Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sarah Burton named as Alexander McQueen's successor

"We are ready to enter a new phase in the brand's history,"Jonathan Akeroyd, Alexander McQueen chief executive said.

Peugeot sends an invitation to inspiration to internet creative minds through the website:

From 6 May to 5 October 2010, Peugeot, the iconic car-manufacturer, invites Internet users to give their ideas for the car of the future on the interactive platform Photos, texts and videos, can be sent to express your ideas. The best entries will win novel prizes including preview road tests of the 508 or VIP week-ends at the Le Mans 24 hour race which is pretty amazing ! Internet users will be asked to share their desires through six emotionally expressive themes:

Performance: powerful emotions are the best drivers of performance.
Environment: the most beautiful feelings inspired by the natural world will win Peugeot 200th anniversary Collector’s Edition bicycles.
Emotions: contestants are invited to describe memorable emotions inspired by creative design. Participants can win a road-test of the new Peugeot 508.
Movement: catching and communicating the vibrations of the city will give contestants a chance to win MU by Peugeot mobility units.
Connectivity: the outside world and its technologies have taken up residence in the car. Fans of unlimited connectivity will have the chance to win a customised iPad.
Vision: unusual holiday incidents, or fond memories of tender or hilarious moments, could open the doors to a VIP preview of the Paris Motor Show.

The Company has always embraced modernity and innovation, and through these competitions and the new website, they will maintain this tradition.
So you all creative minds, artists and designers, do apply, and share your vision !!

The best accounts shared in this space will be re-edited and posted on a vast Peugeot Inspiration wall during the Paris Motor Show from 2 to 17 October 2010. Go ahead !

More info on:

Paid for advertisement

R.I.P Dennis Hopper

"He looks like the guy from the Lacoste ad"

Yesterday, as I was lying on the beach, a group of Shoreditch-style youngsters who probably had spent the night there, didn't know that I understand English... one of them staring at me had these words: "look at this guy, he looks like the guy from the Lacoste ad..."

I thought it was rather nice... and it certainly made my day.

Cannes Film Festival 2010 - Renault is a major sponsor and gave Art is Alive a one-in-a-life-time opportunity

Renault gave Art is Alive the amazing opportunity to experience the 2010 Cannes Film Festival. Our special correspondent Rachel reports!

[Titles fade to reveal young ingénue wandering round busy airport in a daze, unable to believe that she has been offered an all-expenses paid trip to the Cannes Film Festival]
I am at London City airport - dress (vintage Radley), gold heels (Sydney boutique), dictaphone (I am to report for Art is Alive and Renault on a new online reality show) and huge, disbelieving smile all present and correct. My first time to the French Riviera - ridiculously late in life considering F. Scott Fitzgerald's "Tender is the Night" is my favourite novel – and I’m attending the most prestigious international film festival on the planet, acting the role and donning the gladrags of roving reporter - cannes life get any better?


A-List omnipresence begins early: Lily Cole is on my flight…

…her incandescent whiteness reminiscent of a modern day red-haired Rosemary Hoyt. One can’t help but hope that the putty Prada holdall, around which the starlet’s long and slender arm is entwined, contains sufficient quantities of very high-factor sun screen…

Karl greets me from the plane and I am whisked into the exquisite intensity of the Cote D’Azur sunlight (in a Renault - natch), snaking down the winding Riviera roads towards the twinkly yacht-bejewelled ocean where the circus begins: lights camera action, indeed. Driving at the pace of a lazy escargot down La Croisette, the palm-lined promenade, gives me chance to gawp at the limos, the paparazzi swarming like their namesake, the back-to-back boutiques, the young, the rich, the beautiful, the vintage ...

...and those – who in the absence of Shoreditch irony – are simply appallingly dressed.

a wily pigeon wearing its Rolex
Sensory overload. In a good way...


 Hotel photo

Arriving at Hôtel Majestic Barrière alongside a gold Lamborghini and trolleys loaded with mountains of LV luggage I head inside where le tout beautiful fashionista are artfully and expensively draped across equally expensive furniture. I spot Lily (in Cannes for a Dior dinner, I later discover) at the check-in desk, before being led down to L’Atelier Renault down on the beach.

Over a delightful first-class lunch of oysters and similar decadent delicacies I meet the lovely Vicki (Project Director from Buzz Paradise) and the seven other bloggers who won the golden ticket.

(introduce bloggers from left to right)
Adrien from Belgium (Blog tendances);
Romain from France (Fubiz);
Demetra from Italy (pigchic);
Marjolijn from Amsterdam – (Dutchcowboys);
Natalie from Germany (Lesmads);
Play hunter from Switzerland (Playlust);
Raul from Madrid (Jasp)

We are all here courtesy of Renault, the Film Festival’s Partenaire Officiel. The romance between Renault and cinema harks back over 100 years - Louis Renault was one of the first manufacturers to use cinema as a new way of promoting his products. Renault have recently launched VERY GOOD TRIP, an online reality adventure show in which 8 teams from across Europe road-trip 5000k across the continent in Coupes-Cabriolets (their fabulous brand new models). We are here in Cannes to witness the unveiling of the finalists.


FADE IN: Plage de la Croisette, Cote d'Azur, France at dusk. A cocktail party. An elegant red-carpet ready crowd/ VERY GOOD TRIP film crew network cradling champagne flutes. The bar is well-stocked.


Feeling a million miles from London, I mingle with bloggers, contestants, Renault representatives and party people, some filming taking place on the sand. Watching the filming I spot the delightful Team UK.

Angela’s dress from Amethyst Designs couture; Bag – Angela’s own

Introducing the beautiful Angela Agor and the charming Richard Foster from London Town
(As I - the most inexperienced blogger/ interviewer ever - try to conduct an interview I realise my dictaphone is not in fact recording. I have fancy-technology envy. Driven on with champagne-fuelled purpose, I make mental notes and scribble on scraps of paper in my gold clutch. To recall a quote from Home Alone, “I am what the French call “les incompetents””.)

This is what I cobbled together (squealed greetings and air kissing excluded from below monologue):

Q. Why did you apply to participate in VERY GOOD TRIP?
Angela: To alter the course of my life, to do something that I had NEVER done before. Knowing you want to change your life is one thing, doing something about it is different.

Q. What does Renault represent for you?
A: Memories and lots of them. My father was always been a Renault man and. Our summers were spent driving to and from Dagenham in Dad’s yellow 1970 R12 TL Renault.

Q. How has your experience of Cannes been so far?
A: Cannes has been a magical whirlwind of glamour. Everybody wants to be a star. The atmosphere is electric, the sun is fierce.

It’s pretty swish

Red carpet o’clock – swish black Renault (with flags) drives us (all of 20 metres) to the foot of the red stairs at the famous Palais des Festivals to the premiere of Lung Boonmee Raluek Chat (Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives) directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul.

On cue, the car doors are swung open and atmosphere is insane – Pulp Fiction’s Misirlou
blasting, crowds clustering around the barriers, lightbulbs pop pop popping and I feel more superfluous than a superstar, especially in my tipsy Dick Diver-like state. THIS is where the magic happens. The lovely Yvan Juget from Renault Communications kindly assists when I farcially discover I have mislaid my ticket. Oops.

Pesky ticket

The movie is awesome and deservedly scoops the Palme D’Or - GO THAILAND! A very welcome accolade (in light of recent bad press) for a very beautiful country.

Tim Burton –President of the Jury and general legend – is only seats away and although I didn’t manage to pap him (my technical incompetency strikes again), I did get a snap of one of his many illustrations adorning the walls.

Après-movie we’re driven to Tantra for a sumptuous slap-up fusion dinner (it’s 1am – this is how Cannes rolls) passing the gigantic yachts which are (to quote Richard Foster) “bigger than my entire apartment block” .

Lily Cole is again at the airport. Stalker.

London: Driving home along the concrete tower block-bordered A13, I gaze wistfully out the window, across the utterly-devoid-of-alluring sparkle building sites. While I cannot be entirely certain of my future as a (good) blogger I am sure of one thing - if Art is Alive, then glamour is most certainly live and high-kicking in Cannes. In fact, if anywhere can do high-voltage decadence Cannes can.

*Air kisses* Rachel xx (une blogger ou une blagger?)

Thanks to Cannes, all the fabulous bloggers and contestants, darling Vicki and the WONDERFUL people at Renault.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Santa Eulalia partners with famous blogger (and colleague) the Sartorialist

Santa Eulalia, the luxury brands' store of Barcelona will soon unveil its digital identity sponsored by one of the best bloggers on the net Scott Schuman a.k.a the Sartorialist.

The man himself will be in Santa Eulalia and answer questions on June 10th from fans through Twitter and Facebook. The Company is pioneering the online marketing field with this brilliant innovative initiative. More than interactions with fans on Facebook and Twitter, an exclusive blog will also be developed and will keep all fashionistas informed.

More info on:

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

New Marc Jacobs fragrance for Men

Here I am in Barcelona, enjoying a new life. Tomorrow I am going to a Diesel party held by the fantastic Rocket Magazine. But for now, here's the new fragrance for men by Marc Jacobs. I was a huge fan of the previous one so I hope I will be surprised...

Friday, May 21, 2010

From London to Barcelona

Big time for me since I have moved from London to Barcelona ! New life, new challenges, new people, expect more on Art is Alive.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Gagosian gallery to open in Hong Kong

New York-based star gallerist Larry Gagosian is expanding his empire to Hong Kong.
This year one gallery should open in Paris and last year the art dealer opened a gallery in Athens, and in 2007 one in Rome. He also maintains three galleries in New York, two in London, and one in Beverly Hills. It must be great to be Larry…

I really like the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa poster

Monday, May 17, 2010

Exclusive interview with David M. Buisán

I was lucky enough to meet artist and illustrator David M. Buisán who is based in Barcelona. The characters he draws are fascinating and his style instantly recognisable. He's definitely the guy to watch ! Here is the exclusive interview (thanks so much David !) :

How would you describe yourself and your art?
In my illustrations, I just try to mix everything I like, and that includes all those nerd references I love. I am a so-called  of science fiction, fantasy, superheroes "fanboy". I also like my works to reveal many layers, like onions. A bit like those medieval paintings where you see a cherry tree in the background through a window being a symbol of a lost paradise. One can stay at the surface and see a nice image, or look at the details and find the secret meaning.

Are you represented by a gallery and do you currently have a show?
I'm not quite into exhibitions. I take part in a show only when they repeatly ask me to do  (stage fright, I guess). I will soon be participating in The Fearless Project exhibition at Robert Goff gallery (June 17th, NY).

Have you ever collaborated with other organisations?
Not yet, but I'm always open to proposals.

Where do you take your inspiration from?
It's hard to explain. To summarize, I would say my inspiration is always a mixture of things that I have around and things in my head.

If you were not an artist, what would you be doing?
I had always liked the world of comics and illustration, and since I was a child, I've good at it. I've never consciously decided to be an artist, rather it was as a process for years. And in the end, I realize that if I were not an artist, I could not do anything else.

Do you consider that Art is Alive?
Not only Alive, but always Mutating.

Who would you be interested to work with?
Someone challenging, perhaps involving fashion design, it's a world that I haven't explored yet.

Is Barcelona impacting on your design?
Not Barcelona for itself, but its people, its scene.. my friends, in a nutshell.

To finish with, what would you wish to this blog?
Live long, and prosper!

More info on: and

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Willy Ronis at la Monnaie de Paris

Until the 22nd August, la Monnaie de Paris will showcase a retrospective of the Humanist photographer Willy Ronis, who gave his collection to the French State in 1983. The show is organised around five main themes: the street, work, travel, the body and intimate moments from Ronis’ own life. This is a must-see if you're in Paris.
More info on:

MAXXI museum, Rome by Zaha Hadid Architects

Photography by Roland Halbe

Beautiful Hermès

Bryan Ferry, from Roxy Music will showcase his private collection at the London International Fine Art Fair

Bryan Ferry,  singer of Roxy Music,  and former model for Burberry will be showcasing fifteen unseen-before paintings from his private collection at the next London International Fine Art Fair, which will be held at Olympia in London.

Opening in June, this fair kicks off the Summer season, presenting the most broad ranging fine art and antiques in London.  The singer will be massively touring this summer : Lovebox in London or Sonar Festival in Barcelona for instance...

The paintings range in date from c.1900, including a superb work by William Orpen and a brooding portrait of the young Wyndham Lewis by Augustus John, to a little-known late painting by Walter Sickert from the 1930s. It's a good representation of the passion of Bryan for British art.

More info on:

New Centre Pompidou in Metz, France

designed by Shigeru Ban and Jean de Gastines

This week, the city of Metz, the capital of the Lorraine region, in France  is on the European cultural map since it welcomes the new "Centre Pompidou".

It is expected that this new art centre will bring a "Bilbao effect" to the struggling region. The museum will also be joining a global trend towards big museum "brands" such as Le Louvre opening in Abu Dhabi and Lens, another economically devastated city of France. It will draw on more than 65,000 works held by the Musee National d'Art Moderne at the main Pompidou Centre in Paris, one of the largest collections of modern and contemporary art in Europe. 

I am really not a huge fan of the architecture of this building but I should be visiting it at the beginning of June and will give you my views...

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