Thursday, 20 October 2011

Goodbye Stasi!

I know it may sound a little odd, but I have this thing for history during the era in which half of Europe was ruled by communism. It's not like I have any sympathy for Stalin, on the contrary! It fascinates me how Europe could have been so divided and it makes even more impact when I think that it was only 22 years ago the Berlin Wall fell.
Yes, I admit it's especially Germany's position I'm interested in. Unlike many other students, German was one of my favourite subjects at highschool and German grammar has the same impact on me as solving a sudoku. I also have this weak spot for Kafka; who is not German, I know, but he wrote in German and that's what counts for now. But what caught my interest the most, is how one of the most powerful countries of Europe could turn into two countries, controlled by other states.
This Summer, I was in Berlin for the first time and it surely had an impact on me. Seeing how the wall cut Berlin literally in half was so strange; it just felt somewhat surreal, even though I knew it was true.

Remains of a divided Berlin

Everything I saw, reminded me of the movie Goodbye Lenin, that tells the story of Alexander, who is an adolescent at the time the wall falls, but has to pretend the wall is still there every time he's near his mother, because she had been in a coma and wasn't allowed to get shocked by anything because of that. Such a wonderful movie, that's incredibly funny, yet tragical.

The typical humourof Goodbye Lenin

The atmosphere throughout the whole movie is wonderful, and not in the last place because of the music of the wonderful Yann Tiersen, whose piano pieces are stuck in the heads of every fan of the European film industry.
I even like this movie better than the very tragical movie Das Leben der Anderen. That movie shows us how a Stasi agent spies on a writer and his wife and knows and reports everything they say and do. In the DDR, everyone could be your enemy and you always had to be careful with what you said and what you did.

The trailer of Das Leben der Anderen

This is surely is a good movie too, and if you are more into dramatical movies than into comedies, you should absolutely watch this one. I just know that I like Goodbye Lenin more, because of its humour, and German humour is my absolute favourite humour in the world. (But I love British humour too.)

Have you ever seen either of them?

Sunday, 16 October 2011


I've been wearing practically the same outfit throughout the whole weekend and have taken some pictures of it with my sister's camera that's at least five years old, hence the quality. I absolutely love the combination of black and white and have hardly worn any colours for the last seven years, though I intend to add some more colourful pieces to my garderobe.
This will be one of last weekends that allows me to dress in a way like this, because the cold weather will arrive soon. I honestly hate both Autumn and Winter; whereas other people associate these seasons with coloured trees and fairytale-like snowy scenes, I think of rain, exploded hair and falling off your bike and breaking your leg because of the frozen roads. I also like Summer fashion much better than Winter fashion and have this tendency to wear my Summer outfits during Winter too, by adding more layers. But Winter hasn't arrived yet, so let's stay optimistic just for now!

Saturday outfit:
Vintage 1950s blouse
Vintage 1970s platform heels
Vintage 1980s purse
H&M skirt
Accessories from Ebay

Sunday outfit:
Vintage 1950s blouse
H&M skirt
Saddle shoes from Ebay
Both the earrings and the hairbow were gifts

Saturday, 15 October 2011

New in town

Look what arrived in the mail this week!

It is a beautiful white blouse from the 1950s in perfect condition! I bought it on Etsy from Aya, the woman behind, one of my favourite websites around. On her blog, I saw the picture of this blouse and I immediately knew it should be mine. It's my first piece from the 1950s and I love it. Too bad the season for wearing short sleeved blouses is over, but I think it would look great with a nice cardigan as well. Stay tuned and you might see it more often on this weblog.
I am still browsing Etsy for great finds all the time; I have currently fallen in love with a 1960s wool coat and 1940s oxford shoes and might order some other items along. Whatever it'll be, you'll see it appear on this site sooner or later.

And that's not the only thing that's new! I also created a layout that satisfies me for this blog, and have officially finished it today, now the header is up too. I've been working for several days on this particular header, and it just didn't look right until today. I know it's rather simple, but I love it nevertheless, especially because it is quite an achievement for someone with photoshop skills as poor as mine.
After searching for quite a while on google for the right pictures, I finally chose Marilyn Monroe (before she was the way we usually her - blond and possibly the biggest sex symbol of all time) and Bette Davis, whose left arm had to be made invisible, because it looked rather awkward without the original black background.

I hope you like it!

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

The Notorious Bettie Page

Do you know Bettie Page?

She was the most famous (or should we rather say infamous?) pin up model from the 1950s.
Bettie Mae Page was born in the Nashville, Tenessee on April 22, 1923. Her parents had three sons and three daughters and the family was very poor; they would divorce when Bettie was 10 years old. Her father molested all three of his daughters and ended up in jail after stealing a police car.
At high school, Bettie was a very good student and had roles in many of the school plays. After graduating, she left Tenessee for New York, where her career as a pinup model took off, when an amateur photographer asked her to pose, while she was on a break from her job as a secretary. She got more and more popular, resulting in being the centerfold of Playboy magazine in January 1955.

A picture of Bettie taken by Irvin Klaw

From 1951 onwards, she started posing for the photographer Irving Klaw, a photographer who specialized in S&M, and Bettie became known as the Queen of Bondage. Irving took thousands of pictures of Bettie; and Bettie also appeared in more than 50 burlesque films, Teaserama being the most famous one.
Back in the days, however, the prudish American society did not allow pictures like Klaw's and he was arrested for "conspiracy to distribute obscene material". Bettie was not arrested, but was asked to testify in the case and the senator of Tennessee launched a congressional investigation against her.

Bettie in Teaserama

After the cause with Klaw, Bettie retreated from public view and moved to Florida in 1957. Before the start of her career, she had been married and divorced and in the years after her career, the same scenario happened twice again.
The salvation of her misery was in 1959, when she saw a church with a neon cross on top and entered this building. This was the moment that would change Bettie's life forever, since it made her dedicate her life to Jesus Christ.
Quite an unexpected move from someone who used to be a pin up and S&M model, isn't it? Bettie had always been a christian, though. The reason why she had no problems with being portrayed (partially) nude, was because Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden were nude too.
Ever since the end of the 1950s, Bettie hasn't appeared in the public view anymore and led a rather quiet life, with the exception of being treated for schizophrenia for 8 years throughout the 1980s. Bettie died in December 2008, at the age of 85.

Bettie competing against a gorilla

Bettie had been practically forgotten until her pictures and movies were rediscovered by a large audience during the 1990s. People were fascinated by this woman, who seemed to be the innocent girl next door gone wild - a superstar whose success was demolished by the government and who practically disappeared afterwards.
This must have been the reason for director Mary Harron to film Bettie's past, her career and the way she vanished from the public view. The movie she made is named The Notorious Bettie Page and features Gretchen Mol as Bettie.

The trailer of The Notorious Bettie Page

I personally really enjoyed this movie. The ambiance is wonderful, the acting is good and the funniest part is that it shows how incredibly innocent the photo shoots actually were compared to what we are used to today. Bettie also did it purely because she enjoyed it, but didn't think of the possible consequences and the fact that it was not as innocent as she thought it was.
The real Bettie Page was positive about the movie too, but wasn't very pleased with the title of the movie.
"Notorious? That's not flattering at all. They should have used another word."

Bettie just did what she loved to do, that was all.
"I was not trying to be shocking, or to be a pioneer. I wasn't trying to change society, or to be ahead of my time. I didn't think of myself as liberated, and I don't believe that I did anything important. I was just myself. I didn't know any other way to be, or any other way to live."