Yesterday I discovered some old photos from my last trip to Bucharest in late October, which I had completely forgotten about. Looking through them I have decided to make a shortlist of my favorite places from my hometown and make a photo/ travel diary entry about it next time I visit. Maybe I’m getting a bit nostalgic or maybe I just find any excuse I can to not do work, choose whichever.
I’ll start with some photos taken at the new headquarters of the National Library of Romania which I visited for some research on my Extended Project Qualification (aka the most time consuming thing ever). Personally, I much preferred the old building in the historic center but this one is so much bigger and better equipped so you win some you loose some.
All through last summer and autumn they held the biggest exhibition of Romanian art in retrospect, a truly amazing idea of which I will hope to be many more. I love going to art galleries and museums and it just saddens me to see such a great initiative largely ignored by the public. Art really can build up a sense of patriotism and whilst I felt proud of my heritage I also felt a bit disappointed that not many people share this idea with me, but I hope that will change in the future.
Following this, another cultural stop at Sol gallery , a new project started up by two of my parents’ friends. It’s a cosy little art gallery located on Jean-Louis Calderon street at nr. 26 and its concept is really great because their aim is to promote the Romanian artists (be them painters, sculptors or photographers), many of whom have achieved recognition abroad, in their own homeland. They have lots of different paintings exhibited and some are held in a deposit because of the limited space in the gallery but they have some really interesting things so I would definitely recommend it if you find yourself passing by .
I shall end the post with some autumnal outfit photos. And as I love autumn, especially in Bucharest when the leaves turn red and amber and it’s sunny and warm, I could not help myself but dress with the season in my new (amazing) Staccato shoes, Benetton trousers, PNK casual t-shirt, Uniqlo hoodie, French connection biker jacket and my trusty Fred de la Bretoniere bag.
It’s days like those that make me love my ‘job’. I say job with inverted comas because not many people call volunteering that but hey, each to their own.
It basically boils down to this: since October I have been a volunteer for Somerset House, which is an amazing gallery within the Courtauld Institute in central London. I go there every weekend to help with the exhibitions plus on other evenings when they need extra people for events.
Some 4 weeks ago I received an email from my manager asking if anyone would be interested to volunteer for the ‘Valentino: In conversation’ event on the 30th of November, the day the exhibition Valentino: A Master of Couture was opening to the public. Needless to say, my reply had an endless number of exclamation marks and some quite embarassingly desperate pleas but they all payed off because I was selected to help out so no regrets there.
The event consisted in a hour-long conference at the Savoy with the master himself followed by champagne at Somerset House and a viewing of the exhibition. Now, in the course of around 2 hours I ticked many things off my bucket list so I’m pretty hyped about that:
Valentino: In conversation
1) I saw Valentino himself. I was fangirling all the way and said ‘Ciao!’ because you only live once and he’s already 83 so by the time I (might) become famous he will probably not be around so better seize the moment
2) Saw the Savoy and oh my god I want to live there
3) Fringe benefit of my said ‘job’: exclusive viewing of the exhibition before everyone else. It was just so beautiful I cannot put it in words. The long corridor lined with magnificent dresses from each decade, one more beautiful than the other, it’s so beautiful it’s actually emotional. Or maybe that’s just me, Valentino dresses tend to make my eyes all watery from the overdose of amazing-ness (pretty sure that isn’t a word but oh well). The movie was also really good and from that I found the website of the virtual Valentino museum : it’s like a corner of internet heaven so click here.
Valentino: Master of Couture
Valentino: Master of Couture
It would be unfair of me to tell all so you better come down to Somerset House and visit Valentino: A Master of Couture which is on till the 3rd March 2013. I’d advise you book tickets because there is a lot of people trying to get in!
(the song is right here)
Thursday night, us rebels doing French AS-level went all the way down to Earlsfield to see a play – mind you, performed in Bollywood style and spoken in English, but written by Moliere. I was a bit skeptical, as any normal person would be, but at the same time intrigued, so after getting so stressed at Clapham Junction (the worst train station ever) we arrived at Tara theater. It may be the smallest theater in the world, I don’t know, but it’s definitely the smallest I’ve ever been into; the size of a normal back-to-back house, the ‘stage’ was the size of the living room and there were no more than 30 seats altogether. Needless to say our group took up 1/3 of the whole thing. Anyways, it was such a fun play with amazing live music of all genres and the actors were actually very good. There isn’t as much dancing as we thought it would but I guess that wasn’t the point of the play…
On Saturday I met with my friend for lunch on Kensington High Street where she suggested Dryland Grand Cafe , a really nice bar restaurant just opposite the tube station. They had everything from cakes to salads but I just had to go for the goats cheese and roasted vegetable sandwich with a blueberry smoothie…so healthy. No need to mention that we couldn’t resist going in a few shops and I’m putting together a wish list as soon as possible. Actually, as soon as I get enough money to spend because otherwise it’s just mean.
And to wrap up my exhausting weekend, Sunday was spent at Somerset House where I’m a volunteer with the temporary exhibitions. This week I was assigned to the Paul Benney : Night Paintings display in the Deadhouse which has just opened and will run until the 9th of December. I love my role anyways, but to get to be in Somerset’s Deadhouse is a privilege as it is almost never open for the public and it’s so interesting. It’s called as such because in its crypt-like walls there are tombs and gravestones dating from the 14th century and with the lighting and the gloomy paintings it was quite chilling. Coming in from Embankment level, the exhibition really stands out as different. I find the paintings themselves quite interesting, some which are quite quizzical and impress with the use of perspective and technique of oil and resin on wood, but I liked the way they’ve been exhibited and I think the location is perfect for the story of the paintings. I definitely recommend it, as I recommend the Valentino exhibition which will open on the 29th of November… I literally cannot wait for that one!
By the way, I’m selling some of my clothes – and not only – on eBay so if you’re interested click here! Thanks
A solitary case in which street ads have actually paid off – Vegas Girl by Conor Maynard is in my head! So naturally it had to be the title of my next post, no?
When you are reading this, I’ll be off hiking in Scotland (funny how I’ll be doing that in wellies since there’s a flood warning going on) so expect some ‘travel diary’ entries too… but don’t expect any flats or cute tops.
Today was Knightsbridge day with a stop in Harrods where I’ve tasted one of the world’s best macaroon (Black sesame and chestnut filling – amazing) and a cultural visit to the ‘Ballgown: British Glamour’ exhibition at the V&A.
That day I was wearing red flats (from Amsterdam) and the Fred de la Bretoniere bag (also from Amsterdam, there’s a trend going), dip dye M&S jeans, Mango t-shirt and French Connection jacket.
My friend was responsible for the hair and photos . I can’t braid my hair at all so I’m taking advantage these weeks that she’s visiting.
I tried the ‘Spin’ design which was a big spinning chair which tilted you to a point where you thought you’d fall but then it didn’t…as you can see I totally got it so nevermind the terrified expression on my face.
Yesterday the Christian Louboutin 20 years anniversary exhibition at the Design Museum has finished and by now I can safely assume that around 50 or 70 pairs of precious red soled heels and not only are boarding a plane for the Louboutin archives where they really should be under lock and key.
I think I’ve been pretty lucky to have been inches away from so many splendid shoes which, let’s be honest, I won’t be able to afford for a long time now. Some designs have really impressed me, like Mexibeads ss 2012, Anemone 2008 and Ballerine 2007. The most amazing ones that I didn’t even expect to see there were the limited edition Marie Antoinette inspired heels of which there are only 36 pairs in the world. I think me and Mr Louboutin would have a great conversation on Sofia Coppola’s rendition of the last French queen, since we both love the movie… coincidence much?!
I wasn’t actually allowed to take any photos so excuse the horrible quality of my photos but I had to sneakily take them when the guard-people weren’t looking. So worth it I might add!
The decor was very playful just like the designs exhibited. There was a mirror room, a film room where you could see Mr. Louboutin dancing tap with studded black shoes (priceless) and a giant Faberge egg from which a pair of glorious shoes popped up – the Tsar design I think. Oh and yes, that is a performance of Dita von Teese who metamorphosized into a massive 2 ft tall swarovski heel…everything made possible due to holographic technology.
A normal day at the Louboutin workshop and the designer’s desk replica.
Finishing off with Christian Louboutin’s quote : ‘ For me, a successful shoe is one with minimal design but whose lines are bare and so the shoe appears to be an extension of the leg. ‘ I’m sure that’s the case with the ballerina shoes too…
After a visit to the Vermeer museum in Delft, the painter’s home town, we did a little shopping in Amsterdam with a stop in Invito to buy black leather biker boots ( to replace the ones I’m wearing in the photo:) ) and to try on some high heels. I’ll tell you more in a few posts’ time .
Taking a short break in the Van Gogh museum. I spent an hour and a half on just the first floor and have 2 more to go!
It’s so inspiring it makes you want to take up painting…