Friday, May 30, 2014

Fabergé Friday

These last few days have been hot in Sweden! Summer has finally arrived, and with the temperature rise, I thought it fitting to show you today's Fabergé object - a thermometer! It was created by workmaster Johan Victor Aarne sometime before 1896!

The thermometer is silver-gilt, with a frame covered in lilac enamel over a guilloché ground. It is also decorated with flower swags in different-colored gold, and the center plaque is made of ivory. The size of it is 7.8'' x 2.2'' x 0.5 '' (19.7 x 5.6 x 1.2 cm), and it was acquired by Tsar Nicholas II in 1898. It now has it's place in the Royal Collection

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Polaroids In The Forest

I love shooting with Jan Persson! Not only is he a very good photographer, but he also liks to experiment with his arsenal of cameras from different ages. For the pictures below we got together in the woods to see what we could do with his Polaroid. I love how the colors turned out! The two black and white photos were taken with an old camera from the 40s, that were used to take pictures from planes during WWII. With that one you have to stand really still! As my face got a bit blurry in one of them I obviously didn't stand still enough. My bad... Anyway - here is the result!

Monday, May 26, 2014


In Stockholm lies Folkoperan (The People's Opera). Folkoperan wants to show people there are different ways of looking at opera as an art form, and for the last three years they have created something called Opera Showroom, when people can come and experience newly created works for free during two days.

One of the operas that was part of Opera Showroom was Amforta, and after two auditions I was happy to hear I had been chosen to be one of six ballet-girls in the piece. Amforta is a new work created by Mellika Melouani Melani and Bengt Gomér, directed by Mellika, and with music written by Jonas Forssell - one of Sweden's biggest opera composers. Amforta is a very strong, and a bit scary, work that mixes opera, ballet, and the reading of texts written by women who has been through hard times and being treated very badly by the people who were supposed to help them when they really needed help. The work is very feminist in the way it confronts the symbols of male dominance in our society, and asks the question whether it would be possible to replace the male heroes with female ones. Can the wounds of Jesus and Amfortas be carried by female bodies?...

Here is me trying on my costume, and after that we set to work! We had only three and a half day to put all this together before the premiere, and I'm very impressed over the fact that we actually did it! But everyone, from director Mellika, to all the people on stage, and the wonderful people behind it worked amazingly well together, and everyone were so nice! No opera divas here... Haha!

During the whole dance sequence we were supposed to shake like aspen leaves, reaching for the audience for help, before we very cruelly pushed away one after one of us and shot our fellow ballerinas to death...

After dying on our battlefield, the Valkyries came to bring our fallen bodies to the afterlife in Valhalla. In Nordic mythology this is the place the valkyries brought the male heroes that died in battle, and where they then spent the afterlife partying. 

We were all lifted from the ground with the help of balloons fastened around or wrists. And off to Valhalla we went! 

Here is me wondering what the hell the valkyries are singing about, trying to get the party started. And yes, that's a beer in my hand! After a while we released our balloons and relaxed though, after which we indulged in the buffet rolled out on stage, eating chips, popcorn and other goodies like we had never eaten before. Then came la grande finale, and it was over...

Ballerina group pic after the second show! After working so closely and intensely together for five days, it was sad to say goodbye after only two shows... But the audience really loved it, and some people reacted so strongly to it they had to leave in tears before we had come even halfway through the show... But with my "little" pain problem, and thinking I might never even be able to walk normally again nine years ago, I'm so happy I have come so far I was able to actually dance ballet at an opera! A bit achy now though. But it was so worth it!!!

To learn more about Folkoperan, and upcoming shows, please visit their website here, or their Facebook page here

PS. Next fall I'll be back at Folkoperan as a nude model in La Traviata...

All stage photos by Markus Gårder.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Fabergé Friday

Today's Fabergé object  - a match case! Made by workmaster Mikhail Perkhin, sometime between the years 1860 and 1903!

Sometimes Fabergé used non-precious metals for certain objects, like with this one. The match case is made of gunmetal, applied with rococo scrolls in two-colored gold, and an attached tinder cord.

The dimensions of the case is 2'' x 1.3'' x 0.5'' (5.2 x 3.2 x 1.2 cm), and it was acquired by King Edward VII. It now belongs in the Royal Collection.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Lena Hoschek

There's a designer who's name is Lena Hoschek, and every time I look through her collections I dream of getting my hands on everything, so I can just pick and choose for photo shoots! And then keep most of it of course... Haha! Her creations doesn't really follow trends, but reflects Miss Hoschek's fascination for the female ideal of the 40s and 50s, good craftsmanship, high-end tailoring, and traditional materials and patterns, but also rock'n'roll and music, tattoos, fast cars and bad guys...

Even though picking out favorites from her Spring/Summer 2014 Collection wasn't easy, here are the items I crave most from it. To see more, please visit her web site!

Cricket Dress navy

Picnic Blouse daisy white

Party Dress silk check blue

Market Dress denim flowers

Candy Dress rose

Picnic Dress gingham mint

Bonbon Dress silk check rose

Girlfriend Skirt sunny

Scone Blouse long black

Topping Blazer black

It's My Party Dress silk check red

Kissing Skirt black

Cocktail Party Dress ornament black

Monday, May 19, 2014

Charles James

English-born fashion designer Charles James (1906-1978) was known as "America's first couturier". He was pretty much self-taught, and became a master of cutting and creating highly structured pieces of clothing. He is mostly known for his lavish evening gowns, which he saw as pieces of art, making new designs and reworking old ones year after year, not caring about the season-stress that usually goes on in the world of fashion. According to The Costume Institute curator in charge, Harold Koda, Charles "transformed fashion design" and his "many advancements included the spiral cut and the taxi dress (created in 1929 and so easy to wear it could be slipped on in the backseat of a taxi). "He also "championed strapless in the Thirties; invented the figure-eight skirt, the puffer jacket and the Pavlovian waistband that expands after a meal, and was an early proponent of licensing." It is also said that Christian Dior himself credited Charles with inspiring The New Look.

So, here follows a few of Charles James' droolworthy evening gowns! This is what I call "architectural dresses"!









And here is a photo of famous burlesque dancer Gypsy Rose Lee in one of Charles James' dresses in 1955. I think it very much resembles the pink one in the picture above...


Friday, May 16, 2014

Fabergé Friday

After last Friday's anomaly, Fabergé Friday is now back! This time with something that is extremely rare to find - a Fabergé ring! This one was made around the year 1900!

The ring - which was made for a man - is simple, yet elegant, in it's design, with a reeded pattern in 14K gold.

In the center sits a 1.89 ct old European cut diamond. 

The US size of the ring is 7 3/4 (18 mm), and it's price is 26,000 USD. You find it at Romanov Russia!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Full Moon


As I love both the moon and bats, this picture is pretty perfect in my eyes. Haha! Pipistrelle is a common bat species by the way... But now to this month's full moon music - the beautiful song She by Charles Aznavour. Enjoy!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Le Chabanais

In Paris, on 12 Rue Chabanais, close to Le Louvre, lies a very normal office building. What many people don't know though, is that this building once was Europe's most profitable maison close. or brothel, as it's called in English. It was called Le Chabanais, and was opened by Madame Kelly in 1878.

This luxurious house of erotic play was very lavishly decorated, with themed rooms such as Japanese, Moorish, Indian, Chinese etc. The Japanese Room even won the price for Best Design at the prestigious 1910 Paris World Fair!

And then there was the King's Room, that included a decadent, gilded royal bed and large mirrors placed both on the walls and the ceiling. This is where the future King of England, Edward VII, used to have some fun when he visited Le Chabanais.

Here the future King was known as Bertie though, and in "his" room, there was an ornate copper tub where he took champagne baths with the prostitutes, and a love seat, where he could enjoy two girls at the same time...

Other famous guests of Le Chabanais were Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec - who painted 16 tableaux for the house - and the poet Guy de Maupassant, Cary Grant, Humphrey Bogart, and Marlene Dietrich. Sometimes the French government included a visit to Le Chabanais as part of the program for foreign guests of state. In the official program it was disguised as visit with the President of the Senate though...

During the WWII German occupation of France, twenty top brothels in Paris, including Le Chabanais, were reserved by the Wehrmacht for German officers and collaborating Frenchmen. During this time the brothels flourished, and even Hermann Göring visited Le Chabanais. In 1946 the legal brothels were closed by law. Their collaboration with the Germans was part of the reason...

Hyper Smash