Recently I was invited to join an international photography project "Portraits" started by a London-based artist IMPREINT. The artist collects portraits of different people holding a common item - a balloon. Why a balloon? While painting a project "1000 balloons" a couple of years ago the artist came to the idea that we people are just like those balloons: all different, imperfect yet all beautiful. And he decided to start this new project "Portraits" where the balloon symbolizes the common ground that we all have not depending on age, shape, skin colour, culture background, social status: we all are human beings, we all can love, hate, cry, laugh, feel pain or feel happiness.
A pencil skirt...What can be more classy and elegant? And a polka dot pencil skirt? Here I am wearing one teamed with a polka dot top. All polka dottish today. The polka dots of the skirt are rather small and the print can be seen only from a close distance. And the bigger polka dots of the top contain a surprise. Here, have a closer look
"Red Underwear", a painting by Liushi Zong source
What do you think the young lady on the painting above is wearing? As the painting's title suggests it is an underwear. But what kind of? Actually it is a dudou. The garment with such unusually-sounding name has a long history. It was invented by the Chinese somewhen in the 17th century with the sole practical purpose to keep the chest and stomach area warm. It is just a square or rhomboidal piece of cloth with attached straps that were tied around the neck and at the back. The dudou often has a pocket where ginger, musk or other medicinal herbs believed to keep the belly warm were put. It was worn by children, women and men alike to prevent not only cold but, according to some sources, diarrhea as well.
Back to Nepal, back to summer. At this time of the year the weather here is one of the nicest: no rains, no heat, just pleasantly warm and sunny. Simply perfect for a day out on the bank of a lake. About the Serpent Lake I found out recently, the main thing that attracted me instantly was availability of boating. Actually it is the only place near Kathmandu that provides such facility.
Double-sided sash, Sluck, 1778-1807, silk weaving. Photo source
Being a bit nostalgic about the days I spent in Belarus recently I decided to write about something Belurusian. And there can not be a better choice than Sluck sashes , real treasure of Belarusian culture. This type of handwork was produced in Belarus (then Rzeczpospolita) in the second half of the 18th and early 19th centuries. Sluck sashes were named after the city of Slutsk (Minsk region), where they were first produced in 18th century to replace expensive imported sashes from the Orient. Such sashes from Ottoman Empire, Persia, Iran and China were very popular among the nobles of the time and served not only as a decorative element of the costume but as a symbol of high social status and wealth as well.