Unfiltered

Hello 2020!


I would like to welcome this fantastic year in my life. I have a feeling that the year that has just passed wasn’t as powerful as 2020 will be. You know, us, women we have that sixth sense, so better trust us.

Since we stepped into a new year, a new me, I don’t want to dig too much into 2019, it’s already a closed chapter, but I would like to emphasize on making sure that you have all done your annul review and you know what to leave behind and what to bring with you in this new year.

I went through my list and my writings for the beginning of 2019 and throughout the year and I have realized that most of what I have wished for became the reality I am living today.

And there is little left undone, which doesn’t upset me, because I will keep working on it and finding a better strategy to get things done this year.

Fortunately, I was blessed enough to get to spend the Christmas holidays, back home, in Romania with my family and my friends.

It was a joyful Christmas for us, specially because of my godson, Alexandru, who has shared with us, the excitement of waiting for Santa Claus and I can’t even put in words how special this little human being is.

He taught us (at almost 3 years old) valuable lessons which I would like to share with you.

  • A “Thank you” goes a long way
  • Don’t forget to play, it keeps you young and takes your worries away
  • Wake up early and go to bed early, take a nap in the afternoon
  • Don’t skip breakfast
  • Stay hydrated
  • Make sure you surprise someone throughout the day, even with something as little as a Kinder Surprise 🙂
  • Apologize when wrong
  • Learn how to listen (and memorize everything, I am still shocked)
  • Dance and sing along the way

These are very small things the kids are doing effortless, however looking at us, the grownup ones, we kind of struggle to even drink enough water during the day and that says it all.

But pause here.

Think about it. Do you really enjoy living in your busy world? Feeling always tired? Coming home from work and staying on a phone? Forgetting to eat or worse, overeating? Making a habit out of overthinking?

The last might be the favorite activity between adults.

I strongly believe that you need a break.

You need to slow down and breathe.

And that is all I wish for you in this miraculous 2020, that you take a deep breath, thank God for it, because nothing would be possible without Him and don’t forget to play.

Keep yourself young, surround yourself with people that inspire you, lift you and encourage you to become better.

Be kind to the ones around you. Help and don’t forget to give back to the ones in need.

Only focus to achieve spiritual values and not material ones. You don’t want to fall in the trap of a temporary happiness but an eternal one instead.

Nothing will make you feel more safe and secure than having a partner, family or friends that love you, care for you, check on you and have your back regardless.

The rest is all up to you. The number of kilograms you lose, the money you save, the places you travel to, if you quit smoking or not, if you sleep until 1pm or get up at 6 am, it’s all up to you.

And if you fail at any of these there is no one you can blame, but you.

So, my darling, put yourself first, give yourself everything you have and be ready to prove them wrong to all those who thought you are not gonna make it!

Much love,

A

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Fashion

It’s not second hand, it’s vintage!


I shouldn’t be starting this article with a question, but I do have a doubt!
At what point in the history of an item of clothing does pre worn becomes second-hand, becomes retro, becomes vintage? Anyone knows?

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Recycling clothes and buying clothes that have had at least one previous owner is vital for an environmentally sustainable future, that’s for sure. Luckily, the preference for vintage has caught on and vintage clothes are now a key part of every fashionable person’s wardrobe. And put me on that list, too! I buy second-hand clothes and I also wear the pre worn items that once belonged to my mother, auntie or grandmother. I find them really cool and unique! Plus that vibe…uh. You should definitely try it, but please do clarify me on the aspect of retro, vintage, old, second-hand, etc!

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A very interesting fact says that: Vintage has become such a big business that in the United States thirty-five tones of second-hand printed T-shirts are sorted everyday and eight million kilos of second hand clothes are sold for export every year. Wow! That’s a lot!

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I believe that the organic rebranding of second-hand clothes as vintage fashion is not a bad thing for the environment at all and I hope that this trend will really last.
After all, one man’s rags are another man’s riches, right? 🙂
How many clothes we all have and we don’t really wear  anymore or they just look too old to us and then, when we give them away those people feel like they have a completely new wardrobe full of pre worn , second-hand or vintage clothes, call them however you want, as long as you get me!

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If fashion is ephemeral and superficial, what does that say about us? Like clothes, we fade and decay. Are we too just another type of ephemera or are we more than that? 

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Meanwhile, just enjoy this beautiful location, one of my favorite places in Dubai, where we could actually notice the same theme, with old decorations, and furniture being reused giving the place a different vibe!

 

 

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Nu ar trebui sa incep articolul acesta cu o intrebare, insa chiar am o nelamurire.
Vorbim despre avantajul hainelor vintage si ma întreb cum ajunge o piesa vestimentara sa fie catalogata ca fiind prepurtata, vintage sau retro?

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Cumpărăm haine de la second hand si spunem, da, e o bluza de la second, însă alții zic este o bluza vintage. Dacă piesa vestimentara a aparținut bunicii, de exemplu, eu zic ca e veche, are istorie, e vintage.

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Oricum ar fi ele, hainele, oricum le-ați numi voi ca sa sune bine, cred tot mai mult, ca dacă am recicla hainele sau am cumpara haine care au fost purtate anterior, pentru cei ce nu au nimic împotriva asta bineînțeles, am reuși sa luptam împreuna pentru un mediu mult mai bun.

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Ceea ce ma bucura, ca in grupul persoanelor ce îndrăgesc moda, se practica tot mai mult obișnuința asta de a cauta prin dulapul mamei, bunicii, străbunicii sau printre umerașele magazinelor second hand si nu poate fi decât un lucru nemaipomenit pentru mediul înconjurator, plus ca întotdeauna vei fi persoana ce iese in evidentă, deținând o piesa vestimentara…mai altfel decât tot ce se vinde in Zara, Mango, H&M, etc. Nu spun toate acestea doar așa, ci pentru ca, la rândul meu, nu ma deranjează sa vizitez magazine second hand, magazine vintage cu piese de colecție sau dulapurile bunicii si de cele mai multe ori ma aprovizionez cu niște hăinuțe tare deosebite!

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Pana la urma, toti dintre noi donam hainele ce nu le mai purtam, nu? Pentru noi sunt vechi ori demodate, pentru cei ce le poarta sunt niște piese noi pe rafturile dulapurilor!

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Exact cum este si rochia asta MOV ce a apartinut matusii mele. Daca ea nu o mai vrea, o vreau eu! Haha! Nu cred ca am avut ceva mai mov de atat si nici ca mi-am inchipuit ca voi purta vreodata culoarea asta, insa trebuie sa recunosc ca este o piesa vestimentara ce atrage atentia oriunde m-as duce! Clar apartine unei alte ere!

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Nu mi-a luat prea mult sa gasesc si o locatie pe masura, unde dupa cum vedeti, tematica este acceasi! Iubesc cafeanua asta! Pentru cei ce locuiti in Dubai sau vizitati, o gasiti in Jumeirah, Art House Cafe.

Hope you enjoyed the article and the wonderful pictures taken by Gulshana, which, as you might have noticed, very few are actually edited. You’ve got me in a raw version! 🙂

Photographer: Gulshana
Location: Art House Cafe

Much love, 
Andra

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Fashion, Travels

Cum e sa fii in REZERVA


Lume, lume!

Va trimit imbratisari din Chicago, unde, din cauza fusului orar si a jetlagged-lui, evident, mi-am amintit ca v-am promis sa va tin la curent despre cum a decurs luna mea de rezerva. Bine ca nu m-a prins Craciunul sa va povestesc despre ce s-a intamplat in August! 🙂 Sa-mi fie cu iertare, dar daca ma urmariti pe Instagram, probabil ziceti si voi ca bunica-mea: “Doamne, tu copila, mult mai umbli!” Umblu mult, bunica, dar lasa, ca nu merg pe jos! Te pup, bunica, de aici de prin America!

Asadar, luna August a fost o luna fierbinte!!! La propriu, atunci cand eram prin Dubai si la figurat, ca m-au luat caldurile de la atatea zboruri! Daaa, am zburat mult si au fost zboruri frumoase, dar cele mai multe cu munca intensa, ca deh, dupa munca si rasplata!

Programul arata cam asa:

• GRU- Sao Paulo

• CDG- Paris

• VIE- Viena

• BLR- Bangalore

• JFK- New York

• CPH- Copenhaga

•KRT- Khartoum

7 zboruri, 5 layovere si 2 zboruri dus-intors, cel din India, BLR si Sudan, KRT, unde a trebuit sa lucrez in Economy.

Da, din pacate, in luna asta a surprizelor, in care nu stii exact pe unde pleci, nu stii nici gradul pe care lucrezi. Eu sunt Business Class crew, deci GR1. Ca Economy crew esti GR2, First Class crew FG1, Cabin Supervisor CSV si Purser (cel ce e responsabil de toata echipa de pe avion, după Capitan si First officer) PUR.

Asta este ierarhia. Am zburat, slava Domnului, 5 zboruri in business class, insa nu mi-a suras norocul si la zborurile astea scurte, care se pare, nu sunt favoritele nimanui si a trebuit sa imi amintesc de unde am plecat atunci cand am inceput sa zbor! Haha! Dupa fiecare zbor in Economy, iubeam mai mult ca niciodata Business class. 😀

Sa fac un rezumat, am zburat undeva la 108 ore, ceea ce pentru mine a fost cam mult, de obicei zbor undeva la 70-80 ore pe luna, ca sa am timp si sa ma odihnesc si sa ma bucur de zilele libere in Dubai, dar am avut undeva la 13 zile libere in Dubai, ceea ce nu e rau.

Cel mai mult mi-a plăcut in New York, evident, este unul din favoritele mele, dar mai ales ca am avut norocul sa ma intalnesc cu prietena mea, care la momentul respectiv, se afla in vacanta acolo. Ce poate fi mai frumos?

O sa va las poze de prin toate destinatiile, in caz ca ati ratat povestile mele pe Instagram, andra_contiu.

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Daca aveti curiozitati, nu ezitati sa imi scrieti, promit ca raspund, uneori mai greu, dar raspund! Nu uitati ce zice bunica mea! Practic, acela e motivul!

Gata, merg la micul dejun si apoi e timpul sa ma intalnesc cu oameni faini, aici in Chicago, unde sunt pentru prima data! Yey! Bucurie mare!

Sunteti pupati!

Andra, care umbla mult.

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Fashion

Why fashion matters?


Fashion matters. 

To the economy, to society and to each of us personally, of course in different proportions.
Faster than anything else, what we wear tells the story of who we are or who we want to be. Fashion is the most immediate and intimate form of self-expression. Personally, I admire people who choose their clothes carefully, who do some research about latest trends, who consider what suits them the best or who, at least, check themselves in the mirror before going out. Not to mention that I do look at people’s outfits a lot, specially when I travel around the world, I’m sometimes looking for inspiration, other times I just want to see how the city looks like through the people’s street style.

Fashion deserves to be taken seriously and celebrated for its beauty, creativity and entrepreneurial spirit. The fashion industry is among the most aspirational and dynamic of all industries. Its best designers, as with all great artists, imagine, initiate and move culture on. The cut or pattern that first appeared on the catwalk soon finds its way onto store shelves and into our wardrobe. Whether or not we like to admit it, what we wear and how we wear it is inevitably influenced by designers’ ideas and creative decisions.
We all follow trends or at least we take what we want out of what the fashions masters dictate in the fashion magazines, tv, catwalk or lately, through the influencers.

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The “clothes that wear us”

At heart, fashion is all about the art of self-adornment: the visual presentation of ourselves to the external world.
What we choose to wear reflects how we view the world and how we want the world to view us.
The prehistoric caveman with the latest beads, the post-war woman in Dior’s New Look, the latest fashion blog recording street style as it happens, they are all tied to our very human need to express individuality.
We all have our unique style and that’s where the beauty is, because we are all different, therefore we choose to express ourselves in million different ways. How many times we wear something that we want to be comfy in, like a cotton t-shirt and cotton trousers, just because we are not in a good mood or we don’t feel like dressing up and so on. Style says a lot about how we feel at that time too.

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I love to spend time shopping, reading, going through fashion magazines, Instagram pictures, I take time to prepare my outfits too, most of the times, otherwise when I have no inspiration I just play it safe with basics. However, I’m careful at not crossing limits and spending too much time doing this and getting exhausted only trying to look perfect!
That shouldn’t happen, it’s all supposed to be a funny creative game that will make us happy when we see the final result in the mirror.
And the most important advice I could give is: if you need help ask for it!
You have friends that are more talented than you are, you have an Instagram account or a Pinterest, people who look cool anytime without any effort, people more interested in fashion, or even the stylists that they do this for a living. Call them, check those pictures, ask Google. You have so many options that could help you when you have no ideas or you simply feel less inspired. Just shout for help! 🙂

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Fashion has been and always will be a constant part of our existence. Why?
Because FASHION really does MATTER.

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Outfit: Zara boots & Mango jeans jacket
Photographer: Sinziana Dobos
Location: MET Museum NY

Until next time, 
Andra

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Fashion

Singing the denim blues


JEANS HISTORY

Jeans began life as a utility garment because of the hard-wearing nature of the fabric, yet from their origins as the informal uniform of America’s gold Rush and timber industry, they have evolved into a stylish staple that features on catwalks and in high-end fashion magazines. A good pair of jeans can last a lifetime, their durability matched by a flexibility that means they quickly mould to fit one’s shape. Many of us regard our favorite pair of jeans as a familiar friend associated with key moments in our lives.
Many of us also have multiple pairs of jeans. According to a survey, the average American woman owns 8.3 pairs and the British were to spend some 1.51£ billion on 86 million pairs of jeans!
Jeans can now be bought at every price point, in every colour and in innumerable styles.
They have come a long way from their origins as the working man’s uniform.

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DID YOU KNOW?

While jeans could appear to be an ideal example of sustainable fashion, they actually exemplify the darker side of clothing production. Jeans are made from cotton, which needs large amounts of land and even larger amounts of pesticides to grow. Achieving that blue denim rinse requires numerous dyeing processes that consume huge amounts of water. According to Levi’s, over three thousand litres of water will be used during the full product life-cycle of a SINGLE pair of 501 jeans, from the cotton production and manufacturing processes to their regular washing at home.

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THE UGLY TRUTH

Since the 1980’s, jeans have often been designed to appear pre-worn, a look achieved by sandblasting, which has led to many garment workers contracting the incurable lung disease silicosis.
In Turkey, where the backlash against sandblasting first began, there have been 1200 registered cases of silicosis, though many doctors believe the number to be much higher. In Bangladesh, where there are some thousand garment-making factories, jeans production employs thousands. Employees often work eleven hours a day for as little as 38$ a MONTH– the living wage in Bangladesh is 100$ a month, in conditions where the air is filled with tiny particles of silica.
A number of companies have moved to ban sandblasting, including Levi’s, H&M and C&A. Versace and Gucci have also made a commitment to stop using the process in the manufacturing of jeans. The clothing industry’s reliance on subcontractors, however, makes it difficult to enforce such bans. One way to end the practice of sandblasting jeans would be to create your own wear and tear.

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Who else remembers using a pumice stone to soften up a new pair jeans and make them look worn-in? 🙂

I do, when the market was not that accesible to us, I used to do my own jeans that would look worn-in, they were so cool and not once I was trying to accessorize them, cut them, basically restyling so it would look like a new pair without having to buy another one. I do recommend you to do the same! 🙂
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Probably you’ll be wondering why after knowing what’s behind the beautiful jeans fashion I am still posting these pictures in a full denim outfit!
Unfortunately, I was not aware of all that information either, until I read it in one of the various fashion books I have bought not long ago, after taking these beautiful pictures in downtown Dubai planning to write a completly different article on it, but I believe little awareness wouldn’t mind anyone.

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Whoever knows me, they know how in love I am with the denim since I was little and I used to have a proper collection of jeans, when I left Romania I counted around 50 pairs, which have been donated later on, so let’s say I was doing litlle good too.
Yes, I still love jeans in all forms, jackets, skirts, you name it. But what I promise to myself is that I will try to use them as much as possible and restyle from time to time, whenever I get bored instead of buying some other pairs.

Do you know any other interesting facts about jeans or other garments/fabrics? Please, share them with us in the comment section, we’ll be all more than happy to know as much as possible to avoid doing major mistakes with our clothing pieces.

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Oufit: Zara jeans, Mango jacket, Steve Madden shoes, D&G sunglasses;
Location: Downtown Dubai and Karak House;
Photographer: Gulshana

 

Much love, 
Andra

 

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Fashion

A ladylike to wear your boyfriend oversized blazer


Look cool, not sloppy.

By now you should be used to the latest trends, that tell you oversized is cool!
The bigger the better. With the risk you might look homeless sometimes, go for it!

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It’s time to wear anything that is two size bigger, so don’t hesitate to borrow your boyfriend shirts, blazers, jeans, but hey, not the shoes! We don’t want some circus going on, pretty ladies! Haha!
My favorite part is that everything is so comfortable plus you can easily hide all the deserts you had lately. 😌

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Let me tell you the story, I’m flying to NY, the photo shoot has been already planned for a while, so I’m looking forward to meet my dear Sinziana, who is already having a career as a photographer in the lovely New York, New York.

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Overpack- it’s why suitcases have wheels now.

Time to pack! Oh, only one suitcase, only 24 hours, that’s already a difficult start!
Late in the evening, all clothes out, trying to mix and match and play games with my clothes! Let me add some of my boyfriend’s, I’m quickly thinking.
Anyway, Dubai is way too hot at the moment to wear blazer, he won’t notice.
Done! His jacket straight away in my suitcase!
By the way, we kind of have the same size, we can borrow each other clothes and this is not the first time, actually he was wearing mine too, shhhh, our secret!

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The masculine meets feminine

What do you do with an oversized blazer though? I don’t want to wear anything under, but I can’t walk in a bra around Manhattan either. Let me add that vintage belt I bought in a second-hand! Oh, did I mention how much I love these shops? Cheap&chic, that’s the etiquette!

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I want a feminine look though. I’ll take some stilettos! Hum, dead man walking around NY in high heels, that’s definitely something that you need to see, after such a long flight and no sleep! But, hey, we can do anything we want, can’t we? Yes, who cares, Starbucks is my favorite addiction, it always keeps me going, so why would I give up now? Caffeine won’t give up on me without getting this done!

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Oh, let’s go back to fashion! Still one item missing.
Mmm, this floral skirt was trying to get my attention, since it’s been a while I didn’t wear it. Ok, I’ll take you to NY dear, don’t cry!

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Voila, my look is complete! Time to explore New York. 🙂

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  • Oversized blazer borrowed from boyfriend’s closet;
  • Sweet embellished skirt bought somewhere in Thailand;
  • Zara shoes;
  • Vintage leather belt;
  • Vintage brooch bought in a market in Japan.

All pictures taken by talented Sinziana Dobos.

 

Smiles and flowers for you,
Andra

 

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