Friday, April 15, 2011

A House That's Only 12 Feet Wide

We now switch our focus over to inspiring world of architecture for this post. This house is located in the beautiful city of Barcelona and is only 12 ft wide! But who say's width matters when the square footage is 4000. That's about the size a of a city block. On the outside from the front or back this building looks completely normal. You wouldn't expect anything much of the interior. But oh boy, is the architect ever sneaky.

The interior of the home is absolutely stunning, with elegant and modern aspects.

- Astrangerelegance

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Now On Bloglovin

A Stranger Elegance is now on Bloglovin'. For those who aren't quite sure what Bloglovin' is, just think of it as a mix of twitter/tumblr but it's blogspot.

Follow my blog with bloglovin

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Zuhair Murad

(Zuhair Murad Fall/Winter 10/11)

These days, when talking about high designer fashion, common names like Marc Jacobs, Balenciaga, Valentino, Chanel and Vera Wang are usually the ones to come up first. But it's the underrated designers, the new souls that are slowly captivating the heart of fashion in society now. One designer, Zuhair Murad, has definitely made his statement and gone to the top of my list, of designers to watch out for.

Zuhair Murad is a lebanese designer. His opulent creations are by far among the most beautiful pieces of fashion out there, mirroring Egyptian and Grecian goddesses with his use of laces, sequins, silk and other luxurious fabrics. But Murad is also a genius when it comes to adding a modern variation to this pure timeless look.

A personal favorite dress of mine, is one that Blake Lively wore on an episode of Gossip Girl (picture right above). I just love how intricate and elegant the lace and fabric are interwoven. It's a pewter gray long sleeve lace gown with silk draped in the front and sheer skirt. The dress is a piece of art on it's own. Not to mention Blake Lively looks lovely as ever.
(Picture Left: Zuhair Murad in Paris: Fall/Winter 10"11)

Among others to wear Zuhair Murad are Nina Dobrev, Taylor Swift, Jennifer Lopez, Selena Gomez, Katy Perry, Carrie Underwood, Anne Hathaway, Miley Cyrus, and Beyonce.

Check out his collections for Fall/Winter 10/11, Spring/Summer 10/11 and Fall/Winter 11/12. I guarantee you, among the feathers, sequins, lace, tulle and studs, that they won't fall short of your expectations.

- Astrangerelegance

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Inspiration: Sofia Coppola

Without a doubt, Sofia Coppola is one the most classiest, imaginative and inspiring women out in society today. She's a filmmaker, writer, producer, model, and an actress and she's not even 40 yet! Her style is beautiful, and the tones and lighting that's associated with her are the complete definition of artistic and elegant.

(Maryna Linchuk, photographed by Sofia Coppola during her Miss Dior Cherie commercial)

As a filmmaker, well she's got to be my personal favorite. The Goddess of Indie Films, Sofia always seems to create these stunning atmospheric and impressionistic films in a quiet yet impeccable style. She's also the first american women to be nominated for an Academy Award for her film (which she WROTE and DIRECTED) Lost in Translation in the categories of Best Director, Best Movie, and Best Original Screenplay (she won). Her other works include: The Virgin Suicides, Marie Antoinette, and Somewhere. She's an absolute genius. There are no words to describe my love for her.

(Sofia, directing Bill Murry in Lost in Translation)

She's also done some modeling for Marc Jacobs, and has co-founded her own clothing line "MilkFed". Her most notable work in fashion, is that she is THE director of Miss Dior Cherie fragrance commercials. Paris, roses, black dresses, tea pots, strawberries: this is what I live for. All elements of the perfect tasteful commercial that is Miss Dior Cherie.

(Natalie Portman models for the latest Miss Dior Commercial)

And lastly, as a person, Sofia Coppola is just simply wonderful. She sets an example that women in Hollywood belong there just as much as men. And sometimes do it better. She defends fashion as an art form against those who call it silly and superficial. She is a true artist of our generation.

- Astrangerelegance

Monday, April 11, 2011

An Insomniac's Playlist

Sometimes, in the dead night, reality will just make you a hostage while you beg for the sleep that never seems to come. And as you lay awake at 3:24 am with your bed sheets tangled and eyes blank and open, all those unwanted thoughts, the buried feelings start to invade your mind making you even more restless. Insomnia, wakefulness, inability to sleep, whichever name you prefer, it's still a nuisance to deal with. It's also something that's been plaguing me for the past couple weeks. But what helps is listening to music. Calming music. It's no magic sleeping potion, but it does helps for what it's worth.

So if you're going through what I'm going through, or if you just have one of those restless nights, here is my personal playlist that "induces sleep". It's pretty diverse ranging from instrumental to french ballads to soft alternative rock, but all create the same tranquil tenor.

An Insomniac's Playlist

1. Get Up [Barcelona]
2. First Floor People [Barcelona]
3. Volcano [Damien Rice]
4. Human [Civil Twilight]
5. Warning Sign [Coldplay]
6. The Scientist [Coldplay]
7. Dead Hearts [Stars]
8. Twenty Years [Augustana]
9. Your Ex Lover is Dead [Stars]
10. Winter Winds [Mumford & Sons]
11. After the Storm [Mumford & Sons]
12. Love Lost [The Temper Trap]
13. Sleep [Meiko]
14. Night Time [The xx]
15. Shelter [The xx]
16. Corbeau [Couer de Pirate]
17. Transatlanticism [Death Cab for Cutie]
18. Passion Play [William Fitzsimmons]
19. Maybe Be Alright [William Fitzsimmons]
20. Everything Has Changed [William Fitzsimmons
21. What do you go home to? [Explosions in the Sky]
22. Stolen [Dashboard Confessional]
23. Empty Room [Marjorie Fair]
24. Off I Go [Greg Laswell]
25. Tornado [Jonsi]
26. In My Veins [Andrew Belle]
27. Poison and Wine [The Civil Wars]
28. World Spins Madly On [The Weepies]

enjoy and goodnight
- astrangerelegance


Reasons this band is so good:
1. They are Canadian
2. They are part of three genres: indie rock, new wave, post-punk revival.
3. Their song Black Sheep was featured in the movie Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
4. They write their own songs, with their lead singer Emily Haines contributing most of the lyrics. She also has really amazing style.
5. They include a synthesizer, and a theremin.
6. They have been based in Montreal, New York, London, and Los Angeles.
7. Some of their songs like Poster of a Girl include french lyrics... affiche d'une fille.
8. They reference the Beatles and the Rolling Stones in their song Gimme Sympathy.
9. Their album Fantasies was short-listed for the 2009 Polaris Music Prize for Canadian album of the year, and won Alternative Album of the year at the 2010 Juno Awards and Group of the Year.
10. Listen to Combat Baby.

Other formidable songs include: Grow up and Blow Away, Dead Disco, Help I'm Alive, (Eclipse) All Yours, Sick Muse, Gold Guns Girls, Stadium Love, Front Row, Monster Hospital

- Astrangerelegance

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Film is dead.

How true. Film is (was) an art form. It's an output, an escape to describe passions, desires, pain, and humanity itself. Now, film has become just another victim of money's grip on human desire for power.

Original films are dead. Original, and probably brilliant ideas are being suffocated by adolescent book adaptions, ideas based on toys, and remakes of other original films, because all the studios care about is the money. It's all about the adrenaline rush these types of films produce whether it's from forbidden romance, or a sword fight, or a car chase. And it's not that I think these concepts are bad, it's just that there's SO MANY of them out. It's becoming dry, and frankly tedious. Think about it. Or rather read about it. Here are couple excerpts of a very long article (read the bold if you don't want to read it all) and I honestly couldn't agree with them more

"You want to understand how bad things are in Hollywood right now—how stifling and airless and cautious the atmosphere is, how little nourishment or encouragement a good new idea receives, and how devoid of ambition the horizon currently appears—it helps to start with a success story."

Consider: Years ago, an ace filmmaker, the man who happened to direct the third-highest-grossing movie in U.S. history, The Dark Knight, came up with an idea for a big summer movie. It's a story he loved—in fact, he wrote it himself—and it belonged to a genre, the sci-fi action thriller, that zipped right down the center lane of American popular taste. He cast as his leading man a handsome actor, Leonardo DiCaprio, who happened to star in the second-highest-grossing movie in history. Finally, to cover his bet even more, he hired half a dozen Oscar nominees and winners for supporting roles.

Sounds like a sure thing, right? Exactly the kind of movie that a studio would die to have and an audience would kill to see? Well, it was. That film, Christopher Nolan's Inception, received admiring reviews, became last summer's most discussed movie, and has grossed, as of this writing, more than three-quarters of a billion dollars worldwide.

And now the twist: The studios are trying very hard not to notice its success, or to care. Before anybody saw the movie, the buzz within the industry was: It's just a favor Warner Bros. is doing for Nolan because the studio needs him to make Batman 3. After it started to screen, the party line changed: It's too smart for the room, too smart for the summer, too smart for the audience. Just before it opened, it shifted again: Nolan is only a brand-name director to Web geeks, and his drawing power is being wildly overestimated. After it grossed $62 million on its first weekend, the word was: Yeah, that's pretty good, but it just means all the Nolan groupies came out early—now watch it drop like a stone.

It has always been disheartening when good movies flop; it gives endless comfort to those who would rather not have to try to make them and can happily take cover behind a shield labeled "The people have spoken." But it's really bad news when the industry essentially rejects a success, when a movie that should have spawned two dozen taste-based gambles on passion projects is instead greeted as an unanswerable anomaly. That kind of thinking is why Hollywood studio filmmaking, as 2010 came to its end, was at an all-time low—by which I don't mean that there are fewer really good movies than ever before (last year had its share, and so will 2011) but that it has never been harder for an intelligent, moderately budgeted, original movie aimed at adults to get onto movie screens nationwide. "It's true at every studio," says producer Dan Jinks, whose credits include the Oscar winners American Beauty and Milk. "Everyone has cut back on not just 'Oscar-worthy' movies, but on dramas, period. Caution has made them pull away. It's infected the entire business."

For the studios, a good new idea has become just too scary a road to travel. Inception, they will tell you, is an exceptional movie. And movies that need to be exceptional to succeed are bad business. "The scab you're picking at is called execution," says legendary producer Scott Rudin (The Social Network, True Grit). "Studios are hardwired not to bet on execution, and the terrible thing is, they're right. Because in terms of execution, most movies disappoint."

With that in mind, let's look ahead to what's on the menu for this year: four adaptations of comic books. One prequel to an adaptation of a comic book. One sequel to a sequel to a movie based on a toy. One sequel to a sequel to a sequel to a movie based on an amusement-park ride. One prequel to a remake. Two sequels to cartoons. One sequel to a comedy. An adaptation of a children's book. An adaptation of a Saturday-morning cartoon. One sequel with a 4 in the title. Two sequels with a 5 in the title. One sequel that, if it were inclined to use numbers, would have to have a 7 1/2 in the title.1

And no Inception. Now, to be fair, in modern Hollywood, it usually takes two years, not one, for an idea to make its way through the alimentary canal of the system and onto multiplex screens, so we should really be looking at summer 2012 to see the fruit of Nolan's success. So here's what's on tap two summers from now: an adaptation of a comic book. A reboot of an adaptation of a comic book. A sequel to a sequel to an adaptation of a comic book. A sequel to a reboot of an adaptation of a TV show. A sequel to a sequel to a reboot of an adaptation of a comic book. A sequel to a cartoon. A sequel to a sequel to a cartoon. A sequel to a sequel to a sequel to a cartoon. A sequel to a sequel to a sequel to a sequel to a movie based on a young-adult novel.2

You can read the rest at:

This article is incredibly long, but it is THE most inspiring piece of writing for me as an aspiring filmmaker. I want to be that one producer who says to that amateur screenwriter, "YES, this is ingenious, it's thought provoking and a breath of fresh air. Let's make a movie" Oh how I wish, will it, for hollywood to stop producing SUMMER blockbusters, ALL YEAR ROUND. I mean, I'm pretty sure the word "summer" has completely lost it's meaning in hollywood.

Now, don't get me wrong, I love summer blockbusters, but I feel like hollywood is trying to smother us with them, numbing our minds and blinding us from what a good film really is. Which is, in my opinion, a film that really makes us "feel" something other than pure adrenaline and a sense of entertainment. But nothing stands out anymore.

- Astrangerelegance


Check out the full post at the Aritzia blog and zip on over there to get the perfect spring/summer tops. We know we will.

- Astrangerelegance

Slips not a Slip-Up

Slips, sheer or not, are a great addition to any closet.
Ways to to style it:
With a second skin tank dress underneath, flats and blazer.
With a slouchy sweater and heeled booties.
With a bralette over leather leggings and heels with a floppy hat.
With patterned tights and cropped sweater.
With a cardigan and combat boots.

- Astrangerelegance


I love this band. Why? Because it's like nothing I've ever heard before, while at the same time being something that feels so natural for me to listen to.
Their sound, a great partnership of poetic lyrics sung by amazingly hypnotizing voices (especially in The Stand) and twangy tunes, is what's making them my favourite band at the moment.
Definitely Check Out:
Oh my Heart
The Stand
Burning Pile
Wrecking Ball
And their new album:
Boy am I proud they are a local band. Our lovely city sure does crank out the most amazing artists.

- Astrangerelegance

Its Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

It's hard to explain why the mixture instruments that go into creating the feel-good folk song Home, and ballad 40 day dream, works. It just does.
This band has been able to master something solely their own. Their lyrics and tunes inspire a feelings drive one to croon along and/or hum loudly.
Their's are the sort of songs you get excited over when they play on the radio.
I listened to Home while reading a book over the summer, and felt it mirrored it so well. I'll admit it was probably the reason I enjoyed the book so much. After it, I didn't know if the band could possibly create another tune that I found as awesome. Somehow, it's hard for me to comprehend how many songs there are out there to still be created. So many bands are only known for one song. But, I was happy when they shattered that expectation and worked more of their magic on 40 day dream.
Also, check out the lead singer's solo album (can you guess his name), it's received good reviews.
Hope to hear more,