April 2015 favorites

Here are my April 2015 favorites:

* Walking along the cliffs in the south of Malta


cliffs in the south of Malta

* Fashion Revolution Day

* The Valley of the Temples in Sicily


The Valley of the Temples in Sicily. Temple of Concordia

* Feeling like wearing pale trousers


sketch inspired by a picture of Jackie Kennedy Onassis wearing a black T-shirt and white trousers in the seventies


sketch inspired by a picture of Jackie Kennedy Onassis wearing white trousers in the seventies

* The mobilisation against spring hunting in Malta

Unfortunately hunters narrowly won spring hunting referendum. Nevertheless more and more people realize that we need to protect migratory birds otherwise they will disappear.

* #Haulternative videos

Maybe you have seen people in haul videos proudly showing their shopping finds. The drawback of haul videos is that they make you want to buy stuff, which is not good for your budget. The concept of haulternative has been imagined to give an positive alternative to hauling. Haulternative videos are videos showing how to reuse your wardrobe instead of buying new clothes for example by customizing, repairing, sewing or swapping clothes. Here are some examples of #Haulternative videos on vintage fashion, renting clothes or customization.

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2015 Fashion Revolution Day: Who made my clothes?

Fashion Revolution Day is a day of international mobilisation to improve the way our clothes are made. Last year I asked fashion brand L’Herbe Rouge who made their clothes. This year I asked the same question to ethical fashion brand People Tree.

I have the same cardigan as the character on my drawing. She is also wearing a dress from the Orla Kiely for People Tree collection.

drawing of a woman wearing a printed dress and a cardigan inside out for Fashion Revolution Day

So I asked People Tree who made my cardigan and they sent me detailed information on their supplier:
My cardigan was made at Rajlakshmi Cotton Mills in India.
Rajlakshmi uses mostly Organic and Fair Trade cotton and works to ensure Fair Trade is practiced throughout the supply chain right down to the cotton farmers from Maharashtra, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh.
Rajlakshmi also supports its tailors with different social schemes, for example contributing to medical insurance for employees and their families, reimbursement of education fees for children…

Brands like People Tree show that it’s possible to have a traceability of clothes. Fashion Revolution Day’s goal is that all fashion brands set up traceability systems for their products to prevent abuse by some subcontractors.

Here is how you can get involved in Fashion Revolution Day:

Post a selfie wearing an item of clothing insideout on all social media and ask the brands: Who Made My Clothes? with the hashtag #WhoMadeMyClothes


Fashion Revolution Day is an opportunity to tell brands that their clients ask for more transparency.

For more information:
Fashion Revolution website
People Tree website

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The Valley of the Temples in Sicily

Located in Agigento, Sicily, the Valley of the Temples is a timeless place. You can walk in the romantic ruins in the middle of olive and carob trees, as writers Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Alexandre Dumas did before.


The Valley of the Temples in Sicily. Temple of Juno

Temple of Juno (click on the pictures to enlarge them)

The temples and the city (that you have to imagine) were built at the time when Sicily was a Greek colony.


The Valley of the Temples in Sicily. Temple of Concordia

Temple of Concordia

After the fall of the Roman Empire, the site was progressively abandoned by its inhabitants who moved to the hill where the modern Agrigento is.


The Valley of the Temples in Sicily

One of the temples is still standing thanks to its reuse as a church. Several columns of other temples were reconstructed in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Apart those, you see piles of stones cut 2500 years ago.


The Valley of the Temples in Sicily. Temple of Juno

Temple of Juno


The Valley of the Temples in Sicily. Temple of Heracles

Temple of Heracles


The Valley of the Temples in Sicily


The Valley of the Temples in Sicily. Temple of Concordia

Temple of Concordia


The Valley of the Temples in Sicily


The Valley of the Temples in Sicily. Temple of Castor and Pollux

Temple of Castor and Pollux

I advise to visit the site off-season or at least off-peak to avoid breaking the spell.

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March 2015 favorites

Here are my March 2015 favorites:

* A very very very long enclosed balcony


enclosed balcony of the Grandmaster's Palace in Valletta


enclosed balcony or « gallerija » of the Grandmaster’s Palace in Valletta

* Gina Rodriguez wearing a blue gown at the 2015 Academy Awards

* A sketch

from a fashion show where some models were walking carrying their babies


sketch of a model carrying a baby

* Migratory birds and spring hunting in Malta

* An Addict’s Guide to Overcoming the Distraction Habit

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Migratory birds and spring hunting in Malta

drawing of a woman holding binoculars in the countryside

The character I have drawn for this article is a bird watcher. In Malta there are many migratory birds she can watch. Migratory birds such as Montagu’s harriers, ospreys or Eleonora’s falcons pass over Malta in Spring when they return to Europe from Africa.

Everywhere in Europe spring hunting is forbidden because it’s a migration and breeding season. Everywhere except in Malta because it has a derogation to permit hunting in Spring, in addition to the other hunting periods.

In Malta turtle dove and quail hunting in Spring is questioned as their populations are declining in Europe. But the pro-hunting lobby is powerful with political supports and very efficient lawyers: I remember that in 2014 Chris Packham, a BBC presenter was questioned for several hours by the police. He was suspected of ‘defamation’ for filming hunters. The worst thing is now the incredible lawsuit against the bird conservation organisation Birdlife Malta. The hunters’ federation is suing Birdlife Malta for ‘illegal possession of protected birds’. Birds that were shot at by hunters and that Birdlife Malta members were trying to rescue!

Fortunately, last year 44,000 Maltese have signed a petition against spring hunting. Thanks to them, a referendum will take place on April 11th. Lobbies do not always rule the roost. I hope the vote against spring hunting will win so that Malta becomes a welcoming haven for migratory birds during their long journey.

drawing of migratory bird flying

For more information, see Spring Hunting out website

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Gina Rodriguez wearing a blue gown at the 2015 Academy Awards

Every year, I watch the outfits on different red carpets. I spot my favorite outfits and I try to spot the most beautiful ethical or vintage outfits too.

At the Academy Awards, I found that actress Gina Rodriguez outfit was a success. The gown was designed by Manon Gabard for Red Carpet Green Dress. The backless cobalt blue long gown is made from organic peace silk*. I especially like that her dress is as gorgeous from behind as from the front.

drawing of Gina Rodriguez wearing a backless cobalt blue long gown at the 2015 Academy Awards

* Peace silk is produced without killing the pupae

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February 2015 favorites

My February 2015 favorites:

* Some advice on how to purge your closet

* Marion Cotillard in a star-studded Valentino outfit at the Independent Spirit Awards


Marion Cotillard wearing star-studded Valentino sweatshirt and long skirt at the 2015 Independent Spirit Awards

* Some pictures of the world’s oldest trees

* Some roman mosaics

Roman mosaic showing a bird. Villa Romana Del Casale in Sicily

Roman mosaic showing a bird. Villa Romana Del Casale in Sicily

* Viktor & Rolf Haute Couture Fashion show

with three-dimensional flowers that seem to literally bloom on the prints

* Some tips to optimise your wardrobe

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Roman mosaics in Sicily

During my recent stay in Sicily, Italy, I visited a Roman villa called Villa Romana Del Casale. It was a sumptuous villa from the roman period. The owners lived in luxury: the villa had its own private thermae, several reception halls and (common) restrooms as large as a living room. Today, only the bottom part of the walls and the floor mosaics remain.

Even service rooms were decorated, with geometric patterned mosaics. I like this geometrical mosaic that looks like a carpet.


Roman geometric patterned mosaic. Villa Romana Del Casale in Sicily


(Click on the pictures to enlarge them)

In the reception halls and bedrooms, mosaics show mythological scenes and also daily life scenes: hunting, fishing, sport, children’s games, animals…

Here for example, like in Ben-Hur chariot race sequence, children race in chariots but those are pulled by… birds.


Roman mosaic showing children racing in chariots pulled by birds. Villa Romana Del Casale in Sicily

In another room, this mosaic combines geometrical patterns and medallions featuring fruits.


Roman mosaic combining geometrical patterns and medallions featuring fruits. Villa Romana Del Casale in Sicily

The mosaic artists managed to show details in a very realistic way, such as those figs that make me hungry.


Roman mosaic with geometrical patterns and a medallion featuring figs. Villa Romana Del Casale in Sicily

By the way, what I prefered were the small details of the mosaics. Here some plants that could be part of a decoration catalogue.


Roman mosaic showing potted plants. Villa Romana Del Casale in Sicily

There some fishes.


Roman mosaic showing two fishes. Villa Romana Del Casale in Sicily

And finally a bird. Thanks to the enlargement, you can see more closely the assembly of small colored stone pieces.


Roman mosaic showing a bird. Villa Romana Del Casale in Sicily

For more information, see Villa Romana Del Casale website

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January 2015 favorites

My January 2015 favorites:

* The Journey Of a Couture Dress

(a 4 minutes video)

* My new banner

This is a change so that my header suits my blog today. But if you look at them, you will notice that the new banner follow on from the previous one.

ApollineR banner

the old banner

ApollineR banner

the new banner

* A white dress with grey braid at Chanel 2014 Fall Couture Fashion Show

* Drawings by illustrators in tribute to Charlie Hebdo victims in Paris

* My resolutions for 2015

* A window of a Sicilian palace


A baroque window of Palazzo Biscari in Sicily


A window of Palazzo Biscari

I spotted this window of a baroque palace in Catania, Sicily where I spent a few days. I love the exuberance of this window with columns, child faces, garlands and chubby babies figures known as putti.

* How the Password You Select Can Help You Achieve Your Goals

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White dress with grey braid at Chanel 2014 Fall Couture Fashion Show

The white jacket with black braid is a Chanel signature. There have been many variations of this cardigan-jacket. This year, the idea has been used for a white short sleeve trapeze dress at Chanel 2014-2015 Fall-Winter Couture Fashion Show. There is a grey vertical line in the middle of the dress. Other horizontal lines emphasize the high waist, borders and pockets. The result is a geometric and minimalist dress that I would gladly wear.

drawing of a white dress with grey braid from Chanel Couture 2014-2015 Fall-Winter collection

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

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