Let’s Talk about Fashion and Politics

“Fashion contains every human activity from economics to politics” said Iris Apfel in the movie “Iris”, a documentary about her life as a business woman and style icon. Vivienne Westwood agreed that fashion is about politics and her statement in the Channel 4 news was quite polemic, she believed that Corbynism is a way out of our current financial system since “the logical conclusion of this financial system is total poverty for everybody”!

It is interesting enough that the new age of politicians and economists have embraced fashion to introduce themselves and create awareness of their new economic ideas. Perhaps, it was always like that but some months ago the whole concept  was highlighted by the Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis and Alexis Tsipras with the “no-tie” appearance, the revolutionary one!


Who doesn’t remember Varoufakis’ appearance at No. 10 with George Osborne which “shook the world” of all “preppies”.


Millions of comments on social media and newspapers about the appearance of the newcomers in the international politics.   Yanis Varoufakis with his hard rock appearance and George Osborne with his very tight and thin suit (austerity on the go). No more wide trousers and jackets to be lost inside. You get what you need to cover your body  the designers dictate during the years of crisis.

On the other hand, Corbyn in his first appearance as the Leader of the Labour Party  in the Prime Minister’s question time in the British Parliament chose to wear something from the high street shops (M&S…) – shiny and brand new as a British working class person would have chosen to wear for a special occasion. The visual contrast was obvious comparing it with Cameron’s tailored and fine material suit! Corbyn managed to put visually their difference before expressing it orally.


Another recent political fashion incidence  was that of  Merkel’s. During the period of negotiation with the Greek PM, Alexis Tsipras she had never changed the colour of her jacket. The same yellow colour in different shades. Somebody can search about the semiotics of the yellow and I’m sure he/she will find out what Angela meant despite it’s not so hard  to make his/her own assumptions.

BERLIN, GERMANY - MARCH 23: German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras depart after speaking to the media following talks at the Chancellery on March 23, 2015 in Berlin, Germany. The two leaders are meeting as relations between the Tsipras government and Germany have soured amidst contrary views between the two countries on how Greece can best work itself out of its current economic morass. (Photo by Carsten Koall/Getty Images)

In the meantime, during this week in London and New York the fashion people have their prime. The  fashion week spring 2016  is on and all of those that are interesting in watching the new trends for spring 2016 are attending the big spectacle by carrying themselves as models in the streets and being a kind of inspiration for the great fashion designers and introducing the “fashion street style”!





Deauville in the movies

Belle Epoque and Deauville are two words chained together.  Someone who visits Deauville can feel strongly the joie de vivre of this era. The magnificent architecture of the houses, the well maintained  Promenade des Planches for big walks along the beach and the fact that the beach closets named after the Hollywood stars – a landmark for recognising the place as the setting for the film “Un Homme and Une Femme” by Claude Lelouch – show the prosperity of the place and the reason why the creative people used it as a setting of their work. For quite a long time, I had a very vivid memory of Jean Louis Trintignant’s racing car speeding on a huge sandy beach, somewhere in France, and meeting up with Anouk Aimee. That time, I was quite young and didn’t question about the name of the place,  only later in life  when I saw  “Private Lives” by Noel Coward in the theatre, I kept in my mind the name.  Deauville was the resort for the  international bourgeoisie of that time and it was connected to major European cities with fast trains. It was really well maintained place for  leisure and the   two main casinos in the area  kept entertaining the bourgeoisie. The Casino in Deauville was the original Casino Royale by Ian Fleming. Deauville was the setting of the film “Coco before Chanel” with Audrey Tatou and the birthplace of Chanel’s Clothing career. As well as, the town has been mentioned in one of the chapters of  Proust’s in Search of Lost Time.


Le Promenade des Planches: The beach closets dedicated to the stars of Hollywood.





Deauville Corniche.


Deauville’s Townhall.




Deauville beach.


Casino Royale, Deauville


Mansions along the beach of Trouville.IMG_4962




A library at the Plage of Deauville.


Shopping  in Trouville is a totally different experience from Deauville.


A view of Trouville from the boat.


Deauville has kept its international profile by hosting the American Film Festival and each year troops of celebrities come to visit the resort. Perhaps, Deauville’s  aura is due to the myth and exclusivity that stills offers to its residents.

For cinephiles and bookworms places like Deauville are a bonus for reviving our imagination even further. Somehow, it works as historical archaeological sites of the modern times!

Announcing the Programme for the MMIT Conference 2015 – Social Media & Libraries.

Originally posted on MmIT blog:

We are delighted to announce the full programme for the MMIT Conference 2015 – see below.

The conference theme is social media & addresses areas such as altmetrics, current research, marketing and communications, and delivering services via social media. 

Join us in Sheffield from Monday 14th- Tuesday 15th September 2015. 

Delegates will engage in a series of workshops and seminars on social media themes and the conference will also showcase current research and innovations in these areas through lightning sessions and presentations from researching practitioners. There will also be a student forum where Masters and PhD students will highlight their research.

Our keynote speakers are Marie Kinsey, Professor of Journalism Education at the University of Sheffield; PhD researcher and public library advocate, Lauren Smith of walkyouhome; and Brian Kelly, Innovation Advocate at Cetis, a national centre based at Bolton University. Phil Bradley is our after dinner speaker.

Book your tickets now

To book your tickets please visit our…

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Eurogroup Copains En Vacances

Suddenly, I started feeling withdrawal symptoms by not seeing anymore on a daily basis the main protagonists of the Greek Crisis negotiations and I was wondering what they were doing these days without having to attend their regular  “critical”  meetings in Brussels.  Interestingly enough, most of them  decided to spend their holidays locally, in good old and beautiful Europe!

Christian Lagarde chose to spend her holidays elegantly at the hotel Conti in the beautiful area of  Villeuneve-des-Avignons,  South of France.


Angela Merkel with her spouse chose to go for Trekking at Solda, South Tyrol. Trekking is always recommended for those people who are taking serious decision.



Wolfgang Schäuble is  a regular on  Sylt island, a holiday resort for the super rich Germans.



Alexis Tsipras went  on the island of Erikousa, a small island close to Corfu for few days with his wife Betty.



In the meantime, the Eurogroup signed the third bailout, around 85 billions Euro. Soon the whole “island” of Greece will be on sale with thousands of migrants who are arriving daily in a state of despair!

Summer in the City

August is here and summer is at its peak! It’s time to dedicate this post to the people who are staying in the city this summer and singing along with Mungo Jerry “In the Summertime”!


“In the summertime when the weather is hot

You can stretch right up and touch the sky”

IMG_4783“When the weather’s fine
You got women, you got women on your mind
Have a drink, have a drive”
Go out and see what you can findIMG_3300“If her daddy’s poor just do what you feel”

“If her daddy’s is rich take her out for a meal”


IMG_4794IMG_4790IMG_4269 Summer in Astana 2015


Summer in Bath 2015

“In the Summertime
We love everybody but we do as we please
When the weather’s fine
We’re always happy
Life’s for livin’ yeah…”

The European Union, not the Greeks, is as usual on holiday

In his new book ‘Purity’ Jonathan Franzen writes “I think it helps to start with people who are in an unstable, untenable position, an anxious making or a stressful position, because then you know that something has to change”. Exactly this is what the Greeks did after five years of hardship, crisis and humiliation. They elected a new government. Purity was what they needed mostly and subsequently a bit of breath from the harsh austerity measures.


Καλημέρα Μιράντα /Good morning Miranda. Central Athens,Greece.

Obviously, the European leaders (see German) needed a change but they were based on what Prince Tancredi, a character in the Leopard, a famous novel set in 19th century Sicily, reckoned “if we want things to stay as they are, things will have to change”. In Creece a lot of things have changed since the start of the Greek crisis. The new Greek government had a new proposal in order to tackle the crisis inside the Eurozone but nothing was enough for the Eurogroup and European leaders who were guided by the supreme (German) leaders. The new Greek government(the change) had to follow the same 5 years program and to confront the same problems. Athens still cannot repay its debt and it is in a deeper recession and neither the eurozone and the European Union as a whole find any resolution as bailout follows bailout.  Merkel and Schauble are repeating the magic word “rules”  to their electorates in whatever concerns the Greek crisis, which of course these rules and laws can be bend and be quite flexible behind the doors of the meeting rooms in Brussels where there is no recording of any discussion. As consequence, the euro’s future itself remains uncertain.


Marathon Bay. Marathon, Athens, Greece

It’s interesting to quote Ernesto Gallo and Giovanni Biava in their article about Greece and Europe “The Greeks have been often derided as “lazy” or “corrupt” when the key responsibilities lay elsewhere. The current EU has benefited from extremely low interest rates (still 0.05%), but will hardly survive without a political union. In addition, the rest of the world is moving fast. The United States has promoted a much coveted deal with Iran, also with the support of Moscow, as President Obama has recognised. Russia has hosted the summits of the BRIC states and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), which is opening to Pakistan and India. The European Union, not the Greeks, is as usual on holiday.”

In my recent visit to Greece, one week ago, the misery was depicted at every turn in the Athenian roads. The banks were under capital control with maximum withdrawal amount of 60 euros and big queues of old people in front of the ATMs. Most of the shops in the high streets of central Athens were closed down with the only survivors the Chinese “one euro” shops. And my compatriots, I think, are beyond any horror, terror, humiliation. They are tired and subdued. They had enough, they voted “no” to the austerity measures because they are in the same stage as the character in the scene of the film Network – Mad as a Hell- who says: I don’t care about the depression and the inflation and the Russians… The air is unfit to breathe, the food unfit to eat… I’m human being, my life has a value!


Greece is in disintegration. But it’s always the sea, the sea and the sun will soothe my compatriots for a while…

Greek Crisis in the European Parliament at last! Repatriation of Democracy

At the moment the European Parliament debates the Greek crisis

where it has to be from the beginning and not behind closed doors.

The debate is taking place among the European leaders elected

democratically by their own people and not by Banks CEOs.

Some of the speeches of the parliamentarians so far.

Donald Tusk, president of the European Council,

“Our inability to find agreements may lead to the bankruptcy of Greece and the insolvency of its banking system.

“I have no doubt that this will affect Europe, also in a geopolitical sense.”

“As Plutarch once said: “to find fault is easy, to do better may be difficult”… let us prove him wrong.”

Alexis Tsipras, Greek Prime Minister

“This is not exclusively a Greek problem, this is a European problem and European problems require European solutions”

“I’m not one of those politicians who claim that foreigners are to blame for all of Greece‘s woes.”

“Our proposals for financing our obligations & restructuring our debt will not burden European taxpayers.”

Guy Verhofstadt, the leader of the liberal group in the European Parliament

He outlines his plans for reforms.

  1. End the clientelist system in Greek politics i.e. party cronyism and rewarding loyalists with jobs.
  2. Downsize the public sector.
  3. End privileges – privileges of the military, the orthodox Church, the Greek islands and the political parties.

Almost right! Shame he didn’t take part in the Troika’s reforms which the word “reforms” was translated as a pipeline which sucked money from Greece (the Greek loans) back into the Banks!