Category Archives: PERSONAL

Female chauvinist pigs

It’s been a while since I did a Book & Nail post: the constant diy that a new home brings forth has reduced my nails to stubs and frankly, I’ve been neglecting the poor things too long! It’s also ironic that I’m giving in to “girly girl” urges immediately after finishing this particular book, but hey… that’s life.

This time I’m going for Ghetto barbie nails
Fake glue-ons with minimal square cut, hand drawn and with a matte topcoat.

Also, a minor disclaimer: the sort-of-feminist musings that follow should be taken just like that… I’m not denouncing anything or pointing fingers here: as a matter of fact, I am probably planted firmly in the chauvinist pig category myself.

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I picked up Female Chauvinist Pigs during my last trip to the USA in a small bookstore that was basically the living room of a private house, with floors bent by the weight of books stacked everywhere. Used bookstores in holiday spots are strange places and they often surprise me with what people choose to read on their vacation. This particular store was indeed a gem… the memories of an englishmen in Florence during the times of the “Mostro di Firenze” case? Rare occult books? One on insects in criminology? Best of all, not a single Dan Brown or Sophie Kinsella book in sight… who knew that a two-road-town could attract readers like these?

Going back to Ariel Levy’s book, I picked it up from the shelf just to have a good laugh at the cover: unassuming clipart design coupled with Impact title and a 100% magenta background? What was the designer thinking? It looks more like a mockup than a final draft.

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Amused by the title and the blurb on the back, I decided to pinch my snobby designer nose and buy it. A winning idea, as it turned out that the standardized bimbo clipart and blaring “meme” font were particularly well chosen to fit the content, an intriguing analisys of how raunch culture and porno-isation are getting more and more popular with women of the western world, flattening alternative avenues of expression. I won’t review it in depth but this Guardian article sums it up quite nicely.

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Female Chauvinist Pigs deals mainly with the current situation in the USA, but considering that mass culture and the internet have made Italy little more than a dumping ground for trends, I believe that it applies very well to our situation…. in example, you can see Sex & the City mentality in the spending habits and in the proliferation of fashionista blogs that are little more than cries for attention.

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The cult of pornstars-as-mainstream-stars is taking hold here as well: I heard more women than men fawning about Sasha Grey’s visit in Italy and I strongly doubt that all of these were fans of her career. Rather, it’s just another facet of a trend that sees women capitalizing on raunchiness in order to be placed on the same plane as their male counterparts: “I like tits & ass just like you, therefore I am cool and interesting, I am one of the guys”.

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It’s interesting to note that, the more women are acting like men, the more they mimick and idolise an extreme form of female sexuality that is mainly man-driven… and while Levy focuses or porn stars and strippers, in Italy we have only to look at the current events to see the bunga bunga girls in action -in a minor way, one could also make a case for the proliferation of the met-art / nude model scene too.
In my work in advertising and in photography, I have been very lucky with my collaborations and have generally met incredible girls, but there have been times when I came in contact with people of that ilk and I am reminded of how certain subcultures (especially when social media is concerned) thrive on raunch and are used by women as a way to feel empowered and exercise an amount of superiority that wouldn’t be possible if the sexual element was removed from the equation… and that, in my opinion, is something that makes it hard to be taken seriously in any other way.

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Back on the saddle!

Getting back into blogging after a break partially due to several vacations, a broken cellphone and most of all the mother of all moves… now that I’ve stopped being surrounded by boxes and I am finally down to the last stages (putting drapes and shelves is downright light compared to all the heavy lifting stuff I had to endure all August!) I can finally focus on something other than the Ikea catalogue.

Before getting into full speed I got to start slow, so here are a couple of commissioned shots that were actually taken in July, but were edited in the new house -when I finally had the time to unbox the computers! A couple of simple promotional portraits of the two lovely Femmes Fatales sisters, in their Sweet Candy burlesque outfits.

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Friday’s links – movie edition

This time I’m going to swerve a bit from my usual linking habit and talk about the latest indie/bmovies that caught my eyes.
A little background: I spend a lot of my evening time editing photos, but once the main look of a set is decided, the rest is grunt work… cleaning up skin, fixing hair, adjusting the styling and so on. I have a very low attention span and prefer to multitask, so in order to get any work done without going crazy I watch stuff on the side. This has the unfortunate byproduct of constantly having to find crappy tv series and low-brow movies that won’t distract me from the main task, but will still keep me reasonably entertained. Here are the latest of the bunch, enjoy!

The ghastly love of Jhonny X

There’s been a recent trend, one I’m digging thoroughly, of making movies that have the look and feel of old classics. The H.P. Lovecraft Society has produced a couple of excellent ones and now this little gem popped up: rather than taking its cues from Hammer like the Lovecraft ones, Jhonny X is a cross between camp sci-fi and the greaser rock n’ roll exploitation movies of the fifties and sixties. Extremely good photography that uses the black & white medium to the most, nice styling, catchy songs… I hate Grease with a vengeance and am generally wary of musicals, but ended up liking this one a lot, so if you’re caught up in the vintage/retro craze or are a Cramps fan, take a look at this: it’s well worth the time.

John dies at the end

Another John -but a totally different movie. This one deals with a semi-sentient drug, the ongoing bromance between two loser friends and the end of the world as we know it. It could probably have used a bit more budget for its creature effect, but the fact that it’s filled with meta references, mental mindfucks and a healthy dose of sarcasm makes it stand out from the mass of trite “we are the chosen ones, gotta save the world” movies that are always popping out.

Hansel & Gretel get baked

As you might have surmised by the previous movies, my ideal form of comedy is stoner humour. Give me a Cheech & Chong or a Kevin Smith flick and I’ll laugh from scene one to the closing credits, without even have to resort to additional help of the herbal variety. Unfortunately, these movies are a hit or miss thing: Bong of the dead is a perfect example of how a great idea (probably born between tokes) can be badly executed and turn into a mediocre movie. That said, I just had to check this one up to see if it stood a chance despite being produced by the spawn of hell that gave us Twilight. Don’t confuse it with the other Hansel & Gretel movie knocking around, the one with Jeremy Renner: I think the totality of cast and crew was stoned out of their mind the whole time when producing that turd.

A little bit zombie

The zombie comedy is an established subgenre nowadays, but there’s always something new popping up. Milan is plagued by mosquitoes for the better part of the year…people get bitten even in winter (they keep coming back like Terminators on wings!) but in the summertime shit gets real fast and people close to water start sporting a red polka dot skin. This little comedy about what would happen if a mosquito drank zombie blood and went to bother regular people afterwards is the perfect thing to watch while you’re spraying yourself with Vape for the nth time.

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Friday’s links, plus a couple of pics

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These two aren’t enough to prompt a whole post dedicated to them as I already shoot the outfit to death, butI couldn’t resist sneaking them in!

Model: Cleo Viper
Make up: Claudia Malavasi
Outfit: Christina Riminucci

Today’s link list is rather boring, if you don’t like reading articles online. I, on the other hand, have recently discovered the guilty pleasure of reading stuff on my cellphone while on the bus, so here’s my three picks of the week!

History of Emoticons and Emoji from Rhizome.
This very well written article is a must for every designer dealing with icons and pictograms.

Get into an isolation tank and out of your head from Ultraculture.
Having recently experienced a sensory deprivation pod (and having quite liked it!) I’m readying myself for take two -possibly in some big, comfy american version.

A short lesson in perspective by Lindsey Redding.
You get used to reading rants about the advertising word, how it’s a shallow and utterly soulless place ecc ecc. You nod your head, maybe sigh a bit if you’re reading it at 11pm during a computer break, then move on completely unchanged by the words. This article isn’t one of those and it’s even more sobering once you realise that the author died shortly after writing it.

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Hexen

A couple of weeks ago I had the chance to spend a busy afternoon with lovely Xarah, who was visiting Italy for the Milan Burlesque Awards -where she managed to snag a trophy for “best performer” too!

Despite having only a small amount of time for the shooting, we managed two outfit changes, both revolving on Xarah’s beautiful leather mask. I also got the chance to use some of my black acrylic nails, which I fashioned into talons… I’m in love with how they turned out and if they weren’t so horribly impractical I would sport these myself everyday, just to scare little children! On a nail-related note, I see more and more elaborate nail art being featured in magazines and media as part of the styling, but it’s only abroad right now… when is this going to finally get over here?

Between work and the fact that I spent the past week buried in bed with the most horrid flu I had in years, I didn’t have the chance nor the inclination to start working… I was still grumpily lamenting my clogged-up state while reading for the nth time Dance Macabre (King’s excellent analisys of the horror genre through media and ages) when I came across this little gem that got me firing up the computer for the first time in a whole week.

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That little tidbit from a Kenneth Patchen poem is the reason a more “standard” postproduction ended up in the dark forest ;-)

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Ye olde language shift

back
(*)

Esattamente due anni fa ho completato il trasloco da Livejournal a WordPress, per cui mi pare appropriato festeggiare dando un bel calcio nel fondoschiena alla lingua italiana e passare da ora in avanti all’inglese.

E’ una decisione su cui già stavo meditando da tempo, per una serie di motivi pratici e di gusto personale.
Prima di tutto, perchè in inglese riesco ad esprimermi in modo nettamente più veloce/conciso. Questo è stato un esperimento durato fin troppo: scrivere in italiano è un’agonia per la sottoscritta, divento logorroica e ci impiego il triplo del tempo, mentre in inglese suona tutto molto meglio.
In più, guardando gli stats, vedo che costantemente 3/4 delle visite è anglofona. E “purtroppo”, a causa della lingua si possono solo concentrare sulle foto perdendosi tutto il mio humour di classe. Nope, non la scamperete così facilmente.

Long story short: from the next post this blog will be in english.

(*)si, mi rendo contro che dovrebbe essere “back to english” ma non volevo perdere il “to the” e impaginare “back to the english version of my blog” era una menata improponibile…. :-P

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Necronomicon nails

Secondo capitolo delle mie manicure libresche. Stavolta è un classico: Necronomicon – The best tales of H.P. Lovecraft
Io adoro Lovecraft… la mia tendenza alla logorrea si trova perfettamente nel suo stile che per molti invece è troppo ampolloso; la cosmogonia che ha creato è stata fondamentale per parecchi autori considerati al giorno d’oggi come i massimi esponenti di horror, fantascienza e fantasy…. ed era un amante dei gatti per cui di default vince tutto.

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Ho svariate raccolte e saggi di mr L. ma questa versione omnibus recuperata in un bookshop londinese e imbarcata a mano al ritorno perchè non stava in valigia è perfetta per farsi una maratona di disgrazie cosmiche (altrui), tentacoli e orrori inenarrabili… certo, bisogna chiudere un occhio sul lettering atroce del titolo, un Papyrus deformato a causa della lunghezza del nome, ma considerando che il Necronomicon è un libro fittizio scritto da un pazzo yemenita, il Papyrus è ancora una scelta ammissibile. ;-)

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Se si parla di Lovecraft si parla di Chtulhu. E se si parla di Chtulhu si parla di tentacoli. Ho ripassato lo smalto nero di base con pennellate di nero glitterato argento per dar più materia al disegno.

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Orrida qualità fotografica, purtroppo, dato che ho usato a)una digicam compatta del secolo scorso e b)ho scattato mentre facevo colazione, ergo in modalità provvisoria.

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Ricette rock

Cerco sempre di collaborare con gente che è appassionata di quello che fa e con Enrico & Andrea non è stato difficile trovare punti in comune: sono l’incarnazione della passione culinaria (con buona pace del mio girovita).

La loro ultima creazione è Ricette Rock, un blog molto interessante che unisce il food alla musica e di cui ho avuto il piacere di curare gli scatti promozionali.
E’ ancora in fase di beta ed è alla ricerca di ricette da parte degli utenti, per cui se c’è gente che si diletta ai fornelli è il momento buono per contattarli! ;-)

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Spirit + Flesh

Mi sono accorta che nell’ultimo periodo ho postato sempre più frequentemente online i risultati della mia nail art casalinga, per cui ho deciso di legittimare la cosa un po’ meglio e accorparla con un’altra mia passione: collezionare libri. Tempo e voglia permettendo, questa è la prima di una serie di manicure ispirate da libri.

Primo capitolo, Fakir Musafar – “Spirit+Flesh”.

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Chiunque sia appassionato di body modification “seria” sicuramente conosce Fakir, uno dei pionieri del modern primitive movement. Il suo libro è particolarmente interessante anche perchè oltre a far vedere uno scorcio nella sottocultura attraverso gli anni, a differenza delle solite pubblicazioni di body art è anche una raccolta della sua opera fotografica e dei suoi autoscatti dall’adolescenza in poi per cui si riesce a vedere il suo progredire sia in ambito fotografico che per quanto riguarda le sue trasformazioni fisiche.

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Adoro i libri con colour scheme monocromatici e questo è un esempio perfetto… copertina con embossing che richiama i messali e pagine bicolore, yum!

Non si può parlare di body modification senza pensare ai piercing. per cui ovviamente, una delle mie unghie doveva averne uno!

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Un richiamo alla croce della copertina, ma con piastrine metalliche.

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Dato che non avevo la minima voglia di prendere a martellate la mia unghia originale (peraltro troppo corta) e volevo qualcosa che spuntasse molto di più, l’anulare ha una unghia finta con lo stesso smalto delle altre.

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Il materiale è un riciclo di alcune vecchie manicure, tutta roba super ghetto.

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Steampunk portrait

Microset assolutamente non impegnativo: ogni tanto fa piacere anche trovarsi con un’amica sul set di tutt’altro e improvvisare. Peraltro, se l’amica è una che già di suo non necessita styling, trucco o parrucco non c’è niente di meglio che sfruttare le luci già posizionate e sadisticamente farla saltare e correre coi tacchi sulla ghiaia fino all’esaurimento.

Model: Ilaria

Non contenta dell’attività sportiva, subito dopo l’ho trascinata in cunicoli poco salubri (ma solo all’ingresso!) per qualche scatto che sfruttasse la luce del pomeriggio.

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