Carnival Peak

Tomorrow there will be Ausnahmezustand in Köln. I mean it! Exactly at 11.11 o’clock everything will be completely shut down. Anybody with some sense will immediately stop working except liquor sellers, of course.

You know why? Because it’s Weiberfastnacht. Yeah, women take over the city. This means bützing (kissing), ties will be cut off and partying from 8 in the morning till it gets dark. Oh, who am I kidding until the next day.

Actually I have stuff to do. Hopefully I will get through the hoards of drunk people to university and everything signed before office people have emptied too many champagne bottles.

But believe me afterwards I will also throw myself into the party crowd. My friend lent me a slightly slutty little red riding hood costume and I am determined to wear that thing.

To understand Köln mentality better you can visit this hilarious tumblr. Or watch this short video below, which admittedly won’t show you the hipsters I will be around with tomorrow 😉 If I don’t lose my phone, I can show you some pics later.

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90s Flatform Sneaker Boot Revival Or Just Some Fashion Irony?

Now that New York Fashion Week is over quite a while and excitement has cooled down a little, it is the right time to discuss some of the fashions which were brought to us via all the busy bloggers and instagramers on-site.

This is exactly what my friend, let us give her a name in the way Garance Doré does in her blog… and call her Franzi, and me did the other day. I really wondered about the flatform sneaker boots at MBMJ, formerly known as Marc by Marc Jacobs. There was quite a buzz about this collection for various reasons. For anyone who didn’t follow, you can check the runway photos at style.com and below you see the shoes I’m talking about.

MBMJ ready to wear via style.com

Can you see it? At first sight they only seem like a regular high-top sneaker with weird stuff attached beneath. Look again…then you’ll see that again (I know it’s not easy but please direct your eyes on Geri Halliwell’s lower body parts):

Spice Girls had a big part making Buffalos popular.

Right! Do you remember? If you spent the 90s as a teen, I’m sure you will.

The ‘Buffalos’ were pretty big here in Europe, were they in the States, too?

As a reminder this particular kind of footgear was the epitome of cool. Almost everybody in school had them. When you were poor at least one pair in black and those better off would be gifted with one in every color by their parents, or so. In the beginning introduced by a few already working kids in the senior classes we laughed our asses off at the awkward look they sported, but trend had us pretty quick. At the end even boys started to wear them! It is not understandable why, these shoes were not only completely un-pretty they were also heavy, uncomfortable to walk in and badly made.

Hmmm, the last one I take back. Bad quality was never a reason for a teen to back off from something…

Slightly after the Buffalo trend reached its high I was able to convince my parents to gift me a pair as birthday present. They were unwilling but I was very determined and got my will at the end. Fortunately I sprang off this trend wagon in time. I just soon realized that you could have more success in attracting boys by not wearing hooves on your feet. Not that I encourage boy pleasing behavior in general but sometimes it can save you from looking ridiculous in photographs all the time. I still have some pics wearing Buffalos hidden somewhere… Don’t ask me to show them. I will do that only if this gets a real trend.

Seriously, first I thought the two cool designers at MBMJ were playing some jokes on the fashionistas out there. That they don’t mean it seriously only to see who doesn’t either and will dare to wear those in the fashion circus. A quick google and pinterest research shows me I am not the first to notice the sneaker flatform revival. Yeah, obviously we are right in the middle of a comeback and they can’t be too wrong. A few weeks ago I saw a 16-year-old girl in the subway sporting some original Buffalos. Me doof, then I thought she was only a crazy teen.

Although I have to admit the MBMJ footgear above looks not bad, I really hope the rest of the remakes will also be made of better quality than the Alien resembling submarines we put over our feet in the 90s.

Are you as curious as me if the bulky flatform sneakers will hit teens as hard as then?

Cologne Series: ‘Stellen’ by Daniel Weissbach

Photo by Nils Müller
Photo by Nils Müller
Photo by Nils Müller #DanielWeissbach

The third part of this weeks Cologne Art Series continues with Berlin artist Daniel Weissbach and his latest work series ‘Stellen’.

Daniel Weissbach created a collection of objects and paintings which resemble known features of urban life but have become deconstructed by the artist. The paintings are Acryl on Canvas looking like subway tiles, some with remnants of inadequately removed graffiti revealing their disturbing messages again through pictures only.

He succeeds in keeping the geometry of his templates but at the same time putting eye-catching 3D movement in which results in a slightly stomach turning trompe l’oeil effect but yet so fascinating that you can’t turn your eyes away.

The showpiece which impressed me most, I admit mainly because of its size and color combination, is a weighty brick construction which seems like an extracted piece of wall. The array of bricks is hard to describe but somehow I had to think of houndstooth… Maybe because I like that pattern more than I should… The object is very heavy and covered with dirt and soil which makes it seem like it has just been ripped out of an old building and out of the back floats a beautiful contrasting cloud of soft cotton balls.

I love me art like this: The moment you enter the room the works seem simple and graphic, so very powerful. Then you take your time and a subtle beauty and an opportunity to explore a world of details opens up for the beholder.

Ruttkowski68 will be showing ‘Stellen’ up onto the 23rd of March and you can definitely drop in and have a look by yourself.

This is the gallery exhibition video. (You can even see me a blink of an eye long, I’m the one with the rose-colored pants)

Cologne Series: Fracta Symmetry

Fracta Symmetry

via

Last Thursday Jonathan Haehn and Byram Tunez showed some of their art at the little Mischpoke café located in the Belgische Viertel.

Mischpoke has a back room where the artists hung their metal wire object painted with pink neon color from the ceiling. They used black light so that the wires would glow heavily in the dark. A Pretty cool effect and really unexpected from a café location like that. Everything was underlined by a DJ playing smooth electronic beats. The night could have continued next door at Arty Farty Artspace with more music and late drinks but I passed since the next day I had to wake up really really early.

It was a spontaneous decision to go and have a look at Fracta Symmetry and we had a lot of fun looking at the creation and talking with the people. So don’t feel intimidated next time when you happen to come by a nice little café in your city showing some stuff to the public. Just go inside and have some fun, too.

Fractasymmetry
Fracta Symmetry

By the way I saw that Mischpoke sells pastrami sandwiches!!! That is new to Cologne and I need to go and test them. Will tell you about that.

Cologne Series

Sure, Köln sometimes lacks the vibrant metropolitan vibe like Berlin, Hamburg and hell, even Munich. Aaaand yes, I know we are all supposed to dislike the capital and yet I’m sure most of us jealously look to her because of the cool parties that get thrown there.

At the other hand there is a very active art scene in my city am Rhein, ready to hold boredom at bay. The happenings are often small but luckily also the number of pretentious people attending.

Last week I explored that scene a little and had fun at one reading and two vernissages. Let me first tell you about the reading and save the other two evenings for my next posts.

The reading got held at the super sweet Le Pop Lingerie where young author and father Frank Berzbach told us about his books and the philosophy behind them, making some pretty good points. He wrote his books mostly with creatives in mind but actually everybody could use the advise he gives. The title of his newest work is “Die Kunst ein kreatives Leben zu führen” and as far as I now only available in German. But maybe it gains the success of predecessor  “Kreativität aushalten: Pychologie für Designer” and will also be published in other languages.

My brother Omid studied design in Aachen and I think this will be a great present for him. I think I will gift him this and when he is finished I’ll read it, too.

This was the first time I went out in the position of a blogger. I was soooo nervous getting my camera out and to take some pics… they all turned out pretty shaky. Fortunately there was an actual photographer present and he allowed me to use his shots so you can see what the evening looked like.

The author. Reading Frank Berzbach at Le Pop Lingerie.
The author, Frank Berzbach.
The book. Reading Frank Berzbach at Le Pop Lingerie.
The book. Die Kunst ein kreatives Leben zu führen.

Images by Thomas Morsch.

Speaking of Hidden Plastic

Now that I have become aware of the problems caused through the use of Polyethylene I am really surprised at which brands this stuff is to be found.

KIEHL'S Facial Fuel Energizing Scrub
KIEHL’S Facial Fuel Energizing Scrub

Under that topic I decided to post about a clear product fail of high end skincare brand KIEHL’S. Yes, a point with the finger in the direction of KIEHL’S FACIAL FUEL Energizing Scrub. This Scrub is aimed for men and it was part of a Christmas gift set we received. As my BF has amazing skin and I would never allow ruining that with sanding it down I wanted to try the scrub myself. Like always I first looked at the ingredients list just out of interest. My eyes got wide seeing it contained Polyethylene at second! range in the list. Thanks KIEHL’S for ripping my relatives off their money by selling them mostly water with shredded plastic.

I mean you can’t expect a lot of cheap drugstore cosmetics. In order to make them widely affordable they often use substitutes. But KIEHL’S is an expensive brand, playing with an apothecary image and high class store design. Polyethylene is the cheapest of all abrasive particles and at the same time the most expensive to clear out of the environment. Funny how companies propagate us more health and beauty while at long term they actually harm us.

It was not an easy decision to put out a rant like this, especially concerning a brand I once liked very much, but this issue is too important as to let it go. Cases like this should remind us that no matter which image and philosophy brands in whatever price league try to propagate,  we also should take a second or two and check the ingredients list beforehand. There are plenty of natural alternatives for micro plastic beads like nut shells, pomegranate seeds etc. Some are critical for people with allergies but at least they don’t contaminate our water and food.

So now, tell me what shall I do with that scrub as I can’t use it. I think I have to throw it away. Garbage recycling here in Germany works pretty well but still… what a waste!