Author: Christina Kwan / tide & bloom

Riding Like Royalty

Paris trumped us again.

For just a little extra oomph in the morning metro ride, the French RER system in Paris has refurbished a train to resemble the iconic extravagance of Versailles. Funded by the Palace itself, this transformation is a little bit ridiculous and a little bit amazing – much like it’s royal origins.

You have to hand it to them for embracing their sordid history and twirling it for the 21st century.

If every train was re-envisioned to the tune of royal architecture – like say Buckingham, Alhambra, or the Forbidden City – perhaps we could spend our daily commutes channeling our ancestors’ historic aspirations for glory. Just a thought.

[via MailOnline]

Advertisements

Living on Cloud 9

Contemporary architecture never ceases to amaze me. It seems like the simplest ideas can often be some of the most remarkable. Take, for instance, this “Cloud House” by McBride Charles Ryan in Australia.

Using the iconic shape of a cloud, these architects built a playful addition to an Edwardian house that provides a bridge from traditional home life into living life on cloud 9. Cue instant whimsy.

[via ArchDaily]

Diving for Sculpture

It’s not every day that I come across a piece of art and am mesmerized by it. When I saw Jason Taylor’s underwater sculpture, it was one of those days.

Something as simple as submerging sculptures in the ocean is immediately poignant and poetic; he literally shifts context into another form of matter and as a result, is cultivating beauty in a different dimension than the previously programmed “art reality”.

Over time, his works develop into artificial coral reefs. Taylor integrates his skills as a conservationist, underwater photographer and scuba diving instructor to produce unique installations that encourage the habitation and growth of corals and marine life. His early work is located in the world´s first public underwater sculpture park in Molinere Bay, Grenada, West Indies.

And more recently, his most ambitious project to date is the creation of the world’s largest underwater sculpture museum, MUSA, situated off the coast of Cancun and the western coast of Isla Mujeres. Works in the museum include Hombre en llamas (Man on Fire )La Jardinera de la Esperanza (The Gardener of Hope)El Colecionista de los Sueños (The Dream Collector) and La Evolución Silenciosa (The Silent Evolution).

Just one more reason for me to learn how to scuba dive!

Holographic Seduction

The impending holographic future is inevitable, but until we get there, holograms still seem so rare and magical – as if they were straight out of the sci-fi flicks. With the recent Tupac hologram phenomenon, it was only a matter of time before commerce took over.

A Parisian lingerie store named Empreinte, with the help of design agency Carling International, conceptualized a holographic window display that lights up after store hours.

The masked coquette enchants passer-bys after 9pm each night, strutting half-naked in lingerie. She disappears in a shower of stars only to come back later to begin the loop again. Executed by Animatik Studio AS, the display seems nothing short of marketing genius. Watch below and you’ll see what I mean.

Bollywood Maternity Woes

When a woman is in the celebrity spotlight, we naturally tend to idealize her into an icon of beauty and youth. And when the star does something crazy like age or get pregnant, we’re forced to remember that they are human. Well, at least some of them are. Victoria Beckham obviously doesn’t count.

Before I continue, let me say that I am NOT anti-feminist; however, this post will probably make you think otherwise.

As Hollywood generations turn over, pregnancy becomes common among the stars we so lovingly watch. Since we’re (the public is) interested in seeing how celebrities evolve through motherhood, the media turns its attention accordingly to give us what we want. Some would argue that this exposure gets way out of hand – from tracking hospital stays to the sale of celeb baby’s first photo shoot – and denigrates the inherent beauty of motherhood itself.

The most recent buzz is on Bollywood’s own beauty queen, Aishwarya Rai. Known for being Miss World and subsequently the crown jewel of India, she’s been scrutinized by Indian media for the baby weight she has yet to lose in 7 months after giving birth. There is a belief circling the globe that it is her responsibility to get back to the shape she was before the baby and continue her reign as the ideal Indian woman. In case you haven’t seen any pictures, here’s the before and after:

On the one hand, I’m appalled by the fact that celebrities in the spotlight are expected to bounce back into shape after every single pregnancy. But on the other hand, I have to admit that I feel like… isn’t this what she signed up for? People don’t tend to become beauty icons overnight; not only does it take hard work, but it requires a willingness and acceptance of the cost that fame comes with. Even though she could use some leniency from the public eye, she also can’t expect not to be judged by her appearance if it’s the very thing that made her career in the first place.

So while I’m all for a woman’s right to do what she wants with her body free from judgment… I also want to see a new Bollywood routine with my girl Aishwarya front and center stat! Can you blame me?