28 February 2009

Sunday Self-Pic

The predatory teeth!

Our Gardenias

"Because our world has music, and we dance;
Because our world has colour, and they gaze;
Because our speech is tuned, and schooled our glance,
And we have roseleaf nights and roseleaf days,
And we have leisure, work to do and rest;
Because they see us laughing when we meet,
And hear our words and voices, see us dressed
With skill, and pass us and our flowers smell sweet -
They think that we know friendship, passion, love!
Our peacock, Pride, and Art our nightingale!
And Pleasure's hand upon our dogskin glove!
And if they see our faces burn or pale,
It is the sunlight, think they, or the gas.
- Our lives are wired like our gardenias."

-Marc-Andre Raffalovic

Danny Beauchamp (Born: 1985)

Fancy That

Guess who I saw in Shanghai, at the party on the roof of the Peace Hotel?

I was going to not see him, but W spotted me, and broke out of a group of snazzily dressed men of various ages to come up to say 'hi' and was soon warming up to his role as the hippest thing on the right side of the Bund. There I was marvelling at the scene, the chilly winter rooftop made sexy with sofas and carpets, with a view of the famous Shanghai nightscape, the sweep of shimmering river, the mood-lit colonial buildings, enjoying the jazz and the fresh air, sipping my champagne carefully and this would-be model was telling me - the cod fish at the Yong Foo Elite Club is so good? That the best party is here and there? That I should be staying at the Four Seasons because the beds were better than those at the Portman Ritz? Fancy That!
I never liked him, not even when ER picked him up from the club on a dare. He and his deaf -mute friend, signing away at the table. The pills, the music, the stories about the aunt and the suicide. Just six months back, he was turning tricks to get designer clothes. I couldn't get away fast enough, and felt so bewildered that I didn't even bother to be polite. I said I had to go back to my hotel as I wasn't feeling well. That's when he offered me his car and driver, and would I like him to get an invite for me to go to the after party, if I felt better later?
My god.

27 February 2009

Weekend Reading List

I've got a thick stack of T The New York Times Style Magazine to plow through. My friend who lives in New York sent them to me in a bulky package. He collects them for me and when he judges that it's time, mails them. The last time I saw him was in New York in 2005. He says he will be back soon, possibly within the year. But I'm wondering at the wisdom of this. If he's been waiting for his green card for more than a decade, doesn't it make sense for him to stick it out a little bit longer? Should he give it up this year? And why? I've got old magzines of my own to flip through before shelving. Bazaar Oct 1998 had a couture spread by Patrick Demarchelier of Maggie Rizer in the L'Ile Saint Louis. Remember Maggie Rizer? I have a Vogue UK Feb 1991 with a platinum blonde Linda on the cover wearing Chanel. I have a Jul 1989 Vogue with some really glorious pictures of Tatiana Patiz by Peter Lindbergh. Remember Tatiana Patiz? Lastly, I have a Dec 1997 L'Uomo Vogue with a Brad Pitt cover story shot be Steven Klein, a Deborah Turbeville photo-essay, a painterly Paolo Roversi spread, and a fashion spread with all Chinese models called Oriental West Coast. The good old days!

Kate Moss Style

I didn't know about Kate Moss Style: Inside The World's Most Famous Wardrobe by Angela Buttolph. I so want it! Does anyone know if it's in Singapore?

If Luxe Could Kill

Recession? What recession?
The record-busting sale of the century at the Grand Palais in Paris this week has proved that the rich are unlike us. The three-day auction of 730 antiquities, paintings, sculptures, objets d'art and furniture which belonged to Yves Saint Laurent, smashed art-market records in its first two days. 33,000 people queued to view the collection last weekend. However, access to the auction room was strictly controlled. Potential buyers had to prove they had access to at least €500,000 in ready cash. You would need the cash: To buy the world's most expensive armchair, the oriental-looking "dragon chair", created by the Irish designer Eileen Gray. At €21.9m, it is the highest sum ever paid for a piece of 20th-century furniture.
What would you wear to sit on it?
By the end of the third day of bidding, the collection – sold by Pierre Bergé, 78, Saint Laurent's heir and former partner and business manager – was expected to raise up to €400m for Aids research among other charities.
Those at the auction have included Bianca Jagger and Lord Linley but most of the running was made by two young, French, New York-based dealers, Philippe Ségalot and Franck Giraud, working on behalf of unnamed clients. M. Giraud made two of the most astounding final bids on the first night: Almost €36m for the Matisse painting of 1911 The Cuckoos, a Blue and Pink Rug and €8.9m for a couple of perfume bottles, signed by the surrealist, Marcel Duchamp. Two bronze sculptures, looted from the Summer Imperial Palace when French and British forces sacked it during the Opium War of 1860, were snapped up despite repeated attempts by the Chinese government to ban their sale. The 18th century Qing dynasty bronzes are part of a collection of 12 inspired by the Chinese zodiac.
Phone bidders paid €14m each for the rat and rabbit heads.

26 February 2009

Kate and Tilda

My two faves at London Fashion Week's Another Magazine party hosted by Jefferson Hack. Kate looks so wasted and Tilda looks so scrubbed.

25 February 2009

Roberto Cavalli Mastercard

Here's more vulgarity for your buck. All you fashion darlings heading to Milan need this now: A gold emblazoned, snakeskin print Roberto Cavalli Mastercard. Tackiness has its privileges.

Eau De Sisley

My favourite skincare line will be launching Eau De Sisley 1, 2, and 3 this April. Each 100 ml eau de toilette spray is priced at $210. All three scents start off splashy and citrus-y then settle down with varying effects.  

A Titian for Thursday

Self Portrait, 1640, Rembrandt
Large sleeve, 1951, Irving Penn

Man with a Blue Sleeve, 1510, Titian

The Curious Case of Edison Chen

I've yet to hear a convincing case about what it is exactly that Edison Chen seems to have done wrong that he's had to quit showbiz and leave Hong Kong. Was he careless? Undoubtedly. Was he too trusting of computer repairmen? Yes, indeed. We all are. But are these 'mistakes' so horrible that he should have to end his career?
It strikes me as intrinsically good that Gillian Chung should be exposed as the talentless hypocrite that she is, rather than the virginal paragon of modesty that she has based her career on. I think it just desserts for having kicked up a hulabaloo over one reporter snapping a picture of her backstage in her bra from the back. How she did weep at every chance, and wring her hands, and trembled her precious lips at the mere idea that her young fans should see the back of her bra strap! My goodness. Isn't this level of hypocrisy and pretentiousness worthy of being exposed? Isn't the world a better place for seeing the last of this vapid, talentless and common woman?

I think Edison Chen has done us all an enormous favour for which he should be richly rewarded.

24 February 2009

Yves Saint Laurent Sale Sets World Record

Fifty nine works of Impressionist and Modern art, including this painting by Pablo Picasso entitled Instruments de Musique sur un Gueridon, sold for a total of US$266 million, a world record for a private collection at auction. The top lot of the evening was Les coucous, tapis bleu et rose, 1911 by Henri Matisse, which sold for €35.9 million, the highest price ever achieved for a work by Matisse at auction. Seven world records were set for artists at auction, including Matisse, Brancusi, Mondrian, De Chirico, Duchamp, Klee and Ensor.

Mid Week Self Pic

                                         Fat-free fun! 

Lip Service

One of you asked me about lip balm, specifically a lip balm that was light and non-waxy, and matte, and I was thinking what's the point? I always thought a lip balm should form a heavy film, a physical barrier, and be richly moisturising. What do you guys think? I like Sisley's Nutritive Lip Balm (it's about $80, possibly the cheapest item in their catelogue) for its tenacity and soothing thickness. There's no other way to describe this: It's sticky, it's there and it lasts. Smooth some on and it lasts a five-course dinner, a wintery walk, a six-star kiss, an eight-hour night.

The Oscars

Aren't Brad 'Hen-pecked' Pitt and Saint Angelina too smugly annoying for words?
Clicking through all the pictures made me wish that there were more stars like Dame Maggie Smith.
Why aren't people saying "Tilda Swinton looked gorgeous"?
Can anyone seriously think Nicole Kidman looked anything but waxen and bizarre?

"One wanted to act, one started to act, and one's still acting." - Maggie Smith

Fall 2009: Calvin Klein

While I want to say that I really really like this collection, I have to confess that I don't really. Francisco Costa is a designer's designer, and he is, in my mind one of the finest, and here, as always you can see Mr Costa designing himself into a froth. It's a great, intellectual exercise, and its really interesting technically but it's also ponderous and leaden and and laboured and leaves one a bit cold. It could all very well come down to the styling (the boots!), but still.

21 February 2009

As Told to Me

"And then I decided to change my flight.
"I think it was that very instant when AC's sperm dashed out of his scimitar cock, a cock so cruelly hard it seemed to be flying from his body. His sperm bullets thudded, scalding my heart, throat, face.
"I must call my office to say I'm sick, I remembered thinking. How can I leave AC now? And then he made me yelp and drop to my elbows with a thwack on my big backside, and then before that slapped his evil-smelling cock over my face in hefty, mesmerizing strokes.
"Why does AC bite me like a dog worrying a bone? I have to postpone my meeting till the end of the week because of the purple bruises.
"AC's cock really seemed to be at the point of saying something to me. When I was down there, I swear a glossy bubble popped out of its tight lips and said: 'The project can be moved to next Tuesday you know, you deserve a treat. Besides I might leave you good.'
"Yes sir, I heard myself saying. Do you think I'm losing my mind?"

Sunday Self Pic

Michael Jackson's Auction

The sensational auction, King of Pop: A once in a lifetime Auction Featuring The Personal Property of Michael Jackson will put more than 2,000 items including decorative pieces, furniture, Disneyana, and garden statuary from Michael Jackson’s infamous Neverland Ranch. Julien's Auctions, of Beverly Hills, will hold the auction on April 22 to April 25. For about $4,000, you can have this spooky Michael Jackson head featured in the climax of the 1988 video Moonwalker, when he transforms into a robot and defeats Joe Pesci's evil character, Mr Big. The robotic head lights up as each piece of the face pushes out and expands before retracting back into the shape of Jackson's face at the push of a button. Or for about $2,000, buy this orange spandex glove covered with orange Swarovski Loch Rosen crystals and rectangular mirrored beads. Who would buy this stuff? It's pretty sick right?

20 February 2009

Tadzio's Hair

Luchino Visconti's 1971 movie adaptation of the Thomas Mann novel Death In Venice, starring the iconic, beautiful Björn Andrésen is one of my favourite films. It's a must-watch. The controversial Mr Andresen said that when he was 16, Visconti would take him to gay clubs where he felt discomforted by grown men staring at him: 'They looked at me uncompromisingly as if I was a nice meaty dish.' He was, in 1976, alleged to have murdered actor Sal Mineo in a stabbing incident, though never charged.
On a different note, did you know that Visconti's fragance is Hummam Bouquet (launched in 1872) from Penhaligon's? This is a light oriental with a bergamot/lavender opening and a rose heart warmed by its amber/sandlewood base. Very old school, in a good way, the perfect perfume to wear for this movie.

"In his life, softness and tenderness were evidently the rule. No one had ever dared cut short his beautiful hair... The english sailor's suit enhanced his delicate share with an air of richness and indulgence. was he in poor health? for his complexion was white as ivory against the dark gold of the surrounding curls."
- Thomas Mann, Death in Venice

Weekend Reading List

(Painting: Interior with Table, 1921, Vanessa Bell)

I've a thick stash of March glossies to plow through but somehow it doesn't excite me the way it would have ages ago. The magazines already seem old, even as I paid for them, and the mild high dissipated in the cab ride home. It really seems like work now, reading these magazines, and a queer kind of loyalty to my past pleasure in them. I think Twitter is the final nail in the coffin for old media, and old media types. I'm having a Virginia Woolf moment this week, so I'm going back to To The Lighthouse and the uneasy, suffocating Mrs Dalloway. On top of everything else, Woolf is a style icon for me, the very definition of elegance. Not chic, mind you, but elegance.

From A Room of One's Own:
"In the first place, to have a room of her own, let alone a quiet room or a sound–proof room, was out of the question, unless her parents were exceptionally rich or very noble, even up to the beginning of the nineteenth century. Since her pin money, which depended on the goodwill of her father, was only enough to keep her clothed, she was debarred from such alleviations as came even to Keats or Tennyson or Carlyle, all poor men, from a walking tour, a little journey to France, from the separate lodging which, even if it were miserable enough, sheltered them from the claims and tyrannies of their families. Such material difficulties were formidable; but much worse were the immaterial. The indifference of the world which Keats and Flaubert and other men of genius have found so hard to bear was in her case not indifference but hostility. The world did not say to her as it said to them, Write if you choose; it makes no difference to me. The world said with a guffaw, Write? What’s the good of your writing?... Jane Austen wrote like that to the end of her days. ‘How she was able to effect all this’, her nephew writes in his Memoir, ‘is surprising, for she had no separate study to repair to, and most of the work must have been done in the general sitting–room, subject to all kinds of casual interruptions. She was careful that her occupation should not be suspected by servants or visitors or any persons beyond her own family party. Jane Austen hid her manuscripts or covered them with a piece of blotting–paper. Then, again, all the literary training that a woman had in the early nineteenth century was training in the observation of character, in the analysis of emotion. Her sensibility had been educated for centuries by the influences of the common sitting–room. People’s feelings were impressed on her; personal relations were always before her eyes.”

Jesus Luz

Jesus Luz has signed to be the face for Versace's fall campaign. I think Donatella's chicken cutlets are doing the thinking here. 

19 February 2009

Luxury Travel

Despite the recesssion, some carriers are spoiling their premium passengers rotten with lovely flight attendants, Marc Jacobs uniforms and free hand-jobs on the long-hauls from JB to KL. Cost-cutting obviously only affects the masses. 

18 February 2009

Photoshop Awards

And the winner goes to... this cover, purportedly of Mary Kate Olsen, but really could just as well be Nicole Ritchie, or justa bout anyone, male or female. It's actually quite hilarious.

Vogue Paris

17 February 2009