February 8, 2010 · Posted in Entertainment , Trends & Style ·

Just recently, I reported about 2 : actor Christoph Waltz and filmmaker Michael Haneke . Now, Hollywood honors another talented Austrian: On Feb 3rd 2010, BRAVO TV announced that fashion designer Emil Gampe and his show partner Kathy Rose are the Season One’s winners of “Launch My Line”. Together, Emil and Kathy collaborated on the successful fashion line titled ‘Native Rose’ which beat out nine other contestants marking them the first ever winners of ‘ Launch My Line ’.

Emil and Kathy created the winning look

BRAVO TV developed the new fashion reality show to follow up on the success of “Project Runway” hosted by German top model . In “Launch My Line”, Emil Gampe was teamed up with jewelry designer Kathy Rose to guide her through the competition of ten teams towards the launch of her own fashion line. The celebrated designer twins, Dean and Dan Katen from DSQUARED2 , a hip fashion brand based in Milan, are the hosts of the show. Together with other celebrity judges from the world of fashion like Stefani Greenfield and Lisa Kline they judged all the contestants’ creations deciding that Kathy and Emil had designed the winning look .

Bravos new TV Show 'Launch MY Line' Party New York City

After his win, we interviewed Emil Gampe to learn more about his experience at “Launch My Line” and what his success means for his future as an Austrian fashion designer in the US.

Nina Grenningloh: Congratulations! You’re the (expert) winner of “Launch My Line”, the designer show on Bravo TV. What do you think was it about your team that convinced the judges to pick your design as the winner?

Emil Gampe: The idea of the show was to create a fashion line, not just individual looks. The judges decided that our collection was the most cohesive one, balanced in colors, fabric choice, and design. And they thought that the market would respond well to it.

NG: The show was hosted by designers Dean and Dan Katen from DSQUARED2. The judges’ panel was lead by Stefanie Greenfield - in how far did it motivate you to work around such high-profile industry people?

EG: It was great to work with judges that are so talented and respectable. All of them really knew what they were talking about. Their comments and constructive criticism were very valuable in the process of creating the line. And on a personal level: They are really nice people!

NG: You are already a very successful fashion designer running your own line EMIL couture . Why did you decide to participate in “Launch My Line” on Bravo?

EG: I wanted to use my exposure through the show to built out my couture label strongly into the red carpet direction. I would love to get people wearing EMIL at the Oscars and other major events. In addition, I am looking for an investor to launch my own first ready-to-wear collection.

NG: What was the most challenging design that you created on the show?

EG: The black jumpsuit was the most difficult for me to do. I am specialized in dresses and gowns and have not done pants in a while….But the hard work paid off. The jumpsuit won the episode and was sold out very quickly on Rue La La .

Emil Gampe photographed by Tom Zeleny

NG: You won the show. What comes next for Emil Gampe?

EG: I want to find more time for my own line and scale back on consulting work. This transition will require active partners and investors that I hope to acquire next.

NG: You’re originally from Austria where you started your career. You then moved to London to study fashion design and you worked at a couture design house in London before you moved to the US. Why did you move to the US to proceed with your own line? Why not stay in Europe?

EG: I first visited the US when I was in my teens and could already feel back then that this country fits the size of my dreams. In the US, I strongly experienced that everything is possible if I use my talents and work hard. Vienna and London were the stepping stones to realize my dreams of working in New York and Los Angeles.

NG: Thanks, Emil, for your time.

Emil wants to encourage people who are interested in his couture work for red carpet or are thinking to invest into his ready-to-wear line to contact him. Interested parties can get in touch with Emil through his website .

German Filmmaker Andreas Dresen on Movie Making

Andreas Dresen at the Goethe Institut LA

Andreas Dresen with screen writer Karin Howard at the Goethe Institut LA

German writer/ director Andreas Dresen shared his insights into movie making at the Goethe Institut’s “Show and Tell” series in Los Angeles on Monday, October 26. He talked about his beginnings studying directing at the Konrad Wolf Academy of Film and Television in Potsdam-Babelsberg back in the 80s in the GDR. “The school under direction of  Lothar Bisky was a place where creative freedom of expression was somewhat allowed,” said Dresen. “One of my first films as a student was a documentary on military service in East Germany. I wanted to portray the realities of the young soldiers - and even though at the time in 1988 political times were already changing, the film was preceived as too provocative and I couldn’t show it any more.”

Andreas Dresen in Conversation at the LA Goethe Institute

Andreas Dresen, whose career began as the Berlin Wall was crumbling, is currently one of Germany’s most successful filmmakers. He was born in Gera, East Germany, in 1963.
After finishing his studies in Potsdam-Babelsberg , he began working as a screenwriter and director in 1992. Among his most successfull films are: ” Nightshapes”, “The Police Woman”, “Grillpoint”, “Cloud 9 ” and his recent “ Whisky and Vodka “.

Movies that Show Real Life

His highly successful 2008 movie “Cloud 9″ was a small production. “We had a small team because we wanted to be more flexible on set since we shot without any dialogue,” said Dresen. His improvised style in Cloud 9 paid off - despite some critics who felt provoked by seeing love scenes between elderly people, the movie was very well received by an International audience. “I like to make movies that show real life”, explained Dresen. “Life is not black and white and very rarely is there a happy end in real life - so why should there be always happy endings in movies?”

Guests at the LA Goethe Institut

Karin Howard (left) and actress Nina Franoszek (right) with Dresen's wife

Dresen’s new movie “Whiskey and Vodka” is currently playing in German movie theaters and it is Dresen’s first comedy. “My new movie might be seen as a comedy”, said Dresen. “But we are really pointing at important social questions with this film. Does our competitive society make people replacable? “Whiskey and Vodka” tells the story about a film production crew where one actor is backed up by another actor to prevent the production from failing.”

How to Live Green in Los Angeles - and in any other place for that matter

October 15, 2009 · Posted in Trends & Style · Comment

I was happy to learn from reading Chris Guillebeau’s blog post that it’s Blog Action Day today! This year’s theme is climate change. Better writing late than never I’m thinking - so here’s my contribution to the worldwide “climate blog action”:

How to Live Green in Los Angeles - and in any other place for that matter

People who don’t live in Los Angeles often say to me: Isn’t it hard to live green in L.A.? All these cars, no public transportation… Well, let me tell you, you can do things to lower your carbon footprint even in a city like L.A. (especially in a city like L.A.!). So here’s my list of suggestions of what you and me can do to help act on climate change in our own front yard.

The List:

1. The Obvious One: Don’t turn on your a/c until it’s absolutely necessary. (My neighbors in LA are just powering the a/c as if there’s no tomorrow.) 2. The Clever One: Switch off electronic devices completely if you’re not using them. Some electronics keep on draining power while on standby.

3. The Healthy One: Walk, ride your bike, roller blade or skateboard (you LA’ers) for a change - just don’t use your car to drive 2 blocks to the nearest liquor store.

4. The Communal One: Use public transport - yes, even in LA they do have strange looking vehicles like buses and commuter trains .

5. The Fun One: CARPOOL - ’cause it’s much more fun being stuck on the freeway while in good company.

6. The Smart One: Sign up for with your local energy provider.

7. The Natural One: Plant a tree in your neighborhood

8. The Foodie One: Eat Smart, preferably vegeterian and shop at your local farmer’s market

9. The Brainy One: Follow the news , read blogs, participate in educating others on climate change and take action daily

Have I forgotten something on the list? Why don’t you continue it? I’d love to hear more suggestions and tips from you so that we can truly inspire each other and take action together - it’s so much more fun!

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