Wichtigtuerei

bloggoldringOn my previous entrance I talked about my reflexions on mainstream women and weddings in the US, however during my daily runs in San Fran men’s behaviour came to my mind as well. Wichtigtuerei, this a German concept that cannot be fully translated into English, but refers to an attitude of self-regard, self-conceit; a sort of grandiloquence that has the purpose to impress others especially in a professional terrain, but also in more personal interactions. Personal communication has turned into impure advertising, a self-promoting discourse with the sole purpose of selling a product, “Me” the best one in the market according to many of them. I smelled fear all over, fear of rejection, fear of solitude, anxiety of being perceived as a loser. How sad.

I really don’t know how these guys can possibly endure the self-inflicted long-run-pain of perfection. The problem is acute and gives me the chills whenever I think about the repercussions such a trait could have in the near future for a society where vulnerability can only be understood as a major disadvantage.

My point during one of the conferences held was that today more than ever, art is important in terms of accessing, recovering our humanity. In a world where productivity and efficiency reigns, engaging in a creative process may remind us that the shortest path from point A to point B is rarely the most enriching. Art may help us rediscover the lost value of exploration for its own sake. It reconnects us with our susceptibilities. Art helps us to rehabilitate uselessness, rediscover the efforts of work and find value in it. Even when we fail; or even better, because fuck-ups are not only allowed, but warmly welcome in art.

Art has transformed me. Wether in Tibet, Nepal or India many people have wondered why I rarely use map-apps to reach a destination. Explaining that to me the destination is the journey itself has not always been easy, but I have tried to the best of my abilities to make myself understood: I’m not afraid of losing focus since it is the path I’m interested on. And even if I have a practical goal, let’s say meeting with a client in a certain point of space and time, any road I take, will lead me to it since my internal radars are in shape. Every single day of my life I deliberately choose the risks of adventuring and eventually fail.

Art helps us develop emotional intelligence as well. Yeah, this kind of intelligence is not gasoline. It’s not a simple one-dimensional substance that can be measured the same in both the swift and the halt. To me there is no more certain indicator of true intelligence than an insatiable curiosity for the world and especially for the people who live in it. Thats why I find Wichtigtuerei particularly annoying; I wholeheartedly dislike ‘done humans’. I despise guys who seem to know it all, to have it all. How embarrassing is it to watch them trying too hard, how boring is it to hear them talk as if they were gods. Your new Rolex? I couldn’t care less. Get naked, impress me.

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Love not Money

13133317_1010104375733921_8030968533210041183_n“The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.” This Mark Twain’s well-known remark about the weather is something he actually never said, but what the heck! What native San Franciscan hasn’t heard this clever quip served up by a shivering, Bermuda-shorted sightseer on a fogbound Golden Gate Bridge?

The Flower-Power city is always a visit worth. San Francisco embraces me with an indescribable warmth even when usually windy, rainy and extremely cold in February. Glacial, fresh air turns me on though, it has the same effect as swimming underwater, it relaxes yet invigorates body and mind, so much that breathing turns into a sensual delight. Thus I normally wake up there craving for just one thing: run, run, run along my personal Vitaparcours by Fort Mason.

During my usually short but intense runs I analyse stupid things like for example, how horrifying TV content is in the US. This time I got to watch a site about a bunch of assorted ladies finding the right dress for their weddings. Since I’ve have designed some bridal stuff, the subject obviously interested me. Dresses were crappy ALL of them, it was more the wives-to-be’s attitude which caught my attention.

Tying the knot is an important event in someone’s life, I fully agree, but it seemed to me that those TV women tended to visualise the wedding as being far more relevant than the marriage itself. In fact, they seemed to be oblivious of the true meaning of a loving bond -any- and frivously talked about marriage as a form of achievement. Gown’s prices therefore went from 3,000 to 25,000 USD. Whole lotta bread.

My first thought was ‘Mimi, what the heck have you been been doing? Any of yours costs a fraction of it!!’ But while running I said to myself, Mimi, stick to your values gal, you design for people in love, you design for people who are able to commit; you design for intelligent people who care about healthy finances and have their priorities correctly settled and hopefully will get rid of the damn dress as soon as possible getting hot and heavy and passionately naked somewhere. Yeah, that’s what I envision, my whole clothing line dispersed on the floor of the couple’s nest. Love, not money.

I do hope to soon attend an Indian wedding, my best girl-friend there will possibly marry this year. Thrilled to be part of the entourage and perhaps be able to design something royal, classy, genuinely sensual and colourful for the most gorgeous bride ever. As for me, I’ve worn a number of such beautiful dresses, but never married in one of them. Effectivement, les cordonniers sont toujours les plus mal chaussés.

Keep the Car Running

Every time I’m planning a visit to India my mother calls up expressing serious concerns, as if she would give a damn about my personal welll-being. But the reputation of the family comes first of course, how could she possibly explain her society an eventual rape? These are the kinds of things that fill her mind; she panics and mental paralysis sets in. This is how I try to discern her brain’s process and excuse the fact that her concerns offend me in every possible way.

Yeah, women are not exactly safe from public harassment in India. But truth be told, nor are we in America or Europe. It’s true that if you are a woman, drinking and dancing in Mumbai is risky business; I had to be extremely watchful during my nocturnal escapades. Everyone from the waiter to the white-collar guy at the next table thinks a woman out for a drink is up for grabs. But you know what? It didn’t stop me. I love getting a drink, and I went back to that same damn bar for weeks. It was awkward at the beginning, but it worked out. Unmolested I managed there to read mails, send millions wapps to friends and family, write my daily diary-entry and sometimes even draw, which to me is the ultimate prove I was feeling alright and this happened certainly not due to excessive alcohol consumption, but due to the kind atmosphere. In the wee hours I usually walked alone down the Colaba streets back to my tiny, modest, and comfy home. No incident to regret, ever. Lucky me.

In my country any woman who’s ever tried to have a fun, unfettered night out with girlfriends knows that men drinking in bars often feel free to make lewd remarks and otherwise sexually harass women who aren’t interested. And many of these guys can’t take a hint when women try to move away from them, they just don’t take no for an answer. It happened to us yesterday, good thing was that bar staff were largely helpful; bouncers intervened and tossed out the dum-dum boys of the bar. We were grateful and glad to acknowledge that things are getting better in our country; bar owners are proactively working on keeping us safe.

Bad thing was that I could recognise one of the guys; he often seems to chose by mere chance the same places I visit, even the most unlikely. Scary. This is no joke, believe me. Sensing that my whereabouts are somebody else’s business freaks me out; so much that I’ve been seriously considering leaving the country, moving to India maybe. I pray hard to the heavens that this shit would only stop or proves to be temporary or non existent; my bad, a wrong perception. In overdrive mode…. just in case.

 

The Wrong Person

san-valentin-2017-01Yeah, I am the wrong person. Who the hell am I to give advice in this particular field?

For reasons unknown the idea of Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf falling for each other came to my mind while designing this year’s Valentine’s card. Since I’ve been working hard on more serious projects, I just wanted to rest, giggle a bit, and have some fun coming up with something fresh, naïve, uncommon. It felt like holding hands with the enemy or meeting someone totally different, from outer space and out of the blue. Free translated the text reads in English:

Happy Valentine’s Day. Forget about Prince Charming; go find yourself a Big Bad Wolf who sees you, and hears you, and eats you better. 

The Kiss

1b1fecdbcec7e917424b96a0bf06770bOriginally tagged The Lovers, this renown piece is part of Klimt’s golden period. It shows a couple sharing joy, symbolically dissolving in an embrace. They stand against a rich decorated background flecked with gold leaf, which is not incidental; Klimt’s father was a gold engraver by trade. Gustav also learned mosaic techniques, fresco and oil painting through him. The unique treatment of gold though resembles Byzantine mosaics; Klimt was very much influenced by the paintings he saw in Ravenna, I assume pre-raphaelitian ones. This influence is especially patent in the carpet of flowers.

“Enough of censorship……I want to break free”

Klimt’s explorations of human relationships in his work were considered very modern at the time. He believed that no institution or person had the right of censorship over his work, which is a synthesis of both the decorative and sumptuous Art Nouveau (Secessionism) and Symbolism; great combo.

Personally, I find his work not as interesting as the one of Egon Schiele, but still enormoulsy stimulating because among many other things Klimt beautifully used hidden keys within his paintings. Just look at the hands and to what’s not painted, but suggested -the abysm behind the woman suggesting danger- More explicit are the geometric forms, which have been always used in Art to represent genders. Circles stand for the eternal, the instinctive, thus the feminine, while rationality is associated with squares and rectangles, the virile. Look at his neck, how it reaches out and around, and you get a sense of his physical power through the strength of that bold rectangle; how such a simple iconographic hint fully expresses here the overwhelming intensity of his desire. Not bad for a man who never married and lived with his mother until her death.

Well, this goes to all of you who celebrate the entrance of the new year according to the Chinese Solar Calendar. May the Universe bring blessed days and nights of love, wine and roses.

hé jiā huān lè 阖家欢乐

gōng xǐ fā cái, xīn nián kuài lè 

      新 恭 年 喜 快 發 樂 財

M&M – Muslims and Mexicans

A once welcoming nation turning its back on one of the core foundations of its greatness. Honestly, there are moments I just can’t bear it. Being the daughter and grand-daughter of worthy immigrants who fled from the Nazi horror in France I am truly saddened and concerned. The US saved our lives and have been my home for a number of reasons. I just can’t believe what’s happening now.

sad-lady-libertyThese words are set in bronze on the Statue of Liberty, perhaps the most iconic US-image there is: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”