• photography by ROMEO MORI
    hair & make-up CELINE EXBRAYAT
    bandana worn as a belt KILIWATCH

    An interview with Lou Lesage

    Written by Mari Florer

    One who watches

    The 22 year old Parisian actress and singer Lou Lesage has dreamt of being on stage since she was a little girl.
    – I used to reenact scenes from movies I had seen, she says.
    Lou describes herself as an observer: one who watches.

    Her parallel careers come naturally to her. She has been encouraged to sing in her family and her voice is really beautiful with both softness and attitude.
    Lou has big ambitions. She wants to be remembered for her work, she says, and she has already come quite far.
    She has one album released; Under my Bed (2011) and she has participated in several films; LOL (Laughing out loud, 2008), My little Princess (2011) and Océane (2013). Now she has two new cinema projects going on for next year.
    – I’m very excited, she says.

    Her parents Pierre Emery and Gil Lesage have helped her a lot. They are both members of the band Ultra Orange. Her father looks like a French version of Iggy Pop and it’s he who writes and composes his daughter’s music.
    Both Lou and her parents are inspired by underground bands from the 60’s and 70’s like The Velvet Underground and The Stooges. If you are a Stooges fan you can hear a lot of musical references to them in her record.
    Her favorite songs currently, from this era, are; She loves the way they love her by The Zombies, Mon amie la rose by Françoise Hardy, Anyone who had a heart by Dionne Warwick, Ballad of a thin man by Bob Dylan and Atomic by Blondie.

    Even when it comes to fashion, the 60’s and 70’s are of great importance. Lou Lesage does a lot of vintage shopping. For example you can see her in high waist trousers and her favorite accessory is “the hat”. It is a style that reminds of a young style icon like Jane Birkin.
    – I don’t really know why I’m attracted by this kind of esthetic, Lou says.
    Her own favorite style icons are Françoise Hardy, the young Brigitte Bardot and Françoise Sagan.

    Is there a French philosophy when it comes to beauty?

    It’s the beauty of mind that matters.

    You live in Paris. Can you tell our readers about your favorite
    shopping places that they would not want to miss?

    I don’t have favorite places. The beauty of Paris is that you can find secret and cool places in a corner of a street. You have to walk in the little streets without knowing where you go. But I can suggest La jolie garde robe on Rue des Commines.

    Do you have a favorite clothing label?

    Thomsen is a great brand. They do a lot of beautiful shirts with colors and patterns with birds. And Le Mont Saint Michel - it’s very Frenchy.

    What is Océane about?

    A young girl from the Parisian suburbs and gets dumped on a highway station. She follows a stranger, Oliboy, an odd forty-something musician who is about to do a summer tour in the south-west of France. She will discover his life philosophy in an authentic isolated surf camp - a timeless summer paradise.

    What is your favorite French film at the moment?

    Sue mes lèvres (eng: Read My Lips 2001), a Jacques Audiard film with Vincent Cassel et Emmanuelle Devos. I love it!

    Any dream project you want to do or be a part of?

    I would love to work with Jacques Audiard. But it’s a big dream.

    tights FALKE
    waistcoat OLYMPIA LE TAN
    body WOLFORD
    skirt VINTAGE
    top SACAI
    jacket Vintage A.P.C 
    dress, jacket and shoes AZZADINE ALAÏA
    top SACAI
    jacket VINTAGE A.P.C jacket 
  • written by MICHAELA MYHRBERG

    photography by ANNA GRANBERG

    An interview with Fräulein Frauke

    Written by Michaela Widergren

    It is a dark and cold Friday night in the beginning of October and I am on my way to the oldest traditional theater house in Stockholm, Södra Teatern. This weekend there are a lot of international artists in town, maybe not the typical ones, these ones are burlesque performers and I am about to see them perform at the 3 year old Stockholm Burlesque Festival. If you are not in the burlesque platoon it can be quite hard to even have an idea of what they actually do on stage.
    We all know it is about getting naked in the end, but what about the beginning?
    When I hear the word burlesque I immediately think about Dita von Teese lying in a giant champagne cup covered in Swarowski crystals. To find out the actual facts I went backstage to discuss the world of naked women and tassels with the burlesque dancer and festival co-producer Fräulein Frauke.

    First, tell me about the festival…

    The festival is one of Europe’s biggest burlesque events and is running in Sweden for its third year. It was initiated by Duchess Dubois and The Amazing Knicker Kittens in 2010, had a break in 2011 and my husband John Paul Bichard and I, were asked to join the production team for last years festival.
    It is a great celebration of burlesque, and all the joy, creativity, and warmth this art form has to offer.
    In a festival there are many performers from all over the world, so its a great way for the audience, both “burlesque veterans” and those new to the scene to really get a big and grand experience, as well as it is working as a lovely “community mingle” for us performers, to hang out and get to know each other.

    What’s the essence of burlesque, what’s it really about?

    In one sentence I would say it is “cabaret entertainment with a feministic undertone, using some form of striptease as a medium”.
    There are two forms of burlesque, one can argue: what we call “classic burlesque”, a tribute to the women that did burlesque before the porn industry changed the adult entertainment world in the begining of the 60´s. Ie, a vintage inspired ode to these times (typically 1880-1950) and these amazing and strong women.
    And then we have “neo-burlesque”, that is more “modern” in its take, not necessarily adhering to the vintage aesthetic, and is more about conveying humor, politics, theatre and crazy stunts.
    A lot of performers do a bit of both and in a club there is usually a mix between the two “sides” of burlesque, which is a great way of making it interesting and relevant today, rather than just “pretty”. In all burlesque, neo or classical, feminism and the politics of women in contemporary society are an important element.

    How come that you became a part of the burlesque scene?

    Before I knew what the world “burlesque” meant I already loved it! I have always been interested in sexuality and how we as a society sees and react to sexuality and erotica. I have been singing jazz since I was a kid with my pianist father and always loved the film classics such as Cabaret with Liza Minelli. When I started to do pin-up and retro styled modeling it felt very natural to put all of my interests together and take it to the stage!

    While talking, we are standing in the hallway by the make up room, it looks exactly how you would image it, with large mirrors framed by lightbulbs and with several international artists getting ready for the stage. I feel like a spectator invited for a quick peek into a peculiar world run by sparkling women and men in mustaches.
    I look at Fräulein Frauke, she looks like a 50’s pinup model all dressed in vintage and with carefully curled hair, and I ask how come that you are able to work with some many international artist?

    For a festival, a big community get-together, we have people apply to be part of it. Nobody gets rich from performing at festivals, but its a great way of mingling and meeting promoters and performers from other countries as well as being inspired to up your game and develop. There are often workshops and happenings around a festival which are great for career building. We (me and my husband) also runs “Fräulein Frauke Presents” , one of Europe’s largest burlesque clubs, where we have built up a wide reaching international network of performers and producers.

    What facts do people tend to get wrong about burlesque?

    I think it is getting better and better. In the beginning I had to explain a lot that what I do is not porn or degrading to women. But sure, people are sometimes a bit confused. It seems like it is hard for some to understand that female sexuality and expression, on our own terms, is NOT a degrading thing and that we are not there just to please a male audience.

    Who is the ultimate burlesque style icon and why?

    Oh, that is hard. My favorite burlesque performer is Gypsy Rose Lee- an amazing performer who mixed a lot of humor and wit into her über-glamourus performances. She was biggest in the 40´s and went on to have her own TV show. Today, of course Dita von Teese is the most famous one and she is a glamorous ambassador for the whole scene, but there are countless women (and a few men) both from history and today that are amazing performers and truly inspiring.

    There is a delicate atmosphere in the room. The performers are deeply concentrated but still joyful and energetic. A man whom I later realizes is the master of ceremonies is asking for a cigar without any success. The show is about to start so I begin to round things up with Fräulein.

    What reactions have you gotten from “first-timers” leaving your show?

    Oh! So positive, which is lovely! People usually absolutely love it, because it is not just watching the show that is the deal at a burlesque event, it is the atmosphere and fantasy space we create and invite people o take part of. Most people come amazingly dressed and really immerse themselves in the great environment and open atmosphere where everybody, all sizes, all ages all genders are welcome.

    Later that night, I walk out from the theater all happy and whimsical. It has been a strange evening. I am not sure the last time I got drawn into a different world like this, and it was definitely a long time since I laughed this much. During the show I was surprised how political and gender transcendent many of the acts were. There were overwhelming cheers in the saloon when the group Black Bird Burlesque Cabaret gave a kick to Putin. It made me realize there are many ways of questioning inhumane ideologies and burlesque is most definitely one of them.

  • photography by JÖRGEN AXELVALL



    Written by Jörgen Axelvall

    Always do shoot (or whatever you do)

    I recently went to NYC as a finalist in Vogue x Bottega Veneta New Exposure Award 2013. Now I am back in Tokyo as the international winner.

    As a contributor for Odalisque Magazine I was asked to show the work that was exhibited in NYC and also to write something about it myself.

    The competition was introduced to me by a friend who coaxed me into sending my portfolio. I had never done anything like that before and didn’t take it very seriously. However, I managed to submit a small portfolio on time. After submitting my portfolio the competition was no longer on my mind. Shooting was.

    I always shoot. If not actually pressing the shutter button I constantly take mental pictures. I had a very clear idea of something I wanted to do. Not for money. Not for any competition. I just had the urge to shoot.

    I don’t paint or draw or make sculptures or music- at least not yet.
    For now I express myself by taking pictures. One night, my friend Alexander, my model and I set out to do a series of images that I had already exposed to my mind more than once. It was perfect; just what I wanted. It was a happy night-and easy.

    After some sleep I started editing and soon I had a series of 20 images that all had what I was looking for.
    Just as I felt finished editing and color correcting I got an email from the people at Vogue. They liked my portfolio very much and where happy to announce that I was selected as a finalist.

    For the next step they wanted to see 4-6 images in a series that were telling a story-
    Much the way most editorials do in fashion magazines.

    As I was reading the email, my newly finished project was also on the computer screen. I saw Vogue and Bottega Veneta, both names that say fashion in a pretty big way, but there was no mention that the next submission must be fashion related. I figured I will show them what I just had done.

    With some more editing, and I had the required 6 images. Easy.

    Along with the pictures they also wanted a paragraph describing my concept.
    I had known for a very long time what my concept was. Putting it into words was just a matter of minutes. Easy.

    Only a short time later the next email from Vogue invited me to come to NYC, where my images would be exhibited together with all the images of the other finalists.
    I am never too busy to travel and I was certainly not going to pass on a free trip to my old home town, and the chance to see some of my dearest friends.

    Off I went and the rest is, as they say, history.

    Oh, and the concept of my story.
    Well this is what I wrote:

    I live in a big city
    the biggest in the world by some measure
    I am a foreigner here
    very much so
    at times I feel trapped, alienated and lonely
    amongst the millions of people calling this their home

    These images were all photographed in central Tokyo
    not far from my home in Shibuya
    at my sanctuaries
    where I find peace