Saturday, October 30, 2010


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It is the time when a rare pink diamond will be auctioned by Sotheby's (16th of November). It is the time when Bottega Veneta launches iPod and iPad cases. And because I recently spoke about Berlin and how much I recommend this city (check the entry here), there's also a news about Germany's capital city: their hotel boom picks up speed. For coffee lovers there's the news, that Starbucks is to be open on Royal Carribean Cruise Ships.

But tonight something great happened, I have reached 2000 unique readers (from the time I have added the flag counter onto my blog). All these are from 64 countries, of which 35 from Europe. The top 10 countries of viewers are Romania, Germany, the USA, the UK, France, Monaco, Austria, Canada, Italy and Spain. The latest flag added was that of South Korea.

I want to thank you all for the support and I hope you continue reading and making my blog known around the world. A big thank you to all the bloggers who have promoted my writings in a way or another.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Party Lost & Found, Film Festivals, South Korea and Cesaria Evora

Dear friends,

it's been a long while and I deeply regret it not having written what was on my mind at diffrent points in time, but to be honest with you, I was not able, physically, as for the last week and a half I have been in my bed at home and in the one at the I'm still on treatment at home, but feeling better,...well enough to sit for some minutes and write about various things...

Entrance Shop - Party Lost & Found
About two weeks ago, a friend of mine invited me to this party and I have to admit that it was just what I needed on a Thursday evening: a nice place with nice people. I also adored their sense of fashion (Entrance is a concept store which brings really special things, don't hesitate to go on their site and visit them). What I liked most was that everybody was dressed ...funky....diffrent...not regular....but they were looking good! I mean, that particular fashion (which in some cases is too edgy for me, I must admit) was really fitting them didn't seem forced on them, but rather natural! That's what I appreciated. I also appreciated the casualness of it all. The party for Lost & Found had on its invitation following request: to wear something which we thought lost or which is somehow old and we can give it a new value, I found some original bangles which I have for over a year but were lost in my drawer and picked up a purse from my mum,...this green purse has really seen it all I think, but the quality in the leather makes it look even today as if it were new. So I did a combination of purple and frog-green and you can see me in this picture taken by the official photographer at the event (I'm on the left and had only just arrived). I also adored the outfit of my friend Olivia (same picture, in the middle), for more outfits you can go and look at the pictures here.

Film Festivals
Due to my sickness I unfortunately missed out on movies I wanted to see in cinema, such as those of te Festival of the Russian Film (22-28 Oct.), but I heard some opinions on the fesival from this lovely website I follow which didn't make me very happy. I just had a Russian dinner last evening and would like to hear maybe some other opinions on this festival, which will hopefully will make me feel bad that I've missed it. Still, there is one "festival" I don't want to miss, organized by the Goethe Institute in Bucharest, it's the "Days of the German Film", taking place 1-4th November at Cinema Studio. Take advantage of all these cultural events in Bucharest, they really enrich you from the inside!

South Korea
Speaking of culture, I can not express how happy I am that there has been a blog viewer from the Republic of Korea. I have grown interest for this country through various historic sequals which the Romanian Television is transmitting, and I have a great curiosity for the country as it is now. I love the women's traditional clothing, the hanbok, they are a wonder for fashion even today, so simple yet so feminine. They still inspire, and you can see two wonders of this culture here and here. Keep in mind that these are modern interpretations of the hanbok. I also like their "hair-culture" if I can call it like that, but I refer now to the past, to the traditional hairdos.

I must admit I have fallen in love with the wonderful food which sometimes is not food anymore, but just arts.

Hwajeon - rice cookie with azalea flower
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Even I can't really eat spicy food, I went so far and had some in Hamburg (all was shown in a previous blog entry) where I discovered a Korean restaurant and was really delighted by the kimchi, the most traditional of all they offer, something like pickled cabbage. You can watch a short movie on how it's made here. Or you can see how movies got me fascinated with their food here. I really recommend you to take the few minutes and watch as it is really a delight.
I plan to one day visit this country, so whoever visited my blog first, thank you, it's an honour!

Since we are now at the senses chapter, the part I love most, I must tell you about a concert which I have been to, even if I partially didn't enjoy it as I could have because I was feeling sick. My wonderful mother had gotten us tickets to the Cesaria Evora concert which was held a Sala Palatului in Bucharest. The place was more than filled with people who had come to see the "barefoot diva". Her voice is really amazing, really going through your body, and she also was surrounded by an energetic band who made the show even better. What I noticed was that one of the back-up singers was unfortunately blind, but still, he had an amazing voice, and maybe like the faith of Cesaria Evora, his was also to sing and enchant people with his voice. As we know, Cesaria managed a break-through when she was already 47. But since then, nothing seems to keep this woman, who was born in '41, down. Not even health problems: in 2010 she was operated on in May and was put on artificial pulmonary ventilation, 5 months after she's touring and having 2 concerts in Bucharest. Indeed, she coughed several times during some songs, but she kept going. What a great person in a small body that is!

This is why, with this motivation for life and for doing the things you love, I leave you now in the company of this wonderful woman who gives us anothr great advice through her attitude: to keep it simple!

I chose two songs I really liked at the concert: Sodad and Angola. And I chose that video for Angola because it is the "live" experience of how her stage looked like. But unfortunately none of these recordings transmit her real voice on stage and the feeling of being there. Nevertheles, enjoy these songs and dare to dream for some minutes! Because her music is magic!



Tuesday, October 12, 2010

All set for winter...

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I am all set for winter. Not that I like the cold weather (altough the scenaries of this season are wonderful), but I heard on the news that this year is going to be one of the coldest winters of the whole century (I imagine it with fear, after having survived the past winter). So how to be better set for winter than with good, warm and fluffy winter clothes.

Yes, I went shopping yesterday and found the most amazing winter jacket ever. But since I have never done fashion posts before, I will take it slowly and do it my way...


Hence,...the connection to luxury has to be present, and what better way to do that than by saying that Chanel has redecorated its shop windows in Paris on the Rue Cambon and chose for that one of the (obvious) themes: the polar theme, which is also present in their Fall/Winter 2010/11 collection of pret-a-porter.

Now, when I say polar, I think of cold and white but also of a lot of fur and fluffyness and cuteness of the animals. There is also the idea of colours popping up from the all-white-surface in the polar region,...such as the black eyes or a spot of red (blood) or a "frozen" blue which gives more coldness...such as this cute bear's tongue...

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Going back to the fluffyness - I look on the polar theme also as a protective environment. It's all so quiet and bright and lonely around you...but then you cuddle next to the person you love or next to your caring parent, and your whole universe shrinks to that warm and small place where everything seems perfect. This is how I felt yesterday while putting on the winter jacket I then bought. When I put the hood over my head, it felt like time is standing still. It was all so quiet around me, just like in winter when it snows peacefully.

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So this is me before trying on the new jacket.

And after...

Here's a detail of the soft and fluffy...

And of the interior...

And then a happy-me with the hood on...

And here's a little secret for you: the down used for the filling and the hood is from soft and cute and fluffy...just the way I imagine winter warmth!

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Friday, October 8, 2010

Berlin - in the Louis Vuitton City Guide 2011

From all the cities and places I have visited and lived in, a special one remains in my heart and I remain a part of it. A German song even says "I have a trunk in Berlin", meaning that I still have a part of me and my life there, and it will always remain like that.

The city has a special connection for me for various reasons: while others were having their grandparents next to them while they were little, I always cherished the summers when I went to Berlin and was there with my grandpa. He had a very special approach to things and we travelled a lot when I was there, discovering this and that, going to weekly markets or fairs, to shows in the city, feeling the vibe around us. I also observed things "through his lenses", as he was a passionate and talented photographer and very careful to details. It was a very wonderful time in a very wonderful city. After growing up, I had the opportunity of living in Berlin on my own (and visited my grandfather every weekend), as a student. I still consider it the best city in the world for being a student: you have such great facilities all over the city, libraries and research centers as well as food joints, restaurants, pubs, clubs etc. and it is so cultural and multi-cultural that you are always on the move, you always find something to do for your own tastes and desires and you can hardly ever get bored there. It is also a city full of contrasts, so you can find fully urbanized and modern parts, then ones from the communistic area and then areas filled with just need to choose!

Berlin is also very young. Through its universities and cultural attraction, it is a great place for people to develop. This is why architects and designers find it a very appropriate place for them to live in,...inspiration is around every corner and the fact that they are extremly tolerant and Berlin is a huge melting pot makes it such a great place. For people interested in fashion, there's the Berlin fashion week and I hope many will make it big!

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Berlin was also such a great inspiration, that half of my Master thesis was based on it and on its influence on young people, design, architecture, hotels and how to make a communication strategy on a boutique hotel to be built there. It was a truly amazing research time and so much fun as the city is so multi-facetted...

I think it seems only normal that Louis Vuitton dedicated its new city travel guide to this place of the world. In their also educative and playful manner, they created its presentation video which you can watch here or on youtube:

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I can only recommend you this wonderful city, for visiting, for falling in love, for learning, for getting lost, for being found, for becoming you as I don't think there are better places where you'll be appreciated for who and what you are such as this one. Plus, it has such a great "magnetic" power,...once you go there, you always want to go back to visit it again and again and again. While I lived for 6 months in Hamburg, i visited Berlin five times...yet, it does have a (good) power over you, and you will never be disappointed. And one more thing: you'll realize that not even a lifetime will be sufficient for you to discover all its secrets...isn't this mistery such a great thing?

In loving memory of my grandfather, who showed me life in detail and let me appreciate the beautiful things I like now. He has even now such a great influence on my development and I love him for every thing he did and didn't do for me.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Food Snobbery: My Way!

Pictres were taken by me about two weeks ago at various food fairs I visited on a weekend. There is so much more I love about food, but for now, enjoy what you see!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

On Snobbery , Books and Food

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My latest blog entry, the one on the COCOR was by far the most read and appreciated one. With one exception....

There was this guy (turns out he's my age) who commented on my blog saying that he doesn't understand why I can write on a topic which concerns mostly Romanians, in English. He was saying it like if I had commited a crime, and pointed out that he will not read it in sign of protest (buu-huuu) and that I would be snobbish. I laughed innerly because I rarely see such narrow-minded statement, still he reminded of what I was going to write next: snobbery!

After deleting that guy's comment (hey, it's a free country!), I went over some definitions and quotations from various famous people on the topic. Why does this interest me so much? Because It has always been linked (falsely?) with luxury and wealth, and it is seen negatively while luxury is such a wonderful thing, an art, a way of life, a way how to breath...but is it a snobbish one?

"We must never confuse elegance with snobbery". Yves Saint Laurent says. But how do we tell them apart? "The true snob never rests; there is always a higher goal to attain, and there are, by the same token, always more and more people to look down upon."(Russel Lynes) Another statement which is so true, but isn't a society with diffrent social classes something of normality? This is exactly my point: even normal (activities) can be seen as snobbish, such as eating.

I've come lately across a book which speaks about the history of snobbery (how convenient), and the author draws his conclusions on humanity almost from the beginning of the book: we all are snobs in one way or another, just by trying to be above someone or just going with a fashion that all do at a certain time,...we feel we want to be part of the group, to belong in a way, hence we become snobs to everything else around. Short demo: to the guy who posted that comment on my blog entry, I was someone who went over his group, his understanding, therefore I was a snob! "The true definition of a snob is one who craves for what separates men rather than unites them."John Buchan

So why all this attention towards this book and snobbery? Well, the author speaks about the snobs of the gastronomic field, and this, being one of my passions, made me read through the book. It is quite fascinating how he (the author) goes back in history mentioning this behaviour I am talking about even in times of the Roman Empire and before. And how this behaviour repeats today in almost the same manner: certain people think that a type of food is good, even great for them because it is expensive, while the chefs explain that the price comes due to the quality.

The wonderful example this book brings on snobbery is on the beloved caviar. Even I was surprised to read that this food was not appreciated in Europe until the 1920s. Dictionnaries in France in the year 1874 were describing the caviar as something "consumed only in Russia, where it would bring benefits to poor people due to its low price". Indeed, it was looked upon as a rather commun nourishment, put in the same category as salted fish or hering. Sometimes fishermen would cut their catch and throw the caviar back into the sea, which were summed to 10-15 tonnes a year of thrown away caviar. What a shame! It is only after the October Revolution that this nourrishment becomes scarce and starts winning its fame. Russians such as the Petrossian brothers or the Kaspia House bring bring Russian caviar to France and the boom starts. It's funny, how the attitude to one and the same thing can change over the years only due to its availability.

I'll keep reading the book and hope to get back to you with another update on it. After I will finish gastronomy, I'll go over to the fashion. "In order to acquire a growing and lasting respect in society, it is a good thing, if you posess great talent, to give, early in your youth, a very hard kick to the right shin of the society that you love. After that, be a snob."(Salvador Dali) I am. And I will!

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Myth of Luxury: COCOR

Dear Readers,

After writing about such a great example of "how to" represent luxury, I am disappointed to write about a long-waited re-opening and re-branding of an old shopping "mall" in Bucharest, the COCOR. For the shoppers they will be opening their doors tomorrow...after re- and re-postponing this date during the last years.

When I first heard about the plans for that store, I was excited, seeing that they promised us and themselves to create a luxury-mall. I was before my studies for Master in Luxury Goods and Services and was thinking that I had chosen a right path for myself: a niche that would slowly but surely develop in my country as well. Plus, it was a guarantee that, whenever I would want to come back to my country, I would have a job in my sector, which was still a new sector in Romania. But the the disappointment started: the launch was postponed more and a point of time I was wondering if it wasn't a bluff or just a big scam to draw some money on the stock exchange (yep, this is a listed company), but no, things started to look like they would be working again when I came back from Hamburg (around 1 1/2 months ago).

This month I heard that the launch would be programmed for the 23rd and 25th of September (first date for press and guests, latter for customers), but again,...nothing moved. Dates postponed to 30th of September (yesterday) and 2nd of October (again, press & then customers). I went to their site and was hoping for some new luxury brands coming to Romania...wrong thinking. Altough they wanted to position themselves as luxury, as written on their site and in various articles which have appeared in the press, they manage to be fashion. The brand mix is a bit weird and I will not comment on that,...if you just go to their site, you will understand. Then let's check their ad campaign: what is their positioning actually? They want to target 2 generations of people, two very diffrently culturally developed people groups, which is beyond my understanding. I remember again the words told by Mr.Potard: a daughter will never want to wear the same things as her mother did, nor will the times be the same to allow that,...this is why fashion brands can last for 20-30 years maximum,...after that, they need to reconsider their strategies. So how can you put Mr. Florin Piersic (a very famous and very talented Romanian actor over 70) to represent the novelty in this rebranding process? Let's face it, people around 70 in Romania are barely managing to pay their medicine. And Mr. Florin Piersic Junior, who I think should be something as a bridge between these generations, I don't think is the best representative for luxury. With all due respect for both of them, the message totally fails to be what they intend to do on the Romanian market. It's really hilarious to put a person over 70 on a billboard next to the message "COCOR. The future of fashion". The only future I see there is a short one, if we associate it with the person. And no,...I'm not mean. Just stating a biological fact.
The advertising and all campaign around the launch has been won, after various companies pitched, by Wunderman Romania. I come to ask myself, if they are the winners, how the pitches of the others must have been. Why am I being so drastic you might ask...well,let me just tell you a story: a few days ago a very good friend of mine found an invitation on the street to the COCOR opening on the 3oth of September. She lifted the piece of paper and brought it to me the same day, as she knew I had my professional curiosity which was pushing me to make the impossible possible to make it to the "event of the year". The next day there was another invitation we found on the streets of Bucharest, destined to a V.I.P,...just lieing in the dust of the streets. The second one had an envelope on which it was written "personal invitation" and the name of the person on it. I was surprised to see that the cardboard invitation in the envelope looked the same like the one found a day before,...only difference was the name on the envelope. So why were these invitations just on the streets of Bucharest? (great mistery) How was it possible that V.I.P.s have their personal invitations thrown somewhere in the heart of the city? I higly doubt it that they would just throw them away like that. Something started to smell fishy about the organisation of this event. As I didn't want to create an awkward situation for none of the parts but still wanted to go to the opening, I decided to call the person in charge (luckily her name was on the invitation), which I did and she told me she would see that I got an invitation. A friend from a luxury magazine called to tell me she would be waiting for invitations from this woman as well. Apparently none of the people she knew in the press (higher level press) had gotten an invitation. (second fishy smelling situation) I finally managed to talk to our architect who had also worked on the cocor project to get me in,...but in the end decided not to go. I was really fed up with all this fuss about nothing. How can you do such an awful job with the marketing? Like having, as a friend of mine nicely put it, a 3 fingers article in a street journal next to stories on hemoroids and weird politicians...

To tell you the truth, I am happy I didn't go. I looked over the press today and...nothing. And my friend from the magazine,...she's waiting even today for that invitation....

P.S.Here are some of the worst commercials I've seen lately on the Romanian've guessed it, from the same project... (Source:

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