Posts Tagged ‘Famous Poles’

“No human community can exist without culture.”

This is the wisdom shared by Vaclav Havel.

Vaclav, a former playwright and elected first president of the Czech Republic, shared this bit of insight as part of the Wisdom project.

Wisdom is the work of 34 year old New York based photographer Andrew Zuckerman who completed the project in 2008.

Inspired by the idea that one of the greatest gifts a generation can give to the next is wisdom gained from experience, the project consists of a collection of 50 photographs/interviews that capture the wisdom of legendary leaders and visionaries, over the age of sixty-five, from the worlds of politics, science, sports and the arts.

Wisdom exists in the form of a book of portraits, a film and a travelling exhibition.

The latter (the exhibition’s Canadian premiere) is on display at Toronto’s elegant Brookfield Place (formerly BCE Place) until August 5th, 2011.

Each copy of the book comes with a download code for a 60-minute film comprised of interviews from the project.

Among the global personalities featured are people such as Actor/Director (and all around Dirty Harry) Clint Eastwood, Diplomat and Nobel Peace Prize winner Henry Kissinger, first woman to become United States Secretary of State Madeline Albright and Actor Robert Redford.

There are also two notable characters as far as Poland and Canada are concerned. The first is Zbigniew Brzezinski, Warsaw born, McGill University educated, former United States National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter.

The second, is world renowned architect Frank Gehry who was born in Toronto and hails from Polish Jewish ancestry.

Wisdom is an inspiring and rewarding exhibition. If you’re in need of a gust of in your sails make sure to check it out. Best of all, it’s free!

And if you’re looking to combine the show with a nice dinner – we recommend either Ki  (Modern Japanese) or the eclectic Marché which are just steps away.

Enjoy your dose of wisdom!

But before you dig in, check out this trailer for the film…


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Magdalena Frąckowiak on the cover of Japanese Vogue, January 2009

By Izabela Stabinska

In my last post I gave you a small glimpse into the life of a model and told you about how, as a fashion designer, I admire them for their hard work and dedication.

There are many Polish models strutting the world’s catwalks. And among the top of that list is Magdalena Frąckowiak. In fact, she’s been storming the fashion world for the last couple of years.

Her face combines a very unique mixture of innocence, sensuality and sophistication. And despite having very strong features, her chameleon-like versatility makes her a true professional. She can easily be the playful teenage girl, the elegant diva, or the edgy Goth.

Magdalena’s genius was also noticed by the fashion guru, Karl Lagerfeld, who appointed her as the main character in his latest (this month’s release!) short films for the Chanel and Hogan brands:

La Lettre by Karl Lagerfeld

Born in Gdansk, Poland in 1984, Magdalena was sixteen when her mother sent pictures of her to a Warsaw modeling agency to enter her in a contest. She won and joined the Model Plus Agency.

Her break-through moment came in April 2006 when she appeared on her first magazine cover for Italian Glamour. Five months later she graced the cover of Polish Elle and later she opened the spring fashion show for Yves Saint Laurent. That same year Style.com featured Magdalena as top model of spring 2007.

Today Magdalena Frąckowiak ranks # 15 on models.com’s Top 50.

February 2010 Dazed and Confused Cover Photograhed by Josh Olins

Magdalena on the cover of Russian Vogue, May 2009

She has graced the covers of the most prestigious fashion magazines and walked for the world’s top designers, including: Christian Dior, Chanel, Versace, Fendi, Valentino, Armani, Balenciaga, Pucci, Givenchy, Louis Vuitton, Christian Lacroix, Jean Paul Gaultier, Stella McCartney, and the late Alexander McQueen.

In Autumn/Winter 2008 she walked in 55 fashion shows. Can you believe it?

Last year she rocked the runway for the Victoria’s Secret. And yes, she was honoured with the Tough Love vampy black wings!

But her adventure with Victoria’s Secret has just begun! Just this year, Magdalena appeared in the company’s Spring/Summer 2011 Pink line look-book, which placed her among the most elite and adored VS Angels.

Angels aside, Magdalena also plays the Greek Goddess Hestia in the newest edition of the famous Pirelli Calendar. Photographed by Karl Lagerfeld, she collaborated on the project with fellow Poles Anja Rubik and Daria Werbowy.

2011 Pirelli Calendar, Photographs by Karl Lagerfeld

It all sounds very impressive! And it seems like Magdalena has already achieved everything there is in the fashion world. So I wonder what else she has up her sleeves for the rest of the year.

Izabela Stabinska

Izabela is Toronto based fashion designer who studied fashion in California. After receiving the Best Graduation Collection award, she traveled all over Europe where she collaborated on art projects, fashion shows and photo shoots. In Toronto, she is freelancing in fashion design and production. Currently, she is working with a local enterpreneur on a specialized sportswear line and is developing her first Canadian collection.

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It’s a blockbuster take on a “true” story.

Australian director Peter Weir’s new film The Way Back, which features an all-star cast starring Jim Sturgess, Ed Harris and Colin Farrell, tells the harrowing story of a group of prisoners who escape from a Soviet Gulag (World War II) in Siberia and  embark on a treacherous 6000 km journey across five countries in a desperate search for freedom.

The film is inspired on The Long Walk, a ghost-written 1956 memoir by Sławomir Rawicz, a Polish Army lieutenant who was imprisoned by the Soviets.

Controversy has always surrounded the validity of Rawicz’s book and evidence suggests that he never actually made the journey.

So, how much of the story is really true?

Well, apparently most of it.

In 2009, a former Polish soldier living in Cornwall, UK came forward and said that the The Long Walk is really an account of his own escape.

This man’s name is Witold Glinski.  

According to him, he had a very strange encounter in London in the 1940’s.

Apparently, he was approached by two mysterious men who told him that they were writing a book about Polish history and wanted to speak to him about his journey to England.

He declined to speak because he wanted to forget about the war and because he had already recounted his journey to the staff at the Polish Embassy in London.

Sometime after the encounter Witold Glinski realized that the man who had approached him was Ronald Downing – the ghost writer of The Long Walk.

The book has since been translated into over 25 languages and sold half-a-million copies.

And now you can see it on the big screen.

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Jenny McCarthy. Half Polish, half Irish and all Catholic…well now apparently Buddhist.

She was born in 1972 and grew up in Chicago where she spent a good portion of her teenage life working at a Polish Deli. The deli specialized in Polish sausage and…adult magazines. That’s where she got the idea that she would make a fortune posing nude.

However, things didn’t really go the way she expected. Check out her interview on Oprah:

And the rest as they say is history.

Jenny McCarthy ended up becoming Playboy Playmate of the Month and later the Playmate of the Year. She appeared in a string of TV shows and movies. She also married a famous Canadian comedian (Jim Carrey), divorced him and wrote a bunch of bestselling books.

All that aside, she also did something extraordinary.

She allegedly cured her young son Evan of autism and became one of the leading spokespeople for the vaccination-autism controversy by claiming that her son’s autism was caused by vaccination.

Soon, she will have her own television show on the newly launched Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN).  Not bad for a girl who sold sausage and porn mags at a Polish deli.

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