Monday, February 26, 2007

Alas, to be a modern woman.....

The Hong Kong Arts Festival has begun and it has started off with a bang. I love the arts, in any form, whether it is a canvas on a stark wall, or in yesterday's case, in the form of Kun Qu, the oldest form of Chinese opera. It was my first ever experience with Chinese opera and I was wholly hooked. I was fortunate enough to see one of the most famous operas, The Peach Blossom Fan, which was written in 1699 by a descendant of Confucius. How is this related to fashion, you ask? Very simply, the costumes were stunning. Sitting in the fifth row of the auditorium, I could see the amazing quality of the embroidery on each costume. Apparently, 1000 embroiderers from Suzhou were hired to work on the costumes. The costumes were art forms of their own. For a moment, I wondered what it would be like to be a woman in the Qing dynasty.

It is not very visible in the picture, but the attention to detail was astounding. Sitting in the fifth row of the auditorium, I noticed that the white sleeves of each garment were embroidered with white flowers.

This was the wedding scene between the two main characters the poet, Hou Fang Yu and the courtesan, Li Xiang Jun.

This is my favorite scene and costumes. The color contrasts in the scene is modern and sophisticated. Notice the amazing cranes on Li Xiang Jun's cape.

During the intermission (it was a 3-and-a-half hours opera), I got to see the costumes up close and personal. Of course, out came the camera.

Its comforting to know that this type of handiwork still exists in the world.......

If there is an interest in what the opera was like, some wonderful person filmed it and put it on Check it out:

Monday, February 19, 2007


Sometimes I wonder if I even have a right to have this fashion blog, because obviously fashion is a matter of taste. The problem is of course, every one thinks they have taste. I sometimes wonder if I am in a delusional bubble, if in fact, I actually have horrendous taste and everybody has been too kind to tell me. All these thoughts came to me when I went through Gareth Pugh's show. Maybe I'm just a complete bore, but I have no idea why people are so hyped up about his work. I know this is his most wearable collection so far, but I am going to be completely blunt: Gareth, you make some pretty ugly clothes! I have taken the liberty of already posting some of his more "wearable" items....

I'm really scatching my head, while trying to find some inner beauty here, but I guess I'm too stupid, because I just don't see it......

The only thing I thought I would wear in the whole collection was this....

And it almost looks like something Ralph Lauren would make....Pugh and all his fans probably want to hunt me down right now. Haha!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

All Tied Up.....

Some fashionistas are probably going to tell me that I'm SOOOO behind, but sometimes trends don't appeal to me until a certain amout of milling takes place in my head. My personal taste is not too eccentric because I enjoy simple, well-cut items. I have a lot of what people would call "staples" in my wardrobe and tend to layer and work around them. However, one "eccentric" trend that is strangely appealing to me is the oxford shoe. I don't know why but there is something strangely sexy-ugly about them that I think would add a funkified punch to my usual looks. Designers are really busting out variations of these types of shoes on the runway.

BCBG MaxAzria is doing them flat and pointy with contrasting colors.

Derek Lam is making them peep-toe and chunky.

Jonathan Saunders are almost like ivory jazz shoes. I love how they casualize that awesome dress.

Louise Goldin from Fashion East made them pointy, heeled and with a lot of detail on the laces.

Phillip Lim's variation involves moving up the laces to the ankles and making them almost look like they are pumps with an ankle wrap.

I've got to say among all of them, Lim's is the one I would wear. Maybe I am slightly biased towards them because I used to wear black and white oxfords with my elementary school uniform. Talk about childhood psychology. And to think I used to cringe when I wore them in the morning. Its really quite sick how I would love a pair exactly like them right now. Please.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

First HK street blog some appreciation!

Ok, so I don't know how people ask random people to take pictures on the street. I really want to do it, but I don't have enough balls yet. I was just chiding myself for being so cowardly when these two girls tapped me on the shoulder and said "Are you trying to take pictures for your fashion blog?" I was besides myself with joy. I thought to myself, "These girls are Godsend!"

The girl on the left, in her awesomely simple outfit told me she loves simple basics and is probably most influenced by her older sister. I have to commend her on using a basic staple, the black V-neck so well. Love the cuff jeans, love the lacy detail of her camisole and you can't see it in the photo, but her pointy heels are shiny fake python. She may look demure, but hidden under that facade is a wild child. Props to her vintage LV bag as well. I love a woman who confidently doesn't care about when things are not in season. Rock on with the simple Chic!

The girly on the right has the sexified, elegant secretary thing going for her. She volunteered that her favorite magazine is With. The moment she said that a lightbulb turned on in my head. I love her Japanese office lady influence. She looks elegant, put together and extremely lady-like. Again, fashion is in the details. She pointed out to me that she is wearing black knee socks to elongate her legs. They stuck out just a little over her boots and made an illusion that her boots were taller than they really were. I really admire this girl because for some reason, I would look like a total idiot if I ever attempted this look!

okok.....the game is over. So I still didn't have enough balls to ask strangers, so my lovely friends volunteered to pose in my first street style entry. Anyway, they have good taste, awesome attitude and love fashion, so why the hell not! Now, I just need to grow a few more layers of skin and get the courage to scare the hell out of the HK population.

Monday, February 12, 2007

The good old days........

What do you do when you feel a little sick, a little tired and want to nurse yourself back to health? The best remedy is a good movie on TCM, a big cup of tea and blankets galore. Today I indulged myself in what could possibly be one of Alfred Hitchcock's best movies, "Rear Window". Of course I'm a little biased, because I've had a crush on Jimmy Stewart since I watched "It's a Wonderful World" at age six. I've seen "Rear Window" before, but it only gets better.

How is this time around special, you ask? This time I noticed Grace Kelly's awesome wardrobe, of course. They don't make them like Grace Kelly anymore, but then again they don't make them like Edith Head anymore. Edith Head was a costume design genius. Indulge with me....

It makes me wish I was a girl in the 50s when certain occasions dictate certain outfits. You can tell even Jimmy Stewart is a little confused about why this ravishing girl is with him in the last photo!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Our own Marc.....

Hong Kong maybe a fashion capital, in the sense that people here are extremely well-dressed but we don't foster a lot of fashion designers that make it. Of course, our most famous one is Vivienne Tam, but she made it in New York City. I think it is because of our limited choices, Barney Cheng is Hong Kong's version of Marc Jacobs. Unlike Vivienne Tam, he decided to stay in Hong Kong and make a go of it on this tiny island. So far so good. He was just endowed with the SCMP/Harper Bazaar's Style Awards Fashion Designer of the Year. Currently, he has stopped doing ready-to-wear and is focusing on couture. In his own words:

"Ready-to-wear can be stressful and you never get to see who your end consumers are. It's business-driven and seasonal performance relies heavily on market sentiment. Couture, on the other hand, allows me greater freedom to do what I love doing and I enjoy interacting with my clients. I'm staunchly against globalisation because as a designer I like to see unique pieces being created as labours of love."

Friday, February 9, 2007

I think I am in love.....

I don't deny it. I love fashion, but I have yet to find a designer I am utterly and passionately in love with. After years of perusing through and loving certain pieces of certain collections, my dreams have finally come true. I am utterly and passionately in love with Jeremy Laing. I have never wanted to wear every single piece of a collection until I saw Jeremy's Fall 2007 collection. I am in love.....