Art and History Walk: Berlin, Germany.
Berlin has got something for everyone. If you fancy modernity and colourful city lights, there is the West side. In post-communist East Berlin; you see remnants of Stalinist structures – once a symbol of austerity and power; now a backdrop for the hip, young, unrestrained, and artistic East Berlin community.
The peculiar and the spectacular.
Quirky posters and various artistic works can be seen all around East and West Berlin. Towering monuments, relics of past and recent history, remind visitors just how prosperous and influential Berlin was, and still is today. The museums here are world-renowned and definitely worth a visit.
If you like to go to a museum, indie cinema, cafe, bookstore, art store, art gallery, and everything unique and inspiring – all in one spot, then visit Haus Schwarzenberg! I think tourists often miss out on exploring this gem of a place in Berlin. I’m glad I stumbled upon it while walking around the city. I especially loved the bookstore and all the fantastic graffiti art inside and outside the building.
Haus Schwarzenberg is located at Rosenthaler Straße 39, 10178 Berlin, Germany.
Style/Fashion Notes: Stetson Hat, Vintage round sunglasses/LGR dark sunglasses, B/W floral shirt, Raf Simons x Sterling Ruby pants, Marni Shoes, Herschel Backpack;
x War Julian x
The Loire Valley, France: Chateau de Chaumont.
The Loire Valley in central France is home to the most splendid, well-preserved castles in the world. One of my personal favourites – Chateau de Chaumont, resembles that elegant castle in my fairytale books as a child.
The chateau was founded in the 10th Century. From its long and colourful history, the one that fascinates me the most is the notorious resident Queen in the 1500’s – Catherine de Medici. The intelligent and cunning ruler of France; planning her every move with the help of her astrologers, most notably – Nostradamus. Sorry to get my geek on but – freakin’ Nostradamus lived here!LOL
Treasures can also be found inside the chateau from the well-curated items such as paintings, furniture, and other decorative pieces.
Castle basics: a chapel inside the chateau.
I’m fascinated by the different personalities that once resided or visited the chateau. Chaumont, was once a playground for musicians, actors, nobilities, and even foreign monarchs and their exotic gifts, e.g. a baby elephant.
This mega real estate boasts a vast courtyard, complete with impressive stables for horses and a wide garden area. In fact, a Garden Festival is held every year in the summer, where gardeners/artists come and display their works on modern gardening and landscaping.
Living for this mirrors-in-the-garden situation happening around me.
Adding to Chateau de Chaumont’s charm is its majestic location – perched on top of a hill, surrounded by bushes and trees, with a fine view of the Loire river.
Chateau Chaumont at dusk. Too beautiful for words.
Fashion/Style Notes: Floppy felt hat, Saint Laurent Sunglasses, Necklace by Chanel, White hooded-shirt, Hand-painted pants by Denis Gagnon, Marni Boots.
x War Julian x
At home with the Medicis: Florence, Italy.
A trip in Italy wouldn’t be complete without visiting the city of Florence. I am super intrigued by this city as a child. It’s long and often turbulent history, has always been a fascination of mine. One cannot help but be enthralled by its regal buildings, towering cathedrals and quaint cobbled streets; reminiscent of the great Italian renaissance.
The Medicis – the once powerful rulers of Italy, not to mention, the family responsible for the flourishing of the culture and the arts in Italy (and ultimately – the world). They are what the historians believe, as the family that sparked the birth of the Age of Renaissance in Europe. In effect, the world owes the Medicis for their patronage of the great masters, such as: Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Brunelleschi, Dante, Giotto, among others. How different the world must be today, if these geniuses weren’t supported, and nourished to express their ideas in art, literature, mathematics, and architecture.
I find florentine art to be quite bold and dramatic (I mean – statue of David, anyone?). But more than its naked statues and rich colourful paintings, the city is a living and breathing embodiment of the renaissance period. In fact, Florence holds a quarter of the world’s UNESCO heritage sites. Coming here and wanting to see everything is a bit of a challenge, if not, impossible if you’re pressed for time. Enhanced by its spectacular skyline, sensational sunsets, and terracotta roofs – Florence or Firenze is an image maker’s heaven. Every snap of your camera is undoubtedly a postcard picture; every scenery, an inspiration; a fond memory to treasure forever.
Florence aroused me to dream, and fantasise. In this post, I juxtaposed the pictures from Palazzo Vecchio and a florentine apartment. I thought it would make a story; as if, channeling Niccolo Macchiaveli’s the Prince. Warjulian as a Medici, for a day.
Fashion/Style Notes: Caped Ensemble by DAN DVRAN couture, Sunglasses by Saint Laurent, Python bracelet from Florence leather market, Medusa Versace necklace, Vivienne Westwood shoes.
x War Julian x
Massaro x Laurence Dacade: Ultimate Cinderella Shoes
I am a huge fan of Parisian arts and couture. I am one of those people who keeps on obsessing and dreaming about the fabulous ateliers and the incredible creations they make – be it clothes, jewelries, or shoes. This obsessive quest for fine craftsmanship, passed down through centuries by skilled artisans are endangered of being lost. Fortunately, there are still original French ateliers in business (e.g. Chanel’s Metiers d’Art) and producing exquisite pieces that are really worth an investment.
Enter – Massaro shoes. I learned about this famed family of shoemakers while watching Loic Prigent’s documentary called Signe Chanel a long time ago. I promised myself to visit Monsieur Massaro’s atelier when I visit Paris.
For the uninitiated, a few facts about Maison Massaro:
- Massaro was founded in 1894 in Rue de la Paix ( a very unassuming building near the Place Vendome) and still remains today.
- Crafted shoes for legendary celebrities like Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, Elizabeth Taylor, and even the Duchess of Windsor and Pope John Paul II.
- Also made accessories for couture houses like Mugler and Gaultier.
- Crafted the original two-tone sandals for Coco Chanel.
- Collaborates with Karl Lagerfeld to produce the dreamiest haute couture shoes and sandals for the house of Chanel.
- Maison Massaro is currently headed by Philippe Atienza (since 2008) and collaborated with Laurence Dacade to continue Massaro’s legacy and propel the brand forward for today’s fashionable and discerning clientele.
About Laurence Dacade:
- Parisian accessories designer who launched her own label in 2003.
- Style philosophy: Shoes must be sexy, elegant, chic but never boring.
- Aside from her namesake brand, she also designs for the fashion industry’s most luxurious houses.
- Her shoes are really chic and NOT boring I would wear them myself!
I was fortunate enough to see for myself the shoe collection by Dacade and Massaro in a pop-up store in Paris. Located at 19 Rue Cambon, this temporary store looked classy and modern at the same time. The shoes, adorning the two-level building, were a delight to see!
The collection was inspired by fairy tale heroines, and is a fine example of a mini-work of art yet never sacrificing functionality. I admired the golden baroque heels with exquisite details, aged and hammered leathers in black and silver, and the most luxurious laced pant boot in existence. Not to mention, a collection of really chic and modern men’s shoes were also on display.
The Massaro pop-up store is open until September 2015! (NOT January 2015, as politely pointed out by the store management, when this post was first published)
Picture below: Laurence Dacade, Raymond Massaro, and shoes by Laurence Dacade.
At the Massaro pop-up store in Paris:
Fashion/Style Notes: Visit the Massaro pop-up store at 19 Rue Cambon, 1 Arrondisement in Paris. Also, you can buy Laurence Dacades amazing shoes here.
x War Julian x
Views from the top: the Swiss Alps!
It was, as if I’m leaving my childhood dreams.
I’m on top of the freakin’ Swiss Alps?! The scenery was so beautiful and surreal I could almost see and hear Heidi skipping and yodelling over the nearby hills.
The chalet could never be any more ideal in it’s location. It was tucked away from my fellow frenzied tourists, and offered a panoramic, unobstructed views of the great Bernese Alps. If heaven was a village, this must be it.
It was therapy – high alpine style. The air was fresh, and the only sound you could hear were the rustling from the leaves of the forest trees and the occasional tram that runs every few hours. The majestic snow-capped mountains were so captivating you could literally stare at them for hours.
One clear night, I gazed with reverence on the moon casting it’s brightness over the Alps, making the mountains even more illuminated and stunning. I then wrapped myself with the thickest blanket I could find, and sat on a wooden chair outdoors.
Feeling the evening air brushing on my cheeks and hair; it was the perfect time to introspect, and enjoy being.
Style/Fashion Notes: Hat by Stetson, Eyewear by Saint Laurent, Vintage neon scarf bought from Berlin, Unisex Pleated Gown by IceTree from 798 fashion district in Beijing, Raf Simons x Ruby Sterling boots.
Photography by T.O.M.
x War Julian x
In the name of: Raf Simons/Sterling Ruby
The collaboration between fashion designer Raf Simons and modern artist Sterling Ruby is one of my favourite shows for men’s fall/winter 2014.
See video below.
I was so excited to see these clothes for myself when I visited Antwerp (Belgium). The design has an edgy, modern feel, mixed with pop-art and rock-and-roll sensibilities.The colours and shapes looked amazing in video but even more sensational when seen and felt in reality. My favourites are definitely the oversized jackets – which made the male models looked like young boys wearing hand-me-downs from their incredibly fashionable fathers; the limited edition, paint-splattered jeans and shirt, in different colours – which apparently Sterling Ruby painted himself; and last but not the least, the boots – some people call them the clown boots, orthotic/moonboots, etc. but I adoooree them. These boots (in collaboration with Adidas) are enormous, yet feather-light and so comfortable to wear. They come in white, black, and glowing acid orange – guess which one I bought!
The guys in the shop were very knowledgeable, attentive, and in full Simons/Ruby get-up (and they get to keep them, lucky ba#@%rds!). The warehouse-like, gallery-esque, highly-stylised, pop-up store/building with Sterling Ruby’s installations hanging like gigantic sausages (the very one’s used in the actual Paris fashion show) unquestionably called for a blog photo-op!
Another fun and unique shopping experience.
Fashion/Style Notes: DAN DVRAN (Philippines) Leopard print chiffon scarf, 1960s Nylon Coat (Le Marais, Paris), Karl Lagerfeld studded leather gloves (K.L. shop, Antwerp), Raf Simons x Sterling Ruby Pants and Boots; Location: Antwerp, Belgium by T.O.M.
x War Julian x
Alexander Wang x H&M.
Were you one of those courageous people, who fought their way through the stampede of fashion minions at the Alex Wang x H&M launch last month?
However, truth be told – if I had the chance – I would have participated in that state of fashion pandemonium too.
Neither Dublin (Ireland) was spared in the A.W. x H&M hysteria. Key pieces allegedly sold out in less than 30 minutes during the opening day. By fashion miracle, I was able to grab a piece (ONE week post-launching day); A piece that I’d actually been ogling over the internet, a few days before it was made available in stores. I had great fun styling this cropped/scuba diver’s top – reportedly, the last one left on the shelf in Dublin that day!
I’m very impressed with it’s quality too. I like that the fabric is stiff to look at, yet soft to the touch. Hmm I’m beginning to predict that structure, texture, and construction might dominate my next fashion obsession; Ohh…yesss…I can see the future now.
I also think that the ambiguous WANG embossed-print is a great tongue-in-cheek statement and I do love some shameless designer-name-plugging written all over my clothes (if done brilliantly, like this one). This sweatshirt merges well with what’s already in my wardrobe and corresponds beautifully with my personal style.
Instead of doing the urban-casual/sporty look (as the collection is obviously geared for), I experimented a little bit and did my own – warjulian spin to it!
Style/Fashion Notes: Stetson felt hat, LGR sunnies, Chanel necklace, houndstooth shirt, Alexander Wang x H&M sweatshirt, Bai Peng pants, Marni Shoes. Shot in St. Stephen’s Green Park, Dublin Ireland.
x War Julian x