh and Thonet until the second postwar with mainly Italian designers.

The museum is  very well-designed (well, it couldn’t be otherwise): the space is not too big and the pieces are set in a well-organized manner on black stands. The atmosphere  is modern with a little touch of vintage in the appearance of some design elements, which have been used and consumed by the owners. Among the pieces I liked the most there is the chair “Midway” realized by Van Der Rohe in steel and textile, the Cradle designed by Peter Keler who was a representative of the Bauhaus movement and the super famous armchair by Alessandro Mendini which was one the first to be all decorated by hand.

IMG_2750.jpg

IMG_2770.jpg

It is very interesting to look around the museum: I actually realized how innovative these pieces were for the time they came out and how many ideas are still used today in our modern concepts of design. Also the use of specific techniques, materials or simply shapes is something that was completely different from the style that dominated society until the end of the 19th century. I know design might sound simply part of everyday life, but I do really recommend you to go and visit the museum because it is an experience that will make you think about the changes in history and society. You will then probably need to search for some background information about the artists and the pieces they invented (I had to do it), but it is surely very stimulating to get to know more about our own heritage and creative opportunities. So have a stroll around and enjoy the beauty of design.

Address: Giosuè Borsi, 9 Milano

img_2781img_2746img_2756img_2749img_2783IMG_2778.jpg

Have a lovely weekend,

Giulia

Details are everything

Hey lovelies, this week has been pretty weird, in the sense that I spent more time at home than at work because I didn’t feel too well. As I told you, I had my wisdom tooth removed and it’s been pretty painful all week long. Anyway, now I feel better and I wanted to write a post about details. Yep, you heard right, details! I am a huge fan of details, of those little elements that seem to be so small, but in reality they make the real difference.

When I was young and I had to write some essays for school, I usually wrote very short sentences like “The house is pretty” or “The dog is barking” and that was it. When my mum checked my homework, she always tried to make me write more, to make me enrich the sentence. So “The house is pretty” became “The big house at the end of the street is very pretty because it has many decorations around it”. You get what I mean? She made me add the details to the sentence because they were meaningful and the real key to a successful story. So, my essays were longer, better and most importantly, more detailed.

As I grew up and my essays grew longer, I started to understand by myself the beauty of details. I started to look at things under a different light, to appreciate the small things around the big ones. In this post I want to make three examples that exemplify the value of details. They are very simple and I’m sure everyone knows what I’m talking about, but  what works for me is to read something I already have a knowledge of, in this way I can fully reflect on it. So, let’s start!

The first example is linked to my beloved art. I love paintings, I love walking around museums and art galleries, I love standing in front of an artwork and simply stare at it. And it is exactly while I’m standing in front of a painting and my mind is spinning and wandering that I notice small but essential elements: the small black ribbon around Olympia’s neck in Manet’s painting, the black train in most of De Chirico’s works or the colorful brushstrokes in Van Gogh’s self-portraits. All these elements have specific meanings that allow you, the observer to understand the story and link the information about the painter, his life and the painting itself. Moreover, in art also the colour plays a symbolic role: red represents the human passions while white is a symbol of purity. Only by carefully observing the artworks it is possible to detect all these small details that make the difference, that make the artwork an amazing artwork. I want to close this first example with another painting by Jan Van Eyck: the Arnolfini Portrait. Here, a couple of lovers is elegantly posing in front of the painter, but the interesting detail about the whole composition is the small mirror that reflects the back of the lovers and other two unknown people. Who are they? What are they doing? Details are made in order to challenge us, the observers and to make us think about the artworks, about the artists and above all, about life, our life.

518.jpg

Van Gogh Self Portrait with Grey Felt Hat

 

Unknown.jpeg

Van Gogh Self Portrait

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Van_Eyck_-_Arnolfini_Portrait.jpg

Arnolfini Portrait

The_Arnolfini_Portrait,_détail_(2).jpg

Detail of the Arnolfini Portrait

The second example is connected to fashion. We’re in the right week to talk about fashion and so I wanted to take inspiration from a beautiful dress I saw in magazines some years ago. I am talking about a Chanel dress which is part of the Resort Collection of 2013. I literally love this dress because it’s simple but at the same time very chic. And here it’s visible the importance of details again: the white dress would be insignificant without the beautiful red details that seem to create a majestic belt around the model, as well as the elements above the shoulders. It’s simplicity with a touch of class.

Chanel-Resort-2013_49.jpg

Chanel Resort Collection 2013

Another interesting example which is more up to date comes from Moschino fashion show. The designer managed to recreate a very funny detail: do you girls remember when we used to play with paper dolls and in order to dress them up we had to bend the little white paper edges around their bodies? Well, he used the same idea to design the new collection. In this case, this little detail, the white paper edges, recalls a specific period of life, the idea of childhood, when everything looks possible and funny. Details, even if they are very small, can recreate atmospheres, underlining the real meaning of something. By looking at Moschino’s dress we could have imagined that it was linked to fairy tales, princesses and this type of world, but only thanks to the white details we actually see what the desired outcome is. And I think the idea is seriously brilliant! It immediately reminded me of my happy period of life, when I used to spend my long afternoons playing with my paper dolls and making up stories. Oh, the beautiful life!

14355155_1179721185422148_2819206448764002089_n.jpg

Moschino Spring/Summer 2017 Fashion Show

14425330_10154570323175990_4014885212700702694_o.jpg

Moschino, Spring/Summer 2017 Fashion Show

Finally, the last example is pretty general: by looking around us, we can find many different places where there are interesting details. Mostly, when we travel or we’re discovering a place, we are more attentive to catch details. They can be decorations on the street, patterns on the facade of a building or simply the drawing on a tablecloth of a restaurant. The common denominator is that, no matter what they are, details impress us and beautify the world, every time. By walking around Rome, I found interesting elements I wanted to photograph as well as by visiting the Triennale in Milan, because they were something peculiar that I wanted to remember and use for future projects. Inspiration comes from everywhere.

DSCN0408.jpg

DSCN0330.jpg

dscn0361dscn0473img_2623

I guess that’s it about details. Hope you appreciated it and now I’m gonna enjoy the last remaining hours of a lazy Sunday before Monday comes up again!

Have a nice evening!

Giulia

 

The Millinery Shop

 

Edgar_Germain_Hilaire_Degas_011.jpg

The Millinery Shop by Edgar Degas

Good morning guys, as you can see I’m already back trying to keep my promise of posting more regularly. Yesterday here in Milan there was the VFNO but unfortunately (as every year) I couldn’t go because I was sick (I had my wisdom tooth removed last week and it still hurts so much!). So, rather than complain and feel sad about it, I decided to share with you a beautiful painting by Edgar Degas which I think relates to the ongoing Milan Fashion Week.

My idea is to share every now and then some paintings or sculptures and write down their description, in this way if you like art (I do!) you can contribute to the discussion and let me know what you think about the artist and the artworks or simply get an insight of the artworks.

So, I wanted to start this little new experiment with a painting I didn’t know much about, so, I have to be honest, I had to search for more information, but I liked it at first sight. Surprise, surprise it’s not the usual subject of the dancers by Degas! The artwork is “The Millinery Shop” by Edgar Degas which is located at the Art Institute of Chicago. As you can see from the painting, a woman, the milliner, is checking on a new hat she’s probably made. She hasn’t noticed we are looking at her from above and she’s completely immersed in her job. All around her there are wonderful hats with beautiful decorations. The three hats in the foreground are quite clear: even though the brushstrokes are slightly undefined, the hats are perfectly recognizable. However, the two hats that lie in the background are less visible for two reasons: first because the brushstrokes are less defined and second because the colors Degas used blend with the brown of the table and the floor.

By a quick look at the painting we immediately catch what is happening, the main scene, while the background is completely blurred. We can imagine there’s a window or a glass door because of the light blue, but we can’t be totally sure about our assumption. And that’s the beauty of art: you need to use your imagination in order to go further and give a sense to what you’re looking at. In the Millinery Shop, Degas focuses our attention on the woman and her hats, her beautiful and refined creations, while the background is less relevant and observers can use their imagination to define it.

The painting was made between 1879 and 1886, a period during which Degas made a lot of paintings portraying the work of the milliners. He was a very refined artist, he wasn’t linked to a specific artistic movement; of course he had some influences from the Impressionists, but he was not a member of the group. He was more conventional, he worked in his studio and he liked to portray the vibrant life of the bourgeoisie.

I have chosen this specific painting because I thought it linked to a fashion theme which is perfect for this week! In the 19th century the role of the milliners had a social relevance: it was chic and trendy to go to the millinery shop and try on different hats, maybe even asking for a personal one. Women from the middle-class loved to buy and wear hats when they went to the city, went shopping or while visiting someone. A hat was an unavoidable accessory for every elegant woman. Moreover, I love the colors of the hats, their decorations and the slim figure of the milliner. It’s a painting that is portraying life, it’s portraying the habits of an entire class and a specific type of fashion.

This is it for now, I hope you liked this very brief insight into Degas’ painting and see you soon with more beautiful artworks.

Giulia