Monday, September 12, 2016

COMFY AT WORK


You want to feel both classy and comfy at work? That is possible of course. Sometimes we sacrifice our comfort in order to look good, or opposite, we think that wearing comfortable clothes means losing effort in making the best for our looks. Just like you want your working space to feel and look good, it is the same with your body. The fashion can be simple when we want it to, and this is how you can make it all both simple and stylish, by following these easy steps:

1. THE MATERIALS ARE EVERYTHING (ALMOST)





You get up early; you spend the whole day at a workplace. Whether you move much or not at all, you want to feel good in your skin. Skin loves high quality materials. When picking any piece of clothing, try to avoid any material that isn’t cotton, viscose; basically, and any natural material will do good. After you made your skin to breathe, we can go to the next step.


2.  FOOTWEAR




We know the heels make most women feel extra classy, and we will not tell you to put them aside. Just make it easier by choosing shoes with heels that are not above 5 cm, and remember that a shoe platform can do wonders. Avoid plastic shoes that simply look good, or shoes in which your feet cannot breathe. Again, consider high quality materials, such as leather. In summer, avoid flip flops no matter how shiny they might be, and choose something light and soft. The footwear is the base of everything, because once your feet feel comfy, you have already mastered the comfort rules. Sneakers on the other hand are not a synonym for classiness.  Not even platform sneakers.

Summer: platform sandals, flat sandals



Autumn/Winter: leather boots, ankle boots



Spring: simple pointed flats, flat platform shoes






3. COMBINING CLOTHES


Black truly is the queen of colors. It can make basic clothing pieces look stylish and it is easy to combine it with other colors. Unless sportswear and sports leggings, everything counts as good. Black jeans or knee length skirts, women pant suits, etc. Just pick the right cut. Don’t choose strict pencil cut or high waist at any cost, or skinny fit if not feeling comfy in it. Stretch materials are always a good idea. Basically, whether you’ll choose pants or skirt, make sure they make you feel good. Sometimes, you can find a pair of pants that are both classy and comfy! Basic cotton tees are welcome, and if you combine them with a straight line blazer, you’ll look very classy. You can always go for a simple long casual dress, with or without sleeves. It will make you look stylish without too much effort. Just remember that a dress or a skirt should be at least above knee-length. Also, sleeveless shirts should stay just like that, sleeveless. No point in showing you're a beach person in an office, and save that extremely hot decolletage for the evening parties. Comfortable also means you're clothes serves you perfectly, so you can feel relaxed and confident in any given moment. 
To lighten up a black outfit, pick a cute piece of necklace or a delicate scarf. It looks like it is time to point out to some details…
























              




4. WATCH ON AND WATCH OUT FOR THESE DETAILS




If you’re a watch addict, or you simply like wearing watches, try to choose one fine quality piece, metal or leather watch, jewelry like or classic style, doesn’t matter as long as it's a quality watch you would wear for practical reasons, not just as a fashion statement. The details do matter. Also, very often, too many details can make an outfit look cheap and...not so serious. So never spruce too much. Not with jewelry, not with clothes, not with the shoes, not with the hair, not with the make-up. It is simple as this: If you’re feeling you might be wearing too much unnecessary stuff, you probably are. Also, watch out for the nail polish. You can go fully nude, as long as it looks neat. Red, black or dark blue, never with tinsels. Forget about plastic too, in any version. If you think this is too serious, well, your blouse and pants don’t have to be black and white. It can be floral, as long as it doesn’t look as you borrowed it from your grand mom or your niece. A perfect fit means everything. Another thing: your business bag isn't a party purse. It should be comfy enough for all the accessories you might need. Shoes and bags are really something you should pick in terms of quality. The rest (size, style) goes after that. And remember, you are a woman, not a school kid. If you can wear your bag to the gym, then change it. That’s the working rule.


5. HAIR AND MAKE-UP HACKS





There are good hair days, and bad hair days. And that’s ok. The same goes with the skin. But you should know what is under your human power: if your hair doesn’t feel as freshly washed, you can choose a sleek style and make an awesome bun or ponytail. There are also dry wash sprays which prevent you from washing your hair too often. If you have problem with the dry skin, pick creams for dry skin as your everyday companion. Thermal water can also help your skin feel healthy and hydrated, especially during the summer. Know your face, and choose wisely the foundation and your daily cream considering your skin type and the season. The rest is easy. Dark strong lipsticks can look good, but never accentuate your eyes and lips at the same time. Also, be careful with the eye shadows if you’re fan of it. Avoid colorizing your face in that way. And lip gloss should never look as a glue on your face. Natural look is always classy, as long as natural doesn’t mean you don’t care about your face. Simply don’t try too hard with the hair, especially with the the make-up, but just enough to show respect for yourself and for the place where you’re spending your working time. Why must everyone know how many hours of sleep did you have last night, anyway. Make-up can be women’s creative weapon as long as it serves you, not making you a servant.




You cannot control or be under mercy of good looks every day. You don’t have to look good every day. You don't have to be Victoria Beckham. You can go with Lady Gaga if that's your thing. Both can do great. It wont do you harm if you chose your own inspirational fashion icon. Anyway, this is all about you feeling comfortable at work and showing with your outfit that you know you’re not at home in front of a laptop or in gym getting ready to work out. 
I would finish this office story with 2 things: first, less can be more. Second, when you’re desperately trying to make a profit from the low prices, you’re only gonna lose more.  Of course you should go for awesome discounts, but make a thing yours by choosing something that will truly serve you. Check out this working clothes collection by Betabrand & stay inspired! Few basic pieces of clothes with a nice cut and nice material, lucky pair of shoes and your favorite piece of bag can do wonders. 
Good luck workers, and remember: stylish means feeling good and having fun!




Invitation to Inspiration

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

IN SEARCH OF THE GLASS CITY



You cannot read ''In search of the Glass city'' (U potrazi za Staklenim gradom, 1986.) in a fancy or simply intellectual way. I mean of course you can, just like everything else. But you really got to feel this kind of stuff.


The authors and travellers: Borna Bebek and Željko Malnar

The travelling has become more approachable then ever, and in accordance with that, a huge trend. The search for the authenticity has become the latest touristic trick. Even the ethnology has slowly become a part of the global fashion trend, a science which has never bothered too much to fit into the conventional norms and to be glorified by the mainstream world. 
Thirty years ago or more, there were travelers and writers who couldn't book a place online, travelling without GPS, travelling to the ''weirdest'' places of the world, travelling for themselves. Without checking in, taking selfies and showing their filtered photos online. Only unfiltered records and photography which served to inspire us and teach us, among other more important things, that there was no need to show off. This was the work of Željko Malnar and Borna Bebek, who decided to capture one of their adventures in such unconventional ways.
This philosophical travelogue is a novel you cannot put into any category. Just like its author, Željko Malnar, who has written the masterpiece along with another genius, Borna Bebek. Željko Malnar describes their travelling through personal aspirations, historical knowledge, mystical interest, while crossing all the boundaries to get to the heart of everything. Without any pretentiousness, imposed solutions and closed conclusions. Daring and raw, yet touching, story of men who seek for the unknown world, different cultures and their roots, trying to conserve them, up to a certain present and maybe even future moments. This is where past and present merge, the familiar and unfamiliar, questioning our own understanding of society and feelings for humanity.




Malnar was a true visionary searching for universal and individual paradise, the truth, in love with the life. Also a realist, cynical, practical, direct, critical, pessimistic and self critical at times, witty and funny. This is how their journey becomes intense. Scientific and fictional at the same time, the authors are merging anthropological and literary approach, which is never superficial or excessive. 


Ž. Malnar


Take it as it is, and find your own meaning inside of it. This is something you don’t just read and put away. For us, the book itself was the glass city the author was searching for until the very last end. While Malnar has hopefully found his paradise by today, we will keep this precious trace of his brilliance to remind ourselves from now and then that us too, we are all just passing by. Even though most of our journeys happen inside of us, it is still very important to move legs to different grounds. The game of life doesn't change. The end does not exist, and the world is never too big or too small. Thank you Željko Malnar and Borna Bebek for this evidence.


Zagreb, 80ties


Summer in Zagreb – sluggish atmosphere of the city which looses a desire to live. ‘’Zvečka’’, ‘’Kavkaz’’, ‘’Blato’’ – gatherings of the so called modern or talented Zagreb youth and intellectuals, bohemians and pretty freebie girls. Sticky hands of that lustful life, those superficial intellectual conversations, shallow loves, fake hasty embraces and warm female bodies of the cold souls are slowly breaking my bones and squeezing me around the stifle. Empty conversations between women who dream of a movie career and sarcastic, deep intellectual talks of the directors of unrecorded movies.

Unemployed youth and not so young generation which has never been given the chance. Clusters of the young people in front of the bars, youth which doesn’t work because their parents hold important positions, atoning for their support, buying them Kawasaki, Honda cars and providing them large allowance.

Beograd, 80ties


And in Beograd, in the street of Knez Mihailov, during the day or long nights, nothing better. Bunch of ‘’young’’ people without challenges, without responsibility. Some are employed in’’safe’’ jobs where they don’t do anything, only for the low salaries. But on the other hand, the bars and cafes are crowded, as well as the disco clubs and evening restaurants. Beograd or Zagreb – it all comes down to the same thing. No more wars, no revolution, all has already been obtained for us, we have got everything served, so why do we complain? The youth almost in their forties, and still waiting for someone to take them seriously. There’s also this new youth which rushes into the same bars, same clubs, searching for the thrill in some new, even crazier hairstyle, yellow or green hair color.

From day to day, from bar to a bar, expecting, as everyone else around me, for someone to invite me, for something to happen, for someone to ask me, can I, will I? I know I can, but no one invites me. My generation, the generation of waiting in bars.

I used to say how I don’t like Zagreb, while loving Beograd, but lately I have realized that a man both loves and hates the city he lives in, while he can either love or hate all the other cities.


''Old'' Paris

In France, member of the European Union, there are no more interruptions during the lunchtime, no more street musicians. Here and there mostly some kids playing the guitars and singing American songs in poor English. The chanson of the Paris doesn’t exist anymore, just like the old Italy doesn’t exist, benevolent ‘’mamma mia’’, or the ancient Rome, or the blurry London – only uniformed, commercial – consuming centers with facades and differences where estranged people, automatic machines, hysterically work to grab the money to consume the passive entertainment which is being served to them by equally estranged entertainers through the mass media. True, in ‘’Regina’’ or ‘’Castello’’ you can still see some charmingly dressed or pretty women, but them too, they are trying to meet some kind of a manager which would throw them into some magazine, or, in best case, into some music video. Sex and beauty are becoming something to photograph and massively sell on the street.

Fontana di Trevi today, Rome

The visible cities can be reached by shortcut, even by plane, and in any way. But the paths to the invisible worlds have their own way, their beginning and end.


Zarathustra

It seems like there’s nothing in the world that hasn’t happened already. All kinds of nations, cultures, civilizations, philosophies and religions. Nations gain material and territorial goods. They become arrogant through the good times, they become distorted. The powerful ones manipulate people and religions. And, by some natural law, someone from somewhere shows up to sacrifice himself for the humanity. Long before Christ, in the old homeland of Aryan people, such prophet showed up. Greeks called him Zoroaster, and his nation called him Zaratustra, to classical Greeks and Romans he was well known.

They say that Zaratustra, when he caught a sight of the world, he laughed loudly and with his healthy laugh he chased away the evil spirits.

 At first they mocked and judged his wonders and his idealism. He fought for the kingdom of the god of truth and fairness on earth, against evil, lies, sin and temptation. The big prophet searched and found the enlightenment for the people in the shape of the supreme good Ahura Mazda. From Ahura Mazda or Ormuzd he received the book of knowledge and wisdom, Avesta. Avesta says: make a friend from the enemy, from the vicious make virtuous, and teach an ignorant how to learn.

Simple as that, prudence and love for the human were his traits.

 As every great idea, so the idea of Spitana Zoroaster had soon fallen into the hands of the skillful tyrants who made a state religion from the philosophy, and used it for their own personal gains.


silk road route

The inner journey very often overlaps with the outside journey. Into the glass city in the inner sense, you enter through the silk road and each man posseses that silk thread. For that journey, you don’t need the legs, or the eyes, or ears. The world, on the other hand, is also a living organism, it posseses its worldwide silk path which too has a visible dimension in the silk trail. 




The culture is recognized by its death. Sick cultures end up like Rome, through sadistic-sexual excess which appear even in today’s western industrial culture. Healthy organism dies in a creative way, through fertilization of others. 

WEDDING RITUALS, ASIA



He shall be Vidjaja’s housband, the head of the household. It was clear there was no turning back or changing mind. His pact with Vidjaja was a pact with the Sun and the Stars. The agreement in which he participates, as much as inside of himself. In such moments, I would often feel remorse. How could we, my whole generation, create a sport and recreation from the relations with women, and act as if women were an object of fun? Although I was feeling I couldn’t identify myself with the audience, I was grateful I felt primordial depth of that act and I was no longer able to make a burlesque from such mystery. It is easy to destroy myths, uncover the mystery as an empty fraud, but is that really a way to refine, humanize, to free a human being? In Western Europe they had already destroyed all the mysteries, nothing is sacred anymore, sex and death remain the last mysteries. But Western European is afraid of the mystery, he’s afraid of everything he cannot reduce to formulas, of what cannot be destroyed and ridiculed. From the fear of the last mystery, of the woman’s body, he creates a farce. But do Slavs really need western neuroses and fears, are we so terrified of the great sexual mysteries that we’ll create a farce from it? I couldn’t not to think about our own rituals while I was observing that eastern ritual.

 The relationship is maintained without words, exclusively by actions, or by execution of duties. We cannot even talk about love in western, for example, Hollywood sense of love. They are connected by duty to God.

Child care, sex life, it all becomes part of the holy ritual of connecting with fire and the overall cosmos.

 Nothing was happening in the heart of that young woman which couldn’t happen in the heart of our Slavic or Zagrebian woman. Nothing on her face that couldn't be seen on the face of Jasna or Vesna. If only a man could take off their thin layer of western European blase and and grant them strength. To be what they truly are.

I finished my day wondering if it was really necessary to come to Asia to experience the mystery of uniting two people. Primeval Him and Her, experienced by strong instinct of community. Something one cannot desecrate without fatal consequences.


Solomon Islands

Except the civilized man, almost no one in the world kills with no reason. Not a lion, not a tiger, not a cobra, or shark, just like that. All the animals mostly have a reason to kill. Of course, there are always exceptions. When not afraid, a wolf can kill without any reason. And black mamba, too, and krait, but am I really gonna bump into a wolf or krait? Who knows?

I’ve learnt on my travels that in the countries with no police, a man protects his life only by some internal authority. To loose that authority meant becoming nothing-a creature which could be killed by anyone.


The truth, asked Pontius Pilate Jesus, what is the truth? And Jesus was silent. Some say they know the truth. But Socrates only knew he didn’t know – that he knew nothing. Is it all absurd, is the whole life the Sisyphean torturing with a stone. No, I could not accept that explanation of the meaning.


Khun Sa, Burma's leading opium warlord and heroin manufacturer, in his headquarters at Mongmai near the Thai border, February 1989.


I was looking at those small people. They looked like children. Most of them reached up to my chest, and their smooth beardless faces with tiny noses and sweetish face expressions were giving an impression of little sweet chocolate figures from the children's New Year’s Eve program. And still, those were probably the cruelest people in the world.
-          - Who doesn’t want a life, wants death, and we are willing to give it. -




The whole renaissance art and science has drained the energy from Greece, and in the contemporary times it almost seems there’s no a scientist or a poet who hadn’t lived, talked, or in some way nurtured himself across the India or Greece. Those were The Beatles, and hippies, and Bohr, and Heisenberg, and almost anyone who has made something creative in this century. But India seduces, India knows how to lie, India cannot be loved, but whoever unreservedly believes in her, ends up beaten on rocks.


President Kennedy with NASA

Mankind appreciates success, visible, concrete success. We admire the pyramids, we admire Americans who fly to the Moon. We are fascinated by the Roman Empire, the philosophical Hegel system.


 As much as a man, a nation or civilization succeeds to be disciplined, tamed, subordinated to some common law, common aspirations or activities, that much the nation becomes successful. An Indian turns inwards to himself – creates deep philosophy, control over body, etc. American tames the atom. We all succeed at something, we sacrifice ourselves, we suffer, we work in order to make something, to create.

Today, at the end of 20th century, we divide the world on West and East, the developing countries-industrial countries, capitalist-socialist, and so on, and all those divisions either have or don’t have some kind of logic. But other divisions can be spotted too, those rhythmical, vibratory, informal. We travel the world up and down, America, France, Zimbabwe, Singapore, and everywhere around the one and the same dominant rhythm of the twentieth century-underneath which ones are hidden assumptions that a better life depends on sufficient number of the machines, sufficiently high productivity, sufficiently high rate of consumption.

But still, here and there white elephant approaches, white crow overflies. Here and there in some remote spots we come across the ‘’cultures’’, nations radically different. Societies who are not rushing, sacrificing themselves, who do not worry about a better future and are not burdened with the gaining, but simply living according to their fate.


 The ‘’lost nation’’ of Kalash




Why do ethnologists avoid Kafiristan ?
The only conclusion: the science is afraid of Kafiristan. It’s easier to destroy all those people, their culture, so that there would be no traces remained.

The society which hasn’t created anything grandiose, for them everything is little, tiny, simple…And still, they have everything…Their cuisine isn’t especially developed, there are no spectacular dances. But also there’s no depression, either. Suicide is unfamiliar. War is abstraction. Psychological neurosis and disorders, except biological ones, are unfamiliar, as we have been told by the experts later. No richmen.


Kalash women


We have never encountered simpler and happier people.
The death and birth are accompanied by an equal joy because ‘’life is beautiful and to enter something is beautiful’’, they say. And afterlife, they say, is even prettier and it’s even greater happiness for the one who goes there.

Today the whole world, more or less, has been captured by the basic urge of the industrial-capitalistic spirit - competition. Life becomes race. We are all so called equal, but the jobs we do are unequally evaluated. The Kalash solve that problem very simply. They are all equal, so there’s no point to compete. Not equal in the Chinese way, in the sense of Mao Zedong that everyone’s equally dressed. Not equal like industrial West meaning everyone’s got equal opportunities to compete for unequal life privileges. Here, they’re all equal meaning that every profession matters equally. The priest doesn’t despise a doctor, doctor doesn’t despise a blacksmith, a merchant doesn’t despise a farmer.

Shall we live in a completely automatized world or we might learn something from these happy people? In the twenty first century a lot of things will happen, but it looks like that Kalash people wont be existing anymore.


Tibetan lamas

You are invited so that – lama answered – you would come. And so, you came here because you had been invited, and you had been invited because you came. It’s the same with the Glass town. Everyone who’s invited gets there. I don’t know why you’re searching for the Glass town in Tibet exactly, because there are five hundred and eighteen billion glass towns in the world.


I’m lying, I wasn’t discussing at all, the whole time I was reassuring myself! It’s not that lama didn’t believe in my arguments. It was hard to say what he believed. Almost the only thing he said was that, everyone finds the exact City of glass he's been invited to. No, it wasn’t an expression of his irony. I didn’t believe myself anymore. All that rationalization, that cheap logical philosophical expression, cheap eastern phrases – the answer is inside of a man, the whole truth is inside you. It was all being sold at the square Cvjetno in Zagreb, at the New Year’s fair, in the cheap editions of the eastern wisdom. Know yourself and you shall know the whole world, and bunch of similar phrases which could be puked by every student of Indology after the first semester of college. Have I come to Tibet only to ramble the wise proverbs of conceptual notions behind which stands nothing concrete? The idea which doesn’t manifests itself materially, is not valid. I knew that, idealism, the lies and notions, I didn’t need this ironic lama to tell me that. He told me what I should have been told. Go where your conscience tells you, and you will find it! And my conscience didn’t lead me to empty phrases and ideas! No, my conscience was leading me outside, into the material world, outside, into the mountains, into the snow and ice. The ideas from the philosophic books, that’s for others. Who cares about idea which remains just that, an idea, Bebek and I used to say.


Himalaya mountains


Easy, easy – a cloud spoke – Don’t be afraid, I wont run away from you.

I knew it would all be fine, that a cloud would not fade away, that I haven’t tried so hard in vain, and that there was no fraud.

I knew that I would never be able to find the entrance, into this lively, real town, without a person I left down there in the foothill, sleeping. Had to be back for him, because without his physical entrance, along with him and inside of him, this was all just a crystal dream.

-Tomorrow- I said to the doctor – let it all begin tomorrow. I turned around, covered over my head and drifted into a dream.


Ž. Malnar


Yes, after all it all pays of. Somewhere, here at the Himalayas, somewhere, here inside of me, as much as in distant Croatia, some fire is burning, the fire of life which occurs in every man willing to look for it. To me, at the Himalayas, to a girl, in front of the wedding altar, to a warrior, during an onslaught, to a baker, in the grill of a bread oven. We are all guests at the beautiful feast of life.

Željko Malnar ( 12 April 1944. - 9 July 2013. )

From Avesta:

Oh eternal light, lighten the way
through the darkness, arrogance, envy and fear
and lead me to the light path of the truth.





Love, Invitation to Inspiration