Archive for the ‘I saw…’ Category

A Photographer you can safely name-drop amongst Culture Snobs

In I saw... on February 20, 2012 at 11:20 am

Should you ever find yourself in one of those slightly annoying and annoyingly intimidating conversations with a handful of culture snobs who start to quiz you on your favorite artists and photographers– remember this name: René Maltête. Repeat a few times, and you should have it.

“Favorite artist?” – that’s always easier to bluff. Throw names out there like Monet (who doesn’t like a Monet?) and you can usually get away with a knowing nod, having studied all the big boys in that Art History class you took to avoid doing any real hard work in college.

‘Favorite photographer?’ – this on the other hand can be a social land mine if you don’t know your sh**. If you don’t take an interest in over-priced coffee table books or photography galleries, these names tend to flow less easily off the tongue.

Less offensive than saying David LaChappelle or some other contemporary fashion photographer, the name René Maltête will likely raise an eyebrow or two amongst culture snobs and perhaps even test their knowledge. Considerably less mainstream than his snap happy comrade of the same era, Robert Doisneau (responsible for half of the romantic black & white postcards sold to tourists in Paris), Maltête photographed the French with buckets more tongue and cheek. You can describe him as a humanist photographer with a big sense of humor. There isn’t too much of this “alterior meaning” business going on behind René’s work which is probably why I enjoy it so. His satire is loud, slapstick and clear.

 I’d like to thank my Auntie in Marseille for digging up these old photos for me. Enjoy …

René Maltête (1930-2000)


That 70s Home

In I saw... on February 16, 2012 at 9:55 am

With stomach-turning wall-papers, nightmarish polyester fabrics and psychadelic nonsense, seventies décor is supposed to be impossibly tacky… isn’t it?!

Browsing through these photos however, of 60s & 70s decor from the Encyclopdia of Good Decorating and Home Improvement, I couldn’t help but fall in love with every single overly-textured, madly accessorized, color-blinding décor style. They may have all been high on LSD but I think these uber-retro homes look fit for a rock star.

If Céline did a homeware line…

Luxurious lime


A violet kitchen? Why the hell not?

Take a bath in a space craft

Retro Bombay Boudoir

Hitchcock’s salon

Black, white and green for a rockstar office.

It’s so LA …


I dream of a Jeannie …

Sean Connery (007) off-duty

Barcelona Breakfast

Bamboo Cabana

Make me a martini and spin me a record!

What they call a Hollywood entrance

We all live in a Yellow Submarine

Welcome to my den…

Nothing ‘Martha Stewart’ about this kitchen

I just love that there is a piano in front of the television.

Framing the fireplace

Bohemian workshop

The Rubik’s cube kitchenette

Penelope’s pad

Totally groovy don’t ya think?!

Photos via Sandi Vincent from the Practical Encyclopedia of Good Decorating and Home Improvement

The Polaroid Necklace

We’re all falling over ourselves with every vintage camera phone app that comes out these days, but what do we actually do with our snaps? Facebook? How original. This tiny polaroid pendant made of copper and iron is just perfect for keeping your favorite photos close to your heart!

Print, cut out, and insert your own 0.8×0.8-inch photo through a slot in the side. A clear plastic square (included) keeps the photo safe and snug.

The pendant is 1-inch tall and 1/8-inch thick, an 18-inch chain is included with the pendant, but you might want to swap it out for your favorite chain.

The best part? It’s only 10 measly bucks! Order yours here. I’m ordering one of these as I write this.

I advise you not to use pictures in your pendant that resemble any of the ones shown in the above photograph.

Hey Mister, there’s a Bear in my Tea.

This would making serving tea to your guests so much more of a thrill wouldn’t it? Waiting with a cheeky smile for them to realize there is a wild animal poking out of their Earl Grey…

Canadian-born designer Ange-line Tretault sells her wonderful designs far and wide at Selfridges in London, Anthropologie in the U.S and online at

 She has a portfolio of various other whimsical figures with various functions such as bottle stoppers, ashtrays and candle holders.

Reading Light

I’m just drooling over this creative design. These hardback book lamps start at $140 from a newly discovered online gem Typewriter Boneyard, selling an assortment of vintage-styled lighting products for the sophisticated, modern, rustic, mid-century, minimalist human.


Party Trick

This could simply make dinner parties that little bit more fun to prepare for. Link here.

Artist to Watch

Heads up! Not just your average pop artist, Alexandre Madureira from Barcelona is the master of mélange, bringing together some iconic images you never expected to see on the same canvas …

Toy Story

Prints by awesome London-based designer and illustrator Aled Lewis.

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10 of the Best Movie Poster Clichés (+ fun film junky extras)

In I saw... on February 10, 2012 at 10:09 am

It’s safe to assume there is only one production house in Hollywood making movie posters….


You can assume: Two people fall in love, someone dies.


You can assume: The main character has some serious, underlying personal issues. 


You can assume: Hipsters and film snobs will approve.


You can assume: Apart from ‘Pretty Woman’, none of these films are worth watching. 


You can safely assume: You will never actually see a sex scene.


You can assume: The film’s heroine is sexy and slutty.


You can assume: Some weird shit is going to go down. 


You can asssume: The action star will be involved in some kind of horrific fatal accident at some point, but will emerge virtually unscathed. 


You can assume: The animal’s mother will die at the beginning. 


You can assume: She never actually wears a red dress throughout the entire film. She will however be a complete tease to the male co-star throughout the entire film.


Images via by André Freitas


True Story.


Behind the Scenes Photographs

Planet of the Apes

Star Wars

Harry Potter

Lord of the Rings

Marie Antoinette





Every time.


Osama Bin Laden Zombie Trailer: Apparently this has actually been made.


Behind the Masks…

French actress Maïwenn Le Besco played the blue alien opera singer in The Fifth Element but it was an Albanian opera singer, Inva Mula-Tchako who provided the vocals.

I remember my mother having to assure me that ‘IT’ the clown was just a fictional character, played by a very nice man called Tim Curry.

Tony Moran as Michael Myers in Halloween.

Stuntman Mr. Haruo Nakajima is a pioneer of monster suit acting and played the original Godzilla.

Darth Vader actor David Prowse is actually banned from attending all LucasFilm associated StarWar conventions because he apparently ‘burnt too many bridges’ with George Lucas.

Peter Mayhew as Wookie Chewbacca, who will now never quite be the same.

Images via Rodolpho Souza


And this made me smile…



Just Planet Earth…

In I saw... on February 2, 2012 at 11:45 am

(Because sometimes we forget).

The Tree of Life, Kenya



Cueva de los Cristales, Mexico

South America

Green Lake in Austria. half the year, it’s a normal park, for the other half of the year it’s underwater due to melted snow.

Camels and their shadows.

Resolute Bay, Canada

The French Alps

New Zealand

Lightening puts a firework display to shame in Australia

Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone National Park

Iguazu Waterfalls, Brazil/ Argentina

Uluru Waterfalls, Australia

Spiders move to higher ground after flooding in Pakistan

The Great Blue Hole (480 foot deep), Belize


Kawachi Fuji Garden, Japan

Giant Buddha, Leshan China

Colosso dell’Appennino, Florence, Italy


10 Things to Do Before You Die/ Kick the Bucket

Is it Friday Yet?

In I saw... on January 20, 2012 at 10:39 am

Admit it. On Friday, you skip the shower. But who’s judging? Not me.

Have a great weekend readers and stick a fork in everything you can.

If you need me, I’ll be praying at the altar of Brazil.

Adrien Brody, William Dafoe, Gary Oldman do Prada. Should quit their day jobs.

I love it when I do double takes. I was doing a check-up on the Sartorialist who’s not surprisingly photographing Men’s Fashion Week in Florence, when I scanned passed his shots from the Prada Winter show. I stopped on what I was sure was Adrien Brody (a huge crush of mine), then saw William Dafoe and finally Gary Oldman. What a way to spice up a fashion show by throwing in some seriously class actors with bags of personal style to the line up. Bravo Prada.

(Ugh, I sounded like a fashion blogger for a second there).

Easy peasy orange squeezy

(you’d have to be a really dumb not to figure this out) DIY Candles

Basically the secret to this discovery is that the the little string connecting to the outer stem (called the pith) actually acts as the candle’s wick. Who knew? If you dip it in a little olive oil, it can burn for up to several hours. A great idea for a dinner party that will make your guests think you’re one of those arty-farty, creative bohemian types. Yay. Check the tutorial…


Miniature Pothole Gardener reminds Londoners how shitty their roads are.

Lovers of all things miniature = my kind of people.

Steve Wheen originally started the Pothole Gardener project as part of a university course. He later turned it into a blog that documents his gardening achievements around East London.

He speaks:

“part art project, part labour of love, part experiment, part mission to highlight how s*** our roads are – the pictures and gardens are supposed to put smiles on peoples faces and alert them to potholes!”


For just one second, can we pretend that RVs are Cool.

Okay it may look like a bull dog on road with a bad under bite but just give it a chance would ya. The futuristic luxury RV (Recreational Vehicle) from Marchi Mobile is 38-foot-long, 13.5-foot-tall and boasts around 500 square feet of usable interior area, making it larger than some apartments. And for the cherry on top, at the push of a single button, a large “sky bar” rises from the top of the vehicle for a good ol’ ‘drink till you black out’ under the stars.

That was bad taste perhaps.

I’ve been thinking for a little while now that it would be cool to take a holiday in an RV. I know all those Disney movies ruined it for us as kids and that they made family camping trips in large caravans look like sheer hell. But we’re adults now. I’m thinking an RV could be the answer to the greatest road trip of all time. Who’s with me! (Note: Rhetorical question).

I bet you’ll look twice at this chair.

This upholstered illusion designed by Alessandra Baldereschi is the first time I’ve taken an interest in lawn furniture. Trust me, I’m more excited about it than I sound. Using lines typically seen on your favorite living room chair, the designer makes us believe we’re looking at a plush, comfy chair when it’s really all an illusion.

Wow, you’d have to be really stupid though to actually have thought it was a plush living room chair.

The armchair will set you back €480 while the smaller café chairs are €240.


This is what it looks like when women throw themselves at men.

This is great. Making literal of the expression “women throwing themselves at men”, photographer Lilly McElroy went from bar to bar in her native Arizona, asking random men to take part in her project.  If they joined in, she bought them a drink afterwards.


Totally kidding!

The thing is, it may seem exaggerated to some, but for those that have witnessed other women ‘throwing themselves at men’, this kind of image is pretty much all that comes to mind.


…and another expression taken literally

I could eat a horse. 

Love it. Just thought I’d share this cheeky spaghetti measuring tool with you.

Speaking of eating …

Cake in a Jar

I know, I know, I’m bad for your health.

Recipe here.

Thank Goddess it’s Friday


Things to Consider While Lying in Bed on Sunday

In I saw... on December 4, 2011 at 10:05 am

Chacho Puebla is an Argentinian creative who works in advertising.

He loves typography and his grandmother loves to help him out with his work. It is indeed Chacho’s own granny striking these very lovely modelesque poses for his latest project, Grandmother’s Tips. I think there’s something to be said about her style too (purple tinted glasses + cardigan chic= like SO retro).

What Your Sleeping Position Says About You

(kind of like a horoscope but not)

The Foetus: Those who curl up in the foetus position are described as tough on the outside but sensitive at heart. They may be shy when they first meet somebody, but soon relax. More than twice as many women as men tend to adopt this position.

Log (15%): Lying on your side with both arms down by your side. These sleepers are easy going, social people who like being part of the in-crowd, and who are trusting of strangers. However, they may be gullible.

The yearner (13%): People who sleep on their side with both arms out in front are said to have an open nature, but can be suspicious, cynical. They are slow to make up their minds, but once they have taken a decision, they are unlikely ever to change it.

Soldier (8%): Lying on your back with both arms pinned to your sides. People who sleep in this position are generally quiet and reserved. They don’t like a fuss, but set themselves and others high standards.

Freefall (7%): Lying on your front with your hands around the pillow, and your head turned to one side. Often gregarious and brash people, but can be nervy and thin-skinned underneath, and don’t like criticism, or extreme situations.

Starfish (5%): Lying on your back with both arms up around the pillow. These sleepers make good friends because they are always ready to listen to others, and offer help when needed. They generally don’t like to be the centre of attention.

*And just in case you’re wondering where the hell I got all this ‘information’, Professor Chris Idzikowski, director of the Sleep Assessment and Advisory Service, conducted a survey with 1,000 participants, analyzing six common sleeping positions. He found that each is linked to a particular personality type.

Reindeer D.I.Y (slightly unconventional) Christmas Decorations?

Hey, I love a reindeer just as much as the next blogger. I’m not suggesting you go all out on the D.I.Y and grab a shotgun and hunting boots. As you may know, deer shed their antlers naturally once a year as a prelude to the regeneration, or re-growth, of new ones. You can find antlers at lots of interior decorating shops, I just spotted some at the lovely Flamant shop in St. Germain in Paris. The rest is in your creative little hands…


If you were an employee at Lego, this is what your business cards would look like:

No seriously, these customized minifig business cards are actually what Lego employees get to give out for their contact details. The mini Lego men or women even match the look of each employee, down to the hair and accessories.

Just another reason to send in your resumé to Lego tomorrow morning.

Feeling sorry for yourself lately? Well, meet the world’s saddest Puppy.

Living with Your Parents will always have its Ups and Downs

Un Café with Kath: Paris’ Most Unconventional Prof d’Anglais

In I saw... on November 1, 2011 at 11:31 am

I find Kath as I usually do, waiting for me in a café on Rue Cler, sitting with her book, a French edition of the popular children’s series, The Famous Five or Le Club des Cinq, by Enid Blyton.

She sees me at the entrance and smiles warmly, raising her hand to give me a little wave, not unlike a wave the Queen might give at a parade. She reminds me of home.

As my closest Anglo ally in Paris, we meet often, three times a week or more, and exchange our various stories to tell— newly discovered quartiers to visit or an entertaining encounter with a Frenchy; we generally evaluate and monitor each others Parisian lives over coffee. It’s one of my favorite times of the week.

When Kath announced she wanted to start a small business helping French students with their English in the casual setting of a local café, my instinct was not just to help my Anglo friend get the word out. Admittedly, I was more interested in getting this great little story for my blog.

Because Kath’s story is a great story.

She came to Paris over a year ago on a whim and was very much alone during her first winter in the city. She sat in cafés reading French grammar books and talking to strangers to improve her conversation. She had a thirst for learning language that outweighed anything that came against her in Paris.

Today Kath is (presque) fluent in French, has dozens of Parisian friends and doesn’t need to sit alone in cafés anymore. She’s inviting French friends of friends of friends (and their friends) to sit in a café with her for an hour or two each week and speak only english. Together, they will look at newspapers, magazines, any books they may bring or just gossip about life. There will be no language exchange, just english; one on one or in groups of up to five people for 10 euros each per hour.

Perhaps you’re a Parisian following my blog, a regular reader curious to meet MessyNessy’s closest ally in Paris or you just stumbled upon this page and fell in love with Kath’s wild red mane of hair…

I think it’s time to meet Kath.

Last Christmas when I was still pretty much a loner in Paris, I spoke to a young Parisian student in the library and asked if she would go for a coffee and speak French with me.

I was desperate. I was on the brink of going to one of those public speed-dating style conversation exchanges where you converse in a noisy room with up to 30 strangers on rotation for five minutes each.

But I didn’t go, not because I was scared, because I’m not like that. But because I just didn’t enjoy the concept. You need a flow and you need to get a discussion going. You can’t do that in five minute slots with total strangers that you’ll probably never see again.

Fortunately, that lovely girl in the library said yes to the coffee.

One year later, I’ve decided to put the shoe on the other foot and offer the opportunity for Parisians to learn English the way I learnt French.

And I’m living in a city full of people eager to improve their English. A lot of them have a grasp of English already from school or western music and cinema, but the minute they’re put in a real conversation they can get lost.

Exactly, we can take a coffee instead! It’s halfway in between formal and informal. We’re in a café and we’re not regurgitating lines from a textbook. But I am strictly there to correct and help them elaborate on things– over a creamy cappucino!

They can bring homework for me to help them with, specific topics they want to talk about; so it is a sort of half way house which I think is a nice idea.

It might not necessarily be an innovative idea– there are things similar out there, but none with the same twist. They’re all a bit formal, a bit clinical– not how language should be learnt. It should be fun.

Steady the buffs.

It’s what my grandpa says. It’s similar to ‘hold your horses’. ‘Don’t get too excited’ sort of thing.

Ooh. I’d really really like to have coffee with Julie Delphy, the actress/ director.

That’s her! I think she’d be a real barrel of laughs and we could have a conversation quite easily… over some wine.

I find that living in Paris allows you to release your inner snob. Fortunately I always had one [she sniggers].

Parisian culture is certainly more refined, they’ve got a huge appreciation for quality.

It’s also a culture of love more so in Paris than in England. Without a doubt. The boys want love, the girls … I think want love. It’s just more romantic full stop.

A few other French vs. Anglo differences off the top of my head would be things like wine vs. double vodka red bulls, plimsoles vs stilettos, boutiques vs Tesco 24/7, French politics vs. The Daily Mail showbiz column.

Well believe it or not but the French are funny. It can be slightly different humor but it’s funny. And actually when you find the French that have that dry english humor, it’s really exciting!

The younger generation certainly embraces the French ‘joie de vivre’ culture that I so enjoy, but I was impressed to see how hard-working and driven they are to be sucessful at the same time. I think I’m pretty self-motivated and so that’s somewhere we automatically find common ground.

Well because I’ve always lived and worked in the 7eme, Rue Cler feels genuinely like home. And that feeling is important and special, especially when you’re not a native.

“Rue Cler Feels genuinely like home”

So despite it not being the most trendy of spots, I really enjoy the cafés there because you can sit for hours– days, if you would like. And they don’t notice.

My hope for the near future is that students and young professionals living in Paris simply get word of it and are excited by it.

What I would like is for it to be by word of mouth because I think that’s the way it will be successful. It’s all just social and nice and why wouldn’t you want coffee with kathy?!

Nationwide would really be the tip of the iceberg, crushing my competitors on the way. I mean I’d be disappointed if this succeeded only for the entirety of France. No, I’m really thinking the real aim here is worldwide domination. Steve is gone, there is a place available. Yes, I can see it now. Café chains dedicated to the concept, coffee beans named after the founder (me). Basically a Starbucks but cooler.

[A perfect example of Kath’s sarcasm here]

Be really determined to integrate yourself. It can be hard if you’re not lucky. It’s always easier to meet people if you know just one person which is exactly how I did it. You have to immediately start branching and networking. Maybe you’ve known someone who’s lived in Paris before and you can message them and say ‘look, is there anyone you could introduce me to?’. Because you would be surprised how willing people are to help you.

And be gutsy.

Photographs by MessyNessy 🙂

Voulez-vous pratiquer la discussion d’Anglais avec Kath? 

Contactez-la sur sa page Facebook

Fashion’s Night Out? Shoulda Stayed Home!

In I saw... on September 9, 2011 at 12:43 pm

VOGUE’s third annual Fashion’s Night Out came to Paris on Thursday night to kick off what felt less like a new fashion season and more like a contest of who spends more time in front of the mirror. I used to like doing street style at fashion events like this but now, I just can’t wait to leave and found myself looking for another angle on the over-hyped event. Unfortunately, the angle was– I shoulda stayed home.

The real ‘fashionistas’ don’t bother to show up it seems and in their place come the fashion victims & wannabes in their favorite “look at me” outfits. While there is the rare sighting of someone effortlessly stylish (this is Paris after all), on the whole, I’d say street style has just about taken it’s last breathe …

Photographs by MessyNessy

Paris vs. New York

In I saw... on September 7, 2011 at 9:15 am

I‘ve been meaning to show you Vahram Muratyan’s work for quite some time. In fact I’ve left it so long, I fear some of you may have already come across it. If so dear reader, I apologize– I’ll try to be quicker on the mark and more cutting edge next time. If you haven’t, please enjoy/ connect/ fall in love with these posters by a talented Parisian graphic designer obsessed with New York…

Before and After Photographs of Parisian Joggers

In I saw... on September 5, 2011 at 10:39 am

So apparently Parisians do exercise.

Parisian photographer Sacha Goldberger assembled an outdoor studio at the Bois de Boulogne, a park located in Paris. He interrupted joggers, asking them to sprint for him and then pose straight after for a photograph. A few of the joggers didn’t tell Sacha to go **** himself and so the photographer was able to get his series of shots of Parisians looking… well, quite frankly like mad dogs.

Goldberger then asked the same joggers to visit him at his professional studio a week later, using the same lighting, to pose the same way they had before, this time, without looking like… mad dogs.

“I wanted to show the difference between our natural and brute side versus how we represent ourselves to society,” Goldberger tells us.

I’ve picked out this photo series for a few reasons. For one, now that summer travels are over, I’m supposed to start my daily jogs again. Any day now. It just depends on when. And how. And why. Why oh why….

Next. Isn’t it funny that we’re okay being in public looking like a mad dog that’s been through a tumble dryer, as long as we have a pair of running shoes on? It’s like our sneakers act as some kind of invisible cape. I’m pretty sure that under any other circumstance, we wouldn’t be caught dead looking like that out in the world…

Just a thought.


Now as you may or may not know, MessyNessyChic will be launching a brand new look this September. One of the new features on the site will be a “Photo du Jour”, where I will upload my favorite photograph of the day. As I’m just a little too excited for the upcoming launch, I’ve already been collecting my ‘photos du jour’ for the last two weeks. Take a look at my favorite photos so far…

Photos via Pinterest and My Modern Metropolis.