Friday, March 23, 2012

IFB Weekly round up

 We have been chosen by Independent Fashion Bloggers for the fourth time to be part of their weekly round up thanks to our article about book clutches. Feel free to click on the links below to discover new blogs and get inspired !


  • Real Girl Glam: How to Wear a BOLD Lip (Even if you’re not a lipstick person)
  •  Thankfifi: Princess Peplum (and florals!) 
  •  Gypsy Luster: Rock the Red (Lipstick) for Women’s History Month 
  • Incognito: Classic Books Become Couture Clutches
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Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Today, I decided to dedicate this article to photography, that is why I postes two photos of me posing for Thoùm, a friend of mine who is passionated by circus and fire.

   These photos were shot in 2009 and I still love them as much as I did the first time I saw them. At that time I knew that Tom (which is the real name of my friend) was used to take photos. When he asked me to shoot with him I was very enthusiastic even though  I had no idea of  what he wanted to do. This was his first time working with a model and he didn't hide me the fact that he would probably have difficulties directing me as what a photographer has in mind isn't necesseraly doable in reality. 
   Tom usually takes photos of fire and circus artists, so there is nothing like "posing" in these kind of photos as he catches moments and people working with their apparatus. It is precisely for this reason that I accepted to shoot with him: I was curious to know what he had in mind. When I asked him what was his idea he just told me "I don't know, I just feel like multiplying you."  Here is the result:

   For this shooting Tom chose quite an interesting location: an old psychiatric hospital. This place was a jumble of shards, broken boards and rosted hospital beds. I remember  that they were about to destroy it. I know that for photographers of our region (Bordeaux) this place was inspirational. Each of them had his/her way of photographing it, include their models in it, setting a decor, in brief give a new life to this hospital throughout their photos. But not only did it inspired the photographers, it also attracted taggers like the photos show it. I think that it is all these things put together that made this place so special. To me, this location is facinating but at the same time harrawing. First fascinating because it succeeds in inspirating people; and harrawing because it was abandoned but yet seemed so spirited, it was as if this hospital had a soul.

I can't tell you which of these two photos is my favorite because each of them is particular in their own way. I like the first one for the sensation of infinite it gives and I like the second one because of the game between the frame and the corridor.

What about you ? What is your favorite one ?

To have a look on Tom photos just click on the link here:

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Monday, March 19, 2012

How to do a half-moon manicure

Today, Incognito offers you a fun video tutorial on how to do your own half-moon manicure inspired by Dita Von Teese.

The half moon manicure appeared in the 30's but wasn't very popular at that time. It is only rencently that the famous burlesque artist Dita Von Teese brought that technique back into fashion.


It consists in painting one's nail on the major part of it except a small part at the root of the nail shaped as a half moon. You can also paint that part in a different color, usually a lighter color. 

Do you like nail art ? To what extent ? How do you feel about this technique ? 
Let us know !

Absolute B.

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Sunday, March 18, 2012


   M83 was named after the Messier 83 galaxy. It is then not surprising that the French band produces cosmic tracks, tracks that transport you to another dimension. I had the chance to see them live last friday, and let me tell you, it was an awesome trip !

   First, I was mainly surprised to see that they are true musicians. The drummer is excellent; the female vocalist is impressive and was never out of tune, despite the high pitched notes she had to reach. And even though their songs are kind of chill, they were so energetic the public could only respond.  

    But above all, seeing them live allowed me to really perceive Anthony Gonzalez's aesthetic. He and his band managed to build an entire universe around their songs, permeated with this sense of nostalgiachildren dreams (I Guess I’m Floating), teen hopes (We Own the Sky), and existential questions. And when they’re on stage, it’s like they’re exhorting us to stay young and optimistic people, not to be afraid of having fun, dreams and hopes, no matter how old you are, actually.
   Of course you can hear that through the name of their albums, the name of their songs and the lyrics but also through the slow rythms, the energetic drums, the keyboard notes that remind me of the 80’s french pop songs and the subdued voices. They also use a lof of distortion effects and guitar pedal effects.

 I can only recommend you to attend one of their live show, it’s so worth it !
And don't forget to visit our music sanctuary: Absolute Bassline.

(You can also see some videos of the live show here and here, though the image quality is really bad, you can really perceive their amazing sound quality)

Absolute B.

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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Olympia Le-Tan or a tribute to a fallen Italy ?

You have probably heard about the book clutches by Olympia Le-Tan, right ?  With these clutches, the designer intended to pay a tribute to Italy by giving her creations the appearance of masterpieces of the italian literature. Who would have thought that a clutch would have led us to a discussion going way further than their appearance ?! But wasn't it Olympia's first intention to have us think about these trompe-l'oeil books ?

"My biggest regret is living in a country with a glorious past in art and humanities ruined by the filthiest mix of politics and TV." Angelo Flaccavento

Mothball and gestation are definitely the right words to describe the reflection process in which the book clutches that Olympia Le-Tan was presenting at the Museo Bellini in Florence during the Pitti W event on January, has put me. A collection of book clutches dedicated to Italy AND representing its masterpieces in literature and cinema couldn't let me insensitive. Indeed, I have been living in this country since almost three years now.  Like Le-Tan, I have studied italian literature and italian culture and the only difference between her and me is that this passion for Italy brought me to live here, and just like in a tumultuous love relationship, I adore and I loathe Italy. I adore this country for its abundance of art, culture, gastronomy and above all I adore it for its language but I loathe it for the decay in which it is right now.

Olympia and her clutch dedicated to the film "La Dolce Vita" by Federico Fellini

   Far from the political debates about the decay of Italy, I wanted to write an article about these book clutches because of two posts regarding Olympia's work. The first one is by the british blogger Susie Bubble who chose to entitle her article "An Italian Lesson", and the second one is by the italian scathing critic blogger, La Scomodamente who ironically decided to entitle hers "Olympia Le-Tan at the Pitti W event. A tribute to a long-gone Italy ! " Two bloggers with different nationalities dealing with the same subject but with different point of views could only arouse my mind !

   "I blame the English curriculum and my ridiculous ignorance for not knowing some of the works that were illustrated on the clutches.  For some reason my reading has gone deep into English, American, French and Russian literature but have only skirted around Italian." On reading these words, I realised how much people who didn't have studied italian like Le-Tan or me could be ignorant about Italy. And indeed what we come to know first about this country is its abundance of art thanks to its architecture and its great artists like Leonardo Da Vinci or Caravaggio but about its literature we pretty much know nothing. Dante, Boccacio and Machiallevi are as many authors' names that we probably have heard about but whose masterpieces we don't really know. Who has already read a passage of the Divine Comedy, the Decameron or The Prince unless you have already studied them at university or because you are interested in Italy ?
Furthermore Olympia didn't choose some random place to present her collection: she decided to do it in Florence, the capital of Tuscany, the city of the Medici and especially the city of the current italian language, because the Tuscany dialect IS the current spoken and written italian, in short this city is strongly marked by art and literature. Besides the city choice, the clutches were exposed at the museo Bellini, a place gathering masterpieces from the Renaissance. Again a choice that wasn't made randomly : instead of presenting her collection in a place dedicated to fashion, Olympia chose to do it in a museum, a place where you come to educate yourself, to learn.

The museo Bellini

The book clutch "The Mandrake" by Machiavelli exhibited at the museo

The book clutch representing the book "The Leopard" by Giuseppe Lampedusa in a decor reminding the film by Visconti

   This cultural aspect is not whatcaught the attention of La Scomodamente: "Those clutches are like the little Pisa towers you buy from the touristy markets, bring back home  and them get ashamed of. [...] these clutches are off-topic: with Greece, Italy and a few other countries are subject of embarassement for Europe, politically and economically. Remind us of Italy's good times is like rubbing salt in the wound and what is more, that woman  (Olympia) is making money on us with our own culture !" You cannot imagine how surprised I was while reading these words, but not because someone was finally criticizing these clutches but because I found it disturbing to relegate them to some trinkets sold to tourists to make money.
Olympia decided to give her clutches the appearance of italian literature books, and a book probably arouses curiosity much more than a trinket bought on the street because it has a cover AND a title (in brief you have words on it). As a result it is an object that speaks to you. 
   I would like to go back to the article written by Susie because since she went to the exhibition she made a pretty accurate description of it. The book clutches weren't not only exhibited but informations were given especially to those who weren't familiar with italian culture. A trinket bought on the street doesn't give you information, you buy it but it doesn't teach you anything. Then for sure the current situation in Italy is not so great, but what Le-Tan did with these clutches shows that there are still some people who have a perception of this country that goes beyond the clichés that we are used to see. The present of Italy is not so dreamy, but this country has a glorious past, reminding it and making it obvious to the people is also a way to improve its present and future. Italy has had its geniuses and if it was the case in the past why not in the future ?! But it needs time to change, and by that I mean time to change not its malfunctions but the italians' mentality (and believe me I don't pretend to have the knowledge to tell you how this will be possible), but if there is one thing I know for sure, it is that the question of time is fundamental when talking about mentalities change.

Not only Olympia tributed Italy, but she also tributed Nabokov with her book clutch "Lolita"that Natalie Portman is wearing here. She also tributed Jean Cocteau thanks to her book clutch reminding his movie "Beauty and the Beast", here the clutch belongs to the french actress Clémence Poésy.

If it took me two months to produce this article, imagine how much it would take to change people's way of thinking !

(translated from french by Shug'A'Very)
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IFB weekly round up


 We have been chosen by Independent Fashion Blogger for the third time to be part of their weekly roundup with the look of last week. Here is their entire selection, feel free to have a look at them 
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Monday, March 12, 2012

Via de' poeti

Here is a new look created listening to Kiss The Stars by Pixie Lott and inspired by the blogger of Love Aesthetics, Ivania Carpio whom I love the simple and yet sophisticated style. 

The street right behind me is called Via de' poeti (The poets street). I love this street because of its name which reminds me of my old italian literature books.  If there is one thing that I love the most about Bologna, it is definitely its colors: red, orange and yellow. I like them even more when they look aged just like the one you see on the palazzo at the end of the street.

And here is my Ivania Carpio's side ! Simple would be the right word to describe this dress which could be taken for some kind of pajamas. But I wouldn't have chosen it if it wasn't for this slight detail : its asymmetry.

And here I am with my crazyness ! Thank you Pixie ! 

I barely wear sneakers BUT Converse sneakers are such a huge classic, just like the Dr.Martens that you saw on me in this post. Converse and Dr.Martens are the kind of shoes that makes a chic outfit look cooler and casual. It is exactly for this reason that I decided to wear my Converse with this dress and blazer, an outfit I can easily transform into a chic one thanks to a beautiful pair of heels. 


And here a little bit of Pixie for you to get as crazy as me ! 

Dress: Zara

Blazer: 1 2 3

Tights: ASOS

Shoes: Converse
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Saturday, March 10, 2012

Ivette Mancilla from the blog Little Moon Lover

Incognito interviewed Ivette Mancilla, the blogger from Little Moon Lover, thanks to this interview we hope we can transport you to her universe between dream, art, drawing and fashion. If you want to get inspired, her blog is the right place to be !

I have been reading Ivette's blog for a while now. What makes me a fan of hers is her ability to make you understand her state of mind and identify yourself with her thanks to her drawings. Actually this was the first motive that makes me read her blog. The second one is that when I saw her interest for art and passion for Frida Kahlo, I felt like being a woman for her is definitely important and I love that ! Ivette is just so passionate about what she does that you can feel it in every post.

Incognito: So let's start the interview with a very basic question, who are you ?
Ivette: I'm a mexican fashion designer, illustrator, writer, dreamer, cinema obsessed and music lover. I guess those things define me the most.
Incognito: So you are what we call an artist. What do you like the most between all those things that define you ? 
Ivette: tough question.. I guess I couldn't exactly choose one thing. There are many different things I like just as there are many different sides of me, somedays I may not feel like drawing but more into writing, others more into reading a book in silence and some others more into listening to loud noisy music while I yell, smoke and drive around the city with no destination. I guess I'm a bit of everything, but if I HAD to choose one thing I'd say drawing/illustrating because that's how I let go of things. Whatever I have in mind I let it out through my art.
Incognito: Actually, we noticed that drawing was a way to express yourself. Did you come to drawing first or to design first ?
Ivette: drawing first. since I was a kid.. that's what I've always done. My mom kept all my kindergarden and elementary school notebooks just to keep the drawings in the sheets and also all my drawings from college and highschool time as well. My books and notebooks would be filled with drawings instead of words though I've always been an A student. I liked my classes but I liked drawing the most.
I actually studied Marketing. I have a Bachelor's Degree and I always thought of studying Graphic Design after that but I don't know, I somehow chose Fashion Design to try myslef in that and it's like I discovered a passion I didn't know I had. I love it. But drawing will always be my number one. I think my head would explode if I didn't let go of things through it.
Incognito: Do you have one drawing you made that you like the most ? if so why do you like it ?
Ivette: mmmm but I have to really think about THE one. I like them all and each one of them represent a stage, situation or experience in my life. 
I guess right now, I love the most one of my recent ones where I drew myself as officially "in love".
Why I cherish that one? because I had never ever been in love and I liked that feeling..a lot.
I like it for what it represents more than the actual "illustration technique" if you know what i mean.

Ivette favorite drawing. Its title is "Ouch"

Incognito: I see what you mean, technique comes after, this is not the point for this drawing, your point is the feeling in it. 
Ivette: exactly.I don't consider myself that much of a great illustrator or painter. I'm not perfect, I can't do portraits. I just try to translate what I have inside my head.

"Explosion" an other drawing by Ivette expressing her state of mind.


"Lost mermaid" . A different type of drawing, more symbolic and yet very expressive.
Incognito: After reading this answer I think I can understand very well why you like Frida Kahlo so much. Speaking of her, why do you love her so much ?
Ivette: hahah I've been asked that a lot. Why wouldn't I love her? 
First of all I love that she was a very very tough, strong and independent woman not to mention mexican as me. She went through so many things during her life. Horrible things like her bus accident when she was 18, and because of it she has to be in bed for ages and has to go through more than a hundred surgeries and therapy to gain back her body movements. I mean obviously these life experiences made her stronger and tougher, but all that strength on the outside was also diminished by one of the simplest and most cliché thing in life: love. Her love for Diego Rivera killed her as well. When they were happy everything was great, when they fought or he cheated on her, she became super depressed and suicidal and acting weird and feeling misplaced. And she painted all of it, her good times, bad times, sad times. Since her accident she discovered this passion of her and never stopped it. She painted what she saw inside her head, what she felt inside her heart, not what she saw with her eyes. And I guess I relate to her somehow on that too because that's how I illustrate and paint as well. She's an inspiration.

The Two Fridas, a painting that represents Frida weakness: her love for her husband Diego. 

Incognito: You mentioned twice that you were mexican and so was Frida. What does it mean for you to be mexican ?
Ivette: I did? I didn't notice but it does actually mean a lot to defend the place I was born because not many people around the world know our culture as it is now.
When I lived in Spain most of european people I met (not just spanish) couldn't believe I was mexican. Honestly, people in the world still think that all mexicans are doing is to drink tequila, wear sombreros (hats) and live in the desert with horses as the only mean of transportation. That's just not true at all.
Incognito: Yes you did ! I felt while reading your blog that it is really important to you that is why I wanted to ask you that and the fact you mentioned it twice convinced me even more.
Ivette: haha guess I'm more proud of being mexican than I thought then. Mexico is a very conservative country, and we are still very "green" (immature) in lots of areas, especially art and fashion. That's why mexican artists and designers gather whenever we can to make shows and get people involved with art, make them appreciate it more and open up their minds, seriously this is still a very conservative society, only a few big cities like D.F. (Mexico) which is the capital, are the ones more open to it. And there are also a lot of great artists here that don't get recognition so I guess I want to bring Mexico to the spotlight as much as I can. We've got great things here that not many people know of.
Incognito: Like you said we don't know a lot about mexican culture, we always think about its hispanic side but do you think that your indian side is still very present ?
Ivette: aztec side... yeah it kind of is. I live in the northern region, just across the border of USA, so I've been influenced more by american culture than mexican to tell you the truth, but the history about aztecs, our roots is pretty interesting and the art they still do, I mean like the true and closest aztec descendents that exist nowadays in the south of Mexico is beyond amazing. I've always loved history and have read about other countries history as well but as to Mexico's I like to keep closer as an inspiration resource as well. I know my style in fashion design isn't very mexican classic, "rustico' as we call it but somehow I'm trying to combine it with my paintings and illustrations. I'm searching for a bond or something there, I'd like to somehow show off my roots in what I do even as a small detail.
Incognito: I understand. Up until now we didn't speak a lot about fashion, but you said that your country even in this area is consevative, but did you have some mexican designers you like ?
Ivette: There's this one called Mala Facha who has apparently had some success in Italy more than in Mexico. Here he is recognized BUT his clothes don't sell, people here aren't that much fashion adventurous, the style is still super conservative. Julia y Renata are 2 girls that do some really cool collections as well. And I'm sure there are more talented designers, but as I mentioned before fashion here is in such a baby stage, it doesn't get "out there" a lot.
A lot of mexican designers are forced to go to USA and try out there for a chance to be succesful because it is more difficult here to make it big.
Incognito: I understand. We saw that you participated in the Elle designer Competition, tell us about this experience.
Ivette: It is actually my third time entering. The first one I just made it to the first round which was presenting the garment but I had just entered fashion school, I didn't even sew that well haha but I got carried away with excitement. The second time I made it to the semifinals so that was a huge boost, the experience was great and sure I wanted to enter again, so I did it and got to the semis again. It's a great experience, you get to know fashion designers and students from other cities, get into the competition mode, see other styles and influences, it's fun. and it helps you "measure" yourself up.

Ivette dress for the Elle designer competition

Incognito: Do you feel like going abroad to succeed in fashion ?
Ivette: yes and no. 
Incognito: why ?
Ivette: I've thought about it a lot, that's actually one of my stress causing source haha.
I'd like to stay in Mexico and make myself noticed here, join the rest of the fashion designers that are all fighting to create consciousness in this country that fashion is art and it is serious and that we should be growing in this matter. But I know that going to europe or USA might be tough because there are a lot more designers BUT the industry is bigger as well. People buy fashoin and here they don't, at least not innovative, edgy, trendier ones. The fact that I live on the border with the USA makes it easier though, I can stay in Mexico and still make myself present in USA, starting with California. Los Angeles is only 3 hours away.
Incognito: Do you know the blogger Andy Torres ? What do you think about her ?
Ivette: oh yes I know her. I actually have emailed her several times but had no answer. I'd like to know how she got there. She's been featured in mexican editions of Elle and Vogue magazines. But I guess I'm proud of where she is because of what I was telling you that in Mexico we are still very young in the fashion scene, it's not like we have Anna Dello Russo, Anna Wintour or Carine Roitfeld.
Incognito: oh and about blogging does it come naturally to you ?
Ivette: actually that's an other thing mexicans don't do so often: blogging. Andy Torres is known by a very very small circle of people in the country. Actually none of my friends know her or read blogs. That's why I started one in English, to gain more readers since english is the most known language and because in Mexico the blogosphere is also small. I've fallen in love with blogging and I think of my blog as a baby haha, honestly you have to pay attention to it a lot. Furthermore I've always loved writting so one day I woke up and I thought "I think I'm gonna start a blog".

 Incognito: Do you have some favorite blogs ? and what make you want to follow a blog ?
 Ivette: yes I have blogs I look forward reading daily like Stylemarmalade, Alice Point, Violet E., Style Rookie, Oracle Fox, Fashion Canvas, Ivania Carpio, The Cherry Blossom Girl's blog is super dreamy even though it is not my style. I guess I look for things I don't see in others, some of them I follow for the fashion I find, or the photography, poetry, paintings, etc..
Incognito:  I know what you mean for example I would never wear what Style Rookie wear but I do love the atmosphere.
It is interesting because you read blogs that are very different from one to an another.
Ivette: yeah it's like I enjoy seeing that other point of view even though I'd never do that,
I know it's part of what I said in the beggining of the interview probably, I have many sides. I like so many different things.
I don't know why sometimes it's hard to find a center you know, like I get lost and dont actually know in what direction to go because my mind is pulling me in different directions that's why when I draw I let it out and somehow calm and peace myself again.

Ivette's blog:

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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Odyssey by Cartier

Luxury brands commercials have always made us dream and travel. Cartier is no exception with its Odyssey. 

The original inspiration. From the very beginning, the commercial manages to create a link between jewelry and the elements. Ice and glass mix into shattered glass, creating an ambiguity. In this trip between dream and reality, everything is possible, everything is jewelry. Like a reminder of the fact that all the things that surround us are jewels, it's just up to us to notice it.  

Land of the Tsars. The beauty of these few seconds is breath taking. The movements of the panther are so light, sensual and enhanced by the majestuous russian architecture. The icy imaginary is enchanting and the images show so much purity. 

Love and Trinity. The panther goes through the Cartier rings. The Love bracelet (inevitable for all love birds) and the Trinity ring which three colors represent the three pillars of love: love, fidelity and friendship. The Odyssey is then also temporal because Cartier also travels in time and presents flash backs of important moments in its history.  

Trinity ring: pink gold for love,  pour l'amour, metal gold for friendship and yellow gold for fidelity 

Trinity bracelet: it closes with a screwdriver in order to seal the love

Tête à tête with the celestial dragon. If Cartier crosses the Great Wall of China, it is also to remind us of its asian influences. That is why the two mythical animals and also symbols of the brand (the dragon and the panther) are confronted. The first one flies above the earth with fluidity whe the second one moves with sensuality. Beauty is multiple: beauty of the movement, beauty of the shapes, beauty of the creations. It is a whole.  

Chinese inspirations

The indian dream. This passage highlights the importance of the present moment. The impermanence is represented by the dragonflies flutter. The reality changes in a matter of seconds, from a cave to a ride on an elephant's back. Then comes the Instant of the breaking dawn and the clock symbolizing the passing of time.

The conquest of the skies. The Santos watch reminds us of the Instant and also creates a link with the skies since it is called after a well known aviator, the inspiration for this piece. Not only does Cartier had us travel the world but the brand also managed to mixed the elements to create great pieces of jewelry.

The Santos watch, was made for the aviator so taht he could read time without letting go of the controls.

The panther. The panther was the nickname of Jeanne Toussaint, Cartier's collaborator and it is also the sylmbole of the brand. 
The panther, symbole of Cartier

However, the last seconds of the commercial allow the sensuality of the panther and that of the women to be linked. The contact between the two, the red of the dress, Paris, city of love... And the woman wears a bracelet representing a panther. Feline and sensual, like a woman. 

(translated from French by Absolute B.)

Find more about the Cartier Odyssey on this beautiful website:
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