EST. 2009

August 19, 2014

That Cat Club









THEY'VE BEEN REVERED, FEARED, immortalized as characters and sunglass shapes, and within the past decade, provided lol moments through GIFs and memes. Still, however famous Grumpy Cat, Choupette or Hug Your Cat Day ever get, cats continue to be underdogs in the competition of cat versus dog. In a survey conducted by the University of Texas in 2010, 46% of 4,565 respondents, recruited via search engines, portal sites, mailing lists and word of mouth, described themselves to be dog people, while only 12% were in favor of the feline. Even from personal experience, having both a dog and a cat in the family, I've had more friends and acquaintances express fondness for our Golden Retriever, with only a few taking a liking to our Persian cat.

But what we cat lovers lack in number, we supposedly make up for with intelligence. Conducted just this 2014 by Carroll University, a study reveals cat persons to be smarter than their canine-loving counterparts, with a correlation suggested between intelligence and temperament. “It makes sense that a dog person is going to be more lively, because they’re going to want to be out there, outside, talking to people, bringing their dog.” Explained Professor Denise Guastello. “Whereas, if you’re more introverted and sensitive, maybe you’re more at home reading a book, and your cat doesn’t need to go outside for a walk.”

Sounds like a stretch but hey, I'm not complaining.

Cat fans or not, spending even just 15 minutes with a cat is said to promote the production of serotonin, which contributes to feelings of well-being and happiness. A 20-year study at the University of Minnesota even found cat owners to be 40% less likely to die from heart attack and cardiovascular disease. While such findings are still challenged, there's no reason not to hug the cat long after National and International Hug Your Cat Days have passed. And while we're at it, why not channel Leigh, Brando, Picasso, Farrow, Cobain, Newman, Bergman, Fonda, Hemingway, Bardot, Harrison and Dean getting cuddly with some kitties?

“If cats looked like frogs we'd realize what nasty, cruel little bastards they are. Style. That's what people remember.” -Terry Pratchett

Vivien Leigh, Marlon Brando, Pablo Picasso, Mia Farrow, Kurt Cobain, Paul Newman, Ingrid Bergman, Jane Fonda, Ernest Hemingway, Brigitte Bardot, George Harrison and James Dean, images from fanpop.com, gettyimages.com, imdb.com, mtime.com and anothermag.com

August 14, 2014

That Dubrovnik Dream












ON HIS VISIT IN 1929, PYGMALION AUTHOR GEORGE BERNARD SHAW was so enamored of Dubrovnik that he described it as "paradise on earth". Indeed, no fair lady, or gentleman at that, can contest the city's loverly qualities; of turquoise waters lapping into the arms of a spectacular seaport, of majestic, medieval structures transporting visitors into ye olde ages, and of coastal cuisine combining the influences of Greek, Roman, Illyrian, French and Italian cooking. Though damaged by shelling in 1991, we are today fortunate to behold Dubrovnik as Mr. Shaw did, thanks to repairs adherent to UNESCO guidelines. In 2014, the postcard-perfect paradise looks as good as new and as old as time.

Dubrovnik's main feature, the old town, shares the coast with a number of private resorts. We stayed at Villa Dubrovnik, overlooking Lokrum island where a shipwrecked Richard the Lionheart was said in legend to have washed ashore. No shipwrecks during our stay, but a lot of vessels both great and small floated past, including The Maltese Falcon, which one evening had Avatar projected onto an on-board screen. How fascinating the large Na'vi faces against the pitch black sea.

On most days, we headed via boat to the old town. "King's Landing" pops up on geotag as we would approach, with the seaport serving as a filming site for the fictional Game of Thrones location. Lokrum island, Rector's Palace and the abandoned Hotel Belvedere, among other sites have also provided scenery for the show, naturally finding themselves on GOT walking tours offered by hawkers and online providers alike. As usual, we went our own way, wandering, seeing some sights and walking the wall that stretches over 6,360 feet around the city. With a spot in UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites, and CNNGo's ten best-preserved medieval cities, few spots on Dubrovnik's coast aren't scenic. Almost everywhere has a view.

What I miss: waking up to the Adriatic Sea. Gazing at the old towers and fortresses over morning coffee. Morning swims. Maraschino liqueur from Marasca cherries grown right on the Dalmatian coast. Ships at twilight.

George Bernard Shaw wasn't lying when he called Dubrovnik paradise, but it's possible we were both only dreaming.

Dubrovnik seaport, Rector's Palace, Ploče Gate, Stradun, Fish Restaurant Proto, Hotel Villa Dubrovnik, Croatia. Photos by Lady San Pedro and Jaime Sese.

August 7, 2014

Those Golden Sunflowers Inside






A NEW STELLA MCCARTNEY FILM reminds us of Kate's enduring coolness, Stella's inventive coolness, and Mert and Marcus, whose work seems to simply epitomize coolness. Responsible for such arresting, iconic images as Miley's bleach-browed W cover, the Downton Abbey girls' pop-goth Love covers, the nude supermodel series of Love covers, and Lady Gaga's purple-dressed nod to Donatella Versace, among countless others, the pair has also established a portfolio of fashion films, not excluding Madonna's sensational "Girl Gone Wild" video.

Merely mentioning the works conjures images in the mind: of high color and contrast, extreme polish and surreal gloss lending an exaggerated perfection to both set and subject. Known for their heavy Photoshopping of images, Mert and Marcus do not conceal their post-heavy technique, treating photography "like painting" Mert tells The New Yorker in a 2004 interview. “You can paint a scene. The next day, you think, I wish I had a dog. So you draw a dog on it. You can achieve what you want eventually, even if you didn’t do it that way. You seem freer than when ‘what you shot is what you got.’” The Photoshopping may be questionable but Grace Coddington asserts that “It’s very fakey, fakey, fakey, but that’s what it’s supposed to be.”

Back to Kate, and her "Stella!" dreams and screams. Winter 2014 offers prismic clutches, line-drawn prints, draped tassels and zip-line embroidery, as well as more sober picks in black and white dogtooth and bouclé herringbone. The Flora Skirt is a winner with its waved hem featuring six rows of cord embroidery on tonal tulle. It is perhaps the wearable, everyday version of Kate's Harriet Dress in the film, which she wears while leaning casually against a backdrop of crystal rain.

"We are all golden sunflowers inside." Says a digitized voice, preceding 36 seconds of what feels like a fresh, new, hyperpolished version of Wonderwall's 1960s psychedelia. Stuff like this remind us of why we love fashion.

Kate Dreams: Winter 2014 Film Featuring Kate Moss directed by Mert and Marcus. stellamccartney.com
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LadyLikes is a lifestyle and culture blog by Lady San Pedro, a writer and designer based in Barcelona. Text and images on this site are property of the blog author or of their respective proprietors noted at the end of each post.

For inquiries, collaborations or just to say hello, contact me at lady@whatladylikes.com