Tag Archives: Singer

Cologne, Germany: The Belgian Quarter, Belgisches Viertel

Cologne-Germany-Belgisches Viertel-Belgian Quarter-Quartier Belge-1-Photo Mademoiselle Le K-copyright 2014

I’ve never thought of Cologne 

as a trendy destination to spend a weekend if Thalys was not invited me to the event Le Bloc in the Belgian Quarter, the hipster Babel with the streets names: Brüsseler Str., Antwerpener Str. and Genter Str.!

I arrive in Cologne with an incredible blue sky, blazing sun and 30°! The station is opposite the famous Cathedral (massive). And the Belgian Quarter is 10 minutes by taxi, about 20 minute walk or 2 metro stations.

Cologne-Germany-Belgisches Viertel-Belgian Quarter-Quartier Belge-3-Photo Mademoiselle Le K-copyright 2014Cologne-Germany-Belgisches Viertel-Belgian Quarter-Quartier Belge-4-Photo Mademoiselle Le K-copyright 2014Cologne-Germany-Belgisches Viertel-Belgian Quarter-Quartier Belge-8-Photo Mademoiselle Le K-copyright 2014

Here Pharrell could have filmed a sequence shot of Happy! 

It feels good instantly, arty atmosphere (without attitude) and smiling people. I walk from one designer shop to another, when I find a pastry with amazing couture cakes (picture 7, N°2).

I also notice shops with well known brands such as Marimekko (picture above), flea markets and welcoming shaded terraces (I do like!). And quite unusual for me, people walk with their beer in hand day and night.  

Cologne-Germany-Belgisches Viertel-Belgian Quater-Quartier Belge-7-Photo Mademoiselle Le K-copyright 2014Cologne-Germany-Belgisches Viertel-Belgian Quarter-Quartier Belge-12-Photo Mademoiselle Le K-copyright 2014Cologne-Germany-Belgisches Viertel-Belgian Quarter-Quartier Belge-14A-Photo Mademoiselle Le K-copyright 2014

Le block has highlighted designers for seven years.

This event focuses on  fashion, design and music in Cologne. This year among the special guests: Conni Kaminski from Brussels and Toos Franken from Antwerp.

After the fashion shows, invited by the Flandern, we head towards Franz, a very nice small restaurant (picture below, Nos. 1 & 2), featuring an assortment of flammekueches with extra fine paste and varied flavors (salmon, goat-zucchini …). Plus an exclusive live of the beautiful Mariama, a German folk singer living in Paris who plays for us only! Then Conni joined us.

Around midnight, the streets are crowded (pictured below, No. 3, a wood bar). Happy vibe, people talk and drink next to the bar. We choose an outdoor bar at random. After several cocktails, a diet coke for me and more giggles, I collapsed on my bed at 3am! 

Cologne-Germany-Belgisches Viertel-Belgian Quarter-Quartier Belge-15-Photo Mademoiselle Le K-copyright 2014Cologne-Germany-Belgisches Viertel-Belgian Quarter-Quartier Belge-9A-Photo Mademoiselle Le K-copyright 2014 Cologne-Germany-Belgisches Viertel-Belgian Quarter-Quartier Belge-5-Photo Mademoiselle Le K-copyright 2014

Photos : Mademoiselle Le K – copyright 2014, tous droits réservés


Thalys / Cologne Tourism / Flandern 

My tip : Book your hotel in the Belgian Quarter if you like to go out at night. There are many nice bars and small restaurants. Walking distances: you can do everything on foot in the neighborhood.

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I was a guest of Thalys and these are my opinions of course! 

Zara MacFarlane: The Awsome Jazzy Discovery

If you’re looking for a special gift for Chrismas : think of the Zara MacFarlane’s album.  One month ago, a friend invited me to an edgy live in a former nursery. Zara MacFarlane, a young jazz singer from London and her musicians played before the Owiny Sigoma Band (a coming up post). I discovered the album “Until Tomorrow“, the clear beautiful voice of Zara, her great presence on stage (one of my favourite songs is Captured). I do really like. Here two or three things I know about Zara (she told me). Zara writes her music and lyrics : “about my own experience“. Zara listens “lots of American jazz“, her influences : “Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, Michael Jackson“. Zara describes her voice as “quite mellow” and her music as “laid  back, mystic and mysterious“. And when I asked Zara about fashion, she laughed : “Oh I’m terrible with fashion“. Awsome, because overlooked singers, often… yeah you know what I mean!  Many thanks to Zara and Peter!

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The Presentation of the Jean Paul Gaultier by Mikli’s Sunglasses Collection

September 22, 74 rue des Saint-Pères, in Alain Mikli’s flagship : the presentation of Jean Paul Gaultier by Mikli‘s sunglasses collection. The excellent soundtrack reminds me the coming-up Paris fashion week. The show room is crowed, in  a room a femal photographer with light and Gaultier’s sailors shoots guests dressed with sunglasses of the collection. Brillant idea, people enjoy… except me (have a look at the last picture of this post – a friend took it! – understand now?). Few pictures of Alain Mikli and Jean Paul Gaultier striking the pose together. Gaultier has to leave quickly, I start an unexpected interview of Mikli : ACTION!

– Why this collection with Jean Paul Gaultier? We’ve wanted to work together for a long time. After twenty years without meeting each other, we met at a dinner. And less tan two months later, we’ve already realized this collection. It’sa collection really really strong and wise. Sunglasses with three branches to remind comb and sailor… I really wanted to play with the rectilinear code that shapes the face and to create in a spontaneous way, without thinking to much.

– When did you decide to be a glasses designer exclusively? Cause
you could also make bags and shoes or any accessories?
Creation is  an untameable salvage beast. A creation that’s not natural doesn’t have any interest. I’ve started in 1978, I’ve used to work a lot with fashion designers for the shows. Some seasons, I was working on 17 shows! I had an overdose of the fashion world. I was an optician and I didn’t like what I sold (smile). Jean Paul and I, we are coming from the streets : creation is not something to learn! It is a shot in the arm,  nothing to do with a humdrum work. We ask how to impress, amaze and please someone. It’s a spontaneous act you don’t learn. And I don’t control the final step: the face that dresses my glasses. Skills is the control of our art, but it could restrict our expression. We have to be innocent.

– I remember your shop in Central, Hong Kong  and I was wondering if you design special edition for this market? Different collections for different continents. It’s totally wacky, I don’t see why we should impose the same product to everyone around the world. I’ve just realiezd 20 models only for Japan. 

How do you sconcieve the future of your brand? We reposition the brand, we are back to the shows (including the one of Jean Paul Gaultier next week) and in magazines. We finished fashion pages on the housewives theme for a new magazine, Standard (the first issue next October). We were out of our mind and had a lots of fun!

Anything to add? Life is beautiful and I love my spouse. (Alain Mikli concludes before taking her in his arms. Picture below).

For ending in a glam way, the loviest wink of the event is Imany, the soul singer. And the blurest portrait ever shoot (big up to N)! Yes its is ME, with the vintage Mikli’s sunglasses designed for Lenny Kravitz!!! Let’s love rules!

Many thanks to Alain Mikli and spouse, Jean Paul Gaultier, Helen Harris and Béa, my models.