January 2016 favorites

Here are my January 2016 favorites:

* A dress at Armani Privé Couture Spring 2016 Fashion Show

Drawing at a dress at Armani Privé Couture Spring 2016 Fashion Show

* The two-minute rule against procrastination

This rule si very simple: if you can do a task in less than two minutes, do it straight away.

* Leaf through a digital edition of early 20th century French illustrated fashion magazines


illustration by Pierre Brissaud  from July 1920 'la gazette du bon ton': a mother and her daughter wearing Jeanne Lanvin


illustration by Pierre Brissaud from July 1920 ‘la gazette du bon ton’

* A first review of my clothing purchases

* A woman wearing a nice beanie

Drawing of a wearing a grey beanie

* The US and Canada are banning plastic microbeads from cosmetics

Polyethylene microbeads (that you find in scrubs for example) are polluting the oceans. They are not yet banned in Europe but you can avoid them in your cosmetics by checking that the ingredients’ list doesn’t include polyethylene.

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First review of my clothing purchases

This article is not a haul with my latest purchases. Instead I will talk about the clothes and shoes I bought 2 or 3 years ago. I had the time to wear, stain, wash and use them. So now I’m ready for a review: Were those good buys, regarding style, comfort, quality and also ethics?


drawing of pullovers

* Marks & Spencer cashmere pullovers

I bought Marks & Spencer cashmere pullovers that are soft and don’t bobble. However, the elbows are worn out.

I would say that the ethics of my pullovers is not very good. Marks & Spencer has a sustainability strategy called ‘plan A’ with precise social and environmental goals. On the other hand, cashmere has a negative impact on the environment: cashmere overproduction is responsible for a desertification in Mongolia.

Would I buy them again: Maybe. I would like to find more durable pullovers and also try alpaga that seems to be more ecological than cashmere but very soft too.


drawing of socks

* Bleu Forêt socks

Bleu Forêt is a French brand of socks and tights. I bought elegant socks that are quite solid. In France they are sold in some supermarkets and department stores.

I would say that the ethics of my socks is good. Bleu Forêt socks are all made in France, in the Jura region.

Would I buy them again: Yes


drawing of a T-shirt

* An Ethos Paris T-shirt

It’s a simple organic T-shirt that is comfortable and enduring.

I would say that the ethics of my T-shirt is very good. Ethos Paris values Fair Trade and the Environment thanks to organic materials.

Would I buy it again: Yes


drawing of shoes

* Nike sneakers

I’m intensively wearing my Nike sneakers. They are comfortable and resistant even if they are not as waterproof as they were at the beginning.

I would say that the ethics of my sneakers is average. Since the nineties, Nike made some progress regardings its working conditions.

Would I buy them again: Yes. Still I would like to try Veja leather sneakers to find out if they can be a more ethical alternative.

* Clarks sandals

I’ve already mentioned those ultra-comfy shoes in my July 2014 favorites. Well, they’re still there.

I would say that the ethics of my sandals is average.

Would I buy them again: Yes

* Crocs Cleo sandals

I bought those plastic sandals in 2010 and today they are still like new. I start wondering if those shoes are everlasting.

I would say that the ethics of my sandals is average. Made with petroleum products, they are not ecological but they are vegan.

Would I buy them again: Yes

After reading my article again, I give the impression of being a smart shopper. The truth is that I bought other clothes that I haven’t really tried out. Indeed I wear them rarely, probably because those are shopping mistakes. We’ll talk about them in my next clothing purchases review.

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Best Wishes for 2016 (and anti-procrastination review)

Here is the end of the year and it’s time for a review of my 2015 resolution. My theme of the year was action which implied eliminating procrastination.

Of course, I haven’t totally stopped procrastinating but I have managed to limit the damage.

So I share with you what helps me fighting procrastination:

* Publish my resolution on this blog

When I announced my resolution on my blog, I knew that I would write a review one year after and I didn’t want to fail publicly.

* Useful procrastination

* Anti-procrastination slogans

I have inspiring quotes and anti-procrastination slogans written on my to-do list and on my desktop.


drawing : just do it as an anti-procrastination motto

* Looking at the bigger picture

It’s asking questions : Why am I procrastinating now? What am I avoiding?

It’s also thinking of what could make me proud of myself this evening.

* Reading Zen Habits blog

As the name suggests, this blog gives advice on how to get into good habits while being zen.

* Realising that procrastination is an everyday struggle

That also means that if you fail one day, you can still succeed the following day.

* My guilt-free motto: ‘It’s never too late to do good’


Having learned a lot, I would like to continue my investigations so I have chosen effectiveness as theme of the year.

I wish you a Happy New Year and Effectiveness in realising your dreams :)


Best Wishes card illustrated with a Christmas tree and a little girl watching stars

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November 2015 favorites

Here are my November 2015 favorites:

* Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun, the portrait-painter of Queen Marie-Antoinette

I’d love to see Vigée Le Brun exhibition in Paris. French painter Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun painted celebrities of her time such as Queen Marie-Antoinette or Lady Hamilton and also touching family portraits.

Madame Vigée Le Brun and her daughter, Julie, circa 1789 (self-portrait)

Madame Vigée Le Brun and her daughter, Julie, circa 1789 (self-portrait)

* Changing Fashion for the Sake of the Climate

Fashion Revolution France team is organising a colloquium on Fashion’s environmental impact. The colloquium takes place on December 7 in Paris and will be translated into English. Entrance is free but registration is required.

* A picture of Diana Rigg wearing a pantsuit in the Sixties

Diana Rigg wearing a pantsuit in the Sixties

* An Art Nouveau walk in Vienna

* Does Divestment Work?

The New Yorker is wondering whether divestment such as fossil-fuel companies divestment is efficient. According to the article, divestment doesn’t decrease share prices so it doesn’t hurt financially the targeted companies. It mainly harms the companies’ image.

* The Case Against Buying Christmas Presents

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Art Nouveau walk in Vienna

When I think of Vienna, I think of Gustav Klimt and Art Nouveau artists. This summer, I visited Vienna, admired its palaces and magnificent 19th Century buildings and of course I went to see some famous Art Nouveau spots.

Are you ready for a Art Nouveau walk in Vienna with me?


Itinerary of Art Nouveau walk in Vienna


Itinerary of my Art Nouveau walk in Vienna (click the map to enlarge)

(1) Kettenbrückengasse

The walk starts at Kettenbrückengasse subway station (on the U4 line). And the first Art Nouveau site is the subway station itself. It was built in 1899 by architect Otto Wagner, who designed other stations on the U4 line. Otto Wagner can be compared to Hector Guimard who built Paris subway stations. However Kettenbrückengasse subway station is more sober than Guimard’s luxuriant subway stations in Paris.


Kettenbrückengasse subway station in Vienna


Kettenbrückengasse subway station

We can find foliage patterns that are typical of Art Nouveau style: indeed Art Nouveau artists wanted to reintroduce Nature into Art.


Detail of Kettenbrückengasse subway station


Detail of Kettenbrückengasse subway station

(2) Majolica House and Medallion House

The second stop is not far: located Linke Wienzeile 38 and 40, next to the subway station, Majolica House and Medallion House buildings were built by Otto Wagner in 1899.


Majolica House in Vienna


Majolica House

Majolica House or Majolikahaus is covered with pink flower ceramic tiles. That makes a change from facades that are all the same color!


detail of Majolica House in Vienna


Majolica House

Medallion House is decorated with golden palm leaves, garlands and medallions of women’s heads by Kolo Moser.


Medallion House in Vienna


Medallion House


Medallion House. Detail of the medallions


Medallion House. Detail of the medallions

Art Nouveau artists thought that Architecture or Wrought-iron Work were Art in the same way as Painting or Sculpture. For them, there were no major arts or minor arts. All the forms of Art were valuable and collaborated for a total art.


Medallion House in Vienna. Detail of the balconies.


Medallion House. Detail of the balconies.

(3) Secession building

Then we take Linke Wienzeile and go along Naschmarkt market. After 600 meters, we arrive at a building topped with a golden openwork dome. In Austria, instead of Art Nouveau, people use the expressions Jugendstil or Vienna Secession. Originally, a group of artists decided to secede from Vienna conservatist artists. They needed a place to exhibit. So in 1898, architect Joseph Olbrich designed this building which is called… Secession of course!


Secession building in Vienna


Secession building

The building includes many symbols, as if there were a coded message in the architecture. For example, gorgon heads (a gorgon is a woman with snakes instead of hair) and owls are attributes of Athena, goddess of wisdom in Greek mythology. And laurel is associated with Apollo, god of the arts.


Secession building in Vienna. Entrance door topped with three gorgon heads


Secession building. Entrance door topped with three gorgon heads


Secession building in Vienna. Owls statues and crown of laurels on the facade


Secession building. Owls statues and crown of laurels on the facade


Secession building in Vienna. Laurel patterns on the facade


Secession building. Laurel patterns on the facade

However I don’t know what those small turtles strolling under a big mosaic pot symbolise.


Gigantic vase and turtles statues at the Secession entrance in Vienna


Gigantic vase and turtles statues at the Secession entrance

(4) Karlsplatz

We walk on the same street until Karlsplatz where there are two former subway stations by Otto Wagner facing each other.


Karlsplatz subway station in Vienna


Karlsplatz subway station in Vienna

The facade is in white marble and ornamented with stylized sunflowers.


Detail of Karlsplatz subway station in Vienna


Detail of Karlsplatz subway station

The walk stops at Karlsplatz where you can enjoy Resselpark and have a break under the trees.

For more information on Vienna Secession:
A history of Vienna Secession

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October 2015 favorites

Here are my October 2015 favorites:

* Clémence Poésy wearing trousers and embroidered pull-over

I like the contrast between the sobriety of the shoes and the trousers and the teal sweater with embroidered bird and snake.

Clémence Poésy wearing flat shoes, black pants and a teal sweater with embroidered flowers, bird and snake

* Denim patchwork at Saint Laurent 2016 Spring-Summer Fashion Show

This denim patchwork jacket gives me recycling ideas for old jeans.

Drawing of a denim patchwork jacket at Saint Laurent 2016 Spring-Summer Fashion Show

* A bamboo print skirt at Armani Privé 2015 Summer Couture Fashion Show

* A Japan inspired belt knot tutorial

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Bamboo print skirt at Armani Privé 2015 Summer Couture Fashion Show

Armani Privé fashion show was the one I prefered at 2015 Spring-Summer Couture Fashion Week.

The outfit I have drawn is made up of a black bustier, a beige skirt and a black tulle skirt with a bamboo pattern. A wide belt is tied on the skirt.

drawing of a woman wearing a black bustier and a beige skirt with a bamboo pattern from Armani Privé Couture 2015 Spring-Summer collection

I like the Japanese inspiration of the bamboo print and the belt that reminds a kimono belt. This inspiration can be found in all the collection that is both zen and smart.

I have also drawn a tutorial to do the same belt knot.

You can see all the pictures of this Fashion Show on Vogue website.

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September 2015 favorites

Here are my September 2015 favorites:

* Charity Fashion Live

Charity Fashion Live team recreates London Fashion Week looks using charity shop clothes. Those creative stylists show that you can be stylish on a budget with a little imagination. You can also check Charity Fashion Live video.

* Emma Watson wearing an Edun black dress

Emma Watson wearing an Edun black dress. photo : Sarah Slutsky

Emma Watson in Edun. Photo : Sarah Slutsky

* Useful procrastination

* A belt

I found it in a charity shop for a small price. It will prevent my jeans from sliding down!

drawing of a woman wearing jeans, a belt and a bird print People Tree top

The girl on the drawing is wearing my jeans, my belt and a bird print People Tree top

* A tip for a lighter wallet

You can use a photocopy of your loyalty cards that work thanks to a bar code. It will lighten your wallet, you will avoid losing your cards or having your card eaten by a checkout belt (as it happened to me this summer).
Another idea: photographing the bar code of the card with your smartphone and showing the picture to the cashier.

* Every Thing You Own is a Relationship You’re In

Some reflexions by David who tried Marie Kondo decluttering method

* Life’s Priorities

Often we feel like we lack time but isn’t it a convenient excuse? Next time you feel like saying “I don’t have time” try saying “it’s not a priority” instead. It’s an interesting experiment.

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