Monthly Archives: June 2009

Refreshing fashion news

Continuing the series of posts on Brazil, the time has come to talk about Brazilian fashion. Indeed.

After years of boredom and endless in-your-face design copying, Brazilian stylists have finally discovered that they can create something innovative, beautiful and appropriate for the country’s friendly weather.

The cherry on this year’s São Paulo Fashion Week‘s cake is Osklen. This is a brand that started out focusing  on beach-wear and which has, in the recent years, turned to high fashion applied to small clothes. How refreshing.

Carnaval-inspired coolness by Osklen

Carnaval-inspired coolness by Osklen

It was amazing to see that the brand was able to transform something so absurdly colorful as carnaval into something so tasteful as this year’s designs.

Menswear by Osklen

Menswear by Osklen

Glitter, crystals and tulle were used in a cleverly combined way so as to avoid excesses due to carnaval influence. Beautifully tailored shorts, transparent t-shirts and minimalistic sneakers were the highlights of the show.

Brazil has all the tools and creative minds needed to come up with a tropical version of chic. Just wait and see.

Mugged yet not angry

Before I tell this story, I must say that I had doubts about revealing what I’m about to reveal. Bearing in mind the fact that I truly dislike clichés and any sort of mass belief, I pondered about telling something that would reinforce the image of Brazil as a violent country and scare people away. On the other hand, I’m also committed to truthfulness and that is why I’ve chosen to write this.

Last Saturday night  I was mugged by two guys on my way home from a club. Actually,  it was a man and a kid who must be younger than 12. They took my cell phone and a mere 5$, which was all I had after a up to that moment lovely evening (nice pizza with friends, then pre-club drinks and a fun-filled session at the club itself).

Many foreigners become flabbergasted when they hear about Brazilian street children, although people here are quite used to them in a societally numb way. In my case, the little kid was much angrier than the older mugger, for he even hit me in the face (nothing serious happened to me other than a fat lip which gives me a certain Angelina Jolie-ish look) and was restlessly looking for things in my pockets.

I did not get angry at them. I honestly believe that people like those only commit crimes because they are not given chances in life. Foreigners ask Brazilians all the time about the reasons for such a situation. As I’ve said countless time, they are fourfold:

  • corruption
  • corruption
  • corruption and
  • corruption

Brazil is not a poor country. There is enough money and resources in this land to make social justice a realit. That is, only if it weren’t for the ever so greedy politicians who, for the most part, don’t even think twice before appropriating tax money in the most vicious ways one can dream of.

I am not so naive as to think they are the only ones to blame. We all are, for all of us Brazilians are corrupt. Petty corruption is a reality in Brazilian society. People are always trying to get advantage in any way they can, every time they have a chance. From cutting lines to stealing hundreds of millions of reais, the thought that generates the action is the same: I’m better than others and that rules can always be bent.

It is high time all Brazilians learn that their corrupt actions have consequences. Only then will we be able to change.

Regarding the little kid, the only solution for him and all the similar cases we hear about, is education. Education is all at once the means, the ends, the purpose and the tool for change.

If you are worrying about how you can help these kids, Unesco‘s campaign for global education is a project I personally support.

Reality really bites you every once in a while.

Sweden, Talent, Fever, Ray

The future looks quite bright at the moment. Let the crises pass, let the semester be over, let a wonderful trip to Buenos Aires come closer!

Meanwhile, there is another endless source of inspiration that has been present in my life for the past few weeks: the ethereal Fever Ray, which is the new musical project by the ever so talented Karin Dreijer Andersson, the one half of the multiple-talented Swedish duo The Knife.

Here’s one of my favorite songs on the album, the enchanting When I Grow Up, in a video by Martin de Thurrah:

Although I couldn’t bear to live in Sweden for much longer than one year (sorry my svenska vänner, but the cold and darkness in every sense really get to me), I still consider it to be one of the most incredible creative cradles of the world today. I love everything Swedish (hej Olof Dreijer!) but especially its music.

Swedes in music have always done what I love the most about artists: they go through a lot of work and add numerous elements, beautifully coordinated, to everything they do. If only this were a cliché.

As Karin shrewdly says in the lyrics: they put their soul in what they do.

Diamonds, sugar and bells

I never run out of feelings of admiration for artists who put a lot of effort into their work.

a sugar child by Vik Muniz

a sugar child by Vik Muniz

I’ve just come home from a breath-taking retrospective of Vik Muniz‘s wonderful works at the Museu de Arte de São Paulo (MASP). For those who aren’t familiar with his creation process, he creates 2D sculptures using unlikely materials, such as chocolate, ketchup, caviar and diamonds, then photographs the result which thus becomes portraits and pictures of different sorts.

My heart actually started pounding when I saw the Sugar Children series, a series of portraits of Caribbean children made with sugar grains. As with all his projects, Vik Muniz chose this specific material because of its connection to his subjects. These children are the sons and daughters of sugar cane plantation workers who had a lot of hope despite their probably abject future.

I admire so much artists who will spend hours, days or weeks on one piece of work just so it fits perfectly with the idea they had for it.

Music-wise, I’ve been listening quite often to an older Björk album and, more specifically, to my favorite song on the album, Who Is It:

What most strikes me about this version of the song is how Björk recreated this rather electronic song for the video using almost nothing but bells, in all shapes and sizes. It is masterpiece.

Get real

There is a good reason for my absence here: my moving to a fun-filled, greatly located apartment.

These days, many people are choosing to leave the city in order to live a life closer to nature. Fresh air, no traffic, a lot of silence. Only these green-lovers do not realize that by moving there, they necessarily destroy the exact thing they cherish. It is so naive to think that by building an eco-friendly house in the middle of a wood, forest or any kind of natural landscape they are helping to preserve the environment. How counter-productive.

I am and have always been in favor of city living, despite all possible implications. Isn’t it much better to try to promote a healthier lifestyle where most humans choose to leave their lives than moving to a new are just to spoil it?

Let’s be real, please.

New home, new hopes

Alright, I have just moved in my new home, sharing a great apartment with friends.

At least one project finished this year, and the way I like it: very very quickly.

To be continued.