In The Summertime

Summer is here, and as Mungo Jerry’s song goes ♪ In the summertime when the weather’s high, you can stretch right up and touch the sky ♪ we are totally ready to be outside enjoying the weather. Did you know that many parks in the world have all kinds of activities for children and grown-ups during the sunny season? We found out many!

 

Richmond Park is the largest of London’s eight Royal Parks and it has a lot of history to it, despite changing little over the centuries. The park was also named a National Nature Reserve, Site of Special Scientific Interest and a European Special Area of Conservation – the last one was given because of Richmond’s Isabella Plantation and its herds of Red and Fallow deer.

Include in your plans to spend a whole day inside the park: there are many facilities, both free and paid, that visitors can use. For snacks, there’s Roehampton Café; for English refreshments, Pembroke Lodge – which was home to a Prime Minister and is one of London’s finest wedding venues – is the place and it also gives anyone visiting a great view of the park. For the kids, there are two different playgrounds inside the park.

During summer, there are some special activities – paid and free – for anybody who’s visiting Richmond Park and is interested: on July 12th there’s a Summer Evening Walk and on July 19th there’s a course on Butterflies in Richmond Park.

 

In New York, there’s the High Line: a park that was built in a historic rail line elevated above the streets of west Manhattan. The Friends of the High Line, a group of community residents that fought for the preservation and transformation when people threatened to demolish the rail line, operate it and make sure that maintenance, programming for the park, funds raise and everything regarding the park is done.

Made out of three sections, the High Line is completely different from all parks in New York. It is 30 feet above the ground and it goes from Gansevoort Street to West 34th Street, the latest being part of the third section, which is still unfinished.

And besides being The Park In The Sky, the High Line also has many different events every month:

Every Tuesday there are free walking tours all day and Stargazing at night

Every Wednesday of July and August are for children to explore the wilderness

Every Thursday there’s Lawn Time for Little Ones, with storytelling, sing-along and bubbles

And on July 10th there’s a Nature Walk on the High Line, where a gardener will give you an insider’s look on the park’s flora.

 

It’s not just tulips that beautify Amsterdam, the city also has many parks, one of them being Vondelpark. The park was commissioned by a group of Amsterdam citizens and it was to be designed like the English parks of London. Landscape architect Jan David Zocher was the one chosen for the creation and using techniques he’d learned in Paris, he created the illusion of a natural area where before there was nothing.

The park is open for visitation and is always full of people; in 2009, 433 people got together for the biggest picnic in the world recognized by The Guinness Book of Records. If it’s art you’re looking for, the park has three gigantic sculptures: a monument for the Dutch poet Vondel (which inspired the name of the park), an abstract ‘Fish’ made of concrete by Pablo Picasso and a statue of bronze called ‘Mama Baranka’ done by Nelson Carillho.

During summer, there are music and dance performances in the open-air theatre and the bandstand. Every Friday, there’s the Fridaynightskate – a meeting for skaters big or small to have a great time in the park. Take your time to visit it!

Fashion POP!

It wasn’t just flowers that inspired artists into making great works; simple things, like colors, inspire all kinds of artists every day. This time, though, we’re specifically talking about the RGB/CMYK hues – Red, Green, Blue and Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black – that were used in one of the most known art movements: Pop Art.

Compared to most art movements, Pop Art is fairly new – from the 1950’s – and still happening in some places (an example of that is Brazilian artist Romero Britto). It all started when artists decided to defy art: if art is everything one does, then images from advertisings, news, comics and every single image we see could be art or part of it. It’s very similar to Dadaism, except Dadaism never inspired fashion, and Pop Art inspires it to this day.

If you still don’t know where we’re going with this, let us show you an example:

We’ve talked about her before: Yayoi Kusama started her paintings a little before the Pop Art movement exploded in the West. Her psychedelic colors and repetitive pattern were an inspiration for many Pop Art artists – but her trademark polka dots were never copied. In 2012, Yayoi was invited to design a collection for Louis Vouitton; and by the pictures there’s only one thing we can say: gorgeous.

Andy Warhol was one of the artists who used Yayoi Kusama as an inspiration; he is also one of the most known artists from the Pop Art movement. He actually started as an advertiser illustrator, but soon found that his art was more important than his advertisements. His Pop Art paintings were made out of cartoons, advertisements and completely hand-painted; to the point even the drips became part of the whole.

Another very known Pop Artist thought his art should be a parody of life. Roy Lichtenstein made many different panels of art, inspired by comic strips mixed with snarky humor. He described Pop Art as “industrial art” – and that kind of makes sense, since it was art made from and for the industry. His comic strips – such as Oh, Jeff… I Love You, Too… But… and Drowning Girl – are still very popular amongst clothing and accessories brands.

And why not apply all of those arts to fashion right? They are colorful, smart, chic and trendy – in fact, the graphic tees trend has just gotten better over the years, and Pop Art had a great deal to do with that! We’re very keen on color at Melissa, because how else would one add a twist of fun to an outfit, if not with color? Which leads us to the end of this article, but not before we leave some colorful flags for you *hint hint*

 

 

Punk Goes Plastic

Before diving in the world of fashion, Vivienne Westwood was a schoolteacher and a jeweler.  Her entrance in the fashion world is owed to Malcolm McLaren, with whom she lived at the time, with the opening of his boutique “Let It Rock”. The knowledge about her clothes came through the Sex Pistols, who wore hers and McLaren’s designs. Known as the Queen of Punk, she shocked the system with her designs.

Vivienne was also a known political activist and has campaigned for many organizations, as well as designing collections dedicated to human rights and its advocates.

Her partnership with Melissa was much anticipated and didn’t disappoint. In 2008, Anglomania was born between Westwood and Melissa, an association that resulted in gorgeous fashionably shoes that appealed people all over the world. To this day, the union between the brand and Vivienne is considered a landmark in the history of the company. For Melissa Nation, Vivienne’s got her own capsule collection, signing for six models.

Melissa Riding is a fashionable ankle boot, which were very used in the late 60’s with dresses. Its Anglomania version has Scottish tartan on the side and two of them have pink soles; they’re back in fashion with full force, as a mid-season model.

Vivienne’s design for Melissa Bailarina might as well be called a redesign; the round-toed flat received three different types of coats – glossy, metallic and matte –, the Scottish tartan pattern as well as Anglomania’s logotype reconfigured.

If glam is what you’re looking for, you definitely need to check out Vivienne Westwood’s Anglomania Lady Dragon: with a heart or bow appliqué, all with different patterns and colors, it’s the perfect high heel to mix and match with color or neutralize with black.

Melissa Ultragirl also entered the line to be redesigned by Vivienne. For Melissa Nation, Anglomania’s design on Ultragirl mixed the old & the new: tartan printed glossy bows, which look very british and girly, with a little punk twist. And speaking of little, Mini Melissa Ultragirl also got a glossy tartan maxi bow, the perfect shoe to help your babies become princesses.

No word describes Melissa Satyr better than sexy. With a slit that goes from heel to instep, it reminds us of a very deep neckline; which means Satyr is a must-have model for anyone who wants the femme fatale look.