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Wednesday, 20 August 2014

How ziz he dou zat!?

Ahi (as the Spanish would say), how bad it makes me feel to look at the date on my last post and then at the one on the top right corner on the PC!
Almost another month has gone by and the summer goes toward its inevitable end.

This year has been much different from any other summer before: few holidays, few quiet days, few late sleeps, even few parties.
I really feel like moving to London has signed a passage in my life not only because of the fact that I'm officially getting ready for the real world (aka work), but also because I'm taking on all its aspects.
One of these being that I won't be having three months long holidays anymore, probably for the rest of my life!

I've been thinking a lot about those kind of changes now and I've ended up realising that at this point I almost feel like a teen-ager again.
An hybrid stuck between school life and college life (which i still haven't finished, there's still an MA which needs to be done!) and the working world and its people.
The only difference is that differently from when I actually was a teen-ager I have quite a few more experiences on my shoulders, a little more maturity and I am also slightly less rebel.
Not really, but probably I can handle myself better as I live alone and I know that everything I do and decided is up to me…

I remember feeling a bit sad at the beginning of this summer, knowing that I would have had too much to do to allow myself a proper holiday.
Right now, at the end of it, thinking of all that has happened, the people I've met, the things I've experienced, I feel like London is exactly the place I was meant to be in the past months.
Despite my constant need of going, leaving, travelling, I've got to understand that sometimes you just need to stay for a while, not only because of a necessity but because that gives you the chance to reflect on where you are and how you feel there.

The consequences of this reflection can be two very different ones: either you'd end up feeling like leaving even more than you did before, or you could eventually realise that you are perfectly fine where you are, at least for a while, meaning you are not giving yourself a deadline.
I guess that would mean feeling at home, finally.
I must say, it's a great feeling, absolutely great.

Plus, when you live in a place like London, a huge and wonderful city where you could experience every single day something new, it's quite easy to feel on holiday as soon as you have a day off.
When my mum came over for a few days after our brief time in Paris, we had a chance to o quite a few things together and being both of us the worst museum freaks you'd ever meet, one of these divertissement was going to the Barbican for the amazing exhibition dedicated to Jean Paul Gaultier that the cultural centre is hosting until the beginning of the fall.

I have to confess that it has been very challenging for me to resist without going until my maman came, just because I made her promise we'd go together.
In the end, I was happy I did so as being there with her was the funniest thing ever.
In fact, us both working in fashion, we belong to very different sides of it: I'm all about the creativity, inspiration, innovation, trend, let's say the theoretical aspects of it, while my fashion designer and manufacturer mother is much more attentive toward the practical side of it and everything that includes cuts, materials, construction.
Because of that, being in front of Gaultier's unbelievable creations with her gave us a chance to properly scan them and analyse every aspect of this amazing designer who has always been one of my absolute favourite because of his proximity to one of the most historical designs which has been fascinating me since my first trips visiting castles around Europe when  was a kid: the corset.

Despite having followed him and read a lot about Gaultier, there were a few things I didn't know about him.
First of all, his aesthetic is not only about mariner stripes, mermaids and corsets, oh no!
He has explored basically any kind of fashion, inspiration, influence, from some serious punk to the jungle fever to the various typical costumes of far nations such as China, but also close ones such as Spain.
What's even more incredible about Gaultier's fashion brain is that he didn't limit himself to just one influence or single inspiration for each collection: he interacted inter weaved them together, maintaining some of his most recognisable elements which spoke for him and then ranging over many other ones which he sometimes introduced in more than one of his collections.

The exhibition was divided in various sections which showcased some of the most relevant pieces he produced under the effect of a certain influence and inspiration, but what was crazy is that they didn't belong to the same collection or year!
Result: each collection feature some elements from each room becoming an incredible mixture of influences that could be defined in one and only way: genial.

Something else I've learnt about Gaultier is that his brain works in possibly two distinct ways: either he works for influences or for people.
Yes, people, because sometimes what inspires him are just individuals.
Beautiful, extraordinary individuals who become his muses and who he creates for.
What's unbelievable about this designer is his ability to make something that really represents his brand but that represents even more the person he is making it for.
That piece made for that particular model, actress, singer, just says her name our loud and you wouldn't put it on anyone else but her.
That's the power of creativity and expression, but it's also an indicator of an amazing sensibility that brought Gaultier close to some of the most controversial and interesting personalities of the past fifty years, just because he was able to provide them another way to speak for themselves apart from the one they had already chosen to do so.

Another interesting aspect I've learnt about Gaultier is his mundane one: being part of TV shows, inspiration for a music video (How you dou zat, whose title was inspired by a sentence Gaultier said during an interview in English with his unmissable French accentwhich sold an insane amount of copies and making fun of everything around him by speaking through a puppet, he just seemed to me as an incredibly funny person.
Gautlier is the kind of designer I'd like to go out for a drink with, comment on what everyone around is wearing and drink a lot of wine, celebrating his Frenchness and my Frenchness ensemble.

Speaking of the exhibition itself, it actually provided an interesting set and some innovative elements which I'm sure will be copied and revisited until the death after it.
When I read the infos on the exhibition in the Barbican's website, at the adjective theatrical used to describe the set of it, my curiosity broke free and I couldn't wait to see what did that mean.
I guess the theatrical aspect of it was mostly referred to the fact that faces were often projected on the mannequins wearing Gaultier's creations and they also spoke, looked around and interacted with the audience, sometimes making compliments ("You look fabulous, darling!"), sometimes reassuring them ("I don't bite" said the prototype of the punk man with a half meter tall crest on his head). 
I must say, I was a bit annoyed by that here and there, but that was probably due to the fact that we spent in each room three times the amount of time you'd be supposed to spend inside of it, therefor we heard the same conversation coming from the mannequins about five thousand times.
(At some point, while examining the inside of one of the punk shirts in the third room, maman looked at the mannequin speaking in Spanish over her head and couldn't hold it: "Ta gueule!").
Overall, I found it quite funny and coherent with what the entire exhibition was trying to communicate about the personality of the creative genius.

My absolute favourite and probably the biggest surprise about Gaultier's aesthetic: the punk designs.
I've always been fascinated from the punk culture and to find out how Gaultier felt the same connection with it when visiting London in his early days as a designer I was pleasantly surprised of how he represented it and gave it a new voice, a Gaultier voice, but still being faithful to some of its most relevant elements.
Un chef-d'Ĺ“uvre!

The final idea I was able to built about Gaultier after admiring his story and getting to know a bit more about his creative process is the one of a designer who is not scared of anything.
An experimenter, creator, innovator, who was able to create some elements of design that are going to stay alive forever and signed the history of fashion, but also allowed himself to brake free and experiment everything he felt the need to experiment, challenging his taste and fusing contrasts together in a very happy marriage.
Incredibly inspiring also because of the fact that he never forgot beauty as his ultimate goal, and the desire of making everyone, even boys, a beautiful and desirable doll to play with.

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Purposely Rude

Good afternoon everyone!

Here I am after a long and eventful month during which my life in London has been slowly settling down into something similar to a routine, despite me feeling like every day is bringing something absolutely new, and taking some very unexpected turns at the same time.

Today, after a long week of work and thinking, I've finally found some time to sit down in front of my beloved blog and share with you something that, as many other things I've done since I've been here, got to me absolutely randomly but ended up making me feel so glad it did.
In fact, while at work a few days ago I was having a quick chat with Rachel, one of my colleagues, she  was telling me about her week end of between exhibitions and dinner in nice restaurants, she recommended me to go have a look at what's going on at Somerset house: the photographic exhibition called The Return of the Rude boy.

Despite having no idea of what the term rude boy was supposed to identify, I immediately felt interested about it and I decided I really should have gone check that out.
I didn't even look it up on the Internet to get to know more about it, I just headed to Somerset house on a very sunny and very warm morning not knowing what I was going to have in front of me.
I must say, I'm very happy I decided to do so.

Before to tell you a bit more about the exhibition, I'd like to ask you a question: 
what is rude?
According to common sense, being rude is probably the opposite of polite, on this we all agree.
But what about rude as a movement? As a community? As a style?

The Rude Boys subculture was born in Jamaica in the early 60s and it used to identify these young generations of kids who didn't have a job, couldn't find one,  couldn't see any promising future for themselves and battled against the government by dancing ska music and, of course, being purposely…rude.
They were almost the outsiders, the rejected ones of their society and their generation as they also used to get caught in criminal activities such as drug dealing and violent acts between the various gangs.
But while pursuing their rebellion, which in some cases ended up making them UK musical icons, they didn't realise that they were actually generating something parallel to their cultural and philosophical movement: a whole new style.

It seems pretty weird thinking of their origin but as Yves Saint Laurent used to say: "The best outfits often come from the poor and disadvantaged", and in this case being poor and disadvantaged was just a part of the creative process that brought to the rude boy.
In fact, the other most significant influence they had into their choice of clothing items was the so called gangster style, copied and pasted from the patinated and refined figure of the American gangster who made elements such as the three-buttons jacket, the pork pie hat and super shiny leather shoes its bread and butter. 

Which brings us to the great paradox that is the rude boy: extremely poor and rebel, but also extremely refined. 
Probably because of their alternative origin, the rude boys didn't lack the courage to take unexpected turns playing with their accessories and bringing them to the extreme, shaping up incredibly creative outfits that are classical but also innovative, detailed but in a way that becomes almost obsessive and even tough they could be very cheap in fact, always very expensive looking. 

That's how rudeness becomes the new slickness, and being rude is not anymore about a behaviour but about the stylistic choices of a subculture that heading to the UK and getting mashed up with mod cultures and rocksteady is to be historically identified as nothing but one of the ancestors of the skinhead culture.

That's the story how one of the most significant and iconic stylistic cultures made in UK took influences from Jamaica and its underground environment.
I'm not entirely sure if a Rude Boy could ever be polite, but in truth it's pretty hard for these devoted to sleek tailoring, menswear and sharp cuts not to look a bit intimidating.
I must say, that's what I loved the most about this style and that's one of the elements I cherish of menswear being worn by women (or in this particular case, rude girls) in general: the sense of sharpness, toughness and self-confidence that comes from wearing a male outfit and pull it off, but also from being perfectly sharp and refined but also bold with colours, details, ornaments.

Rude Boy is the kind of style that requires to be embraced for a long time before to become evident and effective. 
It needs to be developed, collected, thought, put together, day by day.
These outfits feature pieces coming from all around the world, fabrics that might not even exist, jewels that might have been stolen, ideas that might have been put together as the result of a creative process where the art piece is the outfit itself.

In other words, Rude Boy becomes a life choice where every aspect of it influences the others and everything ends up being connected and absolutely coherent.
Extremely fascinating for many current young generations of Brits, but not only, becoming a real rudy might still requires overcoming a couple of challenges which would inevitably lead to embracing a community whose history and declinations make it one of the most significant fashion movements of the past century.

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Some things I love.. #1

What's better than a market?

Believe it or not, the question is absolutely not rhetoric, neither sarcastic.
In fact, despite my love for brand new designers clothes, the feeling and the look they have when they are hanged inside of a bright lighted shop, the fancy smell around them and the fact that they look pretty much like beautiful pieces of art exposed in a gallery,
the fascination of a market will always beat that for me.

I don't even know why I do like markets so much.
Maybe because I've been brought up by a woman who has always been a market lover and who has found some of the most significant and spectacular pieces of her wardrobe by browsing around markets all around the world.
Maybe because of the relaxed feeling that a market has, very different from those fancy shops mentioned before. 
When you go to markets, there's no pressure for buying, there's not even a fixed price!
You are not expected to buy first but to find something that would really suit you, something that capable of catching your attention among thousands of other things that don't.
And then, when you find that very thing, if you do, it feels like it totally belong to you.
It feels like you had to be there in that place at that moment to find it and God knows how old it is and how many people have been feeling the same way about it before: captured.
That's why, after trying to put the price down, trying it and imagining yourself with it, acknowledging how perfect it would be with pretty much everything else you already have, falling in love, hating yourself and realising that this thing you are feeling so torn about it's going to become one of the statement pieces of your own wardrobe, you walk away with your plastic bag that has no logo on it and no fancy lace to close it, but whose content makes you the happiest and most excited ever.

People makes a big fuss about luxury retail and the whole shopping experience thing that people are supposed to be given when they pay so much money for clothes.
In my opinion, there's no shopping experience that outshines the one you'd have shopping in a vintage market.
Apart from the fact that it's a way more clever way of buying as you are not just picking up an orange something that looks so right now and that you are going to take out of the closet next year and think what the hell?! 
Au contrer! You are choosing pieces of clothing coming from various epochs, from the last seasons to the 40s, but also the 20s (if you are lucky enough..) and that you decide to make yours because they really represent you and suits you!
During the long, cold winter, overwhelmed by the new trends and the things you have to have, the new delicious options that the fashion industry has been packing and selling you in a way that they seem absolutely irresistible, you are probably going to forget about those pieces of clothing you bought in the market the previous season, but when you re-discover them and take them out from the closet you see them under a completely new light: they still shine! You still love them!
But most of all: you still wear them, proudly.

Another highlight of markets is that they offer you a chance to bring back an extra memory when travelling.
In fact, every country has their very own markets (well, almost every one) and even thought location and items can differ a lot, the feeling you get from discovering a new one somewhere else is the same: excitement, happiness, the awareness of having found a place where you'll be able to take some time off for yourself.
A market will always make you feel adventurous, ready to explore, but also patient and of course unique.

You kind of have to be in the mood for it, but if you are, then your game is on and you better tell your boyfriend to get a book and sit at the cafe as it's probably going to take a while.
In case you have a boyfriend that actually looks forward to follow you around a market, looking around and maybe taking pictures, then marry him.
Or even better, give him my number.

I've been going to markets and vintage markets for all my life, everywhere I've been from Africa to Europe to Asia and I loved Dublin markets in a way that I didn't think was possible.
For the ones of you that have been following me, you might have noticed how excited I used to get for the Flea Market, the biggest vintage market in town, every last Sunday of the month.
Now that I'm here in London, a whole new universe of opportunities is opening in front of me.
From West to East to North, the plan is to chase the most famous markets and discover new ones as well.

For now, I've just been browsing around the markets I already know, some of which are absolutely magical places that give me different feelings and make me discover something new every time I go there.
At the same time though, it feels like home to go back and walk on that same road once again.
Portobello, which is now about 15 minutes away from home is still one of my very favourite ones.
I would never miss a chance to go there and I've spotted my favourite walk to get there, throughout Holland park and on the right, passing in front Valentina, an Italian delicatessen shop that I have the feeling I'll visit just as much as the actual market in the future.
Maybe even more…

But what's the most exciting thing about London is the fact that there's so much of everything that you'll probably hardly ever finish to discover something new.
Last week, for example, after attending an interview close to Farringdon, I took a walk through Barbican toward Liverpool Street where I then caught the tube and on my way there I've found a place that opened my eyes (and my nose thanks to the lovely smell) on London markets.

That street is called Whitecross Street and apparently even on a random Tuesday morning if you walked by you'd spot one of the most sensational food markets ever.
The colours of the veggies and the scents of the various cookings are just inebriating and you'll probably won't be able to choose what to have on the spot if you were really sure of what you wanted.
For once in my life, I thanked my food allergies for obliging me to chop at least some options out of the list.
Moroccan, Vietnamese, Spanish, French but also Italian (the real one…), salads, burritos and Mexican fusion, juicy burgers, wraps with pretty much everything, fruit…
I mean, it was amazing.
As I said, spotting the food market in Whitecross really made me reflect.
Vintage markets are amazing and they'll always be my favourite, but they are not the only markets and if I want to make it my mission to discover as many of them as possible I should really broaden my orisons and start including other types of markets than clothing ones.
Probably I haven't thought about it because it's very typical to find some food even inside of vintage markets. 
We all know that shopping is to be considered among your cardio routine activities and that of course makes people hungry!
Plus, shopping for amazing unique pieces you love so much (just saying…) makes people happy!
And happy usually means keen for food, in order to be even happier

Sounds almost too amazing?! 
I told you!

I actually hope to have persuaded you enough to make you feel like trying the markets of your own country and the countries you'll visit as well.
Trust me, there's very few better ways to feel like getting to know a place that going around a market, eating some typical food and looking at the people around…
Let me know your experiences at the market and your thoughts about it!

And of course, stay tuned!

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

From the green to the smoke...

Hello everyone!!

I know I know, another long silence during which I've left all the readers of my beloved blog wondering where (the hell) I've been and what (the hell) I've been doing.

Well, now it's time to uncover all the cards and reveal you the biggest surprise I've surprisingly be able to keep for myself until now!
In fact, I no longer live in Dublin…
Despite that made me suffer very much, since the beginning of my last year of college I knew that at the end of it I would have needed a change.
Plus, despite having fell in love with Dublin which became my home and which will always be a pace where I'll be looking forward to go back to,
it's still me here and the ones of you who have been following the blog know how I just cannot stay in the same place for a long time…

So here I am: in London! :) 
I moved here at the beginning of June as I got a period of work experience in Drapers, a wonderful magazine where I sat alongside the Features and Special Reports editor contributing to some of the features published.

 James, my boss, and the whole team made me feel so welcomed that i wish I could just go there everyday, despite the internship being over already (but that's another story…).

What I haven't told you is that I had been here earlier in May with dad house hunting as after getting the internship I realised that time just got extremely tight!
After two pretty traumatising day being brought around looking at horrendous studio apartments and being shout from my dad that "I was never going to live in such a place but most of all he was surely not going to pay for it…" we were lucky enough to find a place that satisfied him and myself of course and that is now my very own studio apartment!

The area is lovely, just two minutes away from the tube and 10 minutes walk from one of my favourite places in London: Notting Hill, where  just go around browsing and thinking every time I can.

Also, Kensington gardens is literally two minutes away, which comes pretty handy considering that I moved here in the summer and that there's nothing as gorgeous and refreshing that a huge park in London…

I must say: 
I miss my friends in Dublin so much, especially the person I've been living with for the past none months, with whom I've spent endless nights chatting in the kitchen until we got to the point where we didn't even want to look at the watch anymore knowing that we both has class in the morning. My girl, my smoke buddy (still need to find one here!) and my very very good friend Matea, who thank God has already booked a flight to come and visit me in the big smoke.

Despite that: life here has been so good so far that I am almost shocked.
First of all, the internship brought me a new friend, another amazing woman that caught my attention since the very first moment.
You know the kind of person that has that sort of aura around her? 
And she is lovely as well…
Plus, she is a Londoner and that is something I am definitely going to remember the next time I get lost in central and I end up wondering around Soho for about one hour before to find Oxford Street (no comment…).

On the day of my birthday, drinks were poured and roses were sent along with some lovely cards.
When all the wishes came from my friends all over the world, for the first time thinking of all those people I love and are far away didn't make me smile: it made me cry, a lot, while drinking my coffee at breakfast and that's why I really appreciated the presence of some amazing people on that day, among whom a bit of Irishness brought by one of my friend who comes from the little green island.

Another highlight of my staying has definitely been the fact that my neighbours, the people I live in the same house with are so, so nice.
And then, there's that little crazy person I've found in the basement (just kidding, she actually lives in the ground floor…) that provided extra fun, extra laugh, extra girls talk, even extra food shopping! All things that are absolutely essential in my life and even if she maybe doesn't know that (yet…) make me consider whoever I happen to do all of them very special!

So here I am, 
new city, new life, new job hopefully even if the hunting has been pretty messy so far being caught together with the settling down and the internship…
Of course I will keep you posted on all the news.

Before to come here I felt pretty calm and confident knowing that I would have already known my way around. 
But now, after just a couple of weeks living in London, I feel like this city is a whole new universe and that I am not going to be able to state that I know it for a very long time. 
There's much to scratch under the surface and that's going to be my mission from now on, in order to really connect with this place, or at least try.
Who knows, this could maybe end up being my place…

Of course, you'll be very well informed on any further discovery!
Right now I wan to leave you with this: a beautiful sunset on the Serpentine lake of Hyde Park.

Stay tuned!

Monday, 2 June 2014

Griffith College Creative Show 2014

Good morning everyone! 

I hope you are enjoying this bank holiday Monday to the fullest and that, wherever you are, you are able to enjoy a bit more sun than what we are having in Dublin today.
After so many nice days the dullness has came back and I feel like this Monday which should be dedicated to pic nics and games in the open air will look much more like a staying-at-home-with-a-blanket-and-a-cuppa one…

Anyways, for me it wouldn't make much of a difference as sunny or not I was planning this day to be dedicated to packing already.
And as many of you know very well, packing is not really the kind of activity you'd do outdoor.
Well, I could actually argue about this but I feel like this post is not the place and today it's not the time for that…

Today, I want to share with you the news I've been anticipating in the previous few posts I've written.
It's the reason why I was stuck on my chair a couple of days ago, in the venue of an exhibition in Griffith College.
Well, mystery revealed: I was invigilating in the room where my colleagues and I are exposing our final works before our graduation in the course of Journalism and Visual Media from Griffith College.

The exhibition, which we have been working at for the past months, was part of the Griffith College Creative Show, that major exhibition disposed all around the campus, in the rooms of the respective faculties and in the auditorium where the future photographers are exposing their work in a huge and pretty amazing exhibition.
There's video (my documentary, B-Breakers which I previously showed you, was selected to be among the ones showcased…), photographs, digital animations, fashion (some incredibly good pieces this year…) and of course multi media, our section which was with no doubts the most various one.

In fact, our course has been teaching us so many different skills and introducing us to so many possible carriers that in the end many of us went toward very different directions, despite all of us coming from the same faculty.
Aaron for example, with his photographic images, edited with Photoshop in order to communicate messages about media today and its controversies;
Sarah, with her gorgeous fashion illustrations, keeping the beauty and elegance of a fashion image but also reflecting about some of the biggest question marks regarding the values of this world (without being ignorant and judgmental as some other pretending-to-be "illustrator" has recently been…);
Lauren, with her absolutely gorgeous illustrations, painted with water colors, drawn and digitalized, representing the animals of the woods and one of which I personally bought and I cannot wait to see hanging in my room!

It has been a lot of work, reflecting on what we wanted to do and beginning to work on it, along with Aoife's advice as she has been there for us every step of the way.
But apart from thinking of a concept for our final project, develop it and put it into practice, in the end we actually had to hang it on the wall, which was surprisingly fun despite being more challenging than I thought.

Thank God, I chose to print my pictures on boards, which happened to be much lighter and easy to hang than heavy frames.

My exhibition was about something that I've been doing for the past three years non stop, one of my favorite things, one of the things I've been sharing with you the most: Backstage!
Having to produce an artist statement, I tried to make it as clear as possible about my intentions and what I wanted to show and communicate with my work.
In fact, differently from many of my colleagues who produced real pieces of art (Roya for example, with her incredible photographs of rotten food she picked up and kept for that, questioning capitalism and consumption), my work was much more voted to show a concept, to tell a bit about what I do and communicate a feeling of curiosity which in my opinion would have been able to suggest why I am so interested about this and why I do like it so much…

This was my artist statement, which appeared on one of my walls with a picture (so professional it almost felt unreal…):
"The backstage of a fashion shoot is where the interaction between the various members of the team happens.
The way in which each and every single one of them brings his very personal contribution highly influences the final result: backstage is where fashion really is.

Attending fashion shootings is something that has significantly characterised my college carrier, making me realise how complicated yet fascinating the work that happens behind the creation of a fashion image is.

By portraying two different backstage I would like to represent the factors that make this job thrilling but much more difficult than many might think.
By using black and white for the first backstage and colour in the second one I wanted to highlight the jump from one dimension to another.

My ultimate desire would be to communicate the feeling that comes from working in an industry where everything is about beauty, but also stimulate a reflection on how wrongly people often think about it, as they forget the actual message carried by the fashion image.
A message which was in many occasions able to influence an entire generation."

Before hanging the pictures, at the end of the semester, we had been speaking with Aoife about the kind of installation we would have had to have in order to showcase our work.
Some of us needed just a screen for a video (Christina for example, who decided to showcase her colourful and communicative shots about the reaction to the war of the Ukrainian community of Dublin…), some of us just a wall where to hang their pieces.
I needed both, as my work consisted in two sets of pictures and a video, each one representing a different backstage.

That's how I ended up with a lovely cubicle, which happened to be very handy as we used it to hide our bags but also other stuff that remained available after our hours of work setting up the venue.
The day of the inauguration of the entire Creative Show we were all much more excited than what we would have thought.
Everything looked so good and we were so proud of ourselves that the glass of cold Prosecco we drank at 4.30pm seemed to be very well deserved.

Personally, I was so happy for everyone and because some of my favourite people in the entire world were present on the day.
Nico, who came back to Dublin after two years and stayed the week end, providing after-exhibition fun and a lot of extra happiness, and blondness.
And of course Alex, who has been showcased in the Creative Show for the second year in a row (last year my documentary about him was selected to be showcased as well…).

This is definitely the best thing that I will always remember about Dublin: the wonderful people I was so blessed to meet in the past three years of my life.
Not only friends that will remain for life and whom I feel very attached to, but people who have the power of inspiring me and making me believe in talent and passion day by day.

As I told you, the photographs I exposed were taken in two different backstage which of course I've been telling you about already but whose official backstage photographs I haven't showed you yet as I was actually waiting for this moment.
The first backstage I exposed was the one of Alex and Caitriona's music video, show by Aidan Farrelly for the Red Queen Contest.

The second backstage was the one of the fabulous editorial shot by Nicky Johnston in Connemara with design from Linn Marie Karsler.

In both cases, choosing just three pictures from the whole series I had was probably the hardest challenge.
In the end, I was pretty sure about the ones I selected and I think in terms of colours and shapes they fit in together well enough.
The video I exposed was the backstage video I shot during Fashion Shed Int.'s official shooting and which I've showed you in a previous post.

This Final Show was not only a great opportunity to show to our dearest ones and everyone else what we have learnt and which identity we have developed during the course of the past three years, but also the last opportunity for us class mates, future colleagues and friends to share the same feelings about our journey and its end, which came so fast.
Now, despite the fact that everyone will go toward a different directions from the others, his very own direction, we will always share the memory of this great achievement and of our time spent together.
We have learnt a lot, we have changed and we have discovered some things about ourselves we wouldn't probably know by now if we didn't go throughout this process of self-discovery which took three years.

I will always remember this period of my life as one of the most important ones, no doubts.
Saying goodbye to go toward a new adventure is bitter sweet, my eyes are watering and I actually don't know if I should call this sadness or happiness.

Thank you to all the people who have thought me so much in the course of these wonderful three years together.
Good luck to all my friends and colleagues, some of the people I respect the most in the whole world.
But most of all, congratulations.

Saturday, 31 May 2014

One & The Same

Here I am again!

Still stuck at my little desk (see previous post), trying to make this afternoon as productive as possible by updating my baby blog.
I am actually very happy having enough time to do this properly, something I haven't done in way too long.

That's what I've learnt during the past few months: life has phases.
You might be doing something all the time for a certain amount of weeks, months, maybe even years, that thing might be what pulls you through the days and stress your routine but then, all of a sudden, something else might become more important and you may start doing something completely different.

We are not only talking about a change of project, job, task…
We are talking about serious life changes.
It's crazy then to realize how easily we switch it, abandoning something that was so important until the day before and embracing something else which becomes our priority.
Priorities, that's what's all about, and not only the ones we are being given but much more the ones we give to ourselves.

Anyways, no matter how many different things we might be likely to try and embrace (I personally think that that's a very good way of living fully, or at least having the feeling you are living fully…), there's some things that remain of great importance for us.
My blog, this platform that I've been updating now for three years and which went through phases just as my own life did, it's something that strangely remained of great importance for me and that's why I always find a great pleasure in having a bit of extra time to actually sit down and write down my feelings along with showing my readers what I do and what I happen to love.

Today, I want to share with you something you might have already heard of: I hope so!
It's music video.
The band it was shot for is called Red Queen Contest and they just launched their last single.
The song is One & The Same and I still find it pretty catchy despite having listened to it for about 10.000 times at the minute.
The reason why I've listened to it so much, apart from the fact that I happen to really like it, is because I was present on the day when the video was shot.
In fact, my lovely friends and very talented dancers Alex Lemoss and Caitriona Brocklebank , who I've been working (and having fun) with many times before, as my most attentive readers might remember, got engaged to produce a choreography for the song and dance it for the video, shot by Irish Video Maker Aidan Farrelly.

When they told me about it, I immediately wanted to take part to the rehearsal.
Alex, along with Caitirona's help and teaching skills, put together an amazing choreography in the space of a week and I fell in love with it so badly that I expressed the desire of going there with them on the day of the shooting for the video in order to take some photographs and just watch them dancing, something I've always enjoyed doing so much.

So that was it: on a very dull and extremely cold morning of March in Dublin, we got into Caitriona's car and we drove until outside the city: destination a very hidden dance studio, which couldn't in fact be more hidden as it was inside of a farm…
The day went along with them dancing for the camera non stop and me taking pictures of them and of Aidan shooting them non stop.
The photographs made me so happy that I ended up exposing them at my Final Show in college (no worries, updates coming up on that…).

But right now, let's all have a look at the video and listen to the song!
I'm pretty sure many of you are going to have it among your favorites on YouTube… ;)

More updates coming!
Stay tuned,

Rome's First King

Hello everyone!

Here I am, sitting at a small desk in the venue of our Final Show in Griffith College while the sun outside it's shining and the temperature got so warm that can afford wearing a little dress with no tights and still be perfectly fine.

Some of yous might have no idea what I am talking about: Final Show? venue?
Sun in Dublin?
Well, by telling you that I actually anticipated a topic I am going to deal with in another post, just to give myself a chance to complain about the fact that I am stuck inside when all I'd like to do would be going around town and enjoying myself and my last days in Dublin.

Oops! Another anticipation!
I should hold myself much more than I am doing: there's too many news I really don't want to spoil to you.
So let's go back to sunny Dublin, almost surreal!
Tu be completely honest, I am not fully entitled to complain as going around, sipping coffee in a terrace on Grafton Street and checking out shops is all I have been doing for the past three days.
With a very significant plus value as well: my lovely friend Nico who arrived from Paris last Thursday to spend the week end in Dublin, where he himself used to study a couple of years ago.

It has been amazing to have him here again, and to see him as the last time we met was when I visited him in France last September.
At that time, he was still based in Bordeaux and we travelled together until Biarritz where I went to attend Pauline's graduation, as my dearest followers may remember.

Anyways, as summer is not officially approaching and college is officially finishing, I really want to take all the past experiences from the last couple of months and put them here in my beloved creature as a way to write down and store that part of my life that is not coming to an end.
For example, what i would like to show you today is another project that I had to do for one of my last assignments in the course of Visual Media in Griffith College.

Starting from the very beginning: when the lecturers introduced all the electives to us third year students back in September, I just thought that there were too many of them to choose.
That's why I decided to avoid the dissertation and pick as many of them as I could fit in my schedule (sleepless nights included), in order to achieve the most possible skills.
That brought me to pick as an extra elective the module of Multimedia Storytelling, where we learnt how to make simple digital animations using Abode Flash.

Sounds cool?
That's definitely what I thought when I decided to take this module, plus being charmed from the idea of learning a new task and how to use a new program.
Sounds fun?
It was, when learning the basics and then playing the animation at the end of three very long hours of class and being so proud of your little man waving hello on the screen.
Sounds easy?
It surely wasn't! That was exactly what I hadn't considered about using Flash and producing an animation.

In fact, there's so many different things to coordinate and so many different proceedings to be taken care of while doing it that you sometimes forget about your initial idea because too busy attending the necessary steps to do one thing out of a thousand.

Two simple words: time consuming.
Biggest struggle?
Biggest critique to the program?
Yes, I thought I would have been able to easily complete my animation after finishing to edit my documentary for the Video Production module but these two weeks I had left before the deadline just weren't enough.
I mean, I managed to finish of course, and in the end I was actually pretty happy with the result, but I am telling you: if it usually feels pretty cosy being in my bed at night holding the laptop and editing photos, videos, writing on my blog, after 10 hours of editing during the day, the idea of going on after a certain hour of the day made me sick.
But I had to.
So I did.
And that's probably the reason why I highly doubt I will do it again in a long time.

I am very happy to have taken on this extra challenge and to actually manage to finish it up properly, but it was one of the assignments I've struggled the most with over the course of my entire carrier.
Digital animation is, in my opinion, a mixture of very good artistic skills (everything is always going to look better if you draw it instead of using vector images, that's why I produced all the drawings for my own animation myself), but also some serious computing skills.
Flash is not only made out of tools and presets: it has proper codes to learn and use in order to make the program do something.
I mean: that's almost computer science for what I know!
And I am still blond (again…) so that was for me just very difficult.

Another very important skill involved in this module in particular: originality.
Being it Multimedia Storytelling, the most important thing was probably choose and interesting story and tell it in a particular way in order to catch the viewer's eye first of all because of the subject.
I decided to go with an historical topic, but also a bit mythological: the legend of the foundation of Roma, the capital of my beautiful birth country.

Here it is, my animation, ready for you to be criticised and judged.
Please, be nice this time, if you look closer you can still spot some drops of my sweat on it…



And if I got you curious enough to wonder what the new updates are going to be don't forget:
stay tuned!