Articles

Favorite Quote: Michael Elmgreen's 'home is the place you left'

What do you see when you look out from your house window? What I usually see is clouds, square-shaped land pieces in the shades of green, and little houses now and then. As the time goes, suddenly those houses are getting closer and closer, and the clouds disappear. The houses reach their real sizes and people come on the scene.

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That is the view from my house. And the music in the background is the voice of the pilot saying: ‘Welcome to the …… Airport.’

Being a frequent traveler or spending more time in an airport than your own house is not an interesting fact in nowadays. Every day millions of businessmen fly without a second thought from one side of the world to another with just a cabin size luggage and a laptop bag, or changing country for the day. But what makes me different from them and really tempts me to write AIRBUS 320 in the address section when filling out a form is that the reason of my travels are usually changing a house, changing my life and not traveling for business. And unfortunately (or fortunately, I am still indecisive on that) it is not the same thing as going in the morning and coming back at night with just a laptop bag and continuing your life as if nothing happened. Because when you are staying in a hotel, you don't understand the luxury of a washing machine under your hands, or finding a strawberry-flavoured Nivea lip balm. Think in how many countries you have payed electricity bills or looked for a hardware store to replace a burned light bulb.

Getting used to the daily routines of locals, adopting to the lifestyle as if you were born and raise there. That's why globalization makes me feel home. Sometimes it is the familiar atmosphere of Starbucks, and sometimes it is just watching the reruns of Friends on TV. In short, the things that cause a temporary loss of sense of localization. In the end, how can you understand which country you are at once you are in Starbucks? (Well, you are definitely not in Italy, since in Milan my local Starbucks was in Bern. I could still go in my pajamas as long as I had a pocket on them for my passport).

The hardest question to answer in my life is: ‘Where are you from?’ Even though I feel like saying ‘Give me 45 minutes and I will get back to you with a complete essay that explains the answer to the question’, of course it doesn't happen and I say whatever is the most suitable for that moment, brushing it over. But yet, I always have something to comment on whether it is about the Red Nose Day, the 'tamarro' culture, or the EdCon bills.

Back in Istanbul - where I was born, looking at my friends who went to Switzerland to study high school, 'I congratulate you, I would not be able to leave my life here.. What if I fall behind on everything?' I was saying. When, out of the blue, I made my decision to go to London to study Fashion PR, the same concerns were arose for myself. But my adventure that has started with deciding that I was grown up enough and the thinking that 'After all I am not going to America, whenever I want I can find someone on the other end of the phone, also it is not further than Ankara, in the end there is plane' was concluded with spending 5 years of my life in London, as 1 year foundation program in St Martins, 3 years bachelors in London College of Fashion and 1 year internship + working in the fashion world. 

Without realizing, I had grew up in London. Going there at the age of 17, an age that didn't even allow me decide on anything legal, and getting used to all the government and service sector protocols during those 5 years - if we also add the incident of a pretty handsome bailiff coming to my house because of a misunderstanding - , how could I not say that I am a Londoner? I even had a permit of residence valid for 2 years after the graduation. But this reality, brought along also some disadvantages. There was nothing else that London could give to me and I had to change country for my self development. If we are more clear: Comfort became uncomfortable and I was looking for trouble. 

As a result of learning Italian for a year during the high school and thinking that it is the Mediterranean culture and also it is close to Istanbul, I found myself packing up new boxes and in Milan looking for an apartment, without even having had the time to open the boxes I helter-skelterly brought back from London. I was there under the title of doing a 2 year master program in Bocconi University and during one year, with my boyfriend that I found right away, I lived a life in a style of an intensive course of 'Italian Culture and Intro to Italy 101'. Until I have found out that an Italian PR firm, based in NY, is looking for an intern. My boyfriend was also going to Canada for a double degree, what else could be better than this?

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I came to New York, turning my back on the house decorated with an assumption of staying there for at least 2 years, a red Vespa that doesn't fit anywhere, and the residence permit that I got the appointment for to renew it. 

If we look at it from the simplest aspect, by saying 'oooh look there are skyscrapers, look here lives the royal family, look the pizza here is really good,'  I found myself dragging from one place to another in every harvesting season, like the nomadic tribes that try to reach the marshy topsoil. 

I am memorizing the metro maps, bus maps, cab tariffs, as people know their family trees by heart. Now I am in New York; I have Italian friends, a beautiful sublet house and 7 hours difference with my family and of course 3 'countries of residence' that I have to write on the form while entering to the country. 

But by the way, what did I miss at most during these ebb and flows? I am sorry but I won't be able to give you an emotional or moral answer. Because, I miss the chance of wearing the shoes that I pay thousands of euros, pounds, dollars, turkish liras and order right after the fashion shows, in that exact season before they go out of fashion!

If you happen to pass one of the countries that I am in, please first stop by my mom and grab a shoebox. In this way, one by one, maybe I can achieve to gather all of them in the same country. Well, on my way back, I can convince one of the businessmen that fly business with just a laptop bag to check in my filled-with-shoes luggage maybe, what do you think?

ELLE TURKEY - NOVEMBER 2009 (COVER STORY)

LINDSAY LOHAN

An American actress, model, pop singer and a recent designer. So far no different than the quarter of the American population. Being a redhead, having a DJ girlfriend, staying in rehabs for several times, becoming a muse for the fashion world, going down and rising up again and still being in this business after some 12 years when she is, in fact, only 23? That is worth talking.

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As a girl who has always wanted to live her life under the spots, it was never too early for Lindsay Lohan to be in front of the cameras. At the age of 3, she was already signed with a modeling agency. Even though, she was not a much preferred model, she managed to appear on more than 100 advertisements including Calvin Klein Kids and Abercrombie and Fitch Kids. Determinacy was always a main characteristic when it came to fame-related issues for her. Lohan knew what she wanted and she was going to get it at the end. Full point. When she went to auditioning for TV programs, she was conscious enough to decide on giving up if she has not had anything concrete soon. It is a pity that she was not that gritty about drugs, partying and relationships later in her life.

While seeking for the opportunity to be on the big screen, she was filling her time with numerous commercials, including one for Jell-O with Bill Cosby. It was already 1996 when she got the part for Alexandra ‘Alli’ Fowler in Another World, a soap opera where she, apparently, had more lines than any of her coevals in daytime serials. However, as it seems, that was not satisfying for her at all, because she has quitted that show in a blink of an eye when she was casted by Nancy Meyers for a family comedy.

Finally, green wide eyes, red hair, freckles, and a witty smile were just the right components to snatch the dual roles of the estranged identical twins who were trying to reunite their long-divorced parents, played by Dennis Quaid and Natasha Richardson. This was the re-make of a well-known Disney movie, The Parent Trap, which was, without-a-doubt, her main success to break into the sparkly world of fame in 1998. Even, film critic Kenneth Turan referred to her as a more adept version of Hayley Mills, who has played the duo in the original film, in creating two distinct personalities.

Disney was and always has been like her lucky charm. Two TV movies she has starred in, Life-Size with Tyra Banks in 2000 and Get a Clue in 2002, were both Disney-made, just as Freaky Friday was also. It was another Disney re-make where she was starring with Jamie Lee Curtis. But there was a minor hitch. With her looks, she wouldn’t be able to handle the role of a Goth and that was exactly what she has suggested to the producers. Given the fact that she was right at the target, her character was rewritten to be a more “preppy” in order to have a realistic stance. “Jodie Foster sort of seriousness and intent focus beneath her teenage persona” was the expression critic Roger Ebert wrote about her after the success of Freaky Friday. She was 17.

So, she has made her big break, she had taken roles in various shows and etc, but she hasn’t managed to be a media target yet. These were all due to change in 2004, with Tina Fey’s Mean Girls, the first non-Disney movie she has done and the first movie to get the attention of not only the film critics but also the paparazzi. Again, her semblance as a modest girl, who is taking the road to adolescence from childhood with all the grueling aspects of it, was once more consolidated in this movie. The sensation Mean Girls caused, let her to have the option to choose from various projects, where the winner was Herbie: Fully Loaded, the fifth in the Herbie series in 2005. Cannot entirely be classified as a grown-up movie but it was somewhere nearer.

Maybe due to the Disney movies she has been in, or to her freckled face with round green eyes, no one knows, but Lohan, until recently, was perceived as the sweet, feisty, kind of trouble-maker to whom physical appearance was not the priority in the world. So, everything she does is exaggerated by the tactless tabloids, who tend to forget their 20s so easily, or behind that misty naiveté is there a proficient actress whose major role is, actually, her real life?

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It did not take her long to adjust to the state of being followed by an army of cameras, in fact, that was the gratification she has lingered for all her life. In her mind, it has even arrived with 15 years delay. After all, she is a star, who during middle school has aspired the condition of Britney Spears, even on her worst downfalls, just because she was almost-always in every newspaper and tabloid. Since then, she was seen without underwear, in a battle with Hillary Duff, fighting over a boy with Paris Hilton, getting arrested –twice-, just to prove that is still the way she wants to live her life.

As if this is not enough to get her on the cover of weekly glossies, Lohan family all has issues which were easily grabbing the attention of the press. Her father, Michael Lohan, who has divorced her mother some time ago, is still serving time in a prison after leaving his brother-in-law in bloods with a shoe at a family event. Aversion between the father Lohan and Lindsay spun out of control in the public eye the most, during the time she started dating Samantha Ronson a.k.a. DJ Sam. One may think that he is her father who is just being too protective in order to settle her down but frequent appearances on TV, and posting provocative comments on his own blog, actually, owning a blog of his own in the first place, could be the main reasons behind the doubt for his sincerity. On the other hand, Dina, her mom and co-manager from the beginning, is left alone in gathering the family together and she would do it perfectly if she could find spare time from her partying with - and sometimes without - Lindsay. Fortunately, Lindsay is proud of her mother and her young spirit, although her presence late in the nights at the clubs has raised eyebrows ever since.

And her father’s publicly exposed statements indicating that Dina’s drinking problem is the reason behind Lindsay’s troubles, which include crashing her Mercedes and getting arrested on suspicion of drinking and driving in addition to the possession of cocaine, was another splendid material for the media.

“I am not (using cocaine). My mother would take me out of the business. I want to get away from the whole thing, because I know what it does to relationships and families.” Although she admits that she has been riding on a fast lane in life, for her it is normal to have a hasty life in her age. “I am young, I can handle the long nights and going outs, of course!”

How does it affect her siblings to have a family which seems to be always on a bumpy road? Apparently, Lohan members don’t find this that amusing because Lindsay’s little sister Ali, is also following her sister’s footprints to become an actress. And the only advice Lindsay has for her is to stay away from the boys and to get ready for rumors.

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When it comes to relationships, Lohan persists on the fact that she is chasing the guys that are totally drug-free, who may have been to rehabs and got clean, or just who never used any. After her long-lasting relationship with ‘That’s 70s Show’ star Wilmer Valderrama, which lasted for 1 year, she was linked to singer Jared Leto, Sean Lennon, Leonardo DiCaprio, model Jamie Dornan, Colin Farrell, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, singers Jamie Burke and Ryan Adams. Joaquin Phoenix. Lohan only had a rather serious relationship with Hard Rock heir Harry Morton, whom she dated because –in her own words- “Johnny Depp is attached to his long-term girlfriend Vanessa Paradis, and Ashton Kutcher is married to Demi Moore.”

In her rehab times, while she was renewing herself mentally, she has done more than she has expected and found a boyfriend during her stay in a rehab center: snowboarder Riley Giles. However, soon after, Giles admitted that Lindsay was a nymphomaniac and wild in bed and he exposed all their sex details. That was a deal breaker for Lindsay, who later hooked up with the “Entourage” star Adrian Grenier during her stay in Capri for the Film Festival where she was also rumored to be kissing three Italian guys in three days.

Of course these are among the names on her love list before the Sam incident. Her most recent, relatively long-term but surely the most effective, relationship was with DJ Samantha Ronson. It happened so quickly that they were inseparable and on every tabloid before anyone was able to realize they were even dating. Samantha, as it is obvious from the name, was a girl and before Lindsay she was a nobody in the public eye. It seemed that dating so many guys has been enough for Lindsay that she was seeking for an extreme change in her love life.

During the entire time they have been together, every kiss, every fight, every meeting, every smile and every tear were in the media. It was like a Big Brother show with only two contesters and no winners at the end. Day by day, the couple began to dress alike, act alike and at the end, look alike. The jealousy, intense fights, and disrespecting each other were nourishing the relationship even more. The reality show of Sam and LiLo was always on air and it never lacked of appealing and fresh progresses.

That was a constructive time for Sam and her popularity, which led to more job opportunities and contingently to more cash. However, things were not as bright on Lindsay’s side. Her career was going down way faster than the Titanic, she did not have any job offers, she was mentally not alright, and she lost herself completely. Her dramatic weight loss, frequent visits to the toilets in the clubs, and her mysterious stays in the hospital, couldn’t blend well with her strict set-schedules. As it is not enough, her father was once again pestering her publicly and disgracing her because of her so-called sick relationship with Sam.

When they broke up for good, it was a relief, both for the Lohan family and for the public that was getting irritated by all the fuss. And it seems all the jealousy of Lindsay was only for her partner, however on her side, she likes to be more relaxed in the relationship: “If I'm going to give my body to someone, I'd rather them not be with other people. But I want to be able to if I like someone else."

Then, apparently, her catfight with another Disney-based star, Hilary Duff was not helping her career either. Just as the cold war with Paris Hilton over the Greek shipping heir, Stavros Niarchos III. Paris was irritated by Lohan’s affair with her ex and appeared on a widely circulated video, cheerfully joining to Brandon Davis, the oil heir, while he unleashed a kind-of-violent speech about Lohan. Of course, the paparazzi were the ones who gained advantage from this incident, like in every other occasion.

Though her recent decision in taking small roles in more adult-targeted movies, like A Prairie Home Companion, Bobby, and Chapter 27, implements a new beginning of taking steps consciously in her life, so far there is no real improvement in her off-camera life showing she is ready for maturity.

Between the fights and the partying and the bouncy relationships, she also manages to go on tours for her albums: Speak, A Little More Personal, and a single; Confessions of a Broken Heart (Daughter to Father), which was written as an outcome of her relationship with her father. In fact, after her performance in Singapore, she was rumored to be kicked out the dressing room by Beyonce. Once again, gossips shadowing her performance. Smiling innocently at the camera with her auburn hair and rather skinny figure, she can be seen modeling for brands such as Miu Miu, Guess and recently Fornarina, which is another achievement she has on her CV.

Besides being in front of the camera, Lohan has a passion for the process of fashion and an adequate taste to handle it well. In the end, we are talking about a girl who is said to be changing her outfit 5 times a day and never afraid of experiencing new styles, even if it means not wearing any underpants. Her high-priced fashion sense was well-taken by the French fashion line Ungaro, where she was assigned as the creative director to deliver a younger image for the brand, next to a Saint Martins graduate, Estrella Archs. The news was not taken well by the then-head designer Esteban Cortazar who quitted short after the announcement of this new collaboration, and also the fashion world and the public were cynical towards the news.

And above and beyond all the cynicism and prejudice, the duo went on with their job and presented their debut show with a grace. However, the collection was a miss more than a hit due to the entire fashion critics. It is easy to get an idea from the comments of: “a bad joke of a fashion show”, “as for the clothes, they looked cheesy and dated” on the collection consisting of fuchsia, orange, and pink clothes with an overworked heart motif all over them.

Even though Lohan was the designer and she worked really hard, her puffy lips were just ahead of her hard work. And the comments were focused more on her lips, which were apparently found far more interesting than the collection itself. But considering the fact she wanted to become a celebrity in the first place and placing herself as one, this should not come as a surprise.

Whether she will come into her senses soon, and focus more on her acting career, only time will show. But one thing is for sure, Lindsay Lohan is here for good, and is good at creating a buzz out of everything she does. Her biggest role is her life and she has no fear of exposing it.

As Karl Lagerfeld well puts it: “She’s somebody you want to protect, because she plays dangerously with her own life.”

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