31 March 2011

Shades of my taboos.

Somehow, I always thought that all kinds of sunglasses look hideous on me. And that for some reason, I can't just pull them of. I am like the absolute opposite of Garance Doré who admitted that one of her fortés is the ability to look good in any type of shades, regardless of it's shape, size or colour. Oh, how do I envy her!
It wasn't till last summer when my Baba ( who's newest shades are Raybans, orange from the inside, just because he's cool like that)  kindly decided to get me my FIRST pair of glasses; a classic Rayban aviator, the kind you can't go wrong with.
Then, somewhere between bestfriend trying to convince me and me being on a shopping spree, I bought another 3 euro pair of glasses, and wait for it....they are GREEN! Yes, green plastic oversized shades. I did grow some balls over the hot months of last summer.
And lately, I bought my newest pair to add to my little collection. Black wayfarers for 5 euros. Perfect.
So, now, wherever I go, I look at sunglasses, I notice them now that I can actually wear them.
And this is how I learnt to get over my taboos, break them and even wear the greenest of them!

30 March 2011


I got my new vogue in the mail almost  a week ago. I've been meaning(debating how to say what I want to say) to write about the new Vogue, sans Carine, a l' Alt.
Well, I am a little tiny bit disappointed. Yes, here, I just said it!
Okay,let's just take it from the top; the cover. It's a bit too safe, a bit too American Vogue( no offense, Wintour), it lacks that extra oh-la-la that French Vogue always promises you. It's rather cute and all, but that's it. Cute. I doubt that was what Emmanuelle had in mind choosing her cover shoot.

Throughout the whole thing, I've been missing the good old Carine days, full with the too short skirts, provocative editorials and bare breasted-models.
I am not going to be a mean bitch,I KNOW it's just Alt's first and we  know she is as talented as they make them,but I am just saying I expected more, that's it. 
Careful, Alt. You have HUGE( and very high, may I add) shoes(more like heels) to fill. And no one said it was easy.

26 March 2011

After the sun.

After having having a week of divine Parisian weather, we decided to spend Saturday morning a la parisienne, and go picnic around the city.
But of course, OF COURSE, it had to be a rainy day, it just had to!
We nevertheless, decided to continue on with our plans, walking around and ending up at the beautiful Place des vosges in the heart of Le Marais; one of my favourite neighbourhoods in Paris.

And because I am a genius, I just had to be wearing my wedge heels today. I always dress for the wrong season in Paris. I had more than a week to wear my heels, but NON, I wear them on the day it rains.
Let's just thank the Gods I wasn't wearing my new white sneakers, that would have been la merde.

23 March 2011

Spring Time.

You know it's spring in Paris when:
1. You see guys riding their bikes topless around the 7eme.
2. You take off your pullover and sunbathe at a café.
3. You are too hot to order hot chocolate.
4. You skip classes to stay in the sun.
5. You start thinking about shaving your legs.
6. You ask people to go swim with you.
7. You skip classes again to stay in the sun.
8. You call your mum in Cairo to tease her about the weather.
9. You turn your heater off.
10. You stop wearing boots.

21 March 2011

Surviving Cairo.

There is this love-hate relationship between Cairo and Cairo-rians. They hate her, can't stand her, but can't stand life anywhere else but in her arms. She is cruel and ugly. 
Vulgar , but magical.
When I first met Cairo, she confused me. She bewildered me, just like she still does. 
It's the only city where Chinese food is expensive. 
She is a living contradiction. She sucks the life out of you every day while struggling through her traffic jungle, sweaty and swearing. And then at night, while having your sweet tea, she sends her nightly breezes and brings you back to life.
She is a goddess. An ugly goddess. 
It’s literally the city that never sleeps, it puts NewYork to shame.
To survive Cairo, you have to forget all what you think you know about driving, because in Cairo, people drive like there is no tomorrow, and for some it turns out to be true.
To survive Cairo, you have to train your stomach , because with pollution in the air, foul and taamia for breakfast and koshary for lunch, Cairorians have stomachs made of steel.
To survive Cairo, you need to be able to stay up late, in a city where people start grocery shopping at 12 am, just because they can.
To survive Cairo, you need to be a dreamer, because in a city of 20 million anything is possible.
To survive Cairo, you need to be an optimist, even when you have no reason to be.
To survive Cairo, you need to fall in love with her, head over heels. To dive into her streets, with no looking back.

18 March 2011

Before today, We were different.

When my friend let me read this yesterday, I was waiting for her to tell me that she found it posted on some group on facebook or something. But no, she wrote it herself.
I am impressed, and a proud friend.
I guess the revolution really changed how we feel things, how we see things, and even how we see ourselves. It also gave us a chance to dig deep for our creative energy, buried deep under too many things.
Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the minds of Egyptian youth. 
Enjoy your ride, this is just the start;

By: Sarah Amir Salem

"Before Today, my vocabulary was different, before today, words such as revolution, constitution, democracy, counter-revolution, curfew, million man march, sectarian clashes, thugs, secular Egypt and political awareness, did not exist in my daily dictionary. Before today, I was different.
Before today, the word Egypt did not carry the same meaning it does now to me. Before today, the word Egypt carried with it the meaning of a love/hate relationship, the longing to carry great meaning but the desperation of its people, the anger that at its core was merely love, thousands of years of glorious ancient history and its fight to stay alive in the present. Before today I was a student, but not a freedom fighter. Today I fight for Egypt.
All our lives we’ve been made to believe that someone else has to decide for us, someone else knows better, someone else cares, and someone else draws the map of our future. We were living in a world where you had no time to dream, where you only think what you’re told to, and most importantly where you were forced to look away from the bigger picture, forced to look away from Egypt. Today, I discovered, that no one has to decide for us, no one else knows better, I care, and that the tools to create have always been there, we just never used them, and as a result never learned how to use them. Today, I discovered my long lost love for Egypt, and my new found pride in being an Egyptian. I care, not by choice, and I care with passion.
We are witnesses to history, history is in the making, reshaping the world as we know it. In this particular moment in history, we are the creators of history with our every thought, every action and every feeling. It is not a burden, but an honor."

16 March 2011

Behind the scenes is beauty.

I am a very active tweeter.
Today I read that Lara Jade; one of the youngest (as in she is 20) and most talented fashion photographers in the business is asking if any blog is interested in posting a video by James Zanoni, featuring the behind the scenes of one of her best shoots.
I got all excited just by the idea and tweeted telling her YES, without even watching the video.
But when I watched it, I decided that I am not only willing to post it because it's Lara Jade's, but also because it's beautiful. 
It's done in a very unusual way, great choice of music, great angles. I love it.
Good job, James :)

losMuertos from James Zanoni on Vimeo.

13 March 2011

Just married.

A few months ago, when my mum was visiting, the weather was nice.
Whenever the weather is nice, we go to Pont des arts.
Pont des arts; my favourite bridge in Paris.
I always take photos of people there. 
I think these two right there are my absolute favourites. 

Paul; the mime.

I love Montmartre. I always meet very interesting people there.
In my last trip to Montmartre, I met Paul.
Paul; le mime.
To contact Paul, you can reach him on his facebook page "Le mime Paul" or email him on "lemimepaul@gmail.com".
Way to go, Paul, way to go.

12 March 2011

Thirty four again.

Today, I am a happy girl.
Living in Paris is dangerous for your dress-size. The variety of breads, cheeses,wines, desserts and a lot of other mouth watering things, makes it really REALLY hard not to gain a couple of kilos.
I, of course, gained some (not just a couple, nope, SOME) kilos.
But today, after some months of not fitting into my regular size 34, I fit again.
I tried the size 36, but NO, they are too damn big. I try the 34, and voila. I got myself a Cinderalla moment here.
It's all about those little things that make your day. Little things like fitting into your new jeans, or even just buying those new jeans.

Le snow.

Growing up in Cairo, I am not used to snow. It never EVER ever snows in Cairo. We have a facebook page for the day it hailed in Egypt, it was historical.
It snows every winter in Paris.
Imagine my excitment when the meteo announced that it will be snowing this week. 
The amount of merdes I heard for the next couple of days was unprecedented. While the Frenchies were cursing the snow, I was mad enthusiastic about it

I bundled up and took out to the streets of Paris. Sweater, coat, gloves, uggs, fluffy socks, beret, you name it and I was wearing it. I remember wondering how could those little French women still look elegant under all those layers of clothing. But I guess that's something we'll never know, just like how they stay thin after all the baguettes and cheese they eat. 
For how much I tried, I still looked hideous after 18-layers of clothing. 

I think I almost slipped about seven times while running around the city, taking photos of the neige. But I am happy to inform you that, nope, I didn't slip, not even once. I guess the snow was rewarding me for being the only resident in Paris who didn't putain-de-merde him.

11 March 2011

It's not even April yet!

Dear two-thousand-and-eleven,
Easy on us.
You started with a bang, and you keep banging us, day after day. Literally.
It's not even April yet, barely even March and we've witnessed several revolutions along with it's casualties. Don't get me wrong, we're not complaining, we are very grateful for your wind of change. Just be gentle on us, we're not used to all this just yet.

p.s: What the hell have you done to Japan? what was I just talking about? I ask for you to be gentle and you give me an earthquake.AND a tsunami. Are you kidding me?
p.s.s: Check out January 2011's own Wikipedia page. : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/January_2011
Breaking newsJapan declares 'nuclear emergency' as attempts to cool reactor at northern plant 'not going as planned' - official via NHK.
From Japan: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=puV9EOUX8wk&feature=player_embedded

10 March 2011

Ladies and Gentlemen, Paris fashion week is officially over!

Today, marked the last day of Paris fashion week, and apart from the Louis Vuitton and the Miumiu shows (both venues kept unannounced to the public), the day was a blah.
I took my camera out to Elie Saab's show at the beautiful Jardin de Tuileries.
Let's just say, it wasn't a good day for stalking.
I still managed to get some beautiful shots, though (because I am cool like that)!
All in all, today wasn't very Chanel!

09 March 2011


If you are the least bit interested in the fashion world, then you probably already know about the Galliano-insulting-jew-at-La perle-incindent.
But what you don't know( because you weren't there and I was) is that today, infront of Grand Palais, minutes before the Chanel show begins, a group of young Parisians with banners and t-shirts contre Galliano caught the attentions of the photographers/journalists who raced to snap photos of the demonstration of the year (you think Tunisia or even Egypt would measure up to the Gallianots? Tu fou,toi?)

Regardless if you are contre or avec Galliano, you have to admit that the name (Gallianots) and the idea to go infront of the Chanel show is pretty damn good, man!

08 March 2011

Today was Chanel.

Fashion week is the only time of the year when it's appropriate to wear gowns and 12 inch stilettos at 10:30 am without being judged (other than those days when you really really really want to wear this new gown of yours and no one wants to get married). Actually, you would be appreciated. And today was no exception.
Today was sunny, beautiful. Today was Chanel.
Chanel; the state of being classy, elegent and effortless.
I had a very successful stalking-beautiful-people-at-fashion-week-day, not only did I stalk beautiful people at fashion week, no, I actually got to meet Garance Doré and her beau Scott Schuman, aka The Sartorialist.
I decided to go all groupie on them and go tell them how much I love their blogs. They were super sweet.
I took hideous amounts of photos but you get to see just 88 of them. 
Take a deep breath, and knock yourself out ;)

07 March 2011

Les cigarettes.

I am obssessed with taking photos of people smoking.
It is romantic,disgusting,provocative,sensual,ugly,sexy,strong,beautiful and a thousand other contradictions.

External flash.

Some months ago, shortly before I left Cairo, my very artsy friend and favourite model Malak and I decided to fool around with her new external flash and ended up with this set of photos.
I love it.

Les belles de Paris Fashion Week

For years, I've been religiously following the events of Paris Fashion week, all from the comfort of my own bed in Cairo. But those days are over now, I don't live miles away from the spotlights anymore, just minutes.
So, after days of self-debating, I decided to grow some balls and go see for myself!
Don't get too excited, of course I didn't get in, but at least I got to take photos of the belles of Paris Fashion week.
Bits and pieces from my trials on being a street photographer.
Cacharel and Sonia Rykiel shows, Paris. 
Knock yourself out :)


Photo by: Tala Alem

I tried writing about Paris a lot since I came, but I couldn't. I don't know why. 
Everything and anything I write about Paris feels wrong. It was easier to describe Paris when I wasn't part of it, when I was just a spectator taking notes. 
Paris is surreal. It is romantic. It's the city of weed and wine. Of strikes and long weekends. Of dark thoughts and darker coats. 

My new bestfriend.

After missing my bus and getting on the wrong one, I ended up right infront of  the Saint-Germain church. It was a sunny day so I decided to walk home since it wasn't that far. 
From afar, I could see some frames hung on the church's fence. Being the curious person that I am, I had to go see what was going on there. Tens of beautiful framed-photos were on display while their photographer was discussing his artwork with potential clients. He noticed I was trying to take photos and approched me.
"Qu'est-ce que vous voulez, mademoiselle?"
We kept talking for a while after he let me take a photo of him. We exchanged names, he gave me his card and invited me to bring some of my photos to display them with his.
It was lovely.

Meet Jean-Philippe Veron aka; my new bestfriend

Jean-Philippe with his artwork

Should've been my first post!

I know that my first post should've been about me,where do I live and all that jazz, but I was too excited to post my fashion week treasures!
I am an Egyptian who moved to Paris following my too-big dreams and love for crêpes!
This blog is dedicated to Cairo; the love of my life, and Paris; my favourite mistress, to the ups and downs, highs and lows of being an Egyptienne à Paris.