sunrise palette

As the sun is painting his shadows on our skins, Cal and I sit on a bench in the Meadows. Imagining life with colours from the seventies, collections of grainy images, people laughing. Some kissing like a far away carousel we are indifferent to for our conversation holds us in a world of our own. We are having this wonderful moment that bounds all female friendships, this moment we tell each other about our loves, the story we carry in our heart with scars made of honey. Scars we lick sometimes to taste sugar memories. She reads my first true love letter written a few days ago, she sings about her near death experience and that moment she woke up to the poison of her relationship. Everything turns around our little bench in slow motion, catching glimpses of our confidence when our laughters interrupt its flow.

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One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman.
— Simone de Beauvoir

Cal is this powerful soul made of too many talents to name them all. Renowned for creating a safe environment for the queer community in the science world, she writes and sings with her ukulele, evolving from a gig to another, getting recognised by her idol Amanda Palmer while grabbing her coffee, dancing in her Audrey Hepburn burgundy skirt or Liberty pants, playing her flowery piano in pink lights for her friends. She is a sunrise colour palette, perfectionist, authentic, raw and infinitely warm. As she speaks about what it means to her to embrace this goddess-like feminity, she does not realise how her words connect me to my own feminine desires. Listening to her words is like an awakening, turning our vulnerability into the purest form of strenght. Inspired by Colette and Simone de Beauvoir, we talk about how powerful women had to explore their power first, and grow, how they became strong after they got broken. As a young woman who has shut herself down many times when I should have raised, this statement about becoming a powerful female rather than being born one, is essential for it gives us the ability to change and grow out of these restrictive patterns we are expected to obey. Cal inspires my inner Elizabeth Bennet.

There is a stubbornness about me that never can bear to be frightened at the will of others. My courage always rises at every attempt to intimidate me.
— Jane Austen

Writing these words, one song echoes on the walls of the little café where I recall my afternoon encounter: Dis Quand Reviendras-Tu. Valse mélancolique forever bound to Cal and her soul made of springtime lullabies and sensual dreams.

last days of summer

A few days ago, Adam invited Joey and I to spend a spontaneous evening with his flatmates on their fantastic rooftop. This summer has been the most impromptu, full of new old friends, incongruous encounters and longest midnight conversations. This summer and these souls reminded me that there is love absolument everywhere, especially the little things.

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in our twenties

That night, we opened the bottle of Champagne and listened to our parents talk about adventures they had forgotten, with a smaller car and bigger roads.

We listened to the story behind Maman’s black and white photo on the American coast, and how the wind kept sending the pink scarf holding her hair in the sweetest ponytail on her cheeks, how Papa finally gave her his cap so he wouldn’t go through an entire roll trying to capture her glance lost somewhere on the shore.

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That night, we all were in our twenties, and I saw my parents meet each other again.

l'appartement

Last week, I was invited to join Helena and her magical sisterhood of impossible souls. Two hours before their fairy lights party, I walked around the rooms and took photos of their walls, as they were getting ready, indecisive, going from glitter to seethrough shirts, sharing creams and perfumes in the bathroom which warmth enveloped the whole apartment.

In between all these open doors, I could catch glimpses of captured memories, pink lights of summer afternoons lying on the walls, scarves and candles floating around this sanctuary out of space. In the middle of their transparent tops and lace dresses, there were these Prada jeans washed off souvenir of beach evenings made of sand and windy dances, bus travels and airport benches. 'They are our travelling pants.', Becca said as I was picking them up. Behind her, the jeans were indeed travelling from a film photo to another, changing bodies and shapes to fit into different universes, yet each full of golden glitter and carefree laughters.

There is something fascinating about this girlhood haven where sparkly lipgloss, study books, teddy bears and sexy lingerie coexist. While photographing these magnetic souls, I realised women are a whole, for they never truly let go of the girls they used to be.

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These powerful women aren't always self-confident. In fact, I see them blush and hide their smile behind an orange scarf or a glass of wine, almost apologetic of this spontaneous laugh that took the entire room by surprise. Silently, I wonder who deserves to know these girls as they are, evolving from their purple printed tops to their flawless perfect white shirts. I wonder if boys hold the same beauty of paradox.

To me, the month of May lies in the essence of these girls, in their rooms, sharing secrets and wine, burning candles and cigarettes as the night fades away on their yellow sheets.

feeling sensual

Writing articles about self-love is not always easy. Things have been said a thousand times and people tend to perceive caring about our body as shallow; ridiculous when it comes to men, pretentious when it comes to women. Sadly, when I share these posts on social media, some will forget my taste for English and French literature, my love for classical music and how I can insert Nouvelle Vague quotes in any conversation. The same goes for these girls who, a few weeks ago, responded to my Instagram story telling me that they didn’t dare post photos of themselves at the beach because their followers might misjudge them. One of the girls is a booklover and she believes posts of her body in a bathing suit and her love for literature are incompatible. The truth is, we can all be sensual and intelligent, proud and humble, talented and funny.

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We all have, at least once, rolled our eyes when we spotted a photo or an outfit we thought inappropriate. Still, don't we agree that we secretly admired the confidence of the person who dared do what they wanted, regardless of society's opinion ? If you feel beautiful, today, tomorrow, in two weeks, take a photo and be proud.

If your partner makes you feel bad about being proud and happy in your own skin, tell them to f* off, merci beaucoup. They shouldn’t bring you down, they should be proud of you. ‘You don’t need to post that.’ It’s not about needing, it’s about wanting. If I post a photo of my body, it is with as much spontaneity than the pictures of landscapes, Chopin and Sagan. When you post your carefree lovely selfies, it inspires me to feel the way you do on that photo. We’re being raised humble, but it doesn’t mean we should be ashamed. Teach yourself how to be proud of your body, because nobody told you how to be.

Remember that feeling of bliss and peace because we all know how it can slip away so fast. Be proud of your skin, its glow despite the little imperfections only you can see. Show your pride of your unique constellation of beauty spots, freckles, your large hips, tiny breasts, bumpy nose or thin lips, for all imperfections disappear when you smile, c’est magique.

Know your heart and your body, and look after both the way you want, the way you feel is right. Be fearless because as silly as it may seem, time flies and those moments of beauty are gifts.

We feel a lot of pressure coming from our family, friends and audience, however doesn't much of this pressure come from ourselves and what we allow to touch us ? Nothing should have the power to keep you away from your spontaneous stories and posts, especially not your own self-doubt. Get rid of those and give in to the delightful feeling of beauty, power and carefreeness.

being enough

Yesterday evening, a friend and I decided it was high time to fight the impossibly windy weather with some French methods : Merlot and rouge lipstick. In one of the cosiest pubs of Edinburgh, we talked the night away, cuddled up in the huge leather seats, similar to the ones my Grandfather used to read his newspaper in, faded by the smell of his cigarettes.

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Of our conversation, I remember her telling me about the struggle of being a musician, the coldness of academic people, the pretention of the oldest pianists and how she constantly has to prove herself. My friend is passionate – how could she play the piano with such intensity otherwise – however, the years passed and she can no longer afford to be a young prodige for she has to find ways to sell herself and her talent, learning how to be pragmatic about what is, for her, natural. Everybody else pursuing unconventional dreams, had to confront to the reality that skills and the object of art are not enough, not anymore. It became a sport to run from an interview to another, from a café to a party where – no matter if it is an unformal gathering – people will have to subtly prove themselves worth the attention, hoping for the interview or the business card that will bring them to an exhibition, a recital or a part.

To us, creative souls, business is not always instinctive and tends to appear as rather paradoxical. We are selling emotions, our very own definition of beauty. How can we sell what is infinitely subjective ? As the years go by, it is unfortunately something we have to learn in order to succeed a little, beaucoup, passionnément, branding ourselves, using social media to grow the setting of our world and hope that through the photos, people will be touched.

Today, I would like to tell you that you are enough. Your paintings, your sculptures, your photos, your music... They stand on their own and speak for your talent. You do not have to prove anything, it is only a game. So, do not lose hope, continue to create in your wonderful carefreeness because people will hear you, beyond the grey suits and academic clubs, and you will connect with souls whose hearts you have truly touched.

6am, thoughts on an airport bench

from one of my numerous notebooks

This early morning, I am flying away for the weekend. As always, I'll be taking polaroids of the clouds – I probably should buy another little black notebook for my collection of skies – wondering about the lives and landscapes hidden under what I once thought was a field of candy floss.

There is something magical about abandoning my routine to go back to an old one I left not so long ago. In these times of hyper-productivity, when success seems more valuable at a young age, it is important to step away, to pause the world and remember the days when we could simply live for each moment. Entirely dedicated to the present, amazed by all the things around us... How old were we ? Six or ten.

Each year, as I am getting older, the pressure becomes almost physical, to have a list of relevant accomplishments – because, what have you been doing all these years ? As if the everyday pursuit of happiness in the little things of life had turned into this derisory miracle for naive souls.

We are being taught to tick boxes and live a bureaucratic life, outside of work, and lose all notion of carefreeness, spontaneity, as everything needs to be planned and organised. There is no more space for improvisation, lonely walks made of silence and contemplation. That is why it is important to be selfish with our time, spend it on our own, sometimes away from the crowd, unaware of self-doubts and competition for, in the end, we are still children going through life with the same enchanted eyes.

ode to a cold sunday afternoon

autumn is almost gone

One of the loveliest things to do, when you live in a magical city full of little corners to explore and places with warm croissants and hot chocolates, is to meet with your photographer friend, Mags, and look at everything with a different eye. Of course, during the week, running from the bookshop to the wine shop, back home, does not give you a lot of time to lose yourself in contemplation.

That Sunday afternoon, I am walking down the hills of Edinburgh, listening to The Staves whom I have just seen in concert, two days earlier. Their voices have the power to turn everything into poetry and enhance the beauty of the little things of life. The Autumn leaves are flying around, the sun warms up my cheeks in between the naked branches, and I know I will see you again in the long run. It is a crispy hour and in this pure cold, everything feels light and easy.

The Fruit Market Gallery is filled with curiosities and modern thoughts, playful lights and unusual books. The exhibition is taking us from one circle of light to another, while we talk about our work, projects and lovers. Tigers and strange plants are our favourite postcards subjects and as we joke about the pretty nipples mugs, we leave for cups of coffee that we could probably turn into swimming pools. Mags is a real sunshine, a wonderful soul unaware of her own beauty, searching for it in everybody she meets - which makes her a talented photographer. She attracts people with her smile.

The rain is pouring and little drops fall on my eyelashes, transforming reality into a blurry seventies show, made of streetlights and slow motion. Somebody painted the sky pink and my friend takes me on the top of a spiral staircase with the most sentimental view of the city. Waverley Station lays at our feet and its infinite roof of mirrors reflects the clouds. It is the perfect time to take a photo.

A moment that captured my soft pale afternoon of croissants, postcards and pink skies.

falling 'humanly' in love

softness

Have you ever fallen 'humanly' in love with a stranger ? I do, if they are talking with passion about what or who they love, their dreams and hopes. Nowadays, it is rare, we all became too distrustful. 

I forever cherish authentic conversations that welcomed open hearts and pieces of our souls, trusting strangers and giving them love and kisses as if we had known them forever. Falling into people as if tomorrow was impossible.

Some people create beauty from nothing, make the routine magical by noticing details like rainy windows, the tiny flowers growing out of sidewalk cracks, shadows on the walls, talk with passion about what they love, give spontaneous forehead kisses, laugh so loudly it's contagious, sing in the rain, compliment others randomly, make surprises for the people they love, believe in each other, take photos of their friends and family, make souvenirs, blush at a stranger’s smile, appreciate the little things of life, send love letters...