Le Bazhaar

CATEGORY: Lifestyle and Culture

Real shows

Atlanta cast (photography courtesy of FX)

Let’s talk about two shows I’ve been watching and loving, both shows have been created and produced by their lead actors, depicting an atypical vision of black America, and bringing a breeze of fresh air in TV’s landscape:

Atlanta, created, co produced and played by Donald Glover, FX.

The Plot: guys who are trying to succeed in the rap business in Atlanta. We follow the up and down adventures of Earn (Donald Glover) a young father struggling with small jobs and managing at the same time the burgeoning career of his cousin Alfred (Brian Tyree Henry).

Why you should watch Altlanta? For the unconventional script. Forget about the bling or the trashy lifestyle, here you get the real thing, you will get attached and can even relate to the characters whose scatty situations will make you sometimes laugh or feel emotional. The multi talented Donald Glover and also a rapper himself (aka Childish Gambino), explains the authenticity and candor of the narrative.

Actress Issa Rae (photography courtesy of HBO)

Insecurecreated by Issa Rae and Larry Wilmore, co produced and played by Issa Rae, HBO

The Plot: The professional and love life of two Afro American young women who happen to be best friends. The show focuses on Issa (Issa Rae), her unsatisfactory longtime relationship with boyfriend Lawrence (Jay Ellis), and challenging job at a non profit organisation for middle school students of color. Her friend Molly (Yvonne Orji), is a successful associate in a law firm but struggles to find the right man.

Why you should watch Insecure? Because this was initially a mini web series called Akward black girl, Issa Rae character contradictions and energy is just addictive. Her funny faces, self talks when she stares at her mirror reflection and her rapping (the character Issa used to rap in high school) are hilarious. Kudos as well to Yvonne Orji playing Molly a sassy, at times sensitive or slightly neurotic gal longing for Mr Perfect.

 

 

First Date*

Michelle (Tika Sumpter) and Barack (Parker Sawyers) Image courtesy of Miramax/Roadside Attractions
Michelle (Tika Sumpter) and Barack (Parker Sawyers)
Image courtesy of Miramax/Roadside Attractions

During Summer 1989 in Chicago, Michelle Robinson and Barack Obama had their first date. Actually it’s not a date, at least at the beginning, as Michelle’s character likes to say it in the movie. This could be the ordinary start of a love story except that these two without knowing it will make history by becoming the first black American presidential couple. But the movie focuses on the obvious interest of intern’s Barack in the smart junior lawyer Michelle and how he progressively wins her heart. Even if the awakening of their complicity and love is the main focus here, we can already sense the political potential and charisma of Obama and chemistry with Michelle. Tika Sumpter as Michelle Robinson gives a really good interpretation, not an easy thing knowing that they look nothing alike except maybe their stature, however the thumbs up goes to Parker Sawyers perfect in charming messy young Obama with a promising bright future. Overall the movie is a pleasant, romantic stroll through the black middle class neighborhoods of Chicago, tinted of nostalgia of a bygone era.

The little plus: the 80’s soundtrack, especially Janet Jackson’s hit “Miss you much” and Soul II Soul “Keep on Movin’”.

*Southside with You is the original title.

 

 

 

The new face of Feminism

Barbie exhibition, picture taken at Le Musee des Arts Decoratifs in Paris
Barbie exhibition, picture taken at Le
Musee des Arts Decoratifs in Paris

Women are stronger than ever, standing up for themselves, fierce, assuming their choices at least for the most part. Hillary Clinton might become the first woman to be elected as a president in the United States, Rama Yade a brilliant French Senegalese politician, announced her candidacy for the presidential elections in (more…)

Bowie Le magnifique

David Bowie in his legendary stripped bdysuit for the Aladdin Sane tour
David Bowie in his legendary stripped bodysuit designed
by Kansai Yamamoto for the Aladdin Sane tour

When the news broke that David Bowie passed away after battling liver cancer, millions of fans lost their idol. Until the last day he never stopped working and just released “Blackstar” his last album. No need to say how much he contributed to music, fashion and (more…)

Beaute Congo

Autoportrait from artist Moka
Autoportrait from artist Moka

It’s been a while since I wanted to post about this great exhibit, Beaute Congo 1925-2015, that I saw at the Fondation Cartier. The exhibit showcases the work of congolese artists such as Cheri Samba, Cheri Cherin, JP Mika, or Moke, a journey in the early days of Congolese art to nowadays masterpieces. Colours, love, (more…)

Happy 2015!

Holiday Inn movie 1942
Holiday Inn movie 1942

And here we are in 2015, new year, new beginnings, new resolutions… Hoping this year will be full of success, great surprises, peace, interesting challenges and joy like in the picture above. This is one of the movies I would have loved to watch during the holidays with a hot chocolate and Christmas cookies and maybe be transported (again) in the magic of this particular moment of the year. Funny how the good vibes of this image are drastically different from the dark place the world was then, a good example of hope for a better tomorrow when everything seems falling apart…

At the spa

I visited a couple of times the Clearessence Hotel Spa, I was quite impressed by the service quality and the overall experience. Especially in a busy city like Lagos, sometimes you just need a little escape. Inspired by the Californian lifestyle, the boutique hotel is a peaceful place where you can eat healthy dishes, drink fresh fruit juices and pamper yourself. The spa which is nested in a beautiful garden, offers a large range of luxurious treatments: from different sorts of massages, facials*, body treatments to mani pedi you can be sure you will feel relaxed and refreshed after a little visit!

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To experience or for more information about the Clearessence please visit

clearessencecaliforniaspa.com

*The Clearessence uses its own line of products for facials (adapted for each skin type)

The Wives

Welcome to a brand new category called “Where I live”. I had the chance to live in different countries, and it might continues in the next couple of years so why not make the other benefits from my experience?! I am now between Lagos in Nigeria and Paris, two opposite worlds but with common factors such as a tremendous cultural, artistic environment and buzzing life. I would like to share with you my favourite spots and anything interesting happening in both cities. Talking of interesting, I went to see a play called, The Wives, starring Evaezi Ogoro, Odenike, Kaylah Oniwo, Olawumi Heavens, Patrick Diabuah and David Azeez. It’s about the drama, rivalry and dirty secrets between the wives and the sister of a powerful man who just died. It’s funny, sarcastic, clever with an unexpected twist at the end. They only had one day of representation at Terra Kulture (future post coming up on this venue!), but check out the production company Paw Studios website  for upcoming plays…

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Men’s magnet

The gorgeous actress and mother of two, Jessica Alba shows off her amazing body for men’s publications, GQ UK August and Maxim September issues. Something tells us the readership of those two well known magazines will go to the roof this Summer!

Jessica Alba for Maxim September 2014 issue
Jessica Alba for Maxim September 2014 issue
Jessica Alba for GQ UK August 2014 issue
Jessica Alba for GQ UK August 2014 issue
Jessica Alba for GQ UK August 2014 issue
Jessica Alba for GQ UK August 2014 issue
Jessica Alba for GQ UK August 2014 issue
Jessica Alba for GQ UK August 2014 issue

My mum is a supermodel

Yesterday was Mother’s Day in France, to celebrate this special event here are some of the most famous supermodels mums. Of course the list is long but  I wanted to highlight the ones below, and let’s not forget all our mums are supermodels in our eyes right? Enjoy!

Stephanie Seymour for Flaunt Magazine
Stephanie Seymour for Flaunt Magazine
Amber Valletta for V Magazine
Amber Valletta for V Magazine
Angela Lindvall
Angela Lindvall
Kate Moss for Playboy
Kate Moss for Playboy
Karolina Kurkova for Vogue China
Karolina Kurkova for Vogue China
Christy Turlington for Harper's Bazaar
Christy Turlington for Harper’s Bazaar
Grace Jones
Grace Jones
Arizona Muse for Vogue UK
Arizona Muse for Vogue UK
Alessandra Ambrosio for Vogue Brasil
Alessandra Ambrosio for Vogue Brasil
Miranda Kerr
Miranda Kerr
Gisele Bundchen for I-D Magazine
Gisele Bundchen for I-D Magazine
Jourdan Dunn for Russh Magazine
Jourdan Dunn for Russh Magazine
Doutzen Kroes for Vogue Spain
Doutzen Kroes for Vogue Spain
Laetitia Casta for Vogue Paris
Laetitia Casta for Vogue Paris
Audrey Marnay for Vogue Italia
Audrey Marnay for Vogue Italia

 

street style life

At the occasion of Paris fashion week I decided to see how it’s like to be among the fashion and street style photographers in front of show venues. It’s a real dilemna because most of the time they are pretty invasive especially that their number have considerably grown over the years but on another side, I have some sort of respect knowing that becoming a good street style photographer is not that easy. And let’s be honest the fashion crowd is now highly contributing to the phenomenon by showing off their craziest, trendiest attire just to have their picture taken. Here are the golden rules to guarantee a successful photographic session and a few selected pictures I was able to take:

Kate
Stylist and fashion consultant Kate Foley

1. Be sure to have the right camera and be ready: good professional material already set up and quick is key to obtain the best shots

2. Know the who’s who of fashion and entertainment world: if you want to have pictures that matter. However there are plenty of unknown fashionistas even photographers take pictures of each other, the only requirement after all is to be stylish!

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3. Find a strategic area: when a “person of interest” arrives you can be sure everybody will jump on her/him to get a picture but some smart or should I say experienced photographers, managed to always take it easily

4. Be attentive: some fashion targets try to get round the crowd or walk fast to avoid being stopped, but if you can spot her/him from afar, you have good chances to catch them anyway. Yes, it’s like a hunting game…

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Fashion creative director Vogue Japan
Anna Dello Russo (in the middle)
International Herald Tribune Suzy Menkes (right)
International Herald Tribune Suzy Menkes (right)
Mme Figaro Fashion editor Carine Bizet
Mme Figaro Fashion writer Carine Bizet
Vogue US Lynn Yaeger
Vogue US Lynn Yaeger
LOVE Magazine EIC Katie Grand (left)
LOVE Magazine EIC Katie Grand (left)

5. Be patient: Often the “real” fashion crowd is coming from a previous show and tend to get to the next one at the time it’s supposed to start or even a bit after, but once one is here the others follow shortly. As for celebrities, it’s another piece of cake. Their technic is usually to enter from an hidden door unless there is none and they have to use the main entrance. In that case, the black car with tinted windows will be your best bet, but once again be fast, it only takes a few seconds for the photographers to completely surround it!

Teen Vogue fashion news director Jane Keltner De Valle
Teen Vogue fashion news director Jane Keltner De Valle
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Julia Restoin Roitfeld
Stylist Carlyne Cerf De Dudzeele
Stylist Carlyne Cerf De Dudzeele
Fashion blogger Linda Tol
Fashion blogger Linda Tol
Vogue Paris Claire Delhens and Capucine Safyurtlu
Vogue Paris Claire Delhens (back) and
Capucine Safyurtlu (right)
Casting director and Fashion consultant Natalie Joos
Casting director and Fashion consultant Natalie Joos
10 Magazine Sophia Neophitou and Vogue Japan George Cortina
10 Magazine Sophia Neophitou and fashion
editor stylist George Cortina

6. Identify your fellow famous bloggers: you will be so focused on all the editors, stylists and VIP’s that you might miss the star bloggers. They became as important and notorious as big magazines editors. For example I couldn’t photograph Scott Schuman from the Sartorialist but got Tamu McPherson and NY Times veteran Bill Cunningham. From the back.

Tamu McPherson
Tamu McPherson taking a picture
NY Times Bill Cunningham in a blue jacket
NY Times Bill Cunningham in a blue jacket

7. Learn from the best: of course you now have ton of street style blogs/websites, but I would recommend visiting the following sites for inspiration: Jak and Jil, Style.com, Vogue.com, The Sartorialist, On the Street Bill Cunningham

And if you want to know more about the subject read the excellent article published last year in the New York Times by Suzy Menkes about the circus of fashion.