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Love & Relationship

Posted on January 15, 2014

The French Way of Live – The Greatest Deception of All?

Current Affairs/ Love & Relationship/ Movie & Books/ Romantique

Marion Cotillard for Dior

In the past two years, I’ve lapped up information on Parisians and their way of life – from fashion style to love lessons:

–  Ines de la Fresange’s French chic – My Style Bible
–  Why French children don’t throw food – How not to raise neurotic and spoilt Anglophone kids
–  What French women know about love and sex – My trusted guide on how to hold your own in a  relationship

Additionally, I interviewed two of my French friends to let our readers in on the “je ne sais quoi” of French women.

The authors of the above books such as Pam Druckerman and Mireille Guiliano (her new book, “Why French women don’t have plastic surgery”, has just been released) have been riding the “French women know it all” wave successfully and even created a new genre of book, the French way of life.

This week, Australian magazine “Women’s weekly” raised the righteous question: “Are French women and culture really that superior in all they do?” After all, obesity rates in France have doubled in the last 15 years. Leading French ladies like Catherine Deneuve have succumbed to the plastic surgeon knife just like their American counterparts. The author who initiated the craze, Mireille Guiliano, admitted herself her books only contain “commonsense” advice (eat small portions and fresh produce only, wash your face before going to bed, take the stairs instead of the lift, etc). Generally accepted knowledge the French haven’t innovated. So is all the Hype around French women a well-marketed scam invented by smart Americans cashing in on the myth?

I say no, naturally.  It is true that France hasn’t entirely resisted the wave of junk food chains that swept the world. However, France as a whole is still the slimmest nation in Europe. The streets of Paris are still dominated by family butchers, bakers and restaurants rather than American food chains. Take Starbucks, for example. While the American coffee chain has most of Europe tightly in its grip, it struggles to make money in the mother country of coffee culture. The French like to “sip and sit”, not carrying paper cups. French bakery chains like Paul’s and Le Pain Quotidien are hugely successful in London, but looked down on as “chains” in their home country.


French icons, surgically enhanced: Carla Bruni, 45, and Catherine Denueve, 70.

French icons, surgically enhanced: Carla Bruni, 45, and Catherine Denueve, 70.


French actresses are not unreceptive to surgery. However, plastic surgery is nowhere near as widespread in France as it is in the US and the extent of the surgery is more natural.

Where do you stand? Have you read any of the French way of life books or do you refuse to believe that the French are God’s gift to the rest of the world? Let us know your thoughts and let’s discuss!

Rebel and myself in two quintessential French styles: Vichy/Gingham and Breton stripes!

Rebel and myself in two quintessential French styles: Vichy/Gingham and Breton stripes!

Posted on September 9, 2013

Honeymoon in Dolce Roma

Love & Relationship/ Romantique/ Travel


Italy is my favourite country in the world! After having visited the Amalfi Coast, Napoli, Sorrento and Sardinia, it was only logical to book in a three day trip to Rome to kick of the Italian honeymoon extravaganza after my wonderful wedding (full wedding update will follow once I am back in Londres).

A lifetime is not enough to get to know Rome so I won’t even try to give out travel tips for Rome. Just sharing a few highlights I cherry picked from the wealth of culture to see in the Eternal city.
Trastevere: We were lucky enough to base ourselves just 20 minutes walking distance from world famous sites such as the Trevi Fountain or the Piazza Navona. The bubbly district of Trastervere is located west of the Tiber river. Quintessentially Italian, you will find cobbled,  narrow allies lined by medieval houses,  beautiful piazzas coming to life at night and many amazing restaurants, trattorias and cafés.
Via Scala in Trastevere
We stayed at a wonderfully romantic apartment in the heart of Trastevere, booked via airbandb. Accommodation in Rome can be hit and miss so we were delighted to have found this jewel. Contact us if you’d like us to share the details.
One of the many Piazzas in Trastevere. Polka dot dress from Max & Co.
Victor Emmanuel II Monument aka the ‘Wedding Cake’
This is a very young sight compared to most of Roms historical buildings dating back to BC. Completed only in 1911, the grandiose palace towers over the rest of the city. I love the marble white exterior and the stunning views the palace provides, often shared with brides who use this stunning setting as a wedding backdrop.
Crossbody bag from Moschino, wayfarer sunglasses from Ray Ban
Gianicolo Hill
Just outside the historic centre in Trastevere, Giancolo Hill provides stunning views overlooking the city. If you are a bit overwhelmed by the rich culture of the city (like I was!), this is the place to chill out and to enjoy a bit of peace and quiet.
The Aqua Paola fountain at Gianicolo is a 17th century basin made from marble taken from the forum. I dipped my feet into the fresh cold water to cool down. Like many of Rome’s sights, this is a popular wedding backdrop.
A  lucky bride using this stunning, ancient amphitheatre as a background for her wedding photos.
Posted on August 15, 2013

Top 5 Relationship Tips by a German Biologist

Love & Relationship/ Rebel Alexa

When I google the words ‘books about love’ or ‘tips for love’, I get 2.5 billion results. Wow, is there so much to say about love or are we stuck in a rut when it comes to love?

A few weeks ago, I posted an article titled: ‘5 Anti-Aging tips from a German biologist’. In the post, a PhD biologist, my boyfriend, shared his views as an expert on anti-aging. This sparked the idea to discuss a whole range of topics to get his opinion in his role as biologist as well as a man. Nothing is more interesting than analysing the quarrels of love of celebreties, friends and acquaintances.

A question that has been going round in my mind for a long time is: Can you rationalise love? Even though I’m very romantic and sensitive (I love ‘Gone with the wind’!),at the same time I like writing lists to analyse and structure things. So, I asked my boyfriend biologist, let’s call him Dr Wolle, to work with me on another post to present his view on the Top 5 relationship tips:

Wolfgang_16.08.2012 (2)

1. Find the right partner

Mother Nature wants us to mate with a partner who has significantly different genes to our own. Resonance is created automatically if two people with a highly different gene pool come together. When we look for a partner, we tend to do the wrong thing: We focus on the looks and get seduced by visual appearance. What we really should focus on is whether we can sniff the other person. Humans are mammals, nose geared beings, not eye geared like birds for example. Instead of smelling we look because our society, obsessed with looks, has been misleading us against our natural instincts.

For your first date, Dr Wolle therefore suggests: NO perfume. Perfume clouds like Chanel No 5 or Dior Homme cover our genetic compatability. Don’t get seduced by looks, instead rely on your nose. My boyfriend tells me that on first dates, he consciously took the oppurtunity to smell his first date to find out whether he’s sitting opposite a potential partner. If we are not attracted by the scent of a person, this person is not a match for us. If we can sniff a potential mate as well as being attracted to him, biologically we have found the right partner and made a good choice. The chances to have a loving relationship are good.

2. Sex – exaggerated or not?


Dr Wolle says: “A man loves a woman because she has sex with him. A woman has sex with a man because she loves him”. The essence of this message is as simple as it is shocking: Have sex with your partner regularly and you won’t have any relationship issues. Despite this simple formula, women are failing to stick to it for various reasons: Biologically, women don’t have the same libido as men. Women have sex for these two, evolutionary goals:

  • 1. to retain the mate in the early phases of the relationship and
  • 2. to procreate.

As soon as the woman accomplished these goals, the libido decreases significantly. Here lies the big issue: Men NEVER lose the urge to have sex, it only ends with their death.

For us women this means to understand and accept that whether her partner is a nerd, an investment banker, a scientist, a royal or a handy man: They are all the same: they all want sex all the time. All self-help books trying to tell us that sex is not everything in a relationship are just trying to comfort us and to spare us the inconvienent truth: Relationships revolve around sex. For women this is a challenge and a balancing act to master this in their relationships. We will deal with this specific issue in a separate post, so watch this space!

3. Two peas in a pod or opposites attract?

Another classic question in a quest to find a successful mate: Do opposites attract or do two similar human beings have better chances of having a romantic, long lasting relationship? What’s my biologist boyfriend’s view on this

He says: Yes, opposites do attract for sure. Stories about polar opposite couples are often thrilling, exciting, chaotic and exhausting. That’s why extremely different couples have less chances of a long term loving relationship compared to couples who have lots in common (think Lizzy Taylor and Richard Burton!).

What does that mean exactly, what are the important things we should have in common with our mate to ensure happiness and longevity of the partnering? Is it the hobbies, the character traits, the social background or the same views on morals and values? Is it beneficial for a relationship to go golfing together, to vote for the same party or to love Italian cuisine?

My boyfriend’s opinion is clear: It’s important for a healthy relationship to have the same set of values and morals rather than sharing the same hobbies and character traits. Common values such as truthfulness, responsibility, reliability, consideration, empathy, helpfulness, solidarity, loyalty, consistency, sustainability, open mindedness and fairness are crucial for a relationship to work out. For Dr Wolle personally, the human side plays a much bigger part than whether his girlfriend reads the same biology books.

4. Closeness and distance

In his book ‘Men are from Mars, women are from Venus’, John Gray explains that the rubber band theory ensures men are kept interested in a relationship: Men want closeness but at the same time they need distance. Too much closeness suffocates the love of men. Too much distance (=less sex) will make love fizzle out.

In a relationship, the woman has the role of a film director: Stretch the rubber band as much as possible to let it go in the right moment to make the man bounce back to his wife. It’s an endless circle: Stretch and let go, stretch and let go. Sounds simple enough but still many women, including me, don’t understand this theory and are struggling to implement it in every day life. Why? I think women have the tendency to do too much: Talk too much, analyse too much, organize too much, control too much. Women are like handy men of love, constantly trying to improve their relationships. They are working too much on the closeness but most are not good at keeping the distance when needed

5. The Child Question


We will finish off with the question of all questions, knock-out argument for every relationship because this is a subject you can’t compromise on. There are lots of issues that can be worked out between partners with compromise, for example long distance relationships. The children question however is non-negotiable. 70% of women would like to have children but not as many men want the same. From whatever angle you look at it, the children question is imperative and has to be talked about early on in the relationship.

If you are a man and you don’t want children, it is advised to discuss this question in the first 6 months of the relationship to spare women the time and emotions she will invest so she can pursue the search for another partner who wants to procreate, just like her.

Posted on December 7, 2012

For Romantique: On marriage plus wedding dresses by Vogue Paris

Love & Relationship

“If I get married, I want to be very married.” Audrey Hepburn

“Some marriages are made in heaven, but they all have to be maintained on earth. Mrs Miracle.” Debbie Macomber

“Love is not maximum emotion. Love is maximum commitment.” Sinclair B. Ferguson

“When a marriage works, nothing on earth can take its place.” Helen Gahagan Douglas

“He loves her for everything she is and is not. She’s old enough to appreciate that.” Mandy Nachampassack-Maloney, Asha in Time

“My most brilliant achievement was my ability to be able to persuade my wife to marry me.” Winston Churchill

“Yes, as Rhett had prophesied, marriage could be a lot of fun. Not only was it fun but she was learning many things. That was odd in itself, because Scarlett had thought life could teach her no more. Now she felt like a child, every day on the brink of a new discovery.” Margaret Mitchell, Gone With The Wind

“A man would prefer to come to an unmade bed and a happy woman than to a neatly made bed and an angry woman.” Marlene Dietrich

May she share everything with her husband, including the housework. Wedding Toast

Model: Isabeli Fontana
Photographer: Peter Lindbergh
Styled by: Anastasia Barbieri

Posted on November 16, 2012

Romantique getting hitched!

Love & Relationship/ Romantique

Wow, what a week it’s been for me! I got a wedding proposal from Mr Romantique (who technically is not Mr Romantique because we were living in sin) and got spoilt rotten on my Birthday just a few days later!

So how did he pop the question? Last week Thursday, I was asked to not come home before 19.00. Mr Romantique explained he planned a romantic dinner at home (because we usually slouch on the sofa eating dinner while watching Dexter or Mad Men).


When I opened the door, Mr Romantique welcomed me in my favourite shirt of him (“Chester” in Raspberry from Reiss) with my favourite gourmand perfume angel men and his hair impeccably styled. Wow! The flat was set up like an Italian restaurant, with heart shaped tea lights and  romantic music playing in the background. And no, I did not suspect a thing! I thought that it was all part of the lead-up to my nearing birthday.


A three course meal from my favourite Italian restaurant was served together with red wine. I noticed that he was acting awkward and nervous, like being on a first date, plus he barely touched the food. 

After a delicious panna cotta desert, I was asked to close my eyes, he got on one knee and a wonderful declaration of love followed and the question all romantics at heart love to hear from “the one”. Apparently I shrieked a high pitched “eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeyes” . I can’t remember exactly what I said , in the excitement of the moment, all my memories are hazy and blurred.

Since then, we’ve been in a happy bubble,  not stressing too much about planning a big wedding. I have a few ideas about a small ceremony and a simple, romantic dress that will match the small, intimate ceremony, like the below dress from Max Mara bridal.



Posted on September 3, 2012

Wedding Guest – What to wear?

Love & Relationship/ Rebel Alexa

I love to be invited to weddings because it is not a dvd hollywood romance. In fact, you can experience that true romance still exists and people are afraid to say YES to each other!

For the bride, it is certainly a big deal to choose a wedding dress. Vera Wang said: “When I decided to get married at 40, I couldn’t find a dress with the modernity or sophistication I wanted. That’s when I saw the opportunity for a wedding gown business.” For most brides they imagine their wedding as a fairy tale… huge, beautiful and white.

And the wedding guests, what you wear? I decided to put my clothes as every day so I don’t feel dressed up. A beautiful and exceptional pants with a sleek, simple shirt replaces the eternal standard dress.




Posted on April 13, 2012

Kate Hepburn Maximen

Love & Relationship/ Rebel Alexa

“Um es stocknüchtern auszudrücken, ich fand mich einfach fazinierend.”

“Freud übte einen ungesunden Einfluss auf Amerika aus. Ich glaube, dass sich die Menschen zu ernst nehmen. Selbstdisziplin ist viel wichtiger.”

“Das allerwichtigste ist, dass man weiterlebt. Das Leben ist kompliziert und voll von schrecklichen Dingen. Man muss voranschreiten, weitermachen und hart sein. Nicht in dem Sinn, dass man andere schäbig behandelt, sondern in dem Sinn, dass man hart sich selbst gegenüber ist und mit äußerster Kraft versucht, sich nicht unterkriegen zu lassen.”


“Was meine Beziehungen angeht, so weiss ich, dass ich Eigenarten habe, die manchen Menschen unangenehm sind. Ich bin laut und schneide irritierende Themen an. Wenn ich das Gefühl habe, dass dies zu einem Bruch führt, dann weiss ich, dass eine Seite nachzugeben hat. Da ich nie der Meinung war, dass der Mann nachgeben muss, tue ich es eben. Ich halte den Mund, obwohl ich mit jeder Faser meines Herzens Stellung beziehen möchte.”

Gucci SS Collection 2012 – Reminiszenz an den Glamour der 20er & 30er Jahre


Posted on April 7, 2012

Mr Romantique Spring Outfit

Love & Relationship/ Romantique/ Wardrobe

You can never change a man? Pheww, I can prove the opposite, at least when it comes to style! Mr Romantique used to love his worn, neon-coloured Fresh Jive T-Shirts teamed with washed out military shorts. Fast foward a few years, and Mr Romantique does enjoy trying a new style.  Here he wears a dark purple pique polo shirt from DKNY and lilac flowery swim shorts from Havacoa. Havacoa is a great brand known for their colourful and flowery designs. Check out their designs on here.

Posted on April 6, 2012

Romance in London

Jumpers/ London/ Love & Relationship/ Romantique/ Skirts/ Wardrobe

Spring is here, the temperatures are rising and the cherry trees are blooming. Time to go out and spend some quality time with your loved one, whether it is a partner or a close friend.

Mr Romantique and me in Primrose Hill, I’m wearing a Max & Co full skirt with waist belt and a leopard wool jumper. Grey blue woven handbag from Falorni and black ballet pumps from Pretty Ballerina.

Posted on March 7, 2012

About Bad Boys

Love & Relationship/ Rebel Alexa

JFK war einer, Ernest Hemingway, Frank Sinatra. James Bond, Mr. Big, Leonardo di Caprio, Johnny Depp, Colin Firth, Hugh Grant und Jude Law warscheinlich auch – sie sind BAD BOYS.

Das sind Männer, die eine unheimliche und verführerische Anziehungskraft auf uns Frauen ausüben, die sich aber nicht wirklich auf verbindliche Nähe einlassen können und egal, welche tolle Frau auch immer es versucht, keine kann ihn wirklich dazu bewegen, sich auf eine tiefe emotionale Bindung einzulassen. Bady Boy ist nicht gleich Bad Boy, denn es gibt 6 verschiedene Gesichter für die Männer mit dem sogenannten Casanova-Komplex aber allen ist gemeinsam, sie sind nicht beziehungsfähig.

1.) Der Eroberer

Will möglichst viele, schnelle sexuelle Eroberungen in seinem Leben machen, hasst es, wenn die Frauen bei ihm übernachten, emotionale Ansprüche stellen, nur weil er mit ihnen im Bett war, kennt keine Schuldgefühle und will ganz sicher nicht e-mail oder Handy-Nummern austauschen. Er ist ein kalter und berechnender Hund, der von dem Zwang der sexuellen Eroberungen massiv in seinem Leben beherrscht wird. Der Eroberer lebt am liebsten allein und heiratet nie, es sei denn er muss, wie JFK aus politischen oder anderen zwingenden Gründen.

2.) Der Mitmacher

Typ James Bond, ist charmant aber oberlächlich und kalt mit einem tyrannischem Ego, die Frau an seiner Seite spielt definitiv nur eine Nebenrolle in seinem Leben. Sie versprechen niemals Treue und erwarten auch keine, denn keine Frau scheint ihm die Mühe wert zu sein. Sex hat für den Mitmacher keine oberste Priorität wie für Typ 1, der ein sexuelles Raubtier ist. Wenn die Mitmacher nicht jagen, dann machen sie häufig Sport oder hängen vor der Kiste ab. Meist haben sie zwei bis drei lockere Bekanntschaften gleichzeitig am Laufen.

3.) Der Romantiker

Romantiker überschütten ihre Frauen zu Beginn mit schönen Geschenken, Liebesgedichten, wollen non-stop mit ihr zusammen sein und halten sie schlicht für einen Engel und denken jedesmal das ist jetzt die Richtige – das muss Liebe sein!? Aber nach ein paar Monaten platzt die Seifenblase, der Engel ist ein böses Mädchen – wie das? Der Romantiker sucht die perfekte und vollkommene Frau und ist dann wahnsinng enttäuscht, wenn sie nur ein ganz gewöhnliches Mädchen ist mit Stärken UND Schwächen und das kann der Romantiker nicht akzeptieren. Er bricht Herzen und bleibt mit gebrochenem Herz selbst einsam zurück bis zum nächsten Mal.

4.) Der Nestsucher

Ernest Hemingway war ein introvertier Mann, der sich extrem extrovertiert verkaufte. Hinter der Arroganz von Nestsuchern verbirgt sich Schüchternheit und die Initiative geht oft von den Frauen aus, Nestsucher lassen sich lieber erobern, denn dann können sie auch keinen Korb bekommen. Nestbauer binden sich rasch und ziehen gleich bei der Partnerin ein oder sie bei ihm. Hört sich bis jetzt alles gut an aber: das alltägliche Leben ist eine Falle für ihn, jede Bitte, jeder Wunsch, jede Absprache, jeder Kompromiss den die Partnerin äußert oder wünscht wird auf einmal als extreme Forderung und Dominanz interpretiert – sie will mich jetzt völlig unter den Nagel reißen. Er beginnt mit massivem Rückzug, flüchtet in den Sport oder andere Aktivitäten.

5.) Der Jongleur

Jongleure sind unentschlossen und haben meist zwei feste Frauen und geniessen die Rivalität von Ehefrau und Geliebter. Sie halten das doppelte Spiel bewusst nicht geheim vor den Frauen und das ewige Hin und Her kann sich über Jahre hinziehen bis eine das Handtuch wirft, dann wird die Geliebte zur Ehefrau und der Platz der Geliebten ist wieder zu vergeben und wird mit absoluter Sicherheit auch wieder neu besetzt.

6.) Der Kater

Ist meist fest an eine Frau gebunden, muss aber immer wieder außerhäusig rumstreunen, kann nicht dauerhaft treu sein und möchte auf das bequeme Zuhause nicht verzichten, deshalb sind seine Geschichten auch geheim, anders als beim Jongleur. Kater “lieben” ihre Ehefrauen aber schieben ihre Untreue auf die sexuelle häusliche Langeweile, obwohl sie mit ihren Frauen darüber gar nicht kommunizieren, denn es geht ihnen vielmehr um den Egokick, der Sex mit anderen Frauen bringt. Nur eine Frau kann ihr labiles Ego auf Dauer nicht befriedigen. Kater können sehr wohl die äußeren Bindungen einer festen Beziehung leben, gemeinsames Konto, Urlaube, Famileintreffen usw. aber ihren sexuellen Drang sich weiterhin auch mit anderen Frauen nebenbei einzulassen können sie nicht unterdrücken – Kater bleibt Kater.

Quelle: Peter Trachtenberg “Der Casanova Komplex”


JFK’s Sunglasses Ray-Ban Original Wayfarer 2140 von 1962







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