Thursday, April 25, 2013

Buenos Aires – Fashion Backward

Back in Buenos Aires! Since I have seen most of the major sights in town, this time around I have time to focus on the really important things, pizza and fashion. While the pizza is just delicious, I am afraid I can't say the same about the taste of the Porteñas. They seem to have traveled back in time and came back with the worst of the 70s and 80s.

Short, short jeans

Bell bottom jeans, crop tops and flowy hair – the 70s style could be really inspiring but the Porteñas somehow got it all wrong. They came out of the time machine with bell bottom jeans waaaay up their ankles and plateau shoes that are about 3 stories high. Girls – pleaaasseeee!!! If bell bottom jeans at all, never ever ever too short!!! If they have to be the wrong length, always (always!!!) get them too long! Haven't you ever watched the 70s show??!!

The high plateau

And then these plateau shoes!! I am having a scary High School déja-vu, when ravers and techno fans were running around with murder instruments on their feet and everybody but them thought it looked horrifying.

The scrunchy

The 80s became trendy a while ago. However, there are some things that were never cool about the 80s. One of them are the hair dues. In Buenos Aires, the exploded curls with the wet poodle fringe are back! No, I am not kidding you! And to make matters worse: the high up pony tale to the side is also very popular amongst Porteñas. I am talking Bananarama, the Bangles and Center Stage pony tale. While I am still wondering what is so appealing about that “I look like a teenager that visibly masticates a chewing gum look”, I realize that the side pony tale comes with scrunchies! SCRUNCHIES!!!! In every neon color from pink to orange! HELP! This is a major fashion SOS – girls didn't you see the Sex & The City scrunchy episode? Scrunchies became a no-go in 1985!

So, dear Porteñas, please do me a favor:
As much as I love retro style, please get the does and don't right and put your scrunchies back where they belong, in your embarrassing things that I did as a teenager box!!!  

Friday, April 12, 2013


Visiting the Museum of Modern Art (MARGS) in Porto Alegre, I finally understood what modern art is all about. I feel like back in High School where everybody else was laughing and I was still trying to figure out the joke. So here I am, walking around the purple-orange-green painted halls, looking at different paintings, art installations and sculptures. In other words: I am looking at odd shapes, random forms and unusual color combinations. More specific: a bunch of circles, lines, black squares on white canvas.

After half an hour of looking at the paintings I am still clueless as to what they are actually showing. Cubism? Deconstruction? Meta-criticism? I approach the little plaque with the title, hoping to get more information (something along the lines – haha, get the joke?! - of “flowers in a vase”, “house on a cliff” or “black cat”) and here it suddenly strikes me. Modern art is irony. Because after all this guessing and staring, this is what you get: “Geometry on canvas” or “lines and circles” or “art work number 5, or – my favorite - “untitled”. And after so many years of struggling with modern art, it finally occurs to me: This is funny! These useless titles actually make sense. Modern art is all in the title.

Think about it! We all have seen titles that read something like “3 dots”, when what you actually see are 4 lines. Or “untitled” paintings that give you a 4-line-title. It's ironic! It's a FU to society! It's modern art! The artist simply refuses to tell us what it's all about and just says: “Look, I am just drawing some lines here. I can't make sense of society either, so you have a guess at it!” I imagine a modern art video installation showing visitors at a museum looking at the pictures, giving smart comments about them and then hearing the artist's roaring laugh in the background. And they are right! It's hilarious!

I have even caught myself once looking at a fire extinguisher thinking it was part of the exhibition … until I realized that it really WAS a plain and simple fire extinguisher. So suddenly it dawned upon me, modern art is like a David Lynch movie: You can either sit down and discuss what happened for 2 hours or you can have a big laugh at it. Personally, I choose the bright side of modern art!