Happy Birthday, Mama!

Had she not changed her form on 1st October last year, my mama would have turned 70 today. Losing her literally felt like losing a part of myself. Both physical and emotional. I'm still learning to live this new life and give myself the courage, strength, optimism and joy she used to give me. 

Two days after she left, I wrote a piece about her for "Gloria". When I sat down to write it, I wondered if I was insane for insisting I could do it. The wounds were still bleeding. But I did it. And here, to honour my mama's birthday, the translation.

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Mama Jagoda and the Truth of Style

I just accidentally came across this: my mom at the film festival in Cannes in 1971, where she was promoting her film "WR Mysteries of the Organism", and only wore stuff she found on markets while travelling through ex-Yugoslavia. She was always endlessly true to herself, never followed trends or fashion. Never let a professional make-up or hair person come close to her, even when she was filming. Didn't even know what a stylist is. So it's a bit of a surprise - which it shouldn't be - to find her pictured as a style icon. Being true just always wins.

When a Stork Lands in Hollywood

Like everything else, having a baby in Hollywood can be quite an insane thing. The core of my story for the February issue of Gloria Glam was the embarrassment of having consciously jumped into that rabbit hole. For once, I wrote a story pointing not only at the insanity of the world around me, but my own. And that part got cut out. So here you go:

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It's a Dog's Life. In LA. But What About Humans? In Africa?

The big story for the December issue of Gloria Glam was lots of fun – until I started crunching numbers. It was a story about a dog’s life in Hollywood. The luxury and the insanity. The US pet industry is growing so quickly it is expected that by 2019, it will reach $92 billion (currently, $30 billion goes to pet food). Africa receives $30 billion in international aid a year. Please someone, prove me wrong!

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Prince on Wheels

Last October, I wrote a story about the trend and history of food trucks in Los Angeles. The funniest thing about the research was learning that the prince of Italy, Vittorio Emanuele of Savoy has a food truck in Venice (Beach, California) called "Prince of Venice". How would you like your pasta served by a real prince out of a truck on Abbot Kinney?

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Women, their Careers and Children

Having - or not having - children is such an important topic for women today, and one that is very rarely honestly discussed. Trying to prove we are equal, women don't want to admit we aren't - because we have children. Even after 9 months, which for some women are a very difficult experience, our children stay a part of us and define who we are and how we function. Much (much!) more so then they do to men. 

This is a crucial topic, especially in the USA where it's being completely ignored. I still can't believe women in the USA aren't marching the streets demanding regulated maternity leave and subsidised child care.  

Here is the newest interview by Marina Abramovic, one of the most influential artists of our time, in which she is talking about how she chose not to have children for the sake of her career:

Marina Abramovic for Tagespiegel, translated from German to English by Artnet

It would be great to hear more honest stories about women's choices!

A Late Nod to 1 May

The presidential elections in Austria are happening right now and it came down to a right wing candidate and a green/left candidate. I was just asked to write why I’m supporting the green/left guy and I wrote a little statement which I’d like to share here as well:

In the age of globalization, which brings along the insecurities, inequality, destruction of the environment and of natural resources, overpopulation, migration and loss of human values, the left – which for me means humans before capital, and with each other, not against each other – is the only way to survive. I choose left for my son and the planet he’s going to inherit.  And if I could choose a mother, that’s whom I would choose. Because I believe our planet (and our civilization) destroyed by male values can only be rescued by switching to female modus operandi: nourishing, repairing, preserving, reconciling and being in tune with nature.

We don't have much time left.

The 3rd Wave of Coffee

My story for the April issue of Gloria Glam dipped me in the fascinating world of coffee. I’m a tea drinker so there was a lot to learn. In spite of its roots being in Seattle (“Vivace”) and Chicago (“Intelligetsia”) Los Angeles managed to establish itself as the capital of the third wave of coffee: the first being just cheap and easily accessible coffee, the second being Starbucks and the discovery of more enjoyable coffee – which quickly turned into a massive chain (21,000 locations worldwide!). The third wave is about discovering best coffee beans and techniques from all over the world and turning them into a very personal experience.

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International Women's Day (a day too late)

Since it was International Women’s Day yesterday, here a Hollywood story about equality. Few weeks ago, new six episodes of X-Files premiered and caused a big stir. Not so much because of the fans and their genuine interest in seeing what agents Scully and Mulder have been up to in all this time, but more because of one of Hollywood’s two new favorite topics: women & Hollywood and race & Hollywood. Equal pay is all the rage for past years, becoming a huge issue after Patricia Arquette’s Oscar acceptance speech last year, with Jennifer Lawrence quickly jumping on the bandwagon.

The fact that women should be paid the same amount for the same job as men is undisputable. 

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Yoga Pants, the New Perfume

When I lived in Europe and read celebrity magazines (I’ve always been a sucker for celebrity magazines), I often wondered why famous people go out in public in their workout clothes. And get caught on camera. In Europe you don’t go outside of your home or gym in your workout clothes. Now that I’ve spent so much time in LA I finally have an answer: it’s not the people, it’s the city! I wrote a very fun article for the February issue of Gloria Glam about LA’s obsession with yoga pants. I was very honored to speak about this topic with Catherine Adair, acclaimed costume designer whose work on “Desperate Housewives” brought her an Emmy. Cate’s first reaction was: “Cars!” 

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Feeling Philosophical

Every time I hike on my favourite canyon, I see people running up the steep hill in hot Californian sun. And every time one of them passes by, I wonder how fit they must be to run up this hill, and feel a bit bad about myself being lazy. And in 95% of times, the moment I turn the corner, I find that same person walking and panting and drinking water. I just realized on my hike yesterday what an important philosophical lesson it is: Never ever envy people. Because you never know what their situation will be just around the next corner.

The Big City of Small Plates

Because Croats like their food – and lots of it – I wrote a story about L.A.’s trendy restaurants serving their food on small plates for the December issue of “Delicije.” Like all the stories (and that’s why I love doing this!) the story about small plates revealed some very interesting facts.

Because it is hard to motivate a person to eat two hamburgers instead of one, some 20 years ago, fast food chains invented “supersize” – a much bigger portion for a bit more money (but resulting in a lot more profit). This led to a portion size war: in last 20 years, the size of an average American portion has increased two to three (!) times. Combined with the sinking quality of ingredients, this had terrible effects on people’s health: it’s expected that by 2020 ¾ of Americans will be obese.

Partially to contrast this trend and partially to introduce a novelty, since the beginning of the millennium, fine restaurants started offering all their food on “small plates”. These are sized between an appetizer and a main dish, you order them all at once and are meant for sharing.

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Hollywood Stars With Brushes and Rubber Gloves

I’m having so much fun with my new (and absolutely fantastic) position as the Los Angeles (and Hollywood) correspondent for a big group of magazines which includes (among others) a high end fashion magazine (Gloria Glam), a gourmet magazine (Delicije), a celebrity magazine (Gloria) and another fashion magazine (Gloria In). A story I wrote for the  December issue of Gloria Glam took me inside of the world I would have otherwise never entered: the world of Hollywood’s celebrity hair colorists. When I started researching, I was stunned with the fact that there are people in this city who  pay $400 for hair color. But what I learned is that the star colorists won’t even start work for that amount. Largely depending on the services, their work goes for around $800 or more. Some of those colorists are such big stars that I had to go through their agents and PR people  if  to get an interview.

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