Monday, October 31, 2011
I have a great passion for the cuisine of this country, specially because I can easily remove meat from many dishes (for those of you who don't know it, I'm a vegetarian). I mean... vegetables couscous, grilled eggplant salad with spices, tomato and sesame marmalade, cumin zucchinis, etc. And many teas: mint teas, jasmine teas, verbena teas...
The souks where spices and dried fruits are sold are incredible, be it because of its many colors or because of its strong and unique smells.
It's also worth visiting the souks of scents and black soaps. The Arabs make a cult of taking care of their body, something which start at the hamman, where they must rub themselves with a glove and the famous black soap (sold by weight). After the hamman, they might also go for a scrub with rassoul, which is a special mud for detoxing the skin. And finally, a massage with argan oil, made of the fruit of the arganier, which grows only in Morocco.
The argan oil has many virtues, a high quantity of vitamin E and Omega 6, and improves dry skin remarkably. There's a variety that can also be used for cooking.
All this wonders can be bought at the souks, open market and neuralgic center of the city. Thousands walk around it daily and tourists come in pilgrimage. You can find almost anything. But beware: you must know how to bargain! Salesmen take it almost as an insult if you pay full price. Bargaining is an art in many Arab countries.
At the souks you can also buy embroidered djellabas, fabrics, bags... Unique crafts.
Yves Saint Laurent loved Marrakech and Morocco and found here many inspirations for his collections. His love for this country was so immense that he chose to be buried here...
Saturday, October 29, 2011
As usual, Marrakech has its particular charme, which makes it unique and one of the most popular touristic destinations in the world. And, as for the weather, this is by far the best time to come: hot and sunny during the day, fresh and windy during the night.
The house where I'm staying is the famous Zahia, residence of the Gettys during the '70s (a picture of Talitha, an icon during that time, was taken in one of its many terraces) and then owned by Alain Delon. Now it belongs to my friends who are also stupendous hosts.
It must be said that receiving friends is part of the Moroccan culture and the foreigners who own properties here adapt themselves to the local traditions and also love serving the exquisite Moroccan cuisine.
So coming to spend some days in Marrakech is a total change, much like entering into a new world, so different, in many senses, to my occidental origin.
To walk around the souk, the closed market that resembles Ali Baba's cave, is an experience for the eyes, in wonder with so many colors; for the smell, in awe with the scents of the spices, the perfumes, the rassoul; for the mouth, in joy with the taste of the "loukoums" and for the ears, surprised by the music of the "gnawas." Totally worth it...
Et voilá, un "riad."
Saturday, October 22, 2011
Just arrived to this unusually cold Paris (tonight we had 5°C), I went to the Bal Jaune, the mythical dinner held by the Fondation Ricard to announce the winner of the Best Young Artist in Contemporary Art of the Year Award. From October 20th, and until the 23rd, the FIAC (Foire d'Arts Contemporain) is being held in town at the Grand Palais and all the big collectors of the world, the artists and the curious are here. Of course, the Ricard Dinner is THE event of the week and no one would miss it. This year, the place chosen was the Theatre de Chaillot. Two hundred people were invited to the dinner and more than 3000 to the afterwards dance, which began at midnight and would have performances by the band "The New Beatles."
There were three long long tables, for 70 people each, and all had big center pieces with palm leaves. They looked amazing. I was fortunate enough to be seated near the alma mater of the Fondation, Corinne Ricard, who is also one of my best friends. The greatest lovers of contemporary art were all there, including Francois Pinault, Rita Caltagirone and the artist Gerard Garouste. I was seated next to Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, with whom I had a wonderful time. I've always admired his work as a fashion designer.
Of course, in unison we all toasted for France's Rugby team, which is to face the All Blacks tomorrow morning in the World Cup Final.
The French were well represented by their artists and also by the excellent menu, signed by the chef Yannick Alléno, who prepared an original and exquisite menu.
The 13th Ricard Award was given to the young Adrien Missika, who will also have the privilege of showing his work during an entire month at the Centre Pompidou.
I did not stay for the dance, but as I left, I saw the long line of those waiting to get inside, in spite of the chilly weather...
Saturday, October 15, 2011
What a great privilege to have Eric Clapton, once again, in Buenos Aires, after more than 10 years…
Tonight I had the honor, together with other 45.000 people, of witnessing a two-hour concert by the greatest guitar player in the world. And in spite of being 67 years old, he has lost none of his enormous talent. He looks more like an English college professor than a rock star. However, no one knows how to suck the best music out of a guitar. His band, of course, is also excellent.
Yesterday’s glorious moment came when he played and sang "Wonderful Tonight," one of my top-ten favorite songs, specially after having read Pattie Boyd’s biography, who was his greatest love and also George Harrison’s wife. It was to her that she dedicated this song that is the most beautiful tribute a man can give to a woman. Let’s not forget that, previously, to conquer her, when she was still someone else’s wife, he wrote to her “Layla,” another of his most famous songs.
In my next life I want to be a talented musician and spend my life on the stages of the world...
Good night to you all...
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Finally, after many many years of waiting, Chanel's perfumes and beauty products can finally be bought in Argentina! Today, at the Galerías Pacífico, Chanel opened a special space where you can see, try and desire the nail lacquers, the lipsticks, the eye-shadows and much more. I'm a great fan of their products. I've been using for more than 10 years the perfume Chanel N°5, in all its variations: body lotion, gel douche, eau de toilette. All my clothes smell like Chanel N°5. Not to mention the famous nail lacquer Black Satin, which I use constantly, or the rouge à levres Allure Velvet, shade La Distinguée, or the blushes Les Tissages... I consider Chanel's products to be among the best in the world...
And I'm always glad when things like this happen in Argentina.
I went to the cocktail with my sister, who wore a beautiful red Lanvin dress, and met many friends.
As I get ready to travel once again to Europe, my feelings towards Buenos Aires get more intense... and I would love to stay!
Friday, October 7, 2011
I promise not to publish photos of myself for a while... I've posted three in less than a week!!!
It's just that I've come from COAS (Cooperativa de Acción Social) Annual Dinner, which is one of the last charity events of the season, and of the year, before the presidential elections... And I want to tell you who it went!
As usual, an exceptional amount of people and many many donations. Almost all the most important brands and companies of Argentina wanted to be present to support COAS' volunteers, ladies who work, with no salaries, to gather the needed funds to buy and then donate equipments to public hospitals. And they achieve this with private donations, with the Feria de las Naciones, with COAS-Gourmet and anything else they can hold on to... Since they began, many decades ago, they were able to raise 50 million dollars and distribute the equivalent in equipments and machines to many many hospitals and health centers. A true successful cause.
Of course, the night had its share of frivolity, with splendid elegant women, dancing, shows (two songs from Chicago and Rent) and prizes to be drawn.
To my table I invited Argentine, French and Italian friends.
The music of the 70s made us dance and move all night...
Another COAS dinner. For me, probably, the number 15. But, as usual, a classic I never want to miss...
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
On such a beautiful Spring day in Buenos Aires, I decided to go to the presentation of El Camarín's new collection, at the Museo Evita.
As you know, I get very emotional when listening to the song "Don't cry for me, Argentina,"but today's performance by singer Elena Roger left me absolutely breathless. Luckily enough, I could hide my tears under my Ray Bans!
Could it be because I love Argentina so much?
So, back to the presentation, I liked what I saw. A very personal collection, not at all "inspired" by foreign designers, with neutral hues, antique laces, very serene and tidy.
I congratulate the designer, because her pieces where able to shine in spite of being presented on such a historic surrounding, as it's the Museum's patio.
Of course, as it happens on all this events, many beautiful women among the guests, all gathered by Grupo Mass+.
With my friend Georgina Alliata.
Monday, October 3, 2011
As it happens annually, tonight we had Fundaleu's Benefic Dinner at the Alvear Palace Hotel, with the presence of many celebrities who, as usual, had no trouble working as waiters for the many tables. If I'm not mistaken, this one was Fundaleu's (Foundation fighting Leukemia) 16th Gala and, judging by the number of sponsors and tables sold, it turned out to be a huge success. Among the celebrity-waiters were Facundo Arana, Mirtha Legrand, Miguel del Sel, models, athletes, football players such as Martín Palermo and businessmen such as Cristiano Ratazzi.
This year I must point out the incredible salon decorations by Gerardo Acevedo which, as you can see on my picture, where sensational and fairy-tale like. The menu was specially prepared by La Bourgogne's Chef, Jean-Paul.
There were many prizes and special gifts to be drawn among guests... but I, recently landed from Paris, with a "jet lag" of 5 hours, could not bear my sleepiness, and fled back home... Early Cinderella.
I can only tell you that the music was great, but my long Oscar de la Renta dress made it impossible for me to move the way I like.
Many beautiful and elegant women, of course. A special note to Viviana Canosa, who has been charmingly improving her image year after year....
Well, time for bed. I was thrilled to participate in such beneficial event, at least for a few hours...