Category Archives: Beauty

City Abyss

City by City AbyssPuppet Mechanism by City AbyssWeakly by City AbyssCity Abyss IllustratorCity Abyss, real name Beata Szczecinska, is an illustrator who lives and works in Poland. A lot of her work combines fashion collage and illustration with the aesthetics of architectural drawings. Considering that I have a soft spot for both fashion and architecture, it’s clear to see why Beata’s impressive portfolio charms me so much. I’m clearly not the only one who is a fan – she has created editorial pieces for the likes of Muse Magazine, ELLE Decoration and Computer Arts Magazine. More examples of her work can be seen on her official website, Cityabyss.com.

Neon Dreams

Mount St Window/Louboutin/London/Jan 2011Set up in 2009 by Xavier Sheriff & Gemma Ruse, StudioXAG is a creative studio specialising in art direction & display design for retail. Some notable examples of their work includes the Louboutin red sole Christmas tree, and a Diesel U:Music installation, which saw a whole branch of Diesel transformed to look like a huge boombox! No matter what the season or occasion, this duo always seem to be able to work in a splash of bright fluoro colours or neon lights. I’ve picked out some of my favourite projects below…OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAChristian Louboutin window, ParisFluorescent TopshopTopman Studio XAGTopshop / TopmanDiesel Loverdose Studio XAGDiesel LoverdoseCharlotte Tilbury Studio XAGCharlotte Tilbury pop up at Selfridges, London.

The Bilinda Butchers – Careless Teens

ImageImageImageImageAww. This video for ‘Careless Teens’ by The Bilinda Butchers is really priddy and makes me yearn for a lazy sunny day where I can just do whatever I feel like. I discovered this band a couple of months ago when I first heard ‘The Lovers’ Suicide’, which also made me think of the weather. It was March and still snowing a lot in London, so it felt strangely appropriate to be listening to the lines: “Like a flower can’t bloom in the snow / We can’t hide, we can’t grow!”

Don’t you think that this video is almost like a lookbook for some kind of hipster fashion brand, like Wildfox or Cheap Monday, or something? When I saw it, I felt that it evoked a real girly ‘Tumblr’ aesthetic. Hopefully the maker of the video, Vanesa Capitaine, won’t be offended by that description – she does seem to use Tumblr a fair bit!

Satirical Portraits By AleXsandro Palombo

Bambi Fendi ChanelAleXsandro Palombo’s blog, Humor Chic, documents the happenings in the fashion world and beyond. Palombo’s take on the fashion news is both bitchy and funny – think Perez Hilton, but without the irritating omnipresence and with added talent and relevance. His shockingly hilarious pop culture illustrations both celebrate and ridicule fashion’s major players; Hedi Slimane is portrayed digging his own grave as he takes over at Saint Laurent, Anna Wintour cosies up to Barack Obama, along with whole host of far more ludicrous scenarios too.Humor Chic Fashion VillainsDonatella Versace, and John Galliano shortly after he drunkenly proclaimed his love for Hitler.Humor Chic CelebritiesCreatives, musicians and celebrities feature heavily, with the occasional politician or member of the monarchy making sporadic appearances as well. It really seems like when it comes to mockery, Palombo is a man after my own heart – he likes to turn his attention to a bit of everything. Below, he has portrayed Kate Middleton as some kind of power-hungry femme fatale who beats her husband and wants to kill the Queen! I think I kind of prefer her to the real Kate Middleton, who is pretty much the definition of passive, well-behaved marriage material. So blaaah.Humor Chic RoyalsHowever, not all of his portraits are derisive or mean – here is quite a sweet drawing of the late Amy Winehouse that he posted the day after her death.Amy Winehouse aleXsandro Palombo

Rihanna in ELLE

Rihanna ELLERihanna CatwomanRihanna channels Catwoman in these cool shots by Mariano Vivanco. She’s wearing a leather mask by TheatrHall, and a hat by House of Flora for PPQ. I’d say she looks ‘fierce’, but that’s so not something I’d actually say!

“Touch Both Sides For Added Enjoyment”

ImageUrgh. Horrible advert for the PS Vita by TBWA France.

I’m not normally that fazed by the petty sexism that permeates the media and advertising. ‘Sex sells’, I get it…whatever. And while obviously women’s rights are still a more contentious issue today than men’s rights, I do appreciate that in the Western world men come under a fair amount of sneering, scrutiny and gawking from women, too.

Still, this advert by TBWA France really got under my skin. It’s not just the sentiment, it’s that it’s a pretty shitty piece of creative work anyway. “Touch both sides for added enjoyment”, it enthuses, underneath a picture of a woman with four huge tits, a tiny waist and no face. NICE! Great way of saying that women and their breasts are just there just to be touched for the enjoyment of others. Maybe Sony’s console is, but was there really any need to draw a parallel between a mutant woman’s body and an inanimate, electronic play thing?
“Ahh,” you might say, “but the thing is, they are trying to appeal to a core demographic here!” And what demographic is that, then? Predominantly teenage boys and young men – exactly the kind of ‘demographic’ who might benefit from being taught that women aren’t just there to be leered at and groped.
More astonishing still, is that the art director on this ad was actually a woman. This feels like a really cynical and patronising attempt to appeal to men. If women are going to perpetuate these types of images in the media and pander to what they – perhaps misguidedly – believe that men want, then how will these sinister messages come to an end? For men to treat women with respect, then surely we need to give them credit for being intelligent as well.

Shame on you, TBWA France. I thought that French men were progressive types who loved romance, and French women were feisty and cool? You Frenchies should know better! You’ve totally ruined Amélie for me, and Simone de Beauvoir must be turning in her grave…

Valienteensdy!

You might ask me, “Lëonië, what are your events for this most momentous of occasions?”
Well, obviously I will be paying homage to Drew Droege in a pre-Hallmark holiday blog post.

On Valienteensdy itself, you can find me imbibing free Havana Club rum and having my nails done, with the fabulous Miss Anna Volosenko! I’ll be wearing a latex playsuit…and a vintage tinsel headpiece. Rum Kitchen X Village Bicycle PartyNaturally, I’ll be covering the party for WE ARE Collision magazine.