The Museum of Mediterranean and Near Eastern Antiquities

DSCN7968Sometimes you don’t even have to leave the country in order to travel and see the world. You can still get your cultural fill by visiting small and slightly obscure museums such as this, the Museum of Mediterranean and Near Eastern Antiquities in Stockholm, Sweden.

DSCN7975Although small, the museum displays antiquities from Egypt, Cyprus as well as Greece and Rome. In order to take full advantage of what the museum has to offer, I suggest viewing the collection in combination with a tasty light lunch at their Bagdad Café. The interiors are simple but their feta cheese, aubergine salad with olives and pine nuts is absolutely amazing.

DSCN7971I certainly wouldn’t mind bringing a few of the beautiful white marble statues from the collection home with me. Imagine the stunning interiors and baroque garden that could be created with such additions.

Helmut Newton at Fotografiska

DSCN7794It’s not everyday that a rousing exhibition such as this presents itself so it’s always important to take advantage. Retrospectives are especially exciting as it offers a large selection of an artist’s work in one setting allowing the viewer to observe the breadth of their work and development.

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Helmut Newton at Fotografiska StockholmI’m a big fan of Helmut Newton’s black and white fashion photography which to this very day continues to command our attention with its modern, edgy perspective. However, have a more difficult time finding purpose or pleasure in his female nudes of pornographic and sadomasochistic tendency.

DSCN7807As he himself put it, “I love vulgarity. I am very attracted by bad taste – it is a lot more exciting than that supposed good taste which is nothing more than a standardized way of looking at things… If the art world rejects me, all I can say is ‘good luck to the world of art.’ If I look for a real point of view, I’m not going to start by looking at what art will accept so I can conform to that. That’s why… sadomasochism still seems interesting to me today. I always carry chains and padlocks in my car trunk, not for me but for my photos.” -Helmut Newton, Press conference, Austria, 1984

Helmut Newton at Fotografiska Stockholm

The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier

Jean Paul Gaultier Exhibition From the Sidewalk to the CatwalkThe Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk exhibition at the Swedish Centre for Architecture and Design is a total must see!

Jean Paul Gaultier Exhibition From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk

Jean Paul Gaultier Exhibition From the Sidewalk to the CatwalkI first heard about the exhibition a year ago when lucky me spent the afternoon picking the brain of one of Gaultier’s nearest and dearest friends and colleagues. Ever since I’ve been waiting in anticipation to see the outcome of the exhibition and let me tell you it did not disappoint. So, if you find yourself in Stockholm, Sweden at the moment or in the near vicinity this is one of those exhibitions you just shouldn’t miss.

Jean Paul Gaultier Exhibition From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk

Jean Paul Gaultier Exhibition From the Sidewalk to the CatwalkLots of fierce and elaborate corsets were on show throughout the exhibition. My favorite corset was a sleek, tight crocodile front laced corset. Then to offset my previous choice, I also fell for a fabulous soft powder pink diva-esque corset like the one from the Gaultier fragrance.

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Jean Paul Gaultier Exhibition From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk

DSCN7962Jean Paul Gaultier has effectively proved himself a master of the hard, soft comb juxtaposing both materials and cut.

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DSCN7858Pre-raphaelite much? Certain looks might as well have come straight from a Dante Gabriel Rossetti painting.

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Sunday, Sunday…

Sunday, Sunday… Marie Antoinette candle from Cire Trudon, Paris, Ladurée Marie Antoinette thé, and what better to indulge in than a little bit of scandalous living with The Queen’s Lover? (by Francine du Plessix Gray, The Penguin Press New York, 2012) 

This historical novel told from the point of view of Count Axel von Fersen, lets you in on the untold love story, phsst, as if there was ever something going on there… between my darling von Fersen and Marie Antoinette. It all begins with a masquerade ball in Paris in 1774 and spans the course of the French Revolution. Fersen joined the French troops in the fight for American independence. Upon his return, France is on the brink of the French Revolution, which calls for an escape for the royal family, an attempt that failed. Back in Sweden, Fersen came to be viewed as the enemy and lost his life to a savage mob. Drama!

Steninge Palace, outside Stockholm, Sweden, is a baroque palace built between 1694-1698 and completed around 1705. It was inspired by Chateau-de-Vaux-le-Vicomte in France. In 1735, it was bought by the Fersen family. Axel von Fersen was murdered in 1810, falsely accused of conspiracy but later acquitted.

Axel von Fersen Memorial

Up in the Air

Hej då Sverige! It time to say goodbye to Stockholm as I’m now heading back over to Tokyo. But before reaching my final destination, I’ll be making a quick pit stop in Copenhagen, Denmark to enjoy the city. What to you think of the view from the Scandinavian Airlines’ bathroom?

Steninge Palace

Stopped by my imaginary lover’s palace, Steninge Slott belonging to the late darling Axel von Fersen. Move over Marie Antoinette, I think I’d settle down nicely in this stylish mansion.

The view was spectacular, with the water coming straight up by the palace garden. My need for symmetry has been fully satisfied by yet another trip to a fabulous palace property. But the hunt continues…

What’s that I spot, a dark and reclusive love grotto? Ooolala, how scandalous!

In the Baroque gardens there was a monument honoring the life and unjust death of Axel von Fersen, probably best known internationally for his love affair with the French queen Marie Antoinette.

Rosendal Palace

Recognize this, my faithful devotees? In an earlier post I wrote about my future home, featuring this palace as inspiration. I’ve passed the beautiful exterior many times but, this summer casually passing by with envy in my eyes didn’t suffice, so I headed in doors. This little summer retreat in Stockholm’s Djurgården, a former hunting park, was built in the 1820s for King Karl XIV Johan, the first Bernadotte. The palace has never been a year round residence.

The interiors were lovely as I had expected but it’s still just as satisfying to get it confirmed. Me and auntie saw the beautiful sights of Rosendal palace and garden.

After enjoying the sights, we stopped by Rosendal’s garden café, which much to our disappointment were out of essentially everything. I was looking forward to nibbling on one of their summery salads, but to no avail.

Baba ganoush at Medelhavsmuseet

Yum! I headed over to Medelhavsmuseet (the Mediterranean Museum) to enjoy the  neo-classical interior of the museum and some lunch at their Bagdad Café. The museum, located in central Stockholm, has a beautiful collection of ancient  and historical artifacts from the Mediterranean countries, from Mesopotamia and Egypt to the early Christian and Islamic cultures. Even though I travel frequently, it’s like a vacation in itself that can be just as fun without actually going anywhere.

The salads are absolutely delicious, a must try for anyone who finds themselves in the city! I ordered this stylish baba ganoush that always hits the spot when I’m craving something fresh, full of flavors and tasty textures.

(View from the cafe: My old stomping ground, The Royal Swedish Opera to the left, the National Museum in the distant background, and the Royal Palace to the right)

The recipe for those brave enough to give it a go themselves:

Oven bake an aubergine until soft.

Using a food processor mix in dill, garlic, chilli, bread and last flip in feta cheese.

*Remember when using the food processor not to make it too smooth. It should have a slightly chunky texture in the end.

Fashion at Liljevalchs

By: Stockholms stadsmission Remake, Marie Teike, Stockholms län.

Someone was feeling fashion fever, with Elle and luxury labels as their inspiration. This was part of “Ser du löven för alla träd?” (Do you see the leaves for all the trees?), a part of the exhibition where anyone who expressed an interest would be invited to decorate their own leaf. Altogether there were 2000 leaves on 80 trees. The leaves will be auctioned and the proceeds will go to Vi-skogens trädplanteringar (a plant-a-tree organization) in Rwanda, Kenya,Tanzania and Uganda.

Nr. 0912 / 2000 by Julia Svansbo

By: Aia Jüdes, John Lindholm, Rauno Uusitalo, SK82, Agneta Ekblad, Stockholms län.

A highlight of the exhibition was seeing the Näver Say Näver collection (näver meaning birch bark in Swedish and a play with the expression Never Say Never) which consisted of fun weaved birch bark accessories.

The birch bark accessories are inspired by luxury fashion brands such as Louis Vuitton and Chanel’s iconic handbags with a twist. What a tribute, love!

By: Aia Jüdes, John Lindholm, Rauno Uusitalo, SK82, Agneta Ekblad, Stockholms län.